Brainstorming for a real "difficult" mode

So, we had a few suggestions already but basically, people are stating that hp increases are not hard but just boring and modifiers are too random and annoying

So, how could a real and immersive challenge look like

Different enemies in the game, having different attributes that actually fit them and could be increased in numbers, depending on the level or (insert idea)

So, what I have read or thought of myself:

Maliwan enemies: life regen drones, immunity drones

Maliwan heavies: elemental puddles

Psychos: helmets against critical hits

Guardians: random elemental immunity+nova, connected beams

Beasts: I hate rabids but…rabids

Whats your ideas?


What mechanics make game difficult? Some of them you have already stated: AOE, HP regen, smaller critical hit spots, faster moving enemies.

I would add to the list: AI teamwork, smoke grenades (not just Katagawa Jr.), barriers (like Traunt), flanking.

If we give mobs more advantage, maybe we can get rocket jumping back and better (despite what Kunt5 or other YTers and streamers say).

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Shield barriers for maliwans, I could imagine well :smiley:
Someone drops a barrier and they all hide behind it and camp you :smiley:
Or: a new maliwan mecha animal
A mech spiderant that carries a barrier around in front of it


I’ve been playing Streets of Rage 4 as of late - playable character in the game are powerful, but mobs are too. They can juggle you, spam attacks, flank, interrupt. Game is hard hard on hardest difficulty (duh) but 90% of occasions it is my fault if I get trashed.

I hope that we can reach something like this with BL3 - kinda annoyingly hard, but possible to overcome by getting better.

Also, enemies are not damage sponges, which is nice…

But after all, we have to still remember
This is a diablo with guns and a ton of damage multipliers
We need spongie enemies for the game to make sense :smiley:

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Yeah, they are not comparable 1:1. My bad.

I still like the idea of two dimensions of difficulty: enemy stats (health/damage) on one, and mayhem types on the other, which can be dialed up separately like the L33t h4x0rz arena in TPS. Some players like to fight enemies that require the most severe min/max builds and tactics possible, and without a basic stat increase, that sort of doesn’t work (without completely redoing the entire weapon/gear ecology, which would sort of wreck the rest of the game).

I like the current set of modifiers for spicing up the game, some more than others for sure (and having to roll them just means it’s cumbersome to get a set you want: would like to see this set manually), but if I was to make up my own, in the interest of making the fight challenging (as opposed to novel, interesting, or some other idea)… :thinking:

  • UVHMPTSD: enemies constantly regenerate health. This was the element of UVHM when I first hit it in BL2 that made me really think I couldn’t do it… my old strategy of whittling away their health, however slowly, to get me through serious difficulty if I could just survive, was no longer viable. If an an enemy took cover, you were starting over (slag would wear off, and they might fully regenerate their health and shields). Anointed Militants might need some changin’ though.

  • Alchemy: enemies are highly resistant to all damage unless they are under some elemental DoT. Once under the effects of any DoT, different damage types are enhanced (not sure if this should stack, but probably, since juggling more than two DoTs at once is tricky enough to make it a good tradeoff, I think).

  • Fast Enemies: enemy evasive maneuvers are really hard to hit if they roll a dodge maneuver under fire (unless you anticipate/lead it, or, you know, carpet bomb them). I spiced this up in BL2, and squirrely enemies that were otherwise soft were suddenly a little threatening. I’d also give them a little overall movement speed buff on top of this (maybe 25%?).


In a game like Doom it’s easier to create a good flow maintaining the game challenging because player damage, skills, weapons and movement are fixed. Borderlands has so many variables that often enemies are either too tanky or too weak, and the difference could be a single piece of loot.
As much as I would like some challenge that depends on player skill in a game like this it’s not easy to implement, too many variables…


I think Diablo 3 nailed it…

BL3 should just remove the weapon scaling they intended…

Old M4 was great, they should have continued that instead of forcing the overhaul.

lol, no

difficult in borderlands games means gear exclusive and being done through walking on the edge of exploiting. there is no difficulty… there is only puting you into situation where you can use only select few guns with select few anointments that are strong because x,y,z is coded this way and they do much more than they were intended to. who really wants difficult? what is the correct difficult?

i can easily beat godlike campaign in unreal tournament games some other players can easily beat doom ethernal ultra nightmare 100% while also speed runing. does it mean these games are not difficult? and furthermore does borderlands really need it?

i do not think so. i have always been for old op10 hardcore one life and stuff but it was self imposed challenges. game did not coax players into it. loot increase fom 72 lvl to whatever op level was absolutely negligable.

i think the easiest way to separate true endgame from “true” true endgame would be giving players ability to turn on 2 3 4 player scaling for themselves if they want to. but keeping the level playing field for every casual player at the end level. no exclusive gear no bigger rewards. challenge is your reward if you insist on using the best gear with best synergy (btw best stands for whatever the ■■■■ is coded in a way to deal most dmg it is not a rocket science people make it out to be) go and blow up player scaled game. but a single player end game difficulty should be open to good gear down to blue rarity and hopefully to worst anointments (worst because they do not quadriple the base dmg lul so trash)

according to my testing currently a good blue rarity gun with good enointment is performing well enough on m4 and is on a brink of acceptable performance in m5. that would mean that m6 and up i would only look at the loot pile if there is annointed orange beam (very seldom regular guns that were super strong like coach bangstick and protuberance or mashers could make do, from what i have heard people are not even happy with maggies performance in m10 which is atrocious) i know some people support the current end game model but as my good friend used to say everything has it’s client.

it is my opinion but wanting a super hardcore challenge in borderlands, that is not self imposed is a bit stupid. there are other kind of games for that like multiplayer competitive games or game like unreal tournament where you need to literally overcome aimbot a.i. by design sp games are made to be beaten i dno what absurd pride would one find in beating it. i do believe a well trained chimp will be able to do mayhem 10 with the best gear ( yes gear not skill there is nothing you can do in this game that guy next door can’t)

as to not anything should be viable- yes i agree but why should not god damn legendaries be viable?

in the end it will be UCP to do what devs can’t which is a shame but not unexpectable.


