It’s Time to Pick 2v2 or 3v3 as Main Format

Posted by Zanetski 31 comments

2v2 or 3v3? The eternal debate that never ends.

But I’m not here to argue which one is better than the other. That topic has been beaten into the ground by newbies and veterans alike, and by now all that can be said about it has already been said. There are no new arguments left to be mined.

The time for discussion is over. A decision has to be made. I’m not saying I know which decision is right — that’s up to Stunlock and the community — but I am saying that Battlerite will suffer (or keep suffering, depending on your viewpoint) if it continues to support both 2v2 and 3v3.

The Imaginary Divide Between 2v2 and 3v3

Let me start off by saying this: I understand why Stunlock is stalling this decision as long as possible. It’s not an easy decision… but it’s a necessary one.

The majority of the playerbase prefers 2v2, but the chunk that prefers 3v3 is significant as well. The number of players who can honestly say “I don’t care either way” is surprisingly small, which means that no matter which side the gavel falls on, a lot of players are going to be disappointed.

And that’s a frightening thought. Gamers, as a whole, have always been a fickle bunch who are prone to tantrums and are quick to uninstall the moment they feel slighted. If your favorite mode was dropped from a game you enjoyed, there’s a non-zero chance that you’d quit playing, right? I think this is the fear that has Stunlock so petrified regarding this decision.

Last week I ran a poll asking which format readers preferred: 58% said 2v2 while 42% said 3v3 (211 total votes). I didn’t provide a third option, not even a “Both” option, because I wanted to see how players would choose if they were forced to pick one.

It would be much easier if the split was closer to 90/10 or 80/20, wouldn’t it? The prospect of losing approximately half of the playerbase with one decision is terrifying. Stunlock doesn’t want that, and neither does anyone else. We want the playerbase to be healthy and thrive. At the moment, it isn’t.

Would players leave if a format was dropped? Some, but not as many as you’d think.

Most players are pretty fluid in their preference as long as the core gameplay is fun and rewarding. If you follow the tournament scene, you’ve noticed that a lot of those who play in 2v2 events also play in 3v3 events. Just because someone prefers one format doesn’t mean they necessarily dislike the other. What I’ve found is that most players find both formats playable and simply lean towards one.

So no, I’m not convinced that focusing on one format (by dropping the other format) will significantly harm overall player numbers. In fact, I think dropping one format would actually lead to better gameplay and therefore better player retention, which would lead to better long-term growth.

Two Formats Are Worse Than One

You might be thinking: Who cares?! Let the 2v2 players keep playing 2v2, let the 3v3 players keep playing 3v3, and if someone wants to play both, let them! What’s wrong with supporting both modes? Isn’t it better to capture as many players as possible? Why unnecessarily alienate a big chunk of the playerbase?

Those questions are important, so let’s explore them.

Consider what Verosk said when he gave his opinion on the current state of Battlerite, that Stunlock’s indecision between 2v2 and 3v3 as the main game format is his least favorite thing about the game. (“It would be nice to know which [format] I should be focusing my attention on.”) He enjoys both, yet still wants Stunlock to designate one as “official”.

Why does an official format matter? For many reasons, but they all stem from one big reason: it’s very hard, maybe even impossible, to balance one game for two formats.

Take Iva, for example. She’s commonly considered weak in 2v2 but strong in 3v3, and Taya and Poloma fit that bill as well. But then you have champions like Jumong and Shifu, who tend to fare better in 2v2 than 3v3. I’m not saying that they’re OP or UP. The point is that they have different strengths and weaknesses depending on the format.

Because of this, those who play 2v2 have completely different opinions on balance than those who play 3v3. And why wouldn’t they? The two formats are so different. So when people argue about champion balance, this divide often gets in the way of constructive progress.

It comes down to the fact that certain gameplay mechanics are more or less valuable with more or less players on the field. Due to this, certain mechanics are impossible to balance for multiple formats — if you compensate for a weakness in one format, it usually becomes stronger in the other format. And vice versa.

The bounce mechanic is a good example, such as Iva’s Tazer or Poloma’s Ghost Wolf. The more enemies on the field, the more likely that two of them will be within bounce range. Same holds true for any ability with a relatively large AOE target mechanic, though to a lesser degree.

