Borderlands and other games with loot

I’ve been playing (and still do) all BL games a LOT, they account for at least 90% of my gaming time since BL1 came out. But I play other games too, and most of them seem to fall into the same general category of “there is loot to acquire and characters to grow”.

I took a bit of side trip in the last couple of weeks and played Diablo 3, Destiny 1, Fallout 4, Outer Worlds, and a bit of Path of Exile and Grim Dawn. I’m nowhere close to endgame in any of these, but I’m not much of an endgame player anyway.

So, I thought I’ll share fresh impressions about these, together with a bunch of questions: “why did this game decided to do X instead of Y”.

Diablo 3:

  • It is much easier than any BL game I played. Started a Monk, and I think my health never dropped below 50% despite being in the thick of it for all of combat. Game throws items at you that either regen health or leech on hit.
  • Combat is really reduced to button mashing so far (I’m on XBOX). No need to aim much.
  • Unidentified items - why? Destiny 1 does it with engrams as well, and so did Torchlight. What’s the point?
  • I keep going back to town, just like in BL3 I always “talk to Lilith”. BL1 did not have this hub approach, but looks like almost everyone else does it now.
  • Decent amount of lootable objects, but mobs don’t drop as much stuff (OK, no ammunition here). Still nowhere close to sheer amount of loot BL throws at you.
  • Crafting/enchanting all over the place

Destiny 1:

  • I tried it once couple of years ago and shelved it after introductory mission and getting to Tower. Around L16 now, as a Hunter.
  • Much less loot compared to BL, both lootable containers on the maps and drops from bad guys. I found 3 sniper rifles in 16 levels. 5 revolvers. I’d get this many in 5 minutes of BL mobbing (a bit of hyperbole, but still).
  • 3 ‘action skill’ cool-downs to keep an eye on: Super, Grenade, Melee (knife) throw. Loooong cool down on main action skill.
  • I only have one grenade?
    *… but now I have bunch of armor pieces to futz with. Perhaps much closer to being “Diablo with guns” than Borderlands is. No rings and belts, though.
  • But it also has crafting, and loot leveling. Perhaps that’s why folks demand this in BL.
  • Amount of stuff to collect and various ‘currencies’ is already starting to overwhelm me a bit. Did not run out of space yet, though. (Fallout, I’m looking at you here…).
  • Bounties seem to give way too much XP compared to combat and quests. Could be wrong, though. Sort of like challenges in BL, but you actually have to trek to Tower for them all the time. Am I being trained here, like a rat in a maze?
  • I really wished it had “solo only” option - let me avoid matchmaking/co-op teams and go do a strike/quest/patrol just by myself. Not interested in PvP at all, and would rather not depend on others (or fail them) in the rest of gameplay too. I do my own thing anyway, but now I worry that I’m inadvertently pissing off someone.
  • Main menu button is not the one that everyone else uses. Annoying.

Fallout/Outer Worlds

  • Probably the same game engine, just one has more cheerful colors.
  • I immediately get overloaded with a bunch of stuff I have no idea what to do with so far, but then I don’t want to leave it either. It feels like Hoarding 101.
  • I keep shooting without V.A.T.S. Probably should stop doing that.
  • When they say story is non-linear, they mean it. I forgot what my main objective is in both of them very quickly.
  • I feel overwhelmed by skills/perk options in Fallout. I’m sure there is a guide somewhere, but it feels like cheating.
  • I have to read a lot now. Shooting, not so much.

I’m back on Pandora now with my small horde of allegiance characters, but diversion to other games was super refreshing.


Did you know that if you get Fallout 4, there’s a mod available that adds BL1 guns to it? Someone from the forums put it together, and it’s pretty neat.


You are better off (imo) getting to endgame with diablo and destiny before asking these questions since endgame is a big part of those games.

For Fallout (also applies to outer world) IMO the best way to play it is on survival mode where it adds a hunger and thirst meter makes it feel more realistic and gives real weight to what you carry, it makes you think more while you are trying to survive in the apocalypse.

Fallout/outer worlds

  • The devs who made outer worlds also made fallout new vegas (best fallout imo) so it will feel similar.
  • Its fine to hoard just make sure you have places to store the stuff never know what you gonna need. I always keep stuff separate by food & water, ammo, weapons, armor, and misc.
  • You don’t have to V. A. T. S if you don’t want to there are perks that gives it crazy effects if you want to invest in it tho.
  • Thats half the fun of games like these just pick a direction, explore, and discover.
  • Skill wise you can do whatever you can do pretty much whatever but I always reccommend picking up (assume you are playing fallout 4) armorer for all your defensive needs. Either gun nut if you plan on using range weapons or blacksmith if you plan on using melee. Science is a great choice to couple with these if you plan on using energy weapons and power armor. Other then those whatever you feel is useful 4 you.

You need to up the difficulty then. The whole point is to slowly gain more power, and then increase difficulty on demand, which then rewards you with increased loot drops, which then helps you to grow stronger and level up much faster. This type of slow, incremental progression up through the difficulty levels is what GBX tried to emulate with Mayhem 2.0.

Like I mentioned above, gotta increase the difficulty. The amount of legendaries and what not you will see in the higher Torment levels blows Borderlands drop rate out of the water.

Yeah this is definitely an MMO thing. From what I remember D2 is even more absurd in regards to things to collect.

I get why you’d want this, but like I said Destiny is an MMO, to be fair. Multiplayer is part of the core experience…and also why I stopped playing it when my friends did.

Probably just some mechanic to add to the excitement. I don’t get it either though, personally.

Yeah Destiny’s classes are super boring compared to Borderlands. This and the ability to play everything as a solo player are two of main reasons why I like BL much better.

You’ll find that this stuff is more or less standard in all highly regarded loot games. Not necessarily full blown crafting (which Destiny doesn’t really have), but at least some degree of item manipulation (re-rolling, adding mods, changing parts, etc.) to help mitigate RNG . It is definitely why BL is so heavily criticized for lacking this feature. It’s more or less necessary to help craft specialized builds IMO.

I find Destiny goes more for a quality over quantity approach. BL2 I felt like 98% of Guns that dropped were hot garbage. BL3 did a much better job in this area IMO, I actually love switching out my weapons often in BL3.


Unidentified items made more sense in diablo 1 and 2 and made even more sense if you werent super far into the game. It added to the atmosphere of exploring the unknown. Also the massive level of variation allowed even lower end items with the right rolls out perform higher up items. D3s item system doesnt do this well at all kinda killing iding as a thing that makes sense.

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You have to be on PC, though, right?

I guess the reason I’m harping on this a bit: in D3 it looks like I only have to click on an item to identify it, don’t even need to bring it to a local wizard or whatever, like Destiny with its Cryptarch. So, just an extra step for no reason?

Torchlight was asking me to use a consumable item for identification, which had to be available for me, but IIRC identified item had higher sale price at least.

Don’t know, feels like a step to force extra clicks/engagement. May be it did add extra excitement - not sure.

No, actually! There’s a subset of curated mods available on XB1 and PS4 for both Fallout 4 and Skyrim SE, and this is one of them.

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I mean you arent wrong but RPGs 20 years ago werent focused on streamlined it long term plsyer engagement they were mainly focused on atmosphere and overall experience and in diablo the identification system was part if the experience they wanted to convey. (in D1 and 2 required and item or paying a dude money)

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You mentioned you had tried Path of Exile also.
I tried that too. And am still waiting for it to get difficult.

Played pretty much exclusively for 4 days, got up to lvl 36 (or 39, I forget) and in the process died 3 times.
Just 3.
Way too easy, and like Diablo pretty much a keep pressing the button until things die game, with the option to press some other buttons some times. Lots of gear but, as with many games, just found one good beater weapon and stuck with that.
Not really fun, stopped playing.
I did launch Destiny again today, and might mess around more with that.
But what am I playing now? BL2 of course, taking another Siren through Pandora…

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Wish I felt the same- while I was leveling up I tried to put everything I found to use (really liked Jakobs weapons on Moze) but now that I have an OPQ System using any other AR feels kind of pointless. No other pistol does quite as well as the Hellshock I have, not even old favorites like the Dastardly Maggie (and I have one with the 300% damage to enemies at over 90% health anointment). The only weapons I even try to experiment with now are SMG’s and shotguns, although my cyro and fire The Lob are holding down that category right now. The only real change I’ve made recently is to switch from the Storm Front to the Quasar- hard to be shot when enemies are being flung all over the map. When ther new patch finally drops maybe it will give me some reason to actually diversify my weapon usage but for right now I’m just sticking to what works best- I’ll experiment with new stuff later,

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I probably should - and did not realize I could change it at will. BL conditioned me that this option (be it Mayhem or TVHM/UVHM) is not available till story playthrough is done.

V.A.T.S is not really required. I think in my whole playthrough of Fallout 4 I’ve used it like 5 times or so, in order to make use of particular legendary weapons effects. But really, unless you are making a luck/crit based build there’s little reason to use it, though I guess on controller it might make hitting shots a little easier.

I did, but stopped after only few levels. Mostly because I did not see what’s so different about it compared to Diablo. OK, skill ‘tree’ looks very different and rather intimidating.

I might revisit it later, same with Grim Dawn.

I also forgot to mention Warframe - I think I got as far as reaching a ship. Might try it again soon, the way my character moved was very fluid, I thought, and thus quite different.

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It is likely true that some of these mechanics and associated design decisions are much more relevant in the end game. The catch is that I might not make it to the endgame because I either lost interest well before that, or have little interest in the endgame, full stop.

Destiny is probably a ‘no endgame for me’ case - since I plan to only do solo stuff, I guess it limits a lot what I can do there anyway. With Diablo I’ll try to get a taste of endgame, if only for comparison with BL.

It really does limit your fun destiny is more fun in groups with friends, clans, etc. There is even an official phone app that you can connect to your destiny account where you can manage gear, join party/clans, set up groups for raids all from the app. You will not get the full experience from destiny soloing. I don’t understand why people tend to compare it to bl3 where it is more akin to a mmo/fps and bl3 is a rpg/fps only thing that is remotely similar is you shoot stuff and collect loot. Diablo 3 is more similar to bl3 where soloing is a complete experience while co-op can improve it. Let me know what you think when you hit the endgame for d3 tho.

That’s more than enough, though, especially after you add “level your character” to the mix.

Agreed. Bungie themselves have reclassified Destiny as an MMO, so it isn’t even debatable anymore. Borderlands is an ARPG just wrapped up in an FPS gameplay style. Borderlands = Diablo, Destiny = World of Warcraft. I do think there’s a few things GBX could learn from Destiny, but the two games don’t really fall under the same overall umbrella.

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Yeah Diablo is different than a normal game where you choose a difficulty level and then leave it be throughout the entire game. You want to keep upping the difficulty every time things start to get too easy as your gear gets increasingly powerful. Also, Normal mode difficulty is REALLY easy in Diablo. I didn’t realize this either my first time playing until I was like level 50. Once I realized I should be upping the difficulty, I think I went all the way from Normal to Torment 2 very quickly.

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