Did Gearbox kill off their multiplayer community?

I’ve noticed that it takes forever to get a game (3v3 or 2v2) going now. Did Gearbox’s decision to release a crashing and unusable Beta Multiplayer hurt them in the most critical time of new user adoption, initial release?

If so how can we/they help build it back up? I love this game for the multiplayer aspect. It has the highest value IMHO.

My first thought is that they buy the front page of steam again and advertised a fully functioning and fixed Multiplayer BETA. This will drive sales and let current customers know its OK to come back and have a better play experience.

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Only hope is that they make it good, and there is some announcement that actually brings people back.

It really shouldn’t have been released this way, but too late for that now…

I’ve noticed that the number of games has dropped off considerably since the launch and it concerns me that people might be abandoning the game. Basing the game on the HW2 engine may have been a good choice for updating the graphics, but HW2 was notoriously unstable and it was different from the original in significant ways. Between the 2 original games, I preferred HW1 over HW2 by a large margin. Based on many of the comments I’ve seen here, a lot of people apparently feel the same way. My sense is that the HW1 fans may be more passionate about their preference than those that prefer HW2.

What can Gearbox do? If the HW1 fans can get what they’re asking for, I think MP will start seeing more activity. I don’t know how urgent that is, but sooner is almost always better (assuming what’s done is done right). An iterative approach may work - formations would be a good start. Another approach would be to abandon the HW1/HW2 integration for the time being. It was a noble attempt, but it’s proving difficult. I believe that’s partly due to HW1 functionality not quite … functioning as expected. Perhaps later the integration could be tried again. I know splitting the fanbase isn’t typically a good idea to build enthusiasm, but it might work I this case.

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Splitting the fanbase would have been a huge mistake and I think combining the games is brilliant. While not making the HW1 guys exactly like they were in the original undoubtedly alienated many of the HW1 players, it was the game breaking crashes, freezes, drops and disconnects from the multiplayer beta that I think suffocated the community. While much of that is fixed, I think it ruined many’s first impression.

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It’s beta, people are probably waiting for the balancing to start. This is normal.

ForceUser, there is nothing usual about a 20 minute wait time to start a 3on3…

Balancing before the HW1 races even function properly would be a waste in my opinion. Gearbox has a long way to go before any HW1/HW2 balancing even makes sense. HWR already plays pretty much the way HW2 did balance-wise.

I’m playing and HWR is pretty but the HW1 portion is severely wanting. If that isn’t attended to, and relatively quickly much of the HW1 fanbase will fade away. The fanbase is already split for all intents and purposes.

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From a multiplayer perspective, I feel like theres some pretty good balance. Ive seen some crazy Kushan and Taidan players.

That’s just not true.

Their numbers are so awful that they’d still be awful if they behaved correctly. At least of people seem to forget about how HW2 craft would be stronger as well as they’d benefit from the same changes, so it evens out in most cases…

I modded in some similar behavior to Corvettes they had to HW1(Their aggressive behavior at least, still can’t corv wall), and it really just makes them about 50-100% stronger in most cases when they’re 3-6x weaker on paper in most cases, so a 2-4x gap is still left in an ideal scenario. Not to mention, HW2 units should benefit from those same behavior and flight modeling improvements, so… 3-6x weaker again.

GBX just gave them random numbers to roughly balance a Single Player campaign with no attempt to make them balanced in multiplayer.

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I’d say a PUBLIC LOBBY would be a step in the right direction to keep the fans coming in. Even if they don’t play a game at least they would sit and talk. It would be SOOO much easier to set up testing with one as well.

I’d say rather than split the community, make the damn HW1 Deathmatch, HW2 Deathmatch options set the games to either hw1 or 2 races only for that specific game, not just list the damn maps for the various modes. Oh and make it selectable from within the created game, not outside it.

