At this point, the MOBA formula feels as well-worn as football, so one of the biggest games out there (potentially) introducing a permanent new playmode is exciting. Nexus Blitz is a new map and mode in testing for League Of Legends, currently playable in early form in the Public Beta Environment. It’s a small, messy map with one split lane (plus jungle) where teams are thrown rapidly into combat and spurred on by bonus events and objectives. If all goes to plan, it’ll be a permanent addition to the game, as could any future Experimental mode, as described here.
Rather confusingly, the version of Nexus Blitz on the Public Beta Environment will eventually graduate to a “multi-patch alpha test”. In short, it’s still early in development, and Riot have acknowledged that event spawn rates are currently bugged. That said, feedback seems to be positive so far. Matches in Nexus Blitz mode are designed to end within 13-15 minutes, and if the match lasts 18 minutes, it’ll go into a special sudden death event.
And here’s a quick, tangential peek at the recently reworked Champion Akali.
To mix things up, Nexus Blitz throws mid-match minigames into the blend. There’s a snowball fight, a payload-escort challenge and a King of The Hill objective in there, plus a bunch more. Getting a lengthy kill-streak or multiple assists also gives you the On Fire buff, which literally set you on fire. While burning, you take 25% more damage from enemies, but hit a lot harder. Other than the increased damage taken, it puts a juicy bounty on your head – you remain ablaze until someone rains on your parade.
I don’t play MOBAs often, but Heroes Of The Storm’s more objective-based maps have previously held my attention. As such, Nexus Blitz sounds more my speed. Faster, shorter matches with more things to do outside of the usual formula is exactly how you hold my interest, and the messier, more random nature of matches should hopefully dissuade the extremely serious (and easily angered) competitive crowd.