Riot Game revealed today a new League of Legends game mode that’s being tested called Nexus Blitz, a fast-paced version of League that could eventually become a permanent fixture.
Nexus Blitz is part of Riot Games’ new experimental game modes, variations of League that don’t fall in line with the normal Summoner’s Rift and Howling Abyss game modes nor are they the same as rotating game modes. Instead, these are referred to as “gameplay prototypes” that deliver distinctly different experiences.
“With experimental modes, we're looking for something that could last a while—maybe even as a permanent addition to League,” Riot’s post on the League boards said. “They’re not tied to a particular event, and our hope for each mode is that it's compelling enough to play over and over again, and to be a regular mode-of-choice for many players. If an experimental mode doesn't meet that bar, we'll set it aside and explore other ideas.”
These modes are all about testing things to see what works, Riot’s post said, and won’t happen as often as rotating game modes. The latter are “polished, final products,” Riot says, while it was cautioned that the experimental game modes are by contrast unpolished and will consist of “reused models and textures from existing maps.”
So, how does Nexus Blitz work? It’s quite different from any game mode that players have seen before and even takes place on an entirely new map. In what’s expected to be 15-minute matches, players do battle on the compact map previewed above, one that features three laners and two junglers on each team. There are also “events” that happen throughout the map and draw players in to complete these events to get rewards in return.
“Events are map-wide, mayhem-inducing scenarios that kick off every few minutes, granting powerful rewards to the team that wins,” Riot explained. “Some events draw from familiar game experiences that many players will instantly get, and others are more unexpected. Both kinds should make for unpredictable and memorable plays and fights: examples include King of the Hill, Push the Payload, the closing circle of death from Battle Royale games, and so on.”
Winning these events can net teams a variety of rewards, some normal like shields and others granting wild effects like turrets receiving Blitzcrank hooks to pull enemies in. Nexus Blitz also features an “on fire” mechanic like you’d find in other game such as Overwatch, though this one impacts your gameplay. Champions who go on lengthy takedown streaks will be on fire and gain adaptive damage and lower cooldowns, though they’ll take more damage and yield more gold when killed.
As for the release of Nexus Blitz, Riot Games says that it plans on starting an alpha in Patch 8.16 with a four-week run on live servers. Feedback will shape the development of Nexus Blitz that could one day turn the innovation into a permanent game mode.