Gameplay mechanics summary from May1 Demo

So I felt like making a thread about the new mechanics related info revealed during the May1 Demo. The intent is to give a heads up on gameplay changes while avoiding anything story related for people.

So let’s start the list.

-Gore is back. Death animations, blood and gore appears to be back at a level comparable to BL1
-We can now slide by hitting the crouch key while sprinting.
-We can now pull ourselves up ledges that are slightly too tall to jump up to.
-Not all quests or missions are initiated by an NPC. Some of these started automatically when locating a specific enemy, item, or location.
-Vehicles are far more customizable and can have their performance tuned. Some of these options appear to unlock by bringing a vehicle with the option on it to a catch a ride station.
-You can hijack enemy vehicles by mounting it and throwing out the driver
-Tediore weapons have numerous different effects on reload which are listed on their item card
-Atlas weapons appear to only home in on tagged targets if the bullet gets within a certain distance of the marked target.
-Dahl burst fire mode appears to variable determined on weapon spawn with the round burst count listed on the weapon card.
-Legendary item drops have a taller light marker and appear to play a chime when they drop. Also they appear to leave an icon on the mini map but not the main map in the echo menu.
-There is a function of sorts that allows you to claim items you may have missed so there is less worry about having the good loot fall off a cliff into oblivion.
-Customization options for action skills appear will vary for each character as the setting options for Zane and Amara were very different.
-CoV weapons appear to still utilize a clip of sorts along with overheating. It showed a bullet count that decreased with use but would regenerate when not being fired and when reaching zero there was an animation of removing a part of the weapon to reload it. Something different from when it overheated and actually caught fire.
-Instanced Loot mode will spawn items for each player at that player’s level and that each player can only see their own loot. There is also a sort of scaling for co-op so when a player much higher level joins the game they scale in some capacity to the level of the host though that player will see the enemies shown at their own level. They stated these features can be disabled by playing in classic mode.
-Environment appears to have more interaction now. Pieces of covering terrain can be broken. Puddles of oil can be ignited. I’m not sure if shock does extra bad things to enemies in water as I didn’t see any streamers test it.
-SDU upgrades appear to be bought with normal cash like in BL1. It also appears Eridium is still in game as a currency but so hasn’t been shown used to buy anything that I’ve seen so far.

These are the things I noticed from the presentation and streams. Feel free to list anything else you may have noticed. Again try to stay away from story/plot elements.

  • Eridium drops from powerful enemies, but you can also earn some by completing challenges.
  • At long last there’s a “refill all ammo” option on vending machines and you don’t have to actually enter the machine’s menu to check out the Item of the Day.
  • Torgue guns are no longer only explosive, they can come in other elements.
  • Each character is confirmed to have three different Action Skills (one for each tree) and some of them can activate more than one simultaneously.

I don’t know about “extra bad things”, but I can confirm puddles of water spread out shock damage over a larger area, same as puddles of oil getting ignited on fire.


Anyone catch anything from the new vladof mechanics? I was really curious about gun customization.

They touched on that briefly on the initial presentation but I the streamers I watched didn’t test out any vladof weapons because they just weren’t dropping. Alt fire is basically the attachment that at least from what it looked like on the pistol they used regenerated when not in use. The attachment on the pistol fired mini rockets.

Actually now that I think about it the co-op part of the presentation I think had 1 person using a vladof assault rifle that had a grenade launcher as its secondary mode.


The Vladof thing is not customization. Guns from certain manufacturers now have a “toggle” button to switch between firing modes. Dahl guns can switch from burst fire to full auto. Maliwan guns can switch from one element to another. Vladof guns can switch from a primary barrel to an alternate secondary barrel: A pistol can shoot regular pistol rounds or mini-rockets, an assault rifle can fire regular AR rounds or shotgun shells… You’re basically just toggling between two different types of ammunition, picking which one the gun will consume. These secondary barrels don’t seem to be customizable by the player, they come with the gun. It doesn’t look like you can pick which type of secondary barrel you want or exchange the one you got on the drop for a different one.


Well great, I just KNOW I’m going to somehow miss the coolest mission in the game now.

  • ammo/health etc. auto-pickup also works with stuff in opened containers now

you can punch barrels onto enemies, to shot and let explode them right in their face


well, but it will be even more fun, farming for the right weapon, with the perfect extra barrel
i have even seen a sniper, being able to transform into a shot gun
so its basicly the counterpart to maliwan, not having 2 elements in 1 gun, but 2 gun types in 1 gun :smiley:


It was mentioned by Randy in the presentation, after the Mouthpiece fight, that one of the best feelings in Borderlands was picking up the gun of the enemy you just took out and then using it against your next foes. (And they then demonstrated the gun Mouthpiece was using.)

