Is it PvE that killed PvP and Battleborn in general?

First off I bought the game for PvP only, and from the start considered PvE as a free addon, a bonus when compared to other PvP games.

Now there was a lot of talk about why Battleborn failed, why no one is playing it, what could be done to improve it, and I myself agreed with some of them, and added my own. There is no question that marketing wasnt good enough, that there are huge frame drops issues, that there is no proper tutorial introducing people to different effects and mechanics, and so on. However the drop in the amount of players was so big, that even with all those issues I still couldnt belive it. There was no such case before.

Recently however, based on forum observations, I started to think that the main reason for that could be PvE. What I never considered before was, what if people who quit were mainly PvE players who got bored with it, and couldnt find themselves in PvP. Because what I noticed is that a huge amount of people came here straight from Borderlands. However this is not a Borderlands game. Some of you probably played missions hundred of times, but lets face it, they are boring, nothing to compare to Borderlands. Not only there is less of everything, there also is no continuity of character development in terms of leveling, skills and gear, which is actualy what usualy keeps people playing. Hence people who often liked Borderlands and expected similarly rich PvE experience, would play few missions and quit when bored. Those people would often try PvP, but for a PvE player, often without moba or competitive fpp background, it would be hard to get into. This would explain the huge initial drop of players that happened. You see, PvP players like me tend to check what exactly they are buying, especialy when there are many games to choose from. So a PvP player who buys Battleborn, he should already know that this is largly a moba game, he should know about existance of leveling, skills, and gear, possibly even existing technical problems. And such player would play a bit to learn and see if he likes the game, as did I, because I only started to like it after finding suitable character and playing incursion for 3 or 5 times with it.

There is a lot of people on forums that would like additional PvE content or more lore, both things that PvP players usualy dont care about. In comparision hardly anyone requests PvP maps, and lets say it, for a PvP player the initial 6 maps were a joke, a reason why not to buy such a pricy game, and 9 is not much better.

The game tried to give both PvP and PvE experiences, tying them together by loot. I even liked that idea when I first heard about it, but for it to work it has to give a fully fledged PvP experience, and non repetitive PvE. I honestly think that if the game was released as a PvP only, and then we got PvE missions on monthly basis, it could had better chance to create a community that would got what it expected and would stay with the game. It wont work the other way around, because PvE in Battleborn is too limited for majority of PvE players, while PvP wouldnt keep them playing, and that is exactly what I think happened.

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Hm. An interesting idea. I think there a few points you’re not considering though:

Most MOBAs don’t have near this many maps and being this game is more moba than fps, that would be the better comparison.

For a solid few months, PvE content was pushed back to work on PvP issues and content (such as a new mode and 3 new maps.

4 of the 5 released dlc are characters which are compatible with both modes

The season pass content is (excluding keys) strictly PvE oriented and has been paid for content that gbx just started delivering on

The majority of changes from launch have been balancing, which has been strictly PvP oriented. Many balance changes have screwed characters over for PvE.

That’s all that comes to mind. I do think people are looking for the replayability in PvE that you get with Borderlands, as compared to fps campaign like cod where you probably play it only once (except cod4 imo. Loved those missions). It does naturally split the community and adds more strain on creating a positive PvP experience.

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I could see your point, but you’re also philosophically wrong. Pve killed the game Battleborn could’ve been, and PVP killed the game battleborn could’ve been. They’re equal parts now, for as much as they weren’t supposed to be

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[quote=“jjand302, post:2, topic:1550059, full:true”]
Hm. An interesting idea. I think there a few points you’re not considering though:

Most MOBAs don’t have near this many maps and being this game is more moba than fps, that would be the better comparison.[/quote]
That is true, I guess I looked at it a bit more from fpp player view, for a moba player it may not matter as much. Still a fpp shooters player viewpoint should be considered as well since the game tried to market itself as one and search for a wider audience.

I would say that is in line with my theory. PvE players didnt get much in time so they left when bored. Not to mention for PvP it still wasnt really that much, it was a bit late, and didnt resolve all of the issues.

