Battleborn: The Real Issue or How Gearbox Killed Battleborn

Hello everybody! So I have been playing a game which isn’t Battleborn. This is sad because I loved Battleborn! I was one of it’s main supporters. I convinced quite a few friends to buy it for $60 because the PvP was amazing! Then the game released, and much to the dismay of people like myself who had been warning Gearbox of the mistake they were about to make, they killed it.

How did Gearbox kill their baby? The NEW IP? They encouraged all competitive PvP players to go play other games. But Arcie, I don’t remember a notice from Gearbox saying to leave Battleborn! What are you talking about? Gear. The gear system killed Battleborn. The best PvP system in the world can’t save a game when competitive players are forced to grind PvE content to get random loot drops with varied stats!

Gearbox, you needed to choose and you couldn’t decide. You wanted a game that wasn’t Borderlands, so you created Borderlands. People who play competitive FPS and MOBA games don’t want to farm a boss for hours to get the rare drop. They don’t want that moment of getting the perfect weapon or armor from a monster. They don’t want to worry about how much work needs to be done in order to be able to equip for PvP. This isn’t an MMO. The crowd is different. The rules are different. FIX IT!

How can you fix this mess? That’s simple. Rework the entire gear system. Gear for PvE should be whatever the hell you want it to be. But make it PvE only. Everything that currently exists should be left in, but make it ONLY FOR PvE!!! Then, create a gear system using in-game currency gained from PvP matches. Let users spend that on a fixed gear shop without random packs. Let people buy the finely tuned balanced items. Give a list of 30 or 40 items of varying rarity but FIXED STATS! Stop trying to make everything so random and let the PvP stand on it’s own.

The last thing you have to do to get players back here and get people buying skins and DLC is make the PvP free to play! Those of us that paid, let us keep the missions, but make all of the story paid content. The gear is now not behind the pay wall so the PvP can encourage a competitive scene. The Missions are fun and will draw that crowd and people can make purchases as they see fit. The DLC will add more diversity to this. Also, if you have to, make a rotating free roster similar to League of Legends or let players pick one faction to start with and make the other characters unlockable with in-game currency or quick pass with real money. Us $60 backers get to keep our characters because we backed your game when we didn’t know how badly you were going to screw it up.

Looking at steam, the last 48 hours had 96 players in Battleborn online at ONE TIME! Paladins, at the same time was at 14,000. I don’t want to guess what Overwatch had. You can’t blame Blizzard for this one. You can’t blame 2k. You decided to hide gear behind PvE and that was when you told the competitive scene to get the hell out. You killed this community, now fix it and make some money off of it! The lore is there, the character is there, the humor is there, the modes are there. You are releasing patches for the, maybe 200 people who still play your game, so you obviously care about it. MAKE it worth playing again. Make these changes and sponsor a paid league. The only thing stopping Battleborn from being a competitive eSport is you and 2k.

This was written with much love. I would give up Paladins if Battleborn were the game it should have been. Get the community jump started with a complete gear overhaul and a F2P PvP model. Make it happen. Until then, I miss you Montana!


I know this was mentioned a while back by the competitive battleborn community. Give a fixed inventory to all the PvP players. These are the items you can choose from and that’s it. Have unique icons for legendary items.

A while back it was mentioned that GBX was looking into making a Draft Mode, but haven’t heard about it for some time now.

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Hm. Of all the reasons I did not expect gear to be the one you’d pick. Nonetheless I agree and like your idea to make PvP have a fixed gear pool, LoL style.

Also, you confuse concurrent players with total players. There have been about 18,000 unique players on pc over the last two weeks. ( Considering pc is doing the worst, you can reasonably say we’re at least 50,000 strong across all three platforms.

Ultimately I really think it’s too late. This first dlc wasn’t impressive enough to keep old players interest, and I don’t think there’s anymore chances to change the public opinion.


You lost me with f2p. They’re already making a free trial which I think is enough. I agree with the first part though, but they can’t go back now. Countless have farmed PVE for Bola’s or some such, and making it unusable in PVP would be a slap in the face. This should be a thing on battleborn 2 though (which I expect to come after borderlands 3 and a spinoff game or other venture). All the same though, there are worse problems. This is one, bug not even close to the largest concern rn, or biggest existent problem


Gear? Really? This is the first time I’ve ever heard anyone say that the game is “dying” because of gear. No one is being forced to grind bosses for gear. I can’t stress how unnecessary and unimportant that is. You can play-and win- matches without ever having to equip any gear or legendary gear, for that matter.

Everyone can unlock their character’s legendary item by completing their lore if you really want legendaries that badly. They really are the best pieces of gear in the game, and you don’t even need them to win.

You get currency from playing PvP which you can then spend on gear packs which also have a chance to give you legendary gear. How, exactly, is not having every piece of legendary gear " killing" the game?


Gear is huge to a real PvP community because PvPers love to theory craft, but more importantly, not PvE. When a community of competitive players sees a game with a competitive mode, the last thing they want to be told is “gear is behind PvE farming!”

