Welcome to another post hosted by your humble dev blogger, Christian! Today, we are once again talking about a few topics pertaining to the upcoming Summer Mega Patch. Follow that link if you want to get a feeling for the overall scope of the patch! Now, for this post in particular we’ll go into some more detail regarding Blossom and also talk a bit about the upcoming Rocket Balloon Brawl.
First though, we are aware that there were a lot of questions regarding the Xbox One and Windows 10 announcement last week. A lot of details will have to wait until later as we’ll be revealing more news in the upcoming months, but here’s two questions I’d like to address:
Q: Was Battlerite created from the start with Xbox One in mind?
A: No, the decision to make an Xbox version of Battlerite was made after the launch of Battlerite Early Access.
Q: Will the Xbox launch of Battlerite affect the launch date of Battlerite F2P for Steam?
A: The Xbox launch will not directly affect the F2P launch date of Battlerite on Steam, which is still slated to be during the second half of 2017.
Also, to clarify this sentence: “Battlerite will be available on Xbox Play Anywhere which will allow players to play on both Xbox One and Windows 10 at no additional cost” – if a player acquires an account via Windows 10, they will be able to play the game on Xbox One without any additional cost and vice versa. It does not confirm that there will be crossplay between Xbox One and Windows 10 in Battlerite. And remember we’ll be unveiling more details in the coming months so keep your ear to the ground. Now, let’s move move on!
Blossom, The Forest Mender
You can already view Blossom’s ability kit over on the Summer Mega Patch website but here we’ll do a brief description of the thought process behind her design.
For Blossom the starting point was, just like with Raigon, to create a Beginner Friendly champion. This time it would be a new Beginner Friendly support champion. It’s a starting point which affects both how she looks and how she plays. As a support someone should be able to start out with, we wanted her to give the immediate impression of being a friendly and “good” character. We also had not used a nature theme for a support champion yet so we decided to combine those two aspects when establishing the look of Blossom. We tried out multiple directions before settling on the current one.
The above image was one of the directions we explored but eventually turned away from. While a lot of people still liked this design, it did not really fulfill the goal of having her be immediately friendly and giving the impression of a beginner support champion. Eventually we settled on the following concept:
This concept felt like a more approachable design that was less intimidating than the previous one. Her positive attitude and bubbly personality was then naturally formed around this concept and is further conveyed in her voice lines.
As for how she plays, like we mentioned way back in the Raigon dev blog, what we aim for with Beginner Friendly champions is to convey a clear goal to players. Another important thing we strive for is for their abilities to be straightforward and easy to understand. All of Blossom’s core skills embody that. Throw a pine cone that hurts people. Heal someone and they immediately get health restored and then more health is restored over time. If you’re in danger, hop away and briefly become invisible to escape. Put down a tree on the ground – it will be in the way and heal nearby allies. Throw a seed at someone to deal damage, if they don’t move away they are stunned. Push away people who are in front of you and reflect projectiles. Jump into the air and fire projectiles that deal damage and make enemies hurt less. Her charge mechanic on her M1 (Mouse Button One) ability adds a bit of complexity, but as a new player it’s not really something you have to think about too much. For Beginner Friendly champions we can include more complex mechanics via their EX abilities. That way there’s additional room for more advanced players to flex their skill with less risk for new players to feel overwhelmed, as they are less prone to use EX abilities. More complex mechanics can also be added via Battlerites, as long as there are straightforward and easy-to-understand alternatives available for newer players. Blossom is at a place where the usage of her abilities is pretty clear, but just like with many champions the optimal usage of them will pretty clearly differentiate a skilled player from a less skilled player
Hope this gave you some insight into how we created Blossom and some of the thoughts we have when we create Beginner Friendly champions. Blossom will available to play next week – check out her trailer if you’ve not seen it yet:
Rocket Balloon Brawl
If you still have not checked out the Summer Mega Patch website you might be wondering what the Rocket Balloon Brawl is. Even if you have, you might be hungry for more details about it. Fear not, in both cases I will help you out! So in the briefest terms possible, you try to defeat the other team by taking control of this:
Are things still a little bit unclear? Okay, let me go into a bit more details then. In Rocket Balloon Brawl, players are able to resurrect after falling. This is due to the mystical power of the Guardian.
As long as a team’s Guardian remains standing, that team will respawn after falling in battle. So how come Rocket Balloon Brawl is not just a never ending battle, a hellish eternal war? Well that’s where the Rocket Balloon comes in! The tiny guy sitting in the Balloon will lend his aid to whomever has taken control of his Balloon, and will bombard the opposing team’s Guardian, slowly but surely breaking it down. While a team controls the Rocket Balloon it travels towards the enemy team’s Guardian. And naturally, when a team’s Guardian has been destroyed, that team will no longer respawn when they fall.
So how do you take control of the Rocket Balloon? Well it is fairly simple. Below the Rocket Balloon you can see a circle.
When a member of your team stands in this circle it will slowly be taken over. If that player goes undisturbed, eventually the Rocket Balloon will be captured and will start moving towards and firing at the opposing team’s Guardian. It will keep moving and firing, even if you’re not in the circle, but that makes it easy to lose control. If a player on the opposite team stands in the circle of your captured Balloon with you, the Balloon’s progress will be halted. But if your enemy knocks you and your teammates out, eventually the Balloon will return to neutral and can be captured by the opposing team. If they’re trying to capture a neutral Balloon, hurry into the circle to stop their progress and fight for control again. The number of team members standing in the capture circle does not make a difference. Whew, did you get all that? If not, don’t worry, it’s pretty straightforward when you actually play the game mode!
There are some additional interesting points to the Rocket Balloon Brawl game mode. First of all, all players have 50% reduced max health, so everyone runs out of health much quicker than in the regular arena. However, when a team’s Guardian is destroyed that team enter their “Last Stand,” which means their max health is restored to normal. Second, you begin each match of Rocket Brawl with all five of your Battlerites unlocked. All of them are pre-selected, but if you want to you can change around which ones you start with in a similar manner to how you can try different Battlerites in the Playground. Third, all players have persistent energy, which means that if you fall with 80% energy, you respawn with 80% energy. Fourth, there are additional health pickups spread around the map. There’s also a slightly bigger health pickup that grants health to your whole team, along with a small amount of energy (so sort of like a mini Center Orb). And lastly, when a champion falls they drop Souls. By picking up Souls a champion’s output is boosted, making them deal more damage or restore more health than normal. Souls can also stack up to a pretty high amount.
All of this adds up to a frantic, intense, and most importantly fun game mode, which still is valuable as a breather from the more serious arena matches. The plan is for Rocket Balloon to be available during weekends for most of the summer. We can’t wait for you guys to give this game mode a go!
And that’s it for this week! By now you guys are hopefully as excited about the Summer Mega Patch as we are!
Thanks for reading!