Gearbox answers 9 fan questions, including Item Duping and TFTB characters

This is several days old now, but I don’t remember seeing any discussions about this here on the forum:

Here is a summary of the answers:

  • The game has mode specific matchmaking, so you can search for other players for modes like Circle of Slaughter and Proving Grounds.
  • No skins that change the outfit of characters at release, but Gearbox likes the idea and may add skins like that in the future.
  • Rhys and Vaughn seem to be the only Tales from the Borderlands characters returning in the main game, but the other characters are on Gearbox’s list of characters they want to bring back in the future. (this is really good news, hopefully they decide to make Fiona a DLC vault hunter for Borderlands 3 and have Sasha, Gortys, and Loaderbot show up as NPC’s in one of the DLC’s)
  • Weapon duping was a bug and won’t be intentionally returning (though it is always possible that a bug that allows item duping will be present in Borderlands 3)
  • There will be two difficulty modes available at the start, Easier and Normal (this is interesting, nice to see that you can make the game easier than Normal on your first playthrough, though I assume that this Easier option doesn’t make TVHM easier as well, though I kind of hope it does)
  • Level cap is 50. A TVHM playthrough isn’t required to make it to level 50, you can make it to level 50 in Normal mode by playing the repeatable Proving Grounds and Circles of Slaughter, which offer XP and loot rewards that scale to your level. However Gearbox recommends a TVHM playthrough in order to get perks that you will miss out on if you grind to level 50 using the Circles and Grounds.
  • No saveable action skill loadouts at release, but Gearbox will consider adding it later.
  • Instanced Loot and level scaling work with splitscreen as well as online co-op.

Really curious about how “normal” and “easy” modes are different!

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Same. I hope that it’s actually a difficulty slider that can make both your 1st playthrough and your TVHM playthrough easier personally. I found TVHM quite difficult in the earlier games personally, and would love an option to make it easier in Borderlands 3.

If there is no difference in xp & loot at all, I might go with easy mode after long nightshifts :drooling_face:
Also, was the gameplay we’ve seen so far in normal mode?
Would be really interesting to get a feel for it…


Yeah, I also wonder if the Gamescom demos and such were on Normal mode or easy mode. I’m assuming Normal mode because I saw experienced Borderlands players go in to fight for your life and even die a few times doing the level 30 proving grounds, but you never know.

I think we may have seen a bit of both honestly? I know at the first reveal a couple people mentioned that the game was on an Easy setting, but at E3 KillerSix screencapped his difficulty setting and it was on Normal. The most recent footage we’ve seen looked normal to me, the more dangerous enemies packed a punch

It kind of blows my mind that nobody has asked Gearbox to explain the new weapon handling stat. It’s the one thing on the skill trees that I don’t really know what it does, and I’ve seen tons of others similarly confused by it. I assume it has something to do with either recoil or hip-fire reticle size and growth, but I honestly don’t know. If it does improve hip-fire accuracy, weapon handling skills will be a must have imo, since you can only hip-fire in fight for your life.

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Oh geez, dudette. You never ask if there will be exploits and glitches like item duping. If you do then they’ll make sure there aren’t. Don’t be a nark, kid.


Maybe easy mode locks all the enemies to lv 1 so you can progress the game for the story while sipping a cup of tea but is horrible for earning exp and getting loot?

Kind of a strange non-answer to the duping question. Presumably it still works in more or less the same way since the game can be played offline and has to store the save file locally. Maybe they just didn’t want to officially say it was a thing.

Take it as more of they don’t want to give details on measures taken against it because it will just make people look for other ways to do it.

What do they mean with “Gearbox recommends a TVHM playthrough in order to get perks that you will miss out on if you grind to level 50 using the Circles and Grounds.”

It is self explainatory that I will be doing TVHM. But how can I miss perks ? When I am level 50, I can have all the perks that I need, how can I miss them ? Must I be afraid to dwell too long in normal mode ? Must I rush into TVHM as early as possible as to not loose any potential ?

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@Romina Yeah, I’m wondering what they meant by that as well. Maybe they’re saying that you can’t unlock and start leveling your Guardian Ranks until you start TVHM? We know that there are some unique character perks that you can only unlock through the Guardian Rank system.

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But I thought Guardian ranks only unlock after level 50 anyway ? So I would not be missing anything as well. I am not hesitant to start TVHM, as I do not want to dwell on suboptimal difficulties. But my boyfriend might not want to start over again instantly and I am afraid to loose strenght due to this.

I think what they’re saying is that you can get to level 50 without ever leaving NVHM i.e. no separate hard cap for first play-through, but that this will be extremely slow compared to actually starting a second play-through. If BL3 uses the same XP gain approach as BL2/TPS that would make sense: it would be like continuing to gain levels in TVHM past 50 - increasingly slow and tedious as you level up.

My guess is that they meant that if you didn’t play TVHM at all, you wouldn’t get certain mission rewards (main or side) that are given only in TVHM. Then there’s certain achievements and uhhh maybe certain enemies with certain drops that you will also be missing out on.

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Here is the direct quote that I was paraphrasing:

Max level will be level 50. With Circle of Slaughter and Proving Grounds, additional playthroughs won’t be required to reach max level, but we recommend it due to additional perks that come with a second playthrough. - Chris Brock, Executive Producer

So yeah, doesn’t really give you any context about what those perks are. Personally I thought that Guardian Ranks started when you finished a Normal mode playthrough. Here is what the official Guardian Rank blog post said: “Beating the campaign unlocks a crucial component of Borderlands 3’s endgame: Guardian Rank.” Doesn’t say if they meant the first normal mode campaign, or the TVHM campaign. Maybe you have to start TVHM to unlock Guardian Ranks and don’t gain any Guardian Rank XP for continuing to play Proving Grounds and Circles of Slaughter on Normal Mode?

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@VaultHunter101 While this makes sense, this does not make me loose maximum potential, does it ? :slight_smile: Perhaps their statement is just worded badly. It has me being worried nontheless.

@ZephanUnbound Hm… But do we even gain guardian progress without being level 50 ? I thought, the guardian exp bar becomes our normal exp bar after level 50. Which would also mean, that we would temporarily not gain guardian ranks when they increase the level cap.

Perhaps I still do not understand them.

No, the blog post said that the Guardian Rank XP bar is separate from the leveling XP bar and sits above or below it (don’t remember which).

Personally I thought that once we finished our first normal mode playthrough, Guardian Ranks were unlocked for all characters, present and future, and that any XP earned from that point forward, be it Normal Mode XP on another new character or TVHM XP on the first character, would also raise the Guardian Rank XP bar. But maybe I’m wrong and only TVHM XP will add to the Guardian Rank XP bar.