How many characters? How to manage? Methods of levelling?

Hey folks!

After about a year of abstinence I’m back… With a few questions. And I want your opinion!

So I’ve got 5 characters, many build ideas and am totally in the mood!
But there are some problems. Where to start…

#1 Two builds for one class
So while playing melee Zero, before he starts to show his full potential, using sniper rifles just reminded me of how I love to snipe, thinking back to Mordecai…
Now what to do?
Respec? No, I still wanna play melee Zero!
An all NEW Zero? (Having this issue with 1 or 2 classes)
This leads to…

#2 Managing gear
I’m a collector. It is VERY hard for me to throw away/sell stuff. So I usually keep it. You know, for the next playthroughs! For it’s quite reasonable to keep stuff like legendary class mods for other classes, hording level 30 guns just because they’re unique or of good quality is neither that smart nor necessary.
Anyways, as for #1 there’s a much bigger problem…

#3 Time!
Having played nearly 300 hours now, having 5 characters (level 65, 39, 34, 16, 12) may not be the best result…As of now, I am quite busy. So progress is made slowly… And I’m starting to lose interest even in the lower level characters, because progress SEEMS slow. It might not be, but it seems. So starting a new Zero? Feels almost futile. Having a build in mind and just not getting there can be frustrating…
But I’m just not quite the guy who power levels or uses any other methods of that kind…

How do YOU handle that?
Are you respeccing? Starting all new?
Do you throw away stuff? Or make mule characters? (another time issue, though)
Do you power level in some sort? Like online? (I’ve only played solo as of now)

Thanks for reading and for your response in advance!
(Provided this is the right part of the forum and interesting for you at all)

I have altisism thats for sure.

I currently have 4 mules,
level 27 Gunzerker for Legendary Grenades
Level 19 Zero for Relics
Level 18 Axton for Legendary Weapons
Levle 11 Gaige for Legendary Shields

Then I have a 57 Krieg on UHVM, 54 Axton on UHVM, 52 Maya on UHVM, a 34 Maya who has completed NVHM and now sitting doing nothing and currently on a 19 Gunzerker trying him out (the other gunzerker is a mule as I had not played him in years, so needed a fresh start)

I don’t know how many hours I have between the start of some of these on the Xbox360, and where they currently sit on the Xbox1.

But I know exactly where you are coming from. There’s to many characters, and not enough space, and to many combo’s to try out.

If I were playing Zero, at least you can still use guns, so you can gather some gear for ranged combat, and keep your gear for melee, and it’s quite cheap to change your skills points, not like some games where you would HAVE to re-roll your character to try a different path.

My largest issue is pacing, if you do all the side quests in NVHM, your over-levelled for TVHM, if you then do all the sidequests for TVHM, you are over-levelled for UHVM, but your gear stops at 50.

I want the level cap within NVHM to be 36, so I can go have fun in the DLC, then TVHM will cap at 50, and you can only go over 50 once you start UHVM.

I want to play all the DLC, and I want to play it multiple times, but I don’t want to hamper myself for UHVM, so I have to plan what I am doing the instant I appear on Windshear Waste.

Just recently on Axton and Krieg, I have had to power through TVHM, doing the main quest only, just to hit UHVM on the right level, and I actually enjoy the main story and the side quests, that to me is the game, I don’t want to have to worry about my level.

I have never power levelled, I can see the where not having to slowly trudge through the main storyline again and again could be useful, there are places like The Fridge/Sawtooth Canyon I can happily never see again, but otherwise, I like to find out what my character can do, so I would rather not PL.

Hello, I have time issues also. Wished I could play 12 hours a day but this thing called work and life keeps getting in my way! If I were you I would just respect. That way you can continue with your forward progress.

If one of you’re high level charcters is a Zero, just copy him onto a USB (if you’re on console. I guess PC does auto backups). Then you pick up where you left off.
Otherwise, there are some bosses that give a pretty decent chunk of xp (don’t remember which ones, though Tinder snowflake definitely gave a lot in UVHM). So you can just farm bosses for xp until your about 2 or 3 levels over the story, that will help you progress faster.

