This week should be a lot of fun! For one, we’re holding our second Play with the Devs event this Saturday (9/17). For another, we received word that Battleborn has been nominated for a Golden Joystick Award for Best Visual Design by GamesRadar+! We're up against some pretty incredible titles from this year, so [head over and give Battleborn your vote](http://bit.ly/2cM353x)! Thanks to GamesRadar+ for recognizing us.
SO -- about that Play with the Devs event -- our team will be out in force and ready to play with the community. Not only will we be out and about in Battleborn, but a few of us will even be joining some of your favorite streamers. You can see the schedule below, so if you can’t be in-game with us yourself, check out these awesome streams!
Playing with our team isn’t the only incentive to jump back into Battleborn. We’ll also be giving away a SHiFT code that will unlock some pretty cool rewards. Skins for Oscar Mike (“Tango Tango”, Mike’s gold skin) and Whiskey Foxtrot (“It’s Collectible Foxtrot!”, Whiskey’s cyber skin) are the first reward you can expect. The second is an interesting little something we cooked up just for this event – a custom 3XP MEGA Booster. The Mega Booster will give you triple XP for 24 hours from the time you redeem the code. That means you can redeem the code, get your skins, and immediately jump into the game and earn triple Command and Character XP _(Please note: it's possible that the timer for the boost may take a little time to appear in your Command Menu. If it's not immediately visible, it should appear after completing a match, but either way, you'll still be receiving the triple XP boost)_. You’ll have to act quickly on this one though: the SHiFT code will only be valid until 8am PT on Monday (9/19).
On top of ALL this, we’re happy to announce that Chaos Rumble will be returning this weekend! Chaos Rumble’s lack of character uniqueness proved to be a community favorite, allowing you guys to choose any Battleborn you wanted, even if a teammate had already selected them. We heard some awesome stories about your experiences in Chaos Rumble last time and we’re looking forward to hearing more this weekend!
You’ll undoubtedly find some of the team hanging out in the Hardcore Spotlight experience, which features the ice-moon Bliss this week. If you haven’t tried it out yet, Hardcore Spotlight is a story experience that allows you to team up with players and take on some of Battleborn’s most difficult content. Looking for a challenge? You’ve come to the right place!
We don’t have any hot fixes to share with you this week. That’s because our team is heads-down working on our next full update which will be rolling out in October. While we don’t have any official specifics to share just yet, we felt like this would be a good time to discuss something that’s been a hot topic amongst the community lately: matchmaking. This week, Creative Director Randy Varnell is back to give us some insights on matchmaking in Battleborn and some possible future tweaks to continue refining the system.
It’s been a few weeks since we’ve talked about matchmaking in our Battleplan, though many of you have shared your thoughts with me on Reddit and the Battleborn forums. Today, I want to spend a moment on semantics to help tune our discussion and also talk about some soon-to-come next steps.
As I’ve read community feedback on matchmaking, I see two broader topics that often get lumped together. One topic is “Matchmaking Mechanics”–the technical details about how our system finds users, ranks users, and assembles teams. The other topic is “Matchmaking Choices” – which options are available to the player at any given time. While we have some ability to tune “Mechanics”, most improvements to our mechanics are large efforts that will be slower to change.
For “Matchmaking Choices”, we have a lot we can change to the “buttons” or “queues” that you can click to play, and we’re going to be making more changes there soon. One of the most difficult things for us to keep in mind as a community is that while we CAN change a lot, we need to be careful with how many “choices” we present. Each time we create another choice, it divides the pool of available players. So, while giving a lot of choices might offer you a precise play option (“I only want to play unranked Monuments-Incursion all day long!”), it might take you a long time to find enough players who share your taste so that you can play a game. So, we need to find the optimal (leaning toward fewest) amount of meaningful choices.
