BL3, a wishlist from me - Insane + Evolving GUNS

I was just thinking about how much I loved Borderlands 1 and 2. And i’ve thought a lot about what it seems to be lacking, and what it does well in spades. Being an avid gamer who is damn near jaded by most games lately, I came up with a wish list of exciting options that I think would reinvigorate me, let alone make borderlands the talk of the gaming world. GUNS. I’m not necessarily talking “more” guns. But I want variance. Having 1.5 bajillion guns doesn’t mean anything if 1.49 bajillion of them are identical, just a level higher, or with a slightly different scope, or with .0001% damage more or less than another. I want it over the top. After the first 4 or 5 levels, white guns are completely obsolete. Greens almost are too. Which they should be, but now all of a sudden, 1.25 bajillion of the guns just got put onto my “ignore picking these up” list.

I want fun and over the top VARIANCE. I want a sniper rifle that calls in air strikes. I want pistols that shoot electric nets that stun and shock, or slice my enemy into little cubes. I want alien weapons that create tiny black holes that alter space and time and deform my enemy, causing him to slowly cave into himself. I want a shotgun that shoots darts into a target, that then inflates balloons that lifts an enemy into the air, then when i reload it, they pop, releasing plasma on them. Or how about a rocket launcher that launches ME as the projectile, with my melee weapons a blazin’! I want to be able to have an assault rifle that causes a lightning storm to form at my target after i hit him enough times. Or guns that cause eruptions in pandora (or wherever), causing mini volcanos. I want to be able to freeze enemies solid then smash them to pieces. I want to shoot a fish into their midsection, that lures in a giant flaming phoenix that swoops down and tears him to shreds, to get the fish. I want an SMG that shoots mini rolling and exploding claptraps, that crack expletive jokes on route to the target, distracting him. I want an elephant rifle that actually blows a hole through my enemy. A tranq gun that causes the target to fall on his gun and shoot himself in the head. I want legendary guns to be considered legendary for a reason. They need to have a reason to be called the “MasterBaiter”(my cheesy name for the fish gun, get it? Cuz the fish is the bait! HA. don’t use this name, its terrible lol) There should be a reason the characters on pandora name, and fear the guns that are legendary.

Basically what i’m saying is I hope you can find a way to make the guns feel different, and like they were created by the insane NPC’s that inhabit worlds like pandora. Finding a legendary that just does slightly more damage or makes a funny noise, or the bullets move in an odd way feels cheap and not worth the “legendary” tag on them. Those are welcome additions, but they need to have useful effects too. Embracing the comical side of borderlands, you have the ability to create some insanely memorable moments, and can drastically change how a player plays your game. I can’t even imagine how excited i would be to use that fish launcher to watch a digistructed flaming phoenix swoop in and rip a bandit in half!

You came up with the “walmart” tediore reload, which makes no sense, but it works, and made for an interesting new mechanic on an old system. You tried torgue full auto rocket launchers. Debuffing slag weapons. But take it a few dozen steps further, and the possibilites are endless. You can digistruct anything! I can only imagine the excitement of getting weapons like the one’s i just came up with in a few minutes, and trying to adapt to them, to make me that much better and creative of a vault hunter.

PLEASE do away with the numbered leveling system. It’s overused, and has never made any sense. Yes, still have skill trees that require xp or kills or whatever. And have proficiences with weapons like the first game, and challenges like the second game. But finding a gun or item and not being able to use it, is the dumbest thing ever. (Is the character not smart enough to pull the trigger with the business end pointed away from himself?) Maybe do a reward system where the more you use a weapon, the better you get with it. Familiarity? Gun Lust? Almost more like leveling up the weapon, rather than the character. Level scaling other wise made no sense. ie: i’m level 3, and i run out of ammo before i can kill a level 4 guy. I go kill 3 more level 3 guys and DING level up. Turn around and 1 shot the level 4 guy with the same gun. This makes no sense. IF, however, i had to shoot the guy 10 times because my gun was level 3, or only 6 because the gun evolved and during this gun evolve, it gained X% damage, say, it at least then makes sense. Doing it this way creates a bond with a weapon, so i don’t just cast it aside when the level 5 equivalent drops. The effect of leveling and progression is still present, but if i find a new weapon I can use it. It may start as a small step backwards from my previous gun, but soon it will be much more powerful.

Your rarity levels could be maybe how fast a gun evolves, how high it can evolve, and what potential traits it might get. Maybe white can have 3 levels of upgrades. Each time it levels, it’s a random trait. Maybe you get reload speed, then damage, then elemental type. Try again with the same starting gun, this time it roll’s 3 damage boosts. Or 3 reload speeds. Or on the 3rd roll, it up’s in rarity, becoming green, and gaining a 4th rollable upgrade. Maybe even a have a decreasingly small chance of evolving a gun from white-green-blue and so on. Maybe legendaries have no gun lust/familiarity/proficiency level cap? Maybe finding a white gun at the start of the game and fully leveling it turns it into a legendary. Maybe whatever gun you level get’s scratched, bloodied, and adds decals or paint to it from defeating certain enemies with it. I want to be proud not just that I “randomly” found a gun, but what I’ve done and who I’ve killed with it. All of this can be done while keeping your gun manufacturers in mind.

Basically make the legendaries something worth talking to your friends about. Something that can create laughter, and slaughter at the same time. I write all this saying that borderlands is in the top 3 of my gameplay experiences of all time, probably is my favorite. It is also the only game I’ve purchased the collectors edition for, and was happy to do so, because you had created an excellent product. The world and ideas are there, i just think the loot needs that next big boost.

Also consider doing realistic damage, at least on certain enemies. It still has yet to be done properly. Shooting a guy in the foot 40 times isn’t going to kill him, but will really screw up his movement, maybe then he stumbles out of cover. Shooting him in the arm he might drop his gun, or switch to his off hand, making him miss a lot. Or even hit his own guys. Again, small things that completely changes the game play tactics, and immerses you that much more.

Only one major grievance. The raid Bosses. I get that you want teams of 4 to take these guys down. But for a lot of people, getting 3 friends together and then actually having the firepower and know how to take one down was hard. The enemy should be hard, trying to actually play the game, shouldn’t be. I refer to destiny in this regard. I completely stopped playing that game because I spent more time waiting for a random party then actually playing the raid. In borderlands, I should at least stand a chance fighting solo or with 1 friend. Maybe a selectable difficulty with increasing rewards? Works very well in diablo 3 currently, with increased rewards chances at higher difficulties. Means you can find good gear on easy, but it’ll take longer. Maybe make an online raid that is far tougher? But not being able to experience the raid bosses solo or with a friend(without exploiting glitches), and not wanting to play with randoms,(due to the way loot drops, and cheaters) left a huge hole in the experience and seemingly wasted content. I played for HUNDREDS of hours, and don’t have any pink guns because of this. And had to use an exploit to get the pearls. Which brings me to my next point:

Loot has to be separate for each player. Something else Diablo 3 did greatly(i swear i’m not that huge of a diablo fan, it just provides ideas that work). I see what i can pick up. He see’s what he can pick up. If a legendary drops for me, a legendary should also drop for him(barring bonuses to individual drop rates, if you go that route). Just make it a random item, so its not identical. The rewards shouldn’t go to whoever is closest to where the loot dropped. (which is why no one wants to play with randoms). I can really see no possible negative to having my loot only drop for me. Trading after the fact already exists, so why not just make it so we each get our own loot to begin with.

At the end of the day, i want the option of playing solo or with 1 or 2 close friends, managing to squeak out a kill of a giant boss by the skin of our teeth, actually pick up the legendary that drops, without fighting over it, because my friend got something completely unique and legendary as well. And have that gun make me laugh, while completely changing my tactics and abilities in a meaningful way. All the while making me feel legendary. That’s all I want!

