A curious thought, regarding the Quick Match queue on PC

Okay, feel free to (politely) shoot this one full of holes, with all the magical critical forum power. If it doesn’t stand up to rigorous critique, then it should die, just like any other community suggestion.

I spent a bit of time in the queues the past week, and in the rare event a Quick Match game was formed, I found myself witness to a lot of new player despair. Whether veteran players sandbagged or stomped, won or lost, new players seemed to rarely be having a good time, lost in a sea of mechanics veterans have had over a year to scrutinize, and surrounded by advanced combat maneuvers with no earthly idea how to join in.

We’ve talked, at length, about the issues of going into the Versus queues as solo players. Unfortunately, the matchmaking system still seems hell-bent on putting veterans on one side and newbies on the other. I craved forced Solo/Duo in the past as an attempted fix, but with the PC player population at sub-200 at all times, and that number further split between two ailing queues and PV matches, it’s clear Solo/Duo isn’t going to change much of anything. Not anymore.

So most of the veteran players of Battleborn on PC have established social access to each other, often used for the purpose of forming 10-man PV matches, a long-time solution to the inconsistent queues. I hear these matches can be lots of fun, and that’s great for those already involved. Unfortunately, the game’s design currently keeps F2P players from joining PV matches, and most new non-F2P players don’t seem to stick around long enough to learn said matches exist. As such, I’m not sure PV matches are a sustainable solution.

So what would happen if, say, instead of forming the usual evening 10-mans, the established Battleborn PC community made a coordinated effort to split into multiple groups of 3-player premade teams, all of which simultaneously entered the Quick Match queue? Matchmaking would, in theory, be forced to fill out those 3-player teams with two inexperienced players, be they F2P or otherwise. It wouldn’t be a foolproof guarantee, but the odds of creating this 3/2 setup should be rather high.

Cons:

  • Risks harm to new players that form premade teams larger than two players.
  • Creates a severe imbalance if matchmaking decides to form a team entirely of new players.
  • Players that prefer all ten players be at a veteran skill level will be forced to suffer four that aren’t, which may lead to social friction.

Pros:

  • Gives veteran players the best chance to meet new players.
  • Gives new players a better chance to experience matches with the intended push-and-pull of territory control, instead of one-sided affairs (especially those that discourage players enough that they quit early.)
  • Allows veteran players to play at or near their maximum skill level, knowing at least three of their opponents will provide worthy opposition.
  • Keeps veterans from having to worry about the best way to spare an opposing team consisting entirely of inexperienced players from suffering a frustrating loss.
  • Provides four fresh player perspectives per match, in hopes they might challenge predictable veteran strategies.
  • Gives veteran players majority vote in a Surrender, that they might swiftly end any match that is identified as unfairly one-sided.

If few or no matches were formed, it would prove without a doubt that mingling with new players in the QM queues is a fool’s errand, and it’d be right back to the 10-mans, with a minimal waste of effort.

In the rare event that this idea seems viable to anyone besides me, I would like to see if the PC Battleborn community can come together over an upcoming weekend, and give this sort of widespread, organized manipulation of the QM queue a try. At this point, what do we have to lose, besides a little bit of our free time?

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This is definitely a good idea in theory. Another problem with this plan is the way matchmaking works right now. If there are any other high level plays in the queue beside the 3 it will grab them before newer players because it tries to make a team of similar skill levels. In the chance that there are no experienced players solo/duo queuing then it would work probably.

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Also a counter proposal that has been thrown around is finding newer players and starting 10 man’s with them. But it gets to a point that we are doing matchmaking’s job for it. And that is just inefficient. Also with ftp players this is not good being as they cant join private matches

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That’s avoiding the core issue, not solving it. The core issue of BB, and what causes the continued bleed out which stymies growth, is that the matchmaking doesn’t work well, and gets even worse with fewer players. While the 10 mans are great for people already invested in the game, the matchmaking is how new players are hooked into a game, and currently it has no good bait. Thus player retention is null.

As for the proposal, I couldn’t see any harm if we could rally players. This would absolutely have to go through the discord and the reddit though. I would say maybe instead of a near weekend, work with the rest of the players to choose a date/range of dates and make sure as many players hear it as possible.

Edit: actually, even better idea. Have this happen the weekend after the next major update, if possible. I know we have absolutely zero knowledge on when the next update will come, but players do tend to spike after updates.

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We tried something like that already with Battleborn Day. The sad thing about it was that there were quite a few cases of full “Battleborn Guide” teams, some stomp teams who always come back when playercount spikes (and then leave again when they have griefed enough) a few people who just are playing that good that they can’t avoid stomping less experienced players unless they play blindfolded and a bunch of “scrubs” (like me) and newbies for whom it basically was a coin toss who has the stronger carries on their team.