  1. I have yet to try Zer0 past level 11 or so, but I can see the desire to play one as Sniper and one as Melee. If your play schedule allows, I’d say go make both and stick to it. However, if you’re like me and can only play a few hours each week, then be practical and embrace the respec option.

The only time I’ve personally run into this is with my Maya. Since my Maya is only ever played in 2 person co-op, I went down the Harmony tree to get Res first. Great decision. However, I was really wanting to try out Cataclysm for a long time just to get to experience Cloud Kill in NVHM while it’s still considered strong. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to Cloud Kill until TVHM where it was definitely losing usefulness. The good news is that they’ve since buffed Cloud Kill a ton and now it’s more than viable on UVHM, so I have no regrets now! :slight_smile:

  1. I’m a horder too. I still have my level 4 Bonus Package that I found on one char with the intent of passing it down to any new chars I make. In reality, I don’t make many new characters and for the ones I do make, I don’t bother passing it along. Yet, I still can’t bear to toss it / sell it. So it sits in my level 70 Axton’s bank.

I’ve come to learn that if I ever have an impulse of “maybe I should sell this and not horde it,” then I’ve been trying to act on it ASAP and sell it before I change my mind. 2-3 play sessions later and I usually forget the thing existed in the first place. :thumbsup:

Another thing that helps is I tend to ignore most of the ammo upgrades in favor of maxing out my backpack / bank space on my main characters first.

  1. I’ve embraced the fact that I don’t have near as much time to play as some on these forums. In 2 years of playing (spread over 3 actual years), I’ve logged around 400 hours and have 3 main characters (70 Axton, 65 Maya, 48 Krieg) and 2 noob chars (11 Zero, 8 Salvador) that I don’t even bother using for mules. Afterall, it takes a lot of time to make a proper mule: a few hours to get to Sanctuary combined with the necessary hassle of gathering eridium to max out backpack / bank space for them. I’d much rather spend those precious hours advancing a character I actually care about rather than creating new characters just to hold stuff I’ll never use.

As for leveling, I did all of the quests in NVHM on my first playthrough (vanilla game… didn’t have DLC at the time), then story-only TVHM (well, like 1-3 short side quests like Ulysses & the Great Escape in Sawtooth, turning on the power at the Happy Pig Motel, etc.).

UVHM typically consists of:

  • Tubby farming
  • Snowman / Train farming
  • Farming Treants for The Bee and Savage Lee for Unkempt Harolds when they become several levels too low (3-5 levels under). With the last patch, I added Boll for the Fastball to my farming runs since he’s on the way to Savage Lee and they are phenomenal on Axton.
  • Doing the main story mainly to unlock farming areas. (e.g., my Axton has only bothered to complete the WEP story to unlock loot midget farming)
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there are several ways to powerlevel. The one I most often suggest to people is to just power level a few levels at a time if they are feeling under leveled or want to progress faster in the game.
or powerlevel up to level 72 to just zip thru NVHM and Tvhm to get to UVHM
or powerlevel yourself by killing everything on a map before going to the next map, doing all sidequests (including DLC’s) as you go along
But however it is done you always will have to complete each playthrough.

as for Gear, sell almost everything, except for legendaries as I go along, I have a few mules that are loaded down, but mainly realy on a friend who has about 200 mules loaded down with gear that lets me reequip myself every 5 or 6 levels.