Player numbers also act as a soft cap on the number of times a certain mechanic can appear in a match. Take shields, for example. In 2v2, you can run a comp like Lucie/Iva or Lucie/Varesh and have two shields in rotation on one champion, but in 3v3, you could run Lucie/Iva/Varesh and have three shields in rotation on one champion. Can that be balanced by tweaking the numbers on each ability? Or is it an issue that’s inherent to the relationship between the shield mechanic and total players on field?

Buff and debuff durations also matter. A 1.5s Incap in 2v2 has a different level of impact than the same 1.5s Incap in 3v3. A 2.5s Barrier doesn’t have the same kind of presence in 2v2 than it does in 3v3. Even though it’s the same ability and mechanic in both formats, the impact and relative uptimes differ with varying numbers of players on field.

By trying to cater to both 2v2 and 3v3 crowds, Battlerite ends up being okay-but-not-amazing for both sides. Some parts of the game feel good in 2v2 and other parts of the game feel better in 3v3, but neither mode feels complete. That’s what happens when you try to have your cake and eat it too.

Could we get around this by setting separate values for each format? For example, altering Barrier so that it lasts A seconds and absorbs B damage in 2v2 but lasts X seconds and absorbs Y damage in 3v3, then doing the same for every ability in the game? Maybe it could work in theory, but it would be a massive effort for Stunlock (who’d basically be maintaining two games), it would not be fun for players (due to twice the burden of knowledge), and it would likely split the overall community into two distinct groups (instead of the hybrid that we have now).

One Format to Rule Them All

Let’s switch gears from drawbacks to benefits: what do we stand to gain by dropping one format to focus on the other? A few things, and this is the heart of my argument.

1. One format would be easier to balance.

Walking the thin line between 2v2 and 3v3 is hard, and Stunlock doesn’t have an easy job in that regard. I’m not saying they’re incompetent or incapable — they’ve actually done an okay job so far if you consider how another company might’ve handled the balance of this game.

But the fact is that any time they want to add, tweak, or rework an ability or battlerite, their eyes need to be looking in two directions. Not only is it hard to find the sweet spots for both formats — assuming such sweet spots exist — but it also slows down the overall process of creation/tweaking/reworking because they have more things to consider and test.

2. It would lead to more cohesive gameplay.

As mentioned above, when you try to design one game for two different formats, some things end up working better in one while other things end up working better in the other. Neither feels truly complete because compromises are made.

Imagine if the game was only 2v2. We could cut away some of the more gutless mechanics, like getting rid of dynamic healing charge rates and using a flat cooldown that’s best balanced for 2v2 itself. We could increase the overall speed of the game to compensate for having fewer players, something that might’ve resulted in too much chaos if we also had to worry about 3v3.

Or imagine if the game was only 3v3. We could resize and redesign the maps so that they don’t feel so claustrophobic, which we can’t do right now because the maps would be too big for 2v2. We could retune energy gain on certain abilities that grant too much in 3v3 but need to be high so that they aren’t gimped in 2v2.

Imagine how much better an official format would be if every single aspect of the game was tailor-fitted for that specific format — it doesn’t matter which one because this is true regardless. The overall experience would be more cohesive. The gameplay would feel better. It would be more enjoyable.

3. Competition would all take place on the same playing field.

This would really strengthen the competitive scene as a whole, and I think this is what Verosk was getting at when he shared his thoughts.

When a game equally supports two different formats, the exploration of each format’s gameplay suffers. Nobody can deny that 2v2 and 3v3 play differently, right? But this means that players will split their attention between “playing 2v2” and “playing 3v3” — neither format gets full attention, which hinders the process of trying different comps, explroing new tactics, and pushing the limits of gameplay.

Certain strategies and tactics that work in 2v2 don’t really work in 3v3 and vice versa. Teams who win in 2v2 may not always win in 3v3, while teams who win in 3v3 can flop in 2v2. It’s tough to compare the two. Wouldn’t the scene have more legitimacy if we had one official format in which all players could fight on even footing? Comparisons between players and teams would be clearer since all matches would be judged by the same criteria.

