We are all aware of the difficulties the community has had over the past year or so, with social restrictions in place for the most part for 12 months. We have not been able to meet to play Blood Bowl on tabletop, so inspiring event organisers and league commissioners to come up with ways for coaches to get their fix virtually. There have been two primary platforms for this to take place, FUMMBL and Blood Bowl 2 on PC and consoles. These have without a doubt changed peoples opinions on the future of the game, for the better. With the effort put in from the fore mentioned organisers and commissioners, the ability to play in leagues and competitions has become more seamless than ever. The only restriction being the software used. I have personally only played in one league over the last year run by Chris (Bromley Blood Bowl League) on Blood Bowl 2 and without a doubt it surpassed my expectations of how it was run and perform in terms of league management (don’t get me wrong there was a lot of work required from Chris the Commissioner).
With that being said we are all looking at what the future of Virtual Blood Bowl will be. One of the key factors that we are hoping will change it for the better and make it more accessible and fluent is the release of the upcoming edition of the PC game, Blood Bowl 3 by Cyanide. Not only for an update in performance and aesthetic but the ability for the better management of competitive events.
So it is with great pleasure we here at One Turn Touchdown were approached by the games PR department and asked if we would like to be involved in an early preview and BETA in order to share our experience with you. As I am sure you guessed we bit their hand off at the chance, so here we go, we are here sharing what we found out and our experience of the game so far.
So after the presentation from the publishers here are the main points about the game and what to expect. We were only really given the core changes to the game but received some positive vibes about how far they want to take this game in the future and we really hope they do.
Dates for the diary
By the time this post has been published all the dates would have been officially confirmed by Nacon and Cyanide but below are the key dates for the upcoming release
Closed Beta (PC only) – 3rd June to the 13th Junes (requires registration)
Early Access (PC only) – September 2021
Full Games Release (PC & Consoles) – February 2022
So by the time you are reading this there will be some lucky ones who are already trying out the game in the closed Beta. We have been told it will work on a queued system to avoid the servers being overloaded so you may not get your Beta access code on day one. We were fortunate enough to be able to try the Beta early and will be releasing a separate Post/Video with an in depth review of our first impressions.
The biggest news from these dates is the delay of the Full game release to February 2022, earlier this year they did anounce it would be released in August 2021. But it has been pushed back, in order to make sure the game is as good as it can be. As a regular gamer I am used to this conversation/debate and in my opinion, most of the time, I am for a postponed release over the release of a half baked game, I think Cyberpunk is a good example of why.
As mentioned earlier the game is being developed by Cyanide again, who did BB2 and is being published by Nacon. A key point for this edition of the game which makes it more accessible and will undoubtedly create a larger player base is the platforms it will be released on. BB3 will be released on the below:
- Playstation 5
- Playstation 4
- Xbox One
- Xbox Series X
- Nintendo Switch (cant wait)
- and of course PC/Steam
The news that the game will be released on Nintendo Switch for me is very welcome. The idea of being able to potentially play against people in the same room easily with the switch opens doors to a new way of playing the game. I know the switch will most likely have the lower end of players but I am excited to see what comes of this and whether it will be used to its full potential.
What we know about the game
So what did we find out about the game? What should we expect from the full release? Well as you may have guessed Blood Bowl 3 will in some sense be a completely new game, not just an update from BB2. With the release of the new box set at the end of last year from Games Workshop, along with a modified rule set. Blood Bowl 3 will follow the new rules from the 2020 release of the game. On top of this it will now run on Unreal Engine 4 which if you have seen the trailers and team spotlights, will really improve on the games aesthetics and performance.
A big part of Blood Bowl is the vast array of teams you are able to play as and with the release of the 2020 board game there were 2 new teams created, Black Orcs and Imperial Nobility. As with the board game, Blood Bowl 3 has focused on them so far, releasing spotlight YouTube videos for both. But as exciting as these are as a regular tabletop player, it is exciting to see what they do with the other teams, will they all be released? So that leaves the question which teams will be available at launch?
Well we have been told there will be 12 teams available at launch, an improvement from the 8 available with the launch of Blood Bowl 2. We were told this was a conscious decision after they acknowledged the a big part of Blood Bowl is the amount of teams available, and I completely agree as although 8 teams will give a good mix to begin with. I can imagine after a few months it may start to get a bit repetitive. The 12 available at launch are listed below
- Black Orcs
- Imperial Nobility
- Dark Elf
- Elven Union
- Chaos Chosen
- Chaos Renegades
- Old World Alliance
As you would expect, the more traditional teams have been included, the 2 new teams, then Humans, Orcs, Skaven and Dwarves. But I am also happy they decided to include some of the more obscure teams such as Old World Alliance and Chaos Renegades. On the other hand it is a bit disappointing there are no Stunty teams on release which in my opinion is a bit of a strange decision. I know it opens up the option to release a stunty DLC but these teams are what can change the game in a good way.
