We’re in the midst of another busy week, so let’s jump right into the deep end! Today’s the day we’ve all been waiting for. Not only do we have two big content drops – Beatrix and the _Oscar Mike vs. The Battle School_ Story Op – hitting today, but it’s also the day we release the _Battleborn_ Winter Update! As we’ve said, the team here at Gearbox has put countless hours into this update. Not only in terms of the actual work, but also in absorbing as much of the community’s feedback as humanly possible. The community has had more of a hand in helping to decide the content of this update than any other we’ve produced since _Battleborn_ launched, so we hope you’ll enjoy it. If you know someone who hasn’t played _Battleborn_ in a while, make sure to tell them to give it a try. We’d love to get their take on it as well. You can expect the Winter Update to begin rolling out at 2pm PT (5pm ET).
Let’s not forget about those big content releases. Beatrix, _Battleborn’s_ highly anticipated 30th character, arrives today for Season Pass and Digital Deluxe owners. If you’re included in one of these groups, all you need to do is unlock her using your Hero Key and you’ll be ready to start bringing her specialized brand of sickness to the battlefield. If you’re not a Season Pass or Digital Deluxe owner, don’t worry – Beatrix will be ready for you to unlock with 47,500 in-game credits next Thursday (January 26th). That might sound like a lot, but not when you’re earning Double Credits!
That’s right, as we mentioned in [last week’s Battleplan](https://forums.gearboxsoftware.com/t/battleplan-34-1-12-17/1554032), we’re gearing up for another Double Credits event in _Battleborn_ this weekend. Beginning tomorrow (Friday, January 20th) at 8am PT (11am ET), you’ll be able to earn double credits all the way through 8am PT (11am ET) on Monday, January 23rd. Make sure to jump in and get to work on saving those credits for Beatrix!
With the Winter Update bringing in some awesome new character select options, we thought it would be cool to go ahead and introduce you to Versus Draft mode. Versus Draft is a public competitive 5V5 mode in which players will be able to start using _Battleborn’s_ new draft and ban functionality. The playlist will include Incursion and Meltdown Finale modes and, much like Chaos Rumble, will cycle in and out with some other great PVP experiences that we have planned. Your first chance to try it out begins now as Versus Draft is live and runs through Monday (January 23rd) 8am PT (11am ET)! As a reminder, Ban and Pick Draft and Captains Draft modes are both always available through Private matches.
Finally, there’s everyone’s favorite clone soldier (shh, don’t tell Whiskey) – Oscar Mike – who stars in our third Story Op, Oscar Mike vs. The Battle School. Fall in and follow Oscar Mike through some of the most rigorous military training the Solus system has to offer. Just don’t get caught slacking!
We have a few changes this week for Ernest and Mellka, as well as an adjustment to minions in Incursion. These hot fixes will be live today at 12pm PT (3pm ET).
While our little red bird is intended to be a territorial pusher defender, his pushing may be just a bit stronger than we intended. Our intention is to keep Ernest good at wave clearing and pushing, but to increase his dependence on bonus damage from Direct Hit to get his damage to near-Attacker levels. Our feeling is that it currently requires too little skill to blanket an area with high AOE damage. We will be keeping our eye on the effects of this change, and will evaluate more upcoming changes based on how he look after this update.
- Reduced the damage of Ernest’s UPR-G73 Grenade Launcher by 20% (from 125 to 100 at level 1)
We’ve always intended for Mellka to be one of the most mobile assassin characters, specializing in close to short range assault. While Mellka is currently effective in that role, the strength of her Venom Cannisters makes that choice nearly unanimous for advanced Mellka players. For this update, we’re lowering the damage of the Venom cannister, but increasing the damage of her melee combo. Our hope is that encourages more variety in viable Mellka builds, and also removes some of her ability to threaten enemies while staying out of reach of their attacks.
