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YMMV / Battleborn

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  • Abridged Arena Array:
    • Overgrowth for the Open Beta. By the end of the beta period, you'd be hard-pressed to find non-newbie players in Story Mode or the other Versus Mode map.
    • After release, it arrived in full swing with people outright abandoning PvP games where non-Beta maps were voted in (though on PC, the common complaint tended to be more that they ran very poorly for a bunch of players' rigs).
    • For story mode, Saboteur and Renegade seem to be preferred to the exclusion of others. Did you want a party for Advanced play of some other map? You had to bring your own!
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  • Adorkable: Toby is a cute little guy who puts up a front of being more badass than what his looks may suggest otherwise. However, due to his dorky little personality that at many times has him being either apologetic, shy, or timid, his screaming rants instead come off as being just gosh darn adorable. He comes off like a cute angry little puppy barking in this regard.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: Battleborn failed largely because its inability to sell its Hero Shooter/MOBA premise to the mainstream masses. MOBA fans were turned off by the game's first person shooter elements, which made it difficult for executing the complex strategies compared to a traditional MOBA like League of Legends. On the flip side, shooter fans were turned off by the MOBA mechanics, which they felt added unnecessary complexity and made the game less accessible to them due to the commonly held perception of the MOBA genre's high skill ceilings. Both sides subsequently criticized the game's balance and elements of its design with many feeling that it fails as either/both a MOBA or shooter. In addition, many casual gamers dismissed the game at face value of being a knockoff of the then-upcoming Overwatch just because it too has heroes, a cartoony art style, and a first person shooter perspective. Yet the ultimate killing blow to the game's potential was its initial $60 retail price that acted as a paywall that barred more skeptical gamers from trying out the game; in contrast, many other hero shooters, most notably Paladins and Apex Legends, were able to thrive by launching as free-to-play games that could reach out to a larger audience and present themselves as more affordable alternatives to Overwatch, which launched as a $60 game. The disaster of Aliens: Colonial Marines, another Gearbox title, didn't do anything to help this game's chances, either, whether or not it was the main culprit.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Several quality of life changes were added to Battleborn in Winter 2016, most of them coinciding with complaints and criticisms it had received from players. They included the following:
    • A tutorial mode designed to give newbies a better idea as to how the PVP functions. Additionally, a training mode was added to allow you to test out your Battleborn's skills and gear on minion waves, so players no longer had to play through PVE missions or PVP modes to get a feel for their characters.
    • A properly balanced solo mode for the Story Missions. Originally, playing solo would result in the game warning you about it, and while still doable, the missions were designed for two or more players to get through, so the missions were more difficult than usual.
    • The character interface was overhauled to include many Quality of Life features, such as being able to see who your team is picking, as well as the ability to back out of a pick after finalizing your choices.
    • All of the original Battleborn became available for use, no longer being gated behind challenges and command ranks. The challenges that were used to unlock the characters now give a different reward instead, and veteran players who had already unlocked the roster the old way were given the rewards automatically with the update.
  • Broken Base:
    • Shared with Overwatch; saying that Battleborn and Overwatch are similar can set some people off (and in some places, even mentioning the rival game will cause someone to lash out). Ultimately, the only real similarities between the games are the FPS-gameplay focus and the cast of characters with varied and colorful personalities and gameplay styles. Everything else about them, from how each handles PVP to character progression, makes them about as different as apples and oranges. Claiming any similarities will have people correcting you, agreeing with you, and/or starting an argument about which game is "better".
    • Some players who prefer a particular game mode (between PVE and PVP) didn't like how Gearbox has split progression rewards between the modes (loot, especially boss-related loot, is generally earned through PVE, while the majority of lore challenges can only be completed through PVP).
    • In the same vein, PVP players felt the lore challenges that require killing a certain number of other characters causes its own problems. Not only do some feel that the numbers required are a little too high for some characters, but it also means that some people developed "tunnel vision" during matches when they saw a character they're supposed to kill for an objective, which could ruin the teamwork needed to win a match. Some players have also admitted to having avoided playing certain characters because of this, with Ambra players in particular griping about it because she happened to be a kill target for a few characters' lore challenges, meaning she ended up being focused on more often than not in any given match. Oscar Mike players were in a similar boat, because Whisky Foxtrot players tended to focus entirely on killing him to get their lore challenge.
    • The fact that, before the Winter Update, you had to gradually unlock heroes was either seen as a Scrappy Mechanic and false advertising or a fine way to give players a sense of progression aside from just raising a player's Command Rank and acquiring titles.
    • On June 16th, 2016, a cash shop was added, so that people could trade real money for an exclusive currency, then trade the aforementioned currency for taunts and skins. To say that the community was angry at the addition of Microtransactions is an understatement.
    • After release, the playerbase fractured even further due to a multitude of problems that led players to lament that the game was "dying" in some form or another. Because of this, people started suggesting that the game go free-to-play in order to salvage its dwindling playerbase, saying that the game is already using freemium style tactics anyway (grinding to unlock heroesnote , having a cash shop that actually has unique skins that aren't simple recolors and using it as another way to get loot, making it difficult for players who don't have a Season Pass/Digital Deluxe version to get the DLC characters, thanks to said characters needing a large amount of Credits to unlock without spending real money for them). The base became split on how much of a good idea this suggestion is, or if it's just more embittered griping.
    • The game's graphics is another point of contention, especially between Battleborn and Overwatch players. Either the aesthetic is unique and intriguing, or it's too "angular", disproportionate, and unappealing.
  • Cargo Ship: It's implied Phoebe may be Robosexual, as she admires both ISIC's "muscular" frame and Caldarius's exo-armor. In one dialogue path during The Renegade, she practically admits "having a thing for killer robots".
  • Crazy Awesome: Pretty Much all of the Characters have spades of this. But the ones who represent this trope the best would include Orendi, ISIC, Toby, Oscar Mike, Pendles, and Whiskey Foxtrot.
  • Cult Classic: Despite it being overlooked over other games (Most obviously Overwatch) and being something of a Butt-Monkey when compared to said games, the game has managed to earn itself a decent number of fans... for the time it remained playable, at least.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Geoff, aka Arachnis the Spider King, who is the second mini-boss fought in "The Algorithm" mission. He's basically a spider bot that takes his likeness to the creatures to absurd levels (much to the annoyance of ISIC), and comes across as goofy dork who's really into his role play.
    • On the playable character side of things, Rath and Shayne & Aurox seem to be very popular, the former thanks to his playstyle, voice, and personality, while the latter duo seem to owe their popularity to their lore and having somewhat of a visual/playstyle resemblance to popular character Gaige from Borderlands 2. There's also Oscar Mike, given his status as the Launcher of a Thousand Ships.
    • Nova, who's your ship's AI (and another Magnus to boot!). A dev even mentioned that they've been getting a lot of requests for her to be turned into a DLC character.
    • Pendles, a snake man who happens to be the second announced DLC character, got a fandom just from his announcment, it seems, and was generally lauded for having a unique design.
    • From a perspective of people regularly mock Battleborn, Benedict is often considered to have best design of the cast, though this appreciation fades once they hear his voice.
    • Orendi, is quite popular as well if the number of fanart she receives is anything to go by, this could be because she's basically a Crazier Tiny Tina which is quite a feat in of itself.
    • The Wolf Sentry you have to Escort in the mission "Void's Edge" is liked for avoiding the usual problems with Escort Missions. For One unlike most Escortees, He actually has a decent enough firepower to not only defend himself, but even help out the Players. Plus he is a pretty likable character with some funny lines. Many were saddened that the Mission required him to die.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With a couple of games, but mostly with Overwatch. However it should be noted that thanks to the rather shaky post-release cycle this game endured, every rivalry it's ever had has pretty much faded away (or was virtually nonexistent to begin with). Aside from a few players who were still griping over the more popular games' success and Battleborn's lamentable fall into niche gaming, there was plenty of overlap between Battleborn players and its rivals' players,note  to the point where there isn't as much bad blood between the games anymore. But to get into specifics:
    • Had one with Overwatch, another anticipated-prior-to-release team-focused FPS by Blizzard Entertainment, thanks to both games featuring a slew of interesting characters and a cartoon-esque style equated to Pixar and Team Fortress 2. Most of it seems to have come about for a couple of reasons:
      • Much of it comes from the two games being promoted and released at around the same timenote . This wasn't helped by the fact that many of the pre-release trailers for both games were largely character-focused, and despite Battleborn's Bootcamp Trailer (and others) including explanations of the game modes alongside the characters, it seems that the most people gleaned from the trailers was that both games were FPS games with a bunch of characters to play with.
      • The two games actually have very different gameplay experiences (both have MOBA-like characters, but Overwatch is a more traditional FPS with a focus on team-play à la Team Fortress and switching characters to respond to tactics, while Battleborn blends the MOBA genre with many FPS elements). But even with various videos aimed at pointing out the differences, Battleborn continually receives hate from the Overwatch fandom on social media, usually in the form of complaints that Battleborn copied Overwatch or the game is too complicated. This coincides with another reason the rivalry exists: that Overwatch happens to be much more prominent in marketing compared to Battleborn made the former overshadow the latter by a wide margin. This has led to fans of either game accusing the other of "stealing its spotlight" and/or "stealing its ideas/premise".
      • Before eventually dying down, the rivalry became more pronounced as time went on, thanks to Overwatch ultimately proving to be immensely popular while Battleborn struggled to stay relevant and maintain its playerbase while also trying to fix its own base-breaking issues. Battleborn's problems, particularly for PC players, had even led many of them jumping ship and onto Overwatch for a variety of reasons, and some of them feel so burned by the experience that they never looked back ever again.
    • This is oddly averted with Paladins, another game accused of being too similar to Overwatch, more than likely because, by the time Paladins had come onto the scene, Battleborn had pretty much dropped off the gaming sphere's radar, and aesthetically, most players feel that Paladins resembled Overwatch far more than Battleborn did. Ultimately, both Battleborn and Paladins ended up being on friendlier terms with each other than most expected.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Montana's design of giant, buff body with a normal sized head has since become a meme, though it was clearly not inspired by him.
  • Ho Yay:
    • The entire cast, although in some cases it seems to be one-way (such as Oscar Mike's crush on Whiskey Foxtrot, as shown in one of the latter's taunts). The most popular (and obvious) pairings at game launch are Deande/Mellka, Oscar/Montana, Ambra/Galileanote  and Rath/Caldarius. There's also the issue of Miko/Kelvin, as neither is, well, gendered.
    • The release of the first additional character, Alani, and her Lore reveals, added another ship to the list, as she seems to be into Galilea.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Going by the fanart, Oscar Mike. He's been shipped with Montana (due to backstory), ISIC (they synergise in combat well), Whiskey Foxtrot (he has a crush on the older clone, and Lore and one of Whiskey's taunts show it's not reciprocated) and El Dragon (because of the trailer) whereas most other characters have one pairing at best, if at all.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Hi, Randy!" and variants in response to anyone speaking positively of Battleborn, as well as jokes about Battleborn being the Butt-Monkey in the overall Fandom Rivalry of Overwatch, Battleborn, and Paladins.note 
    • The Battleborn Porn Subreddit. note 
  • Misblamed: Despite vocal accusations of following Overwatch, it was announced a whole two months earlier, and presented first gameplay videos equally earlier.
  • Never Live It Down: The game will be remembered by many as having a release date that so happened to be around the same time as Overwatch's open beta test, resulting in a heated Fandom Rivalry between players of both games.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: To say it didn't recover from its more controversial aspects is an understatement. It got to the point where it became part of a Humble Bundle (typically for games old enough to be bought for less than $10 during a Steam sale) a couple of months after it released, not to mention the constant unsubstantiated rumors that the game was going free-to-play just to gain back its playerbase.
    • Not helping the game's case was the fact that many players were still bitter over Aliens: Colonial Marines, Gearbox's major game released prior to this one. Whether you feel this game deserved to do poorly because of it or not, it's not hard to see why that did Battleborn no favors, especially with Overwatch coming out later and basically demolishing it. The game is seen as a cautionary tale on how the negative reception of one game can end up hurting another, and how a game's developer (Randy Pitchford) can sour the quality of a game's release.
  • Porting Disaster: The PC version released with such poor optimization that a fair number of PC players couldn't run the game at all, even though more graphically intensive games (and even its rival, Overwatch) ran fine on the affected PCs. This was worked on, but for some people, it took too long to fix (over a month after release), resulting in a dwindling PC playerbase who became embittered by the handling of the situation and never returned even after the problems were addressed. Some criticism remained in regards to the menu and UI choices, which were apparently built for consoles.
  • Robo Ship: Upon death, the Spider Sentry objectives for Incursion may yell out "Tell the ship (Nova) I love heerrrrr!". He may also awkwardly tell Thorn's pretty when she runs by.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • The fact that you had to unlock the heroes to use was seen as a love-or-hate kind of thing, especially because for most players, the process didn't feel particularly fast even with two ways to unlock each character (one being to complete a challenge, the other simply requiring you raise your Command Rank to a certain level). The feeling that it was a scrappy mechanic was also worsened by the fact that the tutorial starts you off with a particular hero only to immediately lock her away once you finish the tutorial, forcing you to start fresh with a new character entirely. This was eventually averted with the 2016 Winter update, which removed the need to complete challenges to unlock anyone by making all of the original Battleborn (as in, non-DLC/Season Pass characters like Alani) available for free to all players.
    • The game's patching schedule was the same for both PC and console (a hotfix every week, with a full patch once a month). Given the aforementioned problems with the PC version (PC players mentioned having to wait for the full patch for their optimization issues to be fixed, which meant over a month of waiting), this was seen as a bad plan, especially since the PC population and the console population were playing almost entirely different metagames thanks to the skill difference between using traditional PC controls (keyboard and mouse) and console controllers.
    • All progress needing to be done while online in order to be saved is this as the servers were not well-maintained. Even doing a single session of Story Mode in a Private server can fail when you exit the level, causing the entire level's worth of work to be gone. This is the main reason why the game was no longer playable after January of 2021, as single player content wasn't hosted on a player's machine, but on a Gearbox server instead.
  • That One Boss: The Demon Bear. Specifically on higher Ops Point runs. Alone it wouldn't be so bad, being a massive tank of a bear that becomes a Bullfight Boss in its second phase, but on higher runs it gets more and more Alpha Bears which summon smaller Bear Cubs that have a chance to become explosive Ghost Bears on death. On top of that after a while Voidsap will start falling from the roof slowing anyone it hits, which isn't good when you've got a horde of bears charging your way. It's no small wonder a popular tactic for All Ops Point runs is to do them when Alani tells the story so that you don't have to fight the bear at all.
  • That One Level: Prior to the May 12th Hotfix, The Saboteur was infamous in the fandom for its difficulty, often regarded as impossible without a near-perfect group. After the hotfix, while the mission is still quite difficult, it is at least possible for most groups.
    • Later, the chief example became The Experiment. It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that it's a point defense mission where you have to defend the same points around 3-4 times against massive swarms of enemies, and the damage to the points remains the same across all defenses. It's not uncommon for a group to get all the way to the end and then lose during the final defense due the accumulated damage to the points taken throughout the entire mission.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • Ambra got a lot of hate in the Open Beta due to her ability to mess up an uncoordinated enemy team on her own. Ambra-made pentakills were not a rarity. This died down in the full release once people figured out how to counter her and she received balance changes.
    • Shayne and Aurox are seen either as the worst or best characters to play, depending on whether the poster understands how their stealth attack works. Fetch is also an efficient foil to many campers.
    • Nobody seems to play El Dragon in competitive matches despite him being easy to unlock and being devastating at CC.
    • During the beta, ISIC and Miko were heavily criticized for being hard to kill. After open beta, both received Nerfs with ISIC becoming more of a Glass Cannon.
    • Alani became hated by most PVPers shortly after release. The main issues players had with her were her rather high HP for her role as a supporter and her hitbox being too thin (which, combined with her HP and healing, made a good Alani fairly tough to kill). She could also double as a decent damage-dealer on her own, resulting in Alani becoming a common occurrence on any PVP team. She later had her HP cut by around 30%, among other nerfs, which mitigated most of the annoyance factor people had with her.
    • Galilea has been one of the top-tier characters for the game's entire existence. One of her helix options effectively doubles her DPS as long as she's at full health (and the player knows what they're doing) and she has access to pretty much every single Crowd Control option in the game, including a pull at Level 1. This wasn't helped by the devs seemingly mocking the people annoyed at her strength, with her getting a taunt voiceline ("Who seeks to nerf the Wraith?") and a title ("Girl With It All") referencing the backlash against her without... you know, actually fixing the issue.
    • Boldur is a tank, and a very good one. Played right, he can be almost impossible to kill without burning a team's worth of CC. The problem is, he also can be faster than any other character in the game once he's thrown his axe, and his skills can be comboed to destroy pretty much any vaguely squishy opponent.
    • Beatrix since her introduction had been pretty much automatically banned in Draft mode. Her helix can alter her Fulminate ability (which is homing and on an insanely low cooldown) to silence enemy Battleborn for three seconds. At Level 1. It's so bad many considered it a good thing when a bug caused her to be disabled in character select for a few days.

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