My (non)coherent view on the state of the game and other things - inquiries, discussion, propositions

Hi lol

I am aware that this is the n-th topic about the general state of the game, what should be addressed, marketing, economics etc. But I will try and make it a bit different. I will try to count everything I can think of and to provide an (as much as I am able) objective summary/conclusion and a subjective sentiment to each point. I am making this thread in hopes that we can achieve discussion without derailing it. The infamous Overwatch comparisons are welcomed - BUT (and this is important) - only in the constructive and/or explanatory sense, NOT as a way to compare gameplay or value of both games, as I think that’s non-constructive and has been a bane of many threads that started perfectly fine. Also, in my opinion (and I think I can defend that opinion with solid success), games play nothing alike and fill completely different niches and they should never be regarded as either/or dilemma, as they don’t fill similar gaming needs, to put it that way.

Also, I will count on people to auto-assume that the reason I write this is because I love this game. If I seem overly critical - that’s because I strongly wish for issues to be addressed. If I seem overly appreciative on the other hand, that’s because I probably want to push good things into the limelight. That said, I don’t have a concept of what I’m going to write exactly, but I do believe it will consist more of criticism than praise and I want you to know that the reason behind that is because I think that it’s more constructive - as long as it’s, well, constructive:)

Lastly, I understand that a thread this large will deter probably even some of the most interested people or people with even long attention spans, but I really want to try and “compile stuff” basically. So, if you think this thread isn’t worth reading, that’s fine, but if you base that opinion on the sheer volume of text - I would ask you to maybe try and approach it in sections and not read it at once. I believe that we could have some good discussions - not because I am super smart and make good threads, no, but because if I mention something, even if my assessment is way off, we at least have a cue for someone else to hop in and potentially quote me (or another poster) and fix the notion, so to speak.

So, let’s try and kill everyone with huge wall of text then, shall we:)

1 - OK, THE OBVIOUS THING. PLAYER BASE SIZE, TRENDS

, will it survive this drop and start a slow steady growth etc. Before anything else I must say that I am talking about PC, I am not aware of the console situation, but I don’t think it’s orders of size different, even if it’s better. Please, don’t take this notion the wrong way. My conclusions and observations might seem cruel, but I think we can all agree that the situation is less than stellar.

In Steam, peak was at 12 000, then 7000, then let’s say 4000, then 5000 at the alani/xp event, then now it’s at 3000. Roughly speaking. The decline is very visible.

But let’s work with what we have. I think having a slight increase (even though it was still lower than before) at the double xp/alani period is a good thing. It seems catastrophic that only a barely visible increase occurred at a relatively big event and not only that, but it was way lower than even several days before that and only slightly higher than on weekdays before the event. But the good thing is, Overwatch (again, not comparing them of my own accord, but because people in general do and that’s a done deal and we would be better off observing and working with that than ignoring it) got released and it actually didn’t swallow the whole base with its release. Which means that there is something to work with - in the sense that the current minimum threshold exists and it actually isn’t as low as I thought it would be at that time. Minimum concurrent players on steam pretty much haven’t dropped below ~2000 as far as I can tell. And while that is a very small number, that is the number at the low point of the daily cycle and also during the Overwatch’s huge release event.

So, we have a “core”. That is good. The core is very small. That is bad. But this by itself essentially means that the game has some juggling space, so to speak. Which is objectively good. If the core was like 200 concurrent players, that would be a done deal. That said, the trend so far is worrying.

So, let’s look at the trend. Again, without context, it’s horrible. The game will have like zero players in like a month. BUT, we have again to take into consideration the trials and tribulations that maybe not necessarily created that trend, but helped it nonetheless - overwatch open beta, overwatch release, doom release, paragon weekend.
This might mean that Battleborn could stop with the decline slowly, lick its wounds and, well, start to try and stand up slowly and without hiccups. This might also mean that the trend will continue no matter what. We will have to wait and see. In the meantime, let’s not dwell on the bad scenario but on the good one.

Speaking of which, I think two things are important there. One, to be realistic. People can get emotionally invested in something and then deny or soften harsh stuff. But we have to realize that such behavior is anti-constructive. And while you think you are helping the situation by “keeping toxicity at bay” or however we could phrase it, in reality you are ignoring something very important in exchange for short term “happy place” notion. I, for one, don’t see this game as, for example, assassin’s creed or the last of us etc, ie, I see it as VERY long term. Not because I want to close my eyes and imagine really hard about the game being long term, but because it’s long term by design. It is a fps-moba hybrid with fleshed out pvp and coop and it has paved content updates. And in general, the game is imagined as a long term, slowly branching game. And I am sure developers would confirm this if asked.
So, on one side we have the “deniers” and on the other side of the same coin, we have the “calculators” - ie, people who don’t see this situation as alarming as they got their money worth. Look, I played ~100 hours of Battleborn. I got my money worth if we divide money spent by the time played and all that jazz. But when it comes to these games, which are essentially “polygons for activity”, rather than more “content-based movie-like” games (like monkey island or last of use etc), it’s not about getting your money’s worth. It’s about keeping the game alive. In the same time that some basketball hall that’s being rented maybe pays for itself in like two years (I am putting random numbers here), but that’s not the point, the point is for that basketball hall is to last decades. And inbetween to include maybe vending machines, showers, to get a roof overhaul, new rims, to become the “go to” hall when you want to rent two hours with your friends etc.
It’s not about you valuing one dollar as one hour of fun, so as long as you get like sixty hours from a game you’re set.

I will maybe sound overly melodramatic, but this game isn’t of that subgenre. This game was bound to be a lasting “hub” of subcultural “memes” (I know, I know, but bear with me) within itself. It’s characters are golden. Don’t tell me you don’t want Oscar Mike or Orendi to “live”:slight_smile: As a concept artist I might be a bit biased and “non-capitalist” and “individualist” enough in this matter, but see, when it comes to these games, the sense of longevity is very different than when it comes to the last of us games. When you create something for a more “cinematic” product, your satisfaction doesn’t lie in longevity as much. You revel in the notion that many people finished the game and were moved by it or inspired or entertained etc. You aren’t bummed out if your adventure game doesn’t go to twitch and stays there for years. But if you work on something like this, the game that basically relies on being repeated, referenced, played, of getting youtube videos of pvp montages, funny fan arts etc. - in that case, it’s pretty important, no matter how professional you are, for your game to “live”. Live in the sense of League of Legends and such. Not perhaps in scope, but in the TYPE of life we are talking about. I have never played League of Legends (maybe once against bots when it came out lol) but I think I know several characters. And when I know several LoL characters, that says something. Imagine the guy who made concepts of some of those characters and teh guys who made illustrations, 3d modeling, rigging, coding, kit design… It’s like a mini (or even not that mini) pop culture.

I might have went on a tangent there, but that was for the “I am more than satisfied with the sales and the state of teh game, me and my buddy have a hell of a good time playing coop” crowd. It’s not exactly like that. Maybe you didn’t think about it, maybe you didn’t play a game of this type, but that notion isn’t “valid” when it comes to games like these. Don’t get me wrong with the word “valid”, that was in the lack of a better term. But I hope you know what I mean.

I think that sentimental, cozy, warm mindset is nice, but I really think that we need a more practical, “feeling-less” mindset. Both developers and players. Not in the sense how we feel about the game, but in the sense of how we should perceive THE SITUATION of the game and how we should approach the potential remedies.

I don’t know exactly what the remedies are, I will try to raise some notions in order to perhaps get some great ideas from the community - and/or from the devs who might be watching.

So, this is basically the biggest issue. I will move on now, but this will basically overshadow a lot of the other points, by the very fact it exists and it’s very important. And a lot of problems stem from this one.

2 - PERFORMANCE ISSUES, OPTIMIZATION, TRANSPARENCY AND COMMUNICATION ABOUT THIS

The game is objectively poorly optimized - for you guys who have no problems, read this as “randomly optimized” if the game works perfectly on your rig. I have googled for hours and I have seen countless complaints from every single machine, configuration, hardware, software, OS. This isn’t an AMD thing, it’s not a thing with specs being wrongly posted etc. This is some inherent problem with the game and it would mean a lot if developers would recognize that, admit it and be as transparent as possible about it.

I have tampered with the game on ~6 pc’s and I got staggeringly random results. That shouldn’t happen. I even had two new machines, completely same, behave completely differently. There was no hardware nor software difference between the two - nor the internet connection difference. I am not talking about “my fps drops at geoff and in coldsnap”, no, I am talking about completely broken performance, to the point of the game being unplayable on configurations that can wrestle with every single game that came out and will come out in a year on max settings. That is not normal. That is not something that can be ignored.

Developers have recognized the amd cards problem and certain maps problem - this is not it. People aren’t complaining about that. The game’s performance issue isn’t about that. It;s about a general, global issue. If people had 80 fps at coldsnap and 120 at paradise, they wouldn’t complain. The problem is there isn’t some minimum limit. Even if one HEAVILY edits the .ini file and butchers the game in every possible way avoiding only things that would lead to CTD, they won’t benefit from it. Or they would get like three frames.

Many people say that it wasn’t like that in OBT. Which means that the game CAN run better. This should be one of the top priorities. People LITERALLY can’t play the game on optimal computers. This isn’t even the matter of people not liking the game, people are returning the game because they can’t play it. Maybe they are dying to play it. Maybe you are losing the most diligent and faithful players with this.

Please, realize that this is something that very binary prevents people from playing. It’s more important than any Galilea. That said, I know how things go. Maybe you don’t know where is the conflict. Maybe you are working on that in shifts. But if you have, say, three guys on it, put five. I certainly don’t have the numbers, but I am convinced that many people returned the game (people who have good enough computers - you don’t simply go and buy a new game while having a 486) because they can’t play it.

If you have ANY news on this, try and be transparent. I am aware that the notion of developers not knowing what went wrong is less than reassuring, but at this point it would at least provide the sense of hoping for a potential solution. We don’t have any feedback on the general optimization issue - and that is a HUGE issue. You only provided us with the specific map performance and such. There are active threads on these forums as we speak, where people aren’t getting answers or are being asked things like “did you update your drivers” or “does your pc meet minimum sepc” etc.
We need a proper addressing and before that addressing, we need an acknowledgment.
I can live without it, but I that’s not the point.

Overwatch runs on potatos on high settings. Paragon doesn’t run on potatoes on high setting but it runs consistently, ie, if you get 60fps with low settings, you get 60fps on low settings. Doom runs consistently. Witcher3 is demanding but it runs consistently - also, messing with settings affects the game drastically. All of those games are graphically very impressive.
Surely Battleborn isn’t inherently ten times more demanding than those games. Even if it was, people should then expect consistent performance and also a wide range of performances depending on graphic options juggling.

I hope you will at least verbally address this sooner than later. I think that this should have been done no later than 2-3 days after the release. At least to ease peoples’ minds so they could know that you are working on it. Even if you don’t have an ETA. It builds a back-and-forth relationship and I bet at least half of people who returned the game due to it not working, wouldn’t do so - they would simply put it away until that big performance patch, even if they couldn’t play it at that moment.

3 - MATCHMAKING

This is, of course, intertwined with the small player base issue. I have already spoken about why this game needs a relatively big player base in some other topics.
Some players come from mainly single player game backgrounds, some have maybe played solely consoles for the past 15 years or so, some don’t delve into bits and pieces of how games like these function - and that is ok. I am not criticizing those people. I am just trying to explain why the notion of “so what if it has a small player base, there are cult games that are alive and well with way smaller player base” and similar isn’t applicable to Battleborn in particular.

First, this game is multiplayer at its core - now, I know it kinda isn’t. I know there are exclusively coop or single player players out there. And I know there isn’t like nine of them, but a fair number. I am not trying to downplay the notion. I am trying to “up-play” the multiplayer aspect. This game has 26+ characters. They are designed for “arena” showdowns. They are balanced around each other. They fill roles. This game perfectly sits in the niche of moba-esque games. Developers knew that. They didn’t simply make the game for us to go through the campaign with all characters, on all difficulties etc. I won’t say campaign is an add-on, but multiplayer is HUGE part of the game.
A game like this needs concurrent players. A game like this is played on official servers. Even a single player is played online.

Second, this game is asymmetrical in nature. That means that its pvp isn’t like, for example, quake, where the MM (if any is even needed!) has a very simple calculation to make in order to provide a player with an enjoyable experience. With asymmetric characters that players are able to pick, the complexity of a single match goes through the roof. Which means that this game DEMANDS a very, very efficient MM. This MM, aside from the fact that it has to be rock solid, also needs numbers to work with. It NEEDS people in queue. Various people, of various skill. It needs to, well, make matches. Matches between teams that are close enough in their output. For an asymmetrical game, this means that you need a large number of players in the player pool in order to sort them.

Third, this game has in-match progression. Which adds another layer to the whole thing. Some heroes are “late bloomers”, some are early game kings, some if leveled quickly can decimate enemies, some can afford to be more laid back and so on and so forth. This adds another notion to the script that has to be taken into consideration.

Fourth, the game is “proxy-based”. This basically means that a lot of abilities depend on the character more than on the player. Some more so than the others. But, basically, again, while in quake you do everything “manually” (of course, not literally, you aren’t jumping in your seat in order to jump in game), in Battleborn, as a hybrid game, you do bunch of things through a more “proxy” interface. This is the same with Overwatch for example. You might use your ultimate as Rath better situationally than some other Rath, but both ultimates “do their thing”. Just like a bad Reaper in Overwatch will press Q and die on the spot because he was seen a mile away and some other might sneak and kill half of the team. But essentially, those two Q’s are the same in behavior. A pro player doesn’t “press q” better than an average player.
Basically we can say that the game has moves that are relatively complex (ie, they aren’t jump or shoot or reload) but aren’t done manually (as you would do a combo in a fighting game) but in a rpg-like manner.
This is one of the components that leads to teh next point, which is

fifth, the game is very team-reliant. In other, less popular words, it’s not very “carry-friendly”. As further we go in the direction of “proxyness”, that means that you can’t go ballistic and murder everyone because you are better than them. No, you are deliberately mechanically limited by your kit and rely on your teammates. A melee tank will be suppressed by a ranged character in some imaginary 1v1 mode. Because no matter how good a tank is, ranged character will kite him, because you can’t “overcome your kit”. But a tank with Miko, can push maybe even three opponents if they don’t have some sort of self-sustain. So, basically, if you have four good players and one horrible player against five good players, that will be a stomp. So, even one MM “glitch” and suddenly, we have not so enjoyable match, probably for both sides.

There are some more points, but I think this is enough. So, MM is very, very important. Also, because of complexity of matchmaking, MM needs a large player pool to draw players from. The larger the player pool, the more close teams will be.

Sadly, this is hard to develop without that damned large player base. You can have the most sofisticated MM in the world, if you don’t have a thriving populace to work with, it simply won’t do its job. I mean, it would, but to a poor extent.

But I just wanted to throw that out there, because i consistently read posts about how the numbers aren’t that small and how even if they were, MM could muster a match. I mean, yes, as long as there are 10 players in queue for PvP on the same mode, we have a match, but let’s just say that’s far from optimal.
Also, with game’s complexity when it comes to MM needs, rises the need for bigger player base. That need rises exponentially - in the sense that if we, in the case of absence of skill-based MM, need like couple dozens players in queue to form a match (assuming they aren’t queuing for the same mode etc), if we make a skill-based MM (which is mandatory for a game like this), we don’t need like 100 players in order for everything to be fine. We need much more.

