Our exclusive look at Bloodline Champions Patch 2.0: Dawn of Relics

Lucas Sullivan

confontration

Bloodline Champions doesn't get the attention it deserves, in part due to it's hardcore nature that can be more than a little intimidating to newcomers. With no creeps, levels, or items to speak of, the gameplay is fast and furious—but as Josh and I can attest, this arena game's got it where it counts, with an incredible level of depth that makes learning to own all the more fun. Our illustrious 2v2 team, The Nubfaces, may not win every round, but dang it if we weren't enjoying every down-to-the-wire victory or cringe-inducing defeat versus superior players.

If you still haven't tried this intense free-to-play arena game, there's no better time than the present. With the upcoming patch, major changes are on the way, in the update officially deemed Bloodline Champions 2.0: Dawn of Relics. We've got everything you need to know about what's in store for BLC, including customization from Traits and Medallions, balance changes, and improved readability. You could also win a spiffy Titan account by entering our giveaway here, so you can roll into the 2.0 patch with style. Now, without further ado, let's get a closer look at what Stunlock Studios' Peter Ilves, BLC's lead designer, has to say about the huge changes coming down the Bloodline pipeline.

I can finally tell how much health people have! Oh happy day!

PC Gamer: How extensive will the Traits system be? What level of customization will players have, to differentiate/specialize their stats to enhance their favorite bloodline?

Players will be able to modify things like damage output, max health, energy cap, movement speed and cooldowns. The actual changes will not be monumental, but still enough so that you can feel that you're specialized. Players will also be able to select between a number of different perks; for example, taking less damage when stunned, or dealing extra damage when you're below 15% health.

Medallions will grant the player extra abilities, but these are balanced around an energy cost (similar to EX abilities) and their usefulness will therefore be situational. It's important to understand that we do not want to change the core of the game with the addition of Traits and Medallions; we want to spice up the existing gameplay and give the player the chance to modify his or her bloodline in a way that suits their play style.

What spurred the decision to make Rated Solo Matchmaking only available to max-level players?

One of the main reasons for the big rework of the interface was to get more players to join the matchmaking system instead of using the current custom game option. We want new players to take part in a less competitive environment when they start out. The rated matchmaking is, by it's very nature, a more hostile environment, since a lot of BLC players are very competitive; we want the player to be ready and know the ins-and-outs of the game before they join rated games. That said, it's not entirely decided if the rated option will be for max level players only; the minimum level might be somewhat lower, as it's still being discussed.

Medallions will add a whole new layer to the frantic action of BLC.

How big of an advantage will a player with specialized Traits/Medallions have over someone who's just started?

They will be a bit stronger, but we're very careful about increasing the power level too much. The perks and bonuses will be quite small: a max-level player vs a level one player might be able to dish out 15-20% more damage, for example. Rest assured, the matchmaking system will make sure that you'll never get matched vs a max level player when you're first starting out.

How will players acquire Gems and Medallions? Will all items be available to players for free (provided they earn enough blood coins), or will you need to pay for some?

Medallions and Gems will be blood coin only, except for the Troll Medallion—that might be sold for Funcom points. Everything that affects gameplay will be blood coin only.

Tell us more about the (new medallion) Troll ability—does it do what I think it does, aka humiliation?

The Troll medallion is more for a laugh and, as you say, humiliation. The troll medallions won't affect gameplay, unlike the other 3 medallion types. One example of a Troll Medallions is “Bubble Heart,” a shield that makes you immune to all damage and after a short duration you teleport away from the Arena and the other team wins. Another one is “Trinket of the Troll God” that replaces the kill effect with a mad face printed in blood.

How many players are intended to battle on The Hanging Gardens of Savir? What's the general layout of the map?

It's a 3v3 medium sized Arena map and has a somewhat similar layout to Dubaku the Fallen Fortress: on one side, it has a more open area, and on the other, a tighter bottleneck with walls and stairs. It's quite hard to describe; you'll soon see the map when it goes live!

Shinkuu...HADOUKEN!

Are you confident that the Seeker/Grimrog reworks will do the trick at balancing their power levels? Are you open to adjusting bloodline mechanics as you find any abilities that need rebalancing/tweaking?

It's hard to judge the impact of the changes before the patch goes live, but we gathered a lot of data during the QA, and we listen carefully to our top players regarding balance and suggestions. We've always been open to changing mechanics and rebalancing abilities if we feel that it is necessary. I think people will be surprised by the amount of ability changes that Patch 2.0 will bring. After Patch 2.0, we plan to go back to releasing smaller updates on a more regular basis to better ensure balance.

How often do you plan on adding new bloodlines for this new season?

We will be adding bloodlines from time to time; we've been quite busy with all the content for patch 2.0, but players can expect at least one new bloodline during the next season.

What prompted the switch to increase all damage / healing by a multiple of 10? Is this meant to be a psychological adjustment for players who don't feel like they're doing enough damage, or is it easier to balance larger damage numbers?

With the introduction of Traits and Medallions players will have slightly different stats. For instance, if I'm modifying my Igniter to do more damage, my fireballs might do 175 damage instead of the baseline of 160. With the old numbers, that would mean my Fireball would have done 17.5 instead of 16, and we don't really want to have decimals in tooltips, combat text, and so on; with multiplying by 10, it's easier to spot changes. It also makes it easier for us balance-wise, since we'll have room for smaller tweaks.

This does not bode well for the poor Astronomer.

Why the change to how healing spells work (no longer an AOE, can only heal the target closest to impact)? Were certain team compositions too powerful with it, and do you expect that they'll be balanced now that heals are single-target only?

This is actually a quite small change, and we don't think that it'll affect gameplay that much. The main reason for removing the additional group heal was that it was just a bonus that made healers stronger, and since (in the current meta-game) healers are already very strong, we felt that this was an unnecessary bonus.

With the new queue system, will players be able to queue up for matches against both European and US players at the same time (increasing the available player pool)?

The current issue is that we have too many queues which make some of them empty. With this change, we get more players into the same system, meaning that players will get better matchups, faster games and a bigger chance to play on preferred region.

How often will you be releasing in-client tutorial videos and guides? What skills will they cover?

We've not really decided on how many and when we will be releasing tutorial content. The main reason we implemented the video tutorial section is because we've had a lot of players from the community creating amazing guides and tutorials, and we want to make sure that they can reach out to more players and also of course getting credit for their work. The tutorial section will mainly be driven by community content.

The Ravener's goomba-stomp-like ultimate in full effect.

Sounds like Josh and I will have to go into intensive training, Rocky style, so we can show the world what we're worth when Patch 2.0 goes live this Wednesday, September 14th. If you'd like to read the patch notes in their extensive, highly-detailed entirety, hop on over to the next page to get a sneak preview at the nitty-gritty adjustments to your bloodline of choice.

Bloodgate Overhaul

Major parts of the Bloodgate user interface has been reworked and updated with new functionality, graphics and sounds.

• The Top navigation bar has been redesigned

• The main play game bar has been redesigned

• A new game menu - Standard Game has been added

• Quicklinks have been added to the News panel

Standard Game

In the new Standard Game menu players can search for games using the matchmaking system, play Single Player and learn from the Tutorial Section

Matchmaking

• Players can now join the matchmaking queue solo or together with friends as a Party.

• There are now one single queue for both Europe and US and players can prioritize which regions they want to play in.

• The matchmaking system will now take player level into consideration when looking for a suitable game.

• Players can now queue for 5v5 Conquest and Artifact Games.

• The skill estimation question has been removed

Tutorials

• The Basic Combat tutorial has been improved and should now run smoother.

• A tutorial section for videos and guides have been added.

Bloodline Quest

There is now a bloodline starter quest for all players. Earn one bloodline or 3000 Blood coins by completing the following Achievements:

• Reach Level 5

• Complete the Tutorial

• Win 1 Arena Game

• Win 1 Conquest Game

• Win 1 Capture the Artifact game

Account Progression

The account level system has been reworked. There is now a level cap at level 25. The XP algorithm has been changed to fit the new level cap. All players account level has been recalculated to fit the new leveling system.

A lot of elements in the game are now bound to player level. The following menus are now unavailable from the start and are unlocked when the player increases in level:

• Teams Menu Unlocked at Level 5

• Traits Menu Unlocked at Level 5

• Medallion Menu Unlocked at Level 8

• Tournament Menu Unlocked at Level 10

• Rated Solo Matchmaking Unlocked at level 25

Traits & Medallions

Traits

The trait system will enable players to modify stats and passive bonuses by spending Trait Points. Players will receive Trait Points when leveling up their account. Players can access the Trait system once they hit level 5.

