Experimental Modes & Nexus Blitz

Posted on at 10:08 AM by Moobeat
[UPDATE: Nexus Blitz PBE - Patch Notes and Feedback up!]

Riot has released information on NEXUS BLITZ, an upcoming experimental mode that will be hitting the PBE very soon and going to live for alpha playtesting in 8.16!
Continue reading for more information & discussion!

From the Boards thread - Experimental Modes & Nexus Blitz 
"Hey Boards, SpaceNorth here with a heads up on a new addition coming to the PBE soon: Nexus Blitz! 
Nexus Blitz is an experimental mode we'll be alpha playtesting on live for a couple of patches, starting in patch 8.16, and we’re looking for your feedback. Let's talk about what you can expect from Blitz, the alpha playtest, and other experimental modes in the future. 
Experimental modes are gameplay prototypes designed to deliver a different kind of experience distinct from Summoner’s Rift, Twisted Treeline, or ARAM. They’re also different than rotating game modes like URF, Doom Bots, and One For All in a few key ways: 
With experimental modes, we're looking for something that could last a while—maybe even as a permanent addition to League. 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. 
Experimental modes are also about testing the waters and getting early community response before delving into additional months of development to get to a final version. They’re works-in-progress, so expect an alpha-style product with borrowed art that’s missing the bells and whistles—but also aggressive patching to evolve and balance the mode throughout the test
By contrast, RGMs are short-term experiences. They’re breaks from the regular gameplay or often higher pressure experiences of permanent modes. Sometimes they’re meant to deepen your experience with events like Star Guardian (Invasion) and PROJECT (Overdrive). Most importantly, RGMs are designed to be fun for the few weeks they're active, but don't share the same primary goal of being a compelling experiences you'd keep coming back to, even if we kept them around forever.  
RGMs are also polished, final products. Everything you experience in an RGM, from visuals to gameplay mechanics to music to user interfaces, has been fully developed and implemented. 
We also want to note that experimental modes won’t happen super frequently—at most, you’ll see a couple in a given year. This is largely because we’re designing them from the ground up instead of customizing and modifying existing modes, and also because we aren’t going to stop maintaining those existing modes (the vast, vast majority of the League team is still focused on SR, with a much smaller group working on experimental prototypes). 
Now let’s talk about the debut experimental mode: Nexus Blitz. 
We designed Nexus Blitz for those of you seeking fresh, exciting moments and low-pressure fun. It’s a fast-paced mode—around 15 minutes in our internal tests—that emphasizes exciting and surprising moments over intense competition, while still rewarding the skills you've learned from other League modes. 
In Nexus Blitz, each team consists of a duo jungle in close proximity to three laners. The compact map makes for constant action, and a roulette of new, unexpected events amplifies the frenzy even more. 
Events are map-wide, mayhem-inducing scenarios that kick off every few minutes, granting powerful rewards to the team that wins. 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. If we take Nexus Blitz past alpha, we’ll expand the possible events and explore different versions (we’d love to start hearing your ideas!). 
Winning an event unlocks one of the rewards Nexus Blitz has to offer. Some of these are straightforward, such as a massive shield for every team member. Others are wild and flashy, like arming your minions and turrets with Blitzcrank hooks or installing a base cannon that launches you and your teammates directly into the middle of the map (we’d love to hear your ideas for these too!). 
In addition to events and rewards, Nexus Blitz has another major mechanic. Champs who go on hotstreaks—getting takedowns without dying yourself—go on fire, gaining adaptive damage and shorter cooldowns, but also taking more damage and they’re worth a TON of gold to shut down. 
The Nexus Blitz alpha starts in 8.16, and our current plan is for a four-week run as an open playtest on live servers—no invitation needed. Once more, we’d like to stress that you’ll be playing an unpolished prototype. We’re talking lots of reused models and textures from existing maps, and even the gameplay is up for iteration and development. We need you to play and tell us what you think about pretty much everything, from the core game loop to ideas for additional mechanics to map visuals and theming. If you see potential in Nexus Blitz, this is your opportunity to help shape its development! 
Ok, we’re done with the wall of text now. We’ll be watching the queues and your comments closely, so jump in and let us know what you think so far!"

