I wish Battleborn wasn’t dead

Yesterday I played Battleborn for the first time on PC (I had previously played it on Xbox around launch, but it’s sat in my Steam library for awhile from a Humble Bundle) and unfortunately it was pretty much dead. I played through the tutorial missions (the story one and the versus one) and then tried to hop into multiplayer and was met with an agonizing wait just to find five people for a bot match. Apparently you’re limited to just 5 vs bots early on to make the game a better experience for new players. When I did find players, most of them were higher levels, and from talking to some of them it seems they only play the bot mode because it’s the only place they can find a match. Sure enough, when I played enough to unlock 5v5 versus I couldn’t find a match. I waited and waited and waited…. you get the picture. The most I found was one other player, but it never queued up any more than that, so finding 8 additional players seemed hopeless.

From there I jumped back into a few bot matches, in which I could actually find four other players. The bot matches are fun to play, but we won every single one 100-0 so it wasn’t very rewarding. It’s disappointing that the player base is so barren, because I think the game is quite enjoyable. I like it more now that I played it on PC than I did on the Xbox, and I especially enjoy the visual style and the way the music gets more intense toward the end of a match. It was a lot of fun playing, but there doesn’t seem to be much future for the game. I’m left wishing Overwatch would add a MOBA mode.

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Battleborn’s last breath?

Earlier today the struggling shooter Battleborn effectively went “free to play”, validating the long standing rumor that it would indeed end up being free. Most would agree that Battleborn’s troubles are mostly due to the fact that the game launched just before Blizzard’s Overwatch, which quickly took off to become one of the hottest games of 2016. It may not have been fair to compare the two games, as they play quite differently, but they were similar enough in most people’s eyes that they decided to pick one title (Overwatch for most) and stick with it.

I was incredibly excited for Battleborn’s launch, especially after reading about how it would blend MOBA gameplay with a shooter. As someone who was a casual fan of MOBAs (but never any good at them) it seemed like it would be the perfect game for me. I eagerly awaited its launch, and early on I found it to be fun, if a little slow moving. As days went by, however, I found that the hardcore player-base got so good that I couldn’t have fun playing anymore as I would be overwhelmed by more skilled players. What made things worse was that teams of randoms never seemed willing to communicate, and I would often get matched against teams of players who were mic’d up.

As Overwatch neared release I started to get more and more excited by the hype surrounding it. I caved and bought it for PC on release day which ultimately led to me never returning to Battleborn. I had so much fun in Overwatch from the very first moment I launched it that I couldn’t see myself wasting any time playing Battleborn that could be better spent in Overwatch. Once or twice, out of curiosity, I tried to give Battleborn another try, but each time I was met with longer and longer matchmaking times (on the Xbox One) only to have to spend thirty minutes or so to complete a match when I finally got in. This didn’t prove to be fun, whereas in the same time span I could’ve played two or three games of Overwatch. More recently I launched Battleborn one last time, only to sit at the matchmaking screen for a full twenty minutes without finding a match (there were no server issues reported with either Xbox or Battleborn at the time).

I’ve always felt like if Battleborn ever wanted to make a splash at all, it should have gone free to play long ago. It remains to be seen if the free to play model will have a significant impact on the game’s player-base and perception going forward, however I personally think that I’ve already had my fill. Still, I’m going to try it out on PC (I already own it on PC from a Humble Bundle) to see if the new influx of players can make things fun. I’ll be sure to post an update after playing a round or two of the PC version of the game to see if any of my feelings have changed.

Lawbreakers looks sweet!

Cliff Bleszinski and Boss Key Productions’ debut game, Lawbreakers, revealed a new trailer yesterday and it’s began to generate a lot of hype around the game. I hadn’t heard a lot about the game previously (though I did get a Lawbreakers hat in a Loot Crate awhile back) and the trailer was my first time seeing the game. I’m already sold. I can’t stop watching the trailer, and I’m finding myself already salivating over the game.

Lawbreakers will cost just $29.99 when it releases later this year (I assume we’ll get a date at E3) on PS4 and PC. If the price seems too good to be true, it’s worth noting that there will be no season pass, and all future updates will be free. There will be a loot box system in place, but all items will be purely cosmetic.

If you want a better look at how the game will play, there are several mode tutorials on Lawbreaker’s YouTube channel which show you how some of the game modes will work.

I can’t wait to see more at E3, and look forward to what might become 2017’s Overwatch.

Gumballs Plays: PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS (22 May)

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Watching me player PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS is probably like watching paint dry. I tend to make a beeline for a building, stock up on whatever’s inside, and then find somewhere to hide in a cowardly manner for as long as humanly possible. This strategy has worked in my favor more often than it seems like it should, as I’ve often gotten lucky and ended up well inside the circle early on. In tonight’s game I scored 3 kills, my highest yet, but unfortunately I’m still terrible once I get out into the open as the circle contracts toward the end, and this is where I always meet my fate.

As boring as it is to watch, I love playing this way. It’s incredibly tense. In tonight’s game I heard someone pull up in a vehicle, get out and open the door downstairs. The footsteps got closer and closer and I felt sure they were going to burst through the door and kill me at any moment. Then, for whatever reason, they turned around, went back downstairs, got into their vehicle and drove off. My heart was racing as I stood up to watch them drive away.

The next person to enter the house wasn’t so lucky. Unfortunately, I eventually had to leave my shelter (I probably could’ve stayed awhile longer) and work my way toward the new safe zone and my ultimate death.

Picked up a Corsair Void RGB Wireless Headset

I finally decided to purchase a headset for my desktop last week, and ordered the Corsair Void RGB wireless headset ($99). I wanted a wireless solution since I had moved my desktop out of my office when I got my Oculus.

The Void has a small USB receiver that’s about the size of a thumb drive, which once plugged in will have the headset ready to use in about a minute. You can then download the Corsair Utility Engine app which will allow you to change the color and animation of the lights on the headset (note my sweet pink glow below) as well as tinker with sound profiles.

The headset is the most comfortable gaming headset I’ve owned to date, and they stay comfortable even during longer gaming sessions. My desktop is about ten feet from my desk and I haven’t had any issue with the wireless signal dropping, even as I walk into the kitchen to grab a drink between rounds in PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS.

One of the most important features (behind comfort in my opinion) of a headset is of course sound quality, and the Void doesn’t disappoint. I’m not picky, but every game sounds great through the headset.

If you’re in the market for a new PC headset, I highly recommend the Void RGB Wireless by Corsair.