Reduced the damage of Mellka’s Venom DoT by 56% (from 18/tick to 6/tick at level 1)
Increased the damage of Mellka’s secondary melee combo by 30% (from 41 to 53 at level 1)
A couple of patches ago, we upgraded Minions to increase their effectiveness in helping players take objectives, like sentries. Part of that change enhanced the growth of minion health and damage throughout a match. Now, we’re finding that the minions are growing just a bit faster than we’d like, creating situations in the early-to-mid match where unchallenged minions are too capable versus sentries. To help even this out, we are slowing down minion growth rate. Players will need to pay more attention to minions in the early-mid game to ensure they are effective.
- Slowed the Minion level rate from every 120 seconds to every 180 seconds
It’s no secret that we love seeing the different types of fan art that the Battleborn community creates – and they are a talented bunch. Beatrix seems to have really grabbed artists in a special way because we’ve seen some pretty amazing pieces of Beatrix fan art recently, and we wanted to share a few pieces with you.
This week, we once again demonstrate the startling lack of cybersecurity among the Battleborn as we eavesdrop on a poorly secured network somewhere in the Detritus Ring…
[Chat log streaming from ansible chat hosted on-board Fortune’s Favor]
.>>spooling ansible node 47.8e: “FortunesFavor”
.>>local node successfully established
.>>channel name changed to “MiNIONS AND MaZES v.4.5”
.>>channel topic has been set to “totally awesome adventure”
.>>channel has been set to [Private]
.>>client connection request: “Nova.1 - 188.8.131.52”
.>>client connection request: “Nova.2 - 184.108.40.206”
.>>client connection request: “ArcShipPRIM.4 - 5.03.00.1”
|MAYZEMASTER has joined the channel
|galilea has joined the channel
|Eurydice has joined the channel
|Phoebe.Hemsworth.IV has joined the channel
MAYZEMASTER| alright losers, welcome back to Shayne’s MAZE of MADNESS!
MAYZEMASTER| where’d we leave off?
galilea| The Tower of the Severed Hand. Hecta had just cast “Nonagon of Respite”, which grants the benefits of a full night’s sleep to Hecta and up to 8 allies.
MAYZEMASTER| yeah yeah, I know how NoR works, just needed a quick reminder, I just woke up
Phoebe.Hemsworth.IV | !clock
17:36 (Coordinated Standard Time)
Phoebe.Hemsworth.IV | What in the WORLD are you doing sleeping in this late? Wait, do the Rogues use CST?
MAYZEMASTER| yeah I just sleep really late
MAYZEMASTER| plus I was up til like 0530 on the navsim
MAYZEMASTER| Reyna’s been letting me ride shotgun
MAYZEMASTER| I’m pretty much the copilot, so I’m teaching myself to fly
Eurydice| that’s awesome1
Eurydice| stupid prosthesis
Eurydice| we’ll have to call you “CAPTAIN Shayne” pretty soon .P
galilea| You wouldn’t call her “Captain Shayne”, just like it’s not “Captain Trevor”. The rank is followed by the surname, so it would be Captain…
Phoebe.Hemsworth.IV | …?
MAYZEMASTER| no idea.
MAYZEMASTER| speaking of, where’s our Death-Jester?
MAYZEMASTER| still can’t get over that name
Phoebe.Hemsworth.IV| That reminds me, I need to change this bloody thing, I was in a meeting…
a user (Phoebe.Hemsworth.IV) has changed their name (HULKULEEZ!)
.>>client connection request: “Nova.3 - 220.127.116.11”
|Mell has joined the channel
Mell| sorry had to grab a drink
Mell| what’s wrong with my name shrimp
MAYZEMASTER| Half-Humans are supposed to have turbocool deed names, according to the book!
Mell| Nelka IS my deed name I totally Nelka’d some poor bastard like twenty sessions ago remember
Eurydice| haha that was great, awht was his name ahain?
