What if Battleborn was a Smash Hit?

Battleborn a Smash Hit
Battleborn a Smash Hit

Different Universe

Sadly Battleborn wasn’t the commercial smash hit we all hoped for. However, what would have become of this awesome game if Gearbox Software continued to actively support it? That’s the question I’m gonna try to answer. Of course, everything is speculation but there is solid reasoning behind it and I think these things would have made it to the game if the stars aligned.

More Story Operations

With the 1st Season Pass, Gearbox made 5 Story Operations for Battleborn. The last one, Phoebe and the heart of Ekkunar, was filled with details that expanded the game’s universe. But on top of that, it ended on a massive cliffhanger that still has fans speculating about what’s to come.

The plot twist with Rendain returning from the void opens up a  ton of possibilities on how the story would continue. Battleborn’s Creative Director,  Randy Varnell,  mentioned that if they did another season of content for the game, they would continue that story.

The origin of this plot twist finds its roots in the mission, The Algorithm, where ISIC tries to destroy the universe. During the mission, Ghalt tries to stop ISIC by presenting him with a logical paradox. However,  ISIC responds with some food for thought and one of them is about the Varelsi and their motivation for darkening the stars.

You think the Varelsi are bad? What do you think they’re running from? C’mon, champ. Think about it! What do you think could possibly scare the Varelsi into leaping across the dimensional divide, snagging the very stars from the sky, and dragging ’em back with them? What do you think has THEM planning for the worst? What do you think that looks like, champ? Really… really think about it, champ. – ISIC

So if the Varelsi are on the run, who are they running from? Are we getting a new enemy that threatens existence as we know it? Does this mean we will encounter Varelsi heroes?

Why would Rendain return from the other side? What does he know that we don’t? Will he be our savior?

More Playable Characters

Battleborn is all about the heroes, the game event launched with 25 playable characters. With the 1st season of content, Gearbox Software even added 5 new heroes to the game, 1 for each faction. But Gearbox Software wasn’t out of ideas after releasing those additional characters. They not only had a big pile of character concept designs ready to go, but they also prototyped a lot of characters.

Randy Varnell even mentioned that for a game like Battleborn the character roster could go up to 50!!! That’s an insane number but I would have loved to see what crazy designs they would have come up with. And while creating a new hero takes 100 men weeks to develop, the team was confident that they could outrun the “competition”.

One of the new characters would definitely have been Nova in a robot suit. When the team caught on how popular she was, they already locked in their DLC characters. Seung Kim did create unofficial concept art for Nova in a Robot Suit. While it might be obvious that Nova would have been an LLC character, she could also be placed in one of the other factions except for the Eldrid.

One of the things that got players excited was faction wars. However, this would also mean that each of the factions needed to be balanced. The Peacekeepers are missing a dedicated healer and this is something that Randy wanted to add to the game.

When Battleborn was in development there were several quadruplets in the works. However, the team had some difficulty implementing these as they quickly got stuck on the terrain. While it would have been cool to see a character like Ejo-Lorr come to life, I don’t think he would have become a playable character. Maybe as a  boss fight in a controlled environment.

More Features

Character Balancing: Of course Gearbox would have continued to try and balance all of the different characters. This would have been an ongoing thing as the meta would shift from week to week.

Better Bot AI: One of the things that was on the Battleborn Roadmap was to improve the AI of the bots. They weren’t always that smart, especially Boldur as he was just broken and wouldn’t attack.  One of the other noticeable things was that the CPU tried to retreat but would fail to notice that there is a giant cliff in front of them.

Rework Gear: Randy Varnell did mention that they were looking into Gear Crafting, but later on he mentioned Reactive Gear.

Ranked Mode:  During the  Choctaw Festival of Gaming live stream it was mentioned that Scott V. was working on the foundation of a Ranked Mode. This would have been great for the hardcore players.

Bots in Story Mode: For the Kid Ultra reveal, 2K Games send me some footage so I could use that to showcase the character to you. What I noticed from that footage is that the characters that were running alongside Kid Ultra had the same nametags as bots would have in Bots Battle. Battleborn was promoted as a 5 player game. Having those bots around to support you would have made the story missions more enjoyable as not every hero was great in story mode. Some missions even came with a disclaimer, that the mission would be challenging with this hero. Having bots to help you out would be a warm welcome.

What did you want to see coming to this game?

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