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:
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.
Week 2: Loner’s Paradise
Designed to benefit the lone wolf, who has trouble forming a 5-man team before entering the queues.
- 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
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.