Cooperation and Competition are poor bedfellows (Shards)

I just wanted to get this in. Since Borderlands 2, Gearbox had the right idea about co-op. Sharing money, ammo, and quest rewards was brilliant and extremely supportive of cooperation. Players could still compare important stats, without consternation about individuals paying more attention to drops than the fight.

Then along comes Battleborn. Unlimited ammo and shared drops, but then someone comes up with the idea of having to activate gear with shards and they throw a huge wrench into co-op play. Going back in time to the race-for-ammo days, we now have individuals racing for shards.

The devs were almost there when they decided to share some shards, but the inequitable sharing completely negates most of the benefit.

The re-introduction of competition within teams for shards in order to activate gear is a pretty big step backward for co-op. Take the Sentinel Map for example:

Three out of four team members are fighting their butts off while number four is busy jumping on spiky platforms to get the shards and helixes. I won’t get into helixes, because everyone levels up eventually, anyway. But shards are limited on most maps. There have been some playthroughs when I couldn’t get all the items in my epic gear loadout activated, simply due to the fact everyone else had epic loadouts too.

The teams I play on are all rather familiar and friendly. We discuss maps, characters, and strategy before we start. We check each others levels before snagging a helix, because this is what cooperation means. However, I feel it takes away from the fun to have to consider shard ratio per map, as well as who I’m playing with and their personalities, or run the risk of not even being able to use the gear I have worked hard to get in the first place.

I won’t address PVP, because I don’t play it, but for the life of me, I cannot fathom any reason to intentionally introduce competition between teammates in co-op play.

10 Likes

@joekgbx have others brought this up or is the team looking into it?

I think she makes really good points here.

3 Likes

In PvE we try to share shards, so I only take/savage every 3rd shard I come across. But its not enough if some egoistic people ran arround for pure treasurehunting.

I wonder: Were the helix-points not completely shared in a group during CTT? Or did I imagine that?

It would be a big help if the helix-points found in chests would apply fully to the whole team - I always feel half & half when I find one, great for me, but not so great for the others -.-


Another thing: I use very cheap gear and in most PvE-missions I end up with 4000+ shards I don´t use. Even if I built turrets&traps like crazy…

It would be awesome to have certain areas were you could get the option to give shards away.
On this place/point on the map a shard would spawn.

From the mechanics I´d imagine these spots to work like the traps & turrets :

  • You approach the spawnpoint and
  • then you can press “X” to open a menu
  • were you can select between 3 amounts of shards you´d give away. Like 500 /1000 / 2000
  • After selection theres a shard is spawning with a “ping-noise” to alert the team.

Would that be something for you guys @JoeKGBX ? I think it would be a great way to encourage teamplay instead of pure shardjumping :slight_smile:

2 Likes

I don’t think you understand mobas and the way shards are intentionally limited.

1 Like

She was talking about pve and not pvp, pve is not moba

3 Likes

ah, gotcha.

While I think that most PvE missions offer enough shards in total (in good teams, I usually have at least 2000 shards to spare), cooperation is definitely needed to assure all buildables and active gear.

To compensate for possible shardjumping in random groups, I usually take a 0 activation cost Shard Collector (where applicable - mine has a Heal Power malus, so it’s not really worth it on support chars) in my gear loadout.

If there were additional ways of sharing shards - like Ganjamira described - I would have another open slot in my gear loadouts :wink:

(We do already have a very similar point, if you consider the activation of Chronicle in The Archive. While this mainly exists to allow players to split the activation cost among their team, I can imagine spots like this that would spawn a shard when fully activated.
If you look at PvP maps, it would make sense to impose a cooldown on such nodes and place them at a spot that’s hard to hold. This way, you could actually try to steal shards from your opponents by attacking them while they’re busy redistributing them amongst themselves. As a kind of economic warfare :wink:)

I think everyone understands that shards need to stay limited, especially in PvP.

But solutions, that would allow players to better distribute shards among their team wouldn’t necessarily exclude changes to PvP modes, I for one would love the Idea that a more cooperative Team would gain a slight shard advantage (per Person) just through cooperation.

