A possibly reasonable response to the May 3rd BATTLEBORN launch

First and foremost, let me state that I am not an employee of Gearbox in any form. I am not remunerated by them in any fashion, nor will anything I say necessarily reflect the opinions of Gearbox in general, or any members of their staff.

I’m speaking solely as a Gearbox customer, who was given the opportunity to moderate their forums.

A short while prior to becoming a moderator I penned the following thread; A possibly reasonable response to the Oct 29th, 2015 Patch, which expressed a few questions I had towards the detractions of a particular patch. I was simply presenting an alternative way of viewing the circumstance as a possibility. Not deriding the frustrations or issues which may have come as a result of the patch. I wish to do the same in this instance.

I will in no way be moderating this thread. That will be left up to the rest of the staff. I will also go so far as to say that I have beseeched the staff that any particular borderline derisive comments which we do not allow against our users, be allowed so long as they’re directed towards me and the content of my message in this thread.

As a business owner myself, I must say first that I do sympathize with the predicament Gearbox have been placed in. There is no such thing as a perfect launch, and this one was no exception to that rule. There is always an added difficulty when by no design of your own, your product must be placed against a paradigm of scrutiny that is wholly based off of juxtaposition. I’ve always found that a strange practice when criticism by comparison was common in film and literature, and I find it to be no different now that it is used in gaming. I’ve always judged every work on its own merits, and not against some forced subjective checklist. Yes, there is an opportunity cost in gaming, namely that one ‘could be playing something else’. I would like to think although that the majority of the gaming community has better senses to them than that. To belittle the unique experience which is felt when one undergoes a journey is something that has troubled the gaming community from its outside detractors in the past, yet I believe that it is often used as a tool of expressing preference within the community itself.

Now there is good reason for some to have frustrations with what they feel to be poor communication on behalf of Gearbox in regards to features present on certain versions of the game. The language in particular did lead to some confusion. I’m not denying that if I were in the circumstance of some of the users who were very much looking forward to accessing certain characters immediately, I too would be displeased. What I would not feel though is any long term frustration or dislike against the producer of the said game. Now, I’m speaking solely from my point of view, but I do have some experience with the topic.

Long before I became a moderator (or even a user) on these forums, I purchased for my friend a version of the “Game of the Year” edition of Borderlands 2, thinking all the DLCs were with it. It did unfortunately lack one content pack, namely the “Raid on Digistruct Peak”, which ironically was what I wanted his help with originally!

One could’ve made an argument that perhaps I should’ve read the box a little more carefully and not make an assumption. Sure, I just as easily could’ve made an argument that ‘Game of the Year’ titles tend to entitle all the content, and complained that Gearbox should’ve been more descriptive. But I really found no basis for this. I was playing the second game in a series I loved, and I had already come to appreciate what I recognized to be countless hours of work. That wasn’t the defining factor though, as the crux of it was a simple realization. Gearbox is a privately owned company that produces titles painstakingly with a crew that numbers less than three hundred. Meaning they have 5% of the employees of some of their major competitors, and as nothing more than a customer of theirs, now and at that day, I knew that they relied on making me happy. They’re as dependent on me returning with satisfaction as I am with my customers.

They’re not your international burger chain, with 1 billion served, nor are they your mom-and-pop shop down the street. They’re something in between. Blessed with enough success to spread their ideas and product to an international audience, but not large enough to rely solely on massive production. They’re very much your Michelin starred chef.

In my eyes, it makes little sense to presume that Gearbox is attempting to alienate their fans or attempting to “pull the wool over their eyes”, as it makes for poor business practice for a company who is attempting to compete. I’m not making some grandiose claim that Gearbox are ‘solely doing it for the love of the game’, they are after all professionals, and this is their means of income. But I will say to you the same thing I tell my customers when they tell me; “You never steer me wrong Giu!” Which is;

I do it for myself.

