The Impact of Streamers on Borderlands 3

Sorry @Sisyphusson, I’d just completed my reply as you made yours.

I don’t want to reduce your points to just a single reply, but something to bear in mind is that happens to all games over time. Interest wanes, reduces in scope. The people with the time and availability to put the effort in are the biggest names (assuming they stick with the game itself). The item databases are fully-setup, the fan wikis fully-populated. Adding to that now is easier than it ever has been.

We cannot assume what people do with the information streamers present. We only have anecdotes. I only have anecdotes. Most of my gameplay knowledge comes from a) the game, b) here and c) the item wikis just so I know a bit about the Legendary that just dropped. That’s my personal, singular experience.

I think you’re conflating what happens with a game over time, with the existence of streamers and them being incentivised by the developer (which is a kind of exchange that has happened for years. Decades, just about). Maybe there’s some cross-pollination, but I’d be very wary for putting the blame at the feet of the streamer / incentive mechanic.

So the argument is that they’re monopolising the bandwidth of discussion for any changes made? From who? These forums? Other streamers? How many streamers are there, that aren’t already affiliated with the program?

They have an advantage. They’re not monopolising it. You can’t blame them for social media algorithms. And that still isn’t impacting the game itself. That’s affecting the streamer space around the game.

There are plenty of people that don’t take what the streamers do as holy writ, but even in a universe where this setup didn’t exist, people would still rely on streamers. They’re an embedded part of video game culture and have been for a good decade (I come from an RTS background, which has had people covering various games with video-format content for years).

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This is a complete misconception imo. How have these smaller channels grown and had viral videos then? How did I grow my channel from 0-30k subscribers since this game’s conception if the the game is monopolized by larger content creators. Moxsy is an even better example. iirc he had early access to DLC 3, but that was the first time. Huge channel.

Also a lot of the ‘smaller’ channels, like myself, focus on math because that’s what I enjoy doing and teaching in this game. It’s interesting to min max imo.

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I don’t have a big problem with the streamer privilege myself, but it’s short-sighted to say that the early access didn’t impact the game itself. On one hand it’s just the fact that there are literally dozens of smaller channels you only get to see if you really look for them. And even if their content was same-ish as the content of bigger youtubers they couldn’t really grow due to how the early access ends up affecting the algorithm. But that’s just the obvious side of it. Weapons are discovered and broken down in relation to their appearance on videos. People played DLC3 for almost a week until they “discovered” that the Peashooter was a good weapon even though it’s probably the first unique gun from that DLC for a majority of players. This as everything goes both ways, which lead to the overhyping of the Lightshow for example, which was probably one of the reasons it was nerfed recently (although there is the possibility of that being a bug as some people seemingly didn’t get the 75% damage reduction).

Also, yes, the build diversify has been going down overall, but that has always happened with level cap increases. That’s just math for you. And bad balancing in some skill trees and on some pieces of gear. There are still many weird builds out there, but they mostly focus on unique gear interactions rather than skill setups. There has to be said however that BL2 and The Pre-Sequel didn’t have that much of “build-solving” in video form as 2012 and 2014 were just different times and the Borderlands community wasn’t as big as it is now. Back then these forums did way more in terms of discovering mechanics where now we more or less only have to draw from experience and maybe adjust a bit.

@flightx3aa you did fill a gap at a time where Zane as a character was rather neglected and the fans of Zane wanted a “nation”. Sure, Zane was played early on, by K6 for example, but the deep-dive into the mechanics? That was hard to come by until you filled that role.

Edit: Moxsy indeed is hard to explain, that’s true, but he is one of the more “hype” people on the platform, so the possibility of “growth by feedback”, like good ratings, isn’t too far-fetched. Honestly of all the Borderlands-related tubers I got by far the most requests to rate Moxsy (from youtube that is).

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I guess I don’t draw a line between changes made to the game and the streamer scene like you have done. Could there be a link? Sure. Is there therefore always a link? Unlikely.

My bias is I’m a developer first, so I’m prone to believing that developers do things primarily their way - good and bad. Taking input from the scene is important of course, and of that streamers are only a part. We’ve seen recently some employees surprise posters by posting in threads that folks had given up expecting developer recognition of (the excellent boombumr and their FL4K analyses).

If you’re talking more about the impact on the players, I would argue that’s impossible to judge, and definitely older than BL3 or even BL as a franchise. People have always gravitated not just to the top players in a scene, but the best-known players. Sometimes / often (depending on the scene) there’s a significant overlap between the two groups. I don’t see what’s happening in BL3 to be much different to what has come before, basically.

We pretty much had the opposite in BL2, where people were fed up with the general lack of balance and game changes to community feedback. Now we have it, and the problem is simply listening to the “wrong” people? That’s always going to be a problem, in my opinion. It’s generally going to be one or the other, because changes made aren’t always going to satisfy a majority.

