“I suggest a mode in which only swords are permitted. For those Battleborn who are uncertain how to use swords, I would, of course, provide basic instruction. The lumberjack might be well-suited to a claymore, while the Eldrid mercenary could quite easily adapt her existing martial training to the use of a well-honed tanto. As for the Mike unit, I’m sure he would be content with one of those little novelty umbrella toothpicks.”
"Hey, so I’ve never thought about this, ever, but I’m totally glad you asked. A game mode. Sure. Uh… I’m gonna call it, uh, the ‘Montana Mash.’ It’s basically, uh… well, you run around with, I don’t know, some kind of heavy thing strapped to your body. Maybe a shark or something? Oh, oh, I got it! The shark goes on your head, like a hat, and you got the mouth bit facing forward, okay? And it’s shark jousting. You run at your enemy, trying to get them into the shark mouth, and they’re totally doing the same thing back…
…hey, where you going? I’m not done!"
"I’ve always felt the existing game modes are rather unintelligent. Yes, yes, you can put minions into a grinder - good for you. Any dumb grunt who picks up a gun, grenade launcher, or bio-claw can win a game of Meltdown. But if the objective was to construct the minions before they begin their doomed voyage, would you fare so well? I doubt it very much!
So let’s call this technical mode of mine ‘Buildup.’ You have to run around a workshop filled with components, constructing the various minions that will ultimately trot along to sate MINREC’S ravenous hunger. Considerable challenges await! Can you keep up with supply and demand? Can you, in the heat of the moment, remember to install the servo-motors the right way up? Is your hand steady on the soldering iron? Have you debugged your pathfinding subroutine? Imagine your shame when, due to your incompetence, your MX-Elite Bot marches right into your own grinder! Imagine the action replay on that!"
"Huh. You know what we need? Less damn rules. You think I care about escorting minions to the grinder? You think I wanna guide minions to the enemy sentry? I’m not a friggin’ Shepherd bot! You think I want to collect masks from Varelsi? The hell am I going to do with Varelsi masks? The hell do Varelsi even do with Varelsi masks?
Nah, I want a game mode where you just wreck fools. All day, every day, with whatever weapons come to hand. No scoring system, no winning, no losing. Just violence. The kind of match that’s basically all about death. That’d be the theme, you know. Death. A match devoted to death. I wonder if I could come up with some kinda catchy name for that…"
“Why do you want new modes? So you can hide from me? All your fancy rules, your so-called objectives… you think they can distract me from putting an arrow in your f***ing face. No such chance. Here is your new mode, coward: you run. I shoot. You die. There are no tears.”
“I want a game mode where you get points for being nice to each other! The way it works, both teams have to rush to the middle of the map, as fast as they can, and then hug as many people as possible. If you slip up and call Benedict a rancid pile of Varelsi feces, though, then you have to apologize and you lose half a point. Not more than that, or it’d be impossible for anyone to win. Oh, yeah! And there’s no losing team, but just winners and _extra-_winners! In fact, let’s just get rid of the whole scoring idea. It’s too competitive, and besides, Benedict is a rancid pile of Varelsi feces! Oh, whoops, I slipped! Gee, this mode is hard. I’m gonna have to practice…”
"It’s about time you asked for my opinion! I have a grand idea for a rather fun, silly, but still very fair game mode. First, everyone should have their weapons taken away from them. Mobility aids are exempt, of course. Second, everyone should be forbidden from walking or running. Locomotion produced by outside forces, of course, is not counted as ‘movement’ per se. Third, there should be recharging stations liberally sprinkled around the map, in the off-chance that someone needs to recharge their tazering device. This, of course, would be freely available to everyone. No favoritism!
Finally, everyone who loses must do a little jig for me. Oh, and Mellka isn’t allowed to call me names! Yes! Are you getting this all down?"
"As one queue falls, another rises. A match is found, a server is chosen. Is this a coming together? Or a parting? Has the match been made, or has the queue been left? We see that there is no true mode, but only all modes and no modes. We play at the horizon of this nothing and everything. To add one mode is to add a droplet to the ocean. To take one mode is to draw a single breath from the wind.
We have answered your question."
