Realm Royale

Why Realm Royale Could Be the Ultimate Squad Based Battle Royale Esport

by Joe O'Brien

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Brought to you by Hi-Rez to celebrate the Early Access Alpha release of Realm Royale – download and install the game HERE.

Having gained significant momentum, the question of where Realm Royale sits in the esports-world is now being asked.

As the battle royale genre has exploded, it has inevitably begun to carve out a space in esports, and with competitors still working out exactly what format works for them, Realm Royale looks primed to take the squad-based market.

Not every game has to have a competitive element to it though – as esports has surged in popularity over recent years, there have been many games that have tried to get in on the action that either aren’t well-suited to real competition or aren’t offering anything interesting or unique.

It does seem, however, that Realm Royale is worth exploring as an esport, with the class system setting it up as the go-to title for team-based battle royale competition.


Why Play in Teams?

One of the major aspects of team games that makes them interesting in a different way to solo games is the interaction between the players on a team, and how the unit formed by those interactions clashes with another team.

In traditional sports this manifests in positions – in American football, for example, a quarterback does not play the same role as an offensive guard, and in soccer a fullback does not perform the same function as a striker. 

In esports roles can be more explicitly defined, as in the likes of League of Legends, or arise as a prevailing approach within the context of the game, such as the roles played in a CS:GO team. 

The skill set of the players that fill those different roles, and how teams choose to arrange them on the field of play, are both aspects of the identity of a team and how they will match-up against other teams.

These elements are fundamental to the offering of team games that is different to solo games. If all players on a team perform the same function, then often the existence of extra players on a team can distract from, rather than enhance, the spectacle provided by simply following the best player.

This is perhaps why some competitive battle royale games seem to be tending towards solos as their primary competitive form, or at most duos. In many such games, there aren’t enough differences between what different players in a squad provide to make larger teams more interesting.

Assuming they can acquire the requisite loot, one player can often perform any role necessary for success in a typical battle royale. Others on a squad mainly add more guns pointed at the enemy, rather than extra utility that can allow the whole team to become more than the sum of its parts.

This, then, is perhaps the area in which Realm Royale can offer something different as a competitive title. The incorporation of a class system immediately differentiates what players can bring to the table, and so could be a platform for a squads-based competitive battle royale that really offers a different experience to its solo version.


Team Play in Realm Royale

The key aspect to the Realm Royale class system for this purpose is that the classes don’t merely offer a slightly different mechanic for killing enemies – the differences are deeper than that.

The Warrior, for instance, offers utility with healing and armor repair potions, while the engineer can provide a defensive barrier. The Assassin has access to the only sniper rifle in the game, and the Mage’s flight is the most versatile movement ability in the game.

On a solo level the class system means sacrificing certain capabilities in favor of others, but in squads the interplay between them can allow a team to transcend what any individual player could be capable of, and that possibility is one that isn’t offered as much in many battle royale variants.

The one potentially interesting factor is that at the moment, there are only five different classes in Realm Royale, and with four players to a squad it would be possible for each team for cover almost every ability they might want between them, limiting the cost enforced by having to pick.

Even then, however, there is customization in terms of exactly how squads were built – do you take four different classes, or double up in some scenarios? Which class do you leave out?

In game, you could see differences in strategy that actually rely on the different types of players in a team. Different squads might opt to focus on building defenses around an engineer or supporting a particularly skilled sniper. Those strategies might then dictate which squad members the team prioritizes when forging Legendary loot.

On a scene level, elite players could emerge with different skill-sets, offering something different to a team. There will always be those that are better at killing enemies than everyone else, but Realm Royale would allow those that shine in more supportive roles to establish themselves as the best in those categories as well, similarly to the way support or entry players in CS:GO may be celebrated for their contribution even if they’re not the primary star player on their team.

Naturally, the spectator experience would have to be ironed out, a task that all battle royale games are currently experimenting with but that seems to be simplified somewhat by having fewer members to a team, as in either solos or duos. Figure that out, however, and Realm Royale could be the battle royale game best suited to being played competitively in squads.