And I’m pretty sure I saw, while watching some of the streamers, enemies dropping their weapons right out of their hands, BL1-style, when they went down (not a random piece of gear falling out like in BL2). I’m really glad they brought that mechanic back. :smiley:


Interesting details about the mechanics and story:

  • In one of the Zane walkthroughs there is clearly shown that water can be electrocuted and the player takes damage from that effect.

  • We can now just further inspect items to see what parts are on them, what challenges does the manufacturer have for us (including a description of said manufacturer) and a brief explanation what the elements do

  • also right at the beginning of the Promethea (?) run Tyreen echo’s us to (SPOILER) “thank us for the cool powers. That Firehawk thing is brutal”. So yeah, she has Lilith’s powers.


I’m hoping it’s just like a thing that triggers when you see a rare spawn or something and the quest is to kill it for extra reward.

My choice to play siren seems better now.

For as much ■■■■ as I give BL1, this does feel like it just helps everyone. I approve.

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I wouldn’t go as far as to say its back to BL1 levels, yes dismemberment and decapitation are back (which is awesome) but I didn’t see anything on par with someone’s face melting off and their skull exploding sending their eyeball flying across the room.

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This should also reduce complaints about the size of your backpack - if you really wanted to pick up everything to sell later (because why not), it sounds like this should help.

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  • Psychos can jump on top of your vehicle and hold on to it Mad Max style, hacking at it and trying to blow it up.
  • Now you can fast travel to any pre-spawned vehicle at any moment from anywhere in the map.
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I noticed in the Sanctuary 3 Spaceship the vendors had their rewards listed; one of the rewards included some kind of red crystal shards, definitely was not eridium.
The rewards are in this screenshot. Looks really interesting, especially with the multiple different vendor types there.

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It’s an interesting version of instancing, though. In games like Dead Island and Dying Light, co-op players can see completely different types of loot. For instance, one might see a baseball bat and the other a machete. In BL3, the players see the “same” item. The basic weapon stats are adjusted in line with player level but the name of the item and its special characteristics (scope zoom, fire rate bonus) renain the same. I like this a lot :smiley:

I have mixed feelings about this. If it only happens when loot falls out of reach, fair enough. I am always broken hearted when Sledge’s Shotgun drops into the “lava” :sob: :smiley: However, if you can wander around with a full inventory, open a chest and then walk away, knowing the contents will appear back at Sanctuary, I think that removes an important element of backpack management. I’ll be interested to see how it’s actually implemented.

I was also noting things as I watched the presentation and subsequent gameplay but I can add nothing more to UkyoSonoda’s excellent list. However, I did note a new comment by Dr Zed - “Too much money and not enough blood? You’ve come to the right place”. It made me laugh :smiley:

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I like how the bad guys are basically douchey Youtubers. :smiley: Kinda makes perfect Borderlandsy sense. :slight_smile:


I also noticed that Lilith isn’t dead because of it, because Lilith is ECHOing you right after your apparent crash land. And then it’s a short while later Tyreen brings up the Firehawk thing.

Hyperion weapons have shields that pop up when you look down the sights or scope.

About the gore…I watched one streamer shoot an enemy that was already dead. The arms and legs were still able to be shot off. He also shot the head off where blood splurged out for a number of seconds…then the enemies brain fell out and rolled onto the ground. IMO this is much more gore than BL1.

Weapons can have multiple skins. I saw a streamer pick up a legendary and it said “skin 1/1” on the weapon card. We also know this because if you pre-order a certain tier or above of BL3 you get the gold skin pack.

ECHOcast was developed as a twitch extension you can link to your Shift account. When watching streamers play BL3 you can view their backpack, build, etc. If the streamer opens a red chest you can “opt in the event” at a chance to win the loot that they receive out of that chest. When I tried this only about a handful out of 100 people successfully got the item, as “opting in” does not guarantee you get the item, but puts your name in a hat for it. They stated that more features will be added to ECHOcast later.

The devs stated the game will have MANY more mini bosses in general. And the game will have more bosses than any previous BL game. BL3 will also have more content in general than any past BL game.

In the post interview, the creative director commented on low level guns. In past Borderlands games starting weapons would have terrible recoil and awful other stats such as reload speed. As you play the game and level up, the weapons become “great” and some are even “amazing”. In BL3 even starting weapons will be “good” or “great” and work their way up well past “amazing”.

Shields were VERY clearly reworked. Enemy shields were essentially useless in past BL games. One shot would take down their shield and then a hundred shots would finally kill the opponent. In BL3 we see that the shield now goes down just as fast as the enemies HP does.