Granted, I do genuinely care about my customers in some degree of the word, and I do appreciate them. Overall though, I recognize that if I were to ever be dishonest with them, it would mean my own downfall in the long run. A short term gain with an incredibly long term loss. Sure, I toss the occasional annoying customer out of my shop when they’re getting on my nerves and they’re not worth the gain, so in many ways; Gearbox does have that above me.

In the past two years that I’ve been frequenting these forums, I have seen at least four different instances where the demands of the fans were met by this company. Gearbox staff chose to work extra hours to alter the game in such a way that reflected the desires of the community, for no other reason than to follow through with what they believe to be a moral contract of responsibility of good customer service. We are a few days in to the launch of a game, where the developers have been working at an astonishing pace to fine tune a product which was well polished to begin with. This level of dedication to the fans isn’t altruism, and I’m not painting them to be saints, but it is most certainly a great level of professionalism, and it is one we’ve seen in the past from them.

I recently purchased the third installment of a series I played in my youth, by a company whose games I purchase all the time (I’d wager I purchase more from this company than most any other). For the sake of integrity, I will not name them. The game was in short; a giant disappointment. It seemed to have a fraction of the content of their predecessor which came out a console prior to it, and the plotline had been condensed and made bawdy for the sake of nothing more than cheap shock value. I will most likely vote with my wallet and no longer buy any game in the series. What I did not do is level any threats to the producers of the game as to how I planned to purchase in the future. I find the idea of “threatening” to do something to be a form of narcissism on my behalf which does more to satisfy myself than actually aid the developer of the gaming industry in any fashion.

If I am to have an unpleasant experience in a restaurant, so long as it does not violate any facet of decency, I will simply not show up again. I also do my best to qualify human error and not allow minutia to be the concentration of my experience. I’ve been going to the same Indian place for years. Two months back I told them to put extra naan bread on my to-go package. They charged me for it, and they did not place it in. I could’ve railed against the error, which clearly had no malice, but what I did was simply explain to them the error the next time I dined there. They needed no proof, they simply took me at my word and comped me a few beers.

There has been a great deal of concentration on certain aspects of the game. All of which do not affect core gameplay. Those who feel misled as to certain versions of the game, have the right to voice their concern with this issue, but railing against a video game producer whose product you may have come to trust, over that minutia, seems to be extreme.

Battleborn is, at least to my experience, something incredibly enjoyable and unique game which I’m quite happy they produced. There are things which I would change about the game as they do not suit me and the way I choose to play, but they’d be selfish. I do not presume that the game must be tailored to suit me, as I recognize that there is an ultimate goal to be met. I must adapt to a game, and not the other way around.

My days are 11 hours long, and they’re at least 5 days a week. I take time out of my day, with joy, in order to moderate these forums. The games this company has produced have provided me with countless hours of laughs and excitement with my Missus. We’ve bonded over this product and I can tell when a producer of any art form pours their heart in to what they do. I do enjoy being a small part of something that genuinely brings people joy, especially if it has had that effect on me.

I do not think that I am alone in some degree of sentimentality towards many of the users on this board. The support for Battleborn, by both new users and seasoned ones, has been incredible. Commendations, congratulations, and overall praise has been expressed by many users towards the Developers who worked hard to produce a product they are proud of. This support doesn’t go unnoticed. As anyone who has met many of these developers in person will tell you of the heart felt appreciation they have for their community. I can assume it derives from the knowledge that they get to do what they love, namely producing great video games, solely because they’re given this level of support.

While there are several incredibly valid concerns with the Battleborn release which include log-in issues, and match readiness. As well as niggling issues with skins and other minor features, I do see Battleborn as being incredibly entertaining and as well thought out as anyone could hope for. I would like to think, perhaps simply out of my naivety, that the gaming community will often band together and see the bigger picture on many of these scenarios. That we will prove wrong the slew of accusations hurled against us, in the general sense, which claim that we’re either petty, short-sighted, or add a grandiose stroke to something which doesn’t qualify as an art form. I genuinely worry that if we continue to release a salvo against every game producer, for everything that resembles a minor error, we will only grant those who can ignore us and still succeed the ability to survive.