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Nice ideas there, I’d definetly prefer that over current system.

Leveling up guns to upgrade their rarity is a great idea! Would make it into an interesting challenge to level up a white gun with worst parts possible to a legendary weapon and a great alternative to relying on sheer luck to find that legendary. I’m voting with all of my hands for this idea, so +1 from me.

Crazy weapon abilities? For me balance is more important, because OP guns have tendency to make other guns irrevelant. Maybe I would enjoy using such crazy weapons to point that I’d forget that they makes other guns irrevelant, but I believe that balance is priority.

I hate raid bosses, because they’re built to be unfair and the way to beat them is to find exploits rather than using any weakpoints. Most of all, the main thing which bugs me is that in all boss fights player is thrown into arena type of level where there is no cover and essentially there is no aspect to using layout of battlefield for beating those bosses except glitchspots in some cases. Does Gearbox hate idea of player using environment in battle?

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About the weapon abilities. Shouldn’t legendaries generally make other versions of themselves be irrelevant? That’s what makes them legendary. If they don’t, they just feel like slightly better versions of similar purple guns. When you finally see that legendary orange color drop, only to get pick up something that feels and acts the same as the 300 guns you used before it, leaves you wanting more. I’m not talking making them game breaking, but for about 90% of battles they should be the preferred choice over a similar weapon in the purple variety. Maybe not the best in all situations, but overall they should be much stronger. Thats how the loot rarity system works. Green guns are better overall than white, blue better than green and so on. Very rarely should you ever be replacing a higher rarity with a lower one, unless under the old system(as in not the one i described) you haven’t found a similar color of your current level. ie replacing a blue level 10 gun with a 15 green, because its base stats are already better.

Again I refer to diablo 3. They have let’s say 100 “unique” weapons. But of those, only 40 say, actually do something unique, like augmenting the way skills might work, (or in borderlands terms: red flavour text) while the other 60 are just slightly better versions of a basic weapon. After finding one that adds to a skill, not only do you change your entire build in a way that best makes use of your new weapon, and augmented skill, but you basically ignore those other 60 weapons that do nothing special from there on out. But the exciting part is that you now play the game differently using different skills, probably killing things much easier. (making you feel legendary with your new legendary gun) Plus knowing that there is a possibility of finding a different weapon that forces you to augment your skills a completely different way, that might fit your play style more, keeps you hunting. And the way that keep the game interesting, is once you find enough good gear, you up the difficulty. Then you find more and better gear, and up it again. Then you jump back to what you were playing originally and laugh at how easy it is. While D3 is generally speaking a weak game, they have a lot of design ideas that would work very well in a game like borderlands.

In short, white>green>blue>purple>Yellow>orange>Cyan>Pink whatever. As you get a blue pistol, you should no longer ever be using white or green ones. Only other blues and better. And that works for any rarity. In borderlands 2, I had this issue. My favorite assault rifle and pistols were both of purple variety. That should never be the case. Any legendary of similar type to its purple version(say atlas assault rifle) should always feel superior because it gives an added bonus of creating a thunderstorm that stuns my targets, say. After playing for hundreds of hours, I should be equipped with nothing but legendaries that all somehow work together in a way that I love. Simple example, a gun that reloads nearly instantly. And maybe a shield that explodes every time you reload. Just having that simple of flavour text, I can ignore putting skill points into something that increases reload speed, and spend them elsewhere. Thus creating a new and more powerful build. But maybe next time I find a gun that increases damage as ammo is spent. Now i’m not going to be reloading a ton. Now i might want to find a shield that increases my ammo count by X%, and re-put skill points back into reload speed because that bigger clip is gonna be a slow reload. Something this simple changes the way you play the game, and distribute skills on your character. This is what keeps you playing, finding the absolute most powerful build that fits your playstyle.

Having said this, balance is still key. Legendaries shouldn’t be insanely better than one another. Just different. For example, the Bee shield. Is there anyone that didn’t use this shield on any and all characters(unless they found pink or something)? I can bet that answer is damn near a NO. This, I feel was a failure on gearbox’s part, because it did exactly what you were afraid of, by unbalancing the game. Every other shield was far inferior. So much so that it almost wasn’t even worth using others even for an instant. To me, it’s not that the bee was over powered, its that the rest didn’t provide enough of a benefit to be considered as an alternative.

I couldn’t agree more about the raids. No real usable cover, and the outcome became more about exploits and pure luck, than it did about skill, teamwork and good gear. If something can 1 hit me, i have to have a way of dodging it. Either hiding behind something, shielding, warping, jumping, rolling, dashing, whatever. But it can’t be class specific only(phasewalking) creating yet another unbalance. Beating an enemy clean and fair after multiple tries, formulating a plan and style of attack, and a properly built set of characters is rewarding. Beating an enemy because you had to look up an exploit after getting frustrated that it’s impossible to stay alive because of a lack of the above evasion techniques, is not satisfying.

And to be fair, some uniques could even offer benefits to using lower tiered weapons. Why not make a gun that essentially wastes 1 of your 4 slots, but if you equip purples in the other slots, each time you switch to them, they are a different legendary. Or each reload so you can’t find one you like and keep it. Or something as simple as a legendary that gets a 400% damage bonus for one full clip, if the weapon fired before it was NOT legendary. Now you can still equip your favorite purple weapon in all its glory, then switch to 400X to finish the slaughter.

Anyways, I will always feel that legendaries need to be legendary. I should never consider a lower tiered gun for any reason unless it somehow plays into a build like I just came up with. After playing D3 and experiencing the difference between legendaries that do something fun and unique, to the one’s that just look different and do slightly more damage, i’ll just say my inventory is full of the fun unique one’s, while the rest are scrap metal.

I’m not concerned about making white->purple weapons irrevelant, I’m worried that implementing those awesome abilities would likely result with a hiearchy between legendary weapons themselves.

BL1 was pretty balanced/toned down in terms of abilities and enemies weren’t bullet spongy enough to require using lengedary tier weapons to take them out, yet it still had a single weapon which made entire category of fire elemental weaponary irrevelant, legendaries included. Hellfire, the only fire weapon I use in BL1. Sometimes have used is Vulcano. Could try Firehawk and Draco, but there is no reason to do that when Hellfire is so strong and awesome.

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I agree, the hellfire is another weapon that comes to mind as OP. But really, i think it’s properly powered. The rest of the legendaries just weren’t powerful enough. I think i had about 15 different hellfires for my characters because of this. In BL2, the main item every character needed was the Bee shield. This is where the balancing you are worried about came into play. If you agree that legendaries should be better than purple and so on, then we are on the same page. I also thoroughly agree that there shouldn’t be 1 gun that is better than the rest. Hellfire, Conferance call, Bee, and probably a few others throughout the games. The thing is, for me anyway, is these guns/items were the only ones worthy of being called legendary, while the rest of the legendaries were barely any better than their purple equivalents. So as you say, there would be no reason to ever use something other than a hellfire. Just you are on the side that says the hellfire is too strong of a legendary, where I’m arguing the rest of the legendaries are just too weak. If they beefed up the volcano’s damage to some giant number, or like a 15x crit multiplier or something, all of a sudden it fills a different play style, but still fills the fire role, allowing you to change out your hellfire for something else.

We want the same thing i think. No one legendary should be the clear cut choice to be the best and only option for a specific gun or damage type. I just want them all turned up, while you seem to want the hellfire turned down. While that is the easier option, its the far less fun option. :slight_smile: And to me, dialing back a legendary, unless its game breaking, defeats the point of why it was legendary in the first place. Something shouldn’t be called a hellfire if it only does marginally more damage than your run of the mill fire SMG. It SHOULD be awesome to use.

