Future of Borderlands brainstorming

With the release of DLC 4 coming up, I would like to look back on the life of borderlands 3 and see what others think as a whole.
It seems the general consensus was that gameplay was good while narrative was lacking. The main campaign premise was not bad; 2 villains instead of one, and the theme wasn’t bad either. The streamer as a villain thing was an interesting concept, atleast in the beginning. However:
-Villains should have been more ruthless and less juvenile.

-More sidequests and areas were needed. We have two full games on Pandora, and in 3 we have (10?) planets. TEN PLANETS. I’ve said this before in other areas of the forum, but I expected WAY more content out of ten planets, especially after 7 years. More open areas too, I mean athenas was one zone. Why?

-Dialogue/pacing. The biggest kicker for me is the dialogue and pacing. Characters go from serious to cringe dialogue you HAVE to sit through, to run from point A to B to C in different parts of sanctuary to move the ship to the next planet and continue the campaign.
Take “The Outerworlds” for example. In that game, you go from planet to planet, open world planets filled with interesting characters and hidden areas and interesting side quests. Quests that span across planets and require you to go back and forth between them.
While I don’t think borderlands will ever be a choose your own dialogue game, I did expect more of an effort when it came to creative direction. This isn’t to say that I could do it better, this is just my opinion.
I’ve seen people say they liked Vaughn in Tales, and I did as well. In 3 he’s a throwaway character for a poor attempt at humor. Rhys was… Okay, but most interactions with those characters are just sitting through unskippable, no menu intractable instances. Same with Lillith, Tannis, Ellie, etc. Nobody likes to sit through this dialogue. (I think.)
Humor in borderlands 1 and 2 was gritty and dry. 3 went full on emotional rollercoaster. It was just so in your face juvenile jokes that fall flat after the first play through. Sometimes it wastes time too.
The “okay this is serious plot time” to “goofy character interaction to move plot” was pretty jarring.
Other than that, we have had a slew of issues regarding mayhem and annointments and gear, but that’s not what I play the game for. I play for content and because it’s fun and interesting.
When the story and characters are bad, it really kills my motive to play the game. I come back for DLC drops and the seasonal events. There’s just nothing else to do after you complete the content besides farm for godrolls to use godrolls to farm for more god rolls.
Takedowns are an interesting concept but I’d like a shorter dungeon. Circle of slaughter arenas with unique bosses and different areas would be a really cool thing to be added.
I always compare this to Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, not because they are similar games, but because of content.
AC Odyssey has more content and a bigger map and it’s not even a whole planet. We have (10?) planets in BL3 and way less to do. Dialogue in AC:O has branching paths. Dialogue in BL3 is cringey and unskippable. They could have resolved this issue by having cutscenes where we can see some real emotion from the characters, and then you can skip it if you’ve seen it.
Then there was the whole PC crowd pandering. While not as prevalent in this game as a title such as TLOU 2, it was still… Well, it’s hard to tell how much it influenced the story. The hammerlock relationship was fine, I enjoyed DLC 2. It was written well as it could be. The one part where I felt GBX really… disappointed me when it comes to pandering was at the very end when Lillith does her thing and it’s all the girls and it starts playing that fire-girl song. Like, it just feels so on the nose.
Another thing was how they wrote out the BL2 vault hunters (salvador, axton) and wrote a B team that you do some side quests for (honestly would have preferred doing missions for the B team the whole game than doing quests for lillith and tannis. Or, better yet, UTILIZE THE B TEAM IN THE CATASTROPHIC EVENT YOU ARE TRYING TO STOP IN THE MAIN CAMPAIGN)
Then the final ending bit when you’re storming up on the COV base and like, you’re a one man army essentially. I would just like to have seen more from already established characters and not shoe-in Ava.
This was bit of a ramble but I just want to know ideas others have that they think would add to future installments.

