Dear Gearbox: Weapon Balancing is NOT helping this game's longevity

Often, I’ve heard people say after a fresh new wave of nerfs tell me that “it’s to protect the game’s longevity!”. Well, this simply is not true, whether or not it’s the devs intentions or not. If anything, the constant rebalancing of skills and gear with constant weekly hotfixes are hurting it.

Borderlands 3 has been one of the fastest and biggest selling game of 2019, but that being said, when compared to how of those people are still playing it, no body is. The community of BL3 has practically vanished, for a few reasons, as I’ve asked the community why they have stopped playing. There are people who bought the game, saw how badly optimized it was and how terrible the story was (their opinion), and just set it down. Then there were the people that ejected themselves after the nerfs to weapons and skills in what was basically the infancy of the game’s life cycle. Fl4k being BL3’s most popular character, and yes, even according to online polls, was hit with a MASSIVE nerf with the very first hotfix the game saw, and then AGAIN with the very next hotfix. Then with the third hotfix that gave Fl4k a semi-unnerfing, the entire community experienced yet another fresh wave of nerfs to all of the gear everyone was using, some of them weapon breaking. Like it or not, agree with the nerfs or not, this made people quit the game.

Then there are those people like me, those who have stuck through all of the nerfs and the constant rebalancing, the constant performance issues that are still going on unfixed, and have been hoping for something better from what is supposed to be a AAA title. The people who have just nothing to do but farm for things to be able to farm for things faster.

There is a severe lack of end-game content.

At this point in BL2’s lifespan, we had a base game that already had one stand-alone raid boss in it, a DLC that is largely considered one of the best with not only one, but TWO raid bosses in it, an add-on DLC character in Gaige, and Hammerlock’s DLC was already being annoinced. At this point, BL3 is not set to get another fresh wave of DLC content at least another few months. And in terms of end-game content, BL3’s first DLC was a huge let down, because once end-gamers like me farmed what we wanted (only for it to get ‘rebalanced’ yet again), we were met with the same problem we had before, nothing to do.

Maliwan takedown, having a raidboss, is just tedious. And once you can solo it on the hardest difficulty, which I have, the drop rates don’t make it worth it beyond bragging rights.

All this being established, Gearbox needs to get more of a grip on what the community is saying and what we want out of the game, because right now, those who have purchased the super-delux edition feel cheated. There are persistant bugs that are STILL present in the base game that have gone on unnoticed despite weekly hotfixes while bugs that no one experience and those who have, weren’t bothered by them. Weapon rebalancing, either nerfs to gear however small, or constant buffs to useless weapons like that of the Carrier, are not helping to keep people playing while performance issues, such as crashes on console and hard restarts, including framerate drop on very high end PCs, are.

Yes, we all understand that you have different teams working on different aspects of the game and that hotfixes are just as simple as readjusting the values, as opposed to going into the game’s code, rewriting it from the ground up at times, and then send it out in a patch. But weekly hotfixes that do nothing but frustrate an already frustrated player base give a lot of the few players that are left the feeling that you either don’t know about these performance issues or simply don’t care.

So, Gearbox, if you want to help with the longevity of the game and the game’s community, give us more end-game content, stop treating story bosses as if they’re supposed to be end-game content, stop thinking that farming things to be able to farm for things faster is enough to keep people playing for another several months for a DLC that will not have any more end-game content in it, try to get more in touch with your own player base, and give us at least some semblance that you’re working on making this game run like it’s a AAA title.

Thank you, a former loyal BL3 player.

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They were able to give us a better story, a new raid boss, and a new rarity in the Commander Lilith DLC, yet Borderlands 3 was unable to deliver any of that.

Let that sink in.

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And a level cap increase, on top of 2 more OP levels.

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Good point also.

Yeah, overall it’s a sad story, Borderlands 3 is my biggest disappointment of 2019 by a mile. I can’t remember the last time I witnessed a competent team drop the ball so bad, it is literally their Fallout 76 in my eyes.

At this point I think we all need to be honest with ourselves and admit that Borderlands 3 was an afterthought, a victim of strained resources when you consider the newly announced Godfall, coming to PS5, is also in development. I know Gearbox are only the publishers but it’s one of the first announced releases on Sony’s new console, something is definitely up.

Plus, Epic landing at their door with a wad of cash might have rushed Borderlands 3 out the door too soon, who knows.

Something definitely went wrong, this is not the same effort or passion shown for Borderlands 2, this is something another developer would make as their idea of Borderlands, a face level imitation.

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I think you’re misremembering the timeline of releases, to a degree.

BL2 was out for quite awhile before we really got big updates. Yeah, we got Gaige about a month in, and we got Captain Scarlett… the rest had a bit (or a lot) more time.

So far, we’ve gotten the Halloween Event and the Maliwan Takedown for free (so, yeah, some problems with them, but at no cost). We got the Jackpot DLC, which was overall quite good and on par with Scarlett in terms of content (that one fools us into thinking there’s more by putting stuff further apart).

We are remembering BL2 in its final form - with most people putting a lot of weight on Tiny Tina’s DLC, which was like 9 months after release, and obviously the best.

While the seemingly rushed development has led to a lot of quality control problems (a legitimate complaint) the answer is not MORE rushed releases. Take a break and come back when there’s more stuff.

TV shows do this. There’s a season, then a break. If not, the next season couldn’t be of very good quality. Look at soap opera-style shows - they keep pumping out episodes, and they get stupid and rushed and bad, because there’s no breathing room to create. Don’t do that to games.

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I come to the Borderlands games from a different perspective. I’m a “first person shooter” primarily. I love campaign play. Nerfing things doesn’t bother me at all. I like managing with what I find. I much prefer mobbing to raid bosses. As for the story, I quote the old adage “a story in a FPS is as important as a plot in a p*rn movie”. The script has made me laugh on more than one occasion, which is good enough for me.

What BL3 did give me were new gun types to play with, a new set of characters, a new style of skill trees, much better movement (particularly mantling), new enemies and a huge campaign. I have never hit the performance problems others have had. For me the game has been as stable as BL2. What glitches and bugs I have found have been well within tolerance limits for a game of this complexity.

And yet, I am no happier than you. The race to end game has left campaign players with nowhere to go. After a Normal playthrough, you’re only a handful of levels away from the cap. Do the CoSs, as I would as part of a playthrough in the previous games, and you’re virtually there. Unlike all the other games, there is no progress to be made after a single playthrough! I’ve actually done the endgame activities because there was nothing else to do. Since I have no interest in collecting gear for its own sake, that content is finished. Currently, I’m taking different characters, concentrating on different main skills, through Normal but this is already getting old.

It’s not the nerfing that will affect the longevity of the game. I believe it’s GBX’s indecision to either concentrate on endgame (like Destiny 2, say) or concentrate on its’ traditional structure of multiple campaign playthroughs, with constant progression. At the moment it’s not satisfying endgame players, like yourself, or campaign players like me. I can see players from both sides giving up. As someone who has over 8000 hours in the franchise, I find that sad.

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Slow content release is probably due to keeping development in-house. Most of BL2’s DLC was outsourced…which makes me wonder why they didn’t consider doing the same for BL3. It’s obvious their resources are strained, which makes meaningful fixes and content releases slow.

It’s very weird to have regular hotfixes and still come off as unresponsive, but I think a lot of these hotfixes are ALSO rushed, to give the appearance of listening. So you get a lot of “easy” fixes (which because they’re rushed, end up breaking other things) while major problems just don’t get the attention and time they need. I don’t know what they can do to change, if the root cause is a severe lack of manpower.

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In regard to “slow content”, I posted a new topic on it, so as not to derail your main points about weapon balancing.

Link:

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Look at the game for what it is and what it has to offer. It’s nothing short of amazing. It’s proprietary, it has more content than any loot-shooter in history. Character and build possibilities are endless. The real problem is, society wants hand outs. They don’t want to work hard at getting what they want. And, do you know what the problem with handouts are? No longevity and loyalty.

You’ll learn in life, I hope, that hard work, commitment, and support, leads to success and happiness. This is exactly what Gearbox is doing for us. If people don’t want to do the same, they have other games they can play.

If there was a serious lack of end-game content, I wouldn’t have 700 hours invested in playing this game.

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Gaige was a preorder bonus

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Ok, but released later. I’m including free stuff if it is content as well as paid items.

Content is content, whether they charge you or not.

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I just started my game and started my farming runs. I play a MIRV hex moze build and was running 2 ion cannons, one corrosive and one normal.
Then I realized I was running out of rockets at a stupid rate.
I play on mayhem 4 and they nerfed my primary builds weapons to consume SEVEN ROCKETS PER SHOT?
HELOO? HELLLOOOOOO??? HEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO???

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I realize that. BL3 is way behind which is why they should be spending their time in content creation and bug hunting instead of nerfing Vault Hunters & weapons IMHO. The lack of a cutscene skip, no vending machines or fast-travel points on some maps and the “Talk to ___” in order to advance the story is also clumsy. The Haunt event, with the intrusive ghost mechanic was another swing and a miss. I could go on all day. I’m a Borderlands fan from the beginning and I cringe now whenever I bootup BL3 because of the possibility of GB nerfing (both stealth & known) of the character I’m currently playing.

If you dont like to grind or you cant evolve with rebalancing of the games weapons you should play a different game. Maybe you should play destiny instead? This game is built for dedicated players. Not johhny come lately’s.

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Your points are valid, but address something other than the point I was making.

If I get you correctly (not trying to strawman here), you’re saying “they’re working on the wrong stuff” as well as “(some of) the content they made wasn’t good”.

That is different from saying that they’re not dropping content. That’s my point.

“I don’t like what they’re doing” =/= " they aren’t doing enough."

–But as I said, I’m not trying to hijack this thread. I don’t want to keep replying here to something somewhat off topic (my point, not yours about nerfing, which are on topic).

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Are you implying that all of those who are dissatisfied with the end game are just those who have gotten hand-outs and/or are impatient with their video games? I have a lot more than 700 clocked in the game, have all characters at level cap, including their tvhm playthroughs, 2 seperate fl4ks at level cap, and have every legendary (useful ones anyway) in the game. I have farmed for all the loot the game has to offer, my guardian rank is over 400 (anything after 300 is just useless anyway). So don’t go around saying that all of those people who have stopped because the end-game is non-existent in this game are just entitled ■■■■■■■■ who want handouts, because it’s not true.

If you’re happy farming gw over and over and over again just so you can get gear to farm gw over and over and over again even faster, fine. But don’t say to people that say that’s no excuse for an end-game that “you just don’t know anything about loyalty or support and just want hand-outs”, because that’s exactly of the kind of circle jerk attitude for this game and the developers that gives the devs the impression that all is well with the game, when people STILL, five months after launch, cannot connect with people online without hard crashes on console and severe menu lag, which simply should not exist in a AAA title.

Demanding good quality and just a borderline playable game is NOT asking for handouts, and releasing a game that’s in the state that BL3 is in right now, is a good way to kill what loyal fan base you have left. People like you, those who say “if it’s such a bad game, why am I still playing it, therefore you just want handouts and don’t know anything about loyalty and are just a lazy, impatient ■■■■■” are toxic to this fanbase.

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I farmed for four days trying to get the right ion cannon, farmed for a week to get the right Maggie, probably just as long to get the right Transformer and quasar and Brainstormer. Again, this “you just don’t like the grind” strawman argument is just stupid. The point is, I have ground for all the gear I need, that’s why I’m able to breeze through all of the end-game content, if you can consider Slaughter shaft with garbage drops and a takedown with even worse drops end-game content, on the hardest difficulty on what is now the 3rd weakest character in Fl4k.

Also, saying “you just can’t handle you’re things being nerfed”. I have gotten hit and have gotten my build destroyed back down to the ground with every hotfix that implemented a nerf so far, and I have stuck with it. I said that in the post. My point is that those of us who have stuck with this game, despite these hotfixes being things that should have been done pre-launch in the beta-testing phase as well as the bug fixes, have no end-game content to play.

Don’t straw man everyone who is not satisfied with end-game after five months not dedicated enough or “johny come lately’s”. I have played consistently since launch and have ground for every single piece of gear I have. But after that… what then?

That was my whole point.

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I wish I had gotten to play the release pre-nerf god-like Fl4k. I started on Zane because I was a BL2 Maya main and wanted to try something different. I switched to Moze when I realized Zane was a glass cannon. Had a blast with her until she was nerfed so I started an Amara. It’s as if GB is anti fun.

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I disagree, I believe that the weapon balancing is going to be essential for longevity. The reason I stopped playing BL2 was because on OP6-10, there was only 1 build per character that could survive consistently. I ended up using the same weapons. I ended up farming the exact same weapons over and over just with higher OP levels and it got boring. The options dropped off at those difficulties. I was a Gaige: Anarchy/Norfleet player. Deathtrap couldn’t survive more than 1 or 2 hits on OP6 - 10, and let’s not get started on the damage he dealt. I believe that balancing the weapons and skills will help keep all possible builds viable for each character. Especially as more difficult gameplay modes are introduced. Also, I enjoyed the Bloody Harvest even. True it was intrusive, but it was temporary and embracing the event introduced even more playstyles for the Vault Hunters.

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The problem is, now with mayhem 4, GiTM fade away is NOT viable for end-game. Most viable builds for him that use fade away use the normal 3-shot and something like a lump launcher. That wouldn’t have happened if they had never nerfed GiTM in the first place. The same thing with Moze. Now that they nerfed the ION Cannon, she is the weakest character out of the four and, surprise surprise, Zane is now on the same level as Amara with the new buffs.

And there was only one viable build per character, like the grog/dpuh for Sal or the Bee/Sandhawk (which I didn’t use on OP10 just fine) for Maya, mainly because you only had one action skill to revolve around for each character, which is the main reason why Moze is starting to fall behind since all she has to use is Iron Bear.

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