Friggin' Casual Feedback

Hi. I’m Benedict, and I’m a friggin’ casual.

Here are my impressions of the game as a casual in the form of a descent into hell. You may have heard of the compliment sandwich? Yeah. No. Let’s put the positives at the top and the negatives at the bottom. That’s much more organized than having good and bad feedback tossed about all willy nilly. My comments will become more child-like, selfish, analytical, and negative as they go on. But right now… I don’t have a lot of bad to say. Perhaps when I’m not a N3WB any more, I will find more things to bitch about.

Anyway… as a game for casual players… it has the potential to be really, really awesome. I like where Gearbox is going with it.

There is no long term commitment. You can pop in for a quick, fun match, then leave. If the server crashes, it’s a minor inconvenience, not a rage inducing waste of your time. I assume this game will be server based, so good lessons learned from Battleborn. Don’t make the game run too long. A server crash in a short game is less rage inducing than a server crash at the end of a 30 minute campaign. This is absolutely the way to do online play.

(In Battleborn the matches and PVE campaigns can run 20 - 40 minutes, and if you lose your connection or the server cuts out mid level… it… is… infuriating. Hence why the PVE players keep asking for offline play. Myself included.)

You can see everyone else who’s currently online. You can select an opponent of your choice or have matchmaking select one for you. Best of all… competitive matchmaking actually ranks you with people at your level, so you avoid Battleborn’s matchmaking issues. Even though I lost… like… a lot… because it’s my first time… and also because I’m a casual, I never once felt like it was because I was being matched unfairly. So again… good lessons learned from Battleborn.

(In Battleborn, matchmaking is probably… THE biggest problem with player retention. Nobody wants to continually get stomped/curb stomp the other team; especially in a match that lasts over 20 minutes when the other team is just farming you. Or you’re just watching your teammates spawn kill the other team.)

Instant gratification. As a casual, my time is important to me. I don’t get to game often, but when I do, I don’t like waiting to do it. At no time did I wait more than 25 seconds for a match. And there are things designed into the game that can occupy my mind while waiting. I can fiddle with my deck. I can spectate a friend’s game or someone else’s game. Speaking of which, quickly and easily spectating someone else’s game while I’m waiting or just logging in and spectating without playing… is… just awesome. I can get a feel of different cards and different strategies. I can study opponents if I really want to. I can spectate a friend and give them sh*t on Discord about how crappy they’re doing the whole time in a bad French accent because I’m a horrible person… it’s just great. I love it. There’s stuff to do while waiting in lobby. Good call on the spectating.

I like the music. I really like the moss filled cave environment. I think that’s my favorite map of the two that are finished. I like the strategy the card building offers. I like being able to customize my own character.


  1. More maps. Playing on the same two maps is going to get boring. I know, Gearbox is working on more maps. I farted around on Aztec’s blocky beta for a bit… and… if that’s going to be on an active volcano… yes. Yes, I do want to fight on an active volcano. Absolutely. Yes. Fighting on an active volcano is absolutely something I want to do. But seriously. More maps. LOTS more maps.
  2. More cards. I would love to see the strategy expanded. Because there’s so much fun you can have with the cards, so many ridiculous powers… so much chaos… I want more of it. I want more cards, more powers, more strategies, more ways to fool around so I don’t get bored with the gameplay and every match feels fresh and new. I just ask one thing… Gearbox, please DO NOT MAKE IT PAY TO WIN. If people want to pay for keys instead of playing competitive and earning them through wins, that’s fine… but don’t make uber powerful cards you need to buy to stay competitive that can’t be earned in game. That will ruin it. (Paying for a card with the same gameplay effects as a regular card you can get without paying, just with a different custom animation might be acceptable though.)
  3. More character models, and the ability to customize your character model. I’m absolutely sure this is in the works anyway, but… I would love to see more character models. And customization for those character models. A 1v1 first person shooter where anyone can watch your game at any time will absolutely make certain people vain, and they will want to customize their characters. Plus… customization doesn’t affect gameplay. Meaning if Gearbox wants to charge people to look fabulous, it’s not pay to win. So I’d be ok with that. I’d of course be perfectly happy with just being able to earn them in game as trophies too, because I don’t do paid cosmetics a whole lot… but… I accept that this is probably going to happen as there’s already a greyed out store, and I accept that. It is kind of fun seeing individual personalities and general silliness come through in versus games, and paying a little for a custom cosmetic doesn’t really hurt anyone. You know. So long as it’s not an addiction where you spend your rent money on it and have no cash to feed yourself. Yeah… don’t do that. It’s just a game, dude.
  4. I’d like to see Gearbox sell or make emoji customization rewards for winning matches. Because I hate the emoji selection. I like the emojis as a quick way of talking to your opponent in a silly way… (and a reminder not to take the game too seriously) but… I hate the actual emojis. I’d like to see the ability to customize that a bit more.


