I’ve played Battleborn since the CTT and have loved the game ever since. I really enjoyed the story and the lore of which I’ve read, but have personally have had problems with how “choppy” the story missions feel. To me, they don’t feel connected to one another for the most part and that you’re doing the missions “for the sake of doing them” rather than actually making any progress story wise as you don’t get to see the aftermath of the mission (such as the preservation of Eldrid history in “The Archive”). So I wondered; what’s lacking to me? What would’ve been the optimal way for Battleborn to handle the story in my eyes?
So after thinking about it for a while, I think I arrived at a solution which would’ve been a nice way of handling the story (though not original by any means whatsoever).
Instead of having a main menu, have a hub area such as the one in Plants versus Zombies: Garden Warfare 2.
This hub area could then primarily be Nova, with the bay doors opening up to a secondary area which dynamically changes between areas such as Tempest, Ekkunar or Bliss depending on where your last mission took place. All Battleborn which you have unlocked will be found throughout this area, and you can have dialogue between all of them (which could then also dynamically change depending on which mission(s) you’ve completed or which planet you’re located on) as well as changing to that character on the fly within the hub area. What now is found in the main menu would then also be found in this hub area such as gear (in the armoury for instance) and stats/challenges (in the main office/quarters for instance). Then you could have lore intertwined into the game through dialogue, journals and just the characters’ actions (such as Whiskey Foxtrot’s skills as a chef). Then any player could join you in this hub area as one of the remaining characters and change between them as well. And if the need was there, one could duel each other as well.
The missions themselves would be granted by different characters depending on what the mission is about when you talk to them around the ship. Certain missions being available whenever whereas certain missions are locked until certain requirements are met (completed 3 specific missions, found collectibles/clues outside of Nova when landed on Tempest or something of that nature). Another factor being that missions are locked for certain characters (which I know goes against Gearbox’s principles for Battleborn), so certain characters either can’t go into a certain mission and in other cases only a handful of characters can. An example could be Phoebe issuing the mission to unlock Kelvin; Search for the Aztanti relic which makes up his skeleton as Mellka, Miko, Kleese, Phoebe or Ghalt for instance (been a while since I read his lore, apologise for any contradictory information). Having restrictions and requirements would make the missions feel more logical and would make more sense. It’s weird (to me) now how you can play as Caldarius to save Caldarius, ISIC to kill ISIC and so on. Even playing as Ghalt or Kleese only to hear yourself talk through a com is strange.
So how would’ve you liked for the story to be handled in Battleborn? Is it good the way it is? What could be changed? Improved upon?
Please note that I’m not commenting on the content of the story or missions. One could go on about this such as shorter missions, more varied objectives, better maps etc, but I wanted to limit this to a strictly structural level.
Mellka should’ve got the girl. Instead, Whiskey Foxtrot landed Deande from outta nowhere.
I’m only half-joking about this. There is a deep disconnect between the lore we read and the “campaign” we played. There’s a reason I didn’t even buy the final two DLCs - to me, the Battleborn setting has all the cohesion and meaning of a fever dream.
I know there’s plenty of people who love the game’s lore (and I really respect the writers), but I will always remember BB as a cornucopia of missed opportunities.
And I think your hub idea is great. Wildly impossible in the mad constraints of modern game design (that’s essentially describing a true PVE FPS experience and a MOBA hero shooter in one), but great as a dream scenario.
While we’re dreaming, storylines plural is always something I appreciate. A few branches here and there, some outcomes for failure that aren’t just “do the mission again,” and some connections/rapport between the BB that vary based on our choices and successes. Still dreamland stuff, but hey.
I’d actually like to hear some examples! I wish the written lore did have more obvious statements in the main story but that’s what you get with 8-13 missions featuring 30 characters…
again, i’d like to hear your ideas! Not tryna be critical or anything, but it sounds like you have an opinion and i’d like to hear it[quote=“EdenSophia, post:2, topic:1558092”]
A few branches here and there, some outcomes for failure that aren’t just “do the mission again,”
I 100% agree! I’d like to see maybe not killing isic have an impact or lead you to a new area to try again.
Of course bb can get improved in the pve aspect
Like a lot
And i wish
Any time soon
Boldur should of single handedly defeated the Jennerit empire, saved Solus, and gotten bear back.