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People say the gameplay is great, and while I strongly agree the moment-to-moment shooting is fun- I don’t think it does anything more than that. Being the 4th game in the franchise, I think its fair to hold it to a higher standard. Adding movement options like double jumps, long jumps, glides, and dashes were a missed opportunity. Sliding is fun but it doesn’t really do much? Like the only time I find sliding useful is going from one place to another with a snowdrift. Enemies still use hitscan, and only 2(?) boss attacks require it to dodge.

The skill trees need to change. I remember in interviews they designed them so any vault hunter can use any weapon, but that was a mistake imo. For the most part, the best-in-slot for one is best-in-slot for anyone. It makes for a boring meta, and it takes out part of the special experience each class has. I think it’s because of that philosophy the capstones are boring, they try to apply generally instead of specializing in a certain area. Like don’t get me wrong megavore is fantastic, but how does it spice up fl4k’s gameplay? Capstones don’t feel like capstones, they feel like gamechangers. You go back to the old games, Many Must Fall, Release the Beast, One For Each of Ya, Wrath of the Goddess, Leadership. They felt exciting to build to, and highlighted what that class was great at. There are also just way too much bad skills that don’t synergize with each other at all. Can we give my poor boyo a green tree? :Y

Save-quit farming needs to go. Look, I appreciate all the QoL changes we got. Fast Travel, Ammo buying, auto pick-up, they’re all great. But this is where it counted the most I’d argue. I’m on PC so it doesn’t bother me much but I can just imagine the wait on consoles must be horrible. But even without that, we shouldn’t be sitting through loading screens to farm things. This is a really old idea that needs to change. I don’t mean to offend, but I’m genuinely curious how this change didn’t get into the game- but the dueling battle royale did.

This isn’t “PC crowd pandering”. If you think it is, then Gearbox is doing a horrible job at it. Most of the people of color introduced in this franchise end up dead or villains, the game has a 9 year old’s understanding of mental health, and dwarfism is framed as a joke.

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The biggest thing there that seemed out of place was how “in your face” it was with female power. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sexist or anything, but you’re telling me that THAT ending with THAT credits song would have been better than having all the B teamcharacters battle damaged and scarred, coming up like in BL2 ending to see Lillith fly off-
It just felt so intentional.

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For me, the game has had highs and lows as it has moved through its life cycle. At various points, this game has felt very good and rewarding to play and at others it was kind of a slog. That being said, these are the suggestions that I would personally like to see implemented in the future.

  1. DLC playable characters. The philosophy that they took with this game was kind of surprising to me. Some of the fan favorite playables in this series have been DLC characters. I find it kind of ironic that TPS had very little playable content and had so many playable characters. This game is the inverse with a lot of content, but no additional characters to play.

  2. No annoinments. I feel that their presence has skewed how we play the game and adds an additional layer of RNG while farming.

  3. One to two raid bosses at the end of the main story and at the end of each DLC. That was one of the exciting aspects of the DLC in BL2 for me was looking forward to what the new raids were going to be for end game content. At the time of this writing, I feel that the end game is kind of lacking and would have benefited from traditional raids that we saw in the previous entries of the franchise. I like the takedowns, but I wouldn’t say putting all of the eggs in the same basket has been a benefit here. A mix of traditional raids in a big arena and the takedowns could have made for an interesting end game imo and presently the lack of having at least a handful of raids at this point is hurting the end game for me.

  4. Limit how many level cap increases. I realize that farming is a core engagement of the series, but with how many level cap increases that have occurred, it kind of necessitates continuous farming. While I am all for farming, the end game shouldn’t be a continuous cycle of level cap increase and then farm. It can definitely wear one down. I feel that the current state of this game involves a lot of farming for not a lot of end game content to engage with. It kind of relies too heavily on resetting your playthrough and going through the main story and DLC again.

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One of the biggest issues with the characters is they don’t seem to understand basically how characterisation should work in stories. No one has any kind of arc.