The other thing to think of is, we have seen all the basic ideas they can really come up with. They’ve done patterened bullets, noises, ricocheting bullets, lobbed balls of fire or acid, marginally increased damage, splash damage and so on. Unless they get creative with the next round of weapons, its just going to feel like the last 2 or 3 games. Level up till you get the high damage gun and use it to do the same thing you did with the very first white gun you found. But if you add in some crazy effects, its a completely different experience, potentially even changing the way you play a shooter. IE: i always reload after a couple of shots, after ducking for cover. Its OCD. But if my build forces me to do otherwise because of previously mentioned bonuses, its a whole new experience. And borderlands is one of a very small sample size, possibly the only game, in a position to take weapons to a whole new place never before experienced, in a believable, humorous and exciting way.

Anyways, its been good chatting with you. In the coming months i’ll likely be picking up a copy of the handsome collection to play through TPS.

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Yeah, I guess the balance of items is something for developers to worry about. What we want are insane and crazy fun to use guns and items. At east I assume that’s the kind of pattern Borderlands as a game should go for.

I just had another idea that might work for how to handle gun levelling systems, and how to integrate it with player levelling, that makes sense. You can have some specialized skills still for each character like the current set up, but have one tree that is a GUN LUST tree. Each point you put into this tree raises how good you can get with each gun, unlocking new abilities. If you do it with 3 different trees, one for attack, one defence, and one exotic, you can make the possibilites endless!

Examples. In my gun lust tree, the first skill is attack based. Let’s say it can go to 10 points, but you only need 5 to unlock the next level of choices, where it branches to any of the 3, attack defence or exotic. Each level should have say 10 points. Each time a point goes into any of the 3 categories, it adds to my total attack lust or defence lust or exotic lust. Then you make every gun in the game have different bonuses for each type of lust. If you have enough lust in each type, you can get all bonuses. First gun i get has 3 choices, 1 point into any of the lusts unlocks it. Basic guns might just have a simple damage or reload speed bonus under the attack lust tree. Defence might have something like creates a 100hp shield after every 5 hits or something, or healing or whatever. Exotic might be how you handle your elements of acid, fire, slag, and so on, and how efficient they are at those types of damages. As rarities go up, bonuses get much better and require more points to lust. If my gun has really cool exotic bonuses but the other bonuses are poor, i might rebuild my char for a while to have all exotic bonuses. Or maybe i want the midlevel exotic and attack bonuses, and build as such. This makes each gun not only have it’s unique tendencies from each manufacturer and it’s inherent properties, but it allows me to customize each gun for how i want it to play. Just finding a purple valdof pistol becomes way more exciting if my current one has faster reload speed as its bonus, but the one i just found has a healing ability if i put points into defence instead. Then have your legendary guns have their unique skill that makes them legendary, then still have the 3 trees. Imagine finding a hellfire from the first game, that still does it’s fire stacking effects, but also has 3 choices of: attack bonus, fires 2 bullets at the cost of 1 ammo, defence bonus: makes you invisible for 3 seconds after 5 hits, or exotic bonus: each hit causes splash damage and burns longer. Endless possibilities. Then if you find another hellfire, it has completely different base stats (damage, fire damage, reload speed and so on) as well it has 3 completely different lust bonuses to choose from.

Each gun lust point can also add to your base damage, health or shields or whatever too, so moving up in the skill tree adds better bonuses, like they do now. Example, Tier 1 attack points add 1 point to lust as well as 5% reload speed. The next tier after 5 points are invested in previous tier, the attack lust may now adds 1 point into attack lust, but this time adds 5% damage to all weapons. Or i could choose defence which adds 1 point to defence lust opening new skills on my guns for me, but also adding a 300 points to my shield each time. Next tier adds 200 health and 200 shield. Next is 20% shield recharge rate and so on.

Endless possibilities

So basically you’re asking for a modification of the Weapon Skills mechanics from BL1?