I’m in a position where I invest more in this company than the average person, and if anyone should’ve felt betrayed, perhaps it was I. I saw the product as it was, and I felt incredibly satisfied with the hours I spent maintaining this place with the wonderful moderating crew I’m in, to do my small part to assist in the release. Perhaps that makes me a fool in some standard, but I’d gladly take that risk if it means giving a company like this one the opportunity to express itself.

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Should have included a TLDR. Battleborn is good, not great. They still need to fix a lot of issues.

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Giuvito has posted this with thoughtfulness, sincerity, and in good faith. Please respond in a like manner. Thank you.

Otherwise, we’ll release the cute animal pics.

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In fairness, it is up to people whether or not they choose to read it. Found no reason to put up a cliff notes.

Also, TLDR’s are infamous victims of summary bias.

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And the thread discussing the twitter Q&A indicates that the devs are working on pretty much all of the issues which the community have brought up in the last week since release.
Some things will take more time than others…but all signs point to them working to create the best gaming experience they possibly can.

Edited: Edited to just indicate agreement with the OP’s post that GB cares about the game…by referencing the Jythri Q&A. All other items removed.

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Whilst we’re going to be limiting our intervention in this thread somewhat, as per Giuvito’s request, we’ll still be hoping to minimise conflict between other posters. Please bear that in mind when replying.

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As @Psychichazard said.

Please do feel free to disagree vehemently against me, but the same rules as always apply for ALL other users.

I’m optimistic, because whether projections were correct or if the game is falling short of expectation it is designed with long term strategic gameplay. Where others in the field will probably be flash in the pan, fun for a weekend sort of action experiences I expect this one will be the type to slowly build as more people are drawn in and the balance improves.

Good post, I agree with above that it is good but not great yet. A little too much gameplay imbalance between modes, characters, etc. but all fixable if they address it quickly.

No.

Exactly. That and anybody who read a summary wouldn’t get the full sense of what you’re trying to convey, Giu. I don’t like TL:DR summaries because they tend to make the reader lazy in that they don’t have to read the author’s post and comprehend what the author is trying to say. Therefore, they cannot really make a proper decision based on what they read. In other words, TL:DRs promote laziness in the readers of a post and shouldn’t be used.

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That was a very interesting read, and from a point of view that I personally don’t have connection to (not a business owner, not a moderator)…

While some of it probably didn’t sink in the way you probably would like it to (it’s early in Australia…), I’d like to say apart from the general hiccups that Battleborn has faced (bugs, map issues, etc etc on this forum), I’ve overall enjoyed it…

Yes I’ve penned a couple of topics about issues I’ve faced, BUT…

I like gearbox, and I preordered the game (before original February release) before playing the beta, just because it was a gearbox/2k game… Am I a chump, buying into what I consider a trusted brand?.. Yeah okay, I am… Beta or no beta, I was buying it.

But I think a lot of people these days get wrapped up in the opinions of others, they will buy something based on a review, or won’t buy something based on a review, they will or won’t based on what a friend or work mate said, and just assume something is ‘bad’ without even trying it for themselves… If it’s said enough, it’s seemed to be believed…

I loathe this approach in our society…

Why can’t we buy/watch/play/read/etc something just because “we like it/we want to”…

If people stopped thinking/dwelling/overanalysing all these things, maybe they would get the true enjoyment they seek…

Is Battleborn perfect? That’s up to every ‘individual’, so I won’t say yes or no…

I appreciate that gearbox has this forum, and allows fans/members to attribute their likes and dislikes, but by no means are we members of staff… And we shouldn’t start acting like we made the product or could do better… I certainly couldn’t!

I don’t know their budgets, their time frames, their business structure… None of it…

But I do know how to buy their product, and whatever happens after that, what my personal view of it is, is just that, ‘mine’, I don’t want it to anyway trickle over to the minds of the gearbox staff…

Sometimes it’s simple…

Appreciation, over expectation…

Expectations, often aren’t lived up to…

But appreciation, it’s always a winner.