This could also indirectly improve matchmaking queues. If Stunlock came out and said that Battlerite would be a 3v3 game from now on, for example, then they could close the other queues and everyone would be funneled into the same matchmaking pool. Less queue splitting, more accurate matching, better competition.

But wait, Patch 0.8 introduced the ability to queue both 2v2 and 3v3. Does that negate this point? I don’t think so. I’ve noticed that queues are slower when you’re in both, and I’m not the only one who’s noticed it. If everyone was forced into one mode, then Stunlock could better optimize their matchmaking algorithm — not just for speed, but also for quality.

All of these things would be more enjoyable for players.

Deciding on an official format would improve the game in nearly all respects. Are there any downsides? Yes, sure, we would lose a small amount of players in the short term. But as of this writing, the game’s daily peak has dropped below 3k. Players are already leaving, so I don’t foresee much harm in this at all.

What do we gain from it? More intentional balance and more cohesive gameplay, which would both lead to a better player experience and more esports legitimacy. The hope is that this would boost retention rates and long-term growth. Whatever players we lose in the short term, we’d make up for it in the long term (assuming the gameplay improves).

One last thing: Do we really need to drop a format? Can’t we just keep both and simply “declare” one as the official one for balance and design? We could, but I don’t think it’d be a good idea.

This kind of happened in Bloodline Champions with its multiple game modes. The game was balanced for Arena, which meant that Conquest and CTA both had a bunch of weird detracting quirks that weren’t fun. The game wasn’t designed for Conquest, so Conquest felt off. The same for CTA. Because of this, nobody played these modes except to kill boredom every once in a while.

Something similar would happen if, say, Battlerite was designed specifically for 3v3 but still kept 2v2 queues. Over time the game would become more and more designed for 3v3 and the disparities between the two formats would become more pronounced. 2v2 would eventually feel off, and people would either stop playing it or complain that it needs to be fixed.

Obviously all formats should be allowed in private games, just as 1v1 is currently allowed even though the game isn’t designed for 1v1, but in order to truly commit to this idea of having an “official” format I believe the extraneous queues must be dropped.

Remember, this wasn’t a discussion about whether 2v2 or 3v3 is better so please refrain from that in the comments. Let’s talk about whether Stunlock should pick an official format, and if so, whether they should abandon the other or still support both. Please be constructive!

Zanetski

Written by Zanetski

Lead writer and editor for Battlecrank. When he isn't sinking hours into Battlerite itself, he's doing his best to help newbies. You can find him on Discord at Zanetski#5578.

31 Comments

  1. I don’t really think it’s necessary to drop all the queues if it comes to picking a specific game mode – just the now unnecessary ranked one. Sure, it’d still be 3 queues then to split up attention between, but it’s obvious at this point that 2v2 and 3v3 are both entertaining enough for a big chunk of the community to at least play both game modes.

    Whichever mode would be the ranked one would be the ‘tryhard’ mode and implicitly mark the other one as the casual or ‘for fun’ mode. Kind of like ranked/normal draft vs. blind pick in League – one’s for the more hardcore crowd (and corresponds with the ranked gamemode but without the ranking implications) and the other is similar but with the distinction of a casual pick phase without necessary involving any strategy or stress (aside from instalocks et al., of course.) The game is obviously identical when actually in the game, but the point is that draft mode in LoL is generally regarded as the ‘ranked practice’ and blind pick is considered the casual mode.

    It’s perhaps a slightly flawed analogy given that they don’t need to balance differently for draft and blind pick, but it’s possible to keep it playable and fun while only making small tweaks for heavy outliers re: balance.

    1. Hey Purro, that is a common opinion but I disagree with it for a few principle reasons. If SLS chooses 3v3 as the main mode, then a 2v2 unranked mode would cannibalize the 3v3 queues and split the matchmaking, even with the current system of queueing for both. Every player who chooses to only queue for 2v2 undeniably detracts from the 3v3 queues.

      We’ll also see a lot of player complaints about balance while playing 2v2. No matter what you tell them, that the game is meant to be balanced around 3v3 for example, the 2v2 players will not like it and complain. This happened a lot in BLC.

