Time to Utilize Steam Beta for Improved Balance Tweaks

Greetings,

As this forum knows many balance changes and even bug fixes are needed to improve the state of the game after the initial playthrough and first few mayhem levels.

The game, whether we admit it to ourselves or not, is a nightmare to try to balance at every level. It certainly doesn’t surprise me quality changes can’t be implemented quickly.

Thing is, there is a whole subset of one of this game’s many platforms whom could reasonably be put to work willingly to help gather data and feedback to potential changes.

It is time to utilize the steam platform to aid development. Utilize the inbuilt opt in beta option to accelerate and raise quality of non content updates.

Yes, it leaves behind Epic and Console players from the beta. Still, why not utilize that segment of the community to benefit the rest and the developers simultaneously?

It’s time to take advantage of Steam…

Thoughts?

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I would be all over testing balance changes. But I would go even further and give people from the forum the option to give feedback after verifying their steam account to be part of the Beta. We could then discuss the ideas here and talk about various things that might help the game and therewith the players and could move the game forward as a community.

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Good point. Much better directing beta discussion here than a steam subforum. Steam discussions can be a real cesspit and a very poor forum structure regardless.

Given the extent of possible applications of any one changed thing discussion would be important to identifying more implications of any change.

And they should let everyone use a specific test save so everybody can give feedback at equal condition

i can single handed balance all non red text gear in game for free if given opportunity.

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Bold claim, but balancing by numerical relatives would lead to a loss of uniqueness for quite some gear in the game. And an even playing field would make the game boring for the playerbase. The red text gear has to be rebalanced, at least a large part of the pool. They don’t need to be on the same power level, but close to it.

Basically Gearbox has to look at the game like a fighting game: You want multiple tiers for variance, but you don’t want too large of a gap between the best and the worst items.

In my opinion, the game right now has all tiers from S tier (for example the Backburner) to F tier (Tunguska, Scorpio). If they get to narrow it down from that range to a S Tier to B Tier range, then the game would be in a fine state. Not everything has to be broken, just worthwhile.

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I would be such a great beta tester because I genuinely wanna help them make the game better. I bet 90% of the issues we have now could’ve been prevented with proper testing. Unfortunately I play the game on Epic.

@CatBased_IED can you send them a feedback ticket with your idea? I don’t think they read the forums tbh. https://support.2k.com/hc/en-us/sections/360003831093-Borderlands-3

I love this thread. 100%.

It’s not 1996 anymore. Companies have test servers. Hell, Skullgirls, a great indie fighter, has one! And have next to no money.

The most important part of it “not being 1996 anymore” is that today’s gamers - at least those of us here, who care enough to come to a discussion forum and engage with each other - are passionate gamers who have worthwhile feedback. Communities today ARE capable of using crowdsourced information to balance the game better than the Devs can, even if they have 100 internal testers. That’s nothing compared to 10,000 people playing.

There are so many examples of this. The BL2 community patch is incredible and is an obvious example. Also, for anyone who ever played Smash Brothers, Project Melee was a community-made version of the game that was more fun, balanced, and feature-rich than any actual commercial Smash release has been.

I’m not saying to let the inmates run the prison. Ultimately the devs make it, and if we like it, we vote with our wallets and buy/play it. But I feel its foolish for a game developer not to leverage their biggest asset - their rabid playerbase! - to help them fine tune a title.

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I can whip up a cleaner more professional draft later today. I’ll toss it up here for you and anyone else to proof.

I’ll work in any other solid points that came up such as forum integration.

Of course, anyone is free to submit too or even copy the draft when ready.

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Awesome! I would greatly appreciate that :+1:

Psychology has been using various feedback terms and graphs for decades and game devs have been using those too. Some of those terms are specifically used to make it easier to save the true meaning of a layman’s feedback on complicated topics.

For example: If you want to have a “DPS test” where players are testing various weapons and how they perform you can make testers use specific terminology. If a weapon has to be buffed you can let testers give their feedback in those kind of answers:

Q: How much has item X to be buffed to feel good to use?
A:

  • Not at all = The weapon is in a good spot
  • A little bit = 5-15%
  • A bit = 15-25%
  • Quite a bit = 25-40%
  • A lot = 40-60%
  • Immensely = more than 60%

By using terminology instead of trying to let people interpret math you bridge a gap and make the dimension of the test more tangible. People often cannot interpret math, they can calculate, but most do not have a real feeling for mathematical consequences, especially not when it comes to video games, where there are so many other factors that go into the potency of items.

Another great, but way more elaborate way of beta testing is to give the testers direct access to in-game tools to balance an item themselves. The problem is that you need to communicate a lot for this to work as many people tend to overshoot it and make their test items too strong.

You can do a combination of both too, where you combine the “qualitative” testing method, which needs direct feedback from the testers, but therewith gives the most valuable data with the “quantitative” testing method to put both methods result up against each other and find a middle ground between satisfactory gameplay based on personal adjustments and basic game balance.

I would assume that Gearbox will probably do it similarly to how they adjusted the drop rates of Borderlands 2: They will let a large group of people test multiple weapons with various modifications and then gather the results to then adjust the weapon according to the quantity of the feedback given. Quantitative research is cheaper and easier to make and usually gives results that are good enough to implement in cases like these. It’s rare that a qualitative approach is necessary.

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