(Sorry if all this had no connection to what you originally said… As I started out… It’s early and maybe it didn’t sink in the way you intended, haha)

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Giuvito too OP. Needs nerf.

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I played in the CTT but skipped the beta due to its size and my metered Internet, but I knew from playing the CTT I was going to play this game and pre-ordered enough copies for me, my wife, and our friend to play. We’re all currently having a blast despite some issue here and there, which should be patched soon.

I’m glad you wrote this thread, Giu, because I was getting rather depressed at seeing all of the various incarnations of “Battleborn will fail when Overwatch is released!” and “OW is better than BB!” and “This game sucks, don’t spend your money!” I get that it’s not for everybody, but enough is enough. If you don’t like the game, return it and get your money back; don’t come on here and call GBX or 2k names simply because your expectations weren’t met. While you certainly have a right to express your opinion, speculating about this game’s future does nobody any good. Anyway, I saw an article that stated BB debuted at #1 on the UK sales charts, so people are buying it. Once more people see how it is, they’re likely to try it as well, especially after some of the issues can be addressed.

Giu always have been OP

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Sorry, I’m new to all this, what’s CTT?
Battleborn was the first beta I’ve ever played, first time playing online with other players, and this is the first gaming forum I’ve ever joined… (I don’t know what MOBA or any of those terms I see people use mean either)…
I just buy games, because I like playing them… Very simple, haha.

@elle_tee

Interesting. And by all means, let the conversation flow as you will! It is the best way to get some good ideas going.

This is a very good point. Often times, the people making these “reviews” are just as qualified as any other player. They aren’t more seasoned than their counterparts, nor do they have some sort of advantage in a higher formal education on the topic.

They’re just a fan, fortunate enough to be put on a platform where others listen to their opinions.

They’re not Wilde.

HONESTLY, you guys make it worth posting on here every day. Thanks for the support.

It means a lot (especially from you two).

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[quote=“Giuvito, post:1, topic:1432367, full:true”]I genuinely worry that if we continue to release a salvo against every game producer, for everything that resembles a minor error, we will only grant those who can ignore us and still succeed the ability to survive.
[/quote]

And, sadly, the opposite is true too ! If we continue to praise to all heavens games solely based on a developper’s good name, even when they’ve been deceiving their players/clients for years with products and commercial choices that seem to go a little lower and lower each time, we, as responsable clients/players are leading the “good” developpers into a wall. Why ? Because those who refuse to resort to low commercial strategies to sell bad games shipped in a tempest of fluff, will inevitably suffer. Those honest, profesionnal devs and companies will work hard around the clock to deliver a product people will just look at from a distance and say, “meh, can’t buy it now anyway, already spent my money”. Battleborn may be kind of suffering from this, by the way.

Obviously I won’t point fingers, but let’s say one company I loved a lot, whose dedication more or less inspired what I wanted to do for a living, has been deceiving and disappointing me for … Around 8 years now. I’ll never buy one of their titles ever again. I just wish, now, they would just go quietly into the night, leaving me with the memories of their past glory.
Truth is, they are probably even more popular than before. Everybody loves them, even if they doubled, tripled the magic tricks to make you look somewhere in awe while they hastily deliver a half-finished product full of bullsh!t.

Another company also chose the “hey look at our 4 fake gameplay videos per week for our upcoming title!”, and even if every time, people are angry and feel betrayed by the real, final product, they see the new videos and say “hey! looks like they finally got their sh!t together! totally gonna buy this one day one!” and are inevitably disappointed. Still the cycle goes on : “well, title X was bad and I was lied to, but hey! X-2 will be released in 10 months and looks so damn good! Imma gonna pre-purchase RIGHT NOW!”.

