Yep, you have been in mayhem 1. It’s been changed along the way. That totem no longer does anything other than ping the end of story mode. Now it is in your menu. Tab through and find the mayhem tab, you can turn it off and on from there. Can also turn it up and down and reroll your modifiers.
I did it with my first character cuz that’s what I’ve always done in Borderlands.
Did it with my second character too, just because.
Then I one-life’d the game and of course had to do TVHM (with mayhem on) for completeness.
But wouldn’t do it again. I don’t find BL3 as enjoyable as 1 or 2 for replayabiliy, so going through TVHM is just a slog. When I do play now (when a new DLC drops) I just play normal with Mayhem on.
In my opinion you’re not getting enough “newness” in enemies or challenges to play TVHM more than once, just to say to yourself “I did TVHM”.
I usually play tvhm main story to level up to max level, because I prefer that to farming/grinding.
I thought named enemies, like Demoskaggon, level with you in NVHM.
Since all dlc are out there is no reason to do thvm for leveling. Instead you can level in the dlcs. Plus none of the mission rewards except for the pearl are important, so it doesn’t matter if you get them on low level. I prefer to not thvm although I did it twice.
See no benefits from it. Even farming the chests is not viable since we get a lot World drops from farming bosses much faster than farming any chests.
It’s not even more difficult compare to nvhm…
That’s one where “technically” it’s not an optimal choice but people do it nonetheless and they have their own reasons.
I often level up my alternates characters doing side quest I left open just for that. Not because I think it’s the best way. Or even a good one. Because, for me, it’s more fun. Take longer yes. I don’t care.
I have a 65 Zane with no missions done on a seconds account. Use him to rush the first playthrough in splitscreen and then running dlcs with the character I just leveled. The 65 zane then is reloading from the cloud so he has no missions done again. So I don’t really make playthroughs anymore, because I have no fun to speak to lilith over and over again. I still need to do it but at least I can run as hell to skip the most of the story.
But yeah, I agree that it all depends on you and your playstyle. The story would make more fun for me without the need to return to sanctuary every 1-2 missions… I hate loading screens in this game. But for farming they’re sadly necessary.