Tales from the borderlands showed exceptional story writing, and a lot of that was because the characters grow/change… Rhys begins being obsessed with climbing the corporate ranks, and idolising Jack, but comes to realise what a terrible person Jack actually was and that he’s not willing to be that kind of person and hurt the people around him just to get what he wants. Vaughn starts off as a cowardly accountant, but gains confidence in himself and takes control, ending up leading/guiding the children of Helios. Fiona/Sasha are raised to look out for/care for only each other, but end up turning their back on Felix’s way of life. Even August kind of (?) shows some sort of growth.

Now, compare that to bl3… Rhys does nothing but cower from Maliwan and talk about frogurt. Might have been interesting if he was having some kind of inner turmoil about being the CEO of a massive weapons corporation, and worrying about still turning into Jack. Perhaps he could have been unwilling to make sacrifices because he worries it would be a step in the wrong direction, and that holds him back in his fight against them… could have had an arc about becoming more comfortable making hard decisions.

And Vaugh… I’m still massively peeved the children of Helios were disposed of, I think they would have been great lore wise (they had such a bizarre culture that was a mesh of corporate nonsense and Pandoran crazy), and a great area. Plus, seeing him as a leader would be interesting. If he actually had to fight the COV… heck, if they showed the children of Helios destroyed by the COV in the game and we had to deal with his sense of loss and failure as a leader… not only would it make his character more compelling, it would give you more of a reason to hate the antagonists.

Ava grows/leans absolutely zip. I get that she was an angry, reckless and impulsive teen, and that was okay… but what she really needed to do was learn. After Maya’s death, if she was actually forced to accept that her actions had some kind of consequence… that she needed to do better, and then worked on it, I think she would have been far more likeable. But she doesn’t change at all. Still blames everyone, still runs into danger, goes ahead and tells Lilith ‘Maya always said to run toward the fire’ when in fact Maya has said stuff like ‘you can’t just go running headfirst into danger’… and to add insult to injury, have Lilith repeat that nonsense fire line and grant sanctuary to her? To a reckless impulsive teen who has not learned to settle her temper and act with more thought and care? Who has demonstrated zero leadership skills? I just… I’m mad about it.

Maya has no arc, she just shows up, helps a bit and then dies. Could have just had her powers stripped like Lilith’s so she could have a chance for the players to get to know her better, and do something in the story. Then Lilith could hand sanctuary over to her, which seems far more fitting. Could have even have had Ava killed if they wanted a death scene, and then had Maya wrestle with her sense of failure as a mentor, and her fear of taking responsibility in case she lets others down. She could disappear for a bit, but come back when she realises you need her, and that she has to put her doubts aside and do the best she can. Lilith handing sanctuary over to her after that… it would work.

And the twins… they start and end the same. There was a hint of some character depth/growth part way through when Troy seemed like he was sensing a power shift… tired of being in Tyreen’s shadow, but no longer reliant on her, finally able to be the one on top… He could have betrayed her. He could have drained her completely while charging, and blamed it on the vault hunters… They could have done something interesting. Instead he just dies, Tyreen carries on without pause, and it’s just… boring.

Aurelia is the most 1-dimensional villain I have seen and I know a lot of pre-sequel players complaining about how she was treated.

Then of course so many characters from previous games do next to nothing. Brick/Tina/Mordecai aren’t really mixed up in the plot at all, which is very strange given bl2. There’s no sign of Salvador/Axton/Kreig/Gaige. Athena is absent despite the ending of the pre-sequel. I feel like they made their plot so convoluted and pointless they didn’t know how to fit them in.

I’ll grant that I do… kind of like Timothy in the first dlc, and he does kind of have an arc (reassurance that he’d not Jack, and finally escaping the place he’s been stuck in for 7 years). But that’s one dlc, and it doesn’t make up for the main game.