Gearbox now has his very own skeletons. Lots - way too many - DLCs for Borderlands 2, the failures of Duke Nukem and Aliens Colonial Marines, mixed opinions about PreSequel… Even if they mostly didn’t develop some of those, they are still branded “Gearbox”.
Gearbox also don’t have the same history and communication and money as those two companies I won’t name. So people tend to be less forgiving, much more cautious, or just not care at all until it’s Borderlands, because Borderlands.
It’s sad, really.
That’s, however, the “normal” attitude for a client. You feel cheated, you take things cautiously. It doesn’t help that public video game website and communities won’t care either when it’s not a title or a brand that will generate clicks and money, so they tend to not care about anything that isn’t the next big thing from company XXX.
However, Borderlands and BL2 got me going for so long that I still, at least, keep an eye out for “real” Gearbox work. WHEN IS BORDERLANDS 3 COMING GOD FRAKING DAMNIT !!1! cough sorry. It’s late.

Battleborn, ironically, I initially took for a Carbine Studio game because of the visuals. I still think the guys at Gearbox got some Carbine artists after maybe the massive layoff that happened in the wake of Wildstar failure, but that’s an entirely different topic. Truth be told, I only turned to Battleborn because I had the unfortunate chance of having been able to play Overwatch Closed Beta quite early, and really wanted a comparison point. I refused to think OW, that I didn’t like, could be the next reference and would set the bar so low for this kind of game. Yes, I know now the comparison wasn’t fair. It’s just how I came to Battleborn.

So I jumped in the last open beta week end before release, and what do you know? I bought Battleborn and even if I were to be gifted an Overwatch, I wouldn’t want it.

Battleborn is a fantastic game that still needs polishing and content. It’s by no mean perfect. It’s good, it’s fun, it’s fast, it’s beautiful, there seems to be a nice community. I precisely ask for no less than that in a game. More is always welcome, obviously. Less would have been … Regrettable.

Anyway, I hope Gearbox will provide for the future. There are issues to be fixed first, I know a few things are coming soon™. I think you as forum moderators are doing a great job at trying to be patient, helpful, and not mindless censor bots. I think you are trying hard to make the good feedback brought to light. I hoep this dedication will bear fruits and Battleborn can become the future reference in its almost unique genre.

edit: gosh that was longer than I expected. Hoping I made some sense in my rant. I’m French, I rant, it’s what I do. \o/

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@wolrajh

All valid points and concerns, but let me discuss some of them in depth.

The opposite is very true, but both circumstances call of a measured response. Placing laurels or wreaths on every action is what causes the degeneration, but sensationalism demands more often for something to be skewered than it does praise.

People are more interested in seeing the fall, and due to this, between the two scenarios (while both are equally degenerative) the chances are that the former will be more likely.

Think me and you might be thinking of the same, but we’ll leave that at that.

I think this is an issue with all reporting in general, and it goes way beyond the scope of something as simple as game releases. But I do see what you meant. The “equaling” of the reporting plain allowed both for more content, as well as less quality content per capita.

Sounded perfectly reasonable to me. I enjoyed it.

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Last November GBX invited about a thousand or so players into their Closed Technical Test, where they tested the servers under load and some early parts of the game. Those of us who participated can’t go into detail because it was a pre-beta build and things have changed since then and the open beta. Even though the story was basically half of a mission, I still enjoyed the hell out of it and couldn’t wait until the game was released. I haven’t looked back since.

image

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I will say I agree with everything the OP said. There is way too much ranting and hating in these forums(it’s the internet what can you do “shrugs”). I will say one thing however and It’s that those who complain only really complain because they wanted to like the game but don’t for X or Y reasons that are usually pretty trivial(but everyone has their opinions). Myself being someone who is easily influenced by others see these posts and I try not to get swept along by them simple because: I love this game. It is honestly one of the most fun games I’ve played in a while. I honestly hope that people will stick around for it as It can only get better from here on. Closing off with an analogy most(?) people might not know. This game is like weathered weapons from the Monster hunter series. When you get them they aren’t that good but you know that they will be when you upgrade them. This however takes time(and many, many, many earth crystals) but the end result is something that kicks ass.

Just to clarify: DNF had a dev story worth of a book. GBX only finished the job 3DR wasn’t able.