I Don't Understand Why Gearbox Is Making This Game

I hope this isn’t outside of the scope of the technical test, but I have a some questions about the overall direction of this game. I know this is just a technical test, so please don’t take this post as just bashing a work in development or me promoting another game. I want Gearbox to succeed, but this game has me really confused.

  1. The elephant in the room and what I think the average gamer will be thinking when presented with two new but similar games like this: why not play Quake Champions? It’s a game from a company with a history of superb arena shooters. It also allows me to select either 1v1 or multiplayer. The arena-based shooter isn’t anything new or fresh, so what is the thinking behind putting out a product that seems to have less gameplay options than the competition? Wasn’t this the type of thinking that caused Battleborn to fail?

Gearbox, unfairly or not, has been associated with two recent flops. The Aliens game was a legendary disaster, and Battleborn was dominated by Overwatch’s success. So the next step is to put out an arena shooter that has seemingly less gameplay options versus Id, who are already the dominant players in the genre? The choice of where your efforts are being focused seems really odd to an outside observer like myself. Regardless of how good you make this game it will always be compared to Quake Champions instead of taken on it’s own merits. That was not a winning strategy for Battleborn vs. Overwatch and this seems to be a similar situation.

  1. The marketing so far is presenting it as “competitive first-person shooter that combines the action of fast-paced 1v1 first-person combat with the metagame strategy of a collectible card game.” Is the “metagame strategy of a collectible card game” only there because the special skills are randomly rewarded? Is there any other aspect of a card game present? Card games by nature are dependent on an element of randomness and luck. Why would anyone want to invest time in getting skilled at a 1v1 arena shooter when there are random aspects that could determine success, like a less-skilled player being lucky enough to be rewarded with a rare and powerful weapon?

  2. If success partly depends on the rewards from winning matches, and this is only going to be a 1v1 game, then what incentive is there for a player to not just get a couple of more kills and then camp or runaway for the rest of the match? If a player feels like he is matched against a foe with rare or highly-developed skill cards then why would he not avoid conflict once he is ahead? When you get down to it this is a 1v1 game that puts a premium on winning, and if winning isn’t completely dependent on individual skill then why bother?

Thanks for hearing me out and if I am making any incorrect assumptions I will gladly stand corrected.

Best wishes to everyone,
k4jun

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So I will be honest and say that I too sort of had this kind of thought but the real thing is, how can we know that this won’t be more popular than Quake Champions? It could be that people decide to play this because they are a greater fan of Gearbox Software than they are of Id. As a person who has had contact with and brainstormed some video game ideas with people in the past (I hope to eventually be a writer for a company, even though I have no real experience besides stuff like this) you only ever know where you can go if you try.

I personally played most of Id’s stuff and I will say that while this does have the look and feel of a standard Arena Shooter, there are aspects and elements of this game that separate it from the others. It’s like when you go to the store and buy anything really. You have a look at both things and decide, “Oh hey these features make A more appealing than B. So I will buy A even though/(because) B is less/(more) expensive.”

Also we don’t know what “Success” is to the GBX team in respect to this game. It could just be “we broke into this genre with a reasonable level of success”, or it could be “We eliminated the competition and took over the industry MAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!” That’s a scale only they truly know.

In the end, you don’t know how far you can go with something until you try. I honestly applaud them for attempting to try to break into a genre of shooters they have yet to really branch into yet. And who knows, maybe parts of this game end up being used as a basis or a launching point for something even more epic in the future. We just won’t know until it happens! What I do know is that a LOT of people love GBX. I personally have met quite a few members of the team face to face and they all seem like pretty awesome folks and it’s that which will keep them strong through the future.

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I’ll just say, having played the quake champions closed beta… it is just a terrible terrible… soooo terrible game. This is much more fun

Awesome, you played QC and like this more. How about we help out Gearbox here and you tell them what was so terrible in QC so they can avoid the same mistakes? What about this game is making it so great?

I believe the OP has made some great points and even if they don’t want to try comparing and competing against QC or other shooters that are alike, it will be compared anyways. What worries me is the card system with long term players vs newer ones and how balanced it will be. I have played enough games with cards levels to know there are ALWAYS complaints about over leveled cards from whales.

As for point 3. I honestly thought camping and hiding would be more of a thing than it has been right now. I guess it is thanks to still getting a box no matter what people don’t care as much about losing than if they were to get no reward at all. I bet once that is gone and only the winning is rewarded we will start seeing it appear.

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right on. This is a closed technical test, which is way different from closed beta which has a majority of design. We are have been selected to eval and test the game while the design is being worked on. Thats actually alot of power because gearbox values our opinion.

I also feel that this closed technical test is a way to mitigate some of the issues their last two games had. especially with the design and community involvement.

i have played quake champions and well its quake. exactly as i expected. nothing more nothing less. TBH i was expecting some type of campaign missions or some solo stuff, but its right into a 3 arena deathmatch zone. The collectible nature of the game screens CoD. Honestly i think it lacks any sorta meta skill design, which i love in a game.

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i didn’t really like quake champions either. it also ran like crap on my laptop. still today i play borderlands 2. runs fantastic on my machine. blizzard games run great too. from a game saying it is suspose to run at 120, meh. i care more about the design then say pretty graphics. and honestly when i play competitively i turn the graphics all the way down. when you get really into the game it doesn’t matter anyways.

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that was a bit of a overreaction but sure here is why I like this better: tighter controls (but I feel the default mouse sensitivity is way too high, 75% is better), level layouts, colours (so bored of brown games), variety of abilities through cards, the arena is entertaining to watch and queue for

problems? the launcher is tiny and has fonts are too small, fullscreen would be better, default key mapping is not great (I hated pressing T and getting stuck in chat when I meant to press R, I remapped this eventually)

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Is there any other aspect of a card game present? Card games by nature are dependent on an element of randomness and luck.

The loadouts of your opponent are not known until you see them use the abilities. There’s your random/luck aspect - you need to be either ready to counter their abilities with your own, or skilled enough to not need to. This is much less of an issue for new players, of course, but the concept of collecting and upgrading the abilities so you can have different setups is pretty fun so far. And the drops for new cards/lootboxes are also pretty random/luck based.

I’d like to see some kind of higher level tournament play, where you have two players playing multiple rounds against each other, with a limited number of decks that are chosen at the start of the match; we’d get a lot more tactical gameplay when you know, at least vaguely, what you might need to be countering in the upcoming round. Both players could have three decks each, and play a best of three match, but the abilities you discover are kept between rounds; you just don’t know if they’re going to use that deck again, or one of their other ones. Could lead to some pretty intense gaming if it’s done correctly.

I like both QC and this. But this seems to be a more promising esport title. I think it has a lot of potental and I’m excited to see what else is coming next. I love playing quake champions, but this game really impressed me I did not know it was gonna be an arena shooter. I love gearbox. You know Aliens wasn’t Gearbox’s fault. It was sega rushing gearbox to finish it. Duke nukem forever was good too. Some people just dont like good games.

I have a hard time believing this game will be a bigger esport than Quake. For starters, it’s a super casualized version of an AFPS, and the strategy of controlling the map and outplaying your opponents is pretty much gone with the elimination of pickups, and there’s barely any advanced movement techniques beyond rocket jumping. The maps are small, the timer is too short, and any sort of strategy is thrown out the window because again, no metagaming.

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But you do have to keep in mind this is a very early build of the game. I can see it beating quake champions in the esport area if they make some quality changes, I love what i’m seeing so far.

I wouldn’t bank on this game having massive esports appeal unless there is an underlying change in the entire direction it is currently headed in. When there is money involved then there has to be an even playing field, and the “card metagame” kind of screws that up.

On the other side of the coin the competition has been running Quakecon, one of the largest esports events in the world for over 20 years. Two weeks ago $1 million total was awarded for their 7 year old arena shooter. That pecking order in the esports world will not be changing anytime soon and I don’t think that Gearbox even has that as one of their goals with this game.

So while there are other directions this product could succeed and fill a niche, but serious esports is not likely to be one of them. Again, I’m not flaming Gearbox, but this is the reality of what they are up against if they really wanted to be a major esports player.

You made pretty valid points. Quake is a big game, it’s the monster of arena shooters. QC is a great game. Im just really interested in this game, I love what this is already and I just wonder what else is to come to it.

I’m glad other people are noticing this. I feel that being able to deny your opponent guns, ammo and health is an important part of arena shooters. This game is severely lacking this since everyone is slinging unlimited rockets at each other during their first match.

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  1. The elephant in the room and what I think the average gamer will be thinking when presented with two new but similar games like this: why not play Quake Champions?