We can take World of Tanks as an example. That game broke the record for most active accounts twice (I think). The numbers are staggering, something like near 100 000 000 players. Of course, that doesn’t mean concurrent players sitting in queue. But we can safely say that in prime hours, there is ~500 000 of them or even a million. Broken down server-wise, it would be ~100 000 per each server, roughly, I haven’t played for a while. That said, WoT features some kind of MM - as in, it has differently tiered vehicles, so you can’t have tier 1 in a match with tier 7 and all that jazz. But that said, there is no skill MM. There is no mode selection. There is no map selection. There is no map banning.
This is the interesting part: they tried to venture in some kind of more complex MM, which looked for players with similar number of matches, looked for how much their vehicle was decked out etc. That was at the 60 000 000 mark. It couldn’t work. Queues were through the roof and they reverted the change.
So, basically, a game that’s not team-reliant (you pretty much get in the match, do your thing, get out, even though it’s team vs team, you kinda spontaneously do your thing), with no intricate MM, tried to include a RUDIMENTARY MM script at the point where it had SIXTY MILLION ACTIVE PLAYERS - and they couldn’t pull it off. Because THEY DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH PLAYERS.
Moba-esque games need large player bases. Yes, those large, ugly, filled with “cancer” player bases. Not because they are nice, but because they are a lesser evil. There is no choice there. I am the first one to loath looking at what large mass of anonymous people is capable of when they are given the chance to ruin someone’s day and transfer their frustration. That said, that should be dealt with by MM and by other means of promotion and punishment. But I digress. My point is, this game needs players. Lots of them. Not because of the money, even if gearbox is having a nice return on investment, the game ITSELF needs players. Players need players. Consequently, developers need them too. So they can develop. And cultivate.

While we are talking about MM, I have to ask this one thing, maybe a dev will see it and maybe decide to shed some light on the matter. I was watching a stream and jythrie came to the stream and answered some questions (really nice gesture btw!). I asked about why the MM makes a team then searches for an opposing team, instead of potentially shuffling 10 players when it finds them. He said that they were talking about that but that shuffling is somewhere down the line, ie not exactly near.
Which basically means that the principle of MM finding one team then another is a bit more ingrained in the MM script than it “should be”. So, my inquiry would be, what was the creative process behind that and why it has been done that way - not the details, but I would assume you would want the code to consist of small parts that can be changed without butterfly effects.
I think that this change alone would make MM a full notch better. Just this. So we don’t have a team of 3-2 facing a team of 1-1-1-1-1.
Even if skill-based MM was completely turned off, balancing purely on the basis of solo queue/group/premade in mind, would do wonders.

4 - MATCH OPTIONS, LACK OF CONTEXTUAL OPTIONS AND QOL IN GENERAL IN MULTIPLAYER, PVP OR PVE

Another thing that I think brings the game down is the severe lack of interaction and very unpolished multiplayer interface. What I mean by that is, for example, you can’t block or report people. Just an example, I am not mad about reporting people, but jsut an example of what I mean. You can mute them. It is very common to have block, report, mute, avoid, prefer, commend etc. along with pull down menus and text boxes where you can even describe the event, even in alpha stages of games of this type.

There is also a lack of ping variety. Most games have a contextual radial menu for that kind of stuff. It’s extremely helpful and easy to use tool and can bring communication for people who don’t voice-chat (which are, whether we like it or not, majority of players). This is another thing that can ease the “MM pain”, as an inferior team could have tools to mitigate and damage control the fact they have been mis-matched. Maybe not outright win, but have a pleasant loss, to put it that way.

I also think options like surrender or kick should be implemented and tweaked very cautiously. We have surrender, but as we all know, it isn’t implemented quite enjoyably, so to speak. We are starting to see some changes to it with the latest hotfix/patch, but in essence it should be, for one, more fleshed out. People simply don’t see it. It is a matter of getting used to it, but it is a very important notion, it should hit you in the head, so you could vote yes or no. Also, if I’m not mistaken, it doesn’t work on the mutual team agreement, but rather if even a minority wants to give up, if others disregard the vote, it will actually pass (confirmation on this?). I am not asking for surrender to be five player only, but I think four could be a good number.

The AFK problem. People afk without repercussions. We can’t report them, we can’t block them. There’s no some automated system for this issue. This is simply untouched. You can implement a very simple system that punishes a player more and more and resets after some time. So people who occasionally misjudge their time or are being surprised by a sudden visit or have to go or their internet dies, they wouldn’t be affected by it. Even small incremental penalties WOULD work. You can even get creative with it. You can go for some soft leavers queue. You can opt for character specific penalties (ie, you seem to like to afk on toby, no toby for ten hours) or something. I am doing a one-man brainstorm, but you know what I mean. Currently there is nothing.

People who afk should be replaced with a bot. Yes, bot is stupid, but it’s a body and it does stuff. It’s a band aid, but it’s a cheap one and it works. Kinda. But better than nothing.

Afk timer seems to be easily countered.

Afk timer seems to be very lenient. There are no characters whose gameplay might make them get kicked due to being afk when they actually aren’t. There are games where certain characters have very specific playstyle and they basically appear afk. This isn’t the case here, though. every character is a full on engaging individual and afk timer can be stricter.

You might even consider a fill in mechanics. But for that you would need:

A merged pvp queue. I have read people’s stances and I find that most people actually don’t want that. I think that objectively, we need that and that frustration of not getting that map/mode is much less important than “embiggening” the player pool. A good match on echelon is better than a roflstomp on paradise.
That said, ok, people don’t want that. But maybe some compromise? For example, optional checkmarks. You check modes for which you are willing to queue.
Personally, I think that the best thing at this moment would be to simply have “queue for quick match” and that’s it - but if it would cause grieving, then forget it. But I see nothing wrong with checkboxes. In the worst case, you check one box and it’s the same as now, and people who are simply wanting to queue for everything can check all three boxes and potentially get a faster queue and a better MM as matchmaker gets bigger pool to pull from.

5 - ABILITIES’ NUMBERS, PRECISE INFO, QOL WHEN BROWSING HEROES AND TRYING FOR BUILDS/LOADOUTS, IN-GAME INFO

Well, this certainly isn’t a huge one, but as I mentionied at the beginning of the post, I will write down what I remember as I write, so here it is.

We need numbers:) I appreciate the kinda shrouded, kinda immersive way of character’s description - I don’t just say this, I really do. It’s really refreshing to see something like “his armor allows for maximum protection” and then you go “ahaa, so he kinda tanks well” or something. it’s a nice flowy touch. That said numbers are important for a game like this. People want to theorycraft, they like to think of loadouts, builds, helixes etc.
Now, I know that skills are represented with actual numbers. But nothing else is.
Where is armor?
Where is health?
Where is scaling?
This is certainly not embedded in some complex code, it’s about numbers and text. Orendi shoots x “rounds” per second which do y damage and have z range and get a% of damage increase with each level up. That kind of thing.
“after a short time” isn’t telling us anything.
Yes, it’s nice to try every character, but we need to have a firm grasp of the things even in menus.
We can’t hover over loadouts on character screen. I know that my “oscar mike expensive” loadout is about reload and recoil and shields, but I don’t know by heart the percentages or every line in the item. Maybe I want to try Orendi’s ability thingies on Oscar Mike, but I forgot what her loadout does exactly.
Imagine a new player. he doesn’t even know what TYPE of item each icon represents. I know how reload-based item looks like, some people probably don’t. I mean, after ~100 horus of play I don’t know half of item “families”,

score screen or tab table, it could be more fleshed out. It could feature your own build, it could show you how much damage your shadow pillar does at that very moment. So you are running as Orendi at lvl7 with two equipment pieces activated and you press tab and see score and everything and you also see some other values. So you could gauge more effectively. Some people might argue if this might be a crutch-like way of playing. I disagree. But if you disagree with me, do elaborate. This is what this thread is for.

maybe a team panel in a corner that doesn’t take a lot of space but tells you who is alive, who has their ultimate up etc. This could be tremendously useful, yet not imposing.

6 - AFTER-THE-FACT MARKETING AND PROMOTING THE GAME, PERSONAL OPINIONS

So the situation is as it is. I think it’s good that you are doing your own thing in your own lane and you kinda broke from Overwatch. Whether it’s too late, we’ll see, but let’s be positive and say it’s not.
Let’s be honest, though, and conclude that the game is overshadowed by fps giants that came out at the same time and, being an AAA game, same priced as those, it has taken a great toll on it. And now, the game is regarded as expensive. I see there are price drops - ok, in my opinion it’s a dire measure and it’s justified. People will disagree, but ok.

But I think it’s not enough. This game needs BOTH retention and to acquire new players. The market is fierce. Rare are games today like, I don’t know, LoL or first DotA, that moulded themselves steadily. Games die left and right, studios get shut down. I don’t think we can afford to hope for some steady as she goes principle.
I think current players need to be made to keep playing and new players need to be “lured”.
Maybe some free multiplayer weekend? Like the OBT one? Maybe extremely bold events? The game is b2p, which means there’s no fear of “too quick of a grind”.
And I think the “hero shooter” label needs to go, personally. Regardless of whether it’s correct label or not, it brings lots of baggage and Battleborn is unique and the last thing it needs is that.

I think you need to go full transparent when it comes to dev vlogs. I am not saying you aren’t transparent because I think you are, but I mean transparent as in “buddy level” transparent. I think at this point players and potential players need to have some reassurance - you don’t provide reassurance by being “we are working on xyz, fill the blanks from any company communication form regarding updates and plans” about it. Go out and say stuff. Stuff that will make people work with you, have a back and forth communication, propose things, get definite answers - even an “we don’t know” is an answer. “We are working on balance” kinda isn’t. (this is just an example, I am not saying you don’t elaborate balance approaches).
But for example. Galilea should do what? How? Where would you like to go with her? Would you like a community input about it or not? Where do you see her? How did you imagined her? Or any character under the spotlight, really.
For example, you elaborated this patch’s balance changes. That’s great.

