Am I the only one who feels the writing is kinda lacking? (SPOILERS)

HEAVY SPOILERS AHEAD, READ IT AT YOUR OWN RISK!

I think that my 3 major problems with the plot are: The deaths sequences in this story were so poorly handled that it feels to me like a joke. The execution of Maya’s death was a disaster in my opinion, like they tried so hard to make sure Ava is a thing now, so they stomped on Maya purposely in order to get away with Ava being a siren. The cutscene itself was just poorly directed, her “battle” was a complete clusterfuck, specifically the way she died was anticlimactic af, and the whole scene with Ava blaming Lilith for her death was cringeworthy and just dumb overall.

The death of Typhon, while was justified to the general plot, was unnecessary to the whole story imho, I don’t think they should’ve killed him in the first place, it didn’t serve any meaningful purpose in my opinion, especially not when we only did see his actual self for like an hour altogether. That’s a complete shame because I think they really nailed his dialogue style, and they actually have created a really cool character that we could explore more in the future. Now he’s just a thing that happened in the past and we need to get over it.

And lastly… the death of Lilith. I can’t even start explaining how much I didn’t like her treatment in this game. From a badass that basically did everything she wanted in the second game, the Firehawk that almost every bandit on Pandora adored or feared, the legendary Siren that was said to be the strongest, became a worse version of Roland in this installment. She basically did nothing the whole story, the only times she was meaningful were the times she got kicked in the ass and screwed over and over by Tyreen, and in her final moments she just dies… without any context or knowledge to the true merits of her powers. It felt like, so forced and unnatural to me that I cringed the whole ending and almost rage quitted the game.

If I’m taking the death scenes from the second game, for example, you can clearly see a better executions all in all in those fields (from the death of Bloodwing and how they made sure you’re gonna hate Jack for what he did to her, the death of Angel which basically have putted all of the plot points about her in the first game into an end, and even the questionable death of Roland was done better imo, put the logical problems that happened with the New-U station aside). in BL3 it feels like they only wanted you to feel more invested emotionally with the general narrative, so they made the entire plot unrealistically darker, and way more stupid in the process.

  1. The dialogues and writing in this game are nutritiously bad, and before someone here just bashing me with the argument that I don’t remember how the second game was written - I’ve played through BL2 before the launch of BL3, so I’ve got a clear image of how things handled compared to this game. It’s just feels like the voice lines had a better punch, the story paced a lot better and the actual plot was easier to understand.

  2. The overall story just doesn’t feel cohesive and engaging, it misses the heart that was so bright and colorful in the second game, it feels shallow and empty. I can’t even pinpoint my finger as to why it happened, but the story just didn’t click with me at all. It’s so frustrating because I’m such a big fan of the franchise, heck, I loved the Pre-Sequel, but I just can’t get myself to love BL3 because of the plot issues I’ve got with it.

THOUGHTS?

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I don’t think Lilith is dead. In that end scene Tannis states “she could die”. Then the scene runs its course and credits roll. We are left to our own imaginations as to if she died or not. And then during the credits it has various images of the gang aboard Sanctuary III morning her loss/celebrating her life. But no hard yes or no has been given. I think she ascended into something far greater. And we won’t have a hard answer until the DLC’s come out. For all we know she could be happily camped out in a cave on the moon happy to not be constantly battling it out with anyone any more. Kind of like a Ben Kenobi thing.

I’m hoping you’re right, but it’s just continues to support my claim that her whole character arc was just bad. I mean, if you’re gonna make this drastic move of “killing Lilith”, one of the major characters in the game and basically one the symbols of the franchise alongside Claptrap and Jack, why should you regret it later by bringing her back? I mean - if you’re going this big, you should go with it ti’ll the very end. They could really make her sacrifice great in this game, they could really make you feel that the whole story is about her and her character-arc coming into a big conclusion (much like how Sirens in this universe are created for a reason - when they’re completing their tasks, they die), but most of the time, she’s just “there”, giving you orders, complementing you, and watching from afar while you’re doing all the handy work. There’s not even a lick sense of great achievement in my heart about what she did, I felt nothing, Lilith is my most favorite character in the franchise and how she was introduced and ended here - bluntly - hurts my heart.