And I will never… get over how stupid flying into space and punching the moon is… it felt like a parody of itself, especially with the music playing like it was a meaningful moment. Nope. Just no. Also didn’t people live on Elpis? Are we going to pretend that’s not a thing?

To put it simply, when/if they write borderlands 4, they need to have a good long sit down and figure out where they want characters to start, and where they want them to end. Who needs to change. Who learns anything? Are the deaths impactful/emotional or just tossed in there as a cheap way to try and imitate older games? Are they actually going to work with the existing lore/story and do something with it (vault of the traveler/pre-sequel eridian war warning)? Do the new characters have a purpose or add anything or value?

As for smaller details, more sidequests, especially from major npcs, would be nice. Also, one of the things the pre-sequel got right was giving npcs unique dialogue depending on which character you’re playing, and I think that would be fantastic. Would also give some indication on how npcs feel about/treat the different vault hunters. And make quests easy to turn in… I got so mad when I finished a quest, Vaughn was standing right there, but I had to travel back to Roland’s rest to turn it in to him, and then I had to go back to Sanctuary and run the length of the ship to talk to Lilith, and then… well, you get the picture.

I… think that’s my rant done for now.

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Dear GBX, first I have to say that I reaaaally love the game. And all the hate I posted in this forum is just my frustration about certain things.
Back in the days my best friend picked me up and showed me the borderlands. After our first playthrough I was not catched but duruing the second playthrough were things got tougher… maaaan this was an expirience! By the time my friend left the borderlands and I bought Borderlands 2 and played it for hunderts and hundrets of hours. I cant really tell how many hours but I got 4 VHS on 61 on the XBox 360 and 5 on PS4 on OP10 what is already 28 playthroughs. I played TPS with Handsome Jack to level 50 but never felt into playing more TPS since I dont really liked the missions and the whole movement was not what I enjoyed at all.
So anyway what I want to say is: Borderlands 3 is at the moment the only game I can kind of enjoy and I just want this game to get better so it can stay as one of my favorites in my heart like BL1 and BL2. There were so many other games who were just dissapointing so I feel really sorry that the series ended so bad for me… looking at you Kingdom Hearts 3…

I also agree with the most of the things above (Except the one with double jump, gliding aso.) I dont thing that BL3 needs that. ALTHOUGH sliding + snowdrift + vanquisher is the fastest way on consoles to get to some bosses or areas while farming. On consoles when the game just loaded I just cant get into a vehicle for about 10 seconds, so its way faster with sliding + snowdrift + vanquisher to get to some locations like farming Borman Nates.

  1. The Vaults are not feeling rewarding enough. I just beat the ■■■■ out of Troy on level 60 M10 with Moze and by opening the chests inside i got in each chest one green annointed gear. I dont thing that anyone is entering the vaults after killing the boss in the endgame because of the bad loot inside. In Borderlands 2 how much have the people farmed the loot chamber of Capt. Scarletts DLC only because of the chests? I mean there was only a small chance to get legendaries, but we farmed legendaries and not annointments in BL2. I would like to see much higher legendary drops in the vaults especially on higher difficulties of the game to make them more important for the game. And I also would only put red chests inside since this is a vault and this game is about “vault hunting”.

  2. Compare the fight vs. the Rampager and vs. the Empowered Scholar.
    The Rampager has immunity phases whre you can’t do anything. He jumps around and shoots a lot of fire balls. They seem dangerous but I don’t believe that they killied me once. They’re just to easy to dogde. When he is “evolving” Maya tells you to shoot on the souls but what is the benefit of it? They drop a bit ammo and maybe a few stim packs but anything else? He wont get stronger or get some shield so you can totally ignore them.
    So the Empowered Scholar has immunity phases too, but in this time you actually can and have to stop him. He recharges all three health bars during this fight. Although I died during the plattforming a lot of times when I first met him I really enjoyed the fight. I felt like I can really do something to kill him and if I dont stop him I’ll maybe never kill him.
    I would like to see more interactions into the immunity phases.

  3. Badass anemies on higher difficulties with this rocket launchers are a horrible experience… I mean I know that Im playing on the highest difficulty, but their aim is too prezise and the damage to high. I dont know if there is a possibility to not die from one shot except for the stop gap. I have even tryied a Moze with 70k+ shield build but was still a one hit target. Maybe just lower their aim a bit because you cant really dodge the slow projectiles. Its to obvious that they are aiming on the place you are about to land on. Let them maybe shoot every third or fourth rocket that good but we need a chance to dodge slow projectiles.
    I realized that I enjoy to run thorugh the DLC2 more than the base game because I die way less because of that enemys. There are no rocket launcher badasses there and this make the DLC so much fun. Or maybe Im wrong, but still there are not so many of them…
    Also we need a way to get rid of the one orb of the one anointed enemy. Like this big slow purple orb which is undestroyable but kill you every time it explodes near you. I know its slow and its possible to run away from it but it’s still not ideal. At least decrease the duration of it until it explodes from idk what it’s atm (30sec) to 15sec? Make it kind of shootable and maybe not beeing able to kill it but at least stop it for a 2 or 3 seconds?

I guess this should be enough for the moment. I really want to make this game better with a few ideas and hope some suggestions will get some thoughts from the GBX team and will maybe come into the game somehow.

Seriously I had tears in my eyes when Lilith “sacrafied” (I still dont want to believe that she is dead) herself . And tbh every ■■■■■■■ time I watch her fly into that moon I have kind of tears in my eyes but then this song starts to play and it starts to feel “embrassing”? I mean it can definetly seen as honor for the developemnt team when someone has such feelings about what they did, but that song is too much for me… Im so glad that I can skip this but not glad enough becauce I can’t skip it fast enough to not hear the song starting.

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This and raid bosses. Even one DLC character would be such a breath of fresh air I really hope the community can convince Gearbox that we want a DLC character.

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I doubt it will happen. Somebody posted the stats on here a while ago and the bottom line is that so few people actually play more than one or two characters that it’s simply not economically worth it for GBX to invest time in creating one for DLC. It would please a few people but ultimately won’t do anything significant for sales figures

The only things I’m genuinely hoping for are:

-Competent villains and storytelling. The twins could have been seriously interesting and compelling villains. A splendid take on streamer culture and the current state of the gaming industry as a whole. However, once you actually meet them, they turned out to be spoiled teens who remind me of the EDGIEST points of my 16 year old self. Their motivation turned out to be “dad stifled me so now I wanna blow up the universe”. Lots of moments were completely asinine in-context and much of the lore was either changed or disregarded.

-Don’t release the game in the Beta phase. Borderlands bugs and minor balance issues can be charming, but at a certain point, we’d rather just have a completed game. A game where half the skill trees aren’t bugged or where only a handful of weapons, items, and skills are useful in the endgame isn’t often considered a fun or balanced experience.

Borderlands 3: Wasted Potential
Borderlands 3: Good but not good enough
Borderlands 3: I wish it was better, but it’s alright. I guess.

That’s my brain when i think of this game.

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Absolutely this: BL2’s total gameplay experience feels massive with UVHM and so many different raid bosses available. The end-game in BL2 feels like the goal of playing any new character; I would wait to do any of the DLC’s in BL2 until I was in UVHM. In 3 I just don’t see the point of getting better gear or leveling up because there isn’t much else exciting to do with anything whether better guns or character stats. I completely agree with OP the capstone skills and skills in general have never felt that exciting to me to the point where I want to keep playing with one character until I’m ‘maxed out’ in one ability or the other. Being able to get to that lvl 72 in BL2 and then use your character’s strengths and abilities to rip through UVHM as it provided a real challenge was where the fun and replayability of BL2 really happened and what made the game so good. Sadly, basically none of that experience is carried over into BL3.

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