Coordination on such a level that everyone plays in 3 stacks is imho impossible.

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No matter what we do the new people will be in the cross fire in pubs unless there is 100% coordination going on which I very highly doubt that will ever happen. 3 v 3 premade with new people will just result in who can farm the new people the fastest for experience then carry after in battle. I can see 1 vet with 4 new people vs the same set up happening but that is extremely rare for matchmaking to set that up. Right now from my experience ever since free trial came out:

  • new players just don’t care about the information and feedback you give them… they just wanna play & have fun.

  • Vets on the other team see you with 4 new people and go try hard to kill you then smash the new people after, thus making a terrible experience for the new people you are trying to help.

I’ve met only a handful of new players that actually appreciated the feedback and advice.

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I’ve tried near everything to create even matches for new players, your suggestion being one thing, and while it worked out pretty well in most cases, I still haven’t seen those new players anymore since then. I feel that they are overwhelmed by all the stuff that’s going on on the screen, and that’s even more an issue with veteran players. And I certainly don’t blame them, rarely have I seen a game that is as action-packed as BB. Learning to focus, heck, even knowing what to prioritise is pretty hard and the diverse characters are a double-edged sword because it takes some time to learn all character’s abilities as well.

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And this is where the solo/duo queue took care of that. The only ones that seemed to dislike it were the ones that needed a good team to support them. Most of the time is was two decent pairs and a solo minus the coordination you’d find with a full pre-made group in [insert voip flavor here].
@Qmzn - Your idea is great in theory but half the time you can’t even fill in a single team of three with two randoms without waiting 30 minutes. So ultimately you’d probably get a full 5v5 after waiting 30-60 minutes. Screw that! lol
But these suggestions, along with things like letting newbies join private matches, are irrelevant since the PC pop is doing so aweso… err… hey, look, squirrel!

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Hard to make theory about QM if theirs barley any players.

A good proposal, I must admit, but there is only one problem.

175 player peak on Steam.

People are not willing to play this game.

With Steam Summer Sale recently ending, I found other websites beginning to initiate their summer bargains as an alluring follow up. Only the microtransactions received a discount during July 1st to 5th, so it provided no incentives for anyone to upgrade to the full game at 33 CDN.

God Eater Rage Burst 2 was 23 CDN. Megadimension Neptunia vii with all DLC was 35 CDN. XCOM2 Deluxe was 31 CDN. Dishonored 2 was 25 CDN. Rise of the Tomb Raider was 28 CDN.

Battleborn failed at the competitive pricing, so it failed at attracting potential players, the vicious cycle continues along with the existing problems this game already faces. Steam players have great deal more options to pick instead of trying to revive a game that barely has a pulse. Why should they waste bandwidth on Battleborn when they can spend it on the new games they just bought?

The problems that plague Battleborn are issues that make people don’t want to play this game. I read from people that the PvP is like 70% complete with MM and balance issues, and the PvE is 70% good since it only has a fraction of Borderlands brilliance, thus it’s like a game that 140%.

Wrong.

That’s not how the math works. In reality it makes it feel like 49% complete, and not a lot of people are going tolerate a game that performs at that caliber -especially on PC.

TLDR: No one wants to play Battleborn. New players have no incentive to upgrade to the full game. Even if Gearbox gives the full game for free, people may not even be willing to spare 44GB on their hard drive or spend that on their monthly bandwidth.

Let’s face it: this game has no future. The franchise may not be doomed if another Battleborn game is attempted again (this time with either full PvP or full PvE, or a much better version of both,) but this game is done, as in done for, with its fate completely sealed. People who have quit are never coming back, and this game has not taken any real advantage of lowering costs or providing decent incentives for newcomers to stay. The audience does not want to play Battleborn.

I’m close to uninstalling myself, to be honest, which I will do as soon as Bots Battle becomes impossible to queue up for on a consistent basis. I couldn’t play on Tuesday after queuing for 4 hours. I’m afraid those will become more and more frequent.

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Yeah, I’ll watch the Discords and such. If we get any advance notice of a major patch, that’s definitely the best time to start pushing a veteran QM “house rules” initiative.

I mean, don’t we all know each other’s names by now? New players are fairly easy to identify, so it’s pretty obvious when a veteran dives on them exclusively and farms them for kill XP. I feel that’s where social pressures need to come in. If it happens on one’s own team, the player is politely told to stop. If it happens on the opposing team, messages are passed to the offending player. Condemnation should have some weight, especially if it comes from known, respected players. Give 'em a yellow card.