"For my proposed game mode, a new map would be required. A handsome manor, well-appointed, with a fine hedge garden and attractive balconies. One balcony, unreachable from below, is where I stand. And in the garden? Countless hobos! The objective is to eradicate them before they trample the rose bushes. I considered calling this mode ‘Hobo Hunt,’ but I deemed that name vulgar, placing the emphasis as it does upon the hobo. Instead, I propose it be called ‘A Gentleman’s Delight.’ I also expect unlimited ammunition.
Now, pray tell, when does my first royalty check arrive?"
“Pass the Parcel! Yay! Everyone passes it around, then when the music stops, you peel off a layer! Quick, quick. If the parcel wriggles, hold it tight! Last person gets to eat whatever’s inside! Then, catch another parcel!”
“You kids need to learn that war ain’t fun! War is hell! I wanna see a game mode that makes you wanna puke! I wanna see a game mode that makes you taste blood, smell sh*t, and sink to your knees and cry for the Mama you know you ain’t gonna see again because, boys and girls, you ain’t ever goin’ home! How’s this for a game mode? You walk out of the spawn point, and then there’s ten million Varelsi right there, and they eat you the hell up, and that’s how you learn your goddamn lesson. You take combat seriously!”
"Restricted character queue suggestion: Goodies vs baddies! On Team Justice, the best and the boldest! Phoebe Hemsworth IV, fighting as her top-secret alter ego Rapier Lass! Captain T. Ghalt, the First Among Battleborn, in spandex as Papa Shotgun! And yours truly, Kid Ultra!
Then, on Team Up-To-No-Good, a trio of mega-baddies! Professor Kleese, the Mathematical Mastermind! El Dragon, in a shocking heel turn as El Chupacabra! And Kelvin, as the villainous MASTER FREEZE! Can their schemes be foiled? Will good prevail? Stay tuned!"
“A game mode? This is not a game, child. This is an endless struggle against the long, dark night. You trivialize my suffering by treating it as recreation. Do you not understand that I strive against the blackness within and without? Do you think me amused when the voices take root in my mind and my eyes cloud with corruption? When vengeance uses me as its agent, when I become the maelstrom, when I awaken from my chaotic stupor to find shattered corpses in my wake… seeing among their ravaged faces both the strange and familiar, perhaps even those I loved… DO YOU THINK ME ENTERTAINED?”
"To be quite honest with you, I’m a little bit weary of all this in-fighting. I have an Empire to run, racial quarrels to soothe, and galactic alliances to forge. Yet I’m continually expected to rush around pleasing MINREC, protecting some Sentry unit, or, worst of all, standing idly on a little circle for no fathomable reason. It’s extremely vexing.
So I propose a queue that doesn’t have me in it, so I can actually get some work done. Speaking of which, could you please take a hint? And close the door behind you. Thank you ever so much."
"A mode in which every minion must carry an effigy of Lothar Rendain. Rendain feels every measure of the minion’s pain, fear, and suffering. But as the physical damage is not dealt to him, he can never die. Only suffer.
Also, every match must run for ten hours. No surrender."
"A mode in which you watch, totally helpless, as your character is controlled by the bot AI. Every time you see yourself trapped on a small shard, every time you get stuck inside the spawn point, every time you blindly wander into enemy fire, you’ll realize - this is how it feels to be a slave! This is the whip on your back, the brand on your flesh, the howling artillery that cows you from behind your own ‘friendly’ lines! And when you finally come to understand the plight of the oppressed and subjugated, you… get your controller back, I guess.
Not sure how to score this one, to be honest."
“I’m thinkin’ a mode where you play as a good-lookin’ bird, soarin’ over the battlefield while totin’ a glorious UPR-SM23 Rocket Launcher! And every time somebody points up, swoons, and says ‘Check out that handsome bird,’ you get a frigging point! High score, baby, hiiiiiigh scooooore!”
“I propose a mode played by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Oh, we already have four of those? Never mind, then!”
“I SUGGEST SHAYNE HUNT! HUNT A WEEPING SHAYNE WHILE SHE GROVELS FOR MERCY!”
“No, dude, that’s whack. Nobody would want to play some stupid Shayne Hunt.”
“AUROX & SHAYNE MODE! SHAYNE IS BOUND TO ME AND FORCED TO ACT AS MY LIVING SHIELD! HER BODY IS RUTHLESLY SHREDDED IN MY SERVICE!”
