Ok, so some context here. I’m a console player, so I can’t get mods for the game, but I’m sick of the game as it currently is. I ran out of room on my console and needed to delete something to download a new game - looking through the games I had, I realised Borderlands 3 was the one I cared least about playing. I played the crap out of BL1, BL2 and TPS, and I’ve been playing BL3 since day 1. But, now, the game isn’t the same, and I’d rather play other things.
One of the things I miss is Mayhem 1.0, where I enjoyed playing in levels 1 to 3. It wasn’t perfect, but I liked the fact that it forced you to adapt your playstyle and try different combinations (like suddenly finding you needed an elemental sniper/AR and having to find what you had that fit), as well as changing up interactions with enemies (like making them do more damage or reflect bullets). Mayhem level 4 worked too, but I preferred playing on 1-3.
So, I deleted Borderlands 3 entirely, then I realised something. I’d backed up all my save data and profile, so I could mess around with the game and just delete anything later.
So, I re-installed the game, from the disc, while offline, and booted it back up. BINGO, vanilla BL3, complete with original mayhem 1.0.
And that’s how I came to find myself back in mayhem 1.0, but with my characters and profile from mayhem 2.0.
And it’s pretty broken.
Not that I’m complaining about Gearbox or anything, they obviously didn’t build patches with the ability to remove them later in mind. But, the effect was weird.
First thing I noticed is that the game loaded a little slower, especially in menus, and had a louder “gearbox noise” again. I also realised there was no annoying Marcus audio when selecting my character.
Then I realised I lost all my loot. I expected some of it, as it was mostly level 65 and mayhem 10, but even the few items I had blow level 50 and not in mayhem, were also gone. My bank was empty and so were my walls. I even tried the lost loot machine (it spat out a bunch of nothing, literally making all the noise and animation but nothing appeared), and redeeming some manufacturer loyalty items from my social menu (they didn’t appear in my bag).
So, I figured, never mind, I’ll just head to the golden chest and grab a few purples, then head out to a map, and grab whatever I find. The loot I had was OP anyway.
So, I do, and I get some cool loot, and get ready to set off to a map.
So, then I saw my mayhem screen.
Yep, mayhem 11, in 1.0.
Once I tried it, I found the stats aren’t accurate but I was getting mayhem 3 boosts to xp and currency without any modifiers at all. So, mayhem mode with no modifiers still works in 1.0, interesting.
I had a look at my other menus and found that guardian rank is messed up, too.
My stats and tokens are broken, plus I no longer have the perks that got added, obviously. So, slam is crap again, sadly. Also, while playing I discovered that Hollow point hurts me and my pets/allies again.
I also found that I have too many skill points. My level 65 characters are back at level 50, but now they have two capstone skills unlocked, and 65 levels worth of skill points. Cool. I tested and they seem to work as if I was still level 65.
So, I jumped into the first map and got some crappy modifiers, but I made do and played through, discovering that it was actually faster paced and tougher than mayhem 2.0. I also found that legendaries were rare again, so when I got one it felt exciting. I compared it to a blue I had… and realised it wasn’t better.
That’s right, red text weapons aren’t super OP any more. They’re still powerful, and when I tried using a couple they still did well, but comparing them is harder and it’s their special effects (not OP stats) that make them worthwhile.
I played a few maps and got a few different legendaries, but only like one or two in each whole map and boss fight. Again, they felt special.
And then, I hit that wonderful combo of enemies firing 3x shots, doing 40% extra damage and having bigger explosions. And I met badasses with launchers.
Well, I’d forgotten just how bad the screen clutter was, and now I was blind. But, I pushed through, and came up with strategies - mainly using dominate on those enemies and taking them down after they soften up everything else.
I found a couple of annointed items, but the anoints were only +50%, so they helped, without overpowering me, meaning that at all times I felt challenged without being overwhelmed or letting OP gear carry me.
My pet wasn’t doing that great, but it was OK, along with grenades and skill damage. No scaling needed, they just did OK.
Found another issue I’d forgotten when I got a booster shield and realised I had to pick up the boosters myself - classic - and remembered why I always hated them, so switched it out. I also discovered that shotguns knock enemies back a lot more. Not sure if they got a stealth nerf at some point, but a face shot with a jakobs seems to floor most enemies every couple of hits, which is ideal for crowd control.
There’s some signs of really bad design, even before all the other bad decisions got piled on top, like:
- anoints block other info, like vladof underbarrels, which are actually more worthwhile, so that’s annoying
- the reduced gun damage for increased skill damage modifier felt fun until I hit FFYL and couldn’t use it, which sucked. Reminded me of using Dahl weapons in BL2 and not being able to zoom and burst fire.
- I rolled reduced damage for cryo and corrosion together twice, meaning I had nothing good against armour. Still better than the mayhem 2.0 modifiers that make them immune to those damage types, though.
- Contrary modifiers roll far too often, like getting a boost to long range as well as the boost to close up, which just means everything gets a penalty. Except rockets. So, use rockets. But, they needed to have done something to block modifiers combining, really.
So, yeah, overall I had a bunch of fun and got to try a mode that’s been missing from the game for over 6 months. I’d rate it higher than mayhem 2.0, but not perfect, and containing it’s own flaws and bugs.
Anyone who has the disc and is bored of the game, I’d recommend trying this, but be sure to back up your saves first if you can.
Let me know if you have tried it, and what you think. =]