The Unofficial Battleborn Discord channel has organized another AMA (Ask Me Anything). They had invited Gearbox Software staff members to go in-depth on the game. The Battleborn AMA took place on Tuesday, 01/17/2017 at 3pm CT. Did you miss the event no worries you can get a recap of all of the questions. Shout out to Tokesy97 for providing a full write-up of the event.
GBX Staff Members
- GBX JoeK = Joe King (Community Manager)
- Jythri = Randy Varnell (Creative Director)
- GBX Anthony = Anthony Nicholson (Producer)
- Grant (Balance Designer)
During the AMA, gRant posted some changes that are coming with the winter update, for a full overview of those you can read the patch notes.
Kitru: I always felt that Oscar Mike seems like a character from Red vs. Blue (he’s very Caboose-y, except OM is competent). Was it an influence on OM’s character design at all and, even if not, will the Battle School ops involve references to it since it seems like OM’s style of humor?
jythri: I kinda mentioned this in the last stream, but originally, Oscar Mike was designed to be the “common ground” shooter character. That “gun guy” from any game. We kept joking to each other that he’s just a clone of so many other gun guys. After a bit, that “clone” thing became part of the lore, and then we started peeling back angles of parody. Clone Troopers (which even affected his final aesthetic some), and ideas of what’s it like to be a clone. Red vs Blue is the “generic shooter” comedy, in a lot of ways. So, while we probably didn’t pull directly from there, we were definitely farming the same fields.
Kitru: What other characters are going to be showing up as supporting characters in the next 3 ops?
jythri: I’ll give you a couple per op, I don’t want to spoil everything. Montana and the Demon Bear: Montana, of course. Nova is actually a character (not just an announcer in this op) and we get to do some fun stuff with her. Also, Shayne & Aurox gets a featured role. For Phoebe and the Heart of Ekkunar: Phoebe, of course. Beatrix (which we mentioned on the last stream), and Rath. Rath is neat, because he doesn’t really get any story time in any of the other missions.
Kitru: In the 11/17/16 Battleplan, Kleese is referred to as “Dr. G. Kleese”; nowhere else in the lore is he referred to with that honorific or explained that actually has qualifications (PhD or MD) even though he obviously has the knowledge. Is Kleese an autodidact that only got those qualifications after the events of the game (possibly as a reward for his role in saving the universe)? Has he always has them but just never bothers to use them (suggesting that the Jennerit are extremely interested in honorifics)?
jythri: Kleese – Hmm. I’m going to have to go kick Dante, because I’m not sure when we added the honorific. :). he’d be more of a PhD rather than an M.D. But really, he doesn’t care. Kleese just does what Kleese does. He knows he’s smarter than anyone else, and if someone wants to give him a title, sure. Whatever. He probably isn’t the smartest person in the universe, but if you told him that, he would blow you off. You just aren’t looking at the problem correctly. Tasking a Blargavian Nose Ferret to “clean out your pipes”. I said Kleese isn’t a scientist? What was I smoking?? He certainly IS a scientist and inventor, but again…he has no respect for formal designations. He does what he does, and is pretty darn good at it.
Zombie?Man:What’s the current state of Attikus? Will he be receiving any buffs in the near future?
gRANT: We’re generally happy with Attikus’s kit changes we made in the last patch. We’ve done some quality of life bug fixing on his skills to make them feel snappier but no big changes incoming. If anything we’re keeping an eye out on his max health and range of his primary attacks.
Zombie?Man: Will there eventually be Borderlands skins for the Battleborn? If so, when could we expect them to arrive?
GBX Anthony: We’ve obviously talked about things like having references to our other games in Battleborn like skins and such, but we don’t currently have plans to do so.
Ripley: Will Alani ever find a friend?
GBX Anthony: Alani has lots of friends! Are you saying since her entire species was wiped out that she doesn’t have friends?
Zombie?Man: Will Attikus in a sexy japanese school girl outfit ever be a thing Randy?
jythri: Attikus in a sexy school girl outfit…well. That would be a priority AFTER we actually get fedora for him. There’s actually (in the next update) a title called “Honorary Fedora”. You can’t earn it, though. We’ll give it out for very special circumstances.
