This year went by fast.
I still remember checking in on the Bloodline Champions subreddit and reading bewz’s post about his weird dream that Stunlock was working on a BLC sequel, and how badly I wished it was true. Three days later, Stunlock posted a cryptic image to Twitter, leading to a mini-ARG and a lot of insane hype around this new PvP game.
Seven months later Battlerite opened its gates, and what a wild ride it’s been.
A ride full of ups and downs. The game still has a sizable playerbase, but it’s no secret that many of Stunlock’s oldest fans — those coming from Bloodline Champions — are unhappy with the game’s apparent direction. Yes, broadly speaking it’s still the same kind of game, but for the hardcore fans, there have been too many core changes that have sucked away what made the predecessor so challenging and nuanced in gameplay.
I was in that group for a long while, but have since come to accept Battlerite for what it is and what it aims to be. I won’t hold the game to a standard it isn’t trying to meet anymore. And if Stunlock’s vision ever evolves for the better? That’ll be a pleasant bonus.
One thing that often gets lost in the storm of player emotions is that Stunlock Studios is an organization of real people — a fact that I tend to forget all the time. While Battlerite is a product and a business, that should never be an excuse to heap scorn, contempt, and insults at the development team.
Kudos to all of Stunlock Studios, and especially to public-facing folks like Christian and Katey and Liz, for putting up with all the bullshit that comes with being a game development studio these days. To say that it’s a thankless job would be a massive understatement.
So what’s in store for Battlerite early in its second year? According to Dev Blog #24:
- Matchmaking and ranking system improvements
- Pre-lobby system to coordinate champion picking
- Improved systems for handling toxicity
- UI 2.0 and a new champion with the release of F2P
- Faster champion release schedule post-F2P
- More game modes, as evidenced by the Brawl system
We could argue ad infinitum whether these are the right things for the game, and if you want to do that, let’s do it in the comments. As for me, I’m just happy to have an arena PvP game that I can play, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the game to succeed.
How about you? Are you happy and hopeful? Maybe angry or dismayed? What are your best and worst Battlerite memories?