Personally, I try not to offer advice unless someone asks, because if someone had offered me advice early on, I probably wouldn’t have listened. Most people I’ve met only learn to tie their shoes after they trip over their own shoelaces, so I think the goal should be to give them enough time to clearly screw up on their own, then reflect on why it happened. That’s how I learned the majority of Battleborn’s… stuff.

Yeah, well, it’s a last act of desperation. Like @Whitethroat says, I’ll bring this up again before the next major patch or other significant change that draws a crowd, so that we can potentially make the best of that influx.

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The Summer update just happened on June 5th 2017. Winter Update happened on January 19th, or a little earlier than that.

With the current trend going on, massive updates and patches will take months to complete. With Gearbox already mobilizing their workforce to work on Borderlands 3 long before this conversation, the next patch will take even longer than the Summer Update if my guess is accurate.

Or worse, there won’t be another patch and will let the game die off as quietly as possible.

Ever since the Summer Update with the increase of the microtransactions costs, it’s has been bothering me. The most obvious factor is that it became much more expensive, since almost everyone hates paying more for stuff. Yet something else was nagging at me and I had to think for a while to come up with why I felt that way. It wasn’t until I was watching a video that it hit me.

Gearbox, and by extension 2K, is playing the short game, which involves the people in charge trying to rake in as much cash from their shrinking fanbase as possible, by raising their prices in their marketplace and didn’t consider putting their full upgrade on sale when every other game on Steam (except Konami, but who cares,) was trying their hardest to get as many people to buy their game who visited the Steam store.

Everything after the Summer update GBX, by extension 2K, is to play the short game, and this short game is the suckers game for the people playing it, which is the player base. The short game is only a viable tactic when the direction of the game plan cannot be sustained, and this is especially evident when nothing Gearbox has done so far can consistently keep the Battleborn numbers on Steam at a steady 2000, no, go with 1000, so instead of incorporating new ideas such as actually decreasing the prices in the short term to gather a healthier playerbase, no, that’s already inefficient or an effort no longer worthwhile. What they seem to be doing is, like I stated a few paragraphs above, is to pull as many people as quietly as possible to the Borderlands team before they have to publicly announce that Gearbox is now fully dedicated on Borderlands 3.

You can bet my bank account that people will stop buying microtransactions the moment the developer and publisher formally announces they are officially moving on by committing their entire workforce.

And people went on ahead and dumped hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on Magnus Packs just to discover that their game is no longer supported much sooner than they expected, holy, there would be grief. I wouldn’t even be surprised the microtransactions in Battleborn are all going into the Borderlands 3 budget. And I’m confident that Gearbox and 2K have a general idea how much life they want to give this game before the inevitable server shut down, therefore the short game to get as much money from their players as possible given that this game has no future.

So what I’m trying to relay is that you may not even get a chance to test your proposal unless the people in charge are willing to attempt at a long game. But can they even do that with the fundamental problems that plague this product? It would take Gearbox to tear this game apart and build it anew, which I doubt will happen.

And with their 3v3 modes, yeah, they have even more balance issues on their hands. How do you start to balance your characters that excels in 3v3 but mediocre in 5v5 or vice versa? Good luck trying to fix your sedan after dropping the Statue of Liberty on top of it.

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I’d say a lot of video game companies based in the US are playing the short game right now, unfortunately – especially publishers.

I’m not sure how much of this really comes from Gearbox, though. They usually aren’t ponying up the dough. I’ll preface by saying that, from my experience, priority one for any business is keeping the lights on. You don’t want to be the guy or gal that has to tell everyone it’s over, to pack it all up in boxes and uproot, especially if families have settled in and kids are in school.

So I see why 2K is doing what they’re doing, looking hard at the bottom line, for the ostensible benefit of everyone. I don’t agree with it, though. I think they’d be better off cutting the game free and loose and taking a little bit of risk, instead of trying to prey on whales and collectors for that last bit of cash money.

They also have an unfortunate history of tightening their grip when a high-profile project isn’t meeting their expectations – see Bioshock: Infinite, although you’ll have to check backup archives, as most anecdotes about its troubles were quickly pulled from the web, which sort of confirms their veracity, sadly.

If that’s where BL3 is at right now, in the weeds, and all that tension is bleeding over into Battleborn, then I think everyone is probably having a rough time, be they developer, publisher, subcontractor, whatever. They all probably need less critique and more hugs, which is why I’ve been trying to dial back my ire. They’re only human.

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All I know is the short game is being played, and I generally don’t care who issued the order.