Eurydice| UGH this keyboard is nothing like the ones I’m used to. How do you type with your giant ckaw?
Eurydice| ------ — ------- —
user (Eurydice) has been muted for (1) minute
Mell| typing’s for chumps I just kick my feet up and use text to speech
Mell| also Shayne why do you have the default censors on I want to be able to say whatever the ---- I want
user (Mell) has been muted for (1) minute
MAYZEMASTER| Reyna won’t let me use the ansible without it…I think it’s a test or something
Eurydice| My synthavox screws up the text-to-dpeech
Eurydice| stupid Silent Sisters. Stupid surgeon.
MAYZEMASTER| sorry Beatrix
MAYZEMASTER| let me know if we need to go slower
galilea| If anything, we need to go faster. Are we going to play, or not?
Hulkuleez!| Yes, let’s! HULKULEEZ WANT BREAK PUNY THINGS
Mell| I’m with feebs let’s get to killing this guy
MAYZEMASTER| alright, alright, keep your loincloth on
a message has been pinned: “when we last left our heroes…”
MAYZEMASTER| so, having fought your way through the Digi-lich’s lair, you arrive at last at the door to his chambers, a preponderance of grobblin corpses in your wake…
Hulkuleez!| To say nothing of that poor Pixie door-guard.
galilea| I thought we spared him?
galilea| I specifically recall Hecta using “Wreath of Shriving Shame” and rolling a critical success to get him to see the error of his ways.
Mell| yeah while you were off doing your star knight ablutions or whatever I went back and killed that guy
Mell| yeah I really wanted that pixie halberd
galilea| Isn’t Nelka a Half-Human? Can she even wield it?
Mell| I’ve been using it as a toothpick slash cheese knife
galilea| We don’t even have any cheese!
Mell| we’ll find someone that has cheese soon enough
Mell| and I’ll kill them too
MAYZEMASTER| ENOUGH! You’re at the door.
MAYZEMASTER| …do you do?
MAYZEMASTER| ------ Trix, I’m trying to build suspense!
user (MAYZEMASTER) has been muted for (1) minute
Hulkuleez!| “HULKULEEZ WANT BREAK!”
Hulkuleez!| I’m going to show this door what for!
Eurydice| Phebe wait, as an Animancer, I can communicate with trees and wooden objects
Eurydice| and alsp since I’m a Dryad, I get a bonus to diplomacy rolls with them
MAYZEMASTER| okay I’m back
MAYZEMASTER| sorry Eurydice, but those abilities only apply to natural, un-hewn targets.
MAYZEMASTER| won’t work on a door.
galilea| Hecta casts “Guileless Might” on Hulkuleez.
MAYZEMASTER| nice! okay so as a Troglodon, Hulkuleez has a -3 intellect, so that’s +3 strength with Guileless Might.
Hulkuleez!| Don’t forget my Berserker favored enemy!
MAYZEMASTER| oh yeah. I forgot that Hulkuleez REALLY hates doors.
MAYZEMASTER| that’s another +2
Hulkuleez!| His grandfather was killed by a faulty portcullis! This one’s for you, pop-pop!
user (Hulkuleez!) rolled 1d19 (16)
MAYZEMASTER| not bad! that’s a modulated roll of 21
MAYZEMASTER| Hulkuleez flexes his mighty Troglodonian muscles, whirls his electric morningstar around and WHAM, bashes the door to splintereens!
galilea| What does the party see?
MAYZEMASTER| The air within the chamber hangs thick with a foul miasma that seems to choke the light out of the lone torch you can barely make out in the center of the room.
Eurydice| I want to summin my shimmerwasps!
MAYZEMASTER| good thinking.
MAYZEMASTER| do you have the prerequisite chiminage?