Kitru: Why is PvE content design to be so anti-melee even though melee characters don’t actually get any major advantages? There are no enemies in the game that are less dangerous in melee than they are at range (including Deadeye snipers which kick as hard as they shoot, with their kicks being much more difficult to dodge thanks to fast animation). Even nominally gun wielding enemies like Brutes and Enforcers do significantly more damage in melee (and have much more difficult to avoid attacks) than they do at range (a Brute headbutt/shield bash will do in excess of 1k damage while a bullet will deal ~30-40). This isn’t even getting into the absurdity of non-numerical choices, like the automatic damage dealt by the damage pylons and Aria in the Thrall ops as well as the almost obscene amount of knockback that bosses use (the worst example of this is the spinning blade that Aria and Rendain use).
jythri: On the melee question: the balance between ranged and melee, especially in PvE, was one of the harder ones we tackled. I also wish it had come out a little strong with challenges that emphasized certain character archetypes before. We certainly didn’t design the content intentionally to be anti-melee. It’s just very very difficult to try to design a game that can work for 30 different skill sets. I don’t think we completely missed the mark on that, but I think there are definitely some ways melee and support could be stronger in campaign. Ultimately, though, I think playing as a team still makes that work pretty well.
Kitru: What’s with PvP and PvE specific lore challenges? I realize that the game encourages both modes, but forcing people to play a mode they don’t enjoy just to complete a lore challenge simply serves to anger people. It doesn’t help that the PvP lore challenges requires way more time invested to complete than the PvE lore challenges and often encourage non-objective play, such that a lore challenge seeking player will be a detriment to their own team.
jythri: Lore challenges – I think it’s very important to the nature of Battleborn that we give incentives for you to play some in all of the parts of the game. PvP players moving into Story, and Story players venturing into Versus. I think it’s one of the stronger, more unique aspects of our game compared to others, and I don’t have any plans to eradicate that. That said, as you noticed, we’ve taken steps over the last months to reduce the time requirement for the worst of those, almost across the board. We’ve also opened up (with Bots Battle) the ability for more casual players to complete those requirements without the harshest of contests to get the challenges. I would also argue that “often encourage non-objective play” isn’t a correct assessment of what we’re seeing. This is a particular thing we discussed a lot, especially with challenges within PvP. All of those challenges should be tied to using your character expertly, or doing things that also contribute to the winning of matches. Sure, there are some that could be played against the grain, but I’ve not seen any kind of trackable problem there.
Tuffeddie: What influenced your choice to have two UPR Operations rather than one for each faction?
GBX Anthony: For the operations choices, it wasn’t about having equal coverage for the factions but rather shedding some light on the specific characters. For the two UPR Ops specifically, telling Montana’s story about his encounter with the Demon Bear and running through Oscar Mike in the Battle School were narratives that allowed us to dig into those two characters in addition to character development from the supporting cast within. VERY funny moments in those situations for all heroes involved and depth.
lowlines : Can you give us any hints for finding the other BL3 Easter Eggs in the Story Operations? Players are having a hard time finding them all!
jythri: On BL3 easter eggs – I’ll just say that it’s going to be difficult. These Easter eggs are old-school game kind of hard to find. The person who finds them will be super-SUPER awesome for doing so. Once all the ops are out, if people are still completely in the darkness about it, we’ll consider giving another clue or two.
GBX JoeK: To build on what @jythri said, this is a good chance for the community to get together and team up on finding the easter eggs. Sometimes multiple heads are better than one.
Tebo11: Anyone know if they are reworking matchmaking so that we can have it wait till a full team before it starts a pve match?
jythri: On Reworking matchmaking for full PvE team: This is a setting. it doesn’t require a re-work of matchmaking. We could do this at any point. Right now, it’s intentionally set to start the match without a full 5-man team after a certain threshold of time has passed. Our current believe (based on data we’ve pulled) is that there IS a maximum time players will wait before they drop from the queue. We’re balancing the time we have that queue wait against that time goal, trying to keep the waits rational. This will, of course, be better when we have more players playing (or fewer queuing options). I would encourage players who want this experience regularly to join up on this Discord or other community groups and form 5-man private runs if you really want that full experience dependably.
Kitru: Why do different stats have different ratios between them being primary and secondary stats? ex. max hp and move speed as a secondary are 75% of their values as a primary; max shield and healing received are 70%; recoil is 80%; health regen, heal power, damage reduction, CC reduction, and shield penetration are 50%; attack damage, attack speed, crit damage, shield delay, skill damage, and cooldown are 60%; build cost, bonus shards, and shield regen are 67%; reload is 47%; sprint speed is 57%; the spread on those seems pretty arbitrary
gRANT: They are largely based on what we can affect that a player can actually feel. Every stat started as 50% of the primary but we found that some of those relationships just didn’t work well for certain stats. At the beginning we were going for a larger variety of gear and created rules for stats. But as time elapsed, we realized most stat numbers just didn’t do anything. And admittedly, some still don’t feel very good. We’re looking to address those in the near future.
Kitru: Have you given any thought to allowing for smaller groups (3v3 or 4v4) in public PvP matches to alleviate extremely long queuing times? For example, if a group is in matchmaking for longer than 5 minutes, it will start a match if it fills 8 slots and, if longer than 10 minutes, only 6 slots (before splitting them into even groups).