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It’s painfully slow right now. So far, I am waiting with two other players for 10 minutes to get a 3v3 going. :confused:

I hope no one crashes. :sweat_smile:

I would like to suggest the removal of the regional filter and simply replace it with a ping/connection quality column as well. Speaking for myself, I live in southeast asia so no one ever sees any games I try to host, but I’m sure there are at least a few other asian/australian players in the same boat as I am.

Before the patch, when things still depended on the steam download region, I could host small 1v1s and 2v2s and get them going no problem during the US off-hours. Now that the filter has been put in and defaults to ‘local regions’, no one ever joins my games even during prime time and I can only assume it’s because people either don’t know about the regional filter or they simply don’t bother with it.

I feel like this a good way to “split the community” for a completely unnecessary reason. If they just put in a ping column and removed the regional filter, people would be able to see every lobby at once and it will still be their choice whether or not they want to join games with high ping. I don’t see any downside to it. It’ll only serve to promote more activity during the US off-hours.

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I was also thinking that people may not know about it at all. The regional filter was put in response to steam region lock I assume.

I don’t imagine it could have been hard to put worldwide filter as default though.

Just crashed after being in game for 15 minutes BTW. Getting annoying.

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Just tried hosting a 3v3 three times. One player kept crashing pretty much ruining each game hosted.

The player numbers are dropping, but I have a feeling this is more to do with the ongoing connection issues and the filtering rather than balancing. Even in this unbalanced state the game is still a lot of fun and looks great.

Add a lobby so people know people are online, sort out the region filter, fix connection issues and the game can grow.

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We’ll just have to disagree on the balance vs function problem, I guess.

I loved HW1 and greatly preferred it to HW2, but in MP I pretty much only play HW2 races. Why? Because the HW1 races don’t play correctly. I don’t think I’m alone in that regard. Eventually people like myself will just give up because HW2, although good, isn’t the game we really want.

HW2 race balance isn’t perfect, but at least it still pretty much works like it used to.

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I totally agree with you, and many of those HW1 mechanics absolutely must return, but HW1 races not being competitive has a lot to do with their balance being trash. Near term, they at least need better numbers.

Is it though? Think about it, if all the HW1 players could play HW how they remember and perfected, they would be much harder to beat, but that is not the case. Not one HW1 player can play the strengths that everyone remembers due to it not being anything like the original.

This isn’t balancing, this is a function issue. Until this has been rectified (if ever), then balancing is pointless.

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How do you balance something (e.g. support frigates not supporting, formations breaking upon combat, etc.) that isn’t working at all?

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In my opinion yes it may hurt the game - the ip in the long run like many publishers it was forced into release what makes it worse is that they are their own publisher so they had a choice here…

But I also suppose that the pre ordering stuff as well as steam were partially some of the reasons behind it… Delaying it might have cost them tons of bureaucratic obstacles not to mention angry fans some might have canceled their pre orders and many others would have initiated a wave of rage if it still wouldn’t have been a perfect product even after a delayed release…

Anyway yes they probably lose people of their player & modding base the longer they wait & it takes for them getting balance and modding tools out released… People don’t wait endlessly and especially the young don’t have much patience they move on to other games etc…

I already suggested it in another topic and here I’ll do it again… I think the fastest and cleanest approach would it for them to make the Hw1 races just like Hw2 races and getting rid of formations etc… And then once the current game mode is somewhat balanced focusing on a 2nd game mode in a separate data bank that gets activated in the mp in game settings (classic-hw2 style). And there trying to rebuild the Classic behavior back in possibly from scratch or with partially copying code lines straight out of the hw1 source code… They could even bring in Hw2 races into Hw1 style easy getting the Cata races in then for that classic mode or vice versa into hw2rm playing like a hw2 faction without worrying about features they can’t possibly bring into hw2 without sacrificing certain things… Etc…

Few game engine enhancements may be required but it may go faster then trying to fix a system that’s broken and never was intended for it the first place…(hw2 mix with hw1)… 2 separate game modes in 1 game may be more balancing to worry about for them and modders but also be an opportunity to keep things simple and a lovely way to determine what people play and like more… :smile: