Could and should B3 be a better No Man's Sky? (Randomized Maps, Planets)

When Borderlands 2 ended we probably all gave a “whoa” of some type when we saw that galaxy map. However, I think there were two different responses.

The Tannis response was “So many possibilities, so many choices. We can send surveyors and explorers to each planet, and this will let the Borderlands series run for decades! We can pull multiple games from this! First…” zzzz


I happen to hope that Mr. Torgue is correct, myself.

This series has amazing gameplay. I love the combat so much. And my first run through each game is mostly awesome. However, as with many of us I have played through each game over a dozen times. There are areas I am truly sick of and there are areas that I have memorized. There are guides on where to find the best loot midgets and the fastest way to each boss.

I don’t like this part of the game. I want it to stay fresh because I can play the combat forever. So many people have thousands of hours into these games, but those hours are recycled play.

The Borderlands series promised so many combinations of guns to players. Until you get to max level and only a limited pool of equipment matters, that is a pretty successful promise.

No Man’s Sky promised nearly limitless (to our abilities) planets. However, many players criticize them as being too similar, empty, or boring. Also, no one would compare its combat to the level of this series.

Imagine a Borderlands game with near limitless map content, just like with the equipment. I think this developer could pull it off.

A game in which everyone is “Gold Rushing” to get to the vaults, since someone hacked and released the discovered map (or whatever plot point gets it out there)

You’d have a ship, a company sponsor (Torgue wants to weaponize the vault monsters for awesome arenas and BLOW SH*T UP, Dhal Ascended wants them protected or destroyed, so on)

Land on a random planet, your ship becomes a New-U. You clear bandit camps, claim their resources for your sponsor, destroy Anti-Air so that you can fly to more locations, and so on.

Sometimes, even, you’d be flying around and discover a Badass Planet. Ultra hard, guaranteed Raid boss somewhere, and awesome loot. Every planet can scale, meaning content is always fresh and challenging.

Wow, did you just find a planet entirely populated by Claptraps? Where did they come from, and how do you deal with them? Automatic random side quest generated!

Another planet has so much Eridium that the surfaces slags everything it touches. That’d be a real challenge to deal with. Is it worth it? Maybe not. Good thing you can just go elsewhere. The choice is yours.

The vault planets would be entirely or partially designed, and heavily protected by Eridian forces. They’d need to be dealt with to finish the story, but then you can ignore them after if you so wish.

So many possibilities, and none of them require you to go through the same quests over and over again in the hunt for the best loot and the max level. I’d play that forever.


Gearbox experimented with procedurally generated areas early on in the development of BL1.

They didn’t look right.

One of the things that I love about the series is the humor and personality. That’s very hard to achieve with randomly generated stuff. What works well for one game doesn’t always work well for another.


This is a good idea, but as Psychichazard said, Borderlands has a very distinct style and procedurally generating this reliably would be extremely difficult.

Also there’s the problem that the more content you include in a game, the more likely it is that said content will be a fair bit more bland than if it was smaller, like adding water to a glass of juice.

(Not 100% accurate I know, but still. Look at CoD. Past a point, the more games they made, the worst the content got.)

I’ll link you an oldish discussion below that had some really good ideas on a kinda similar train of thought to this, having an infinitely expanding Borderlands 3 that always has new stuff to do.

It’s a good idea, but I’m going to have to say no. Borderlands charm comes from the well designed levels, characters, and writing. I feel like a lot of this would go away. Especially the amount of legendaries and unique items in the game, which is IMO the best part

I agree with PH here I think random maps would be terrible for FPS, well designed maps can make or break a FPS game. Also Pandora has so much personality that I don’t like the no mans sky system for it either.

It reminds of when people suggest the create your own character system, Borderlands charter design is part of what makes it great.


So true. You would also lose all the personality these characters have with a “create your own” system.


Diablo does that and I have a massive love hate relationship with that style of map design. And with borderlands having so many unique collectables, challenges, maps, characters… I would rather not.
Plus, the game is buggy enough - I really don’t wanna see the walls eating More people :stuck_out_tongue:

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Not to be blunt, but ew, no! That’s not what Borderlands is about.

What I’d like to see is maybe random enemy spawns and variable dialogue like in Battleborn. That would definitely keep things fresh.

Also, the loot pool becoming seriously limited the higher level you are is a huge problem, I agree. However, I believe this has to do with their insane scaling, the necessary use of slag in later playthroughs, the degradation of other elements in later playthroighs, etc. BL did not have these problems and it was a better game for it, in my opinion.

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I forgot to throw in - remember all the hype fire No Man’s Sky? And… Well. It did not live up to it. By a couple light years. So. Maybe not follow their footsteps?

