Howdy Gearbox! Thank you for letting me play your new game! While I didn’t get to play it as much as I had hoped, I still crammed in enough matches to form opinions, and considering they are the asking price for participating in the CTT I’m happy to oblige!
-My PC is running Windows 10 x64, an AMD FX 6300 6-core running at 3.5 ghz, an ASUS Strix R9 390 8gb, and 4gb of RAM.
-Upon signing in I was very impressed with the high frame rate at 1080 resolution considering all the pretty that’s crammed into the environments. My twitch reflexes were very grateful for this.
-The card-based nature of the game doesn’t feel very… cardy. To me though this is a great thing because I detest deck building when it’s more than a few cards. In this case I agree with others that it felt more like you were just picking abilities, and honestly I’m fine with this, as I can think of nothing worse than playing and by random chance I only get weapons I don’t like or only half of a potential combo. If I lose, I don’t want it to be because of chance, I want it to be because I suck!
-I was not a fan of the shotgun. Granted, it grew on me a bit when I realized that it basically has to be used at nearly point-blank range, but scoring a hit with it was very random and unreliable at any range. To put it in the nerdiest terms I can think of, it handled like a Bandit shotgun when I greatly prefer Hyperion.
-In most games I don’t like sniping, but it feels soooooo good in every GBX game I’ve fired a sniper rifle in. That said, the railgun feels like a love letter directed to me. The rate of fire felt good, I LOVE the ability to skate on the rails for offense, defense, and for fun when I’m searching for my opponent. Good damage without feeling OP too. Plus floating purplish light beams just look pretty.
-Loved the rocket launcher too. I hope no-damage rocket jumping stays in the game, even though me getting distracted by the act of bouncing around like a monkey on speed gets me killed more often than not. Good area of effect too. Maybe an alt fire or modification for it to allow for slower-speed, bigger-burst rockets just to mix it up?
-I could not pull of Vampiric Bloodlust to save my life, but that’s my own fault.
-The tesla cannon was a bucket of fun to use, especially combined with wall hacking. Its great range feels a bit OP at times, even though it’s heavily aim-reliant. Maybe it could taper off at greater distances?
-I could not hit anyone with the grenade launcher and had a very hard time figuring out the blast radius of the grenades I fired. Perhaps making the explosion look a bit more firey would make it easier to eyeball the radius? This might just be me being nitpicky.
-The reflective shield may well be my favorite “gotcha!” ability. There is nothing quite like charging into what seems like certain death only to cause your opponent to blast themselves into oblivion.
-I loved playing with the turret and teleporter (Recall?) abilities. My only gripe with them is that picking them up seemed a bit confusing at the start of the CTT. After the update where all the cards were put to max level, picking them up and replacing them felt much better, though I was dismayed at first that I had to stand by the teleporter to pick it back up versus just redeploying it where I was, but considering this from a balance perspective, I think that’s for the best.
-The breadth and scope of the abilities present in this game are already awesome and I truly can’t wait to see what new items and abilities are introduced in the future. One element of the card-based system that’s always been exciting to me is the ability to constantly add new cards to mix the game up and kind of force us to adapt to new strategies. If you intend to keep releasing new cards post-launch, this could easily become one of the most exciting game elements to me.
-The balancing and queue times were excellent! I think I only had one round where I was very outmatched by my opponent, and that was before I had any MMR to speak of. After a couple of games, almost every match I played was well-balanced. I also do not recall having to wait for more than a minute to get into a match. I spent most of my time actually playing the game, and that makes a lot of difference. As much as I love Battleborn, the fact that you tend to spend more time in queue than in game makes it a hard sell to my friends, even after the free demo came out. P1v1 does the opposite of that, and as such my friends would actually play with me once I was given the extra keys!
-Leveling up the cards felt good when it happened. Based on the way it worked though, I suspect all of the more common equipment would be levelled up way faster than the rarer stuff, putting the rarer items at a significant disadvantage over time. If my rocket launcher and shotgun are max level and my railgun is at lvl 3, my railgun probably won’t see as much use and I may just give up using it altogether.
-Like I said, I didn’t spend much time in the lobby, but when I did I was glad to have live streams of other players to watch. I will rarely spectate for more than a few minutes, but it’s a good way to sometimes learn how to use an ability in a new way.
-The emoji system is a great way to communicate in game that mostly prevents toxicity. Thank you also for giving us the poop emoji so I can properly respond when I leap to my doom.
-During the test I only played three levels (and I apologize for not remembering their names). The level that looks like it’s in a skyrise in a future city, the one that looks like a realistically-rendered Ekkunar, and the one without finished textures but has a teleporter built into the wall. My favorite one so far is the Ekkunar map because of all the ways it twists and turns back in on itself, it offers tight areas with good cover and a big open area (that still has some good ambush points too). While I enjoyed the other levels as well, I only played the teleporter one once (LOVE this map, should’ve played it more), and my only gripe about the future city map was that sometimes it was REALLY hard to locate your opponent. This could be remedied with wall-hacking abilities but my deck didn’t always have cards with that ability in it. I also heard of people hiding in this map and while I suspected at the time that was happening, I have no actual proof. Still, while it’s nice to have a minute to explore the map sometimes, I don’t like that in the middle of a 5-minute match.
-I really enjoyed the change in gameplay brought about by abilities like Excalibur and Vampiric Touch. On the receiving end of Excalibur it caused a tremendous amount of panic that I had to figure out how the heck to take down the Excalibur on the ground while also fending off my opponent. I never saw someone else use Vampiric Touch, and I died 100% of the time when attempting it, but I still loved the moment of “Come at me bro” when I was making the attempt. I think in cases where you make the attempt and it fails, perhaps it shouldn’t consume the card’s sole charge but instead just put it on a cooldown timer until you can try again in a couple of minutes. (as a side note, trying to fend off Excalibur with a shotgun felt like trying to smack a ghost with another, less-dense ghost.)
-The mines were fun to use despite being easy to avoid for those who pay attention. Having the ability to locate the opponent from across the map or even being able to line up a shot when your opponent is getting ready to round a corner are both very helpful. The slow at max level seemed a bit extreme, though I didn’t get to take full advantage so I can’t cry OP at this time. Still, I’m greatly in favor of tactical abilities like this one.
-The videos in the cards demonstrating how to use the weapon/ability were excellent and very helpful.
-Though I LOVE the 1v1 and agree it’s the purest FPS combat experience, I wouldn’t poo-poo other game modes. Deathmatch FFA, team deathmatch, or a tank-yankers kind of mode would be a fun change of pace, but I wouldn’t want the alternate modes to take too much away from what makes P1v1 unique. Maybe a mode where each respawn you are assigned random cards would be fun just for the sheer chaos and experimenting with abilities you wouldn’t otherwise try.
-I got a little bit fanboyish whenever someone would fire the fully-charged Tesla cannon because that’s totally Axton yelling “OVERCHAAAARGE!”
I hope this feedback helps and also hope you will consider me for future testing of this (or any GBX) game. Thank you again for inviting me this time, and I can’t wait to see what you all come up with in the future!