A few days ago, someone told me that they were more excited to see what new characters would be introduced to Battlerite rather than seeing all of the characters from Bloodline Champions ported over. They then asked me what I thought.
It kind of caught me off guard — and I realized that I’d rather see brand new champions from this point on instead of having more champions ported over.
It’s weird because we recently talked about our favorite BLC champions and champions we don’t want to see in Battlerite. But the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that these are the wrong questions to ask.
Consider this quote from a recent interview with Johan Ilves:
What’s been difficult with the work on Battlerite was not getting too limited by its predecessor, Bloodline Champions. That’s also why we chose to go from making Bloodline Champions 2 to Battlerite — we needed the freedom of creating a new experience to have fun developing this game.
For me, the main idea here is that Battlerite is a separate game from Bloodline Champions, and I think an important aspect of that is forging a new identity for the game instead of always being seen as a sequel. It’s NOT a sequel. Just a spiritual successor.
And in this sense, I think it will actually be detrimental to Battlerite to keep porting champions over from Bloodline Champions. There’s nothing wrong with having a few crossovers — the world and the lore are still the same — but Stunlock really needs to start breaking away.
For example, when a champion like Bakko or Lucie is revealed, people immediately compare them to Vanguard and Alchemist. It forces Battlerite to be judged by how it stands relative to Bloodline Champions when perhaps it would be better if we started judging Battlerite on its own individual merits.
Battlerite needs to be its own game but that can’t happen if it keeps basing content on its predecessor. Every instance of “ported content” causes players to look back at Bloodline Champions instead of forward to Battlerite’s future.
Here’s the problem with Battlerite forever sitting in shadows of Bloodline Champions: outside of the game’s hardcore fanbase, BLC is actually considered to be a failure. So many players tried it, hated it, and never came back.
That kind of experience leaves a sour taste in the mouth — and anything associated with that experience will be tainted by that sour taste. If Battlerite is viewed as BLC 2.0 by outsiders, many of them won’t even give the game a chance. And what could be more of a dead giveaway that this game is BLC 2.0 than it having the same roster?
Which also introduces another problem: the idea that Battlerite is nothing more than BLC Lite.
I think a lot of players — at least the ones currently following the hype — already have this mindset. Because of the reduced number of abilities, every champion that’s ported from Bloodline Champions to Battlerite must be dumbed down or reworked. Combined with the shift to 2v2, it’s easy to see why people might see Battlerite as BLC Lite.
But according to the quote by Ilves above, it seems like Stunlock wants Battlerite to be seen as a different game altogether.
Imagine if the eight currently revealed champions were all brand new and had absolutely no connection to the roster in Bloodline Champions. Would there have been as much backlash from hardcore fans? Probably not! It would’ve been much easier to distinguish Battlerite as a new and separate game.
I don’t think it’s too late for Stunlock to take that route. There are currently eight ported champions plus Psychopomp and a mysterious tenth. Keep those. Now start adding brand new champions with unique themes and never before seen ability sets. It’s time for Battlerite to start building its own identity.
Look, I love the Bloodline Champions roster as much as the next player. I’ll be sad if Inhibitor, Stormcaller, and Blood Priest aren’t ported over. But for the sake of the game’s potential for success, I think it’s a sacrifice worth making. Stunlock designed some awesome champions in the past and I trust them to design many more that are just as unique and fun.
What do you think? Am I making any sense here or have I gone completely off the rails? Maybe none of this really matters in the long run. Or maybe it does. I want to hear what you think! Feel free to share down below.