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While it is true we cannot assume what people do with the information, it should be assumed that the information is not simply ignored or missed. The content creators are not unknowns or untrusted sources. A number of them have been streaming Borderlands content for years and have built a reputation within the community. Their information has value, along with the information of those “breakout stars” that have emerged during this iteration of Borderlands.

When you are talking about a game and what happens to it over time, are you referring to a completed game, or one like Borderlands 3, where it is almost a quasi-games-as-a-service, just without the rampant monetization? Gearbox has provided plenty of content to try and maintain its player base/add to it. While the player base has dwindled (I myself took a prolonged break after Mayhem 2.0 dropped), big updates and DLCs have been draws that do bring back a portion of those that left. And I wouldn’t lay the blame on streamers. They are doing what they have always done, and most probably would still be doing with or without incentives. They didn’t ask for early access, they were given it by Gearbox/2K because they provide the game great publicity and advertisement.

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I have a friend with a potato PC who cant play BL3, and he is a masive fan from the previous games.
Little after the game was out, youtube already plagued him with spoilers, including the cutscene about his Best Girl Playable Character Driving The Plot Forward.

Thats all, just saying youtube hurts too, heh. I also will wait for a day while farming those 5 levels to play the DLC - I god damn hope i dont get spoiled anything by the media.

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I personally go on a media blackout anytime new content comes out until I get to experience it for myself. This goes for any kind of media, movies, tv, video games, etc. If you don’t want spoilers, don’t go looking anywhere they may be posted.

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The importance of community feedback varies heavily, but besides the fact that Gearbox is listening to some extend some of the bigger streamers do give their feedback and basically channel the community that way. There is bias involved, it always is and always will be, but from the way Borderlands 3 has been handled I’m confident that Gearbox tries to find a middleground between “player fantasy” and “practicable solution”.

In case you haven’t seen my usual comments on balancing on this forum, I wouldn’t blame you, I’m a very “practicability first” kind of thinker as I know that it is very important to not waste manpower on changes that won’t impact the overall experience accordingly. That is also why I always try to give forth ideas that mainly amount to increases and decreases instead of adding new mechanics. Fl4ks Dominance is probably the best example. What I want to say is this: Gearbox can be as willing and thrilled about fullfilling our every wish as they want, but first they have to not waste money and make more money in a manner that grows their community. Rational thinking is key!

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I appreciate your response and that is definitely the legal requirement. But let’s not bury our heads in the sand - this very failure to disclose these kinds of relationships has brought some controversy and scandal to the industry in the past few years. I am not saying that is what is taking place in this particular case - I’m just saying that the practice has the potential for impropriety.

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Pretty sure Moxsy plays on PS3 at least. I think a few of the others are console players too.

Whilst I’m not a fan of most - I dont object to the practice as long as;

  1. they are transparent about any privileges they have been granted like early access to content or patch notes etc. This should also apply to modded gear and stuff fans send them etc but that’s more to do with their own content than their relationship to the game, and …

  2. they try to accurately and honestly reflect the actual state of the game. This is where I have trouble engaging with content. There are a lot that seem to gloss over or outright ignore serious issues which we are all aware of, which makes it seem like they are playing a different game or it’s just a flame video where they tear into it. Something more balanced works best for me, but I guess that doesn’t generate many clicks.

Edit - dont think I actually answered the OP question! I think the real issues with the game have had a much bigger impact than any content creators stuff. YT content and glossy videos might bring people in/back in the short term but if the game content is ■■■■■ then people realise quickly and move on regardless.

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Is… is your name p*ssy siphon?

Myself, I don’t watch any videos or even read anything about the new DLC until I have gone through it. This avoids any spoilers.
It is up to you what you see ahead of time.

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The barrage of DLC4 videos from streamers has started and it’s not even available to download for me yet. Curse my poor self control.

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I have never cared about “streamers”. Until I saw this post I did not even know that they had “special access” or anything else. So “streamers” have had ZERO impact on me as a gamer.

But honestly, why would anyone even care? Streamers, bloggers and other social media “celebrities” only have an impact if you (wait for it…) pay attention to them. So for anyone who has an issue with whatever these people are doing, just stop paying attention. Stop looking at message boards, stop watching streamers, stop reviewing tweets, stop wasting your valuable playing time time on social media. Just play the frickin’ game and try to have fun with it. Spoiler alert - if you don’t look for information about the game ahead of time you won’t be subjected to spoilers by those who know more about it than you do.

Or keep banging your head against the wall and find justifications for it. It’s really not a debate. It’s a simple choice.

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YouTube algorithms don’t help. Got some spoilers for some cool weapons and I haven’t even downloaded the game yet :confused:

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What’s your channel name, so that I can check it out please?

thiccfila

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@flightx3aa fixed that for ya :smiley:

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The streamers and YouTubers are vultures, and have ruined Borderlands. Plain and simple.