“I don’t even know if you realize how dumb your mouth sounds right now.”
“SHAYNEDOWN! GUIDE ENEMY SHAYNES INTO THE GRINDER! REVEL IN THE CONTINUAL SPRAY OF HER BLOOD AND VISCERA!”
“Whoa. You know, Chaos Rumble isn’t that bad.”
“Personally, I think Nova’s little introductions are a wasted opportunity. In my mode, which we shall call ‘Claudia’s Challenge,’ I will introduce every match and offer useful advice on comportment, manners, and hygiene. Oh, and a dress code for the battlefield - until you at least put in a little effort, you aren’t allowed to leave spawn. See, aren’t these excellent ideas? Implement them forthwith!”
“How about a game mode where, if someone quits early, my hand comes out of the screen and slaps their slackjawed face? And then my boot comes out of their chair and goes right up their ass. Stop ruining this for everybody, you punk-asses. You people make it really hard to be nice, you know?”
“On one team: Boldur! On other team: everybody who is not Boldur! No other modes. Play it forever!”
"I am so glad you asked me this, because I’ve been thinking about it. There needs to be a game mode where all your weapons are doubled. You know what I mean. Rath running about with six swords. Mell with an Eldrid gauntlet on each arm, a machine pistol in each hand. Thorn with two bows! Why not? Kleese riding two chairs! Phoebe with… I don’t even want to count that, a TON of rapiers! And I get to whip out four shotguns. I’ll grow these little tiny arms, like a varimorph would, and go to town. Eight barrels of death. You know you love it.
You do love it, right? Hey, if you don’t like this idea, I’ve got others…"
“Ooh, that’s a fun question. 'ow about a mode we’ll call Bounty? Every time you kill someone, you get paid for it! Better yet, every multi-kill is tax-deductible! And you get a fresh, crisp receipt with every new murder. The winner gets a free session with an accountant to tally the profit and figure out how much has to go back into expenses. Don’t all flood the queue, now!”
“A championship mode! A tournament-style extravaganza in which, one by one, Battleborn enter the ring and valiantly grapple for the title of Champion! And there shall be a ring-side crowd, so hushed, so expectant, faces radiant with admiration. See it now with me, friend, visualize it as clearly as I can! A bout! A pin! And then, the bell! The crowd erupts! Who is the winner, you ask? Aloft, a majestic golden arm! It’s El Dragooooooon!”
"I’m thinking a twist on Meltdown where, for every minion that goes into the grinder, everyone takes a shot. Whoever is still standing at the end of thirty minutes wins. And then they drink to celebrate.
Oh, and yeah, Whiskey Foxtrot is unavailable in this mode. You’re not allowed to ask me why. Oh, and uh, can someone tell Deande to delete her last ten voicemails from me? The ones timestamped around three AM? The ones that start with the sound of me drunkenly crying and admitting that I… yeah, no, not explaining that either."
“Oooh! Ooh! I’ve got this! A game mode in which you’ve gotta escort robots into a giant MOUTH filled with freaking razor blades. Let’s call them GRINDERS! And you get points for that! And maybe another mode, too, where you’ve got to take down some kind of gigantic Sentry-like robot. You could call it the SENTRY! Yeah! And you could name the mode something really badass, like ‘Call of Duty!’ You’re gonna use these ideas, right?”
"How about a mode in which every team has to have a Galilea? And at the end of each match, as everyone’s taking a breather, she’ll walk up to you, and she’ll say, ‘Good fighting, kid.’ And then, ‘So, you wanna hang out sometime?’ And then you’ll be like, ‘Sure!’ But not in a clingy or desperate way, you know? Really casual. Like… ‘Suuuure.’ Like that. ‘Suuuure would, Gals.’ Except you wouldn’t call her Gals right away, you know? You’d wait until you’d watched a few movies, figured out a few cute in-jokes, maybe got to your first sleepover… and then you’d say, while you’re all snuggled up in your jammies, ‘Can I call you Gals?’
And she’d look at you, and she’d give you a sleepy half-smile, and she’d say, ‘Sure you can, Alani. Sure you can.’
So, yeah, a game mode like that."
"If you die in the game, you die. For real.
I’m not joking.
Topic’s over now."