Why I refunded my preorder; game is more chore than fun :(

Hey there Battleborn team, just wanted to share my thoughts on the PS4 open beta and why it actually made me cancel my PC preorder. I only play story mode (PvP makes me anxious), so my feedback should be taken with that in mind – I’m fully aware I’m missing a big part of the game, and maybe it’s just not for me, but hopefully there’s some value in this feedback.

First, I guess I should be clear that Battleborn is indeed what I expected: A fun arena-type hero-based shooter with the humour and great art style of the Borderlands series. But there were a number of issues that detracted from the fun for me:

Helix progression in Story mode seems redundant; choosing to reduce my recoil or have 15% extra damage on an ability isn’t that fun since I have to repeat the process every game, and there wasn’t enough enemy variety to make CC better than damage in most cases. Honestly I think choosing a ‘story mode’ Helix build at the start of the mission would be worthwhile, or just bake some of the complexity into the characters so it’s one less thing to worry about.

– Speaking of things to worry about, collecting items from shattering crystals and shooting chests mid-mission seems to slow down the pace, particularly as the only thing that carries over between missions are credits. The temporary buffs during missions aren’t needed to beat the mission, and are too common to make me feel like they had any impact. The gold crystals are essential to keep the robot alive in the escort mission, but finding them means running away from the robot – if you hadn’t run away, maybe he wouldn’t have taken the damage that required you to run away… I’d personally rather the enemies dropped crystals and buffs rather than have them in chests, so killing enemies feels rewarding and keeps you in the thick of the fight.

– And that brings me to the enemy design: most of the void guys are thin, so hitting them is a nuisance rather than satisfying (might be an effect of my not being comfortable on a controller). The ones with shields spit up an ‘IMMUNE’ above them when you shoot, but I found that was often off-screen when I was sniping or was obscured behind other effects. I think there needs to be greater confirmation when you actually hit, and a greater effect when you hit their shield to make it noticable that “You’re doing it wrong”. This was particularly pertinent with the weird ice golem things where it wasn’t clear at all what I needed to target (I’d just shoot all over their body and hope for the best).

– The loot design really disappointed me. Having to spend gold to activate items for incremental temporary buffs? Seems contrived. I was expecting just to equip some gear that would passively make me better, but having another thing to micromanage mid-game made it something I just didn’t have the mental space to bother with (in addition to shooting, reloading, abilities and their cooldowns, buying buildables and actually completing the objectives of the mission). Loadouts were something I just didn’t care about, and being across characters rather than targeted loot for specific characters made the heroes feel cheap and disposable.

– All of this comes back to the progression: while having lots of unlockables (more characters, skins, tints etc) was great, actually playing the missions wasn’t fun because of the factors above (helix being a chore, chests/crystals being a distraction, and enemies being a nuisance to target even with aim-assist on). All of this culminated in my not enjoying the game and I really had to think if this was going to be something I wanted to play day in and day out – sadly the answer was no.

Just to make this feedback complete, here are my thoughts on the heroes I played – mostly Marquis, and I reached command level 7 (wasn’t worth playing more because there were only two stories and as above, it was a chore rather than fun):

Marquis (3 or 4 missions): I like sniping, so playing Marquis was great. Trying to get headshots with a controller is rough though, but I knew that and my preorder was on PC so I wasn’t too worried. His abilities were bizarrely short range; I’d basically look at the ground and trigger them in a panic and not bother otherwise cuz it disrupted my flow of sniping otherwise.

Thorn (1 mission): Thought it’d be more fun than it was; the charging of her arrows wasn’t clear enough or worth the extra damage in most cases. Her curse was underwhelming, but her abilities were satisfyingly impactful. What killed it for me was the constant charging of her arrows gave me a mad case of RSI after playing one mission so I had to change character.

Miko (1 or 2 missions): Thought I’d go healer, and found that because of most chars having shields the healing was unnecessary. I ran one story mission with two Thorns (who doesn’t have a shield) and even then her base regen made switching away from offence seem unimpactful to the mission. His attacks, meanwhile, seemed relatively overpowered when I’d just come from playing a sniper and Miko seemed to dish out a lot more damage and much more consistently. Maybe I’m just a bad sniper!

