I’m not saying BL1 is a better game, but there are things from BL1 that worked and would be good for BL3.
1 - An element of exploration. Areas were a bit more open ended, less linear. And you were exposed to things you couldn’t reach yet, but it felt rewarding once you did. For example, going off the ramp with the vehicle to explore the new area was liberating in BL1 but was tacked on for BL2 just for nostalgia.
2 - Challenge. I don’t think games need to be extremely difficult, but there should be times when the player is scared for their dear life. In BL2, you didn’t need to do side quests and I avoided them because it made the game too easy. In BL1, you’ll have to do at least some of them or you’ll get your ass kicked.
3 - Money mattered. In BL2, you get so much money and didn’t really need to buy much ; also ammo was very common. In BL1, you still were able to be extravagant at times, but you had to be resourceful. Money is about scarcity. It’s meaningless if you can get whatever you want.
4 - Seriousness. I like the color BL2 and Prequel added, but the series shouldn’t continually try to go as far as possible in the camp direction. Even though more variety was necessary, I liked some of the bleakness and a little bit of the gritty realism in 1. I like the cartooniness, but you still need some realisticness to make the fantasy believable.