I guess I am not as emotionally attached as some people are with all of the past or even present vault hunters. I felt her actions at the end of the game were justified. Dead or Not Dead, she made the ultimate sacrifice to save all of her friends, her family, by accepting her calling as a Siren to close the vault before it destroyed Pandora. Maya’s death though was just cheap and sucked on every level. Even Typhon’s death was not great, but acceptable. BL2 just had better writing…and made you Love to Hate Jack…and each death in that game was a kick to the nuts…and drove you to the end game of killing Jack.

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The overall plot was okay, but the execution of the death scenes could have been better.

I don’t think Maya’s death scene was a complete disaster. Maya needed to die to demonstrate not only the abilities of the Calypso twins but also their ruthlessness. I do feel that the story was trying to give Ava a bit of a push, but she really hasn’t earned the player’s respect or sympathy just yet. She’s just another damn kid who doesn’t listen and who ends up being more of liability than an asset, until she actually gets her powers. The scene where Ava blames Lilith for Maya’s death may not have been intentionally cringeworthy, but it seemed to be realistic and true to Ava’s character as an emotionally stunted teenager who refused to take responsibility for her actions.

For me, the death of Maya wasn’t a bad thing, story-wise, but the aftermath involving Ava did seem forced and rushed. Ava never felt any guilt or remorse for Maya’s death, even though it was arguably her fault that Maya got bodied. What surprised me is just how much trust and responsibility that Lilith put in Ava later in the game. I can undrestand Lilith not wanting to get into a row with Ava about Maya’s death; Lilith had similar experiences with Tiny Tina concerning Roland’s death. But where Tina showed some emotional growth, Ava displayed no such character development. The only thing given to the player is an optional mission objective to say, “Yeah, death happens. Life sucks,” to Ava. The next thing we know, Lilith is sending Ava off as though she’s already a veteran Siren and Vault Hunter. It was sloppy writing at best.

The death of Typhon was not without merit, but it was anticlimatic. As the first Vault Hunter, Typhon DeLeon should have had a much more memorable death. Instead, he fails at an attempted murder/suicide, only to be casually murdered right afterwards. I don’t disagree that Typhon had an interesting character, as evidenced from all the ECHOs the player would have supposedly heard throughout the game. That just makes his death all the more tragic when it does come around. It is much like Angel’s death, where the Vault Hunters only get to know her true self just minutes before they are forced to kill her. But unlike Angel’s death, Typhon’s death lacked the dramatic impact that it should have had. Maybe we could read a bit into this whole thing and interpret the Calypso twins as being nihilists in the literary sense, and that the deaths they bring with them hold little to no meaning in the grand scheme of things, but I think that’s overthinking it and possibly giving the writing team a bit too much credit.

As for Lilith, I would disagree with her treatment in this game. Albeit, the writing could have been better, but this is a different Lilith from the Lilith we knew in BL1 and in most of BL2. Hinted at in the PreSequel and demonstrated in the Fight for Sanctuary DLC, Lilith has been thrust into a position of leadership that she neither wanted not was prepared for. She was arguably the most powerful individual on Pandora, and yet, she felt overwhelmed and possibly unworthy for the role that others saw in her. She couldn’t just resolve a situation by phasewalking into it, as she has done numerously in the past. Now, she had to take a step back, take the leadership role, and hope that she doesn’t mess things up.

The problem is, Lilith seems to keep failing, and she knows this. She can’t fill Roland’s shoes, and Brick bluntly lets her know this. She had lost Sanctuary and the Vault Key. She is barely keeping the Crimson Raiders together. She gets punk’ed out by Tyreen and Troy, and gets her powers stolen from her in the process. She literally ordered Maya to her death, despite her initial intentions of going to Promethea Vault herself.

But despite her failings, she has been sucessful as well. She would never be a leader like Roland, nor should she. Unlike Brick, she was never kicked out of the Crimson Raiders. She literally saved Pandora (again), even if it was at teh cost of Sanctuary and the Vault Key. That she was able to keep the Crimson Raiders together for so long is an acomplishment of its own. The only reason she got punk’ed by the Calypso twins was because she got double-teamed. And Maya’s death was not all on her; as a leader, she needed to understrand that troops would die under her command (not that it would make it any easier). If anything, if Ava just ■■■■■■’ listened for once, Maya might still be around.