      But mostly, in my view, it comes down to newbie first impressions. If the game only offers 3v3 queues, it sets a certain expectation for anyone who checks out the game: this is how the game is meant to be played, this is what I need to learn. 2v2 is so different from 3v3 that it’s detrimental for a newbie to “learn” in 2v2 and then “graduate” to 3v3 — it’s not really that simple of a transition. Most likely they will grow accustomed to 2v2, fail the transition to 3v3, and either complain or quit.

      1. The most important of those points, in my opinion, is the latest point – and I think you’re vastly overestimating just how different 3s is to 2s. Almost all the skills you’ve learned from 2s can be carried over into 3s. It’s not like it’s another game entirely – it just has more focus on teamwork and positioning due to the more punishing nature. I think it’s absolutely possible and even desired to have people start in 2s and graduate to 3s – because 2s is by far the least punishing option of the two. This allows players a bit more leniency for learning the characters and the game in a setting where they aren’t punished super hard for every mistake they make. If those same players instead had hopped straight into the far more punishing 3s, they’d be just as likely to get absolutely demolished and lose interest in the game.

        You have to remember – if someone wants to play the game competitively, it doesn’t matter whether it’ll be 2v2 or 3v3 – they’ll tough it out and play whatever gamemode is the ranked one no matter what. But it’s the minority of players who have that competitive mindset, if my experience is any indication – most games with an option has a minority that actually plays ranked. And you saw how not having an option for a casual gamemode went with Battlerite – shortly after EA, they introduced unranked queues exactly because people asked for a way to play that wasn’t competitive.

        As for the other points – I think once it comes out of EA and becomes F2P, it should have enough of a playerbase to sustain those queues, hopefully – and if it doesn’t, I think the game’s already doomed then. We already have enough playerbase in at least the major regions to sustain all 4 queues we have – I usually find a game very quickly – though they are mostly 2s, since that’s the most popular gamemode.

        Like I said, having a ranked mode in the singular format means that it’s the implicit ‘correct’ way to play – as long as SLS fixes heavy outliers in terms of balance, 2s (or 3s) can absolutely exist as a secondary gamemode without as much developer oversight. There’ll probably be some complaints, sure – but they can just make it clear that the mode that ranked is played in is the main one, so everyone who goes into that mode will know that it isn’t the focus. I mean Riot does it in League – they tweak hard outliers in Twisted Treeline just to make sure they aren’t super overbearing, but they’ve also made it clear it isn’t their main focus.

        1. 2v2 and 3v3 are mechanically similar, but they are absolutely different in significant ways. I’m not sure at what point the game starts to feel that way, but I’d wager around the G12/G13 level.

          It’s like the difference between writing short stories and writing novels. They’re mechanically similar, but the actual experience of it is so different. Some writers started as short story writers and graduated to novels, but a LOT of them advise against it. The two forms are completely different.

          If you’re saying 2v2 is ONLY good for learning mechanics, then I might agree… but I don’t see why newbies can’t learn mechanics in 3v3 either. As long as the matches can be guaranteed to be newbies vs. newbies, the learning environment is almost the same.

          Also, I’m not arguing that unranked needs to be dropped. There’d be nothing wrong with having a solo 3v3 unranked and a team 3v3 ranked. We should definitely provide a casual option for when people don’t want to try hard.

        2. Maybe it’s because I’m not at the high grades, but I honestly still very much doubt the transition is nearly as bad as you claim it is. I most certainly haven’t experienced anything like it – only more focus on positioning and situational awareness. So please tell me those significant ways in which they’re different that makes it such a jarring transition.

          That was not what I was saying about 2s – I was saying that it serves as a way to learn *all* the fundamentals of the game (including positioning, albeit obviously not to the same extent 3s do) in a way that isn’t as severely punishing as 3s are. That was the point – it’s way less punishing than 3s by default because being vulnerable or out of position even against novices will mean getting punished by potentially 3 people vs. 2 in 2s. The fact remains that because there’s less people involved in the match, there’s also less skillshots, less cooldowns and less moving bodies to keep track of in general. That helps keep it be correspondingly less stressful than 3s, which feel very rough when you’re just starting out in comparison.