Eurydice| yes! I have…2 “dollops” of royal jelly from a glimmerbee queen
MAYZEMASTER| so, drawn to the scent of the jelly, your shimmerwasps materialize! they cast light in a radius of 20 feet around the swarm
Eurydice| I direct the swarm to the center of the room while cautiously following behind
galilea| Hecta stands next to Eurydice, with her shield raised in case of danger
Mell| I guess I’ll follow behind and pull out my ninja stars
MAYZEMASTER| your Juggling Knives of Jocularity?
Hulkuleez!| Hulkuleez will stand in the doorway, over the shattered remnants of the door. In case it tries to get back up.
Hulkuleez!| HULKULEEZ NO FALL FOR DOOR TRICKS LIKE GRANDFATHER
MAYZEMASTER| As you advance, the torch at the center of the room seem to grow in brightness until all too late, you realize it’s not a torch at all!
Hulkuleez!| Oh dear.
MAYZEMASTER| With a deafening roar, the Digi-lich’s DRAGON opens its maw and unleashes a gout of cyber-fire!
Eurydice| Dryads are weak againsy fiiiire
galilea| Hecta leaps in front of Eurydice to protect her!
MAYZEMASTER| What’s Hecta’s Defense Rating?
user (MAYZEMASTER) made a concealed roll…
MAYZEMASTER| You take 124 bits of fire damage!
galilea| You mean Hecta?
MAYZEMASTER| yeah I mean Hecta
galilea| The Zomboid racial ability, “Renecrotize”, allows Hecta to desurrect after an unkilling blow.
MAYZEMASTER| ugh, fine, anyway, as the cyber-fire dissipates, you see the Digi-lich standing just behind the dragon, cackling as he brandishes a glowing scepter about.
MAYZEMASTER| (Digi-lich) “Fools! You’ll never defeat me! I know all your weaknesses, for you see, it is I,“
MAYZEMASTER| he removes his cowl,
MAYZEMASTER| “Vextro, your old mentor and patron!”
Mell| gimme a sec I’m finishing this drink but I got something awesome coming up
Mell| spoiler it’s another drink gimme another sec
Mell| alright I’m gonna straight up Nelka this guy into the next century
Mell| I’m gonna attack him with my cheese knife
MAYZEMASTER| you mean the pixie halberd?
Mell| yeah that
user (Mell) rolled 1d19 (19!)
MAYZEMASTER| Fine, you hit, roll 1d1.5
user (Mell) rolled 1d1.5 (1)
MAYZEMASTER| You tickle him with the pixie halberd, dealing laughably small damage
Mell| eh it’s enough
Mell| he’s like deathly intolerant of any lactose right
Mell| that’s what you said in the third session of the sintered soldier when we had to fight the iron golem twins who were terrorizing that dairy farm
Mell| Vextro got some milk on him and nearly died or whatever
Mell| need me to pull up the records
MAYZEMASTER| ? you can’t save ansible data
Mell| sure I can just not from a local rig
Mell| gimme a sec gotta actually type
.>>patching ansible node 12.1a: “Codex Regrowth”
.>>establishing secure connection
.>>biosecurity confirmed, user: RedObserver
Mell| !customsearch:“that thing Shayne said about Vextro being lactose intolerant that one time”
(1) result: “Vextro cries out in agony as the drop of milk lands on his arm. Wracked with pain, he tells you ‘Keep that stuff away from me, I’m DEATHLY ALLERGIC to anything containing lactose!’ through gritted teeth.”
Mell| don’t test my codex fu kid
MAYZEMASTER| …okay, sure, but you don’t have any milk
Mell| no but I do have cheese on the blade
galilea| I thought you didn’t have any cheese?
Mell| I lied
Mell| killed that dairy farmer and took his cheese
user (MAYZEMASTER) made a concealed roll…
MAYZEMASTER| well ----.
user (MAYZEMASTER) has been muted for (2) minutes
Hulkuleez!| Drat, I was quite looking forward to giving that brute a thrashing!
Eurydice| I’m gonna grab some fro-yo til Shaybe gets back
galilea| Can you get me some?