So I think this is an interesting and important question to ask about a game in the early stages. What is this game, and how does it separate it’s self from the massive number of games like it out there. To be honest I’m not sure this game does at the moment do a good job offering something interesting. If I had to describe the game as simply as possible it would be. A quake shooter with cards you equip for abilities. To be fair though this is a closed technical beta, and summing up a game this early isn’t really fair. I’m sure there are many changes in store for the game.

  1. The marketing so far is presenting it as “competitive first-person shooter that combines the action of fast-paced 1v1 first-person combat with the metagame strategy of a collectible card game.”

I think this might be the biggest problem the game has at this time. I’m not sure the direction is working for it. The cards don’t feel to me like they add to the shooter. They feel at best like a distraction, and at worst like deterrent to playing the game. So what’s the direction of the game ? 1v1 shooter is a solid start. You focus on 1v1 game play, and highlight it’s attributes. While pushing the solo nature of the game in a world of competitive team shooters. I’m not sure the card mechanic it self is the problem, but the current cards definitely are.

  1. If success partly depends on the rewards from winning matches, and this is only going to be a 1v1 game, then what incentive is there for a player to not just get a couple of more kills and then camp or runaway for the rest of the match?

I think this is currently a problem but might not be in the future. At the moment there is only death match mode, and hiding while your ahead, or making your enemy come to you is a decent strategy. If you add new game modes I think that would solve or at least lessen this problem. Rewards will always be based on wining or losing. Either through mmr, or in game rewards. Even if the game ended based on number of kill you would still have people playing cautious when they are ahead.

In conclusion I think the most important thing right now is the direction of the game, and how they plan to push it’s advantages. I think there is a real chance for a 1v1 shooter to make a dent in the current shooter market, but it need to push something interesting, and fun.

As a person who has played a thousand hours of TF2, invested way too much time as a teenager in the Quake and Doom series of games, and as a person who loves competitive FPS games in the line of CSGO I can understand what makes you have a level of concern for the RNG elements of the card element of the game

I have played Hearthstone. I don’t like it. And Magic is a game that I don’t really care for. But when properly balanced a card based system can be more like load outs than a “I top decked lethal” style of play. I feel that later on in the games development stage the card aspect will add more skill and less luck, as well as hopefully the competitive mode will have fully flushed out ban systems and it will be clear what the opponent is using at all times.

Gearbox has always been a company that is great about immersing a player in the worlds they create. Competitive FPS as a genre has always been awful about that. RNG or not, I believe that gear box will be able to pull through and really make this game a hit, especially since they aren’t making it out to be anything other than what it is. Plus, there is no massive title competing with it. Quake champions has already been put under the weather in my opinion. It wasn’t enjoyable from the 10 hours I played
I have hope for Project 1v1

The thing is though this IS directly competing with QC. It’s an AFPS, and there’s nothing that makes it stand out other than, “hey, we made a very casual and watered down AFPS.”

I think some people will be turned off by the F2P aspect of it. Once you start getting owned by people who simply have better cards than you, most people will be out.

There is still appeal in shooters like CS:GO and Overwatch where simply skill is the difference and cosmetics are the money maker.

I think people are kinda jumping the gun a bit here, it’s not even out of Pre Alpha and already it’s getting bashed. I played a certain closed test that’s been discussed here recently and wasn’t that impressed with it. I mean it literally was crashing at the launcher and then game running and performance was horrible.

While yes Gearbox has had 2 bad games (I did enjoy Battleborn’s closed technical campaign mode) Gearbox will have a flop or 2 from time to time. That’s true for any game company since it’s such a competitive environment now a days. So give them some slack and lets just see what they put out before condemning it so to speak.

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Why are they’re making this game? Well, why not? Nowadays, it’s hard to tell what the formula is for success in the game industry. Critics were calling the Switch the second coming of the Wii U, and now everyone’s crazy for it, especially in Japan. Ninja Theory cranks out their passion project with Hellblade, leveraging full creative control without publisher meddling, and it seems to have made its financial bones, while nabbing critical acclaim to boot.

The game industry seems to be changing once again, and I don’t think armchair critics will be able to tell whether there’s room alongside Quake for another AFPS. Dark horse, microtransaction cash cow, runaway E-Sports phenom, or just another flash in the pan – I think it’s too early to tell. However, with P1V1’s small team aesthetic, at least it doesn’t seem like it’s on the path to become some uninspired AAA title, crapped out by a soulless gelatinous developer/publisher cube. I’ve had my fill of those.