[quote]4 of the 5 released dlc are characters which are compatible with both modes[/quote]While I liked what addition of the Pendles did to PvP, with so many characters already in the game, adding more at this stage, doesnt really matter that much.

[quote]The season pass content is (excluding keys) strictly PvE oriented and has been paid for content that gbx just started delivering on[/quote]But it is only a reason for PvE players that bought season pass to check new content when it is released. One new mission every few months wont make anyone stay with the game if it is still repetitive, if they already got bored with it.

[quote]The majority of changes from launch have been balancing, which has been strictly PvP oriented. Many balance changes have screwed characters over for PvE.[/quote]While I personaly think that balance doesnt matter as much as some people think when it comes to how many players are playing or leaving, if majority of the community would be a PvE players, and balance changes worked against them, then I would say it would support what I said. However it certainly doesnt matter if new players are coming and then leaving between changes or while only small changes are applied.

But I also have to say that from my experience PvP players often dont like constant changes. Not very often balance changes can make people stay, but they will often make them quit, and even for those who stay, at one point they may just get fed up with them.

Still, there is a lot of things to consider, and we dont even have any stats about what people play.

Ok this is just wrong, compared to other games Gearbox released much more content in a much shorter timespan than almost every other game I can think of besides Free to play moba games (Which these games must release content to keep thier playerbase interested and spending money.).
This is a full retail Pay to play game that has released 4 characters now in 6 months in addition added a new game mode and DLC along with additional maps.
Hmm lets look to the more popular game that was released around the same time, Overwatch. Overwatch has had 1 new character added… anything else?
I don’t think “Lack of content” is the issue.
Shoot they have released characters faster than some MOBA games have and have added other parts to the game.
I am just dumbfounded at this remark, I haven’t had a game supply as many additional content in such a short span like ever. And in addition to all of this we get almost weekly balance updates (Only a couple weeks have been without balance changes).
Gearbox is really pumping out content for this game guys, do some research and compare to other games before making such claims.

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A new map, tons of skins, ranked, constant emotes and taunts and etc. Soon, a new ridiculously large section of modes and another new map

In my opinion the isue is that many players cannot enjoy a game which has 2 modes which are planned to be equal possibilities.
People tend to chose one over another, which leads to calls as “PvE is just a little extra” or “PvP is no big part of the game”.

If humans are faced with 2 equal options, lets take choco & vanilla, most individuals seem to feel pressure to value one above the other, while it was never mutual exclusive. You can have vanilla icecream with chocolate sauce.

But the “What is better/more important/bigger”-discussions show how hard it is to simply enjoy 2 sides of the same medal.


“Lack of Content” or lack of updates…I cannot agree on that point. I never played a game with this cadence & amount of hotfixes, updates and new stuff.
I´m open to hear about games which delivered more in that regard (in the same timeframe of course.)

It may be true that many players got bored after a while, but personally I never understood the trend to concentrate over months on a single game exclusively.
Grinding BB-missions over months can get boring, but I think many games get boring when repeately played over weeks/months. Then the best is a little break, another good game/movie/book/bath.

Only thing I agree to is that a Dojo would have been nice from the start. But on the other hand you can train in:
-The Prologue, which is the official tutorial

  • Private matches
    -PvE normal /PvE private
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Speaking of the prologue, I uh, I first chose Liftoff. Parting Gift just seemed so weak! I also chose the Frag canister and adrenaline rush. And yes, I had plays the beta. (Sigh). Now to hope eden doesn’t see this haha

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Ok I forgot to mention the skins and taunts for battleborn as well, But Overwatch does give those to the players for free at random compared to buying most of the skins released. We have received a mix of free and paid skins.
But they got 1 map compared to our three
Ranked is a big one that needs to be added
The soon to come stuff doesn’t count, because it isn’t within the time line of release to right now lol.

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[quote=“jokerking9211, post:5, topic:1550059, full:true”]
Ok this is just wrong, compared to other games Gearbox released much more content in a much shorter timespan than almost every other game I can think of besides Free to play moba games (Which these games must release content to keep thier playerbase interested and spending money.).[/quote]I think you missed the point I tried to make. Im not trying to say that content added after release of the game was small, but that PvE players could get bored with what they got even before that new content or despite having it. So what you quoted meant that the content released wasnt able to counter that. The thing is if you get bored with the missions, the new characters arent going to change that, balance changes arent going to change that, skins and taunts arent going to change that, and new operations wont change that as well. From that view, the content that was added was insignificant, and the argument that this is more than Gearbox released for any other game or other games in general dont get as much, just doesnt work.

[quote=“Ganjamira, post:7, topic:1550059, full:true”]
In my opinion the isue is that many players cannot enjoy a game which has 2 modes which are planned to be equal possibilities.[/quote]
Well that is another way to look at it. For me I bought the game because I wanted to play a new PvP game, and all I wrote here was the theory about what if the game failed because majority of people bought it for PvE expecting it to be another Borderlands. Now, if we consider what you said, then the first question would be, if it was possible that there were people who would buy it for both. If there were such people and they would be majority, then there would be no problem, but that is not what happened. There are people who want specific things from the games, and I wouldnt blame them. It was however for developer and publisher to try and appeal to certain groups, to think how to release and market the game in order to build a lasting community. Again, my theory is that for some reason the game appealed mostly to Borderlands players while it wasnt catered to them, and that is why so many players left.

Regarding what you wrote about so called dojo, I agree. I dont think training is a problem, rather that the game doesnt really introduce players to things like stun, slow, and how differently some of the skills work. Better tutorial that includes that, and maybe something like lets say videos showing skills in character profiles instead of just descriptions, would help a lot.

Do not assume PvE players have no idea what this game was when Gearbox marketed it. You are painting them as ignorant morons who had the audacity to ruin your PvP experience.

Gearbox marketed this as game with PvP and PvE as significant components to draw both crowds, and I will hold them accountable to deliver a good experience on both fronts.

Ultimately, Gearbox has failed to satisfy both crowds where both sides believe that if the other side did not exist then Battleborn would have been a much better game.

From an PvE perspective, a lot of the world of Solus and its intrigue was wasted due to how the PvE story and lore are structured. I don’t believe that it’s the PvP components that was responsible; I merely wonder who thought that using 8 missions would be sufficient to flesh out the depth of 25, soon 30, characters. Gearbox did not make the PvE as interesting as they needed it to be (even the DLC falls short in many areas) so don’t go and place the blame on PvEers on how they got bored and caused the population to plummet. It’s Gearbox’s responsibility to deliver a product that would ensure their audience, in this case the PvEers, would be playing their game for the expected period of time.

Like I stated earlier, when Gearbox markets this game on the emphasis on both PvP and PvE. then I expect them to both sides to be have strong staying power. What you should be focusing on isn’t to blame the PvEers, but ask Gearbox why they deliver a stronger product on the get go? After all, Battleborn was also marketed as “From the creators of Borderlands” so it’s not merely a coincidence that they were trying to pull in as many Borderlands fans as possible to Battleborn.

For me, the greatest sin of this game, beside too many areas of the PvE story and Operations being dull and offer nothing entertaining by running around to forcefully lengthen the time, is the double connectivity DRM bullcrap.

This double edge sword caused the greatest amount of damage when it came to retention, since both Steam and Gearbox servers can be so damn reliable (sarcasm detected) at any time of the day, thus disconnects came more often than anyone would like to count. How many games do you think I’ve lost due to this where my precious free time suddenly all turned to dust? You let disconnects happen one too many times and people will begin to feel apprehension before playing the game. Why should they bother spending their time playing when there’s a high chance all of it would be for naught?

Gearbox essentially lost the contest of keeping player retention before people tried their game. This is also another reason why people left in droves. People hate their time being wasted.