Eurydice| qe can shaaare!
MAYZEMASTER| FINE. Vextro’s dead. “Oh no, cheese, my one weakness!” he cries. The orb of his scepter still gleams with palpable force.
Mell| I pick up the scepter
MAYZEMASTER| Cool! So now you have the SCEPTER OF THE DRAGONARCH, so you can command his dragon and stuff. Shooould come in handy against the hordes of Deleterius the Unmaker!
Eurydice| We should destroy it.
Mell| yeah what
Eurydice| It binds the dragon against its will, right?
Eurydice| Like a slave?
MAYZEMASTER| Kind of? More like an ally
Eurydice| So the dragon wants ti help us?
Eurydice| because if that’s the case then we don’t need the scepter in the first okace
Eurydice| if we need the scepter to get the dragon’s help, then we should desrtoy it.
galilea| Yes…if we subjugate this creature against its will, we’re no better than Deleterius himself!
MAYZEMASTER| I feel like you guys are going a bit overboard
Hulkuleez!| I agree with Shayne, I mean, do we even know that the dragon has free will for us to subjugate? Does it have true consciousness?
Hulkuleez!| Come now, any Digi-lich worth his salt would have properly programmed the dragon to enjoy its work and know its station.
MAYZEMASTER| Yeah, besides, you don’t have to command the dragon forever
MAYZEMASTER| I just figured you’d use the scepter until you defeated Deleterius’ hordes and then let the dragon go.
Eurydice| that goes agaijst pretty much every Animancer ideal I stand for
Eurydice| we’re supposed to further society, slavery does more than bind the subjugated, it chains the slaver to an outmoded and untenable mentality, restricts the economy, and weakens the foundfation of civilization as a whole.
Eurydice| what if the dragon rebels or breaks free?
MAYZEMASTER| IT CAN’T, you have the scepter!
Eurydice| what if we lose the scepter
Eurydice| or someone TAKES it?
MAYZEMASTER| I guess you’ll have to be careful, then!
Eurydice| DESTROTYIN IT
Eurydice| BEUJNFG CAREFYK!!!
Eurydice| you know what I mean
Hulkuleez!| You know, the more I think about the eventualities, however minute, the prospect of growing to rely upon this dragon seems less and less appealing…
Mell| fine whatever I smash the stupid thing and loot Vextro’s corpse
MAYZEMASTER| UGH now I’ve gotta rewrite part of my story! ------ I’ll let you know when I’m ready
user (MAYZEMASTER) has been muted for (10) minutes
We’ll be looking forward to hearing what Early Access players think of Beatrix this week ahead of her wide release next week. As we said above, she’ll be available for everyone to unlock next Thursday (January 26th) for 47,500 in-game credits.
Once you have Beatrix unlocked, dive into your favorite game mode and start leveling her up with the help of some Double XP. As we’ve done with our other character releases, we’ll be following up this week’s Double Credits event with a Double XP event next week! From Friday, January 27th at 8am PT (11am ET) through Monday, January 30th at 8am PT (11am ET), you’ll able to rack up that sweet, sweet double XP.
With Beatrix and Story Op 3 out and in your hands, it’s time for us to turn our attention to Story Op 4 – Montana and the Demon Bear . Next Thursday, we’ll be back on the Gearbox Twitch channel and ready to talk about Montana, the Demon Bear, and the epic (and totally not made up) story clash that takes place in Battleborn’s fourth Story Op. Since New Media Manager and stream hostess extraordinaire, Elisa Meléndez, will be out, we’ve managed to procure the talents of a guest host who has been a HUGE fan favorite in the past. Multi-talented and devastatingly handsome Community Manager Joe King will host this stream with a soon to be announced panel of Battleborn developers. The fun gets started at 3pm PT (6pm ET) on the Gearbox Software Twitch channel, so mark your calendar and don’t miss out!