Borderlands - What if?: The Mayhem Cut

Now that we have all the main content of the game I found myself thinking about the complaints about Mayhem vs. OP levels, and endgame. What if they weren’t meant to be so different?

The shorthand:

What if Mayhem levels were originally meant to be unlocked via timed releases of the Eridian Trials, Takedowns, & Raid?

Mayhem 4 via the Maliwan Takedown
Mayhem 6 via the original Hemivorous Raid
Mayhem 9 via the Guardian Takedown

If they had stuck with Mayhem as free content…

Mayhem 10 could have been unlocked by another as yet undisclosed Raid++ or Takedown?

If they had gone with they pay to play model:

Possibly Mayhem 10 would have been paired with defeating the Seer at the close of Ava’s Murder Mysteries. (Assuming this was in development far earlier than we were aware of at the time. Possibly as individual Headhunter-style)

Mayhem 11 and Arms Race were positioned as late additions so it makes sense to place them last

A Full Timeline:

What if the plan was to stagger the release of these levels to keep players engaged over first year of the game, with one Trial or Takedown activated each month or so? The could have filled the time between Seasonal Events and DLC releases.

The first trial wouldn’t unlock at the completion of NVHM, TVHM would have unlocked alone.

Mayhem 1 would have unlocked with completion fo the first Trial. It would have released midway between BL3’s 9/13 release and Bloody Harvest on 10/24.

Mayhem 2 would have unlocked with completion of Maliwan Takedown, which fell midway between Bloody Harvest and Handsome Jackpot’s 12/19 release date, on 11/21.

Following Handsome Jackpot another Trial to unlock Mayhem 3 would have released for the New Year.

For the third week of January a Trial to unlock Mayhem 4 would release leading into 2/11 Broken Hearts Day release

After Broken Hearts Day a Trial to unlock Mayhem 5 would released the first week of March.

The Hemivorous raid would have released 3/13 alongside the launch of Borderlands 3 on Steam, and upon completion would unlock Mayhem 6.

After the late March 26th release of Love, Guns, & Tentacles+ would have come a Trial to unlock Mayhem 7 would have released. It would most likely have come out the second week of April to fill the time between L,G, & T and the Revenge of the Cartels on 4/21.

A Trial to unlock Mayhem 8 would have followed in Mid May.

Mayhem 9 would unlock with the completion of Guardian Takedown, which released 6/11/20

Bounty of Blood released 6/25 so it would have made sense for another Raid++ or Trial to release between BoB and FusterCluck on 9/10/20. Completing that content would have unlocked Mayhem 10. The first week of August would have been a logical release date.

At the point of the Steam release all Mayhem Exclusive weapons would have been available, 4/6 Trials, and a Raid. Players who chose not to buy a season pass would still have new content to play in the same time frame as those who purchased DLC as to not feel left out.

+especially given Eista mentioning Hammerlock having slain Hemivorous when they meet over echo.

++In the Behind the Seens content there is a set up for a Skagzilla-like Raid scenario, which looks like it became the Ruiner