I mentioned it before (as a DLC for TPS), I’ll say it again: I would LOVE randomized ‘dungeons’ with enemies, bosses and loot.
Example: You enter room with 4 doors/portals/pancakes/whatever. Each door/portal leads to dfferent randomly generated rooms/dungeons. After completing 3 of them, fourth door would be avaible with some tougher boss (somewhere between story boss and raid boss in difficulty) with some nice lootsplosion.
Of course there would be some limited access (some special currency to enter or something).

I’ll keep dreaming


One thing that Gearbox has, is VERY talented designers. Character design in particular, but when you look at the advance in map design Battleborn should be a taste of where they are going, and I have total faith in the fact they will create a fantastic new world with a new graphic engine.

Random doesn’t allow for the detail they put in. Look at the maps in Destiny, Elder Scrolls, Dragon Age, Battlefield, etc… All hand made with tons of personal detail.

Procedural generation may well be coming of age, but still has a long way to go and probably a very limited scope of how it fits into gaming.


I wouldn’t be against a random arenas but not the whole game


Dragon Age used to have some random sections, iirc, but they’re new style of gameplay didn’t allow to keep doing that. Definitely agree on everything else you said :slight_smile:

@ThatJohnS so you’re thinking something like the rifts in Diablo? Just a zone that steadily gets harder, maybe with more bosses or a timed trial, yeah? I mentioned that in another thread. Are you saying keep the regular game designed and no random areas, but have these areas that have random chunks and lots of ads? Cuz I’m down with that.

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this is something they could try. digistruct peak could have been random in some areas too. in old days with the fractal generators it was great for games like Age of Empires and that genre of games. could be pretty difficult for FPS games but would be interesting to see how they could do it.

yes, only some special area with this :slight_smile:

Hm I should have been clearer on non-randomization for story based areas. As I said for vault planets, I meant that there would be plenty of content that is also designed. You can fairly easily design a map and plunk that in the middle of a randomized planet, as well. My point isn’t to randomize the main story content, but the rest of the game instead. The stuff we all end up playing when we’ve finished the story ten times over.

That way we can have a game with both a well designed story, that we are free to go through as many times as possible, but also lots of unpredictable, challenging randomized maps that wouldn’t require repetition of the same respawn and loot sources over and again.

I like to stumble across loot, bosses, and big groups of enemies, having no idea where any of that stuff is. You only get that experience in this series until you’ve put a few characters through it. After that you know the drill. With at least some (I prefer more than less) random content, we can always face the unknown.


Well, considering Dr Zed likes to create weird abomination creatures, why not have a Dr Zed Abomination DLC where all the stuff you said is done…with his random generated creatures. That could totally fit into the NMS way of procedural generating. When you see new beasts, Dr Zed could come out with his one liners :smile:

@joekgbx We have your first DLC for Borderlands 3!! :sunglasses:
= Dr Zed’s Moon of Awesome Abomination Creatures

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15 posts were split to a new topic: Zer0 scaling in UVHM

I was thinking this morning about the open world nature of Borderlands games and how even the maps separated by exits between them feel like one big world still. But then I started thinking about how Borderlands 3 is likely to take place on multiple worlds and how challenging it might be to keep that same feel. TPS had the problem a little bit. Sure, all of the 3 main environments felt like 3 distinct places (the virtual world inside claptrap included) but they must have had all kinds of debates about the connection between those places.

Then naturally my mind wandered to No Mans Sky and how when you change planets you’re literally getting in a ship and piloting to another planet. No cutscene or loading screen. It’s a nice concept. And you took it further.

Not sure how I feel about it. Procedurally generated content is getting great. But I don’t know if it would work well for Borderlands and how story driven it is. But perhaps this kind of thing could be done as an infinitely repeatable side mission where you get sent to a random gen world + vault and get to raid/neutralize it. But most of the game otherwise could be hand designed.

edit: i probably should have read the whole thread first. :slight_smile:

I feel like it shouldn’t be incorporated until at least after the main play through. Like (again, I bring this up) adventure mode in diablo. The story driven awesomeness of bl is wonderful and I wouldn’t see it change for double the playtime. But… If it was a literal addition, so that I don’t get stuck at level fifty f$@#$&@ five and suddenly gain no exp from anyone except enemies leveled enough that the Nomad’s can kill me… I would be ecstatic.
I’ve never hit level sixty because uvhm makes enemies absurdly strong and the scaling between two levels is raid boss status at that point in the game so you can only face enemies your level and lower. Which gives no exp. Which means grinding.
I never want to deal with that again. So rifts or whatever? Hell yeah. A bit generic? Yes. But swarms of correctly leveled enemies… In a random setting… I approve.

That brings up… Would you have just basic rifts, or region specific ones, or boss only ones, etc…?