Fight for Sanctuary - thoughts after it's been around for a while

I thought it could be interesting to hear what everyone thinks of FFS and the changes it brought to the game.

The good, the bad and the ugly. How did you like the DLC? Did you like the level cap raise? How about the new OP level raise? Are you happy with the gear? Did it affect your character in any surprising way? Stuff like that.

I’ll post something later about the other stuff but I’ll start with the DLC itself. I quite liked how it gave a closure to BL2 story. The humor was good, the villain was good, seeing a couple of Tales characters in there was rather refreshing. Vaughn was a bit overacted but I guess it fits his character.

While not confusing to me I’d imagine some people might be wondering what the heck is going on as both TPS epilogue and prologue as well as Tales have happened before this DLC while BL2 for other parts is set to happen before those things. Not a complaing but something I was musing about.

The story itself was good. I do find the post Cassius stuff quite stupid tho. Having that oddly specific ECHO telling you what to do when a halfdead Cassius could’ve talked you through it. Why did Cassius not just take a sample of his own blood when he knew he was infected and the equipment to make it is right there in the same room as him?

The enemies in the DLC are IMO overly strong. Most shields in BL2 are mostly for show but the new Pandora troops shields take way too much punishment before dropping. The melee enemies seem to hit harder than any other melee enemies in the game while also having huge hitboxes preventing you from sidestepping or jumping over them to avoid them if they get too close. The Saplings and New Pandora snipers slagging you is annoying AF and New Pandora loves elemental weapons a bit too much. In short, I’m not a fan of the enemy design in this DLC. New Pandora are also often encountered in either closed / narrow spaces or environments with a lot of vertical changes making it very hard to really approach them with any other way than keeping your distance and slowly whitling them down one by one, super tanky shields don’t make this funnier.

The boss designs were a little lacking IMO. Uranus was good. Cassius is quite boring and overly simple. Hector is just a ■■■■■ with a ton of adds and having to keep staring at the sky to prevent more from spawning doesn’t work too well because they are so high that you need to ignore everything else around you to focus on them. It would’ve worked a lot better if the walls weren’t covered in those enemy vines that I think were used quite enough by that point. Hectors cage being so wide that it prevents you from hitting him with melee is a huge oversight IMO considering there are 2 characters out of the 6 who have full skilltrees built for meleeing things. I’ll admit I don’t know if this is a problem for Krieg and he can still throw axes even if it was but Zero can’t use execute on him. It doesn’t reach him and it’s very dumb.

Haderax is… well, way better than Gee or Voracidous as a design. The earlier raids have seemed like an attempt to always make them harder and harder in each DLC to push for them being proper raid bosses but in Haderax case it seems like that design was given up on as it seems like he’s been balanced for solo players. I definitely would not have wanted another Voracidous so I consider this a good thing but they did make Haderax overly easy with how much his mouth crit takes damage.

While I was going to go over other stuff later, since I mentioned Voracidous who the hells idea was it to double his health? If anything it (and all other Stalkers in BL2) would need their crit spots to be made bigger. Nobody asked for this and I’m quite sure no one enjoys the change. Feel free to correct me if you do like it.

The music in this DLC is great and I very much appreciate the areas having unique soundtracks instead of reusing themes from old maps. That never sat very well with me and I’m glad it was not the case here.

And last but absolutely not least:

PATCH NOTES

I never saw any patch notes released for this DLC and the changes that were made with its release. I tried googling them again just now and came up empty. Why is are there no patch notes? Please inform me if they are up somewhere.

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My opinions;
I like it overall. The maps and new additions like the gas damage/buff are creative and require some new thinking.
And yes, those danged snipers. Surprised the heck out of me when I got blasted to 1/4 health then dotted to death the first few times, they are priority #1 now.
Dialog and story - First off, somewhat too much dialog for me. NPCs are chatty as heck, somewhat intrusive. The cut scenes (since they’re still not skippable) are way too long. The intro cut scene actually discourages me from starting the DLC again since it’s so long, and I can’t get up and get another cup of coffee during it or I’ll be dead when it is over.
Bosses;
Uranus I’ll disagree on. It’s too easy. Kinda like taking Saturn and making him immobile with a great hdign place where you can do damage without picking up damage yourself. Even at (new) OP6 you just stand behind the crates and empty a bunch of mags into him somewhat mindlessly and you get big rewards.
Cassius- again, no particular strategy here, for me just phase lock, blast, run around escaping him for a bit, then phase lock again. No particular mechanic or technique to use.
Hector I don’t really mind, he’s OK. I like his phases, and having to risk your hiding spot to get the vines retracted again is OK by me. Also for a Siren there are plenty of minions of various types around that you can phase lock for health and getting fire rate up on Hector. While he can be challenging I don’t have too much trouble finishing him off.
Haderax - Haven’t killed him yet. At the same time, I haven’t died fighting him either. I usually just run out of ammo as his health regens and I quit out in frustration. I need to farm the right fire CC to take him out and haven’t taken the time to do that yet.
New weapons. They are either OK (like the Infection Cleaner which is basically a re-skinned Avenger), not great like (to me) the World Burn, or awesome like the Electric Chair.
Music - Generally great. I will admit I do not particularly care for the Haderax music, it’s a little too rock 'nd roll for me, I like the other tracks more.
Ambiance - Feels more BL1 to me, and I like that.

Overall it’s a great addition to the game.
–RoA

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Overall I enjoy it and welcome it to the BL2 world. :smiley:

The new level cap: the good is, more skill points to flesh out builds more. The bad is, the need to refarm/regear everything once you’ve reached the new cap.

I’m also glad of an original score for the DLC. It always bugged me when I heard recycled tracks in other DLC.

The New Pandora guys make the Burner Elemental Aimbots that hang out in the Beatdown look like Star Wars stormtroopers (as in, couldn’t hit a barn from 2 feet away.) Nothing like getting completely perforated by some Marksman’s Moloko from across the map and then the DoT finishes you off, heh. And the Surgeons are perhaps just a hair bit too tanky in the shield department, though I’m kinda used to it now.

The new gear is a mixed bag. Peak Opener, Amigo, Thumpson are all top-tier IMO. The two new 'nades are really good too, especially the E-chair. The only problem with them is that they render the KerBlaster, Trespasser, Hammer Buster, Storm Front, and Fire Bee more or less obsolete. The Toothpick is a nice AR too.

The other guns are kinda meh. Nirvana is literally just a Hellfire with a shiny new skin (I really hope someone discovers some secret mechanic of this gun…) Infection Cleaner is ok if you desire a fire-locked Avenger, but both those guns are a little lazy (or very lazy in the case of the Nirvana.) The World Burn is a bit more interesting but at least it doesn’t quite render the Nukem obsolete since it’s fire-locked and thus slightly more situational.

The new shields are wack. They’re listed as roid and nova shields, but they don’t roid or nova. Their only real use appears to be is that they’re worn while you’re in their target maps.

One curious thing I noticed is that unlike all the other big-DLCs, there is no Seraph shop (and I guess consequently, Haderax doesn’t drop crystals). But I can see why it would have been omitted in this one. Having some new Seraph items would make things a little crowded-feeling, given that the Shiny New Gear focus is intended to be the Effervescent rarity and there are also a handful of new legendaries to boot.

Speaking of Hade, I think he’s a fun boss. Frustrating at first because of that heal mechanic, but once you’ve cracked that nut it’s fine.

I love the massive lootsplosions of Hade, Uranus, and Cassius. Reminds me of the BL1 Crawmerax lootsplosions with multiple legendaries and a pearl having a chance of dropping.

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As far as dlc goes it’s quite enjoyable. The story was decent, I liked Hector from what little I saw of him. I really liked Vaughn this time around, he seems to have a lot more personality than he did in tales.
The new enemies also spruced things up a lot. Human enemies have always just been a distraction but the New Pandorans are a significant threat by themselves, the infected were very disappointing though.
Anyways, for all the good I’ll never forgive the level cap increase. I simply can’t perceive it as anything more than a slap in the face any way I look at it. The extra skill points have made things too easy for some of my characters, and others it didn’t change much.
I also despise the new item sets, even though they may contain good items. Synergy shouldn’t be “this + this on this specific map = great.” This just seems extremely lazy to me and I hope this isn’t how loot will be handled in bl3. Synergy is just something that should happen naturally when you throw hundreds of items with completely unique properties in the same game.
At the end of the day, there’s a lot to like here and a lot to hate here, but I’m going to put “hate” as my final answer because they took all my loot away.

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Definitely agree with everything so far :

  • no patch notes is annoying AF
  • human enemies are annoying AF
  • the baffling reskinned gear is annoying AF
  • the cut scene animations are completely bizarre - Tina’s and Mordecai’s are downright creepy
  • NPCs’ dialogue is weak but not TPS bad, so mediocre I suppose
  • the new gear is great, but not too chuffed about the parts locked on some of them and agree the “sets” are slightly frustrating
  • bosses are great, even Hector (despite the no-Execute bs)
  • the story and maps are great - lots of exploring to do
  • the gas mechanic is interesting and seems to fit
  • music :+1:
  • extremely generous loot drops :+1:

I never played Tales - so I miss out on some of the story points - no big deal though. I’m in the habit of turning game dialogue way down, so I confess I’m not really even paying attention.