Montana (1 mission): This character was fun, managing heat was liberating vs ammo, though his accuracy left a lot to be desired – I suppose you need to get up close, but even then his extra height made targetting enemies really frustrating looking down a lot. His charge seemed to lag a fair bit (I’m in Australia) and in story mode I guess the disruption isn’t as necessary. I only used the ice ammunition because I got the helix talent that reduces heat; again, story mode doesn’t seem to have much call for slowing things.

I hope this feedback is helpful to the development team. I’ll be keeping my eye on the game as it progresses through launch, and hopefully if some of the issues above get addressed I’ll be able to find space in my playlist (some really good games coming out this year, the competition is strong!).

All the best.

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Thanks for taking the time to give such thorough feedback. It’s very valuable.

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I agree with portions of this, particularly the bit about getting confirmation when you hit something. With Thorn, I was oftentimes just hoping.

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Just wanted to comment on a couple of the heroes you mentioned.

Marquis - I do have to agree that as a hero who is labeled as a sniper… his abilities are rather short range. You do get options later down the road to increase their range but they still are not what I would call sniper range. I would also like to add that if you choose the multiple owls upgrade… I wish it gave you stacks instead of how it works now. Would be better if I could build up stacks and throw out 3 bird locations as I feel like it.

Miko - I somewhat agree with you. I also played Miko in story mode. Her healing side was pretty much unrequired throughout the entire game. However… I played again on Advanced Difficulty… I was pretty much forced to go straight healer build. The same goes for PvP modes. While playing Incursion its far better to go healer mode… but meltdown almost requires you to be a dps poison bot.

I just think for most heroes, it depends on the mode and difficulty selected.

Interesting perspective.

I actually disagree with most of the non-hero specific feedback.

-Helix progression I enjoy every time.

-I thoroughly enjoy collecting crystals and shooting chests.

-No opinion on the enemy design yet, but anything that can improve feedback is welcome.

-I do not mind the loot design at all.

-Marquis is an interesting mix of short-mid range and sniping.

-Thorn is not as interesting to me but I only played as her once. My bf finds her interesting though.

-Miko rocks.

-unsure about Montana atm.

You got me. I completely agree with you about every part of this review.

With Marquis the owls seem to be a defensive measure and his temporal attack seems to be to slow down characters that get too close so I can understand the short range but it does make the skills feel like they have less synergy with his main weapon. Having an ally to slow and stun opposing players to line up for Marquis to deal the damage makes sense, but that does make his own abilities seem less useful in comparison.

I think if someone was coming into this game looking to only play the single-player, they would be disappointed. However, I’m glad to have it as a way to test new characters and also take a break from multiplayer. Frankly, multiplayer can become stressful and having singleplayer provides a nice way to have some fun and de-stress. I’ll be playing both modes and am really glad Gearbox has integrated them to such a degree that you’re almost always making progress. Except for a few lore challenges and the like, you’re never “forced” to play one game mode or the other. You can unlock everything that matters (gear, battleborn, etc) via either mode.

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Just gotta add though that Marquis abilities and what you said. I always thought of marquis as more of a defensively skilled character. The time slow prevents people from getting to him and the if you set up multple owls, people who chase you can have a rude awakening. As such, when in a mission with him, I tend to spec gear and everything else as much as possible to buff guns, not the skills. Although they can be useful in certain areas (like Geoff on advanced. The owls can help clear all the damn boom bots).

First of I have to say that I have similar user rank and after playing the similar amount of matches I kinda want to play more :slight_smile: especially versus, you just have to give it a bit more time like 2-3 matches more and you’ll adapt :slight_smile:

I also agree with some points, especially the activating item cost but they had too fill somewhat the gold speeding in contrast with this I like very much the interaction with turret and ally NPC by spending gold.

Regarding the enemy design for story, the bosses seemed pretty large to hit them, the lower minions I agree that they are a bit narrow but for a melee char I think is OK, also there are just 2 missions available maybe on other ones there are different types of mobs.

