15 December 2010

Champion Your Bloodline

Anyone who knows my gaming preferences knows my deep love for Bloodline Champions, an arena based PVP game.  The core feature of the game is its competitive balance.  There are no auto hit abilities (with a very few support ability exceptions), and no auto attacks.  Passive effects are uncommon, with active abilities dominating the game.  There are four general archetypes for the Bloodlines which fit the usual stuff: Tank, Melee Damage, Ranged Damage, and Support.

Although the support 'class' is also known as the healer class, each Bloodline is generally self-sufficient in some way.  The Harbinger, for example, gains health recovery on his attacks when his target has a specific effect on them.  Other Bloodlines don't have a way to heal, but instead are very good at simply not taking damage.  The ranged damage dealers fit this example, as none of them have a way to heal, but are able to move about pretty well, as well as having control.

With the game entering Open Beta in a couple hours (I think, it should be sometime on the fifteenth), players who have not payed for their account will be restricted to purely free content (a couple of the bloodlines, I believe), and people who have paid for their account will get most of what they paid for.

With Open Beta, however, comes the four new Bloodlines, one for each of the archetypes (Tank, physical damage, ranged damage, and support.)
Has a very pair of knives.

The first of the new Bloodlines announced was Shadow Dancer Stalker.  Stalker is a highly mobile damage dealer, very similar to the Ran(c)id Assassin.  Despite having a high damage output, and having three skills with mobility, she still looks balanced as she is not self-sufficient.  Most of the Bloodlines have some way to heal themselves, whether is be through a way to proc lifesteal on attacks, or have an ability to heal you for landing it on an enemy.  Stalker, however, doesn't have any kind of ability.  If you're one who plays BLC, or plans too, make sure any team comp involving her also has a dedicated healer just in case things go south for the summer.
'Dat axe, eh?
The next Bloodline revealed was the Guardian, a paladin-esq tank, also the first female to fill the role.  She brings some good fun to the game, being the first bloodline with an AoE  Primary Ability. She's also unique in that her Secondary deals damage based on a percentage of the target's current health, making it good for initiating fights, and becomes less useful as the fight progresses.  Other than that, she has some good disables (incapacitates, which are stuns that break on receiving damage, and a nice heal that also increases move speed.
Blood is the source of his power, and he has  an ample supply.
The next, and my favourite, is the Blood Priest. Priest, as I'll refer to him, is a healer type Bloodline focusing greatly on control.  His primary/core ability is a low, static damage nuke that applies a stacking buff on himself, the buff only effects his secondary ability which is also his heal.  The ability, Dark Prayer, is actually one of the stronger heals in the game, but deals 6 damage to Priest.  The buff acts as a counterbalance to this, each stack causes the damage received from Dark Prayer to be decreased by 2, negating the cost entirely at three stacks.  There are several unique ways to play off the cost.

The heal is for 22 points of health, meaning if you use it only on yourself with no outside effects, then you will only be healed for 16 health because of the cost.  However, one the projectile hits a target, it breaks and has a small AoE effect, healing each nearby ally for up to 5 points of health depending on how close they are to the impact point, meaning that if you're right next to your target, you will only take a single point of damage from the Prayer.  His out, or mobility ability, causes him to dash in a direction, possessing an enemy he comes in contact with for almost an entire second, and allows him to dash again once the possession ends.  His other abilities include an area of effect fear, an ability that decreases view range, and a damage mitigation shield.  The shield is one of my favourite aspects of this character.  The shield effect reduces damage taken by 33%, and heals Priest for that amount.  So while you can put it on an ally to increase their survivability and heal yourself, putting it on yourself is more efficient as it effectively reduces the damage by 66% instead.
Anyone else notice he doesn't have a quiver?

The final character revealed is the Seeker, who's a combination of an arcane archer and a...ninja thing.  Like Stalker, he has no way to heal himself but have several tools to exert control over the battlefield.  His core ability applies a stacking buff each time it lands.  At max stacks it will refresh the cooldown of one of this other abilities.

Sadly, it's possible that I might not be able to play the 'full' version of the game for a while, as I'm broke at the moment.  I'll try to get as much as I can out of the free content and post more about the game, if any one finds interest in it.

The new guys, together.