/Edit: IIRC there is already a piece of legendary gear, that increases shards shared with the team. But as it comes with the normal 1800 activation cost, I don’t believe it’s actually that good to ensure gear activation.

In PvE I run the Quartermaster Bin, so I can be that person who gets all the shards, but also share a huge portion of them.

The base portion shared should definitely be raised for PvE, though. Almost nobody runs Quartermaster from all the games I’ve played so most shard-hunters usually result in everyone struggling just to activate their 2nd item.

For now, anyone who gets a Quartermaster, who likes to shard-hunt, I recommend you equip it so you’re not “that arsehole”.
Unless you want to be an arse, then I can’t change your mind, lol.

Edit: I’ve used a few games to monitor teammates’ shard counts with Quartermaster usage, and I find they often go over 6000-8000, which is more than enough for full activation.

1 Like

All of my loadouts will always have a shard generator and every single time i finish a co-op mission (or even solo) I’d end up having at least an extra 2000 shards. It’s kind of a waste actually, could have activated another legendary for that. I do share the opinion of increasing the amount shared for PvE and ONLY PvE. It’s co-op and like the TS said, it shouldn’t be a competition between team mates in PvE

3 Likes

You make another good point. When a loadout only has three slots and you have to use a shard generator in order to be sure to be able to activate your gear without hogging them, it feels like a waste of a slot.

I think you’ve brought up some very interesting points here, @Elaura. I’ll discuss this with some of the leads to see if I can get some insight on this. Thanks!

6 Likes

I do think it’s worth considering adjusting PVP as well as PVE if you’re going to. PVP has similar issues of teammates farming shards away from other teammates. Not saying it NEEDS to be changed, just while you’re looking into it, I do think it could be worth looking into both sides. :slight_smile:

1 Like

In the Archive mission, you have to dump shards into a receptacle in order to activate the robot. Could not the shard receptacle be repurposed and used to spread whatever amount of shards you wish to share amongst your teammates?

2 Likes

Thank you! This is another thing I believe Gearbox gets right every time, they actually listen to their customers. I’m looking forward to hearing back on this.

1 Like

Something to keep in mind too is that there is non generator gear that spawn with secondary shard generating abilities. Ex: i have a lower building cost gear thats secondary also happens to be a shard generator. It allows me to equip it with a generator, allowing me to easily generate at least 4 shards a second while spending under 1200ish shards

I agree with this. I didn’t even conciously think about it, but the shard placements in PvP really bother me, at least where the large shards spawn. Many of the locations require treks back into your base away from the front line where you might be needed and would definitely be appreciated. It’s not like traditional MOBAs that have lanes and a jungle, where a wandering person can still be helpful because they ultimately give more experience, gold, and mobile support to their entire team. Since the maps are pretty much akin to ARAM (minus the random) in that there is only one lane and it is a constant teamfight, it can only really hurt your team to leave the fight to get shards.

I don’t mind the idea of all the shard spawn locations being “contested” zones of the map. That way they would never pull players out of the fight. The downside is that a team that’s not very coordinated would be severely disadvantaged economically, but that has always been generally true of MOBAs–the team and cooperation are essential to win.

I know Gearbox probably really wanted to try to make its own identity in how the economy works in the game, but what about falling back on the traditional MOBA staple of minion kills giving shards? It is a staple for a reason–it just feels like the best balanced mechanic to date. The main gripe here would be the same as in other MOBAs–which is that support roles would be disadvantaged in money–but there are already built-in fixes for that in terms of gear. It would actually make sense then to have an economy-boosting item (shard generator) on specific roles rather than everyone feeling like they need one, and the shared shard-generator would be beautifully implemented on the best wave-clearing characters who could activate it sooner. Also, the small shard spawns could stick around for these support characters to obtain–they would be added help for supports to keep up, but they aren’t so tempting that many players would leave the fight just to get them. The large shard spawns wouldn’t need to go away, just maybe spawn less frequently. That would also fix the problem mentioned above where one team might just get an overwhelming shard advantage.