Customize your Vault Hunter

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.

What if…

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?

What does the community think?

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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.


For one it would add another 20 hours to the game as I need to decide wtf I wanna do. :stuck_out_tongue:

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 Killer.”
“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?

A lot of what you suggest would make for a good Bunkers and Badasses: Pandora Edition. If Gearbox ever wants to do a spinoff series in this vein I’d take a look at it…


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.

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I actually agree with a lot of this but… I get tired of people acting like the very few and far between character specific call outs in BL3 make it feel like a tailored experience.

I counted on my last play session - 42 times my character was referenced as either, “VH”, “Vault Hunter”, “Killer” or “Vault Thief” or “Sugar”.

Only twice was there a random “kill her before she calls her MECH!” …

I think if the NPC’s actually called me - “Moze” or “FL4K” or by name… or ANYTHING other than “killer” or Vault Hunter.

Vault Hunter.

Hey vault hunter…

Would you like me to call you Vault Hunter 150 more times in a session?

I digress… I just feel they want to make a tight, detailed character experience but they stopped developing the stories and characters pretty much after the first play through.

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I agree, when I said all the games in the series struggle with making the character part of the world/events, I was including BL3 in that. It is in fact a step back from TPS in this regard.

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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?


The beauty of creativity is that it’s only limit is you.

There are only 6 Sirens at a time… and only 4 players can play together at any given session. You can only play one at a time sooooo technically the rule still applies.

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??! :crazy_face:

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).

I really enjoy fresh leveling - it’s fun to have that “new” experience with each VH. I just wish it was a little more personal to each…

I mean, how many echo logs of each vault hunter in BL3 are there? There is something to be said about creating strong backstory to each Vault Hunter…

Although, I still stand by my emphasis of how much it sucks that we are always referenced as VH, Vault Hunter, Killer etc… it makes for lame NPC interaction.

If they want to stick with the 4-6 VH’s then they should focus on the inclusive, immersive experience of those characters and stories.

I too think the skins should change appearance a little more though…

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Skins would be so, SO cool if they changed the actual outfit and gear instead of just recolours.
As for depth, that should be applied to the whole cast in general, hopefully BL4 will fix that!

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