GBX Anthony: There are several negative impacts to adjusting the PvP queue to autofill like PvE. We DO have plans for more event experiences in the future that will do some fun things with team comp and size.
TL_Kasteron: Will there be training modes for capture or face-off?
jythri: On Training modes: No current plans for those modes. Capture, other than the bonuses from Varelsi, is super straightforward, I think, and similar to that mode in many other game. Face-Off could use some more description. Hopefully, the new training will help with the tougher general game concepts and that will get us by for a while.
Neb, The Devious: Why are the Character legendary gears so bad? Most don’t synergize with the character you get the gear for, and most character specific effects can’t stack or are worse than other legendary gear? Also Why dont Character Legendary gears have max or close to rolls on stats?
jythri: On Character Legendaries: Our chief design keyword for character legendaries was “Bad”. We spent a lot of time working specifically on how to make them bad, and when they got too good, we needed them into oblivion. Serious answer, though: I think “bad” is very subjective. Balance changes all the time, and I think most of our legendaries (character or otherwise) have seem times they’ve been S-tier and times no one has wanted them. We’ve done a lot of work in the last couple of months to take what we’ve learned and get them back to competent, interesting, usable states. We’re not there yet, and we’ll keep working until we get things to a state where we’re all only slightly disappointed.
gRANT: One thing about character and gear balance… This patch focuses largely on features compared to previous patches where more characters were addressed. This patch also opens up character select to counter-picking so we expect to spend more time on character balance going forward. The metas will change, the character selections will change, and we’ll tune characters that need tuning.
lowlines: Will there be any changes to the gear system? Will gear get more variety?
Such as are there any plans to add new gear types/skills to the game in future updates and not just as one off legendaries? Like having a gear skill similar to Buildable Cost that reduces the Activation Cost of other gear.
jythri: On gear variety: WE did a little bit with the Ops missions, introducing some new concepts into the mix. We definitely want to add more, and have talked very recently about some plans to get that in an upcoming patch. With he Winter Update, so much focus has been on the big moving pieces – Beatrix and the Operations Missions, Draft Mode, Daily Quests, etc. We wanted to get all the big blocks in place before we move significantly on iterating hugely on our sub-systems like Gear.
NatsumeRyu: Have you considered adding in a ‘gear library’? Where in the stats screen you can see what pieces of gear you’ve never gotten are, or what legendaries you have left to collect, etc.? (And consequently which gear you have gotten at some point) this would alleviate some players complaints who gotta catch em all (like me) since it would be logged in the game that you got it. It can even log the ranges you’ve acquired that gear at, so people can go for the full min/max spectrum to fill out their library.
jythri: we did talk about something very similar to that. I think it’s an awesome idea, and something I want to do in the future. I’m also a poke-collector type of player, and that really scratches an itch for me.
Zombie?Man: Will we ever see any more helix mutations for characters that could be obtained from character rank increases or other means?
jythri: Mutations: Something we could do and have talked about. It’s not in the near future, but it’s a way to go. I’ve thought recently about targeting some ways we could help expand characters to other roles, like giving healing bullets to Oscar Mike. You’d have to have some sort of trade off there, but I think that’s something you would likely see in the future.
Llamadowns: Will there be any changes regarding stuns taking you into third-person camera?
jythri: Stuns and 3rd person camera: Probably not. One of the things with any CC, especially movement altering ones, is that we have to do everything we can to give you feedback on what is happening. The 3rd person camera makes a LOT of difference. For a long time, we had the system without it, and most of the time, players were just confused about what was going on. I never say never, but a major change here is unlikely. That said – we’re currently discussing things we can do to change the meta in the future away from the predominance of stuns and chain-stunning.
The Magna Carta: Does wound apply to various PvE enemies who have the ability to heal, and if not is there any plans to add utility to wound for PvE with it large presence in character CC’s?
jythri: ON Wound – gRANT stepped away for a moment, and he would know specifically. I’m pretty sure we DID work this in. We try and keep PvE in consideration for all our changes. If it doesn’t do anything in PvE, then yes…we would look at altering that in the future. As a general note on PvE – we spent a lot of work on the story missions and ops, and worked to make them as rewarding and replayable as we could. Even with that, I’m blown away by how many of you still love to play there and make that your main playing habit. Seeing that continuing trend is definitely affecting our discussions about things we would do in future patches to make things better and keep things fresh. We haven’t talked much about it so far, but the Winter Update on Thursday actually has hundreds of bug fixes and quality-of-life changes for PvE missions, which will take care of a LOT of the regular issues you guys are seeing now.
lowlines: Name and describe your favorite character(s) that didn’t make it into the game.
jythri: Geesh. Favorite characters. Man, there are like hundreds of them. There was a spear-maiden we prototyped that was really awesome. A super-buffing shaman I loved. Of course…there’s Nova in a robot suit too. I still want that.