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I would have liked this bit a lot more if it actually changed how I had to play, but they give us immunity to the negative effects 20 minutes into the dlc. New damage exploits though!

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In my mind it was the exact opposite. Nexus and Peak Saturns can be engaged from such a long distance with an on demand wall to put between me and it/them and nothing else is there to smoke me out of my hiding place. I thought being locked in a small room with him was way more engaging and especially with some adds here and there it wasn’t so mindless. Uranus having crit spots also makes the fight feel a lot better for me.

I’ve never enjoyed this kind of design either.

Absolutely agree. I think the Peak relic is a nice thing if it was a stand alone but that is pretty much the only gearslot in the game where I could see something like this being desirable design for me. If stuff like this exists then there would need to be way more sets for different playstyles IMO and in that case I’d rather just have none so I can choose my style myself instead of some predetermined set (like it’s been all along).

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This is my life right here. ■■■■! I can’t pause…is there enough time to go get another cup of coffee? come back to FFYL…ah crap! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes::joy:

I mostly agree with what’s being said. Don’t have much to add. These are what burns my hide at the moment, however:

  • no patch notes
  • reskinned gear
    :unamused:

edit: Something occurred to me just now…
Has GBX ever released a DLC and/or Patch without providing what’s being changed in the notes? If not, this may be on purpose. :thinking:

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For ■■■■ Sake is my second favourite DLC. If TTAoDK isn’t your favourite, you need to get in the bin.

I love most things about it. The new enemies are actually hard. Surgeons have more shield than Voracidous and seeing two of them healing each other is hilarious. Marksmen are actually dangerous unlike previous sniper enemies. At level 72 one of them broke my level 80 Blockade and a DoT killed me. Ridiculous, but that’s what a sniper should be doing. Infected are hella strong, they have stupid health that makes up for their Sluggishness. Infected Skags are pretty weak though. A new LLM farm and Loot Nests are awesome. Uranus has less health than Saturn and two crits but an enclosed fight with adds feels urgent, and I like it. Cassius kinda sucks, and I agree that his pre-recorded instructions are silly, but eh. Hector felt like a raid boss, it was chaotic and fun, a proper final story boss. Glares at The Warrior. Did you know that you can B0re and Bloodsplode him? Shame he’s not replayable, that really sucks. Then there’s Hade. Easy if you have a CC or the silly “Hygiene set” which should be renamed to the “Dental set” because duh. Anyway without cheesing him and without a CC, he’s actually really tough. A proper, hard, fun fight. But, those things exist, so rip Hade.

Uranus and Hade dropping almost everything and in large quantities is great, more loot means more incentive. The Shocket Launcher is my favourite gun right now. The Amigo Sincero is what a Jakobs sniper should’ve been for the last seven years. The reskins could have at least been of better guns and not fire locked. I’m glad the Fire Drill was cut, we don’t need another Infinity and one that’s easy to obtain, get in the bin…

I was skeptical about extra points but I was wrong. Brick voice They are AWESOME! OP10 is a good new challenging level. I grew accustomed to OP8, it stopped feeling hard years ago. Yeah we had to obtain new gear but so what? Most of us had been using the same gear for like 5-6 years, nothing wrong with a little looting to go with our shooting. The Hyperius health buff pleases me, he’s almost hard now. Vora can get in the bin.

The gas thingy is a fun new mechanic. I guess it’s something we’ll be seeing in BL3, buffs and debuffs in certain areas. We know BL3 will have dynamic environments after all.

Overall I love it. It’s not perfect, but the DLC alone is better than TPS. The dialogue didn’t amuse me as much as in the main game, and no new arena or DigiPeak areas and enemies is disappointing. Missed opportunity to add Uranus to the two Saturns or add some Infected and New Pandora soldiers to the OP9/10 runs, but eh. How cool would have Infected Slaughter have been!? Maybe.