One of the big new features for Blood Bowl 3 is the ability to really customise, not only your team, but each individual player from their helmet to their armour. This really adds a new level to making your team unique and allowing each player to have a personality and potentially some history when they progress. The video game will never be as customisable as the tabletop game with the ability to paint them however you like and a huge selection of miniatures to choose from and create with but this will raise the bar with how far you can go. It’s something I have wished for after playing Blood Bowl 2 over the past year and am looking forward to seeing peoples teams on the ‘pitch’.
If you have ever played Blood Bowl before, whether it be the tabletop or video game version I am sure you are aware that the game does not take itself too seriously. Yes there are very competitive elements to it at the top like any game, but a big majority of the player base enjoy it for its light heartedness and ability to be unpredictable. With that being said it was good to hear that the ‘Wacky’ humour is something that will be injected into the soul of the game. I am looking forward to how that will be seen. With Blood Bowl 2 it was mostly Jim and Bobs commentary that tried to keep that flame alive but it would be good to see that improved upon in the final release
As a final note, and potentially the most important for a lot of people, for what improvements we can expect from the final game, is that the competitive side e.g online leagues and tournaments is a big focus for the developers. As a long term Blood Bowl player I can confidently say that playing in a league or large tournament is how to really get the most out of the game. I am glad to hear that they have acknowledged that and are working to improve how that can be run on the video game version. It will be interesting to see how they do this and how accessible and personalised it will be but something to keep an ear out for over the next 6 months.
As we mentioned above the closed Beta will run from June 3rd to June 13th 2020 and will be on a queued registration based access. We were fortunate enough to be given access to a preview Beta a week early to have a look at how the game is going at this stage and will be posting a separate article all about that shortly but we just want to share what you can expect from the Beta if you are able to get involved over the next week or so.
So to begin with you will not be able to play as all 12 teams, only 3 will be available in the beta. They are the Black Orc, Imperial Nobility and Elven Union teams which I believe is in an attempt to let us play as 3 teams with different play styles. Bashy Black Orcs, nimble Elven Union and the all-rounder Imperial Nobility.
With these 3 teams you will be able to compete in 3 different game modes, 1 vs AI, 1 vs 1 Local and 1 vs 1 Matchmaking. Three pretty standard game modes and should allow all types of players to find a game for them (although 1vs1 matchmaking may be difficult depending on the numbers on the Beta, will see how this works).
The above being the main limitation to the game, being a Beta, there are also other parts which won’t be included including the below
- No Tutorial – There will be no step by step guides on how the game works but we have been told if you have played previous games you should be ok working it out and they will be releasing a document to assist.
- AI not final version – We have been told the AI that is included in the Beta is a very limited version and it will be improved for the final release.
- No Customisation – You will not be able to customise players, only teams. This is a shame but something to look forward to in the future I suppose.
At the end of the presentation we were able to ask some questions, as you may guess they were not able to talk about or answer all the questions, but we were able to get some kind of insight from the answers
- Will there be cross platform play? – We were told they are not able to confirm this yet but is something they did have the intention to do, fingers crossed
- Will you be able to play the previous ruleset (BB2/BB2016) -No, Blood Bowl 3 will be playable with the new BB2020 ruleset from Games Workshop
- Will ‘random’ dice rolls be improved? – Yes, although it is hard to generate true random results in software is was a focus when designing Blood Bowl 3
- Will there be future DLC’s? – They were not able to confirm but there will be some ‘good news’ in the coming months, I personally take that as a yes, I’m pretty sure there will be
- Will there be Star Players and can you name some? – Yes, Star Players was another focus for improvement and will be seen mostly in the story campaign mode. Also on top of that each Star player will have their own model.
These answers are not quotes from the team but a summary of what we found out. There is some really promising news here and the general vibe from the team was positive for the longevity of the game and am looking forward to seeing more.
LETS PLAY BLOOD BOWL!
So there we have it, there will be a post coming soon sharing our experience with the BETA but we wanted to share what we have found out about not only on the BETA but some early glimpses of what we should expect to see in the full release early next year.
We hope you get a chance to play the BETA and if you haven’t registered here is the link. Let us know what you think