          And I know. My point wasn’t that I didn’t think you’d want an unranked option – my analogy was to showcase that it can be fine to have a less supported queue if you make sure to just make it clear that it’s not a focus and you’ll just balance the heavy outliers for that particular gamemode. I don’t think it’d be very hard to make other values for a few particular characters on that gamemode if they turn out to be overbearing. And with the secondary point that having a ranked queue for just 3s but unranked for 2s and 3s would make 3s the implicit ‘correct’ way to play by association. It’d still allow 2s to be played, but it’d make it obvious that the ‘serious’ gamemode would be 3s, in that example.

          …I am not good at being concise, am I?

        3. A lot of things are subtly different, like relative uptime of abilities along with the stuff like positioning and awareness. You might be right that it’s not as drastic a difference for newbies.

          But here’s the thing: BLC did what you’re suggesting. It had 2v2 queues and 3v3 queues even though 3v3 was clearly the main mode. Too bad everyone queued 2v2 anyway, even while acknowledging that it was the worse mode, because of queue cannibalization. Even in the current BR system, every player that queues for only 2v2 would indirectly harm the 3v3 queues by making the 2v2 one faster, and it’d result in the same slow shift from 3v3 to 2v2 even though 2v2 is decidedly the wrong format.

        4. I guess it depends on what you’re shooting for – if you want to be sure ranked is always populated, then it doesn’t really matter if unranked 2v2 or 3v3 exists, since the people who will play ranked will always go for the 3v3 (as it’s the only ranked queue available in this example).

          But it might potentially be rough on unranked 3s, though, that’s true. Though I wonder if it’ll become that big of an issue once F2P comes out – hopefully that brings enough people that it wouldn’t be an issue even if it happened. We’ll see how many people play by then!

        5. Purro, you’re on point. Zanetski is talking purely out of his ass. 3v3 and 2v2 are different, obviously. They’re “absolutely different” in a “significant way”. Singular. One significant way. There is an extra player on both sides. This game is the same, the variables and the strategies are different.

          The idea of removing either 2s or 3s from the games standard and ranked is absurd. I understand removing 2s from Ranked to have a singular focus for Ranked until the population increases and becomes steady…but the whole idea of removing 2s from standard is stupid. There is no good reasoning for it, and all of Zanetski’s theorycrafting is not only all anecdotal bullshit not based on his own experiences in game. It’s also pointless. I dislike how he acts like an authority on the matter as well just because he has this blog doesn’t mean theres any credibility behind it.

  2. I agree we need a decision on that and that it will be beneficial whetever that mode is BUT I am not sure if this is the right time to do so in terms of enough data/arguments to choose.

    1. Hey Random, thanks for sharing. I think waiting is bad for one solid reason: almost every single balance and design decision would be influenced by which format SLS decides on. If we wait 6 months, for example, then all of the decisions made between now and then would have to be revisited and rebalanced. Deciding right now means a more clear and robust future for the game.

      I do think we have enough data. People have been arguing the differences between 2v2 and 3v3 since Bloodline Champions five years ago. There’s nothing new left to argue. All that’s left is a decision to be made, imo.

      1. Obviously 3s is the appropriate “main” game type. 2s should still be available through standard.

  3. I think 3’s for professional play and like live play, it’s much more action. I prefer 3’s over 2’s, but when I was new, I definitely preferred 2’s.

    1. Hey Shreks! Yeah that seems to be the trend. New players like 2v2 better because there’s less going on, but at some point it becomes too simple or loses a lot of its excitement. Do you think you would’ve quit if the game only had 3v3 format from the start?

      1. I think i would. This game is kinda hard to grasp specially because all ppl comes from MOBAs and didnt even heard for BLC and they dont get it right away. But pls! 3vs3 is hell of a mess for new comers for sure. Me and my friends had quite a problem adopting to the format and we were doing it just because we were 3. I read the article, but I have a feeling that this might be good direction for the overall health of the game (balance) but 2vs2 is so much beneficial in terms of high learning curve in this kind of games.

