Furthering Breakaway as a Competitive Game
Hey guys. So, a lot of players have given really good feedback game play wise about Breakaway. I actually think that the community as a whole is doing an amazing job covering the bugs and game play flaws that Breakaway has. On the other side of things I know that the devs will be hard at work to give us the best possible experience and integrating everyone's feedback for an optimal game. I say all that to say that I wanted to create a thread discussing a different branch of development that I saw few people touch on. At it's core Breakaway is a fast paced team oriented game that has immense potential to become an esport and a big one at that. This is why I think it is essential that Breakaway develops it's competitive side along with it's game play side. Without further ado, here are the things that I feel Breakaway needs to become a top competitive game. (Not including game play mechanics)
I. In-Game Voice
I decided to start with this one because I know the devs have heard it again, and again and again and again and again. Well I'm going to say it one more time, Breakaway needs in-game voice. But my reasoning behind this goes further behind the essential aspect of team communication. I think the biggest reason for me why Breakaway needs team voice is because of the interest factor. The first esport game I ever played was Dota 2 and if it wasn't for Dota 2's voice client, I would of either discovered my love for esports late or not discovered it at all. Working with random teammates while being able to vocal call out things, in random matches is what got me interested in attempting to become a professional Dota player and got me intrigued in the professional scene. In-game voice adds a whole new element to the game, letting players be exposed to some of the most competitive feelings and actions the game has to offer.
II. Tournament Sections in both the Forums and in the Discord
I know that Breakaway hasn't fully released yet and honestly with full release still undetermined I don't expect Tournament sections to be added yet to both these things. But, I think early on what gets most esports going is community and devs push the talk of competitive discussions aside from general discussions. I think at least a competitive discussion section should be added for early competitive aspects and skills of the game to be talked about. This lays the groundwork for the competitive scene and post in this section can intrigue people in the competitive scene before it even fully begins. Many alpha and Beta games had sections like this and it has resulted in success (Overwatch, League, Dota, Smite). Moving toward release however I feel like like Tournament sections should be added and pushed heavily by everyone (devs, players, analyst, teams, casters etc.) along with general advertisement of course. In the future I would actually like to see Amazon Game Studios host a annual, semi-annual tournament kind of like The International, The Overwatch League etc.
III. Strategic Advertisement
Now I understand that advertisement may be to a degree out of the devs hands. But I would be remorse if I didn't bring up this topic. Advertising to the right audience is key and is actually pretty easy for Amazon since the company owns Twitch now. However, it is an area that I have seen lack despite this advantage being that I didn't find out about alpha by advertising means but from my favorite streamer. Which I guess to an extent, since he played in the charity tournament could be advertisement but Im talking more commercialism here. Simple point, advertise more and to the right audience at the time that the company feels is best to gain a larger player base because as much as we hate to admit it commercials are effective media.
IV. Establishing a Competitive mode (Ranked, Tournament Play)
My final point, is to establish a competitive mode strictly for competitive players. Obviously, this creates a divide in the player base between casual and competitive players which is a good thing in my opinion being that the game now welcomes and recognizes two styles of play. Many games do this but the key to doing this is the speed and efficiency that these modes are created. The sooner ranked releases, not only will the competitive scene for the game grow but so will the total player base because it gives the competitive gamer in many a reason to play. This is the same with a Tournament plays style and mode which can be implemented into the game on an as needed basis when it fully released. Even if some tournaments use their own style of play, this mode will help a lot more smaller tournaments grow and become regular events (weeklies, monthlies). Of course these things take a lot of hard work and careful consideration to do, so my biggest point here is efficiency rules over speed. If it takes a longer time in order to release the game modes because of careful consideration, that is acceptable. But, if possible work on them asap!
I know that the game is mostly working on becoming fully functional at the moment but these are some ideas I wanted to put into everyone's mind early just to maybe think about. In no way is this article negative or bashing any competitive work that the dev team has done thus far. In my opinion the Breakaway team has done an amazing job pushing Breakaway as an esport through multiple events like the charity tournament, the twitch con tournament and now The Office League. It seems like even in development it is showing competitive prowess. I hope you all think about the competitive aspects of this game and where the game is going to go in this respect as a whole. Finally, I'm interested what others think the game may need (other then the things I've stated) to become a successful esport/competitive game. Be sure to comment below or hit me up on discord but that's it for me guys!
@DatGuyAegis I've worked as a Caster, Analyst, and Coach in multiple esports titles over the years, and have been recently thinking about Breakaway esports a lot recently. I do agree that in most cases, the "earlier the better" servers to help promote a competitive community; However, this theory may not be as easily realized when it comes to the entity of Esports. I'm going to give a quick reply to each of your points, then maybe give my own opinions a little bit.
I. In-Game Voice
I'm not necessarily sure I would agree that voice chat is a precursor to a more competitive mind set to be completely honest. I actually find it very interesting that DOTA voice chat is what brought you more in to competitive gaming, but I fear this may be less than common. I often hear people complain about open voice chat in Counter Strike and Overwatch, because you aren't given the option to join (merely leave) which leads one to getting shunned. I am fairly certain that Curse has an in-game integration wherein you are able to speak with the people in your random match - I did not test it in the Alpha. I think this would be a better system as it allows one to make the choice to join.
II. Tournament Sections....
This is actually simply a great idea, and easily implemented. I don't believe it should be a place for concrete plans to be made however. I would personally be very interested to talk to a few people here and there, see who likes organizing, who likes casting, and come up with a couple theories. This is because it runs in to the "too early" and "not natural" issues - more on that later.
III. Strategic Advertisement
I don't really have anything to add here, publicity not only helps the competitive side of a game grow, but MORE importantly the casual side grow.
