What does it mean to be "monitoring these [xyz]"?

In the latest patch, Noelle at gbx said the below statement about monitoring gameplay and adjusting things as necessary.

I’m curious if anyone understands this more clearly. For example, I understand that SHIFT accounts probably feed data like player stats and build information to gbx, but how do they monitor bosses? Are they simply watching YouTube uploads or does SHIFT share more details about specific bosses, such as engage time, etc?

Also, is it possible they’re peaking inside our actual gameplay without us knowing, using the spectate feature that is implemented in the Takedown when a player dies? I actually assume they’d be allowed to based on some term of service or another, but I was just more curious than anything if there’s info out there explaining this.

Shift is a very powerful data-gathering tool, the specifics and limits of which have never really been explained… I would assume that any time gearbox talk about in-game data, shift has played a role.

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Take a look in the Challenges tab on the Galaxy view map - there’s all sorts of challenges and stats there beyond the simple set you see for the planetary and zone challenge completion information.

I don’t know how much of that information is available to Gearbox and whether or not it includes the rare spawns (haven’t gone through in detail). But whatever they do have access to would be covered by the TOS of your SHIFT account for BL3.

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I’m not personally sure why everyone keeps linking data collection to shift accounts… I get that they did this on BL2 so it’s the go to explanation - but you don’t have to sign up for a shift account to use the ECHOcast Extension you know.

They probably have data collection built into the game regardless of additional tools they have made available to people, and they probably have unrestricted access to it. It’s safest to assume they’re collecting data on you anytime you’re connected to the internet regardless of what accounts you use.

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You didn’t need a SHIFT account to play BL2, and I don’t believe you need one to play BL3 either? Due to data/privacy regulations in several different countries/regions, there does need to be some form of TOS/agreement covering data collection, and SHIFT is a pretty good way of implementing and tracking that.

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This is correct, but bl2 wasn’t designed for the ‘online only’ console generation so it’s highly doubtful that anyone would have tried building data collection into the game itself.

True, however since I’m never going to read any of the tos agreements, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone told me that it was part of agreeing to install the game to the console (or even pc) in the first place.

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Actually, if you go back and look at the announcements around SHIFT when it was introduced with the launch of the original BL2 (360/PS3/WinXP) it mentioned providing the opportunity for GBX to collect game play data.

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I asked out of curiosity more than anything. I work in data, so it’d be interesting what the tables look like and how it’s collected. e.g., are they simply doing everything by looking at tables of data, then inferring gameplay, or is there a mechanism for them to see what the player actually did?

From an analyst perspective, when a player kicks in a ton of combos, it might be crazy to see a gun go from 300 dmg per hit to 9000 in 2 seconds.

That I don’t know. I’m assuming it’s tied to the data you can see for yourself in-game as mentioned above. Only GBX know if there’s more to it than that.

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What I meant was that the current consoles were developed with an online + digital download strategy in mind. So borderlands 3 could have been developed with data collection built in - while borderlands 2 would have struggled to do so… Which is why shift was necessary back then. It forced players to connect to servers to recieve rewards (and enable data collection in the process).

Players have to jump through hoops to not be connected now, and fixes via hotfixes largely negates a want to do so. BL3 doesn’t need shift to have large amounts of data collection possible was my entire point.

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Yeah it claims nobody has to ever completed the CoS or proving grounds on PS4, that should be good data.

To the OP
Alot if games these days have data bases that keep score about your stats that even get intimate like over all kills, deaths, k/d(yes in pve games), accuracy, crit ratio, weapon preferences and ecetra. This is more common in PvP games but plenty of OvE games have this, Diablo shows how much damage people take, deal and heal at the end of a match I would love that in borderlands. Destiny 2 for example has forums were people ask a bot for the data from their last matches, too often.
Garbox doesn’t allow us to view our own that I’m aware of and this may just be limitations in the game. I don’t know if they ever record gameplay but at the very least they could be tapping into our cache and the save files show the data. I would love for this to be possible to see where improvement is needed but skills like

These are the ones I was referring to, not the challenges related to achievements. Check them out - they’re there on the Galaxy view page. You can even sort by various categories such as weapons, enemies, etc. Want to know how many Maliwan heavies you’ve annihilated? You can look that up!

No, BL2 did this to, right from the start. The level of detail might have changed, but there is a fair amount of player stats available just through the BAR challenges (as an example).

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I’m checking this when I get home. Didn’t know this!

I’ve played hundreds of hours and just never explored the menus.

Thanks I’ll give it another look.

For clarification I made my post under the assumption that ‘data collection’ referred to information the company had regular access to from users as a whole, not a general accumulation of stats. For the collection portion they needed shift to be successful because bl2 released on a platform that didn’t encourage connectivity like current gen consoles.

All I’m saying is the usefulness of shift is waning with time. It’s a tool that’s not as cumpolsory to their success as it was in older titles.