I do start new toons now and again so I have something near about every level so that I can play with friends at different levels

  1. An all NEW Zer0 (or whomever) is what I would do.
  2. Having multiple characters helps with managing gear, and is seriously one of the reasons I started using character multiples; they each come with their own bank/vault space. I use a spreadsheet to keep track of who has what. I also have a mule for the one-off things that I like to collect as well but won’t actually use (Moxxi’s Endowment, Shop Timer, perfect-parted no-level Gearbox-themed rifles from my pre order bonus, the Friendship Amulet… things like that).
  3. If the game is no longer amusing, don’t make it worse by forcing yourself to play.
  4. How I handle that is a long story (answered below).
  5. I am respeccing within the confines explained below.
  6. I only sell stuff if I find something better than what I have (or is the one or two items that I still haven’t found). Between the Loot Hunt and like 4300 hours in the game, I have almost everything I want. Given the 8 main characters I use plus my mule for collectibles, I’m not strapped for space. I had three other mules when the old forum was active that I used to keep rare/desirable weapons for charitable donations, but when nobody wanted them, I sold them off and deleted those characters.
  7. I haven’t been power leveled myself, but have power leveled friends (I also stick mostly to solo play).

What I do to maximize gameplay variety:

  1. I have 8 main characters that I play, all allegiance builds, so each character’s bank/vault space only has to contain the shields, guns, and grenades from any one manufacturer (on top of the relics and COMs, which aren’t restricted like this). They all have enough space to contain this equipment with room to spare (although Bandit, who makes more weapon types than anyone else, is pretty tight). They are set up one per manufacturer (plus some other one-off characters) as shown. The only rule for their builds is that at least one tree/capstone be unique (and I otherwise respec within that space whenever I feel like it). Manufacturer/character combinations were chosen to maximize (for me) the number of character skills that will enhance the manufacturers’ gear gimmicks.

  2. I use the following rules to determine what weapons I may or may not use (taken from my old user notes; I didn’t want to re-type all this). I also use the OP system to buff gear whose mechanics do not scale well into UVHM. The rules force me to use the biggest available gear variety I can handle, and the OP system makes sure that no gear is left out (for better or worse). There are still about a dozen pieces of gear that I’m not using for a few different reasons though. The gear is tracked on a spreadsheet so I can make sure I’m not duplicating some weapon niche.

  3. I play in UVHM; the difficulty is high, but I do get to reset the missions. To take the edge off, I play with Badass Ranks on. I stopped spending tokens at 20% so it would be available to soften UVHM without over-nerfing it (for me). I also use the OP system to set the difficulty where I want it. My weapons are (mostly) at OP3, which is where I typically play. If I want an easier game, I choose to play OP2 or lower. If I want a more difficult game, I play OP4 or higher. Think OP8 is still too easy? Try it with way underleveled gear. Think UVHM is too hard? Try it with way overleveled gear.

  4. I use a spreadsheet with a list of all the unique maps and my characters to randomly select whom to play and where (I hold down the F9 key, let the dice roll for a few seconds, then play whatever is showing when I let go). If I feel like playing something in particular, I just forego the spreadsheet. There are 568 different combinations of map and character here. When I get to a map, I go after any incomplete story missions. If those are done, I go after side missions. If those are done, I go after map challenges. If those are done, I do a map purge (clear out all enemy encampments, get all chests, see all easter eggs/secrets, whatever while working on some BAR challenge. By the time I start hitting this regularly for any given map/character combination, I’ll manually pursue unfinished side missions, reset UVHM, prestige if available, and start over. It’s always something different when I roll these dice. As I type this, six characters have reset UVHM once, two have reset twice, and all have at least one prestige.

I was given this game by friends in July of 2013 and have played it nearly daily ever since. Being a bit OCD, playing 40+ hours a week wasn’t unusual for me. I have all 6 VH at OP8 and basically played them one at a time until the end of the game mode (normal/TVHM/UVHM) was reached before starting the next character. I’m also a hoarder and have 20+ mules with nearly all of them having max backpack/bank capacity. As far as doing any dlc, I only did Capt Scarlett and Mr Torgue in normal and TVHM with all characters, while only Axton did the Tiny Tina dlc in TVHM (it’s where I got my level 46 Grog Nozzle from the community day loot hunt). Once I reached UVHM I did all of the dlc, including the Headhunter dlc.

