With Battlerite set to leave Early Access on November 8, we thought we'd pull together a list of things we'd like to see Stunlock Studios implement. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it's a handful of things we feel would undoubtedly benefit the game.
One of the few things that Battlerite sorely lacks is a significant amount of data regarding your own play and success on certain Champions. Right now, it only provides the basics such as Champion level, the number of matches played on a Champion, and account level. To find information regarding win rates, or to deep-dive on data such as win percentages on a certain map, or weapon accuracy, you have to pursue third-party websites. While many players may have little interest in such information, there are plenty who do (myself included). Having the ability to delve into your own data in order to understand your strengths and weaknesses on X Champion and Y map can be important, as it can allow a player to improve specific areas of their play. Having all available data within the game itself, that’s filterable, ensures players don’t have to go elsewhere to find it.
The Champion screen in Battlerite shows incredibly limited information.
No one can question the quality of skins available in Battlerite: whether it’s outfits or weapons, the standard is unrivaled. Despite that, there’s still a great deal more than could be done to offer greater customization for players. Emotes, taunts, totems that you can place on your Champion, colour channels that you can adjust, sprays, banners; there’s scope for a huge amount of customization in Battlerite. What we have right now is good, but there’s no doubting it could be so much better. Even something as simple as allowing us a mount "loadout" for each Champion, rather than always using the same, would be welcome at this point.
Champion Lore and Deep Dives
Part of the reason why Overwatch is so appealing is because Blizzard have injected personality into their game. There’s a genuine relationship between its fans and the Heroes they play. Blizzard have nurtured this through lore, comics and animated shorts. While I make no suggestion that Stunlock Studios can compete with such a company and their financial clout, there’s undoubtedly room for far greater exploration of Battlerite’s Champions and the world they inhabit. Where does each Champion come from? What’s their motivation? Who’s their greatest opponent and why? Irrespective of how the information is delivered, allowing players to understand each Champion that little bit more creates a far greater relationship between player and character.
The only Lore available right now is a short paragraph for each Champion.
Competitive games are notoriously toxic, and yet the existing systems in Battlerite to deal with such toxicity are fairly poor. A single button after a match, with no knowledge that it does in fact work, isn’t particularly reassuring. Even the lack of a profanity filter - something I consider fairly mandatory in today’s market - is missing. I’m all for players expressing themselves, and if someone wishes to use profanity that’s totally down to them. In this instance though, it’s about providing a choice and attempting to nurture a community that doesn’t automatically call you a “fucking prick” just because you missed a skill-shot. In a recent match I played, and having seen this player all week, he proceeded to AFK the moment he took any damage. At this point, he merrily informed everyone that they should kill themselves. Such players are not only unwelcome, but they should be swiftly dealt with: muting them doesn’t change the fact they’re still causing a great deal of misery to others. While this player in question has now been banned (SLS are swift to act) having far greater automation would go a long way in lightening their load.
I’ve never understood why there aren’t level restrictions on players entering League in Battlerite. As it stands, any player can instantly queue for ranked play with any Champion, even if they’ve never played them before. To me that's wholly wrong and entirely undermines the purpose of even having a “casual” mode. Anyone new to a Champion should be spending time in casual mode learning their kit and the intricacies of it. They shouldn’t be diving straight into ranked play, hamstringing their team. While I appreciate that many players who have significant experience in Battlerite can feel fairly at home on any new Champion, I still consider there to be a need for a minimum Champion level. In Heroes of the Storm the minimum level required to play Hero League is 5, which is around six or seven matches played. It doesn't require a huge amount of time investment, it allows players to understand a new Heroes kit (even if it’s purely surface level) and prevents anyone diving into a competitive environment on a Hero they've never played. Considering I regularly encounter new players arriving straight into League with no Champion experience, this would be a welcome addition.
Clans and Global Chat
If you’re diving into Battlerite for the first time, there’s every chance you haven’t yet made friends and instead have no-one to talk to or interact with as you queue. This isn’t particularly welcoming, and it’s a missed opportunity to allow players to discuss Champions, tactics, ask questions, or even theorycraft. Having a global chat was something Bloodline Champions offered, and which allowed it to form some kind of community. Right now, Battlerite feels like a solitary experience unless directly queueing with friends you already have. Implementing Clans and global chat would allow relationships to form: that's never a bad thing for player retention.
A mock-up of how a Radial Wheel could look in Battlerite.
Although I'm a huge fan of voice chat, I admit that not everyone wants to listen to an open mic, or some screaming teenager. Radial Wheels - as used in most MOBA's - offer an instant means of communication far superior to standing and typing. I've lost count at the amount of times I want my team-mate to retreat, or to control the central Orb, and besides asking them via chat, there's no real means to communicate in Battlerite. A ping system, similar to DOTA 2 or Heroes of the Storm, with rudimentary functions such as retreat, defend or assist me would go a long way in improving communication between team-mates. Even if you dislike Radial Wheels, providing players with the ability to use pings (which you should have the option to mute) would undoubtedly help improve tactics between players.
Think Battlerite needs something specific? Let us know in the comments below.
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