Over the boards, Riot Jinxylord confirmed once live you'll be able to earn xp and mastery in the new mode -
"When it goes live you will be able to get Levels and Mastery, just like on SR and ARAM."

Jinxylord also added:
"We will add new stuff even after shipping to live (including new events). We want to iterate on the mode aggressively (more than we would feel comfortable doing for an established mode like SR)."
to put a point on experimental and unpolished prototype, Jinxylord noted: -
"Final final version would have it's own theme (like Howling Abyss does). That's a long way off however and is contingent on whether or not we decide to take the mode to a final version."

Nexus Blitz PBE thread

Rito Jinxylord also jumped on the PBE boards to drop off a PBE patch notes and feedback thread for NEXUS BLITZ including a run down of mechanics and details such as the jungle, starting items, and gold sharing. KEEP AN EYE ON THIS THREAD FOR FUTURE UPDATES!
This will be the central PBE feedback thread for Nexus Blitz, our new experimental game mode, before it goes to live for a multi-patch alpha test (...yes, we're in a beta of an alpha). If you haven't read it yet, go to the [[dev corner thread here]] for the high-level context on experimental modes and Nexus Blitz! This thread's for us to talk details. 
REMINDER: Nexus Blitz is basically in "early access" right now, so it's kinda rough and unpolished. We'll be AGGRESSIVELY PATCHING everything from champ balance to the map itself it order to make the experience better over time, both here on PBE and when we begin the alpha on live. 
What’s different?
  • A New Map - Nexus Blitz is played on a small map that encourages murdering each other. A single lane splits into 2 in the middle, and the top of the map is a jungle with camps and buffs to fight over.
  • Duo Jungle - Each team will be required to have two junglers who will work together to secure camps and objectives. Jungle XP and Gold is tuned so that it is advantageous to split it between two people. No need to funnel (we hope).
  • Short Game Time - Games of Nexus Blitz average 13-15 minutes, and are guaranteed to end by 20. How can we guarantee that? You'll see.
  • Events & Rewards - Events are map-wide murder-encouraging objectives that bestow glorious rewards on the victors. Do you like payloads and pushing? We got that. Have a thing for circles? Same. LOOT TEEMO!?!?!?!? Kill it with fire. Just don’t INT yourself with the Cannonpult. We’re just getting started on these things and hope to add more events and rewards as the mode is developed.
  • On-Fire - Nexus Blitz rewards bloodthirsty players who manage to get kills and stay alive by lighting them On-Fire, granting tons of adaptive stats, CDR, and mana regen. Watch out though, you’ll be easier to kill while On-Fire and grant a large bounty to those who manage to shut you down. It’s lit fam. 
Hit the PBE and try things out! We’d love to hear your feedback. Tell us about the things you find enjoyable (or awful). What are things that would make you stop playing (or want to play more)? We’ve got a long way to go and are ready to make changes. Thanks! 
Below are more detailed descriptions of the map specific mechanics as well as any patches we release over the course of the PBE 
Updates will go here over the course of our PBE stay!