        Now when I am kinda more active in the community I understand that this game was never meant to be balanced in all the formats, specially in 1vs1. But when I started playing, even in BLC, I was so hyped because I thought “so this is pure skill anyone can beat anyone with any hero”, this sounds perfect…
        I think 1vs1 was the best learning exp for me. U just jump in private match and invite your friend to test all heroes and to learn the range and cds of skills, but here they bring the playground so i guess its kinda ok for testing…

        Every e-sport game stands on majority of casual so called noob players and they get bored pretty quickly and less options u give them faster they will log out…

        1. Interesting, thanks for sharing your experience AlternativeSpoon! It’s so tough for a game like BR to walk the thin line between offering too many options (and risk diluting the queues) and offering too few options (and risk turning away players). Thinking about it now, removing 2v2 would probably be bad so I don’t mind it staying, but the game should still be balanced around 3v3. Would you be okay with that?

  4. I read this article, and this one : http://www.battlecrank.com/2v2-3v3-format-best-battlerite/ . However, I feel like removing 3v3 would be a major loss. The “Gameplay variety and depth” argument from the second article worth all the other to me. It’s a personal opinion, but I think it’s more fun to play a game where there is the most ways to play it. By playing 2v2, I think I couldn’t play this game for a long time as I would in 3v3. It would be repetitive.

    1. Hey Volkool. To be honest, that article was written a long time ago and I now believe that 3v3 is the best way forward, exactly for the reason that you mentioned. The depth argument outweighs the rest. I really hope Stunlock makes a decision, and when they do, I hope it’s 3v3!

  5. Hey, totaly agreed that a choice as to be made even though I wish we could keep both.
    And same as you, I think that in the state of the game right now, 3V3 is more interesting to watch, so better suited for competitive gameplay.
    That being said, it could very well change with all the things you mention in different article, and more tweaks to gameplay, we could have both mode be very exiting to watch.
    Unfortunately, in the end, I think SLS will keep both modes and won’t change anything in the gameplay. :/

    1. Yeah thing could change for sure. If the game was designed from the ground up for 2v2, it could be interesting! But it would require more mechanical depth and stuff to compensate for the lower player count. 3v3 seems like the sweet spot between mechanics and strategy. I really hope SLS decides on one!! 🙁

  6. The Battlerite game has a very different flavor in 2×2 and 3×3 modes. I would propose the experience and game play are like two different games.
    The 3×3 play being slightly more forgiving than the 2×2.

    I really like 3×3 when I am between AI battles and not quite ready for 2×2 battles. I feel you really should be familiar with your champion before you play 2×2 with other people.

    I would even propose a 1×1 mode available the last week of each month. There could be tournaments!

    3×3 is the best mode if there absolutely needs to be only one mode of play.
    Cheers!

    1. For sure, the two formats feel very different! Interesting that you say 3v3 is more forgiving, and I can see what you mean by that. You have two teammates who can cover up for your mistakes, and the increased chaos helps with that too. Thanks for sharing, 13BlueRust! Out of curiosity, how long have you been playing BR?

  7. Also, the only option Stunlock gives us vs AI is 2v2. And because of that, beginners are used to playing 2v2. They should give us 3v3 for AI.

    Then only wound we have an even voting field.
    #Pick3v3

    1. Ohh, that’s a good point, Wargorth. Seems like newbies are bombarded with 2v2 everywhere they go, no wonder they learn to prefer it. I love your hashtag idea lol. Let’s get #Pick3v3 trending!

  8. I am very new to Battlerite (played a few hours on the free weekend and then bought the game after seeing how fun it could be). I may be rehashing that which has already been discussed with regards to 2s vs 3s, but I still want to weigh in and possibly get some feedback on my thoughts–

    My experience playing World of Warcraft arenas at gladiator level (top 0.5% of players) made me realize that balancing for both 2v2 and 3v3 simultaneously is impossible. It also made me realize that balancing for 2v2 alone is impossible (in that game). Having a single overtuned class or a specific overtuned two-person class combo made for a meta that was exceptionally “rock-paper-scissors” with hard counters going both directions. A chunk of players would default to the most powerful handful of comps, then everyone else over time would start figuring out the best counter-comps to those. It led to frustrating gameplay in the top-tier competitive 2s bracket (either you won handily or lost handily, and both outcomes were through literally no fault of your own but rather the compositions of the two teams involved).

