Going back to Mayhem 1.0

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. =]


That was a fun read. Maybe I’ll try it once I get truly bored with the game. Quick question - was Maliwan takedown available?


It’s easy to forget some of the bugs that they have fixed, but is Mayhem 2.0 worth it?!

I have always thought that M3 was the most interesting difficulty that the game has offered.


I preferred M4 to 3 as there weren’t such huge penalties as to basically have to check and reload when your build was simply destroyed. Now, however, there are so many more kinds of builds available to us. We can do melee builds, build around basically any action skill we want. I also love the possibilities open to us with 4th skill trees and how not being able to fill the trees as much means we have to think more carefully about our builds.


Cool story bro. Sounds like you had a blast (from the past as well).

1 Like

At the same time that made it interesting, the need for both elemental and non elemental weapons in different categories of weapons was fun IMO.

The beauty of this mode was that enemy HP wasn’t uber inflated yet so +200-300% DMG anointments weren’t the center of builds yet.


@cailte nope, no takedowns or dlc content.

@vCarpeDiemv yeah, the fact you had to build for all different possibilities made it fun and interesting. And less inflation in stats meant you could take a penalty to your build and push through it, wheras in mayhem 2.0, there’s a lot of builds that can’t stand up without anoints etc, especially at higher levels where mayhem scaling will make or break a build.

Honestly, my takeaway from the whole thing is that gearbox should bring back mayhem 1.0 and give it some love. Let players pick between the two and customise how they want. For those that like random buffs and nerfs (and gearbox clearly do), play mayhem 1.0 at whatever level. For those who like fixed weirdness, mayhem 2.0 at whatever level. Let us pick how we play, how tough it is, and how many modifiers we want. And for those that want a challenge without modifiers, let them have a mayhem 11 style option for each level.


This would bring me back,…


Upon re-reading this post I caught this bit that slipped my attention. When was this introduced? It seems a lot more like a bug than an intended feature.


@hovismetaphor55 The game was in a much better state in the old days of Mayhem 3-4. I totally agree. It was not perfect then either, but the level increases, Mayhem scaling, and weapon buffs have amplified the game’s bugs and issues.


It’s weird that you were able to do this. Was it on a PS5? I feel like when I load a game on xbox it gets the patches. Or that if I was in offline mode I don’t know if I could load the game the first time without being connected. I don’t know. I don’t play offline very much anymore.

Bah-ha-ha! A bug? You can’t have a bug when it is scripted! That’s like wondering if the “bloopers” on Toy Story were included “by mistake”! :rofl:


Of course it was scripted, it seems to be meant when selecting a character the first time. Not every time


It was patched in to XB1 version roughly the middle of last year iirc? Originally I believe it had only been a thing on other platforms. I never understood having it on character select when it really only ever should have been on new character.


It’s a nuisance, should have left it gone.

1 Like

Yeah, when I read that GBX were fixing it, I thought they were removing it from the other versions - not adding it to XB1!


I mentioned this somewhere else (not bothering to copy/paste it)

But Mayhem 1 was way better than 2. The point of pushing the mayhem levels in mayhem 1.0 was to push yourself and build. All the guns needed to do was work on non-mayhem which meant there was no carry weapons on your first playthrough.

Most of the hotfixes and patches that adjust something for mayhem 2.0 was to fix it, this includes weapons. We now have a 20k helwalker.

This means that for new players there is little reason to try out the gear.

In Bl2 you have a Repeater, Jakobs Sniper and Hyperion SMG. You work your way to Knucledragger trying the weapons out seeing what you like. if your lucky Knucledragger will drop the Hornet meaning you can use a newly found Shotgun and the Hornet in the next area.

In Bl3, you have a Moloko and you work your way through the first wave, learning what it dose. You loot a box of weapons and work towards Shiv. Thing is that if you find a OP weapon, you start one shoting, why would you want to try other guns knowing they dont have the same impact.


So, i’m on ps4, if that helps. Not sure how well it would work on other consoles, but if you played on current gen and moved over to next gen, it could be a good excuse to try this.

As for the Marcus audio, it was originally only on new game character selection, on ps4, then it got added to character switch. It feels like a bug, I agree, but gearbox said it was deliberate, so who knows?

1 Like

Yeah, the whole weapon mayhem levels thing never sat right with me. I get that gearbox WANTED players to gear up in each level of mayhem 2.0 before moving up, but they designed it badly. Aside from the fact it was too easy to jump up levels so players skipped straight to m10, the other problem was that the different levels weren’t equal - so moving from m3 to m4 isn’t the same as m7 to m8. It can reduce the number of modifiers or just change the rank of them, and the stat boosts for enemies go up in weird leaps.
But just the basic idea of increasing enemy health and also increasing your damage, seems dumb. In mayhem 1.0 as you move up the levels, enemies get tougher, and you need better gear and/or a better build to cope, but you can drop back down to farm better loot and try better builds, before heading back up a level. In mayhem 2.0, it often gets easier as you go up levels due to mayhem scaling, but if you struggle, you either have to keep going or give up on that mayhem level cus you can’t farm loot for that level unless you’re in that level.

And yeah, the way the game is, now, playing a new character, the moment you find a good orange, you’re done looting. You can one shot your way through the campaign, basically.


m3 was ■■■■■■■ rash with modifiers it was simply inventory checker