Now, unless a LOT has changed since I played last, you still need to farm bosses for those specific legendaries. I do know legendaries have been standardized. But still, someone who wants to play a PvP game doesn’t want to farm Isaac for hours for one of his 3 exclusives to finish a competitive build. Whether or not you think PvP needs gear, any extra power is sought in competitive games. To get this community back, that gear needs to be removed from the PvE wall.

This game was always going to live or die by its competitive community. The design choices made by Gearbox to have MMO style gear drops killed that communities interest and the lack of a ranking mode just put the nail in the coffin.


With all respect to the problems that legendary gear poses for balance, I don’t think it even ranks in the top ten reasons for Battleborn’s difficulties. I’d rank lack of marketing at #3, the Overwatch release at #2, and matchmaking at a comfortable #1.

The present MM system forms a team either completely at random (Quick Match) or using a rather permissive Elo (Incursion.) It then forms a second team using the same method, and it pits these teams against each other.

It does not match-make based on player experience (CR). A fair system would, first, attempt to find ten players of roughly equivalent ability; then, second, it would distribute those ten players into two equal teams, rather than matching two teams of five (the equivalent of the TV chef reaching into the fridge for “something I prepared earlier.”)

It also does not match-make based on fairness of connection. Instead it supplies the server that allows a majority best connection: if eight players have perfect connections, and two have unplayable connections, it will still allow that game to be matched. This forces those two players into an invidious situation: if they play on, they will have a miserable time and quite possibly cost their team the match, but if they quit, they even more overtly spoil the game and damage their reputations besides.

A fairer system would only permit games to begin on servers with the best average ping - so that, for example, Australians would always play on West Coast, not East Coast servers. Given there’s no such failsafe, even Australians who legitimately passionately love the game (like me) can’t recommend it to our friends, and that’s an awful dilemma.

Sometimes I think I must be mad to keep playing the game, given the connectivity issues I face. Then I see Mellka wiggle her ears at the character select screen, sigh wistfully, and keep on going…


Nah it wasn’t gear bro. Even back when there were some super broken gear.

It’s because the game launched right. No ranked, no broadcaster, no draft mode. To this day we still don’t have ranked or a drafter mode, and broadcaster is messed up because you can technically cheat using the ping system. The competitive side of things were never going to stay in the game because there is no ranked or drafting. This game just doesn’t cater to that side of things.

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Honestly it’s the game’s poor launch (marketing and timing) and the still broken matchmaking. Gear is an issue but not the decisive one. Gear can be discussed, rebalanced and reworked even if it’s initial conception doesn’t fare well.

Having a poor launch, lacking many features that most thriving multiplayer and pvp games have, and poor matchmaking all resulting in a negative reputation that won’t vanish anytime soon, that is far more troublesome. Having said problems work it even deeper into a hole since most players quit amplifies those issues. And f2p won’t fix those issues, in fact a bad f2p launch could potentially exasperate those problems and make BB’s reputation plummet even more than it already has.

Before measures like f2p are even considered, the existing issues that caused most paying day one players to quit the game need to be addressed. Unfortunately, that time frame has already came and passed for those issues to have been fixed in what player’s consider a reasonable time. The longer BB goes without those issues being addressed, the less relevant it becomes.


I think the fixed gear idea is pretty cool but just like everyone else I think it’s mostly the match making, having nothing to look foward to post lv 100 and no type of draft/ranked mode.

I haven’t been using legendary gear for months and still winning matches with green/blue gear. Regular gear is extremely easy to get.


I feel there is no “one” thing that destroyed the game. There were lots of things.

The gear system is far from perfect, but compared to other things, I still find it to be low priority


I thought we were talking about gear here? OP, you know about the lootpocalypse events right? Drop rates have never been better since; Even if you don’t find what you are looking for, I’m certain that you can often find epic gear with very similar stats to it’s legendary counterpart.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m waiting for Gearbox to finish their contractual obligations and sticking around afterwards because this game still has so much potential. This game is fun, and I will keep playing until it stops being fun. Which is probably never.


I agree, the gear system needs to be fixed. All builds and characters that are OP are OP because they get OP gear. I personally think they eliminate gear for PvP in general.

But if you want a wrinkle, something you could do is add a boost based on the skin you wear.
Base, gold, and grey skins give no bonus (gold and grey because they come from shift codes).
Lvl 4- Move Speed Bonus
Lvl 8- Sprint Speed Bonus
Lvl 11- Cooldown Reduction
Lvl 14- Health Boost
Master and premium skins- Skill Damage (This may seem like pay to play, but considering you can now master a character in a day or two of playing, I am fine with that).
White- Attack Speed
Purple/Yellow- Attack Damage
Purple/Blue thing- Damage Reduction.

I am just throwing out an idea, but gear does need to be reworked. This game is great and I grind when I want to complete challenges, not get gear.