Ultimately, in the end, Lilith did go out in a blaze of glory. She literally phased Elpis from crashing into Pandora. I think it was a bit contrived that Lilith had to use Ava’s line of “running into the fire” to motivate herself for this one last act, but like any Highlander movie after the first, I just casually ignored it. This gives Lilith’s disappearance/death a bit more meaning, particularly in the scenes in Sanctuary III afterwards. Though she’s gone, her presence is still felt.

I do agree that BL2 had better writing (despite all the Anthony Burch haters out there). Maya’s death was cheapened by Ava’s introduction. For a legendary Vault Hunter, Typhon DeLeon deserved a legendary death scene as well. Lilith’s disappeance was done decently enough, though it leaves enough questions to be answered in the DLCs or future games. My biggest gripe about Lilith’s disappearance is that none of her closest associates were there to give some closure. You had Tannis, who was never really emotionally connected to any other character in the franchise, and you had Ava, who was a unrelatable Mary Sue wannabe.

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Couldn’t really disagree with you more about… well, really anything. While I do agree they could execute the death scene with Maya better overall and make her death more meaningful and powerful in general, I don’t really think it was justified story-wise, I mean, you could easily make Ava a siren without killing her (which let’s be honest here, that was the main purpose of her death really) - unless you wanna create this stupid-a**, superficial and just an unnecessary plot that aims for your heart but misses your logic and brain in the process. I’m not against creating this big, massive plot twists that involve the sacrifice of other characters - what I’m objecting to is the way they actually made it happen (while in this case I just think they could easily avoid this death without any demerits), It didn’t occur to me, until very late in the game, how much I disliked their decision to stomp above her character and story-arc just to introduce what could be one of the most annoying personas I’ve even seen walking on Pandora. I can’t get myself to actually acknowledge that Ava is a thing now, and Maya isn’t.

Same about Typhon, don’t really see the logic behind killing him - unless to make him the emotion investment for us and the plot-boost for Tyreen as a character. It was just written badly, designed badly - and for me just felt unnecessary.

While I do agree that Lilith needed to show more composure and empathy about things around her, now that she’s a Commander and all that, I don’t think that the way they showed her in this game really represents her character (or her evolution as a character)… at all. Not as a follow-up to the way she was in the Pre-Sequel (especially the “Sequel” part of it), naturally not the way she was introduced to the game in BL1, not the way she was re-introduced in BL2 (or even it’s last DLC, the Commander thingy), she just feels like a weaker-minded version of Roland that basically does nothing that feels relevant to the story most of the time, and that by itself could be an idea for a really interesting plot (like make her follow his footsteps, and really try - by forcing herself to do so - to be like him and lead the Crimson Raiders to their right path, while keep looking vividly at the past and her mistakes, how she could have done better and avoid all the deaths around her - while make her character visibility evolve and change throughout the story and the main quests), but they just bashed that idea out of her, made her being Roland 2.0 without really any kind of meaningful plot-building for her final conclusion (the DLC didn’t really cut it, not for me at the very least, it didn’t feel like a decent evolution for her character and her story arc to act this way, she just admitted she needs to lead the team, nothing more, nothing less); she just does nothing most of the time in BL3, standing in the ship and just goes over and over about how she “could fight” and be part of the Crimson Raiders - that’s the main problem I’ve got with her story line, they made her purposely useless and then didn’t really create any kind of narrative build-up for that kind of treatment as a compensation of the loss of her powers. It was just shoved into your throat by force, and that’s the real bummer for me here. Even if I’m trying to look at her death more objectively and try to contrast and compare the way they handled it from a climax-standpoint (compared to BL2 of couse), most of the scene was kinda stupid, within a matter seconds when she got her powers back, she sacrificed her life without really knowing what to do and where (“run through the fire”, my arse, she mindlessly charges at Elpis with basically no plan, to the entire freakin moon. Really?), all of the portrait itself was really weak and stupid (most of the stars aren’t even in the same solar system, so how could they watch her close the portal or whatever from their homeworlds? did she make a supernova or something?), and then she just creates this really weird Firehawk symbol thingy that basically covers the whole moon. Overall it felt rushed and “by the last minute” kind of twist that supposed to make us feel bitter and emotionally conflicted by her so-called “heroic deeds” - but it actually just made me sad and mad.

