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Bloodline Champions

Bloodline Champions is a 3D multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) with short PvP-focused matches where players don't respawn and the last team standing wins the round. Gameplay is highly skill-based as every individual attack and ability must be manually aimed with the cursor. Bloodline Champions is a MOBA without minions, leveling, RNG, and items. The game focuses purely on PvP.

Publisher: Stunlock Studios
Playerbase: Low
Type: MOBA
Release Date: Jan 13, 2011 (NA/EU)
Pros: +Unique PvP focus (no minions at all). +Fun skill-based gameplay. +Easy to pick up, difficult to master.
Cons: -Simplistic gameplay may not appeal to everyone. -Matchmaking queues can take a while.

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Overview

Bloodline Champions Overview

Bloodline Champions, BLC for short, is a 3D action-oriented MOBA developed and published by Stunlock Studios. Battle in 2v2, 3v3, or 5v5 matches across various game modes ranging from the most popular Team Deathmatch to capture the flag. Despite being labeled as another "MOBA", Bloodline Champions varies from other games in the genre quite a bit.

Bloodline Champions Key Features: 

  • Character Variety – each "Bloodline" (the game's version of Heroes/Champions) has 7 abilities. 6 regular abilities and an ultimate.
  • Just You and Me – no creeps or minions of any kind. Absolutely no PvE – just PvP action.
  • Short Game Times – each game takes only a few minutes, with a full round (first to 3 wins) typically taking ~10 minutes.
  • No Leveling Up – all skills available right away. Cooldowns are short and the game doesn't have mana.
  • No Respawning – you die, you're out for the round (unless you're resurrected by another player, which is very rare since casting time for Resurrect is lengthy).

The fact that Bloodline Champions is heavily skill-based cannot be emphasized enough. Every single ability in the game has to be properly aimed, including simple auto attacks.

Bloodline Champions Screenshots

Bloodline Champions Featured Video

Full Review

Bloodline Champions Review

By Marc Marasigan

Bloodline Champions is a free-to-play MMO PvP action game developed by the Swedish Company Stunlock Studios and published by Funcom in the United States. It is inspired by the success of DOTA and other MOBA games. The game went into open-beta on December 17, 2010 and was officially launched in the United States on January 13, 2011. The game won “Game of the Year” in the 2009 Swedish Game Awards.

Bloodline Champions is a simplified version of MOBA games like DOTA, LoL, and HoN. No creeps, no items, and no towers to defend. Just two teams of five heroes, called Bloodlines, fighting it out in arenas littered with obstacles and blind spots. Battles are fast-paced and end rather quickly, unlike other MOBAs. Winning matches is all about teamwork along with quick hands, eyes, and reflexes.

Getting Started

First time players of Bloodline Champions are given the choice to start off with a tutorial. Apart from teaching beginners the basics of movement and combat, the tutorial also teaches beginners how to use the various skills and abilities needed to fulfill the roles of Tank, Ranged Damager, Melee Damager, and Healer. The tutorial gives players goals that they need to achieve to successfully complete the tutorial. The goals start off easy and get progressively difficult the further the players go into the tutorial, which, in my opinion, helps a lot in preparing newbies for the fast-paced combat that Bloodline Champions is known for. Personally, I just finished the first two tutorials and skipped the others. Needless to say, I ended up just firing abilities blindly and basically being owned almost every match, so I highly recommend taking the time to finish the whole thing.

Bloodline Champions uses a lobby system for joining and creating games. Players can join games alone or with friends and the system automatically pairs them with other players also looking for matches. Players can join 2v2, 3v3, or 5v5 matches. Joining games is easy enough, but it does take quite a while to complete a whole team, especially if you’re playing solo. The game also automatically balances out teams according to individual levels and a variety of other factors.

The game’s graphics are good and are typical of most MOBAs out there. Things do seem to be a bit foggy at times, though. The camera is fixed in a top down view and can only be zoomed in or out. Cameras can either be centered on the players' Bloodlines, or set to free-look which can benefit Bloodlines that can target areas to cast their skills.

Bloodlines, Gameplay, & Combat

Bloodline Champions features the same hero-model as LoL, where players get access to limited bloodlines. Players can only pick from four bloodlines – one from each of the team roles. Free Bloodlines rotate every week, and Bloodlines themselves can be permanently unlocked with Blood Coins, which can be earned by playing matches. Heroes can also be unlocked as rewards for meeting certain goals in-game. For players who want to unlock everything quickly, Funcom points (bought with real-world cash) can be used to unlock other heroes. Blood Coins and Funcom points can also be used to buy skills and cosmetic items to beef up your Bloodlines.

Combat in Bloodline Champions is fast-paced and the controls are very easy to learn. Players use the WASD keys to move around and the mouse for targeting. Every skill requires targeting, adding a degree of difficulty to the game. Each Bloodline has six skills and one Ultimate skill. They have a standard left-click attack with no cooldown and a more powerful right-click attack with a quick cooldown. The spacebar is used to cast escape or dodge moves. The more powerful skills are bound to the Q, E, F, and R keys. However, these skills have much longer cooldowns. Depending on the skill used, a player can either regenerate or deplete the player’s energy bar. Energy can be regained by hitting enemies with attacks or being the first to touch an orb that regularly appears on the map. Bloodlines also have one “Ultimate” skill that they can use when their energy bars are filled. Be careful, though  Ultimate skills use up the entire energy bar, which could be disastrous if used at the wrong time.