  1. That floating city map… between the reflections and the red everywhere, and the lights in the walls that rotate and wiggle and are right in your face… it’s very difficult to see what’s going on. I find it’s just a little too visually busy. I would ask Gearbox to maybe tone down the visuals just a bit on that map. The geography is fine… the visuals are just… distracting and overly vibrant.
  2. This might just be because I haven’t played long enough with the other weapons (I’ve only got an hour logged after all), but I’m finding the rocket launcher is the best weapon in the game, and not just because of the whole “rocket hawk” thing. It legitimately seems like it’s better than the other weapons. I find the shotgun is too close range and scattershot to do any real damage. The railgun requires precise aim and takes a while to get critical damage on an enemy. The grenade launcher requires more skill with arcing shots. But the rocket launcher? It’s fast. It’s direct. It’s accurate. You can use it to get a jump boost. You don’t have to hit the enemy head on. It does a lot of damage. You can take out an opponent in two quick shots. It just seems like it’s so powerful it counters every other weapon quickly. Again, this may just be because I haven’t played long enough with the other weapons, or because I’m new. But I rarely find myself switching weapons. The rocket launcher may need to be dialed back just a little to make the other weapons more viable.
  3. Make the cooldown on the mines a little easier to see. I couldn’t tell if the mine was on cooldown or not at a quick glance, and I kept hitting the button thinking it would be good to deploy when it wasn’t. You really have to focus on it to notice if it’s on cooldown. I didn’t have this problem with other cards. Maybe make the cooldown on the mines a little more noticeable at a glance.
  4. The game needs more personality. I know it’s a closed technical beta right now without all the bells and whistles, but the cards could use some fun lore. When characters are introduced, they need personalities. The match announcer could be more than just a simple voice. One of the great strengths of Battleborn is its characters, its lore, and its personality. I’d love to see some more creativity go into the characters, the cards, and the voice work.

That’s it from me so far. I’ll come back if I have more to say later. Overall I do like where it’s going as a quick, fun game. I wouldn’t say it’s addictive yet, but with some expansion and personality it definitely could be. It has a lot of potential.

My matches this time around were all on Build 35.


I thought of something else.

While I generally don’t participate in in game stores (not since TF2 broke my heart), I do have some more suggestions for the in game store.

When the game is released, and the in game store is opened, make transactions direct, straightforward, and simple. The easier it is, the more likely casual gamers and impulse buyers will be to pay. Impulse buyers and casual gamers like fast and direct. And don’t overprice or make certain items inexplicably more expensive than others. Have a consistent pay chart for the different items and how much they will cost.

Also… don’t do a made up in game currency where one would have to buy in odd increments. Paying in dollars directly from the steam wallet would be nice. Or paying in dollars using money from a PS4 account or whatever other platform this gets released on would be nice. Again, the less roadblocks and obstacles to checkout… the more likely people will be to pay. Transactions need to be direct, simple, fairly priced, and fast.

Also allowing the option of buying specific individual cards is fine, provided they can also be earned in game through a rewards system.

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The Vampiric card is a lot of fun.
I REALLY love mines. I was the a**hole in Goldeneye who always wanted to play proximity mines. Mines and testla combo may be my favorite combo in the game.

Tesla is still weaker than rocket launcher though, and as fun as tesla is, I’m finding I’m going right back to using the launcher again. I can just do so much more damage with it than I can with anything else.

Not having a sentry, I am finding the sentry annoying. It would be nice if there was some way of counteracting it. Also, it would be nice if there was some way of counteracting mines, as much as I love mines. (EDIT: I have been made aware that enemy mines are visible in this build. The intent eventually seems to be for them to be invisible, though, and that should have a counter. Also I feel stupid for thinking they were invisible, but I was playing at 12:30 AM last night. And not noticing things.)

What about a common card that makes you invisible to a sentry and invulnerable to mines until you die? Just as a counter to the sentry and mines strategy. If the enemy doesn’t use either you run the risk of it being useless, but if the enemy does, having that in your deck could make or break your match. Cooldown would prevent enemy mines and sentry from being completely useless with a counter card.

You could couple it with Vampiric or Excalibur as part of an invulnerability/defensive deck build.

Encountered my first bug… the magical disappearing deck after each match.

Still on Build 35.

Mines are destructible and visible in this build. You should have seen them before.

I can see the physical mines just fine.
I’m talking about the cooldown timer on the card itself. It’s hard to see and it’s slow moving, and it’s grey on grey, so I can’t tell if I’m good to deploy a mine or not, and I’m experimenting with a “roadblock” escape strategy. (running away when my health gets low and deploying a mine if someone tries to chase me)

Oh you’re talking about the enemy mines. From the other comment.
Yes I can see them in this build. I still stand by my counter-card statement though for when they eventually go invisible, because that seems to be the intent.

And I’ll be honest, I f**ked up. I thought they were invisible to your enemy already. Which… would explain why my strategy didn’t work in some cases…

Still learning the game and how it works in its current state.


I really like the passive Adrenaline rush card. It gives me a reason to use air jump.
I also still really like mines. Proper placement, even with them being visible, makes them a viable tactic, not just for slowing and killing, but for drawing an enemy out. If they see you deploy a mine, they’re more likely to come check on it.

I finally got a sentry and my two favorite builds so far are…
Sentry and mines with fireball.
Adrenaline and Air Jump with Mines.

I’m using tesla more and enjoying it… but I’m still falling back to rocket launcher a lot.

Railgun is too slow and does too little damage to be viable for me.
Shotgun… just… sucks… I loathe shotgun.

Even though I love sentry and mines as a strategy, I’d still love to see a counter card for them. Sentry especially can really affect map mobility in a bad way if you place it just right. I’ve been on the giving and receiving end of this.

Vampiric… the animation on Bat Rush is just a bit too chaotic for it to be viable, especially on that city map where red is everywhere. I’m finding, on that map especially, the bats animation around me interferes with my ability to navigate. I just can’t see where I’m going. It’s frustrating, and I’m finding myself employing it less.

Excellent feedback, man. I only say this because otherwise your comments have been intelligent, well written, and otherwise of high quality… but the possessive form of “it” is “its,” no apostrophe. “It’s” is short for “it is.” :slight_smile:

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Dammit… I thought I grammar checked that…
Initiating self flagellation protocol…

I think I caught them all now…

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I agree with you about the cooldown on abilities. In Borderlands, IIRC, there was an audio and a distinct visual cue when your character’s special ability was ready to use again. Plenty of times I have been running around waiting to drop a mine or double jump and just didn’t notice I could have done it forever ago.