Thanks for makin this topic. I was givin up on my “more badasses theory of different types instead of. Modifiers” because of ppl talking ram etc uses.

The way i see it, takedown has boatloads of enemies. So does the circles of slaughters
We can handle it! all of us pc xbox ps4. Just need some adjustments to vfx clutter. Pools mechanics. I.e. 10 pools in one spot somehow shouldnt be etc limiting spinners etc.
No enemy but a mega badass should be truely immune to one element. We should have resistant enemies. Etc

Cartels proved our stress test we can do it. We Can build it bigger badder. We just have to. Ask for it.

Some players like this? There’s no accounting for what people like in a game, so having difficulty options that go to places we’re not fond of doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a bad idea. Players who want that can go there; players who don’t can skip it. (That some players don’t seem to think they can forego the heaviest difficulty available to claims that the game is broken still doesn’t mean that difficulty should not exist for players who want it.) The topic is (correct me if I’m wrong @lolli42): what are some interesting ways to make a high-end difficulty. I personally would like literally double or even triple the number of enemies in the maps (I want to take the Vault Hunters to play Serious Sam maps), but that’s not… interesting.

Off topic: this has vexed players since BL2 (maybe BL1, though less so), since there is an expectation that the more rare something is, the more damage capability it has. This is reinforced by the first few rarity levels where this is largely true (White, Green, Blue, and Purple weapons tend to follow this pretty well). Once you add red-text gimmicks, all bets are off; these gimmicks may be pure damage stats, they may be a cool skin, they may be some odd shot pattern (for better or worse), etc.

These red-text effects throw weapons onto (or away from) this damage-per-rarity relationship, so once you start adding these to the mix, expecting rarity to equate to more damage will be misleading. These effects are rare in white and green weapons, a bit more common in blue, and more common in purple. Those rarity tiers are increasingly “contaminated” with red-text specimens, but the rarity as a whole still generally follows the expected trend of “higher rarity equals higher damage”.

Every orange (and Pearlescent for that matter) weapon has red text, so the entire rarity tier is contaminated, making it possible for way more deviation from this damage expectation among these tiers. The few weapons for which the red-text effect enhances damage just makes it seem like the others are somehow terrible, where it’s just the nature of randomly good or bad gimmicks being assigned to every weapon in that rarity.

BL3 is still working out the kinks of these mayhem modes, weapon balancing, and all that, so we’ll see what the end game looks like when we get there, but I have no expectation that they will try to “fix” orange and higher rarities by making red-text effects anything but a novel (for better or worse damage) gimmick.

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Bring back x2 projectiles,… :slight_smile:



Modifiers might be pretty much inspired by their stupid boss enhancements and 272737272727 different difficulty levels are also stupid


Tbh i like current hp armor sponges.

Just give me that without everyone immune n glowing in seizure circles.

Id hope more badass and more spawns in general exactly like how tvhm uvhm was.

I think i just want my pre mayhem 2.0 back… But they confirmed it wont.

So gimmie more stuff to kill and lemme have my overblown hp bullet sponges as they are. Dont tone em down and i dont have to use weirdo roblox mods. bullet sponge modifier and moar spawns.

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Don’t know what has been said already.

But the thing about a loot farmer is that you must feel more of a badass if your gear increases. This is why the current hp/damage system isn’t bad. You must see the impact of your build and gear.

So in my mind that must exist, but also is not where the difficulty must come from. Because then it’s boring.

The random modifiers are meant to be chaos, and they work in that. But it’s too much of chaos. We must have things that require a bit of skill and thinking on the battlefield.

Troopers who deploy a bullet-returning shield for other enemies on the field. Which makes you resort to ultra precise sniping or having to flank. Or having to kick in invulnerability to close the distance.

Things like healers or drones create enemies that have to be dealt with first, doesn’t matter how much damage you do.
This is now sort of in it with the nog’s, but everyone with a brainstormer / reflux / redistributer is just thinking ‘yay more mobs for the chains means more damage’. And everyone with enough splash damage wasn’t even aware there was a 2nd enemy around :).

I’m one of the people NOT saying bl2 was better… But one of the things I miss is Slag. Higher levels required to be slagging enemies, which enabled a form of teamplay.
It now kinda exists witb radiation (I believe)but everyone is doing enough damage to not care about it (or doing 4 elements at the same time constantly so you can do it yourself.

I can’t think of more on the spot but we have to be searching it in the direction of ‘requiring tactics in a fight’.

Anything just plain damage related will always be beaten by some and boring for all. Difficulty by chaos can work for a bit,but gives players no way of making a plan of beating it. Except for being lucky or just ‘close my eyes and see what happens today’.

Require tactics and brains on the field. It’s a true difficulty, you still see the impact of your build and weapons, and it makes teamplay more interesting…

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well, i think the whole “mayhem” idea was bad in the first place