While I had a decent amount of fun with Battleborn, there is one element that bothered me from the very moment I started - the inability to play all of the characters! In Overwatch you can quite literally play any hero from day one, while in Battleborn you have to spend a long time grinding specific challenges and levels in order to get to your favorites. For a free-to-play game this might be okay, but Battleborn costs €50, so having the majority of the cast locked behind arbitrary goals is a ridiculously terrible idea when it comes to keeping players interested for a long period of time.
It may have taken them so long they have lost most of their playerbase, but you'll be glad to hear that Gearbox has finally woken up and is now working to address most of the core issues that plague Battleborn. The upcoming Winter Update will make all 25 core heroes free for everyone, credit rewards have been increased in order to provide new players with a leg up, there is a new training mode that teaches you how to play each hero, and a variety of other, most welcome additions.
If you're interested in all of the details, and I really do mean all of the details given that the video is two hours long, you'll find a recording of the most recent developer stream down below. On the other hand, if you don't have two hours to spare, here's a somewhat brief summary of what to expect from the Winter Update:
NEW PLAYER EXPERIENCE
• All 25 Core Characters Unlocked! 25 badass playable characters, no waiting! You’re eager to find your favorite, so get to it! With this update, the core 25 characters will be unlocked for all players after completing the Prologue.
- What about the character unlock challenges? These challenges now award a brand new skin upon completion! We’ve also adjusted several challenges to be more attainable.
• Main Quests – Story Mode
- Story Mode missions will have more guides and tools to lead your through various areas of the game. The Credit rewards have also been boosted to help you get an early edge on loot packs
• Two New Training Modes
- Incursion Tutorial: Build up your PVP skills and learn the key elements of competitive play in Battleborn. Your first play-through is solo, but this practice mode can be repeated with groups of up to three players.
- Dojo: Take each and every Battleborn hero for a test drive! Learn how to slice, dice, blast, smash, and rocket your way through waves of minions.
RETURNING PLAYER ENHANCEMENTS
• User Interface Changes: Battleborn’s user interface gets a major facelift. Cleaner, more vibrant, and much easier to find the information you need most. You’ll see UI changes throughout Battleborn, from the starting screen, to the Command center, character select, and even some menu changes.
• Draft Mode: This is one of the most exciting new additions! In Draft Mode, teams and players take turns picking and banning characters trying to find the perfect match-ups and counters for what the other team is choosing.
• Introducing Daily Quests: The action doesn’t end when you take down Rendain. Check back daily for new objectives and rewards across both Story Mode and Competitive Multiplayer Mode.
• Command Rank and Character Rank Increase: Keep on growing your Command and Character ranks! We pushed the cap to 150 for Command Rank, and rank 20 for each character, with all-new rewards!
• Updated In-game Economy: We’ve overhauled the Credits system and how loot packs are made available, particularly in Competitive Multiplayer matches. Credits will now accumulate faster in public PVP matches, making it easier to grab more loot packs from the Marketplace. But not for leavers – they are out of luck and will not receive any rewards. You see, nobody likes a quitter.
• Loot Packs: All loot pack variations will still drop in Story Mode missions, but only one type of loot pack will be available in the Marketplace: The Core Pack. The Core Pack has better odds for higher rarity gear and has a chance to drop any skin or taunt previously available in Faction packs.
• Boosts: A bigger variety of Boosts will become available for Platinum in the marketplace.
• PS4 Pro Support: Battleborn will also support PS4 Pro! PS4 Pro players will be able to choose between 1080p at 60fps or 4K at 30fps.
While all of this does sound pretty damn amazing, I would still recommend not grabbing Battleborn in its current state. It really isn't a bad game, but its population is so low right now I'm not sure if you're going to even be able to find a balanced match. As such, I would recommend holding off until you either see it on a deep discount, or until Gearbox finally makes it free-to-play, because to be honest that's the only way they can save it right now.
And finally, here's the extremely lengthy livestream video I promised above: