Character Trial Arena

With 4 very different characters to choose from, each with their own unique abilities I think it would be a good idea to add a character trial arena.
The arena would contain various enemy types and let you choose any of the 4 main characters with a set number of skill points say 50 so that you could try out all the characters to find which one suits your playing style without having to play through the whole game first.


While I can appreciate the idea, I’m not so sure we require something like that. In my experience, leveling goes by pretty quickly so it’s not really too big an issue. In addition, we can skim the skill trees at our leisure so it’s not like we don’t know what to expect from a level up. Sure, they have slight differences now (like Zane having the ability to toss two Action Skills out at once), but I don’t believe the differences to be so great that we would need a specific mode simply to see what it would be like to be maximum level.

Plus, that is something that is typically implemented when there are more than 4 classes to level to a much higher number or in games more focused on the endgame rather than the story or leveling experience. Games like World of Warcraft. Not certain we can compare BL to WoW.

For me, part of the appeal of Borderlands is thinking about builds, and then working through the levels of a character.

It’s a cool idea, but as long as there’s slaughterdomes/arenas, the itch will be scratched for me.

@Jordangold527 & @Feculator - I appreciate your points of view but I was thinking more in terms of people that are completely new to the franchise and those that don’t have the time/patience or inclination to play through the same game 4 times.
I started the franchise with BL2 and choose Zero as my first character. I enjoyed the playthrough but felt something was missing so I then tried Sal and didn’t really like the constant easy mode style he offers.
Eventually after about a year of playing the game I found the character best suited to my play style - Maya - but had a trial arena been available I would have known a lot sooner!

I get what you’re saying, but sometimes giving someone what they want turns out not to be what they really want.
I enjoyed being able to make an armor set in Skyrim that gave me 100% reduced mana cost on destruction spells, but once I made it, I kinda stopped playing: every fight was completely trivialized and I had no more interesting goals. I know it’s not a very related example but you get the idea. Kind of like realizing that foreplay is the real fun.

However, you are right that, historically, a new player trying to decide who to play wasn’t exactly helped by the game. All we have to go on is the intro cinematic - no way to see the skill trees beforehand, no short summary of skill trees… these things are only put out on the internet. There probably should be a way to put it in-game, but me personally, I’d reserve the experience of actually playing the lvl50 character as a “mystery”.

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TL;DR: I don’t think a mode like this is needed. Part of what makes the game fun is trying the characters and playing each one to find ways for it to work with your personal playstyle or adapting your own playstyle to fit the character. A mode like that would kill the fun IMO.

I can’t tell if this is sarcasm or not. I mean, you can literally open the menu the instant you start the game and go check out that particular character’s skill tree. If it doesn’t float you’re boat then just replay the into cinematic with someone else you think might interest you.

@Doc_Scott19 will you be playing on PC? If so, I maaaay have a way to alleviate that first timer frustration… there are methods for one to… get a head start while playing on PC. (Kids, stay in school. Don’t do drugs. Play fair).

Ultimately, that’s part of how video games work. For instance, I don’t want to play through Divinity OS2 again just to test out a Necromancer build. I spent 20-30 hours literally between levels 1-6 to see what skills might interest me. I’m still not sure what I’d have the most fun playing. While I realize that seeing the stats on the skill trees and actually testing them out are two completely different things, I do not feel that a dedicated arena mode designed to allow players to be the highest level and/or have the best equipment should be standard practice. The reason being (for me at least) GETTING to the point is half the fun.

I started the first Borderlands with Roland. I liked him, but then I tried out Morty and I had a blast. In BL2 I first played Maya. She was, and is still, my favorite character, but when Krieg came out I tried him out thinking I’d dislike him. Turned out he was one of the most enjoyable character classes I’ve ever played in an RPG. The point being, you don’t need to “test them out with all the fixin’s”. Just play the game and if you find yourself bored switch it up. Also, I would point out that…

  1. Everyone was new to the BL franchise once. Seems to have worked for them just fine.
  2. No time? That’s okay, you have until the sun goes out. The game isn’t going anywhere… as far as I know. Though I do recognize everyone’s situation is different.
  3. Patience or inclination… can’t help you there. If you don’t WANT to play through the game with another character then I don’t have a solution for you.
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You’d be surprised at the casual players’ laziness to do anything like this. It’s hard for you and me to imagine: for fans posting on the forums every day, compulsively opening, watching all the trailers before going to bed, waiting for their custom Fl4k bodypillow to arrive in the mail… I’ll stop there.

The point is that I have a friend who enjoys the game but is a hypercasual, and believe me when I say that no amount of spoonfeeding is enough for a decent chunk of the audience. A lot of this was discussed here.


Situations like this are probably why things like the Borderlands 2 save editor exist… that, or people (like me) refuse to give up their first legendary and decide to scale its’ level as they progress to keep it viable.


Honestly? I came to their game hella late, after all the experimentation and things to find were done. So I went to a save editor because the shine of finding things is kinda gone (I do get stoked seeing cool stuff still). But it became about crafting a character that was fun and learning how to play that way.

Generally, I don’t think casuals would be the ones who really get into the save editor, but I also don’t know who else but casuals would super buff a character that much. Idk. Lol.

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Even back in BL1, when I found a gun I liked (the Elephant Gun rings a bell), I would use a save editor to ensure I could continue using it. Admittedly, I stopped using the Elephant Gun after I got the Volcano and Skullmasher.


A slightly different tack. There’s nothing wrong with having this kind of Arena. However, GBX have a limited amount of resource. Would it be best used creating such a thing or creating more content for the campaign and endgame?

What might be useful to the new player is a better intro to the character’s skills. Let’s face it, the descriptions at character selection, for all the BL games, are as good as useless :slight_smile: However, you may remember the introductiry vids GBX made for Gaige and Krieg. Even a dev talking over gameplay, like the Krieg Reveal, would be more useful. I’m sure you could link to such things from the menu.

I’m sure producing a few of these would be considerably less expensive than an Arena. In fact, I suspect a “casual” (hate that phrase :unamused: ) might be more inclined to passively watch a vid than actively use an Arena. Just a thought.

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