Speculation is dangerous for two reasons. First, it can pave the way for unfounded rumors to start spreading. Second, it can get us hyped and excited for hypotheticals that may never happen. Not much good comes from speculation.
But let’s do it anyway. For fun!
In this case, speculation is more of a brainstorming activity than anything else. It gives us a chance to identify what was wrong with the observer experience in Bloodline Champions and how the supposed “crowd system” can address those issues. It’s a chance to show Stunlock what we’d like to see.
For those who don’t know, Stunlock has hinted on multiple occasions that there will be some kind of special activity for spectators in Battlerite. This activity — nicknamed the “crowd system” — is meant to boost player engagement somehow.
Here’s what they said to Sweden Game Arena:
Take a seat in the crowd and get swept along in the mayhem. As an observer, you will get the opportunity to follow the action; as a contender, you must smash in style to impress your fans.
Thanks to an all-new fan system, players will be able to interact with the crowds and even gain popularity. And remember: You do not always have to win the battle in order to win the hearts of the crowd.
And here’s a tidbit from MMOs.com:
An “all-new fan system” will allow a form of direct interaction with spectators that are part of the crowd. Players will be able to win the crowd, even if they don’t win the battle.
So what exactly do we know so far? Players will have some kind of interaction with spectators and spectators will determine the “popularity” of the players in some way. It’s all quite vague, hence the need to speculate.
I personally think — and this is just theory starting now — that this crowd system is going to be very simple: the “player interaction” will be similar to the taunt emotes in Bloodline Champions and the “popularity” will just be an end-of-round vote to determine per-round MVPs.
Maybe MVPs get some kind of bloodcoin bonus (assuming there will be a bloodcoin system in Battlerite) but that’s it. As long as players don’t get any gameplay bonuses based on spectator input, I’d be fine. The moment gameplay is impacted by spectators is the moment this system gets boycotted.
What do you think? What kind of crowd system are you hoping for? How much impact should the system have on actual gameplay? Is a system that encourages spectator engagement even necessary?