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There’s always a subset of competitive players that think the fate of the game hinges on them and if there’s something they don’t like–having to grind for some gear in pve for example–then that is why the game is failing.

Gear is a non issue in this game. It’s generally easy to get and doesn’t usually do that much. The only legendary I consider a must have is Ambra’s. Lately, I’m not even using that much expensive gear because the matches are over before you have time to buy them.

The Cardinal sin of this game is the lack of matchmaking. Someone starting this game now, will almost certainly go up against people that have hundreds of hours of time invested in the game. Under these circumstances, the competitive players are the nail in the coffin. They are what’s choking the remainder of the life out of the game. What are the traits of competitive players?:

  1. they team with other competitive players rather than mixing with randoms in the queue.
  2. they gravitate towards high performance BB.
  3. they roll actual team comps, as opposed to random teams where novices play what they feel comfortable with.
  4. they will generally claim that they don’t like stomping pubs, but when you encounter them in matches they will mangle your team horribly unless you surrender early.
  5. In the event that they end up in a random team, they will deride the other people in the team if things don’t go their way.

No, gearbox doesn’t need to rework the gear system. They need to address the fact that people are waiting 15 minutes for matches and then are being set up against teams that vastly outclass them. If this game goes f2p, with no solution to this problem, new players will come in and be fodder for a brief time and then leave. Just like all the previous bumps from sales and whatnot.


How about just disabling gear in PVP all together? Problem solved.

Plus, it would stop all of the amazing PVE gear from being nerfed into oblivion because it’s OP in PVP.

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So in one of the mental mars videos, the dev (I think Randy, but I can’t remember), he makes an offhand comment about how they were considering a gear system based on recipes but he said it made some characters broken, like a boldur who couldn’t die and just walk up to the sentry and fight the whole team at once. Considering this can still happen, I don’t think they fixed all the problems with gear.

Matchmaking is a problem with the game, but if the player base was larger, matchmaking wouldn’t be a big problem. The problem is player retention. This game has a huge learning curve and no training or tutorial in the game. The only way to learn the game is to get crushed over and over in PvP is not fun.


Overwatch killed the Battleborn star…


This is perfect. Exactly what he said!

I agree matchmaking is the biggest problem. However, just so I can understand what you’re trying to say, what exactly do you suggest the competitive people do? It’s silly enough for you to say the people who have taken the time to get better and figure out what team comps work best and how to chain skills together best are bad for the game, but seriously what do you suggest? Are we supposed to dumb ourselves down to play to lesser opponents…? How is that fun for us. Additionally, how is that beneficial to opponents, they’re gonna think a thorn can go in and attack a galilea for example if I dumb myself down. Setting them up for failure in the future. If we pick a terrible comp and are going up against new players, it really isn’t going to matter, and they’ll think that’s a good team comp. we really don’t like pubstomping. It’s not fun at all for us, and none of the people I play with that consider themselves competitive are going to sit there and just farm an opponent. We push the sentry and hope for the next match to be closer. Anybody you are complaining about who is more skilled and is farming lesser players isn’t actually competitive. The actual competitive players want competitive matches, plain and simple. Don’t put the batch of egotistical jerks who crave the pubstomp in the same group as us.

“Anybody you are complaining about who is more skilled and is farming lesser players isn’t actually competitive. The actual competitive players want competitive matches, plain and simple. Don’t put the batch of egotistical jerks who crave the pubstomp in the same group as us.”

I’ve seen people from the forums who advocate competitive matches and claim to despise pub stomping doing precisely that in random matches. I don’t see it as an egotistical jerk thing, it seems to be more basic human nature and typical shortsightedness. Debating who actually represents the “competitive” community is silly and pretty much irrelevant anyway. I don’t really expect any of these players to do anything about it–at the end of the day it’s about fun to them and that means getting together with friends and taking what’s available, whether that’s competitive pvp or using the rest of the playerbase as fodder until something better comes along. The only thing I would like from these people is that they view the situation rationally and acknowledge that the problem isn’t something inane like gear.

Take any combative sport, remove all weight and rank considerations and then picture what that would do for overall participation. The only immediate solution I see for the pc community is a solo queue, which I argued for in another thread. At least you would have a random chance to have a somewhat balanced match. And make the people who want a team fight be in a queue with other teams. Give the newbies and casuals a place to breathe.

Yesterday I waited something like 10 minutes for a match and finally had a team of 5. Two of those people were advanced players. They realize they are both in the same match, start talking to each other–then leave. So we wait longer and a couple newbies fill those two slots. Then we get paired up against this stacked team of advanced players that includes the two who left us. And they kicked the crap out of us. So 15-20 minute wait. Maybe 8 minutes of boring lopsided match before a surrender. Then everyone on my team leaves in disgust. Before we left the lobby the comments were:

“We’re gonna get wiped”
“Yup this game is dead.”

It’s so bad. I’m really wondering if I’m going to make it just to getting the content I paid for. A third of the time I can’t get a match and another third is going up against pub stompers.