What Gearbox does with balance and what they should do

First off, @Jythri and @JoeKGBX, I want you to listen to my 2 cents (or buck fifty) about this.

You do two things very wrong with your balancing of Battleborn.

First: you base your balancing completely on the numbers of a character (the average player win/lose, Kill/death, and overall usage). This is a very bad thing to do. Some characters are more difficult to play than others but are not actually weaker.

Example: Benedict at release. There was nothing weak about him. He had high mobility and damage, in exchange he had low health. He was difficult to use and many players didn’t play him for this reason. There were still some people that could use him and very well might I add. It just took time to learn how, and I know this is something that I know you guys like, rewarding your players for loyalty and commitment, be it to the game or the character itself. He was very balanced. But you decided that he needed to be buffed because of the numbers and we all know how that turned out. Benedict was balanced, then he was hands down the strongest character in the game and now he’s in a very awkward position.

Second Example: Shayne and Aurox. S and A are very good at the moment. They have high health, good chase power, and good escape, all wonderful things on a melee character. She isn’t spectacular and is underplayed but she still has a lot going for her. (Sounds a lot like Benedict at release…) But now you decided that because she isn’t played often enough, she needs buffs.(Sounds a lot more like Benedict at release…) I can’t say whether or not she will be the new Benedict but she doesn’t need all these buffs thrown at her.

Second: You do way too much to a character in one update. Sometimes when you make massive changes to someone, you do the right thing and come out on top. Prime examples are Whiskey and Atticus, you turned very bad and almost useless characters into viable ones in a single update. Other times… not so much.
Example: Kleese. It is my opinion that Kleese was perfectly fine the way he was just before he got his massive health buff. I had over 100 games of PvP with him while he was in that state and I thought he was fine, lowest health in the game and all. But this is another example of “the numbers say otherwise” and he got buffed. Now that 88% increase to his health was the only buff to him but it was a massive change. What you should have done was us that wonderful Battleplan Hotfix and make some small changes over time. Maybe a 15% or 20% increase to health will increase his usability. But almost doubling his max health is way too much to do in one update. It completely changes the way he is played.

Second Example: Ambra. She has been all over the place in terms of power. She went from Godlike, to top tier, to little on the weak side, and back up to top tier. All of the changes made to her were very big. You were shooting in the dark and hoping to hit a bulls-eye but people are still arguing as to whether or not she is over powered.

Here is an example of you doing character balancing right: Alani. I’m not talking about Alani at release, that was an ungodly nightmare and I have no idea why she was made that strong. I’m talking about how you fixed her. You made several changes to her over several updates. You started to take things away from Alani until she was considered too weak but then you gave her some love again. Right now, Alani is in a good place, her level two helix is kind of pointless in PvP and absolutely pointless in PvE but other than that she is good.

So when you need to change someone, don’t make a massive rework for them. Experience shows that you have a 50-50 shot of doing good(WF and Atticus) or doing really bad (Kleese, and Ambra). Do what you did with Alani and make small changes and see what happens. It works.

I love Gearbox, and I want to believe that you can salvage the mess you are making of Battleborn but I honestly was feeling depressed when I read your recent patch notes.

Well I gave my opinion. If I know you guys well enough you will wait a bit, see what people comment about on this thread then tell me whatever you decide needs to be done. That’s alright, I can wait. That is assuming that the mods don’t lock this thread, because god forbid anyone has anything negative to say about the game as a whole or gearbox itself.


If you have any concerns about moderation, feel free to pm one of us.

We don’t lock stuff just because it’s critical of the game. That would be pointless, as this forum is for giving feedback.

We do lock stuff that breaks the rules, though. You might care to read them sometime, as they might clear a few things up for you.


They promised balance changes will be applied this way, by small steps. And then they start applying massive changes in one time again and again.

Glorious data can say what happens, but it can’t say what people think about it. It also doesn’t always provide a clear answer to why it happened.


that was cute

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It also should not have been done at the same time as the DLC. PVE finally got additional content and I worry that all these character changes will ruin it. Lots of players have taken time to learn their characters so they’d be ready when the DLC is released.

I wish all this balancing for PVP play had been held back and lore challenge changes and command rank had been addressed instead.

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This is a brilliant post, I can’t find any flaws with it but I do think you left one thing out: The cop-outs. When a character receives a buff to one aspect but a nerf to another, that’s a cop-out. The way I see it, either a character is too powerful or not powerful enough, and requires a nerf or a buff, respectively, but doing both at once only balances a character out back to the way they were before the changes.