Attempting to create a further divide between the PvPers and PvEers will solve nothing. We’re all on this sinking ship together, a ship that wouldn’t be sinking if Battleborn didn’t suffer from so many fundamental problems. I would instead demand Gearbox to make sure that future content for their games to be a lot less boring and DO NOT implement self-inflicting and terrible ideas like double DRM (ever heard of a company called Ubisoft?) to ensure that the player base will flee for the hills when stability is compromised.

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…Yup with over 1,600 hours into the game PvE was the reason I first bought it.
Even with so many hours I’ve maxed every character, have Gold in every mission…
But, because of PvP I can’t master every character and I’ve only done 71% of the achievements.
Who makes a game like that? 1,600 hours and I’m left feeling like a step child.

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[quote=“Rivaire, post:12, topic:1550059, full:true”]
so don’t go and place the blame on PvEers on how they got bored and caused the population to plummet. It’s Gearbox’s responsibility to deliver a product that would ensure their audience, in this case the PvEers, would be playing their game for the expected period of time.[/quote]To clarify, it was never my intention to blame PvE players for buying the game, getting bored with it and leaving. I dont belive I wrote it, and if it seems like I imply that then it must be my poor writing. Well, I guess I may have went a bit far and misleading with how I named my post.

What I wrote about is just a theory of what happened to the game, if PvE were majority of players and they are that big drop of players we have seen. There could be many reasons why this happened, a game design, launch strategy, marketing, definitely not players fault. I completely agree in what you wrote that the game and developers are at fault for not meeting expectations. I left open why this happened that majority of players were here for PvE. What you actually say is what I wanted to hear, reasons like marketing and that creators of Borderlands line.

As for divided communities I think the division was there to start with. Those were just 2 different communities with different expectations, something that game probably tried to tie together, but failed to do so. Because of that I wouldnt say that any of those communities really blames other one, at least not to the level of open hostilities.

Well, I am such a customer, so they exist, but as I wanted to state the number of players who think this way are small, so I fully agree to your points in the quote above.

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One important thing to remember: a LOT of overwatch players complain about skins can’t be affordable with money (real and in game). You can only buy loot boxes and pray to some rng God to get the skin you want. To be very honest I feel totally comfortable to have the opportunity to buy my skins/taunts of choice.

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This discussion clearly highlights that some of the community came to the game for PVE and some for PVP, which is what they were trying to do in the first place. However, I think it is a little fair to say that there IS a slight lack of content, due to the split.

This is not to say that the two sides do not add up to a 100% complete game, in fact I would say it makes it better than most games, when put together. I know it is weird to visualize, but I think it comes out to something like 70% PVP and 70% PVE. Yes, that adds up to 140%, which, in this weird little analogy I am using, makes it a phenomenal game! However, there are many “little” parts of the game that are missing which games that are 100% PVP or PVE have because you only feel that 70% when playing one mode at a time.

Example: The cut scene and the beginning and end of the game are awesome, however there need to be more and all/most of the characters need to be shown. On this note, why is there only the 1 cut of Rath fighting the bot shown over and over again when starting a match? There are so many parts from that video that could have been turned into the opening animation for matches, it makes no sense to me why there is only one?

Are the two examples above small? Yes. However, it is something that most PVE players I have talked to immediately noticed on their first play-through and it bugs them continuously (can’t speak for everyone, of course). This is something that a 100% PVE game would have in place at launch, which is why it feels lacking when only looking at one gameplay mode at a time.

Unfortunately, they basically have two games with two different communities to appease, and they could have probably used a more profitable launch to bring both PVE and PVP up to 100% individually. Is this going to be hard to do and are these high expectations? Of course. However, that is what comes with making a game as ambitious as Battleborn in it’s desire to please two opposite sides of gamers, and it is what would change Battleborn from a great game to GOTY easily!

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I bought Battleborn hoping for a PVE experience - a relaxed game to play with my girlfriend - and ended up becoming a PVP-diehard, reluctant to attempt further story missions to get the few legendaries I still want.