GBX JoeK: My personal favorite character character that didn’t make it into the game? Deep Dive.
GBX Anthony: Favorite character – As you guys know we have made tons of pitches for characters, two of which I made in Alani and Beatrix. The one I really liked in early development was someone that @jythri has mentioned before in Ejo-Lorr who had some trans-dimensional skills and grotesque attacks. Wait…you said that DIDN’T make it into the game…
Davekillerish: Will there be more options for social interaction? Interactive taunts or controllable voice commands?
jythri: Social interactions – one of my favorite ideas there is an expanded “taunt” system that would allow you to take multiple in game at a time. If we did that, I would want to create a new type of taunt that doesn’t take camera control away, and is more of a gesture + VO. So yeah….social emotes. For the full, multi-corded tabbed communication system….it’s a thought, but I don’t think we’d do that first.
The Magna Carta:Is there any plans to add more utility to Battleborn Tap and it’s integration with Battleborn itself?
GBX JoeK: No plans to add any additional integration with Battleborn Tap at the moment.
The Magna Carta: Can we expect tie-in Novels, Graphic Novels and maybe a novelization of the game?
GBX Anthony: Do you guys want a Battleborn movie? That’d be pretty awesome! You guys should send suggestions to Gearbox everyday!
jythri: Tie-in novels or graphic novels: How many of you would pay for something there? :). I’m obviously very invested in the lore of this game, and I’d love to do more there. I think the universe we’ve built is really awesome, and I’d love to see it exceed the boundaries of the game more.
Pysiozaur: any chances of having one account synced across platforms, just like in paragon?
GBX JoeK: Cross-platform play sounds super awesome and it’s something we’ve said before that we think would be really cool. Unfortunately, the future of that functionality is in the hands of the people who own it, so there’s nothing we can really do there. If there came a time where it was a possibility, I’m sure our teams would look into it.
Kitru: What are your thoughts on player generated playable content? The Thrall ops already set precedent for non-canon holodeck style missions.
jythri: Player-generated content? Sounds great, but it’s a massive technical undertaking, and (to put on my President Business hat) probably not profitable to us right now. I don’t think we’d be conceptually opposed to the idea, but I can’t see that happening any time in the near future.
GBX JoeK: To build on what @jythri said about community created content, we love seeing and even in some cases receiving things that the community creates. Getting to be the guy that passes that stuff on to our team in many cases is one of my favorite parts of my job. Including that content as a part of the game or selling it in any way can get tricky on a number of levels — especially when it comes to the legalities.
Kitru: What metrics do you use to determine whether a helix should be changed? For example, Galilea’s DtGA helix at level 3 is an automatic choice for everyone because it’s so powerful; what would it take for the other 2 helices it competes with to be changed? The same is true for El Dragon’s Heavyweight helix
jythri: Two major things, and a lot of minor things. Major influences – we look at usage, and constantly check which choices are taken and which aren’t. If a helix choice, on average, falls below a certain threshold of use, we prioritize it for some change. The other big factor is when we know a character (like Galilea) needs something more than number adjustment. Then, we listen to a lot of feedback, look at a lot of data, dive into data, argue for a few days with fists, and then come up with a plan.
Poetic Nova: Question 1: Will lore shown in battleplans be added to the game?
Question 2: What were Beatrix’s main design influences? I recognise the little sister, but also kinda Ichi The killer.
GBX Anthony: Question 1: Will lore shown in battleplans be added to the game?
Not anytime soon. There is a lot of great stuff there but we don’t have plans to right now.
Question 2: What were Beatrix’s main design influences? I recognise the little sister, but also kinda Ichi The killer
When I was thinking of Beatrix I originally was wanting a dark, creepy plague doctor with the personality of Wednesday Addams/Raven from Teen Titans. When the art team saw the design they went full horror movie, Grudge, Elm Street and wanted to hit on the Android feeling she has and we all loved it.
Oneness: Have you considered multiple loadouts per character? Instead of just a set amount for the entire roster. This way you could already have PvE ones ready, a general PvP one, maybe a gimmicky one. And with the release of drafting, I think this option would be great because it allows counter building and will help you fill your own role better. For example being able to have both an offensive and defensive Boldur loadouts ready. And it will help expand players hero pools instead of them being limited by what loadouts they already have premade.
jythri: Yes. The system originally worked like that. Each character had 5 loadouts specific to that character. What we found in testing was that it ultimately discouraged people from trying other characters, because they hadn’t made loadouts. The maintenance time was really heavy, and it the system lost a lot of it’s general appeal. So, we moved back to what we have now.
beta382: @jythri, how does it feel to be a dunk master?
jythri: @beta382 It feels Dunkin’ awesome.
Thrall Lover: How old is Attikus? And what kind of age range to thralls have?
jythri: Attikus is…crap. I’d need to look it up. He’s relatively young. 20? Or so? As a race, thralls have only been around for about 70 years, as their sentient evolved versions. The bestial thrall have been around for much much longer.
Joes0s: Will MINREC enjoy some program upgrades in the new Meltdown Finale (I.e. Sabat VO)? Can you expand a little on his lore and inspirations?
jythri: MINREC is Jim Foronda, and yes. I think there’s some new lines with the new Meltdown. I can’t remember if it’s in now, or something we’re doing with them later.
beya: Why does ISIC fight for the Battleborn who clearly oppose his ultimate goal? Was his mind altered by Kleese’s debugging? If so, the social status of a Magnus AI seems to be unequal. Are they just considered simple, malleable tools even after gaining independence from the Magna Carta? (One would assume that if 60% of a faction’s population is AI they should have rights lest they revolt)
jythri: ISIC’s core was grabbed by Kleese after the algorithm, and …he did things to it. So, he’s far more interested in helping them out now on their version of “saving the universe”. This is probably something that will cause problems later. ISIC and Kleese have a long history of competition, and not much of it is friendly. Magnuses—whoa. That’s a huge topic. Probably worth another dedicated “Story Time with Jythri” some time.
Garland: Will Caldarius get more fleshing out as a character or will he be forever mister angry flying metal bug? and is he intimate or close to any of the battleborn as of now after rendains defeat?
jythri: I hope we can flesh out all of our characters in time. Caldarius already has a whole mission that focuses on him, but there’s definitely some intentional mystery left with him. HE’s pretty tight with Ambra and Rath, though his mental state doesn’t really make friendship easy for him.
epicender584: Is Ambra actually bald? Is her headdress also what we think of as her hair? Dante answered indirectly but it’s a bit difficult to figure out what’s true or not with his posts, as fun as they are.
jythri: That is a headdress that Ambra is wearing. Is she bald? That’s one of the great mysteries of the universe. :). I’ll ask her and see what she says.
Kaleidodemon: Have you considered adding all of the lore from the Battleplans, the official website and other sources as well as new lore to the game (perhaps on a new tab on the UI)? Character lore, environment/level lore, faction lore, enemy lore, etc.
jythri: On adding Battleplan lore to the game – probably not. The more likely scenario is that we add MORE unlockable lore in-game to keep building on things there. WE’ve got some interesting ideas that are still in the early phases.
EnasniVolz: I think this has been touched on before, but are there any talks regarding allowing players to ‘undo’ a helix choice mid-battle within a short timeframe?
jythri: on changing helix choices, we did look into that at one point. I got really mad once after I looked at the left option but clicked the right trigger. There are some technical challenges, though, that make going backwards in time somewhat of a major re-work for us. I think if this ever shows up, it will be an optional “confirmation” timer, where it takes a second or two before it locks in.
Avery: Who is offically gay/lesbian?
epicender584: according to story time, Reyna is bi, Shayne is gay and gender nonconforming, Mellka is too busy being angry but the term would be exploring. Room for interpretation
Gray: any chance pve content could dynamically scale so people can join games in progress (and maybe bots in pvp as placeholders?)
jythri: Question 1, on holding matches until full: See above answer. Wrote a long-ish answer in this AMA already. Question 2 – Allowing late-join is something that’s out of scope right now, technically. It’s not impossible, but it’s not something we’re going to do soon. There are a LOT of design and communication decisions we’d have to make here given the level-up and growth nature of the game. It’s not a “no forever” but it is a “not for now”
leftcircle: What is the nature of Ambra’s relationship with Caldarius. In her lore she awakes in a Rogue Hospital and he visits her. But in the Renegade she seems put out to be helping him.
jythri: On Ambra/Caldarius – Complex relationship. To be fair, Ambra is generally pretty hard to get along with. The moment she has any concern for someone, she get really pick and “school marm-y” with them. It’s a huge put off for a lot of folks. I don’t think their relationship has any sort of romantic tones…that would be….um…complicated. But, Caldarius and Ambra are definitely close.
auutumnal: what are the odds we could see in game vanity pets? From boss drops, chests, rare enemy drops, platinum, etc
jythri: Oh man. That’d be cool wouldn’t it? Not in the short term, but it’s something I think would be pretty fun. We’ve also considered minion skins and other personalization.
Kitru: Have you given any thought to changing how Kelvin gains hp with Chomp? Linear hp gains with Chomp kills make him extremely weak in the early game and extremely powerful in the late game (as long as he’s been able to Chomp enemies the entire time, which several modes lack). Would it be possible for Kelvin to have his hp follow a logarithmic curve such that he gains more from his earlier Chomps than he does from his later Chomps, making him more effective in the early game (and games with fewer minions) and more balanced in the later game?
GBX Scruberaser: We’re aware of this issue and yes, it makes his early game a struggle. At some point I’d love to take a look at that some day.
Larssya: can we have a confirmation that easter eggs are possible to find in solo ? that we do not need a group of 3 to do so ?
jythri: Easter eggs for BL3 in operations are equally findable in solo or co-op.
Salad: Are the bot matches going to stay? If so, will you keep “upgrading” them so they can end up being a challenge?
GBX Anthony: We have gotten a resounding positive response from the fans that they love this experience! Currently, it is set to go away after a few more days but if the response continues to be overwhelmingly positive you can bet you’ll see it again.
Garland: Does Caldarius like sweets? Or does he prefer drinking the blood of his enemies and bathing on their suffering as his source of nutrition?
GBX Anthony: He is a vegan much like @GBX Scruberaser
TL_Kasteron: How is Kleese’s Blagarvian Nose Ferret? Is it doing okay? Is it a happy ferret? I kind of like the idea of this cranky old man having a pet ferret.
jythri: The ferret is doing great. And Nova’s pipes are cleaner than ever. On Ghalt and Mellka – story for a later time.
Kitru: What’s up with Overdrive (WF’s ult)? Unlike any other attack or ability in the game (as far as I know), it somehow benefits from both Skill Damage and Attack Damage (both gear and passive buffs), doesn’t count as a skill for the purpose of procs like Bola’s Target Finder, and does count as a skill for the purpose of skill kill side missions (Ambra’s Radiant Halberd is one of the few other abilities that gets buffed by both skill damage and attack damage, however). Compare this to Dual Wield (which is extremely similar in concept), which is purely a skill (doesn’t benefit from Attack Damage increases nor any of the helices that buff the default shotgun).
gRANT: WF’s ult benefiting from both was an initial design decision because it was strictly his own weapon but buffed up. That’s part technical implementation (the weapon doesn’t actually switch) and part design. We might look into it in the future.
Gray: When will galilea get a gold skin (that hopefully isn’t just a bucket applied to every color)?
GBX Anthony: You want one? Maybe @GBX JoeK can investigate
The Magna Carta: Is it likely we’ll see streams dedicated to Lore once the game content is fully released to further flesh out the universe?
jythri: Wow. Streams dedicated to lore? I would LOVE that. I’ll talk to Joe and Elisa and see if we can do that at some point.
lowlines: @The Magna Carta @jythri in regards to lore streams. Might be a good place to do live sketching too. Doing rough sketches while talking about lore
Kitru: is there any plan to fix Alani’s level 2 helix choices such that they actually do something in PvE (since only enemy players are bound by Geyser and both effects trigger off of the bound condition)? Afaik, there’s no other helix level that, literally, provides no benefit to PvE play in any way/
gRANT: The geyser benefits do apply to PvE, the durations could probably be longer so players can utilize it better.
ice: @jythri that BattleBuddies title though?
jythri: BattleBuddies is a title that could show up after the Winter Update. It’s a special title, and we’ll probably give it away as part of an event. Or maybe, if you treat me nicely.
Gr33dSama: if Alani went through a transformation to adapt to live in Akopos, what do the Emulan really look like? Are there similarities to how Alani currently looks like or more so fish-like?
GBX Anthony: This question will be answered as what do I think they look like: They look humanoid like Alani but there are other races that resemble more animalistic features. Some bioluminescence going on and a lot of colors!
Eden: Okay serious question. Sometimes the game has some zany physics on pulls and movement abilities (Galilea’s Vortex mutation, Mellka’s Claw Lunge, Ernest’s explosive charge.) some of these, like Vortex, are the cause of much lamenting, and others, like Lunge, are now used by the playerbase as basic play. Question: is this an actual bug, or at this point have you all embraced it as a feature? Mellka.
gRANT: They’re using separate movement systems so that’s why some feel weird (Galilea’s vortex versus Mellka’s lunge is a good example). These are actually intentionally designed that way. In regards to Galilea, I’m not a big fan of the vortex pull at the moment and that’s currently something on the docket to be iterated on. I’ll tease that Galilea and Mellka playstyles are getting looked at by our team.
Neb, The Devious: Hey @gRANT these changes to Mellka’s and Galis playstlyes, will the current way to play Mell still be viable? I find I have more fun with her, but know she is has a niche playstyle others can’t get into.
gRANT: Yes we definitely want to preserve some of the original playstyles that the characters exhibited. However, we want to make sure they have defined roles and not step on other characters’ roles.
Neb, The Devious: Cool. I know Mell had a VERY specific playstlyle that was in the right hands a better Caldy, but otherwise people couldn’t use it
gRANT: I’ll dive a bit deeper: We view Galilea as a tank that controls a small area and is stronger in that area and weaker outside of it. We’ll push more of that fantasy. We view Mellka as a mobile harasser that can envelop enemies with venom from her arm, we’ll push that fantasy more.
KOAD: Last time i participated in an AMA i asked if all the battleborn lived upon the nova, they do not is the answer i was given, but now i’d like to know where do the battleborn spend their off time, if not on the nova? I don’t need a comprehensive list or anything ofc.
jythri: Nova is still a major base of operations, and more than the initial crew spend good portions of time there. A number of them are “in the field”. Though things have stablizized some about Solus, the Varelsi are still portaling in and causing problems. The Battleborn are the best first responders to that threat. Several of them – Deande is a great example – are back to focusing on their factions, dealing with other issues.
KOAD: Are there any character concepts you (GBX) have for battleborn of a character with a flamethrower? I just really like fire and feel that there’s a lack of dedicated arson(Monty and Ambra don’t count) in the game.
gRANT: Ernest actually was concepted with a flame thrower early in development!
Obstrepera: Why do you hate attack speed?
gRANT: Attack speed is one of the best damage stats, outpacing straight attack or skill damage in most cases. So we tune it to be in line with others.
Obstrepera: Why can’t you buff other damage stats to be in line with attack speed instead of nerfing AS? Other damage stats feel like a kinda “meh” return.
gRANT: Balancing damage stats affects character base, character progression, and gear. All three systems tug at each other. If we buffed all damage stats, all damage across the board would increase and we would have to buff defensive stats and the game becomes more volatile.
Salad: why is ambra so robotic-looking?
epicender584: Dante said those are ornamental wrappings basically. Not her actual skin but a thin covering. That thigh split seems less ridiculous now
jythri: The funny story about Ambra is before we put the “lines” on her suit, we were getting some kick back from our legal teams because she looked nude. Also didn’t help that the texture seamed right in her crotch at that time. The artists chose to put some lines on her suit to help it not read as just skin. Not sure why we just didn’t give her some pinker skin color.
wesdianboston: now that beatrix is out will we get a new title screen?
GBX Anthony: -Yes!
gRANT: Title screen or title screens?
Neb, The Devious: Will you guys look into Melka’s secondary and making it accually worth it? Currently its a finisher 1/30th of the time and the other 29 times worse then the machine pistol
gRANT: Yes! That’s actually something on the docket.
Garland: Is Beatrix intrested in Caldys robot suit like Phoebe? betcha they gossip over it at sleep overs.
GBX Anthony: She just wants to see what it’s insides look like.
TheOneTrueSlab: Alongside the UI changes, are there any plans to alter/change the main menu backgrounds for the sake of variety?
gRANT: We altered a lot in the main menu and in the backgrounds but mostly for presentation sake. We want to make sure the presentation is clear and simple to navigate for all users.
RooftopTango: How do the crew’s other healers feel about Beatrix commandeering the role of ‘official’ ship doctor?
Larssya: well Mike didn’t like his visit to the doctor…
gRANT: How would you feel standing next to a doctor with a giant needle arm?
RooftopTango: Depends, do they have candy?
gRANT: They have a smile that consumes your soul.
gRANT: “It’s going to be ok”
GBX Anthony: They enjoy being alive
Narancia: The big elephant in the room here, how is the team dealing with not just the low playerbase but also the not so friendly non-Battleborn fans mocking the number? Do you have any advise to any fans who feel discourage but all of this?
gRANT: We believe as long as we take care of our fans and keep supporting the game, more players will come.
Gr33dSama: how much does Whiskey Foxtrot’s appearance differ from Oscar Mike’s? Being an older clone model is it safe to assume the clones have had heavy alterations from Foxtrot units to Mike units? If this is too heavy of a lore question you can just say “leave it to a story time!” or “it’s answered in the upcoming ops mission.”
jythri: They’re visually not very different under the armor. Whiskey, being alive longer, is older and more weathered, but generally there weren’t many visual modifications.
Captain Chaos: Is anything being done about the toe traps in Overgrowth?
gRANT: We’ve done multiple passes. If there are any specific ones you find, take some screenshots and we can look into it.
Larssya: how come Mikes are blue but WF is now purple ? You guys said in the Battleplan that “they lose pigments on expiry” but that’d make them turn white, not purple
jythri: Depends on which pigments you lose, doesn’t it?
epicender584: Can there a be a Spymaster (male)?
jythri: Lore-wise, sure. The Jennerit have always been more pragmatic in their tradition of leadership. Gender isn’t as important as “Are you the best at your job?”