Also, you could opt for the “great reemergence” approach. Like square enix did with realm reborn - they literally reborn the realm:)
You might not need to literally reborn battle-born. Aside from breaking fixes, such as performance and that jazz. But otherwise, conceptually, game needs hundreds of small options rather than like five big ones. So it’s not an overhaul. But it is kinda reemergence. I mean, it could be.
You could continue as you do now, then come up HARD (and I mean HARD) with some wacky abnormally good seven thousand gigabytes fix to everything gargle blaster patch in like august or something. Along with the vicious marketing campaign - maybe not an expensive one, I know world isn’t simple. But still an effective one. You have a youtube channel, you have your means. You can push your new game called battleborn. Like square enix pushed their new final fantasy which flopped but kinda didn’t because it was reborn. And now it’s doing well. And was doing bloody fantastic when it exploded as an overhauled game. So that kind of salvage plan is viable, we’ve seen it in practice.
And don’t go “hero shooter” please:)
Also, there won’t be any overwatchs, dooms or anything like that. you could really try to push it along with free weekends, trials, events, packages, overhaul patches - and game marketing that is both more aggressive and DIFFERENT to the one before. Market your fps moba game with a campaign. Don’t market your “hero shooter”.

Battleborn plays ten times better than it looks when watched on twitch/youtube. This is a bit specific, but I think people will agree with me in general. A lot of games look good. Then you play them and realize that for example, controls are unresponsive but the game appeared so smooth. Or that you don’t know what’s going on but you had a perfect awareness while watching some stream. Battleborn is the opposite. It looks like rainbow-vomit of everything on top of everything pudding mixed with acid - when watched. On top of that, it looks like it has a very low “feels right” factor. It looks a bit clunky, hit feedback seems without impact etc.
But when you pick it up, it flows, you get accustomed rather quickly and also, hit feedback is good. Something I never expected from watching battleborn videos.

This means people have to try the game. Let them try it. I don;t know through which tool, like a demo or timed trial or something. But people need to be able to try the game for free. Because MANY of maybe potential players won’t simply buy it to see whether they’ll like it.
And we know OBT was clashing with OW stress test weekend so I doubt that everyone interested tried it.

To me it seems like you are walking some established path that was arranged like a year ago. That might be respectable and authentic, but I think there’s a high need for adaptation when it comes to approach to this game now, at this point. It needs one big meeting, so to speak:)
Of course, I have no idea what you guys are doing and how you do it and what are your plans and such, but just throwing that notion out there.

7 - JUMPING OVER OBSTACLES

I know it’s kinda funny I put this as a whole category, but it just crossed my mind. I don’t know how ingrained in the mechanics this is, but characters need more freedom to “glide” over the obstacle if their jump is higher than the obstacle, even if they didn’t clearly cleared it. So, if I want to jump on a rock and I am touching the rock, my character will go “ugh” and do nothing. Instead of clearing the rock. If you want to clear that rock, you have to jump as to not touch it at all. This is maybe realistic as if I would try to clear the rock that way, I would hit my shins and nosedive. But in any first person game out there that “feels right”, you glide upwards even when met with the obstacle and do your full jump.
I can’t count number of times I have died jumping like madman trying to jump over something I mechanically CAN, but the game said “nope, you are too close”.

8 - BITS AND PIECES AND RANDOM RAMBLINGS

-I am aware that in a game like this, which isn’t a pure fps, bigger FoV might be a liability. Overwatch has the same problem, they don’t allow FoV larger than 103 because of map architecture or hero roles etc. I suspect it’s the same with Battleborn. That said, if you can be more lenient - be more lenient. There are people who can’t play with 100. Physically. And coincidentally, those people play mostly first person games.

-related to that - mouse sensitivity. There are how many, 20 steps? Could you make it at least 50? I kinda made a compromise, but I consider myself lucky. Still, I have a period of adjustment every time. For someone who is more dependent on his sensitivity, this could be a deal-breaker.

-many say they want more pvp maps. I actually think that’s not a problem. mobas have one map mostly. sports have one “map”:slight_smile: quake had bunch of maps, but everyone played like three best ones.
But to that I say, “do as people want” - though I remain with my opinion that the core skeleton should be a priority and that the game will shine even with a single map and like three character roster if it’s slick as hell.

-balancing is important. But unless it’s a game-breaking exploit (sentry snipe? beta galilea?), I think that the game, although being moba-esque, provides enough maneuvering space as it is now, for people to not be beaten to a pulp with character imbalance. I think balance is solid, actually. So, I think that resources should be prioritized in other directions, if applicable.

-tweak the surrender option more. let it take into consideration the relative score, how close match is to finish, things like that.

-maybe, as a temporary placebo band-aid, decide not to show grouped people in queue and peoples’ account levels. A lot of people preemptively spam surrender or even afk if the match looks unfair at the queue screen.

-maybe more quality of life options in general. For example, we can either toggle sprint or hold it. There are bunch of things like that, small but could be important for someone.

-add options for clearer gameplay - I mean visually. So, less effect-clutter or, on the other hand, stronger ability outlines.

-team colored things. There is too little emphasis on this. Like, a friendly minion has one green pixel and an enemy one has one red pixel. I know they are metallic in base, but why not make them tinted fully? After 100 hours of play, I still shoot at my own minions because well, they are minions. If they are overshielded, then it’s a full on party of randomness.
Or if there are people against this, make it optional.
PvP isn’t story mode. People need clarity. Unless it’s something game breaking that goes against what the game is about. But I doubt that clarity regarding reading friends from foes fits in that category.
Thralls? Yes, thralls too.

-fix score please:) if it takes time, you can remove the “score” column from the stats.

-merge kills and assists into something like “takedowns” or “eliminations” or “frags”, this might help with lore challenges. I think this is still better than lowering them. It’s a team game and it’s not a full fledged last hit moba, I think everything should be contribution-based. TTK is very high, if a team downs Montana, that’s a “kill” for everyone. I know people who are versed in the game know what is what, but I think it has a subconscious effect on people in general, so kill chasing and “kill stealing” might become a thing.