9 Likes

What I like:

  • it is FREE
  • More weapon choices in the OP levels (since new guns are OP as others said)
  • Recompense is now is being recognized. (i love that skill from the start).
  • Boosted Characters to 30
  • Better enemy AI.
  • Haderax is awesome, but one day into the DLC, many already broke it and its mechanics.
  • Legendary and pearl drop rate is awesome.
  • Level 80 and plus 8 skill points
  • Good Tribute to Scooter
  • Dr. Zed and Tannis love story (lol)
  • Brick and Mordy’s friendship
  • Good to see some areas inside Sanctuary
  • secrets of the Mysterious Amulet finally revealed.

What I hate

  • OP10 damage reduction maybe too much?!
  • out of all raid boss GBX buff Voracidous!!? come on. is he not hard enough??
  • is it goodbye to loot hunt?
  • Haderax eridium fee. Do we need 500 eridium just to kill this guy?
  • It is possible that there will be no patch to be made on this game considering lots of bugs like the Lt. Hoffman’s Droogs, Retainer and Easy Mode etc. etc.
  • Helios Fallen New Pandoran Enemy snipers. sheessh. (A CHALLENGE to get to the elevator without getting hit seems impossible. lol)
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Gameplay

  • I’m mixed on the new level cap. Obviously those 8 extra skillpoints are great but I feel build diversity/variety has been hampered as its easy to just grab all the good skills and players don’t really have to make as much of choice as prior

  • The new Pandoran enemies are ridiculously potent and their fat shields make them way tougher than regular enemies. If this was the whole game it’d be dumb but for one DLC I welcome the challenge. Reminds me of the difficulty step-up the Lance brought in BL1, especially the Knoxx DLC.

  • That said I’d still appreciate if they chilled on the DoT snipers abit.

  • I do think that some of the enemies are a bit too bullet-spongy. Melee Krieg shouldn’t take 12 melees strikes to kill a sapling (4 with slag).

  • Uranus is definitely tougher and more interesting than Saturn…those UBA Loader projectiles can be borderline unfair but its an entertaining bossfight.

  • Cassius is boring but fair. He’s not really mechanics driven but I appreciete he’s designed in a way no class is disadvantaged against him (has subs for killskills, crits, doesn’t resist grenade damage, can be phaselocked, takes DoT)

  • ■■■■ Hector.

Plot/characters

  • More characterization for the BL1 VHs is always nice. It looked like Lilith was going to be a villain at the end of TPS, so its good to bring her back to a sympathetic/admirable position. I liked seeing her develop into a leader over the course of the DLC.

  • Level 116 chad Brick was amazing. He’s also actually way stronger than melee Krieg which is really funny. In my OP10 melee Krieg run in the DLC in the Burrows, my Krieg scored all of 1 kill in the segment you play alongside Brick :rofl:

  • Mord a jobber

  • Dialogue was generally funny, if not as clever as typical BL2/Knoxx standards.

  • Missed opportunity for unique character dialogue for the 6 playable VHs, given the series seemed to be moving in that direction with the HHs and TPS. Would have been cool to hear Axton sympathize with Hector about Dahl being an ■■■■■■■, Gaige laugh about Uranus alongside Tina or Krieg talk about finally eating his greens.

Gear

  • Rainbow skins are hella lazy. That the new legendaries don’t even bother with a new skin altogether is even lamer.

  • Peak Opener and Sincero are top-tier. The Thumpson, Hot Mama and World Burn are also really really good. I don’t think any of the Effervescents are bad, but…

  • Infection Cleaner and Nirvana being shiny reskins and nothing more is just…dumb. The Unicornsplosion shoots unicorns at least but it definitely also should have done something else.

  • Not really a fan of the really specific “map synergies”, the gear synergy was something that had alot of potential otherwise.

  • Interestingly, while the Electric Chair is way stronger than the SF I still prefer the SF just because it comes in Longbow.

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I’m neutral to positive on the way the new level cap affects our vault hunters. I guess build diversity takes a hit but for now I’m having too much fun with stuff like Axton with Double Up, Gemini, and Die or Do; or Gaige with Sharing is Caring, Make It Sparkle, and OC down to Rational Anarchist. Etc.

OP10 is fun to play at, and with the additional skill points and the practice of playing at OP8 it does not feel unfair.

My biggest complaint is that from the perspective of leveling a new character, it’s just so much grinding to level from 50 to 80, and then to run the peak from OP0 to OP10. Skipping normal mode is nice, I guess, but the section that feels time-consuming isn’t normal mode. You can do normal mode in a day. For me it’s that stretch of leveling between, say, 65 and 80 that tries my patience.

The peak is okay, but it’s always been a little weird how the gear you use in the peak is rarely the gear that is best for farming outside the peak. You’ll often use corrosive which is suitable for very few farms. The peak opener is a nice option, and I took a character to OP4 using mainly an OP0 one, but at that point I couldn’t reacquire it. I guess you could leave open the moon-shot farm for a fire conference call, kill Haderax again, and route it that way.