I actually barely agree with anything. Let me explain:

-Helix progression: I don’t mind choosing a helix every game, and I love how you can choose a different helix depending on your team. Sometimes you have a team that would be better off with another side of the helix. I love how I am trying to lvl up just to get that one helix upgrade I want, it makes me more motivated to really get in the battle. ;3

  • I don’t mind collecting items at all. Like most of the time, I go to one crystal and then I go back to what I was doing. I see my team mates doing the same, and so everyone gets enough shards to active the best gear and buy some minions. I’ve also never had trouble keeping the robot alive. And we haven’t even been spending a lot of shards on it.
    I do agree that the buffs are pretty useless. Most of the time, I am able to pick them up AFTER a fight. T_T’ And it would be great if enemies would drop some buffs and shards though.

  • I don’t really have anything to say about the enemy design. Yeah they are thin, so they are hard to hit but that makes the game more challeging. I do agree that the immune is hard to see sometimes… Great point there.

  • I love gear… That’s all I have to say.

Heroes:

I have not played Marquis and Thorn, so I skip them.

  • Allies are very good at losing their shield very quick. Then their health starts going down and that is where Miko comes in. I have noticed my allies playing more reckless whenever I play Miko, because they expect me to heal them. I do NOT agree with his attacks being overpowered. He is very, very weak. Just see any damage char beat up a minion with easy and Miko having to throw like 18 kunais at it before it dies.
    Late in a mission, my allies seem to be so strong that they don’t need a lot of healing anymore, and that IS pretty annoying. But then I’ll just help by slowing down enemies and poisoning them.

-Montana… It’s hard to hit enemies because he is so huge, but that makes him more balanced. Montana is SO tanky, and he is very strong too. I haven’t noticed any lag in his charge, but I understand that can be very damn annoying. :confused:

Look, I can see where you are coming from on some points but I hope you play the game a bit more and understand the things I’ve noticed while playing. (Sorry for the huge post. o-o)

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Please, talk about the game, not other forum users. Thanks. If you find any posts troublesome, flag them, or just don’t post in that thread.

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All the stuff the OP wrote about is pretty spot on, and most of the things that have been in my mind whist and after playing. I actually enjoy looting, but from a team perspective it really does detract from your mission and a lot of the time what the task in hand is. You can often get left way behind or not have any input to the teams objective whilst looting. When the boss dies everyone scrambles to the orbs dropped and it’s chaos. I’m not liking the loot system at all. I never liked the lockers you have to open and pick things out of, seems counter productive. I’m ok with the small boxes that explode with orbs, they fit into the speed of the game.

Having played only as Thorn, I also agree with the fact I was getting serious hand cramp after missions, but that may not apply to everyone. It is a valid point though.

The helix tree requires you to stop again and keep updating it. I don’t particularly like it, but I suppose once you have memorised the options it will speed up. But recoil…What recoil? My bow didn’t have any!

The one thing that has bugged me so far is the character collisions. My team mates get in my way. My team mates barge me out of the way. If you have a couple of the LARGE classes in front of you, being a ranged attacker is hindered. Not sure what they can do, but it’s the interaction with your own team mates that really does annoy me at times.

Something I mentioned after the CTT was the character mobility. I still feel it is too slow to turn around. I want fast agility so when there are multiple enemy around me I can turn quick and precise. Seems too slow and clumsy right now even with settings maxed out.

I also want MISSION markers on the mini-map.

The start of the game seems to drag on a bit for me, not sure how others feel about this. I just want to get into a group, choose and role. Time to start game is too slow, needs refining. As does the character customising screen/loot backend. This is too slow/elaborate still.


The reason to keep coming back to play the game? That’s the one question many of you may have. PvE is obviously way different to the PvP game. And it’s to this extent I question why I would want to keep playing it. Without a good group of players high level missions would be pointless. I was in two groups that failed normal mode missions, and was more than doubling the kill ratio of my team mates. The loot system is a fail (IMHO) and has no real part unless you can get the good cool down and damage orbs etc, but that’s it. Once I’ve done all the missions what else will there be? What do others feel on this topic??