-is there some kind of global cooldown in the game? I think I can feel it with Mellka. I don’t think that’s good in a dynamic game such as this. I might be wrong though.

-music. I think the game has some issue with music playback. It seem to disappear randomly. It seem to be very scarce, but next minute it’s there but nothing triggered it.

-what’s the tickrate? i feel it’s a bit on a low side, even though my ping is very solid.

bah, don’t have anything left for now, thoguh I feel the moment I go from the computer, dozens of notions will come to my mind:)

So, guys, if you agree with “stuff”, agree and possibly tweak/elaborate - if you disagree, even better, and again, tweak/elaborate.
If you find this “too long didn’t read lul”, please don’t be snarky about it. Just skip the thread. If you actually find it too long, I would appreciate if you would maybe read in parts and then reply.

I would appreciate if this would turn into a solid discussion. I think it would be very beneficial if some spontaneous brainstorm comes out of it.

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bloop bleep blap

jk

Biggest issues are really small things and polish

Sound mixing/levels
UI QoL things
Marketing
Matchmaking

There is more content in here and more strategy than in Overwatch yet Overwatch is doing a lot better because it showcases it’s characters better and is more pick-up-and-play tactical.

For example, in story missions, I didn’t appreciate a lot of the dialogue in the missions until I played them a few times because I could barely focus on the dialogue for example, and a lot of the conversations occur only with specific characters, which is charming.

If they want this game to last a long time, it will have to cater to a competitive crowd or go f2p because the barrier to entry is too high atm.

Honestly though, I feel like a lot of people are just quick to denounce this game because they don’t know where to place it. It’s too quirky, unpolished, and not immediately understandable for a variety of reasons.

The game could take off eventually though if they continue to support it and better press (non-review) of the game comes out.

Incursion scoring is scary to a lot of people, because a close game can come out 50-0, just because of how the game is designed.

I want to thank you for writing such a detailed post about this game. I mostly agree with everything you had written, except part 7 and 8 so I’ll share my thoughts.
I agree partially about part 5. It took quite sometime for me to realise that Mellka was be able to poison her targets with the projectile she shoots through her pistol reload. I’m rank 12 with her, and just learned that her level 7 left helix: "Mellka switches to a more deadly venom that increases Spike’s damage. This also increases Parting Gift’s damage. I had no clue what “Parting Gift” was, till I realised that her poison started to hit 16 damage rather than 14, after I choose that augment, which was a coincidental discovery. Parting Gift, I didnt see these two words in Mellka’s skill descriptions. They have to organize the skilll descriptions if they plan to make its understanding easier. I quite enjoyed learning something new in her kit after playing her a while. Or they simply can remove most of the skill descriptions and add it through the progression, to make the learning in paper gradual.
My second comment will be about part 8. First, I’ll rename Battleborn to M1 and League/Dota type to M2. You have said that you disagree with people asking for more maps but here is the thing: This is not a M2 type game. Battleborn got much more potential in its core which offers varity of upgradeable choices. Would you enjoy M1’s story mode or M2’s if it got one? Games like this, TPS or FPS types, has more of “soaking” gameplay environment compared to games like M2’s. You BE the character you play , so the maps, the obstacles, affects you much much more than it does in M2’s. You become one with the environment. It gives you more stealth, recovery advantages, and disadvantages. So I assume adding more of maps, rather than adding characters once awhile, could a be better priority for now. Both M2’s got more than 100 playable characters, which makes thousands of possible matchmaking availabilities. There is a important enriching fact this game has: It doesn’t have target selecting system M2’s has. With less characters, you may have much more interesting gameplay options with an M2 that has more than 100 characters. M2 games has boundry that limits their complexity, so the only way for them to add interesting stuff is to add new characters. New maps doesn’t really affects M2’s gameplay since its a lane pushing-fighting type game only. At the other hand, Battleborn is capable of extending it’s gameplay(as I mentioned above) through the M2 can’t do and can use this for its own advantage, add new maps, with same objectives but can be with like different terrain(a maze map would be really nice on captures that you can get lost. For example, it can be a changing maze like the the living labyrinth built by Hephaestus in the film “Wrath of the Titans”.

There’s a lot of excellent ideas in this post, but I would suggest if you continue on this topic that you look to condense those excellent ideas into maybe a paragraph or two each :slight_smile:

Constructive criticism is not “toxic” and this is not a “BB sux, I’m leaving for OW” post, we appreciate your in-depth look into issues PC users are having with the game. I play on PS4 and so I’m not as familiar with these problems.

The jumping over obstacles thing annoys the heck out of me too :slight_smile:

In regards to the game in general, I think the sped up nature of our world is leading people to make sweeping judgements of a game not even one month out of launch yet, however, if PC users are having issues running the game, that should be addressed as soon as possible. It’s also hard to know how bad the match making issues are, because we mainly just see posts to that effect on the forums, we don’t see the thousands of people who connect smoothly and efficiently because they would never post on that topic.

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Devs, lend OP a ear.

Well, the last two I think are very, very big things. They basically enable the game to have a breathing room for further development (ie, the first two things).

