Dear GBX, dear community of gamers! (Problems and solutions)

We are all here because we love the game and want to continue enjoying it. Unfortunately, as of now, a substantial part of the player base is deeply frustrated, and it would be a good idea to pause of the second and see why it is so.

The problem:

  1. GBX has put a new challenge to the players without offering the tools to handle it.

  2. A substantial portion of the game’s resources became obsolete.

When people say “balance” or “nerf Amara” what they actually mean in 99% of the time is “you guys put a challenge before us and my hero has no tool to beat that challenge.” Keep in mind, that when it comes to the customer’s satisfaction, it is important how your customers feel about the product or service.

When players have fun with their characters and feel that they are making reasonable progress, they won’t care if another character (or build) can to the same job a little bit easier. I never cared abut abusing the pipe bomb or one-shotting the Graveward because I was fine with my 30-second to a minute Vault Guardians runs on M3. It felt that I was beating them fair and in a rewarding manner. Same with the Proving Grounds and the Circles of Slaughter, which I enjoyed for the challenge and not from a speedfarming point of view.

As it stands now, M4 and the Maliwan Takedown broke that paradigm by making Moze, FL4K, and Zane incapable of negotiating parts of the content outside gimmicks, glitches, and exploits. And even if we say that it is okay to rely on gimmicks, then why did GBX spend 7 years designing weapons if all but select few would be simply vending machine fodder?

Proposals:

This is a 3-D game. As such, part of the process must come from positioning, taking cover, target prioritization and mechanical skills such as hitting crit shots. With that it mind, let’s proceed.

Snipers: Sniper play comes with the opportunity cost of spending time zoomed in, being vulnerable while doing go, and having a low speed of switching between targets. At the highest difficulty, a sniper should still be a sniper, meaning that one critical short on a regular mob should confirm a kill. Because snipers are situational, the above should not necessitate heavy investment in skill points or gear. It should be a property mainly vested with snipers themselves.

Shotguns: shotgun play comes at the cost of having to fire at the enemy at a point-balck range, exposing the player to danger. Just like snipers, at the highest difficulty a point-blank shot from a shotgun should kill regular mobs and have noticeable effects on others.

If the enemy health pools and damage do not get significantly toned down at the highest difficulty, the tools for Moze, FL4K, and Zane can come in the form of ADCTH also known as Attack Damage Converted To Health. The current health regent/transfusion mechanisms are lacking and not very reliable. Because damage to health already exists as an annointment, it won’t be difficult to rework some of the low tier skills of Moze, FL4K, and Zane into pure health steal. Again, GBX should be careful with the exponential HP and damage of enemies at top difficulty to keep them in sink with the health sustain of the characters.

Difficulty and gimmicks: gimmicks are fun and should stay in the game. However, it is a condemnation to a developer if a gimmick is the best way to negotiate content. To the contrariety, good players who already can beat all content “with one hand tied behind their backs” can work on the highest difficulty with suboptimal but fun builds to show that it can be done and to offer a breath of fresh air.

Balancing among various builds: this is the icing of the care and I will be okay if we never see it. But still, it is something to think about. In general, thee should be easy to gear for and execute builds that allow new players or those with low mechanical skills to enjoy the game. Then also, there should be those builds that have much higher skill ceiling and they should be the builds that can demolish top content at the best rate. Spaming homing grenades or Tedior guns should be fun and rewarding but proper positioning and hitting critt should give that extra “oomph!”

AND FINALLY

Why has nobody brought the issue that it is possible to cap how much damage a source (or a player) can do at most per tick? If this was set up, we’d never have to nerf guns into oblivion because nobody would be able to 1-shot Graveward or any boss in that manner. I still suggest that guns get improved and some nerfs reversed so long as a MaxDmg per tick or second is introduced.

Happy Thanksgiving!