With the advent of Mayhem 2.0, many of us are fed up with the current state of the game. Anything besides weapon damage is irrelevant, most Action Skills are only used for triggering anointments (which tend to overshadow the character’s actual build or gear) or for support effects, gear viability has plummeted, and Mayhem modifiers intrude like a unwelcome neighbor on our experiences.
So what are we trying? Whether it is making a copy of your character or making a new one, consider giving this a try sometime if the current endgame has you feeling down; head back down to Mayhem-less TVHM and work from there. Take off all the excess bells, whistles, and fluff and enjoy BL3 boiled down to what makes it fun in the first place - fluid, engaging shooting and worthwhile looting. A “Simple n’ Sweet” (SnS) meta if you will, with fun as the focus.
Pros of “Simple n’ Sweet”
- The balance is controllable by you.
- Viability of gear and builds goes through the roof. You can make damn near anything work.
- Less farming. You no longer have to farm for hours and hours on end to get a suitable piece of gear.
- No longer required to suckle on the Anointed teat for damage; your build and gear is center stage.
- Less Mayhem modifiers to deal with.
- Semi-resistant to updates and future changes.
Cons of “Simple n’ Sweet”
- It isn’t the “true” endgame with “true” highest level gear. Not necessarily a bad thing since said endgame is what we’re bitching about lately.
- With 12,500% less bullet sponge by playing at just level cap (57 currently) instead of level cap with Mayhem Mode active, we’re free from having to use the absolute extremes of weaponry to find success. If a piece of gear is over-performing or under-performing at level 57, that can be fixed. If it over-performs, try getting a lower level version or a version with less optimal parts. If it under-performs, take a temporary trip to a higher Mayhem level and farm a version that leaves you happy with the damage and then return to level 57. And if you find yourself not being challenged enough, you could disable some Guardian perks or take a dive into the first few levels of Mayhem mode to increase the difficulty without entirely becoming bogged down by modifiers.
- If you want to punch things with fists again or with Iron Bear, maul things with pets, blow things up with Phasecast, or even use the Superball as your primary weapon, almost anything can be made viable at the level cap. By sticking to level cap and avoiding enemy health boosts, so many aspects of BL3 that get invalidated by Mayhem Mode and power creep are usable again. If you’ve got a favorite piece of gear with fun effects that just didn’t cut it in the higher rungs of the Mayhem ladder, give it a spin again. And if you get bored of the current loadout you’re rocking, it is far easier to find something else interesting and functional here than it is in Mayhem Mode.
- Without so much health that has to be chewed through, we can free ourselves from having to rely on anointments. Anointments in BL3 for Mayhem Mode can almost be seen as the equivalent of BL2’s Slag in Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode; you’re not likely to have a great time without using said mechanic in the highest level of endgame. Anointments end up mattering more than the actual build or piece of gear it is on in some cases. Outside of Mayhem Mode though, your gear isn’t made or broken by the presence or lack of anointed text at the bottom of the gun. You don’t have to use the meta anointments to stay afloat, instead being free to try the less damage-focused anointments or not even using them at all.
- How many hours do you have to sink farming a perfect piece of gear compared to the time you actually get to use said piece of gear? By lowering down the requirements needed to perform, you can cut away dozens of hours of farming.
Less obstructive gameplay elements
- By avoiding the higher levels of Mayhem Mode, relying less on anointments, and not needing to farm so much, the flow of gameplay is improved and we aren’t shoehorned into certain playstyles. Murder-benders don’t have to be interrupted by invincibility drones, sudden elemental immunity, or visual effects spam so much, and it doesn’t take an excess amount of time to kill cannon fodder. You aren’t forced to ignore switching to another weapon to maximize an elemental damage type advantage at the cost of your active anointment. You shoot, you loot, you repeat.
Adaptable to changes
- If BL3 ends up receiving something like Mayhem 3.0 or more level cap increases, it is easier to adapt to it at level cap than it is at Mayhem 10. You won’t have to spend days or weeks trying to re-assemble your loadout. It may only take a few hours to get dressed back up for the battlefield.
Assuming you’ve actually read all of that and haven’t just scrolled to the bottom, I’ve hopefully given some compelling reasons to give this a try. The only thing it would cost you is a bit of time if you have to raise a character up to level cap, and just a little bit of farming (comparatively) for the gear of your choice otherwise. If nothing else, this can serve as a distraction while we wait for Mayhem 2.0 to get optimized and fixed. And if you’ve given this a try, how does it compare to your higher-Mayhem experiences?