Medallions

Players can equip medallions that grants additional abilities. Players can access the Medallion system once they hit level 8.There are 4 different categories of medallions:

Crimson

Grants an offensive/utility ability. This ability costs energy to use. (medallion slot unlocked at level 8)

Cobalt

Grants a defensive ability. This ability costs energy to use. (medallion slot unlocked at level 10)

Passive

Grants a passive bonus to the wearer. (medallion slot unlocked at level 12)

Troll

Grants a troll ability, used to troll your opponents.(medallion slot unlocked at level 14)

Gems

Gems can be inserted into medallions. Gems grants additional stats bonuses. Gems cannot be inserted into a Troll medallion.

Hanging Gardens of Savir - New Arena Map

The Hanging Gardens of Savir is a new medium sized arena map in the Temple setting.

Season 3

• All players grades have been reset

• New Rewards for Season 3 will be announced later

Marketplace

• Blood coin boost services have been added, increasing the amount of blood coins earnt for a period of time.

• XP boost services have been added, increasing the amount of XP earnt for a period of time.

Blood Coins

• The general Blood Coin generation from games have been greatly increased

• A blood coin max cap has been added. Players can't earn more blood coins from games when they are above 50.000.

• Some items in the Marketplace have had their Blood Coin price removed and can now only be purchased with Funcom Points

• Achievements now rewards less Blood Coins

• Daily bonus reduced to 400 Blood Coins from 600.

Blood Coins in different game types

• 25% from Private Games(custom games)

• 50% from Single Player Games

• 100% from Standard Matchmaking (Arena, Conquest, CTA)

• 100% from 2on2 Team Matchmaking

• 125% from 3on3 Team Matchmaking

Game Lobby

• Time before the game starts after all players have joined from a matchmaking queue down to 5s from 15s

• Map votes are now saved.

• Map vote time down to 20s from 45s

Loader

The loader has been updated with new graphics and functionality

Achievements

• New achievements added for The Hanging Gardens of Savir.

• New achievements added for the Trait and Medallion System.

• Certain Achievements have been reworked to fit the new Leveling System.

• CVPS achievements have been reworked to fit the new damage, healing and control values

General

• a randomize flag button has been added to the team creation menu

• Size and fade time for scrolling combat text has been tweaked

• Scrolling combat text now scales with camera distance

• Health bars are now divided into blocks to make it easier to distinguish max health for different bloodlines

• Auto-join channel checkbox has been added to the chat

• Secondary key bindings are now available.

• Scoreboard should now be showing players before the countdown of the first round

General Bugfixes

• Fixed a bug that caused some particles (buffs and blood effects) to spawn at random positions where there was no player

• Fixed a bug that caused the shop to sometimes return an empty list of items

• Fixed a bug that caused the bloodline previewer to have dark background models after a game when using medium graphics settings.

• Fixed a bug that caused losses to count as wins for certain achievements.

• Fixed a bug with conquest rounds, it should now be possible to play several rounds on the same map

• Conquest cold team rounds won counter no longer counts downwards

Bloodline & Gameplay Changes

• All bloodlines have been massively buffed and now deals 10 times more damage and healing, shield abilities absorb 10 times more damage and max health and recovery health has been increased by 10 times.

• Several ability effects have been updated with new graphics and new sound effects

• Simplified tooltips have been added to all abilities, these can be turned off in the option menu.

• The group heal effect has been removed from all primary healing spells. Only the target closest to the impact will now be healed

• Fixed an issue where abilities could be interrupted just as they were cast and consume cooldown + energy before you turned immaterial. (EX Lunge, Venom Lunge, EX Fleetfoot, Earth Crush, Puncturing Strikes, Cyclone Charge, Possession, Conflagration)

• Fixed an issue where instant spells could be cast when being affected by Tornado while Slept.

• Fixed an issue where Possession would turn you material while stunning an enemy.

• Dismantle now counts as a Silence type effect and is now reduced by cc reducing effects

• Black Dagger now counts as a Silence type effect and is now reduced by cc reducing effects

• Dark Voodoo now counts as a Weaken type effect and is now reduced by cc reducing effects

• Moon shadow now counts as a Slow type effect and is now reduced by cc reducing effects

• Feeble minded now counts as a Silence type effect and is now reduced by cc reducing effects

Ranged

Igniter

Living Flame (R)

• No longer heals the Igniter for 25% of the absorbed damage

Engineer

Concussion Shot (MB2)

• Energy gain down to 12 from 14

Jetpack (Space)

• Min range reduced to 60 from 120

Shrink (R)

• Energy gain down to 3 from 5

• Duration down to 4s from 5s

Seeker

Seeker's Strike (MB1)

• Energy Gain down to 8 from 9.