    If Battlerite somehow has a way to prevent such a meta scenario with competitive 2s then I’d be ok with 2s; I just highly doubt it can be done based on my past experience. I’d love to hear opinions from people who have more seat time with this game though. (I’m also genuinely surprised that I rarely hear people draw comparisons between this game and WoW’s competitive arenas, but I suppose WoW arenas have dropped in popularity and it also seems most Battlerite players are coming from the MOBA scene instead.)

    1. Hey Donatello! Nice to have you here. If you ranked Top 0.5% of WoW Arena then I’m sure you’ll rocket through Battlerite’s ranks in no time. 😀 I like to describe BR as a faster WoW Arena with skill shots, haha.

      It’s interesting that you say 2v2 is inherently unbalanceable. I don’t know if I’d go that far but it’s definitely VERY fragile as far as the meta goes. Comps and matchups play a huge role without that third member to round it out. I really don’t like the idea of a match being decided before the first round is even played, and that alone seems like reason enough to prefer 3v3 over 2v2 for competitive play.

  9. Since you can queue for both modes, it shouldn’t necessarily split the player base too much (however actual numbers from the devs would be interesting).

    You’re right with the balancing aspect.

    If the theory that esports and a big community are a feedback loop, then the format which is more exciting to watch should remain.

    But as I remember from BLC, getting into the game was hard for new players, so 2v2 has a lot going for it in recruiting new players. That was the catch 22 in BLC, right? (I played BLC for only 60h and didn’t follow the happenings of the community)

    Maybe if Battlerite attracts enough players, instead of needing 2v2 for new players to get into it, it can offer easier players through matchmaking so that newbies can get in via 3v3.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Econael! Yeah 3v3 is tougher than 2v2 for first-timers, but Battlerite’s 3v3 is a lot easier to pick up than BLC’s 3v3, so I wonder if it balances out. BLC was a confusing mess whereas Battlerite’s graphics and effects are a lot cleaner. Maybe unranked 2v2 would be good to have, hmm.

      Newbie retention is a key thing to keep in mind for sure. If the new matchmaking system works properly, then 3v3 should be fine as newbies will be matched against newbies, right?

  10. Why not both?
    Both game modes balanced separately?

  11. Just as Donatello (one of the guys that posted above), I played WoW arenas at a competitive level (gladiator rank, 0.5%) for over 3 years and I followed Blizzard’s balancing choices very carefully.

    Yes, they struggled mightly to balance both 2v2 and 3v3, and 3v3 was always the better-balanced format.
    Yes, they had to choose 3v3 as a dominant format for competitions. That’s totally fine, and I think Stunlock will do the same as 3v3 is clearly the more fun format to watch.

    But Blizzard did the very smart thing of not removing the ranked games from 2v2. They only removed the end-of-season gladiator rank and gladiator mount – which is the equivalent of the grand champion mount in Battlerite.

    I think removing 2v2 ranked games from Battlerite would be very bad for new player retention. I personally only play with friends, and there are countless evenings when I only have 1 friend online. Not being able to play ranked 2v2 would kill BR for me. There are many studies on gamer psychology, and one of the biggest motivations to keep playing a game after a number of hours is self-improvement, which needs a measure – the ranking.

    1. If SLS decided on 3v3 as main format, does 2v2 Ranked really deserve to stick around? I understand 2v2 Unranked because sometimes you just want to play 2v2, but it would be weird to have a Ranked queue for a format that’s explicitly unbalanced, wouldn’t it?

      So in my mind, available queues would be:
      – 3v3 Ranked
      – 3v3 Unranked
      – 2v2 Unranked

      1. I see your point, but I think removing the ranked queue from 2v2 would kill the format for many people. Even if it’s a bit less balanced than 3v3, a lot of 2v2 fans (like me) wouldn’t mind as they only get the adrenaline rush when something is at stake. No rating = nothing at stake = boring.

        As I was mentioning in my post above, they can go the WoW 2v2 arena route and remove the end-of-season rewards from 2v2. This way nobody can claim silly things such as “you only have the grand champion mount because you played combo XY in 2v2”.

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