I have long believed that bbr was a better game than bbg. I have been contested on this in the past, given that the former has more content, private matches, ect. I have also been accused of being blinded by nostalgia which is a nice feeling. However, I genuinely believe bbr was a better game than bbg for a few simple reasons that I can actually articulate.
The first and foremost reality is that gameplay only matters so much. What is important is that it is fun. This is fairly easy to see looking at bbr, a game with historically horrid balance that managed to be very popular none the less. The game had no private matches, and no ranking system. The introduction of all of these things was nice sure, but the game didn't truly need them to be popular. The fact that the addition of features such as these and loadouts has not managed to save the game seems to have confused people but again they were hardly necessary. They do improve gameplay but this is trivial compared to the main focus of the game: being fun.
So what is it that made bbr, in my humble opinion, so much more fun? The most important thing was that it had one characteristic that bbg has lacked for a long time now: charm. Bbr had personality in spades, much more so than almost any game I have ever played. Every character had a distinct personality, from Tillmans blatant sarcasm to Riggs stern, no-nonsense attitude. Weapons were uniquely designed and descriptions were enjoyable, with the game being filled to the brim with little jokes and puns. The game also had an unusual artstyle; it looks oldschool. The gritty styling of the game contrasted the personality so effectively as to make the artstyle really fit. Little touches from jokes on the waiting screen to skins that serve no purpose other than to be funny made this game far more enjoyable to play. Controls looked different from other games, and double tap was a substantial difference from the conventional shoot button. And even the currency was unique, relying on joules as the main currency. But I know what some people are thinking. Bbg has all of these things too. Most of what you have said is not different between the games.
But in my opinion, that couldn't be less accurate. The personality that is in the game has been under assault for a long time now. Creative weapon concepts have been drowned out by a surge of boring content. The gritty menu theme and artstyle have been redesigned, and no longer fit the game quite as well (few people I know prefer the new artstyle). the jokes in the wait screen are less relevant due to the prevalence of private matches. New characters have been quite devoid of personality in comparison, most notoriously Saberi. The only one of the new characters that rivals the old ones in terms of entertainment is B-1000 in my opinion. Even the loading screen looks out of place right now, with brightly colored castles in the background. The game is overwhelming, and not in a good way.
Other things that I think bbr did better are outlined in one of my old threads:
So how do we fix it? How do we restore the qualities that made bbr great?
Only in certain ways of course. Bring the artstyle back to earth. Sure it's an unusual look, but you don't get to be good by being the same as everyone else. That's precisely how you become a standard shooter that no one wants to play. Bring back the old menu theme, and make a loading screen similar to the original. A simple display of all the characters in a fairly standard, but gritty look fit the game very well. It made it seem like you were going to get introduced to a group of more hardcore characters, only to play with squirt guns and rainbows. Update the jokes in the waiting screen. Many of them are comparatively old. Try to be more entertaining with the weapon descriptions. If it is too hard to come up with descriptions for certain weapons, run community contests to name or describe them. The person whose description or name gets selected can win gas. I know it can be hard to be creative sometimes, but many of us in the community would love to help with that. Make sure that each character has a very specific personality that can be identified, just like the originals. Weapons should fit classes to make them more distinguishable (no weapons like Fidget Bomber that are totally out of place). And more importantly, scrap A LOT of content going into bbr2. It's too much for a new game and frankly maybe even too much for an old one. Reskins of weapons would be fairly easy to remove. Make the game simpler. There's simply too much going on and not in the right places. Remove battle royale at least for now (I honestly have no idea what it is but I have heard many complaints about it and I refuse to believe it is necessary) and remove King of the Windmill. Team Deathmatch, PtB, and Free for All is all we need.
For example, I remember an old forumer came up with a description for see-saw that I liked (I am so sorry I cannot recall your name): "I see. I Saw. I Conquered." It's not super funny or anything but its simple and it seems to fit. Maybe that one isn't as good in your opinion but look at see-saw's current description. Pretty hard to feel strongly about it. See-Saws description just describe his background (how he was created). This is a flaw in my opinion that all forms of bbr/bbg have had. Add character bios similar to bb0. The bios in that game helped give each character personality, and combined with bbr's quotes will make each character very identifiable. Use this bio to explain huggables background. Leave the weapons descriptions to describe the weapons.
As far as ranking goes (if you read my older thread I linked above). I have a simple fix that I think will please all sides of the community. Pubs are unranked, but clan battles and 1v1s are not (yes, make 1v1s an option). This means that it is very easy to play a casual match whenever you want to. You never have to worry about your rank (assuming they actually matter, right now everyone is diamond) and you can play with a mix of players. However, for clan battles and 1v1s the player does have a rank. The rank can be visible in pubs but is not affected.
An addition of social features will also help the game greatly. Clan support is a must. Add in the inbox systems (well fix it first) and friends lists from bb0 and bbf respectively. Change the chat to be like bb0's chat. Bbg's chat is not well integrated into the menu and sticks out too much. Simply get bb0's chat (the way it looks, the profile system, ect.) and add it into the game.
Those are some of the more important features that I have touched on, but I will make a list of things that I think should be changed.
-revert old artstyle
-remove uncreative content. It is too overwhelming, it can be fixed and added back in a later update
-bring back old menu theme. It could be a good idea to have menu themes selectable to please everyone. Throw in the bbu menu theme as in option in that case.
-Change the loading screen back to the old style
-reduce the number of gamemodes. A few are not well liked anyways and make the game a bit overwhelming
-introduce bb0 styled chat
-introduce bb0 style character bios
-update waiting screen jokes. Don't remove any just add some.
-Update some weapon descriptions if deemed necessary
-create a separate taunt button, instead of having to jump and hit 'woohoo' at the same time. Please, for my sanity
-Fix double taps sensitivity to be the same as shoot button. It should not be necessary to relearn how to aim when switching between them
-add in clan support and possibly adjust ranking system (the former idea is popular, the latter I am not too sure)
-add a friends list
-bring back reaction spamming. Make it so that when spammed, only the first of a emote is shown (aka you can spam woohoos audibly, but only one is shown on the left side to prevent flooding)
-Emotes should be usable after death, but 'after him' and non Soldier equivalents can only be used once to prevent rage spamming
-revert controls back to the old look, but the modern look can be used instead if the player prefers (selectable in settings)
-make Christmas skins exclusive to Christmas
I suspect that most people will likely find the above changes agreeable. Notice I am not even suggesting game play changes yet. Game play is important but secondary. We are making a free to play app, not a hardcore pc shooter. We just need it to be fun, people are not expecting apps to be amazing games. It just needs to be simple and fun. Gameplay changes are welcome and should be made, but let's address these issues first.
On another note, do not add in bb0 style abilities if you can avoid this (I know the publisher sometimes has different ideas). This is not a popular idea and the system we currently have works well.