Some more character specific dialogue and actual cutscenes would’ve been great
When I saw the trailer with the song “Cold Hard B*tch” I honestly thought those were in-game cutscenes
An anime cutscene featuring attikus and caldarius kicking ass together
That’s all I would put
I like the idea of having an overworld map or someway to interact from a command center. It would make the game feel like one complete thing rather than choosing different modes from a menu. Kinda like how Warframe does it or Super Mario 3.
That doesn’t really fit with the beginning of the story though. The prologue intro makes it seem (In my head) as if we are a commander controlling all of these Battleborn like in Enders Game. That’s why I really liked having to unlocked characters and such.
Cool ideas so far
My conception around this is that
in fact all of the Story Missions are simulations. This’d explain different, character dependant dialogues and any possible “inconsistencies” between lore fragments (creative liberties).
How’s that a spoiler, they Andre not simulations at all
Oh, that. That’s just my theory (well, I exclude Prologue, for obvious reasons).
But I like to think of discovering character dependant dialogues as a part of “WOW” experience, connected to lore of the game itself. Thus, kinda, spoiler. Also: In previous version of my post I wrote something about Lorrians…
This idea is reminiscent of Destiny’s Tower, which, while interesting at first, quickly became a hindrance to some players and later changes were incorporated to the make the Tower less necessary. Also, even with this central hub area, Destiny was also lambasted for its overall lack of story. So, this idea would certainly be different and offer a narrative shake-up, but I would be concerned it would go the way of Destiny. However, I think it’s awesome you thought outside of the box and came up with a completely new design for Battleborn like this.
A progressive story like that found in Halo (another sci-fi epic) could have been quite effective here. One thing Halo does is offer a cohesive narrative (even if it’s huge and bombastic) while still presenting plenty of multiplayer options via a multiplayer menu. I love me a good sci-fi narrative and it would’ve been really interesting to see the Battleborn narrative play out in a more linear and progressive fashion, with appropriate cutscenes and sense of overall progression as you moved directly from one mission to the next in a way that made sense given the overall narrative arc.
Another option would be something akin to “story pods.” Since there are only three planets left, each planet could have been a “pod.” Complete story missions on a planet with appropriate cutscenes in-between each mission to make it feel like the Battleborn were traversing the planet and completing relevant missions there. After one pod (or planet) was completed, the next most-pressing one would unlock and you’d have X number of missions to play on that planet. In this way, each individual planet could have been a narrative segment which could have ultimately connected to the larger story. And, thanks to the ship, Nova, Ghalt, and the others could have dropped in the Battleborn needed for the mission or act as a kind of “storage” hub for the team and you’d get to pick which Battleborn (based on the ones you had unlocked) would be deployed for the mission. Does Mellka need a break? Call in Deade, etc. Do you need an elite death squad of crazy for a mission? Call up Orendi and pals.
Just some ideas there. I think it ultimately depends on how deep the devs wanted the story to go and what the overarching narrative was intended to be (a.k.a. kill Rendain, save Solus).
The choppy feeling of the story was always an issue for me. I didn’t buy this game for the PvP, though it did become my preferred mode after I realized how much it felt like Monday Night Combat. I did in fact, buy the game for the story.
What Battleborn really lacks is a cohesive plot thread. Everything else is there: distinct interesting characters, an amazing setting, and a good setup. But when you first start up the game, you have no idea what’s going on. One character is talking about a stone and ancient civilizations and suddenly you’re on Tempest playing as an elf with a machine pistol and apparently the bad guy has a plan and there’s these things called Varelsi but you don’t see them at first and who is Lenore and what are the Jennerit and they have robots but Kleese ran the company that made the robots…you see where I’m going here?
A lot of the background is buried in character lore. The first character that really clicked with me was Orendi, and the first time I played through the story it was with her. I went through the whole story without playing as a Jennerit (remember that only Rath was available to start at that point), and all their lore is where all the stuff about Lenore and Rendain is explained. Orendi’s backstory is really all her own, she probably has the least amount of connection with the other characters. Her relationship with Marquis isn’t actually referenced in the game lore, and it’s not made at all clear why Reyna decided that one the best people to take with her when joining the Battleborn for the most important mission ever undertaken was an unpredictable lunatic. In short, there was a lot of important stuff I missed playing through the story the first time, but at least I knew the name of Orendi’s hat.
I feel this game could have used more cutscenes to fill in the blanks, just a few things to connect the missions and explain how we got from point “A” to point “B”. Or how about after completing the Algorithm, you unlock an audio log where a UPR commander calls Ghalt and grudgingly thanks him for saving Ocoban and offers a favour, which could be called back to during a later mission (eg. “I called in that favour from the UPR. They’re holding back the Jennerit fleet while we carry out our sabotage mission here on Tempest”).
I think storytelling took a back seat to a bigger vision of what the game was and how it was going to work during development. This game was designed as a MOBA, and the thing I’ve always hated about MOBAs is how they come up with tons of great characters and interesting settings, but then give them nothing to do. There’s no way to develop these characters. Hell, didn’t League of Legends eventually decanonize their entire lore?
Battleborn ended up being a lot more than this. The writers and a certain Creative Director obviously care a great deal about the lore and made something very special. The thing is, I’m not sure they realized what it was they had when they were making it. They certainly couldn’t have foreseen the dedication and depth of the community Battleborn would end up attracting.
It was hardly a competition with the kind of taunts whiskey has.
(Dreamily): I know, right…? His ass is hypnotic…
Slaps self with flipper. I-I mean…
GAZE UPON TOBY AND DESPAIR!! HAHAHAHA!!
MY ASS IS HYPNOTIC TOO!!!
And so is yours… but in a creepy way…
TOBY IN BENEDICT’S IMAGINATION:
Feels like I’m wearing nothing at all… nothing at all… NOTHING AT ALL!!! CUZ I’M NOT!!!
FK YOU IMAGINARY TOBY!!! PUT SOME FKING PANTS ON!!!
What’s this topic about now?
I don’t think that the problem is that the overarching narrative of the story is chopped up, I think the problem is that the game doesn’t make it clear that there isn’t one. Let me explain:
We as gamers are very used to our story modes being large, traditional epics. We’ve grown accustomed to every event, quest, or plot point happening on a steady March to the finale, unless you’re playing a Bethesda game in which case the story is just that thing you’re ignoring. So naturally, when we look at a story mode, we just assume it adheres to a set narrative.
Battleborn doesn’t do that.
Battleborn is very much in the old school Saturday morning cartoon mindset, when any episode could be shown at any time. Yes there is an overarching story, but each mission exists in a vacuum. Each one is a completely self contained story, that apart from the prologue and Heliophage could happen in any and every conceivable order and not break its own flow. Sure they’re all numbered, but episode numbers didn’t matter one wink until the mid 90’s.
No, anime doesn’t count. I said Saturday morning cartoons. Look, I don’t give a ■■■■ what your local station syndicated… We’re getting off track.
The only thing I would have done differently is, instead of going to a numbered list, having some sort of galaxy map where the missions are listed on the planets, with what kind of missions they are. No way Algorithm should be episode 1, anyway…
Exactly they did it for the online pve, you would not miss any of the story if you joined the online pve after prologue.
You could do the prologue then heliophage and miss little to nothing storyeise
Well, the lore suggests that there’s a complex web of alliances, grudgingly cooperating races/alien entities, a strategic push to defeat an evil empire, and an organised resistance movement spearheaded by Ghalt and coordinated around Solus…
The game is a series of vignettes in which we, as vague player personas, guide Battleborn (who aren’t the “real” Battleborn - Mellka, Kleese etc. are clearly canonically not on these missions, ditto for Boldur, Caldarius, ISIC, etc in their respective episodes) from point to point. We’re chasing after Rendain, who is an absolute non-personality imho, and defeat bosses who never are explained. What exactly is Bagranth? Why does that one thrall have a magic sword and explode into shadow Varelsi? Why did Wolf Sentry have to act as a payload anyway? Are we supposed to care about destroying the Sentinel?
Honestly, I feel the only character development we get period in the campaign is the growing bond between Mellka and Deande. From Mell’s initial disdain to the closing scenes where they basically undress each other with their eyes. Yet all of this amounts to nothing: in PVP, they hate each other, and in the back-lore, it’s Whiskey that Deande has grown to trust and admire. The guy never appears nor gets a single line of dialogue in the campaign. Okay. Right.
The tone is also kinda inconsistent (some of the lore is wacky, some is completely earnest sci-fi opera). I appreciate the locked-away lore, but insofar as it tells a story, it never cohered enough to grab me.
That Mell tho