The thing I agree with most is the point you made about Benedict, being the only character with (limited) flight already sets him apart from the rest of the cast and makes him particularly difficult to use. Some of the best players I’d ever seen used Benedict very well, yet some of the worst used him badly, and that’s the way it was supposed to be. Deande was the same, they’re both complex characters with a steep learning curve, but to buff either simply because they’re underplayed or not played well by the majority is unjustified, the experienced players who uploaded videos of their triumphs even right here on these forums proved that. That, I thought, was the whole point of having easy and advanced characters in the first place, none is more powerful than the other but it takes a higher level of skill to bring out the best in the latter while the former are more friendly to newer and less experienced players.
After Benedict’s buff, the “sniper Benedicts” who just stood still and rained down rockets from a perch became the most troublesome walls in the game, that was unjustified and I’ll never forget how radically it changed the game. These forums are here for us to provide feedback, yet it feels as though they’re not listening to our thoughts rather just using hard data as the only justification for changes to certain characters, and as you’ve stated that is far from an accurate way to make adjustments to a game as complex as this one.


I like where both Kleese and Ambra are at honestly. Alani is fine for pvp but I don’t use her in pve anymore. The only char I agree with you on is SaA
Edit I don’t use whiskey or attikus so have no opinion on them


I still disagree. Reallocation if kit strengths is not a “copout” but a reorganization of the characters terse into the developers vision. Consider sports. Olympic runners typically have massive legs and weaker arms. Now, imagine if a runner had medium voth. That’s not where he’s supposed to be. So he stopped working on arms, doubled down on legs, and is now the winner he was meant to be. I don’t see how that’s a problem, I would even consider it smart


They also nerfed Kleese’s healing and sniper shots by a LOT. They hurt two of his best helices, and people seem to ignore that


There are many reasons to buff and nerf, not just balance. If the game was perfect balanced the game would be boring, you would know what to expect.

Thats why we get hero cycling, gives new information to learn and exploit, if the buff/nerf is to hard they hot Fix it.

Its all about make A weak so B can get the spot light, C is the counter of B but also D who was the counter of C but none used C but now will.

Thats why i changed my support/survival kleese gear to max attack to tase melka in 5 sec.

Or changed my lvl 2 helix to right, less scared to be shieldless and exploit his absurde hp.

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Yep, he’s significantly more of an attacker. Unfortunate

Or tank! Dmg reduction (+3% shards dmg) and shield and hp makes him a stupid tanky old man

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I wasn’t talking about -

I was talking about nerfs and buffs, or balances, in general.

Man I’ve heard this on so many moba threads. League and Smite have done this a lot too. I swear, guys running mobas never get their balance right with the exception of DOTA.

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Realistically, if a character is too strong, you can always nerf slightly more than you buff another aspect. Still in total a nerf, but still a directional change for the character. So I don’t consider what they do a copout, but a buff or nerf with general changes as well.

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To me, that is a cop-out. Attikus is just one example of many, he received a health buff (albeit a huge one) but he lost his knock-back and knock-up which were the two CC effects that made him the disruptor he was labeled as. Now he’s just a big punching tank, he may as well be Brick, he’s not a disruptor anymore yet he still carries that tag. I kept hearing about how weak he was, but when I mastered him I never saw that weakness, I used him tactically and opportunistically and used his CC to do exactly what it was supposed to do - disrupt. I thought his tag should have been changed from “easy” to “advanced” as I found him far from easy to use but worth the trial and error. Now you just pounce in and punch everything into red mist because you have a massive health pool, IMO they took away from him what made him Attikus and turned him into every other front-line melee attacker in the game (but he’s a defender, apparently) and they did the same with Deande.

There is a lot of debate as to whether or not they are balanced. It is a touchy topic but I played them both (More so Kleese) before they were buffed and they were still pretty strong. I don’t think they needed the buff, they were very viable.

Also [quote=“Keadron, post:7, topic:1547940”]
The only char I agree with you on is SaA

Well you seem to agree with me on Alani since I said,

Thank you for the compliment.

As to the cop-outs, I didn’t directly bring that up directly but I did bring up the issue of changing too much at once and how its a 50-50 chance of working. Atticus technically got a cop-out and it worked out for him. But with what they are going to do to Boldur, I can’t see the future but I don’t think it will be good.

I forgot about those, it’s been so long since I used them. The healing chair was ridiculous because it was better than having a level 2 or 3 health station in the middle of the battle. As far as the sniper shots, that was a matter of preference, I liked the rapid fire over slow and strong shots.