Late last month I had the pleasure of speaking to none other than Xiomaro—or as you may know him better, the creator of the popular YouTube channel Battlerite Sage. He gave some amazing insights on the state of the game as well as some stories and tips about content creation, something I believe many of you would find intriguing. If you have not seen his YouTube channel yet, we highly recommend that you check it out over here for some consistently great and interesting Battlerite content. Enjoy!
How did you find out about Battlerite?
I played Battlerite’s predecessor, Bloodline Champions from the closed beta. It was one of my favourite games of all time so when I heard they were remaking the game, I knew it was something I would want to play.
What kind of game would you classify Battlerite as for those who don’t know about it?
I think “team arena brawler” is the most concise way to put it. There’s always that argument whether it is or isn’t a MOBA. It’s my opinion that Battlerite is not a MOBA. It’s missing way too many key features to be considered one. And to call it “a MOBA without lanes, creeps and towers” really undersells the game.
What crowd do you think Battlerite most draws in? Do you think it's beginner friendly enough, while also having enough of a learning curve to appeal to those who crave to progress and learn the complexities?
I think people who are or have been fans of World of Warcraft Arena are one key demographic. Almost everyone I speak to in Battlerite has played WoW. Battlerite is a lot easier to get into than Bloodline Champions was. There are champions who are pretty easy to pick up and others that are a lot tougher to master. This gives you a lot of room to grow as a player.
What would you say to those who are still on the fence about trying out Battlerite?
I mean, it’s free to play so you have nothing to lose. But I would also say; don’t let the top down view put you off. I can’t stand MOBAs and I know there are others who feel the same way. If you didn’t get on well with League of Legends, DOTA 2 or Heroes of the Storm, you still might enjoy Battlerite. It’s a totally different experience.
What do you think the best addition to Battlerite yet has been?
I’m really enjoying the pre-game lobby. I didn’t expect to but it’s nice being able to coordinate a comp with your team in soloQ. And it’s great being able to counter pick with a premade team.
As of now, how do you feel about Battlerite’s future and current direction?
Season one has been really great for bringing back old players and getting new people into the game. I think there’s still room for improvement. But provided Stunlock Studios get stuff out in a timely manner, I think the game has a promising future.
If you could have any one thing added to Battlerite what would it be?
In-game tournaments. It was one of my favourite aspects of Bloodline Champions. Having a fully automated in-game tournament that anyone could enter was amazing. They even used to have low-rank-only tournaments so even if you were not a top tier player, you could still feel the thrill of competitive gaming. And that’s the whole point of this game. There’s no PVE, there’s no gear progression. It’s just pure PVP combat. So anything that can help add to that environment is a great thing.
How was it being on the front page of Twitch representing Battlerite?
It was really cool! I used to play in a band so performing to an audience isn’t exactly alien to me. However, being alone in a room while people watch is a totally different experience. It’s kinda surreal, actually.
How big a role do you think the community plays in the upbringing of Battlerite apart from SLS?
It plays a really big part. So many games are made by their community. Think about the old days of gaming. Developers used to just put a game out there and the online community just kinda created itself. These days, people expect everything to be handed to them on a plate—including a sense of community. One of the reasons I started my channel was to create a positive sense of community. Every game needs it. The developers can’t do everything themselves. That being said—I really like the Battlerite community. At least between streamers and content creators, everyone helps each other out.
Do you see eSports being an integral part of Battlerite’s growth?
Competition is the game’s main selling point so I think a healthy competitive scene is integral to the success of the game.
What do you think is the best way to continue to grow the Battlerite scene?
Bigger, more lucrative tournaments. It’s not something that I’m super interested in doing, myself. But for people who are into that—having a reasonable prize pool could entice a lot of the would-be eSports stars from other games. SLS could do some eSports crates with unique skins to fund it. Put that out at the same time as in-game tournaments and I think you’ll see a lot of new and returning players. Everyone likes money. And everyone likes skins. It’s win-win.
Did content creation interest you before starting Battlerite Sage?
It’s something I’ve dabbled with in the past. Never as regularly as I’ve been doing this, though.
What prompted you to create Battlerite Sage?
Whenever I start a new game, I like to look for YouTube channels that I can watch to learn about the game and just be entertained. I found a bunch of great YouTube channels but I was looking for something like Your Overwatch or Skyline for Battlerite—general guides and discussion that aren’t just catered to one champion. Nothing like that existed at the time so I figured I’d give it a go myself.
Is there anything new you’d like to try on your channel but aren’t quite sure about/haven’t gotten around to yet?
I’m always looking for new ideas. I kinda just try stuff out every now and then and see how it goes. Recently, I tried out a series called “What’s The Difference?” where I take a look at the difference in skill and playstyle between different ranks. That seems to have gone down quite well so far. One thing I’ve been thinking about for a while is getting a 2nd host for the channel—just to keep things varied and maybe give a second viewpoint. I’m a support main so a lot of what I talk about comes from that perspective. It’d be interesting to just try a guest host out for one or two videos.
How important to you are the comments on your videos? How many of them would you say you read?
I read every single comment in the first couple of hours after a video goes live. That’s when most of the comments come in, and I try to reply to as many as I can. I don’t just create videos as a platform to get my opinions across—I openly ask for feedback and discussion. I’ve lost count how many times my opinion has changed on something based on what someone in the comments has said.
Were there any notable hurdles you had to get over when creating your channel or videos for it? Or has it come easier than expected?
It’s been going pretty smoothly. I initially just wanted to create a bunch of beginner’s guides and then just stop making videos… or at least slow down. But the response was pretty phenomenal from the start - so I’ve kinda just kept making videos. The biggest hurdle now is just trying to keep things fresh. I don’t wanna go round in circles but I also don’t want the pace to drop.
Do you enjoy streaming as much as creating videos for your channel?
I prefer making videos but I love the viewers on stream! Twitch chat is just as entertaining as watching someone stream. And my chat is no exception. My god… the freaking puns… So many puns…
Did you expect Battlerite Sage to get to the point where it is now in just under half a year?
I only started making videos 4 months ago and to be sitting at over 11k subs now is just insane. I’m not 100% sure but it might even be the biggest Battlerite-only YouTube channel now. I genuinely never expected that. There are so many great content creators in our community so I’m really quite flattered.
Does creating content come easier as time goes on?
Coming up with ideas has become a little harder but creating the videos has become a lot faster. I used to take around 4 hours on average to script, voice over and edit a video. I’ve managed to cut that in half with a few sneaky tricks… mostly Premiere Pro nested sequences. Those things are a godsend. I’m also a lot more fluent at reading from a script than when I started. In general, the more that’s going on in-game, the easier it is to create content. There’s been a lot to talk about lately so it’s been easy for the last few weeks. Jamila, Season 1, Ulric… yeah, loads of stuff!
How far beyond the creating and uploading of videos do you think being a good content creator goes? What is integral to being one outside of mechanical skill?
You need to have a passion for what you’re doing and that needs to come across when you speak. You also need an idea and style that sets you apart from other people. No one is completely unique but if someone can see a thumbnail or hear a random 5 second clip of your voice overs and instantly recognise it as you - that’s usually a good thing.
If the opportunity arises and you can do content creation full time, would you? Would anything change?
I’m just kinda taking things one step at a time. If the opportunity was there to do it full time, I think I’d probably go for it. YouTube is a fickle business, though. So it’s a risky move. But I guess I’ve never been one to shy away from risks.
What advice would you give to someone who’s looking to start creating content, be it for Battlerite or any other reason?
Is there something you wish someone else would make? Then make that! If you want to see something, there are probably others out there who want it too.