  • Only 1 starter item can be purchased. Doran’s, jungle, and support items all count as starter items.
  • The sustain aspects of the Doran’s items have been significantly buffed (Lifesteal, mana regen, health regen)
  • Added a new Doran’s item for Enchanters who want to last hit (Doran’s Lost Idol).
  • Support items have been changed:
  • Supports can buy Heart of Targon (Relic Shield) or Philosopher's Medallion (Ancient Coin). Spellthief’s line has been removed.
  • These items are stronger than their SR counterparts but do not upgrade into anything.
  • Support item quests are gone, as is sightstone.
  • Control wards have been removed 
  • There’s a turret in the enemy jungle. It’s invincible. Don’t try to kill it. You’ll die. Your friends will laugh at you.
  • Jungle camps taken with more than one champion grant 150% XP and Gold split between the champions taking it (compared to 100% XP and Gold if taken alone)
  • Jungle items have been simplified:
  • All builds start with “Pridestalker’s Blade," a combination of Hunter’s Machete and Talisman, which then can be upgraded with an enchant.
  • Upgrading to the Enchant grants Chilling Smite along with the normal bonuses.
  • "Monster Hunter" XP and Gold mechanics have been removed.
  • Red and Blue buff are now located centrally and are much stronger. Taking a buff camp gives a supercharged version of the buff to the 2 nearest champions on the team who last hit it.
  • Rift Herald is stronger, granting Baron Buff AND Rift Herald for 2 minutes to the team who takes it.
  • Baron Buff only buffs minions, it does not give AP and AD. 
  • Getting X kills or assists without dying lights you On-Fire.
  • On-Fire stats:
  • 20% Attack Speed
  • 20-200 Adaptive force (based on level)
  • TONS of CDR (Does not count towards the CDR cap)
  • 20 mana/energy per second
  • 25% increased damage taken
  • On-Fire has no maximum duration, but is lost when killed and grants 800+ gold to your killer and 200+ gold to the each other champion on the killer’s team 
  • A random event happens every few minutes (average 2-3 per game)
  • Winning an event grants the victors a random reward
  • Many events have additional bonuses on top of the reward granted to the winner (like gold for doing a thing)
  • The final event happens at 18 minutes. It is not random. Its reward is arguably the best in the game. 
  • All minion deaths (regardless of last hit) and monster kills share ~30% of the total gold value to every champion on the team. (Not XP, though.) As an example. If a cannon minion is worth 100g, everyone on your team gets 30g when it dies.
  • Last hitters (or nearby allies in the case of jungle camps) still get the full gold (and XP) value. So if you kill a 100g cannon minion you will get 100g and the rest of your team will get 30g
  • Gold from champion kills and assists is NOT globally shared 
A number of fan favorite items are returning for a second grasp at life in Nexus Blitz 
  • Wriggle’s Lantern
  • Ghost Walkers
  • Spectral Cutlass
  • Bloodletter's Veil
  • Deathfire Grasp
  • Spear of Shojin
  • Atma’s Reckoning
  • Force of Nature
  • (Heart of Gold and Philosopher's Stone have spiritually returned—see Starting items above.) 
  • +30% Summoner Spell CDR
  • +30% bonus Mana Regen at level 1 
  • Games can be surrendered with a 4 -1 vote after the 8 minute mark.

Most time based runes (Like Magical Footwear and Gathering Storm) have been rebalanced for the mode. (Jul 31: CLIENT TOOLTIPS ARE BUGGED TO SHOW SR VALUES.) 
Taste of Blood
  • Cooldown :: 20 seconds >>> 10 seconds 
  • Switchover to late game drops :: 15 minutes >>> 6 minutes
  • Early game loot curve steepness :: First 8 drops >>> First 4 drops
Magical Footwear
  • Time available :: 10 minutes >>> 6 minutes
Perfect Timing
  • Time available :: 8 minutes >>> 4 minutes
Minion Dematerializer
  • Time available :: 4 minutes >>> 3 minutes
Biscuit Delivery
  • Time between biscuits :: 3 minutes >>> 1.5 minutes 
Grasp of the Undying
  • Health per proc (melee) :: 5 >>> 10
  • Health per proc (ranged) :: 3 >>> 6
  • Time Available :: 10 minutes >>> 6 minutes
  • % health per stack :: 0.2 >>> 0.3 
  • Cooldown :: 20 >>> 15
Gathering Storm
  • Rank-up time :: Every 10 minutes >>> Every 4 minutes
  • Level Available :: 10 >>> 6 
We're really excited to get Nexus Blitz in front of you, and can't wait for you to try it out. As PBE testers, you can help us take the mode from promising to great and give it the best chance of succeeding when the live alpha begins. Even at this phase of testing, we truly hope Nexus Blitz is a great experience. Thanks in advance for all the feedback!"


Look for more information in the 8.16 PBE cycle!

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