I should’ve made this point on my previous post, but the concept of the VIP pass is another sign of their short game mentality. Ever wonder why Double XP or credits don’t happen anymore? Well, now with VIP pass, you can have them whenever you want, just cough up the dough, open up your eyeball and let your money flow!

A lot of effort went into the marketplace and it shows. This is obviously not a compliment.

When you play the short game it means that you don’t trust in the product, don’t respect the talent behind it, don’t care about the fans, the characters, the lore, the game play, the company, nothing, and you know everything is a house of cards about to
collapse so you’re just trying desperately to cash in as much as possible before you’re found out. That’s sad.

Remember Augment Your Pre-Order for Deux Ex: Wallet Divided? That glorious PR disaster did wonders for the sales of the game, and the game went on 75% off in Summer 2017 because people won’t buy it otherwise. I refuse to buy Square Enix games if they aren’t at a 66% discount minimum from that day onward.

Maybe the people in charge should loosen the grip and let the game be less restrictive. Perhaps only then there will be some success, which is better than none.

It’s just sad.

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im pretty sure the fgu is still full price because a) its not difficult to unlock a small general roster of characters, b) they want sales on individual parts, not the fg- notice theres always sales in the mp now, which they shouldve been doing from the start, imo.
the vip pass was supposed to be in the wu, which as we know was supposed to be out before christmas. we knew about it even prior to that, so its been a thing for ages, its nothing new, and not a response to anything within the past 6 months.

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My point is that the competition is extremely fierce, aggressive, tenacious and will never stop trying to rake in new players. The easiest way is to reduce the financial barrier of entry, and probably more vital if the game isn’t doing well to begin with.

Battleborn, in my eyes, isn’t competitive in this area and are continously getting royally schooled by being stagnant. We got Warhammer The End Times Vermintide on 67% discount with a free DLC right now, and the discount has been on since the summer sale. Their population is low too, not as terrible as Battleborn, but are constantly making aggressive strides to attract players. Why do I not see this fire and energy in Battleborn?

Thus my short game argument in my previous posts.

It’s a defeatist mentality.

This isn’t going to motivate anyone to buy the game or play the game.

As for the VIP pass thing, yea, who cares when it is intended to come out? The optics is that the game is struggling even more in June compared to January so they spent more time and efforts in their microtransactions to reap as much cash from their dwindling player base. It doesn’t look good whatsoever. Can you blame anyone for believing that? My brother asked me that question the other day, why are they (GBX) seemingly spending way more effort than they should be in microtransactions? Isn’t the game in turmoil? Is microtransactions their main priority? Why should I install the game now?

How do you want me to answer him?

I can’t even persuade my brother, who has the full game in his inventory, to add the game on Steam, let alone spend the bandwidth to download it. It’s going to be phenomenally more difficult to convince a potential newcomer.

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After the season pass content is out, im sure its the only thing keeping the servers online. Usually thats how I’d expect the publisher to fund it, anyway.
It’s a vicious cycle - there were problems from the start and BB has always been behind. There’s not much we can advertise to others except ‘try it and see if you like it’ as actual passion for the game is the only reason to play it. It’s all that keeps people playing on pc. Sadly, with ftp players not being able to play private matches, it limits their pvp capability on pc since most pvp on there occurs in private. So you needs to like bots battle on pc to be a ftp players basically.
And if you decide bots are too easy but you like the game, that may warrant getting a FGU to play with the private pvp community.
LucFal is a great example that while BB has a harsh learning curve, if you want to play PVP, you still can on pc (he joined in like march or something and was playing pvp within a month or so iirc). he plays in 10 mans and was in the league as well. He came ‘online’ very quickly by asking to spectate to learn, asking questions, and just taking the time to get better at the game that he found out he enjoyed.

So I just ask people to give the game a shot, and if they like it, to buy it, because the ftp version on pc is not good enough for the smol population.

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Not many people have the stamina and the necessary time to build up their skill enough to survive in PvP. I played for roughly 500 hours, but I’m active since the open beta and spent almost all the time I had for gaming in Battleborn.

Getting into casual private sessions was difficult for me (I mostly was that person who always was a little bit too late), competitive private sessions are not a place I feel welcome in (I can’t use a mic and I’m not a good player - I don’t want to ruin the session for 9 people who try to play a good game). Public queues became problematic when I had to wait for longer than I really could justify.

I did focused training for the game in public and private bot matches, I was lucky to have met someone through reddit who introduced me to a few people I can sometimes play with, I had some positive experiences after I came back to PvP, but I’m still lacking the necessary self-confidence.

When I play PvP, I have to focus and concentrate. It’s exhausting sometimes - but has been fun lately.

I just can’t imagine how the situation is for new players.