League of Legends is Getting a New Game Mode that Might Borrow from Battle Royale
Riot Games announced that their popular MOBA, League of Legends, will be getting a new game mode, Nexus Blitz, as part of a new Experimental Modes programme, and it might borrow one or two things from the popular Battle Royale genre.
Nexus Blitz is an experimental mode they’ll be alpha playtesting on live for a couple of patches, starting in patch 8.16, and they’re looking for player feedback. Riot Games talked about what you can expect from Blitz, the alpha playtest, and other experimental modes in the future.
Check out an screenshot of the Nexus Blitz Map, that will be coming to League of Legends:
“WHAT EXACTLY IS AN EXPERIMENTAL MODE?
Experimental modes are gameplay prototypes designed to deliver a different kind of experience distinct from Summoner’s Rift, Twisted Treeline, or ARAM. They’re also different than rotating game modes like URF, Doom Bots, and One For All in a few key ways:
With experimental modes, we’re looking for something that could last a while—maybe even as a permanent addition to League. They’re not tied to a particular event, and our hope for each mode is that it’s compelling enough to play over and over again, and to be a regular mode-of-choice for many players. If an experimental mode doesn’t meet that bar, we’ll set it aside and explore other ideas.
Experimental modes are also about testing the waters and getting early community responsebefore delving into additional months of development to get to a final version. They’re works-in-progress, so expect an alpha-style product with borrowed art that’s missing the bells and whistles—but also aggressive patching to evolve and balance the mode throughout the test.
By contrast, RGMs are short-term experiences. They’re breaks from the regular gameplay or often higher pressure experiences of permanent modes. Sometimes they’re meant to deepen your experience with events like Star Guardian (Invasion) and PROJECT (Overdrive). Most importantly, RGMs are designed to be fun for the few weeks they’re active, but don’t share the same primary goal of being a compelling experiences you’d keep coming back to, even if we kept them around forever.
RGMs are also polished, final products. Everything you experience in an RGM, from visuals to gameplay mechanics to music to user interfaces, has been fully developed and implemented.
We also want to note that experimental modes won’t happen super frequently—at most, you’ll see a couple in a given year. This is largely because we’re designing them from the ground up instead of customizing and modifying existing modes, and also because we aren’t going to stop maintaining those existing modes (the vast, vast majority of the League team is still focused on SR, with a much smaller group working on experimental prototypes).
Now let’s talk about the debut experimental mode: Nexus Blitz.
THE DESIGN OF NEXUS BLITZ
We designed Nexus Blitz for those of you seeking fresh, exciting moments and low-pressure fun. It’s a fast-paced mode—around 15 minutes in our internal tests—that emphasizes exciting and surprising moments over intense competition, while still rewarding the skills you’ve learned from other League modes.
In Nexus Blitz, each team consists of a duo jungle in close proximity to three laners. The compact map makes for constant action, and a roulette of new, unexpected events amplifies the frenzy even more.
Events are map-wide, mayhem-inducing scenarios that kick off every few minutes, granting powerful rewards to the team that wins. Some events draw from familiar game experiences that many players will instantly get, and others are more unexpected. Both kinds should make for unpredictable and memorable plays and fights: examples include King of the Hill, Push the Payload, the closing circle of death from Battle Royale games, and so on. If we take Nexus Blitz past alpha, we’ll expand the possible events and explore different versions (we’d love to start hearing your ideas!).
Winning an event unlocks one of the rewards Nexus Blitz has to offer. Some of these are straightforward, such as a massive shield for every team member. Others are wild and flashy, like arming your minions and turrets with Blitzcrank hooks or installing a base cannon that launches you and your teammates directly into the middle of the map (we’d love to hear your ideas for these too!).
In addition to events and rewards, Nexus Blitz has another major mechanic. Champs who go on hotstreaks—getting takedowns without dying yourself—go on fire, gaining adaptive damage and shorter cooldowns, but also taking more damage and they’re worth a TON of gold to shut down.
ENOUGH TALK, LET’S BLITZ
The Nexus Blitz alpha starts in 8.16, and our current plan is for a four-week run as an open playtest on live servers—no invitation needed. Once more, we’d like to stress that you’ll be playing an unpolished prototype. We’re talking lots of reused models and textures from existing maps, and even the gameplay is up for iteration and development. We need you to play and tell us what you think about pretty much everything, from the core game loop to ideas for additional mechanics to map visuals and theming. If you see potential in Nexus Blitz, this is your opportunity to help shape its development!”