IV. Establishing a Competitive Mode
Here is where things get fairly tricky, and where a lot of my argument is going to lie. Esports is a famously grass-roots industry, literally building up from kids in garages pre-2000s to a Billion dollar industry. Oddly enough, it's become fairly apparent that completely remove the grass-roots tradition can often have very negative effects on the industry (or more importantly particular Esport title). If anyone is interested in esports management, I would implore them to read (https://dotesports.com/counter-strike/cgs-vulcun-twitch-esl-counter-strike-league-1665) and anything else on the topic of CGS. The Championship Gaming Series (CGS) - very quickly - is one of the biggest main stream failures in Esports history. Simply put, investors with little Esports experience dumped TONS of money into the CGS in order to artificially float it. There were many issues, but the artificial growth one is the one I want to latch on to.
When something is so fake, like CGS, it never is truly able to stand on it's own two feet. Either by appearance, or literally will collapse under its own weight (which IS what happened to CGS). Ever since then, esports analysts and players have been EXTREMELY wary of anything with a similar scent - e.g. Overwatch League. Basically the point is, if there isn't already viewership and interest, you can't fake/force it. To wrap up this long point - it's better to take things at a slightly slower pace, and in strides. Simply put, there is no real reason to implement a competitive ladder without the game at LEAST being solidly in the beta phase. The fact of the matter is that without the millions of casual players (who are fans) the 20 or so famous pros literally will never exist.
I feel like this sort of deserves it's own post, and I'm sorry that it became so utterly massive. All in all, I really love where your head is at, and would love to chat more. I think this game DOES have immense potential, but no one should ever get too big for their britches.
I agree with all !
but one thing is the BIG ONE.
Voice Chat is a must ! Not cursed but ingame built in voice chat.
Should there be trollers you can just mute them or even implent some sort of report system. If a specific player gets to many reports he can get some sort of punishment.
I have said this in another topic but this game needs voice chat due to how fast the game is. Compared to Dota, LoL , Smite this game is alot faster, alot of stuff happens in seconds. There is no time to type or have "help buttons" you need a fast communication and thats where the thrill comes in. With this game you need to change strats mid game all the time and thats why you need voice chat.
Just an example is the office leauge where they had a coach behind them saying everything instantly what to do etc. Take away that coach and take away the communication between players and you will have a casual streamer play.
If there is people that dont want voice chat then dont add it to casual mode but for god sake have it in competetive. No one says you have to talk in a mic but atleast listen :)
@HickoryLIVE I appreciate your feedback and this is the type of back and forth I love. I would like to address some of your points however being that I think that some points in my post may not of been understood clearly which is partially my fault. But as you can understand, I didn't want to make this post extremely long (wall of text) because it may deter casual or even some competitive players, coaches and analyst from even skimming through it. With that said let's get into it.
I. In-Game Voice
On this point I think we simply disagree. However, you brought up some points I thought were good and like to address. I think that EFFECTIVE communication is a huge precursor to competitive play. I'm not talking about the trolling and flaming that tends to happen within certain matches. When looking at this you have to compare and contrast the rates in which people experience said trolling and flaming or effective communication. I've found as an Overwatch player that is almost Master at this point that I experience effective communication a lot more then I experience derankers, trollers or flamers. A general human tendency is to want to win, so while we have people that make open voice chat a negative experience I think, depending on the game and the crowd it attracts it tends to be more good or bad. For example the Dota community at isn't nearly as toxic as the League community which I say not to fire shots but being a player of both games with an ample amount of games played, I have received significantly less communication abuse in the Dota community and significantly more effective communication from the community as well. I've noticed even more so from the Overwatch community which I feel seems to be even less toxic competitively then most games I've played. I say all this to say it comes from a stand point of personal experience within communication situations. As for joining and leaving toxic situations, EVERY In-Game voice client has the option to mute specific players so that you can have a better experience. This does two things, first it makes the communication experience a lot more positive and secondly it allows the rest of the team that is serious to communicate effectively thus boosting the competitive mindset.
II. Tournament Sections
Not much to say I'm glad you agree. Just want to state that nothing in this post is "concrete" they are all just ideas that I have had. Especially the tournaments and things I said toward the end of that section. And by no means do I expect these things to come into play immediately.
III. Strategic Advertisement
One point we completely agree on!
IV. Establishing a Competitive Mode
While the first section I tend to disagree with you more. In this section I think we tended to misunderstand each other more then anything. A huge part of your criticism comes from pushing Breakawy too quickly into being an esport like other games have in the past. I do agree with this, and this was honestly the case with Strife. Strife was the second MOBA made by S2 Games which was supposed to compete with the likes of League and Dota. However, it failed in early stages of competitions because of tournaments similar to CGS. When I say make a competitive modes quickly and efficiently, I mean after a competitive scene is established. By the time a competitive scene is established I feel like there should be a place for those players to play at a higher level and to be ranked among themselves. This is why I harped on speed because if the Breakaway devs are two steps ahead of the competitive community they can have an already optimized competitive mode ready for release. I never stated nor do I believe that this type of mode especially Tournament Play should come out before or even a good time after full release. I think most of all it's important for the devs to be thinking and maybe to do what they can to start working on a mode like this. This is so as I stated it's ready when the competitive scene and community are ready to elevate it's level of play. So overall the swiftness I talked to start working on it and get it ready to release. It's going to take a long time for the devs to get a solid competitive mode ready for this game and I highly doubt they will focus on it anytime soon as I said in my conclusion. I just think when they end up having the time to work on this type of mode they need to release it as quickly and efficiently as possible only because I feel like at that time the competitive scene will be ready. But, honestly it all depends on how the game depends.
Regardless, I respect your opinion and I thank you for your response.