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.