My other issue is the buff to Hyperius and Voracidous’s heath. It just seems out of nowhere, I half wonder whether it was unintentional. And it’s especially annoying because these are the only two raid bosses that don’t resist grenade damage on their health bars. Somebody must really hate Axton-chucking kills, I guess

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Agreed, they were moving in a more chatty direction and suddenly they’re back to being Gordon Freeman. :smiley:

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TTOADK wouldn’t be so low on my personal list if it werent for the DLC basically killing elemental builds. I’ve only finished it once or twice, both resorting to Torgue weapons because LBT, or Hellborn had less effect.

OT:
Story wise, I liked it. I never played the Tales game, but I was brought up to speed thanks to YT anyway. For once the game could actually kind of terrify me, and its not a bad thing.

Enemy design is all over the place, and the New Pandoran Army is downright ■■■■■■■■ at times due to their shields. Uranus is a fun fight though, and I am not just saying that because his lootpool is silly. I wish Saturn could retroactively receive some of the changes that makes his rusty brother actually fun.

Gear wise, I’m not too much of a fan. I really like the grenades, but the new weapons are borderline ignored as they are reskins of already existing gear. I might’ve gotten the Hot Mama if it wasn’t locked into specific parts however.

I might be in the minority here, but I really am not fond of having yet another increase in level cap. I really dont want to have to farm my gear over and over again when it already took so long to get them in the first place. It’s that I never got it on the PS4, and went through it with relatively fresh characters in the PC version, might’ve knocked it down one more peg.

After the Head Hunter packs, I hoped the Vault Hunters would atleast commentate on events. It’s a huge missed oppertunity, especially because TPS did make use of this as well.

All in all, it sits below Pirates Booty, and Campaign of Carnage, but in my book it atleast fairs alot better than Hammerlocks Hunt, and Dragon Keep. I just wish that it actually had new gear that would be exciting to me.

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1 Like

Now now @Slif_One, play nice. (Not that I have any kind of authority, I’m just a hippy at heart and I like to see people getting on as well as possible) These are opinions after all. I totally agree with @MidnightNova’s criticism about the DLC not playing nice with elemental builds. My Hellborn Krieg struggled and only survived because I also built into Bloodlust and used Torgue gear. But I’m pretty forgiving because I don’t have a main, so there is no part of the game that really burns my biscuits to the point of inedibility.

I think @Jefe hit all of my thoughts pretty well when he answered upthread, except that I kind of thought Mordecai hipfiring his rifle was kind of cool and pretty gangsta. I think my favorite part of the new DLC is that no character really seems to be at a disadvantage at any point. It’s properly proportioned between challenging and entertaining, which I value as a self confessed mediocre player, and there are also a decent amount of sides to complete. I’d be hard pressed to name a favorite DLC, but other than the inconvenience attached to the level cap increase I’ve got no real complaints.

4 Likes

Four additional comments after reading others.

  • I may be missing something, but what about the Uranus fight is challenging? You run in the room, turn left, get behind the crates, and shoot it through the gap until it dies. Watch for the rare red dot coming towards you, if one does phase lock (in my case) it, kill it, and go back to spamming Uranus until it dies. There’s no challenge to it.
  • How can you consider TTAoDK the best when the Wattle Gobbler exists? I am probably joking there, but am still serious abut Uranus.
  • Level cap change. Since I was not OP8 on any character it doesn’t particularly affect me. I’ll probably cap at (new) OP7, so getting to a theoretical OP10 is not achievable to my personal skill level, so doesn’t bother me. I do agree that the task of getting to lvl 80 from a UVHM story mode end of, say, lvl 61 does appear to be a sheer grind, haven’t then a new character there yet.
  • For hoarders like me, the additional 8 levels meant spinning up 4 more backpack characters to carry all the new gear I want to save. Not a problem, just interesting.
    –RoA
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Two comments on that:

  • I’ve found substantially more of the reskinned Avenger in a much shorter time, so that is a personal :+1: I suspect the tweaks to drop rates in the DLC are going to benefit the average player much more than the hardcore fan.
  • The Hornet becoming a shock pistol was also a :+1: for me, especially given all those tanky shields. Haven’t played with it too much outside of my first run through the DLC, but still - I need to try that out on my Gaige when I get a higher level one.

So while completely new gear would undoubtedly have been nicer, there’s still some bright spots to be had.