Recently, we ran a spotlight matchmaking choice called “Chaos Rumble” which allowed multiple of the same character to be chosen for matches in that queue. We did this so that players who picked up the new character Ernest could get some play time with him without having to be the fastest to pick a character during character select. We were a bit surprised with the results of Chaos Rumble. While we expected it to be popular, we saw more players playing in Chaos Rumble than in our previously most popular queue, Incursion. Players were able to find more games to their taste, and both the Chaos Rumble and the Incursion queues were healthy and active.
While Chaos Rumble is fun, it’s not a particularly balanced version of Battleborn play. (5-Kleese teams…I’m looking at you!) So, we want to try some more matchmaking choice configurations that are like Chaos Rumble, but offer an experience closer to the game we intend. This weekend, during the Play with the Devs event, we’ll be bringing Chaos Rumble back. Soon, we would like to create a new queue. Likely called “Quick Match”, this queue will feature Meltdown and Capture modes, likely with a chance to get incursion maps, but will enforce unique character selections. This queue will replace the Meltdown and Capture queues, at least on PC and PS4 where those queues are already showing infrequent use from our community. The Incursion queue will be here to stay, for now.
We’re still considering making some different choices are available by platform, however. On XBOX, Meltdown and Capture modes are still active as individual queues, so we will likely keep XBOX unchanged, and only adjust PC and PS4 to match how those communities are playing Battleborn.
If you’d like to chat more about these changes, or have ideas you want to share, please drop by the Battleborn forums or the /r/Battleborn sub-Reddit and leave your thoughts. Thanks all!
Ask anyone who excels at PVP-based games for tips to improve your game and it won’t take them long to say “learn the maps”. Knowing the maps can be the difference and offers a huge advantage. This is true in Battleborn too, and we happened upon a video that perfectly outlines a great way for Battleborn players to learn the maps. It comes from Solus Scientist, who shows us how to most efficiently learn the maps using Pendles:
Per community request, we recently started adding some bits of lore to the Battleplan. After the discussion on the Battleborn subreddit in which we found some lines tucked away in PVP VO strongly implying that Orendi and her family were “enslaved” by Marquis at one point, we thought we’d address some of Orendi’s lore and sand that rough edge down a bit.
Orendi: everybody’s favorite four-armed menace to society, despite little being known of her personal history or the varimorph race in general. To that end, here is a glimmer of insight into the Chaos Witch and her people: the varimorphs are perhaps most famous for their ability to alter their DNA and physiology over time. This allows them to replicate certain technologies and traits through observation alone, even without understanding the underlying mechanism. However, the speed, accuracy, and complexity of morphing ability varies with the individual—morphing is an inherent trait, but also a skill that can be honed.
Their tribal culture is intensely distinct, and though most remain somewhat humanoid (for ease of communication with other races), there are a few “fringe” tribes that morph into wildly different, more “alien” forms. Of course, now that Etra (the varimorph star system) has been darkened, few tribes remain intact. Many established tribes’ forms were discarded to better adapt to new circumstances, while others were scattered during the evacuation (jointly carried out by the Eldrid and the LLC).
It was during her extraction, led by a Hemsworth expeditionary force, that Orendi first encountered Marquis and Phoebe. “Unstable” at the best of times, Orendi strongly objected to being “abducted”. For her “own safety”, her rescuers were forced to subdue her in order to get her safely off-world. Following an altercation with Marquis upon her waking (involving heated exchange of the terms “hobo” and “slaver”), she and the butler D’Caliber got off on the wrong foot, sparking a hatred she would go on to fan for the rest of their reluctant co-confinement aboard the Arcship Wallywig, and later, Nova.
Finally, next will be busy too and that’s because of our next community event. Who’s ready for the return of the Lootpocalypse? In case you missed it last time around, drop rates of legendary gear (and gear in general) are drastically increased and the prices of Loot Packs are lowered during the Lootpocalypse! Lootpocalypse will run Friday (9/23) through Sunday (9/25) , so make sure to set some time (and bank space) aside to join in on the fun! Keep an eye out for additional details next week!