Blood Bowl 3 league commissioners from many major leagues have written a joint letter to developer Cyanide Studio and publisher Nacon, highlighting key features the game needs before they can migrate their multiplayer leagues – and their communities of thousands of players – out of Blood Bowl 2 and into Blood Bowl 3.
The letter warns that, unless changes come quickly, Blood Bowl III’s “player base will be irreversibly diminished”. Publisher Nacon has acknowledged the letter and promises a Steam update addressing community concerns “soon”.
The group, the Blood Bowl 3 League Owners (BB3LO), gathered signatures from the administrators of 39 leagues for the letter – and says that more are still signing. The letter states that Blood Bowl III does “not have adequate tools to allow us to operate private leagues of any format, and we also do not see this in the roadmap”, and warns this will “severely hamper the potential we all see in BB3”.
According to the letter, the group would like to open a “constructive dialogue with [Cyanide]… so we can help grow and sustain Blood Bowl 3 for years to come”.
It adds that “private leagues are where the Blood Bowl community comes together to engage with the game and each other in a way that is in line with the tabletop experience, but on a larger scale as our communities range from 50 to 2000 coaches”.
The BB3LO argues that private leagues have been vital for the long-term health of Blood Bowl II, driving “millions of hours” of play time for “tens of thousands of coaches” across the game’s eight year lifespan. The letter says that each commissioner in the BB3LO has been told by many players that they “would have quit playing a long time ago” were it not for community organised leagues.
When Wargamer interviewed Blood Bowl III project manager Gautier Brésard, he said the team at Cyanide Studio aimed to give league administrators “at least as many tools as they had in Blood Bowl II”. The BB3LO identifies many league administration functions that were present in Blood Bowl II and are missing from the new game, and says that seven of them are critical to league functionality.
The critical missing features are: the ability to add extra administrators and commissioners onto league boards; the ability to manually advance rounds; the ability for administrators to take full control of specific match results; the ability to add and remove teams from ongoing commissions; the ability to reset a match for a replay in the event of a crash; the ability to ‘ticket’ teams for entry to competitions without them already being part of the administrator’s friends list; and the ability to seed knockout competitions.
The development roadmap for Blood Bowl III shows that the ability for players to reconnect to crashed games should arrive in August. The BB3LO letter says that this is “too late”, as lost games due to crashes are “incredibly disruptive” to an ongoing, competitive environment, and “currently far too common”.
The BB3LO letter also highlights problems with readability both inside and outside Blood Bowl III matches, including ambiguity over how certain in-game events are resolved, and a lack of clarity in league data. In-match readability optimization is scheduled in the Blood Bowl III roadmap for the end of May.
The joint letter was brought to Wargamer’s attention by Russell Ashley, aka Ninjabred Man, commissioner of the Totally Relaxed Blood Bowl League (TRBBL). The letter was shared with us by its lead authors Stephen Peers, aka FullMetalCOS, the head admin of the Reddit Blood Bowl League (ReBBL), and Carl Olsson, aka Meshuggah, a senior admin in ReBBL and admin of the cross-league Chaos Invitational. The entire letter is available on the r/bloodbowl board on Reddit.
According to Jacob Long (aka DrPinkies, admin for Top Scumlord Bloodbowl), the group initially came together to share recommendations on how to make Blood Bowl III work for their leagues, before developing the idea to contact Nacon and Cyanide Studio as a group.
Wargamer contacted publisher Nacon regarding the BB3LO letter, and received this response:
“We’re well aware of the current situation for Blood Bowl 3. Players and fans of the Blood Bowl community have been heard, and we’re working heavily on the main problem areas. We’ll add more details pretty soon in a community dedicated post on Steam. The community is a core element for Blood Bowl 3, and we’ll do everything we can to forge a game meeting their expectations.”
Wargamer’s Blood Bowl III review said that the game would have the kind of multiplayer community other games dream of “if it can coax across the established fans”. The game had a rocky launch week, with server-side problems that necessitated a major update, and special edition goodies being given to regular edition players accidentally.
That’s thematically in keeping with the chaotic Warhammer The Old World, at least – but you wouldn’t be blamed for sticking with the tabletop version of Blood Bowl Second Season Edition for the time being.