Suggestion Time: Battleborn Focus Testing Month!

Asking around these past few months, it seems there’s one wish we all share: we want more people to play Battleborn, to populate matchmaking, to keep the game alive.

However, we all seem in disagreement as to how to accomplish that. Some players want Bots Battle to go away, seeing it as a drain on true PvP, while others say it’s the only thing keeping them around, and the only way to reliably complete Daily Quests and Lore. Some want Solo/Duo instead of Quick Match, to potentially avoid 5-man stomps, while others feel Solo/Duo is too restrictive when playing with friends, and that it deviates from the core principle of full team coordination. And that’s only scratching the surface of the debate.

So I discussed all this with a friend, who came up with what I think is a pretty great, perhaps even actionable idea. And since I often see the mods here say, “suggest stuff, devs notice!”, I would like to present…

Battleborn Focus Testing Month

What is this, you ask? Well, it would be a 3-week program of queue changes, followed by a survey asking players about their experiences during the event. Players who complete said survey would receive a special SHiFT code for in-game rewards.

Such an event would hopefully breathe some much-needed life back into the player population. On top of that, the developers would get direct feedback on what players actually like and dislike about queue layouts (especially layouts players have specifically suggested in the past), without having to rely on piecemeal feedback from forum posts, subreddits, and such.

So, without further ado:

Preliminary Stuff

Before Focus Testing Month begins, it would be announced in the Battleplan and on Twitter. The announcement would include a SHiFT code for a “Battleborn Focus Tester” title.

The announcement would go something like this:


Next month is Battleborn Focus Testing Month! What does this mean? Well, for starters, by entering the SHiFT code provided in this announcement, you will receive the “Battleborn Focus Tester” title! We hope you’ll wear this title throughout the month, to show your dedication to improving the game via player feedback.

Each week during Battleborn Focus Testing Month, we’ll be changing the Versus queues to a completely different layout. As you play during these weeks, please think about what you like and don’t like about the available modes. The data we gather will be much better the more players are involved, so please, head into Versus matchmaking as often as possible!

At the end of the month, we will be issuing a survey to your registered SHiFT E-mail. You will have to be logged into SHiFT in your web browser to take this survey. It will ask for feedback about all three weeks of queue changes, as well as other related aspects of Battleborn.

Do us this little favor, this one solid, and at the end of the survey, you will get a SHiFT code for significant in-game rewards!


And now, the suggested queue layout for those three weeks:

Week 1: Throwback

A return to the old days of separate game mode queues, with Bots Battle removed. Sort of the control portion of the experiment, to see how players segregate themselves.

  • Incursion
  • Meltdown
  • Capture
  • Face-Off

Week 2: Loner’s Paradise

Designed to benefit the lone wolf, who has trouble forming a 5-man team before entering the queues.

  • Solo/Duo
  • Bots Battle

Week 3: Truly Focused

What happens when all Versus players are lumped into a single PvP queue? Can we learn to be excellent to each other?

  • Quick Match

Incentives

So, on to the aforementioned post-survey SHiFT code for goodies. This is a tricky business, of course, because I don’t think it’s up to Gearbox alone how much can be given away for free. Well, free-ish… playing video games and taking surveys can be absolutely grueling, and time is money, you know.

Suggested rewards, in order of rarity:

  • A pack of XP Boosters, Loot Boosters, and Credit Boosters.
  • Legendary Packs (at least three, preferably five).
  • 500 Platinum.
  • A voucher redeemable for any one premium skin or taunt (not sure if this is possible in the current build).
  • A SHiFT code for an event-exclusive premium skin. Nothing too fancy, but more than a palette swap.

A combination of boosters and Legendary packs would probably be the best for a low-end reward, to keep it from being insulting. Anything with serious Platinum value or development cost is a stretch, I know. Still, a little community goodwill would go a long way at this point, I think.

You’d probably have players wearing that cosmetic reward afterwards, saying, “I got this for participating in Focus Testing Month! I’m so much better than you! You’re nothing without this! NOTHING!”

