Ok Gearbox. Let’s Talk.
First of all let me say I really enjoy Battleborn. I really really do. You have a big problem though and I think you know it’s name. That “other game” that is releasing so soon to this launch. I know they did this on purpose they have more money to market they have more fans their fans are more likely to buy everything they ever make regardless of quality. These are all disadvantages for you. Things that really aren’t your fault at all. So you need aces in holes. That’s right. Not one ace up your sleeve you need a whole deck of them.
I loved the beta. Loved it. I cannot say the same for the main game which frustrates me beyond belief. There are some serious problems that should be easily fixable that seem to occur over and over again. Things that when you release an online only game will cripple your game if they are not addressed YESTERDAY. Things that NEVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN an issue to begin with. You knew that no matter how awesome the game you made was you would have that “other” game to contend with at launch. You knew you had to have a stable launch that all the i’s and t’s in your code had to be dotted before release.
From what I see. You didn’t do that at all. From what I see you released the game VERY VERY CLOSE to finished but NOT finished so you could beat that “other” title to launch. I understand why you did it for all I know given everything I said above you probably didn’t have a choice but you still should have done some more QA beforehand.
I am not just talking nonsense here I have worked in the industry before. In gaming retail, as an alpha tester for previous titles many years ago and as a reviewer. If I am being perfectly honest FPS aren’t usually my thing so to speak. I love the outlandish characters and dialogue in Borderlands absolutely love it so it sucks me in despite not being my favorite genre. However when I worked in retail I would have many customers come in the store and tell me EXACTLY what they want in a competitive multiplayer game. As a reviewer I had to compare and contrast anything I was reviewing with it’s competition.
They gave many answers but three rang the most true.
Know what you want your game to be. If you have amazing multiplayer it’s ok not to have single player. If you have an amazing singleplayer game you don’t have to throw multiplayer in just for the hell of it. If you have multiple modes make sure equal care and attention is given to all of them. Don’t just add things in “for the hell of it to extend replayability.”
In that regard? You succeed a thousand-fold. Your campaign and multiplayer modes are all distinctive enough to operate independently.
Which brings us to the next most important thing they ask for.
If you have competitive multiplayer you need to have a ton of maps. If you want people playing your game for hundreds if not thousands of hours you had better make sure you have map variety.
In this regard you fail horribly and I am so pissed off. I don’t know why you have so few maps you have such a great game here you really do but when you have an ONLINE ONLY game with such a small set of maps? You are sounding your own death knell. I don’t know or care what your logic was for each version of the game having maybe 3 different maps total. People will get bored of the same maps People are greedy They want more more and more. Whether it is justified or not for them to be so demanding they leave when you don’t have it.
EVOLVE failed for two reasons. The DLC debacle and not enough maps. The game wasn’t a bad game it was actually pretty fun to play but it didn’t matter since the entire game was only a handful of maps.
Now as annoying as this is to have so few maps I know you have more coming so this will soon be remedied but your initial offering of maps needed to be more. A LOT MORE. Not because you are obligated to but because that other title is releasing as well you HAD TO. Yet you didn’t I don’t understand this I really don’t. The fact that you have a really fun campaign helps to set your game apart from that other title. The fact that you have barely any maps almost negates that advantage.
Still though that campaign is a blast to play (except for one of the middle levels which was really boring I don’t remember which one but it felt like no effort was put into it at all which is a real shame as the other 6 I have played so far were great. I think it is the first Eldrid level?
However the single most important thing to a competive multiplayer game succeeding beyond the obvious things like a good control scheme diverse characters plenty of options and upgrades to choose from. The single most important thing hands down with no equal.
THE TIME IT TAKES TO START A MATCH.
YOU FAIL YOU FAIL YOU FAIL.
I am so upset and so disappointed. If you don’t fix the time it takes for matchmaking to start your game will die. This is a prophecy not an educated guess. I have seen it happen to HUNDREDS of otherwise very fun titles. People are impatient. If your game doesn’t start As soon as possible after they press join game. They often leave. It’s annoying really. Frankly it is highly unreasonable for people to expect your game to start RIGHT AWAY right that single moment but they do. Not everyone of course but enough of them.
Now I am more then willing to wait a bit to join a game. What I am not willing to do is play “A Player has exited matchmaking finding new player” INSTEAD of playing Battleborn. You are asking the executioner to set a date for you with how terrible your matchmaking system is right now.
There is no excuse for this. You are ordering YOUR OWN EXECUTION. Why would I say something so drastic? It’s really simple. Those other guys who made that other game had the brilliant yet evil idea to have a beta right at the launch of your game. So what do you think happens when people are waiting 5,10,15,20 minutes for a match to begin? When they really wanted to play your game because their friends said the beta was a lot of fun. So they picked it up through word of mouth sales.
“Wow this is taking a really long time to start” I want to play this I do it looks like so much fun. I am having fun but didn’t that other game come out too? Everyone tells me this is a ripoff of that game maybe I will play that instead?" (it’s not but that’s what the "general consensus of the people judging Battleborn before playing it think) There are just as many diehard blizzard fans as Nintendo fans. There is no reasoning there is no rational. They were already going to take a ton of your possible sales. It isn’t fair it isn’t right but it was destined to happen. These few weeks beforehand were your chance to get as many people to play and get sucked into your game as humanly possible so that your game could survive alongside that other title through word of mouth sales while people eventually warm up to it.
All you had to do was keep your servers crisp and stable. More maps could happen later but the servers had to stay stable. As few drops as possible, matches starting as quick as possible. You have failed this city. This was the single most important thing to your launch succeeding to you having ANY chance of competing with that other game.
Again there is no fairness to it but regardless of whether your game is or is not better then that other game you were NEVER going to beat it in sales. You make great games and always have but their install base of rabid fans is at least 10x the size of yours or most companies on the planet for that matter. You had to keep as many people playing the beta as possible in hopes to encourage their friends to pick the game up too. This was really the only way you had any chance of succeeding. You knew it and I knew it too.
Like I said though people are impatient. Since your servers aren’t stable. Since matchmaking takes so long to start the worst case scenario is happening to your title hundreds if not thousands of times a day.
Not only are the people who got the game because their friends telling them the beta was so awesome having second thoughts. The people who actually want to play your game who genuinely enjoy playing it who already had played the beta who were the people who got their friends to pick up a copy to play the campaign with them online they are having second thoughts too.
You have to fix the server problem YESTERDAY. EVERY SINGLE SALE of your game in the entire 2nd quarter of this year is going to depend on it. Remember how I said most people were assuming your game was just a ripoff of that other game. It doesn’t matter if they are wrong. If that thought is in their head. Then their friends who are playing that other game start to tell them how fast the games start up? What do you think is going to happen? A mass exodus. The longer these games take to start the more players you are going to lose to that other game. It’s so messed up and not at all your fault really. More then likely the only reason games are even taking so long to start is because people who bought this are playing the beta for that. Yet even if that is the reason it doesn’t matter. Your matches have to start so much quicker.
I am going to assume it is not possible for your games to start as quick as that other game. My jaw dropped when I saw how fast they started. There are only a handful of companies in the entire gaming industry that afford servers like that and that company is definitely one of them. So they have a seriously unfair advantage there. So you have to make up the slack. right now your matches take a minimum of 30 seconds (which is perfectly fine) to a maximum of TWENTY FREAKING MINUTES to start. You guys HAVE to fix that. I cannot stress enough your entire game survives on these first two weeks. The momentum of the advertising campaign for that other title is otherworldly. Just assume you got into a top school on a scholarship and you are competing against the dean’s son at the school. That is the kind of competition you are up against.
You have a really fun game here. I love playing it I do but I can’t play an online only multiplayer game if there is no one left online to play with! Please do something. You have created such a creative unique title there are so many diverse characters those campaign levels don’t feel like some random throw in most are almost an hour long it is like you have two games in one here you really have created something truly awesome but it won’t matter if those servers can’t keep up. They will ALL LEAVE. EVERY SINGLE ONE!!!
Last unrelated note.
Unnerf Montana. Or fix the many bugs. I keep taking damage in campaign maps like I am on fire and dying. I keep “stuttering” as I walk. I think I am lagging but no it happens to no other character. It looks like lag or the framerate dropping but he just straight up “stutters” across the map instead of walking. This is not acceptable. Neither is his gun taking up HALF THE SCREEN. Which is what 3 or 4 times the size it was during the beta? I agree he was over powered and he probably did need a nerf. He didn’t need you to cut the tendons in his legs and zoom 300% on his weapon though. I think it is actually a cool idea making the weapon bigger it gives melee a chance to close in better. But you made it to big. You overnerfed. Now it is almost impossible to play him if anyone gets close because you cannot see ANYTHING next to you at all EVER. The entire half of the screen? That is excessive.
I am sure there are more but I haven’t played much of the game. I got to level 31 in the beta I have got to level 6 I think in the actual game because matches take so long to start. So I begrudingly started to try that other game out and I am enjoying it. I don’t know which one I like more and I will certainly be back to playing it on the 10th but those servers HAVE TO IMPROVE.