I’ve no serious experience with Borderlands, so “from the creators of Borderlands” didn’t mean too much to me, save that I knew that series by reputation. I didn’t have any expectations. All I’d seen was promo art in the local game store, specifically this:

Mellka and Reyna caught my eye (yes, I’m that superficial), so I YouTubed the game and saw the promo clip where ISIC introduces the cast. My gf and I enjoyed that, so we pre-ordered. Initially, we assumed she would spend the bulk of the time playing the game, as we still imagined it would be a substantial PVE experience.

Now, I recognize there are people who love the PVE (and the devs are rightly proud of their work as well.) But speaking purely for myself: I was very disappointed with PVE from almost the get-go. The prologue was enjoyable, and the cinematics set my heart fluttering, but I was thrown by the simple animated sequences that subsequently followed. I was especially dismayed when I realized that these short intervals effectively constituted the storytelling; I’d had this idea in my head that, if my GF and I played co-op, we’d hear our chosen BB chattering to each other now and then - and that our picks would influence the campaign in some way.

When we finished the episodes and discovered that this formula never changes, my GF and I both came to the conclusion we’d bought the wrong game. What we’d hoped for was an ensemble drama - the characters revealing details about one another through their interactions as they confronted obstacles together. In reality, playing Ambra + Galilea together in a mission tells us nothing about their relationship; that can only be learned by doing their lore grinds and then reading, in the command menu, some expositional text. In that sense, the game and the story seem totally detached, even in the story mode.

Ironically, I found more story when I started playing PVP, in which the characters do interact. Whenever Mellka trash talks Teshka, Ambra grieves over Galilea’s betrayal, or Attikus snarls at Deande, you get a hint of that character dynamic I’d hoped for in the PVE. The call-outs are more varied and frequent; there’s relationship-specific dialogue that is more revealing and amusing than “suck it, Jennerit” repeated ad infinitum.

The way I approach Battleborn now, PVP is my story mode. I still hear new call-outs and character specific dialogues, whereas in the PVE missions, I feel like I’ve heard it all before. I keep fighting because I want to know how Mellka reacts to getting a Penta. I want to know what BB 30 will say when she runs into Ambra or Deande. I’m still hopeful that Ambra and Galilea will get re-recorded reaction lines for Alani, because I’m fascinated by that love/conflict triangle but don’t want to read out-of-game exposition to get to a deeper insight.

So, (very) long story short… PVE brought me into Battleborn, searching for a story; PVP was where I actually found it. And I can safely say I’ve never played a game and had an experience like this before.

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I read your entire post, but I don’t see my need to comment on every paragraph.

What you just described is how poorly executed the PvE was, even down to character interactions during the missions, which may serve as another nail on the coffin.

I play with a get as much money and gear during a mission mentality, so I was able to kinda push aside some of the issues as long as the mission I was playing on was going to provide a lot of loot.

As for PvP like a story mode… If it works for you, then by all means. But the dialogue and call-outs in PvP assumes you know the story behind the factions and characters, and it still doesn’t immerse you in the universe that is Solus and its many inhabitants. Maybe Battleborn tried to copy Destiny, yet only seemed to have copied the worst aspect of that game.

All I see is a goldmine of potential and resources, yet it’s not being utilized properly.

The issue is, I have experienced actively wasting potential before, so this isn’t exactly an experience I would want to revisit again.

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[quote=“Ganjamira, post:7, topic:1550059”]If humans are faced with 2 equal options, lets take choco & vanilla, most individuals seem to feel pressure to value one above the other, while it was never mutual exclusive. You can have vanilla icecream with chocolate sauce.

But the “What is better/more important/bigger”-discussions show how hard it is to simply enjoy 2 sides of the same medal.[/quote]
Those who like both vanilla and chocolate enjoy it both. Those who only prefer vanilla or chocolate have no option to “simply enjoy 2 sides”. Players split their preferences for a reason.

What if it was the opposite? PVE content attracted more attention than devs’ expected while PVP had much less success than expected despite PVP was more promoted.

You have no reasons to blame PVE for the game failure. Because I can do the same and claim the game would be more successful if they didn’t focus on PVP this much. They’d even avoid competition with Overwatch this way, which, you guess, would be very important. Actually, I think my opinion has more ground.