FeatureSpellbreak

Spellbreak has bots and they aren’t actually a bad thing

Spellbreak is officially out and is pretty much everything I wanted from a spell-slinging battle royale. But there is one thing that doesn’t vibe so well with players, and that’s the bots.

By now, word is traveling fast that your first few Spellbreak games will be against bots. This isn’t a bad thing, it lets new players settle in while giving them a good feeling if they win. When you get further into Spellbreak, you may be annoyed by the bots. Or you – like many players – may already see them in a negative light.

Suffice it to say that players don’t like easy wins – or easy fights.

In all fairness, you don’t play a battle royale to have an easy time, or even a good time really. It’s all about the challenge of the hunt and simultaneous survival. Spellbreak has one hell of a learning curve, what with the movement system and the spell combinations. Once you get the hang of that, then you’ve got to learn how to do it against real players. Bots don’t provide much of a challenge, if any really.

Some players even claim that bots provide them such little preparation whatsoever, that they’re actively at a disadvantage when against real people. I can see this being somewhat true, but in my experience I’ve dealt with maybe two or three bots out of a full length game. In the first few rounds there are more bots than normal, this is true, but going forward there’s not really enough to skew your perception of the game.

Hear me out: the bots are actually there to help you.

Bots are a boon

For starters, they keep you on your feet – they run at you with all the fervor of a real wizard itching for a fight. And then suddenly… they just stop. After slinging a few damaging spells your way the, bot will just cease all activity. It stalls in place and stops attacking you. It gets you all riled up and then it just sits there, letting you kill it.

It’s possible Proletariat are still tweaking their bot behavior and abilities, but even in their current form bots do teach you to stay on your toes. One second you’re looting and running to the ring, the next you’re being pelted by fireballs. You could be lucky, and the encounter is a lone AI, or it could be a full squad. Next thing you know, you’ve been caught in a super tornado and you’re burning to death.

They serve as great little mobile loot chests

Rather than wandering aimlessly finding chests which may or may not have what you want, hunt down some bots. Killing a bot almost guarantees a scroll, as well as some healing and a gauntlet. In the early game this is great for getting you on your feet and letting you build a healing stockpile.

Later in the game you may be running on your last potion. Caught between three squads and low on health, suddenly you come across a bot during your escape. You kill it quickly and behold! You get a small potion and shield. It’s not much, but it may be just what you need to get you back in the fight, or let you escape to live another day.

Shoot the bots, hit your shots

Bots in Spellbreak – and many other games – make for pretty decent target practice. Alongside quickly thrusting you into battle, the bots will help you get in some – possibly warranted – aim training. They’ll bob and weave around your attacks – as best as they can – forcing you to track them and helping you get at least slightly more accurate over time. So while you may not see the benefits immediately, they may creep up on you over time – which I suppose is pretty good.

Spellbreak Bot
Look at it standing there, perfectly still. Mocking you…

Last but not least – the names

You can’t tell me that you haven’t run into bots with some funny names. It’s fleeting and you don’t have much time to appreciate it honestly, but it’s worth it. Some of the bots have some pretty funny names assigned to them. I’m not sure if they’re pulled from existing players like some other games do, but it’s great to see them randomly throughout your matches.

All in all, the bots are really just a minor part of the game, and the more you play the less you encounter them. Take advantage and enjoy them while you can, make use of their free loot, and the teeny tiny skill and ego boost you get.

Spellbreak has bots, its just a fact. Learn to embrace them, or else I’ll replace them with a full team of alpha testers to really screw you over. And speaking of which, have you guys fought any pre-alpha testers? I thought alpha testers were the real threat, until my squad got mowed down by a single guy in 15 seconds.

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Kevin Dewan

Writer for SQUAD, runs after things a lot. Won't BM you to your face. Okay with losing as long as it's funny.
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