Eh, maybe they wouldn’t go that far.

Well, that’s all I got. Dear readers, thanks for reading. As always, feel free to tear it all apart in the comments below. :heart:

23 Likes

@Qmzn

I think this is an absolutely brilliant idea and I am completely and totally 100 percent emoji behind it!

7 Likes

I agree with Flames - this is a brilliant idea.

7 Likes

Yup! I love every bit of it.

I believe the Pre-Sequel had testing with drop rates for a few weeks so it’s totally doable.

Brilliant!

5 Likes

Change is GOOD.

Even when it’s frustrating, uncomfortable, off-setting, and removes you completely from your comfort zone.

The human brain THRIVES on establishing routines and patterns, for your behaviour and activities along with everything else it regulates.

Breaking them is hard, but can oh so satisfying and rewarding!

The reason I enjoy EVERY new unique mode and event that Gearbox holds for Battleborn is because it is a CHANGE.

After damn near 1,100 hours of almost pure PVP, across the same 9 maps and 4 modes, ANY FORM OF SHAKEUP IS REFRESHING.

@joekgbx @jythri @dante_d_silva this would honestly be an amazing idea and, even though, sadly, there will be people who HATE it, I can tell you for a fact that there are AT LEAST a few hundred players across all platforms (I can personally speak for about 200 or so on PS4 alone) who would absolutely LOVE IT.

@nbrownlie237 @Qmzn

8 Likes

Could we add a 5man only mode? We as community shouldnt segregate friends (im a loner/duo player 90% of the time)

Could this mode have no vote for your fav mode? Just random mode and maybe map voting? Or random for everyone!


Could we have a community balance next?! I would totally love to see if we as community can agree in x amount of x characters changes (numerical changes like hp/dmg/shield/cooldown/etc).

And see if they work

Edit: i would like to suggest pillar storm should increase orendi’s wind up time

5 Likes

Also: I totally want a skin which is just the base skin, but with the character wearing a T-shirt that says “I participated in Focus Testing Month and all I got was this lousy T-shirt. Plus a crapton of loot.”

9 Likes

I want aurox to wear it, not shane. Same with death machine (@HandsomeCam is that the name??) and toby. Could isic head wear it?

I want more skins-Heavy breathing- i i… I’ll go sit over there and think on something elseimage

8 Likes

@dantesolar

Death machine is Berg! Like ice-berg!

4 Likes

I hear where you’re coming from, but as an experiment, there would need to be as few queues as possible. For 5-man teams that week, there’s always Private Match. On PC, that’s… pretty much what people are doing now, anyway.

Yeah, that’s a good idea, if the game can support it. Maybe just automatic map voting, though. I think forming as many 10-player matches as possible in the shortest amount of time should be the goal that week, but competitive players might want something with a focus on Incursion/Meltdown modes. Maybe cut out Face-Off, and just make it Incursion/Meltdown/Capture, with automatic map vote?

I was actually going to suggest a skin like that (probably for Montana or Dragón, so it would fit), but I didn’t want to make the OP too long. Y’know, 'cause it’s one of my favorite Monkey Island gags:

4 Likes

You mean BERG? HOW DID YOU FORGET THE NAME OF MY MECH?! SHOULD I CARVE IT INTO YOUR FCKING HEAD, SO YOU DON’T FORGET IT AGAIN?!*

Oh GOSH… S-SORRY about that! We’re still friends, right?!

4 Likes

I support this as well.

4 Likes

As God as my witness, I am that fool. I mean, friend. I am that friend. Sister, rather. (Fun fact: The road leading up to this idea was filled with heated arguments, uh … I mean, friendly, sibling-style debate.)

Therefore, I hereby take 50% of the blame if this idea fails. And 2% of the credit if it succeeds.

EDIT: Q has suggested that I should have jokingly offered to take 100% of the success credit, but I was trying to be a generous sibling and give him majority credit for assembling the post. However, in light of his advice, I’m willing to bump my residuals to 5%.

