Haven't played since earlier this year...tips?

Got all the DLC, just haven’t played since before the Love and Tentacles DLC hit. Any general suggestions? Not sure I wanna jack up the Mayhem levels, should I just level my guys to the cap normally so any and all special rewards in the later DLCs are at the apparent level cap?

Yes, I think it’s a good idea to level up before you play any DLC, as you’re bound to get more satisfaction from any gear that drops in those DLCs. Having said that, the level cap seems to increase about every 3 minutes nowadays. There are 4 new skill trees coming (1 for each vault hunter) which will almost certainly come with another level cap raise.

So if you’ve been holding off this long, you might want to keep holding off until that drops. Partly to wait for the level cap increase (so your level 65 gear won’t end up feeling like a waste), and partly to be able to enjoy the new tree as you level up.

In general, you’ve missed a lot of chaos this year. Right when you stopped playing, the game was arguably at its most sensible state, more or less. Since then, they added Mayhem2.0, as you know, as well as a seasonal event (“cartel”) that added some very OP weapons into the game. We ended up with about 5-10 guns that felt decent, while everything else felt near-useless in the new Mayhem levels. This led to all sorts of nerfs, buffs, over-the-top new annointments, in an attempt to bring some semblance of balance back into the game. Things have gotten better, but the sense of balance has never fully recovered. Many legendary guns still feel useless, and to a large extent powerful annointments have overshadowed the guns (and skills, and even action skills) themselves.

Mayhem 2.0 also brought various technical problems, especially on console, and for a long time dramatically reduced the effectiveness of many playstyles and builds - eg. pets, melee, nova shields, Iron Bear. Gearbox have progressively addressed many of the these issues recently, though it’s been a little bumpy. It’s not unreasonable to expect the new skill trees to add in a bunch of new unforeseen problems, whether it’s bugs, imbalances, or things not working correctly out of the box.

Now’s probably not the worst time to start playing again, though the game still feels like it’s in some sort of extended transition phase, at least to me. I personally stopped playing shortly after DLC3 hit, and I’ll probably wait until the dust settles after the new skill trees arrive.

As for whether you should play Mayhem or not, that will largely depend on what you want from the game. I personally really love the increased challenge of the many more badasses/goliaths/annointed that you get in M2.0. I like some of the modifiers too (though most people hate them). But Gearbox made some (arguable) errors of judgement in how they implemented M2.0, which have more or less permanently altered the game.

For one, the enemies don’t deal more damage in higher levels of mayhem, so to make them feel harder Gearbox just drastically jacked up their HP. So enemies feel like bullet sponges, while the increased damage you deal means that even a single point in any life-steal skill will make you significantly harder to kill than pre-mayhem. The result is a game that often doesn’t feel harder, just more tedious. This in turn tends to push people towards certain high-DPS guns, annointments, builds, and playstyles, which can tangibly reduce the feeling of variety and crazy fun in the game.

The other problem is that the guns scale in Mayhem 2.0, meaning that loot is better at higher levels. This has the psychological effect of encouraging many players to move towards Mayhem 10, since the pull of ever-greater loot is a big part of the appeal of this game. The more you dabble in higher mayhem levels, the harder it is to go back, because the superior guns you take with you back into lower levels will make the game too easy down there, and the lower quality loot you get in reward will likely reduce your sense of satisfaction.

So it’s probably best not to ‘dabble’ too much with Mayhem2.0 - either commit to climbing towards Mayhem10 (knowing that it’ll forever alter the way you play the game) or commit to avoiding it (knowing that the game won’t be as action-packed for you as it is for others, and that a few mayhem-specific pieces of gear will be unattainable)

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Lovely. I’m just upset that some of my very nice guns, some of which like my wonderful Bekah are still at the OG level cap, unless it’s easier to get that now?