Game Modes

Bloodline Champions features three different game modes: Arena, Capture the Artifact, and Conquest. Arenas are the only ones available via the in-game matchmaking system. In Arenas, players face off against each other in 2v2, 3v3, or 5v5 in a team deathmatch. The first team to win three rounds wins the match.

Capture the Artifact is the typical capture the flag scenario where one teams tries to capture the artifact from the enemy’s base and bring it back to their own base. Teams must hold both their artifact and their enemies' artifact for a period of time to win the round. The artifact is dropped if the player holding it is killed or is hit by specific skills. The dropped artifact can then be picked up either by allies or by the opposing team.

In Conquest mode, players capture and hold specific points on the map to gain points. To capture a point, players must stay at that point for a certain period of time without using any of their abilities or taking damage. Players who die can respawn infinitely unless the opposing team holds all the capture points. A team wins by holding the capture points for a set time or by eliminating all members of the opposing team while they can’t respawn.

Skill-Based Combat

What really differentiates Bloodline Champions from other MOBAs is its emphasis on player skill. A single, really good player can literally beat multiple novice players at once. There's no farming or PvE, either. Your opponents are your only targets and arenas are small, so there's always action. Bloodline Champions is the only MOBA that strips a MOBA down to solely action-oriented PvP gameplay.

Traits & Medallions

Bloodlines can be tailor-fit to a specific playing style with the use of Traits and Medallions. Traits are passive attributes that give bonuses to a player’s Bloodlines. The six traits are Power, Vitality, Expertise, Speed, Focus, and Swiftness. Players earn trait points upon reaching certain levels (400 points in total at Level 25), which they can assign to a trait of their choice. Each trait can be increased up to 400 points. For example, spending all 400 points on Vitality grants the Bloodline +12% max HP and +8% max Recovery HP. Players can also spend points on the Traits tree, which unlocks additional passive and a few active abilities.

Medallions, on the other hand, are bought using Blood Coins. Medallions grant Bloodlines extra abilities that they can use during matches. Medallions are classified into 4 types depending on their use. Red medallions grants offensive abilities, Blue medallions grant defensive abilities, Purple for passive abilities, and Yellow for cosmetic or fun effects. Yellow medallions can only be purchased using Funcom points. Medallions can also be socketed with gems that give the Bloodline additional attribute bonuses. Gems are also bought with Blood Coins. Keep in mind that socketing a gem is permanent, so think twice before finalizing it.

Final Verdict - Good

Bloodline Champions is a game suited to more casual players or for those who want a break from the strategies and overly long matches typical of most MOBAs. The game’s easy controls and simple game modes are perfect for players just starting out with MOBA games, though difficult to master. While these features would appeal to some players, the absence of deep strategy would definitely be a let-down for more hardcore players. The lack of in-depth strats required during matches also make them seem very repetitive, reducing the game’s replayability. Despite the game's simplicity, Bloodline Champions is a very difficult game to master. Quick fingers, fact reactions, and excellent hand-eye coordination are required to climb to the top.

Screenshots

Bloodline Champions Screenshots

Videos

Bloodline Champions Videos

System Requirements

Bloodline Champions System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Pentium 4 3 GHz or AMD equivalent
Video Card: GeForce 6000 Series or ATI HD2000 Series
RAM: 2GB
Hard Disk Space: 1.2 GB

Recommended Requirements:

Operating System: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Core 2 Duo 2 GHz or better
Video Card: GeForce 8000 Series or ATI Equivalent
RAM: 2GB
Hard Disk Space: 1.2 GB

The official System Requirements for Bloodline Champions have not been updated since the game's January 2011 release. The game supports 2560x1440 resolution and takes up a bit over 1 GB space on the hard disk.

Music

Bloodline Champions Music & Soundtrack


Additional Info

Bloodline Champions Additional Information

Developer: Stunlock Studios
Lead Programmer: Martin 'Shelt' Magnusson
Closed Beta Date: October, 2010
Open Beta Date: December 16, 2010

Development Background

Bloodline Champions began development in 2008 with the vision of becoming the best PvP-focused multiplayer battle arena. The game received critical acclaim during the 2009 Swedish Game Awards ceremony, bagging both the Game of the Year and Winner XNA awards. Bloodline Champions was originally published by Funcom world-wide, but Funcom decided to cease all operations for the game in January, 2015. The Bloodline Champions servers have since been picked up and supported by the game's developer - Stunlock Studios. The game is currently published exclusively through Valve's Steam service.

  • Bloodline Champions is a niche game that won't appeal to everyone. It's one of those games where a single great player can easily carry a game. Think League/DotA 2, but with no minions. Just hero vs Hero action. No PvE whatsoever. Every ability is a skillshot and must be aimed. It can be frustrating for beginners, but the gameplay feels rewarding when you win, since it's all skill.