Fire Arrow (MB2)

• Casttime down to 0.6s from 0.8s.

• Impact damage down to 18 from 25.

• Fire Area damage up to 5 every 0.5s from 4 every 0.5s.

• Fire Area duration up to 3.5s from 3s.

• Cooldown down to 5.5s from 6s.

• Energy gain down to 10 from 12.

Ice Arrow (Q)

• Area effect no longer reduces attack speed.

• Freeze duration up to 0.5s from 0.3s.

• Cooldown down to 9s from 10s.

• Casttime down to 0.4s from 0.5s.

• Delay before impact up to 0.9s from 0.8s.

Blitz (Space) - Reworked

The Seeker dashes towards target location, deals 10-16 damage and knocks target back upon impact. Damage and knockback increases with distance dashes. Can be double casted

Earth Arrow – (E)

• Now deals flat 14 damage and heals 14 health.

• No longer reduces projectile speed.

• Now weakens target by 25% and slows movement speed by 15% for 3.5s, stacks up to two times.

Lightning Arrow – (EX - MB2)

• Damage down to 20 / 16 / 12 from 22 / 18 / 14

• Velocity down to 270 from 300

• Duration between bounces up to 0.2s from 0.1s

Markmanship (F) - Removed

Storm Arrow (F) - New Ultimate

Piercing projectile attack that deals 10 damage and inflicts Storm; deals 4 damage every 1s for 3s, deals 30 damage to the target and 20 damage to nearby allies of the target when the effect ends.

Nomad

Razor Boomerang

• Range up to 100 from 93

Healers

Psychopomp

Other Side (R)

• Fade time down to 0.4s from 0.7s

Astronomer

Spectro Strike (MB1)

• Damage from consuming Solar Charge down to 5 from 10

Sun Ellipse (MB1)

• Sun Ellipse now correctly gives energy when dealing damage and healing allies

• Energy down to 3% from 6%

Grimrog

Healing Ward (Q)

• Health down to 10 from 15

• Damage reduction down to 20% from 33%

Wicked Blessing (MB2)

• Cooldown reduction per stack down to 4% from 6%

Gringols Gate (Space)

• Delay before gates spawn up to 0.25s from 0.1s.

• Cast time down to 0s from 0.2s.

• Warp time up to 0.25s from 0.12s

• Max range down to 120 from 135

Shamanistic Flurry (R)

• Slow factor down to 25% from 40%

• Slow duration up to 2.8s from 2.5s

• Cooldown up to 8s from 7s

• Consuming Curse of Kojo now Blinds the enemy for 2s instead of turning the enemy into Stone for 2s.

Dark Voodoo (EX - E)

• Damage conversion cap down to 17 from 20

• Duration down to 2s from 2.5s

• Dark Voodoo no longer converts healing to damage from Nether Shift

Curse of Weakness (F)

• Min damage up to 25 from 20

• Max damage up to 45 from 40

Herald

Stiffling Dust (MB1)

• Cooldown reduction down to 7% from 9% per stack

Healing Word (MB2)

• Spirit Dust heal down to 4/2 from 5/2

Mantra of Devotion (Q)

• Changed to a 180 degree cone attack from 360 degree

• Now deals 4 / 8 / 12 damage if the enemy is affected by Feeble Minded

Cerebral Shock (EX E) - Removed

Aura of Devotion (EX -Q) - Removed

Chrono Bolt (New EX - E)

Projectile attack that deals 22 damage, knocks target back and inflicts Time Fever; Increases damage taken by 20% for 6s.

Time Rift (New EX - Q)

Teleports the Herald back to the position he where standing at 1.8s back in time.

Lockdown (F)

• Time Fewer amplify factor down to 25% from 33%

• Now silences enemies instead of incapacitating them, the silence effects breaks on damage.

Melee

Harbinger

Shadow Bolt (E)

• Now deals 26-38 damage, damage is increased by distance traveled.

• Cooldown up to 5s from 4s.

• Amplify Duration down to 7s from 8s.

Dark Ward (F)

• Plague Slow down to 30% from 75%.

• Shadow Slash damage increase down to 15% from 30%.

• Passive damage reduction down to 20% from 25%.

Ravener

Spike Strike (MB1)

• Casttime down to 0.3s from 0.4s.

• Cooldown down to 0.3s from 0.4s.

• Damage down to 11/12/13 from 13/14/15.

• Energy Gain down to 6 from 7.

• No longer inflicts Stun on 3rd hit.

• Now consumes Electrify dealing 5 extra damage and stuns target for 0.3s.