4 Likes

I’m in agreement with Qmzn here. Unfortunately, the intended purpose of this exercise is to gather data from the silent side of the community that shows their preference solely through logging in to Battleborn (rather than, say, giving direct feedback on the forums or subreddit). For it to work, there would be some temporary sacrifice involved – so that each week’s “experiment” can run with a limited number of variables.

But that’s the point of the “Focus Testing” concept. If you do not like the Solo/Duo week, then you take a short break from the game and eventually share your opinion via the survey. It’s all about pinning down precisely what is driving people away from – and, alternatively, drawing people into – Battleborn. Or, in other words, it’s an attempt to add some factual data to the varied opinions on Bots Battle/5-Mans/etc. … but with incentives to participate. -:]

Hnng. Man, I’d want this so bad, too. But the graphic designer in me knows that it would be nigh-impossible to fit all of that text neatly on most character models.

Alternatively, if there were time, this is quite an artistic community – and I know some of the friends I play with are quite talented. Perhaps a Battleborn Focus Tester logo design “contest”? Two-color? Vector? Something simple and easy to paste somewhere on each model (i.e., Ghalt’s jacket, Phoebe’s dress, etc.)? Or it could even just be the Battleborn title logo (i.e., the icon from the “O”). Those are just some random thoughts.

A simple palette swap wouldn’t be terrible, either, in my opinion. I don’t think Gearbox should be tasked with too many commitments; I’d rather their main focus be on creating a streamlined feedback survey that more people will take the time to use – and interpreting the resultant data. -:]

5 Likes

@Qmzn @Kaedex00

Realistically, though, just how much crushing disappointment should we be mentally preparing for as we bandy this lovely idea about?

4 Likes

(Whispers) To~ns.

Kidding. Realistically, who knows? Speaking for myself, I’ve stopped trying to predict this game’s ecosystem. The best we can do now, as you said above, is attempt to stimulate the community through change. My hope is that, if this works, we can give Battleborn’s current development team a better idea of which direction to move in so as to satisfying the majority of players – rather than just the overtly vocal ones.

4 Likes

I think any form of marketing to stimulate the community is smart.

“Clever Marketing” and BB haven’t exactly gone hand in hand though.

They might just misinterpret this to being “add new warfare rumble for a weekend that gives you double your run speed”.

We shall see. But yeah I think your idea is great yet not really in line with how GbX has marketed in the recent past.

6 Likes

I guess I meant disappointment as to whether or not this system, or anything even remotely like it, actually gets implemented…or goes completely ignored.

@Kaedex00

2 Likes

This would vastly accelerate the death of the game. Weeks 2 and 3 would kill off so much of the remaining population. Either one of those tells huge segments of the playerbase “here’s an entire week where you can’t enjoy the game.” Most people are going to use that week to find a game that doesn’t keep jerking them around and telling them they can’t enjoy it. Both of those weeks are “screw you if you want to play anything other than Incursion.” There’s a really simple solution that fills the overwhelming majority of the playerbase’s needs if Gearbox wants to experiment with queues

Queue 1: Face Off, Capture, Meltdown: Finale (No party limits, standard character select)
Queue 2: Incursion, Meltdown: Classic (Two man party limit, standard character select)
Queue 3: Incursion (No party limits, versus draft character select)
Move Bots Battle to Training section

@FlamesForAll A~h, I see. I think I meant to respond to that, but I got side-tracked by my own thoughts! In a way, though, the same opinion applies to whether or not it will be considered or implemented. As much as I’ve stopped trying to predict the community, I also can’t predict Gearbox’s actions anymore.

They saw a lot of merit in the Battleborn Day ideas – which were great! They were, admittedly, handled primarily by the community and Gearbox supplemented with swag; our idea would require their direct support. But, here’s hoping that they see that our Focus Testing suggestion comes from the same place.

3 Likes