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You’re definitely not alone, there’s already been a few thread here on it and a particularly good one on reddit

The guy who suggested to hire Tales from the Borderlands writers was right, thats the best idea, or bring back the guys who wrote this line for Jack:

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Yeah I saw that thread, like, a few minutes ago. He\She and I are sharing basically the same thoughts about the game, which even more makes me furious. I’m not really sure how in the course of almost 5 years of development, so much hype around, and all the time in the world, they delivered such a poor and lazy story-line, it’s just beyond me. I remember the days when Mickey Newman was behind the deck working on BL3, I was so hyped learning about that, that I always asked him questions regarding the game and his thoughts on Twitter, but then he got sick unfortunately and couldn’t deliver, so I think they just scraped all of his script and hired two new writers which basically have virtually nothing to do with the franchise.

Can’t really see how this thing is even reversible by that point, not even some great DLC’s could hide the giant Elephant that basically smashed all my initial hype. Shame.

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I even remember this old video of Anthony Burch talking on YouTube about how much BL2 relied on its characters and less on its plot, and how much the colors of the game changed due to the characters and their story-arcs and less on the worlds itself. It seems like in BL3 they just did it upside down, made the story abut lore and not about characters, which makes the whole experience shallow and empty. A little like BL1, I wanna say.

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Who wrote the last DLC for BL2? did they work on BL3 as well? I’m watching the Unabridged history of Borderlands and its a great summary of the series, but makes me even more disappointing in the story.


I really hope they can salvage it in DLC as part of the season pass.

The main story in Borderlands 1 worked because the vault was still a mystery. Then the DLCs were hardly about lore at all (I mean, which one of those cared about Vaults? Knox was a little about lore, but not sirens and vaults- it was corporations and military).

Borderlands 2 was much the same. The Badass Crater of Badassitude was ostensibly about a Vault, but really it was just an excuse to have Torgue cuss and to have us murder people for glory. The worst parts of Borderlands 2 were the Siren vault key crap- those were just plot points and were used as a vehicle to tell more interesting character stories.

Even those “worse parts” really weren’t that bad to begin with. Sirens and the Vaults were both mysteries that most people just left unanswered. Linking them together through Eridium helped tie up some loose ends, but still left things open enough without the story getting bogged down by lore.

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“Kinda lacking” might be the understatement of the year.

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To me it is extremely obvious. The main story writing was generally mediocre to terrible, but I found that I enjoyed nearly every side mission. All you have to do is look at who the main cast is, what characters are missing from it, and who is behind what in the credits. The writers are obviously different sets of people. Hell, even in Ava’s side mission, she got FAR more character development than she ever did inside of the main plot, and that was ALL they allocated to her. Maybe if the main plot’s writers actually got what Borderlands was about it would have been better, but they were more concerned with their trend-chasing streamer villains and inclusive writing that they forgot about just making an organic story about why the Sirens and Vaults are such a big deal. The Vault Hunters themselves are even less involved than they were in BL 1 and 2 + TPS - they WATCHED the story unfold. They didn’t even participate in it. You could take the Vault Hunters themselves out of the story and literally nothing about it changes.

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Thing is, all the deaths that happened were just irrelevant. No emotions whatsoever. Lilith gets plucked, everyone’s like meh, ■■■■ happens. Maya freaking turns to dust, everyone’s like meh, that’s war I guess. We kill Troy. Yeah he is a villain but no reaction whatsover? And the hardest cringe to me was Typhon. Hell, that dude followed us since the start of the game with his logs, then we actually meet him, what an awesome dude with such a tragic story. Then he just goes RIP and no one, literally no one, not even Tannis, is even commenting on it. Jesus.

