Features Encourage Devotion
We're also looking into the possibility of letting players start their own private matches online (we'd love to hear what you think of that.) - mpriest
Hey everyone, Kalo here! Well, Amazon asked and I am absolutely willing to share my thoughts on the importance of this and similar topics in the area. I’ll be keeping this one short, solely focusing on examples of these side features and briefly explaining the reasoning behind each.
Firstly, to directly answer @mpriest’s question: private matches. For this, let’s look at Blizzard’s Overwatch, specifically in its beta phase. In my opinion, the peak of Overwatch’s hype train was at the beginning of this year as it was coming back from an extended break. Release was just around the corner and the talk of a flourishing competitive scene was very evident. The problem? Private matches weren’t released until late the year before, and spectating still didn’t exist -- and even when a few extra spots for spectators were added, the client for doing so was inefficient and provided no information for viewers. They’ve since created different informative UI’s that have been adjusted over time (in my opinion they’re still quite unappealing), but not prioritizing it before release really highlighted not only the inherent clunkiness of that UI, but the latent effects of Blizzard’s already angry community that was majorly blocked out of participating in the beta.
Let me be clear that I really don’t think the UI part will be a problem for Breakaway especially with the custom overlay options we have yet to learn about.
Next, the League of legends replay system and sandbox mode - or lack thereof. Both of these features have been asked for since the game was released some 7 years ago. SEVEN! Replay systems can be used in numerous ways, primarily for content creators and competitive players. Being able to simply choose a past game to record for a video you’re making or to watch back through and analyze are just the beginning. Replay systems passively encourage players to devote more time to the game, simply by giving them extra tools to grow as gamers.
Sandbox mode acts in a parallel way. The main idea behind it for League is that teams would be able to set up specific situations with gold amounts set and items already bought. This would increase the efficiency of scrimmages and allow competitors to more easily look at the game in new perspectives.
As of now, pro teams are known to simply surrender as soon as possible if the early parts of the game do not go well, so later game situations are never really practiced.
The pro scene wouldn’t be the only beneficiary of this though. Imagine all of the fun modes users would be able to create and features they could mess around with. Even without sandbox, a brave, dedicated few have spent the ridiculous hours creating insane situations in the game (still referring to League) and videos of them have gone viral. Giving all players access to this amount of experimentation not only provides a unique type of fun, but again encourages players to devote more time to the game.
A couple of quick closing thoughts on the subject: I understand that because the game is currently being developed, there is already a long list of tasks and features that need to get finished. That being said, private matches simply need to happen -- it’s an inherent feature in games at this point, and not having them is definitely detrimental to communities, plain and simple. As for the other talked about features, seeing them “some time down the line”, even after release, would be awesome. Again, I have to stress the idea of encouraging devotion in your players simply by providing tools that would make them want to do so. Lastly, optimizing features that are going to be in the game, specifically the custom overlays. Now, while we haven’t been told many specifics on them yet, I’d like to propose the idea of sharing overlay settings with other players. This goes beyond just posting your settings or making a quick YouTube video: because of how engrossed this feature is going to be, having an in-game menu that players can use to find popular overlays already made, or at least making said overlays shareable through downloads, links, etc. would be awesome and could give recognition to players who’ve put time into making really pristine overlays for streamers, eSports events, and likewise.
Thanks for reading, and as always feel free to leave any additions, criticisms, or thoughts that you have down below. You can contact me at my Twitter (https://twitter.com/Kalological), my email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or come say hi at my Twitch (twitch.tv/kalology). Until next time, thanks again and I can’t wait to become champions together!
We definitely need private matches. This feature is absolutely vital for making sure a professional online scene flourish around Breakaway. Amazon needs to support esports and Im sure they are going to.
Having a game that only allows Quick Match setups will limit streamers.
Replay and Sand box modes would also be nice features to include. Replaying a matching and having a free camera to oversee a match helps best understand what happened in a match. Theres only so much having a video of yourself playing can teach you and since this a multiplayer game it makes it all the more helpful.
I understand that this is an alpha and we all need to wait for the official release date to judge the game in its full context.