Obstrepera: Can we get an eyerolling taunt for Thorn? Like she does in the opening cartoon.
jythri: Ooh. That’d be cool. I’ll add that to the idea list!
Kitru: Why do some damage/heal/etc helices (like Reyna’s Electrostatic Induction, Vital Protocol, and Vengeance Protocol) scale with level while others (like Alani’s Wave Shock) are static?
gRANT: Because some flat increases were so weak that we needed to scale them over time. Not happy with the inconsistency but part of the limitation of the helix system.
Captain Chaos: im sure someone already ask, but is Bots Battle going to stay on long term?
gRANT:I believe Anthony mentioned earlier it’s very popular so likely coming back. Not exactly sure of duration.
Neb, The Devious: Any changes to S&A’s Giant Health pool? Played some (all 3 yesterday that I played ) matches where she was a tad powerful with the reduced damage to shields, and when they went down she left till they went back up.
gRANT: S&A health pool might be too high, monitoring this after the next patch. Hoping to see more counter-picking happening before tweaking numbers weekly.
MiskatonicSquid: When I currently buy Faction packs, I frequently get coins instead of taunts or skins. Is this factored by how many I already have? As in, because I have most of them, I’m more likely to get coins instead of the taunts and skins I haven’t gotten? Having issues getting the last Miko taunts and skins.
jythri: At the time we decided to put skins in the packs (late in development) we didn’t have the tech we needed to do preferred exclusions. I think what we got was better than just getting nothing.
wesdianboston: whats beatrix’s full name and how old is she?
jythri: Beatrix Lucavi. She’s 71 old and was 15 when she was sustained.
RooftopTango: I’ve got credits , and mostly all the gear I could want. Might we ever see more ways to spend our in-game currency?
jythri: Yes, I’d like to do some other things there.
Captain Chaos: speaking of which, is there more info about the early days of the empire? about lenore specifically?
jythri: Oh, I have LOTS of internal information about the Empire.
MajorPepperidge: Any idea what female Aviants look like? I would imagine not that different from male counterparts.
jythri: Wow. You’ve just pointed out that we have an unprecedented three bird characters in our game…but none of them are female. :). Huh.
Narancia: So lore wise, will the battleborn ever be able to fix the other star or are they doomed to die on that last one even if they win the fight?
jythri: That’s a very very good question. Something I’d love to explore deeply in the future.
Kitru: This will probably get me burned at the stake, but was it intentional that skill damage gear augment Alani’s heals, as it does for several other healer type characters?
gRANT: I believe it’s a tech reason heals are affected by skill damage gear. It’s late so I’m forgetting if this is 100% accurate.
Narancia: Last one before i go to work and for the animation team, which of the emotes/taunts were the most challenging or more fun to work on?
jythri: Ooh, wish the animation team was here. I’d hate to guess on their behalf.
Joes0s: Will the Magna Carta ever reappear, and if so, will the other Magnuses reconnect and fall back in line?
jythri: @Joes0s :). That would be quite the drama, wouldn’t it?
Joes0s: @jythri a regular robotic revolution. MINREC would preside.
jythri: @Joes0s MINREC would definitely have something to say. So would Nova, likely. And maybe even ISIC and Marquis. Lots of surviving Magnuses that would want to throw their hat into that ring.
NatsumeRyu: Have you considered adding a main menu in game chat to make it easier for players to queue? EG. “i want to play adv hc heliophage, anyone else?” “Heck yeah! Add me” “Me too” “i need one of those legedaries” ETC ETC. Would take a lot of burden of of matchmaking while the playerbase is low, and the PVE queues are split.
jythri: It’s something that’s been considered, though nothing for the short term there.
gRANT: Currently we have no short-term plans although that would be great. There’s a lot of infrastructure adjustments to be made to support such a change. However, social networks of players like this discord group helps foster similar behaviors.
❤ jane: i hope this doesn’t come across as aggro, but – why was the decision made to make all the female characters thin?
jythri: @❤ jane Reyna is thin?
❤ jane: @jythri man i love you, but… yes. lol i’m a fat lady, and yes, she’s thin
jythri: @❤ jane That’d be a better question for our artists. We actually tried to hit several different body types and archetypes. At some point, though, we missed something here or there. Maybe a possibility for the future.
MiskatonicSquid: WRT skins, so I’m not broken, I should keep trying? It’s just a matter of chance to get the remaining taunts, etc? I don’t mind. I’m having amazing fun. Just curious if it’s merely a matter of chance. If it is, are there any thoughts about increasing chances of un owned taunts after x number of purchases?
jythri: We’ve talked about that. I know some of you very loyal players are looking for those last few. We might just put them up on the marketplace for credits, at least for a limited time. No promises there yet, but I’m certainly aware of the frustration there.