Sorry for the rant, but dont even get me started on the ending. Was that the almighty Destroyer himself? Unlikely. But what else? Also, what is that final vault “of the Destroyer” supposed to be actually? The Great Vault is still closed, that’s literally all we are being told. Other example, Vaughn and Rhys - don’t even care to chat at some point? We meet Tina - fan favourite, and all she does is building a pizza bomb?

I could go on, but I won’t.

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Especially if you play as a Siren. Literally the only connection is when she comments the Pyre with “feels familiar”. Death and birth of several sirens right in front of her - shrug. wtf

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Roland’s death was at least believable, Jack teleported (cloaked?) in unseen, Lilith immediately attacked him but Jack was quicker, and when I, the player, am about to attack him, he uses Lilith as a human shield and teleports out.
Yes, it was unexpected, but not cheap, it did a good job of raising the stakes and drama.

None of this is there with Maya’s death. I think Lilith’s death (if she even is really dead) was kept deliberately mysterious. At least I hope.

It’s also hard to take the deaths seriously when the characters themselves barely do. Tannis’ “eulogy”, Typhon’s scant few lines about his children, Clay cracking rhyming jokes about the dead Rogues…

This applies to every single borderlands game. Weirdly enough TPS is the least bad offender (the player characters are actually seen in cutscenes, gasp!)
They recorded individual vault hunter lines for the dialogue, but they’re still unable to have NPCs have a few personalized reactions and god forbid call us by our name once in a while. Shame. I’m not saying this has to be Mass Effect or something, but it can be done better (I love the banter in the Vermintide games, for instance).
And yeah, it’s tricky, because is the player solo? Is he co-op with another guy? With three people? Which characters are they? Is it just four fl4ks? These pose difficulties, sure, but I reckon the way they are doing it now requires just as much, if not more suspension of disbelief.

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I think a lot of it could have worked if done more effectively.

I’ve always loved the idea that Tyreen has been hiding her true personality under a mask of ‘I’m a preppy streamer!’. That her siren powers give her a NEED to kill, she hungers for it like an addiction.

They didn’t show any development of change to the characters as the story went on. Nothing affected them or even made them react.

For Maya’s death, they should have made them realistic and got us involved.

So - we get out of the vault and we see Tyreen appear to leech the monster. Ava shouts ‘we have to do something’ so we the vault hunter shoot at her. Angered that we’re trying to cut her off from the kill, Tyreen lunges for us and we become helpless - give us the old quick time event where we shake the analog stick to try and get her off us.

Right when our health gets low, Maya Phaselocks Tyreen who shouts to our weakened self ‘get out of here! Take Ava and get out!”. Seeing Treen in trouble but being weak - the parasite - Troy jumps on Maya’s back. And that’s when he finds out his ability to take another sirens powers as he kills Maya who delivers one last message to Ava before dying.

Then improve on that - Troy becomes more arrogant because he actually has strength now and Tyreen becomes more dangerous. When we kill the second vault monster so she can’t leech it, she gets into a rage. “That beast was mine…MINE! It was mine to take, my kill!”. Like Tannis said, starve a beast and it makes mistakes. Also have Tyreen and Troy argue more over who is stronger. That was a nice dynamic.

But when we finally kill Troy, she snaps and absorbs his power after Ava gets Maya’s power back. It’s only because the great vault is opening that she doesn’t kill them all right there - too focused and obsessed with more power.

And Typhons death? It could have been the last straw. Tyreen talks about family through the story and while she hates her dad, she could never bring herself to kill him. But when he tries to deny her alongside the vault hunters, she kills him. And gone is the last shred of humanity in her.

And the final boss, make her talk more - change her voice a bit to sound more animalistic. And when she dies, have her get a final say. “I am a god! You are all beneath me and I-I will KILL you! I am above…you…I…can’t…” -falls and fades to ash-

That’s just my own little take on what I would do but hell i’m no writer. But I a complete sucker for character development and it changing the pace of a game. I liked the Calypso twins on the basis they could have been so much more - they had potential. They weren’t Jack (no one will ever be my King) but they didn’t need to be. They could have made a real impact.

Troy’s reason was he was fed up of being a parasite while Tyreen was just a sick twisted need for death.

But in the BL3 story? They didn’t really have that big of a reason to do what they did. Not to me.

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