Assail (Space) - Reworked

Now leaps to target location inflicting Electrify on all nearby enemies. Electrify reduces movement speed by 10% for 3s.

• Leap distance increased to 80 from 55.

• Haste duration increased to 2.5s from 2s.

• Haste factor down to 25% from 50%.

• No longer deals extra damage/stun on impact.

Spinning Strike (Q)

• Area down to 13 from 18.

Spike Shield

• Damage reduction down to 40% from 50%

Earth Crush (F) - Reworked

Now leaps two timer towards target location, deals 26 damage and inflicts Electrify on all nearby enemies.

Thunder Shock (EX - MB2) - Removed

Bone Crush Rush (EX - Space) - Removed

Raging Thunder (New EX - Q)

Spinning attack that deals 6 damage every 0.25s and inflicts Electrify on Hit. The Ravener can move through enemies during Raging Thunder but projectile attacks are not reflected. Increases movement speed by 70%.

Mace to the Face (New EX - E)

Dash attack that deals 16 damage and inflicts Wasted: Reduces damage done by 50% for 4s.

Stalker

Puncturing Strike / Slice & Dice

• Now only incapacitates on the first time the attack hits a target (the incapacitate effect does not break from Puncturing Strike / Slice & Dice second or third hit)

Deviate (Space)

• Fade time before teleport up to 0.32s from 0.25s.

• Teleport time up to 0.08s from 0.05s.

Stalkers Cloak (R)

• No longer inflicts Incapacitate when a debuff is removed.

• Now heals the target for 14 health when a debuff is removed.

Shroud of Darkness (EX - R)

• No longer inflicts Incapacitate when a debuff is removed.

• No longer reduces damage taken.

• Now heals the target for 14 health when a debuff is removed.

Reaver

Drunken Haze (Q)

• Now only triggers the AoE effect when a player is hit

• Impact damage up to 15 from 12

• Area damage up to 8 from 6

Blade Strike (MB1)

• Breaking Drunken Haze with this attack heals the Reaver for 12 health

Dragoon Strike (Space)

• Breaking Drunken Haze with this attack heals the Reaver for 12 health

Explosive Kick - Reworked and renamed to Flying Side Kick (EX - E)

Dash attack that deals 18 damage and inflicts Spell Block; blocks an ability for 3s

Spearmaster

Whirlwind (F)

• damage up to 30 per second from 28

Tanks

Glutton

Earthstorm (E)

• Damage reduction down to 25% from 33%

Revitalizing Wind (EX - E)

• Damage reduction down to 25% from 33%

Stalagmite (MB2)

• Cooldown up to 7.5s from 6.5s

Rush (Space)

• Cooldown up to 8s from 7.5s

Inhibitor

Runic Discharge (Q)

• Now only triggers the AoE effect when a player is hit

• Casttime down to 0.4s from 0.5s

Thorn

Root Bash (MB1)

• Regrowth no longer heals over time, damage reduction down to 3% per stack from 4%, now stacks up to 2 times.

Fungal Spores (MB2)

• Now consumes Regrowth healing Thorn for 7 health.

Mud Walk(Space)

• Now Entangles enemies for 0.5s instead of throwing them into the air

Mushroom Spore(E)

• Entangle Duration down to 2s from 2.4s

• Ticks down to 2 from 3

• Damage and healing per tick up to 5 from 4

Guardian

Sweeping Strike (MB1)

• Consuming Judgement now always deals 20 damage instead of 16 damage + 6% of lost health.

Boomerang Axe

• Incapacitate duration up to 0.4s from 0.3s

• No longer inflicts Incapacitate on the way back

Disperse - Reworked - Renamed to Counter Attack (E)

The Guardian now leaps vs target location striking in an aoe dealing 16 damage and inflicting a 0.5s Silence when Counter Attack is triggered by a melee, projectile or direct aoe attack.

Sanctuary - Reworked (R)

Sanctuary is no longer an EX ability and now creates a shield around target player, reduces damage taken by 60% and absorbs up to 16 damage, breaking the sanctuary triggers a 40% weaken effect on nearby enemies lasting 3s. The shield lasts up to 2.5s.

Chain Heal (EX - R)

Chain Heal is now an EX ability, Heals target ally for 30/22/14 health and applies Breeze; Increases movement speed by 20% for 3s.

Intervene (Space)

• No longer heals the Guardian when Intervening a friendly Healing Ward

Cyclone Charge (F)

Area down to 12 from 18

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