Thinking on the future of the franchise… Consider our Diablo of First Person Shooters and the direction of Diablo 4 with customization for the Heroes.
Borderlands developed… in the future, a custom Vault Hunter Creation Menu instead of “pick from these 4 gits”? Details below:
Landing page would first allow you to pick your class:
Then… decide (for character model/voice etc):
-Male, Female or Non-binary
Then customize features:
-Build, features, style (MECH solider vs infantry or tech assassin vs cloak and dagger/sword), type (loader bot, Eridian for bots?)…
Each would have 4 Skill Trees to pick from with their capstones and action skills being tied to their class and style.
Weapons/shields/Augmented items wouldn’t have to be so pigeonholed and the builds would be vast and varied.
The gaming world has gotten so advanced and the average gamer desires and expects a more invested, diversified experience. I wonder if the franchise would ever consider a more involved process of VH customization?
I toyed with that sort of thing with the UCP in BL2 and TPS (some dudes literally rewrote full skill trees). I’m personally fine with their canned trees, but as an extra option in the game, I’ll always say yes even if I don’t use it.
I’d say no, for a number of reasons (ranging from personal preference up to suspecting it’d be a logistical nightmare to support).
Why I think it'd be a logistical nightmare..
And probably no set names.
“Hey there VH.”
And so on.
Is this 4 skill trees of 3 columns to one skill (Bl1, Bl2, TPS) or 4 options of 3 trees (BL3)
Either way, that’s a nightmare for COMs. Seriously, even down to trading because people would whine non-stop that a tree they never use keeps popping up on their COMs so you need to only drop COMs for my class, with only my trees.
That would be murder for trading, because rather than anyone having a decent chance of stumbling on what you want people would basically need to specifically build for it.
Can you think of all the balance adjustments, people think Borderlands 3 has been bad. Can you imagine them trying to encourage people to mix up trees and not just use the same options.
Bugs, bugs, and bugs.
The amount of skills you’re talking about, every single interaction that would need to be checked, and double checked. And updates strained so carefully so that they don’t break a really obscure combination. Or ruin a common build entirely.
Workload + costs
Games are getting much more expensive to make. And I’m not sure how many saw the $70 as standard article a few weeks ago. That’s not much of a cost, but games are getting a lot more expensive, so are a lot of things. This may put more gamers off their investments, or force people to consider whether they buy this game, or another. And if this price puts gamers off, then the company makes less, lasting support is less likely unless they can claw back the money from, you guessed it, micro-transactions.
Next up, can you think of the workload. I think Gearbox has about 300 or so people nowadays. Not all of them are coders, some are level design, some are marketing, social, visual effects, sounds, story and so on. They’d need a massive team, or they’d have to spend so long updates would probably never seem to happen.
What happens with a bigger team then, costs go up, or production suffers. In the former case people need to pick up the cost, games are already “relatively” cheap per person given how expensive it is to develop them, workhours, equipment and so on. To have something with this much added stuff, you’re probably upping the chances of post-launch micro-transactions up through the roof.
I’m not talking cosmetic micro-transactions here, I’m talking necessary repeatable ones. Things that will earn themselves out early, and be able to mitigate post launch support after all this.
I’d also be surprised in this situation if the cost of the season pass or DLC themselves didn’t get inflated.
So yeah, I’d rather see Gearbox step back to the Bl2/TPS approach where I can support the game with cosmetics if I wish, DLC characters, Campaigns and Headhunters (instead of new trees, convoluted sprawling skill tree customisations to balance and free temporary events).
I think I just find myself wishing, at this point in the franchise for a more personal feel to my vault hunter. I understand the inherent cost of development but it also comes to mind the lack of personalization this many titles into Borderlands.
As much as I love the lore, stories and franchise in general - I find myself thirsting for a stronger connection to the Vault Hunters. Maybe the thought of “making it my own…” is a way to do that?
I like character customisation, many games have it, but a “handcrafted” character is cool too. Lets the devs come up with a tighter, more cohesive concept both in terms of their kit and the story (and save on resources like voicework etc). One of the things every game in the series has struggled with is making the player characters part of the world and bringing the player in with them - they are mute/barely have conversations, don’t appear in cutscenes, have no personal ties or stakes and are just hired mercs - fixing this would only be harder with a custom character. But if they can pull it off in BL4, then hey.
Love the idea but as a siren main in every BL the questions comes up really fast:
If there are only 6 sirens in the hole universe at any point in time…how can GBX make a “character customization” for sirens? making them looking different doesn’t cross the line of being another person from the “base” character?
Honestly alot of people take that Siren rule as canon, but I just took it was a joke.
“ha ha, Jack is aware that there can only be up to 4 players on Siren at one time”, that sort of thing.
It´s like in Star Wars, when Yoda said there are always two Sith, a master and an apprentice. I just thought he meant that Sith don´t work together but they like to have an apprentice around as a subserviant sidekick. But then everyone else and their mom was like “Oh, that must mean that there are only ever two Sith alive in the entier UNIVERSE, and when they are dead, I guess they´re all gone”. Like what??!
Honestly, I’d prefer they stuck to 4-6 VHs with fixed skill trees, but add skins that change the character appearance more, and -most importantly - let me swap between VHs without having to start a new character.
The games are supposed to be about a team of 4 that goes through the story together, so I should be able to get halfway through the story and swap my level 18 siren for a level 18 assassin to carry on. That character has been beside me all the way (according to the story), so why can’t I use them?
I also miss the TPS method of making each playthrough feel more customised to the VH you’re playing as (such as NPC dialogue being changed to match your character).