Let’s just say that I see “content” way differently than you. I see them as apples and oranges in that regard. But I will agree if you are saying that OW was marketed “more correctly” - to put it that way. ie, I think that like 50% of people who heard of Battleborn but haven’t played it, don’t know tha the game has a campaing. Or how many modes. Or anything really. Lore challenges, character backgrounds etc.

Hm, I don’t see that barrier, to be honest. If I randomly recall games that, to me at least, had those barriers, I wouldn’t place Battleborn high on that list. It might have depth, but it’s not hard to pick up. If you are a FPS player, that part is very easy, there’s high TTK, forgiving damage etc. If you are a moba player, helix is very simple, so are loadouts. Modes and maps too. You need experience to get to know characters or to build things or get to know modes, maps and “meta”, but you can do that ALMOST spontaneously. If you try to play dota spontaneously, you will probably lose against bots. (yes, I know dota is f2p, but just saying in general).

This is true. But I still think it’s a marketing flop. I don’t think people necessarily “run away” from the “unknown”. They might be lured to it, even. And even though I see battleborn as a hybrid, I don’t see it as some unknown type of hybrid too. I just think that the notion of the game was presented poorly and people denounced it because they thought they will get something else.
What I’m trying to say is that, if people are flimsy and elusive and you are going for an asymmetrical pvp game which requires - people, you have to kinda have that aspect in your mind from the day one.

I think there’s A LOT of polish needed. Not even in the sense of superficial polish, the MP part of the game is very lacking, like an alpha game, when it comes to options, customization, how some things are solved etc.

Your incursion example, I think, is one of many things. Exactly as you said, it’s too “scary” - ie, too binary.

Thank you for reading:)

Yes, things like this. And then after seven million matches, you also discovered that envenomed enemies are actually marked by the little green “claw mark” icon that’s barely noticeable.
For example, while I was reading Mellka and trying her out in vs AI, I was like “what combo”. Because in descriptions, there are notions about her combo that has to do with her RMB melee. Ok, I was like, her RMB melee does more damage if target is envenomed, so the combo is probably something like shoot, hit with canister, then do lunge, then do secondary attack.
But actually it’s not. The combo they are talking about is the four (was it four?) hits you get from pressing her secondary attack sequentially.

I am not against any of the approaches - the “clear” one and the “shrouded” one. I think they both can work in games in general. One emphasizes theorycrafting, “esports” kind of thinking and lack of uncertainty and prompts players to customize, think about “meta” and spend a lot of time in menus just reading stuff. The “shrouded” approach, on the other hand, encourages players to learn through playing, try to reach ledges, try things in practice, fail, succeed and learn that way.
I thin both are valid - but not in the same game.
HotS has the same problem (although to a much lesser extent) - “after a SHORT TIME, raynor does [some very accurate description with some very accurate numbers]” - that doesn’t work. In that game in particular, “short time” isn’t a valid description when the next character has something like “this is a melee range stun that stuns affected enemy for 1.2 seconds”.

Maybe you are right. On the other hand, for example, q3 had bunch of maps, people played q3dm6 99% of time. While Battleborn isn’t q3, I am just throwing that out there for the sake of it:)
That said, I don’t think that M2 games are inherently different in that regard - I know what you are saying, but in the end, this isn’t Skyrim, the core of the game is in the “sports” part. Regardless of the point of view of one who’s playing it, I think that core elements are those who hold the game together. For example, a superb tennis simulation would probably be successful with like three courts which are texture recolors (for different types of terrain) even if it were played from first person perspective.
Something like Skyrim or Mass Effect, not so much.

I am not saying I’m right though. But if I try to imagine what could be some player’s problem, I kinda don’t get the “man, paradise gets boring” notion. I rather get other things I’ve mentioned (like lack of QoL, customization, MM etc).

Well, I kinda went for the “one ring to rule them all” with this topic. Also, interwebz and letterz have this strange habit of being misunderstood, so I tend to elaborate a bit, yes:) That said, I tried to split the notions in sections, so if one wants to read the OP, one can do so in several “tries” without losing out on the general sentiment.

It’s actually pretty bad and the devs kinda acknowledged it but kinda not really - I mean, their acknowledgment of performance issues seems a lot more along the lines of “we are aware there are some issues, mainly xyz and abc” - which is in HUGE discrepancy with what seems to be happening with a lot of players.
I have a comp that’s slightly above recommended and I have to tamper with the engine.ini file and lower things that the game doesn’t allow you to in order to have a game that a lot of people would find unplayable. Over the course of my BB odyssey, I reinstalled windows two times, (two sevens and one ten), bought an SSD drive and cleaned up drivers from registry and everything probably ~17 times or so. All that on my personal computer, not counting 6-7 others I tested the game on. Also, other games are behaving excellently.
I mean, there’s a guy on forums who posted a screenshot of what his drivers recommend him for Battleborn regarding settings and the guy has something like paired 980 Ti’s, 32gb ram or so, and all that jazz, that’s probably a configuration that 0.2% of players have. Maybe.

Of course, I don’t know percentages, but I googled for it a lot and tested it myself and with friends and if anything is to be concluded - it’s unacceptably random. In the wrong direction kind of way:)

Hey, I do hope they have something up their sleeve regarding plans:)

im gonna sit down and read this later but when someone says the player base is small i just remember how souls games started :stuck_out_tongue: