Disclaimer: I’m not much for regular League of Legends, but I know it’s nothing like this.
So what is this? This is League of Legends’ new “Blitz” mode, the first of several new modes that developer Riot Games plans to be demoing and pushing out to players over the next year or so.
When it debuted a few years back, League of Legends took the gaming world by storm with an original, faster-paced take on the ‘new-ish’ MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) formula that quickly outpaced competitors. During its prime, it dominated charts and sales figures, and it seems like everyone and their mother was trying to cash in on this new MOBA formula with varying degrees of success.
But now, that trend seems to be coming to an end, as there’s a new hit game that’s been dominating markets. You know, that one about constructing forts after sundown.
And while I can’t officially claim this as the reason for the release of the ‘Blitz’ mode, it seems to be an attempt by Riot to pull back some attention after the gaming market has been utterly swallowed by the Battle Royale horde.
But let’s get back to the meat of this issue: What Does ‘Blitz Mode’ Actually Do?
Simple: It simplifies. One of the reasons for the massive takeoff of Battle Royale titles is thanks to their simple concept that’s easy for just about anyone to grasp: Drop one hundred dudes in a big map, last one alive is winner winner chicken dinner. MOBA titles on the other hand, with their complex maps, teamplay mechanics, and constantly changing game values, are very hard to get a grasp for. Take a look at this 30 seconds of footage for example (coming soon), and tell me what exactly is going on here. Please. I don’t know.
Blitz takes the original three-lane map and shrinks it down to two lanes. It gets rid of a lot of the nooks and empty spaces that players used to sneak around eachother, forcing them into more confrontations more often.
In addition, the game also throws in a series of random events from time to time, offering cool and fun advantages to those who come out on top. The events are as varied as their rewards: According to Riot’s official developer update, some of the new events include a king-of-the-hill style minigame, a snowball fight, and (oh boy) a Battle Royale.
Gold and XP are also shared resources, which makes the game more team-focused than ever before and also allows players who perform poorly to have more of a chance to keep up with their teammates.
In addition, players who start doing really well in this mode will be given access to a special “On Fire” buff that offers a large damage bonus as well as shorter cooldowns on abilities, making them a much greater threat. But it also makes them a much greater target, as the buff also increases the amount of damage they take and offers the opposing team a massive amount of extra gold an XP for finally bringing them down. So rampage at your own risk, and be aware of the consequences.
To close, Riot restates that not only is Blitz not the first new mode they plan to roll out over the coming months, but that this new casual mode is very much in ALPHA. That means they’ll be taking every bit of player feedback they can get to improve the mode and to make it a more exciting casual experience.
The expected average game time is 15 minutes, which is about 1/3rd of a regular LoL game and pretty excellent for a casual mode. The mode is out now, and League of Legends is and always has been free to install and play. If you’re interested or think you might be, go give it a shot.