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I tend to horde only legendary items or sometimes purples class mods. Because as much as I like to say, “I might use this as a hand me down for my next playthrough”, I often forget about such things when I actually do play again. Either way I end up stuffing low level valueables in mules.

I finally started making less “packrat” like decisions regarding gear. If I find better gear somewhere that’s mostly better than something I have, then I am 95% likely to sell or drop the old piece of gear, especially if my character is still leveling. The decisions probably get a little harder at max level because the old gear might still be mostly valid. But eventually I just make a hard choice to drop something.

Regarding multiple of the same class, I do that sometimes. For one reason or another.

As for zero, don’t worry too much about respeccing back and forth. I feel like he still has great melee, sniping and gun damage even when you aren’t trying too specifically for any one thing. So just respec for now. Later on, consider making a second zero and raising him to match the level of your other zero. Then you could have your melee zero and your gun zero.

But I would get your favorite character to max level first. And enjoy the experience of a max level vault hunter. Respec him around and try a couple things out. Then raise one of your others up.

0P, great question! And everyone else great ideas! Love when I stumble upon a post that gives me ideas to help keep my interest in the game! Being sick today means sleep and bl2, and more sleep… To at least add something, I just got Gaige on Friday, and I powerleveled her with Maya thru NVHM. I don’t have any gear to give her yet so I farm the snowman and use what he gives me… Hope that helps you!

Hey folks,

great that this is still going!
Thanks for all your answers, tips and ideas!

A little update:
So, after having a little more time, I’ve played the sh*t out of BL2 the past few weeks :smile:
Zero remained untouched (no, not that way!) in this progress.
I found my love for Axton. Or maybe for manufacturer builds, or restricted builds in general? I don’t really know yet. What I DO know is, that I’m having a blast with the Torguemando right now (maybe it’s just Torgue that’s great?).

Got my Gaige to level 72, too.

Started one mule character and decided to, instead of having a character for specific items, create a google sheet to keep track of all the stuff.
We’ll see how that works out…

For the issue of the many builds, I’ll just stick with one character per class for now.
I’m still not sure about Zero, since all other builds are quite similar (e.g. skilling my Gaige more or less towards DT, or Axton more or less into explosives etc.) and I feel that melee and gun Zero are quite the opposite, skill, gear and gameplay-wise.

As far as leveling goes, I found myself doing only the relevant quests (that give certain rewards, such as skins) beside the main story. That fastens up the leveling process by a lot! Threw one DLC in and got to TVHM (level 40 Axton, Wilhelm is the next target) quite fast and, what’s much more important, it was FUN.

As of now, I think I’m going to stick with Axton, maybe farm a bit with Gaige or even wreck things with my Sal (level 39), since I’m quite sure where I’m going with them.

I’m considering more restricted builds, so to speak “loyalty builds”, with Maya (Maliwan?) and maybe even Zero (Jakobs? I really wanna try Jakobs…).
Perhaps other manufacturers? Vladof? Dahl? We’ll see…
Because I find myself using the same guns/gun types in every playthrough.

Thought about element restrictions, too. Since I love my shock Gaige, and explosive Axton (kind of double restricted. To Torgue and therefore to explosive damage). I don’t know, fire Krieg (haven’t started a Psycho yet) or even corrosive Maya?

I don’t really know yet.
What I DO know is, that I’m having fun.
And that was the goal in the first place :wink:

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[quote=“Stahlbart, post:11, topic:1065029”]Thought about element restrictions, too. Since I love my shock Gaige, and explosive Axton (kind of double restricted. To Torgue and therefore to explosive damage). I don’t know, fire Krieg (haven’t started a Psycho yet) or even corrosive Maya?[/quote]Allegiance builds are something I can sink my teeth into in BL2 because so many of the different character skills line up with the various manufacturer traits that I can really enhance (or mitigate) the different manufacturer gimmicks by virtue of my build. In TPS, I didn’t find this to be the case as much, so I tried element-based builds (Athena:shock, Wilhelm:corrosive, Nisha:non, Aurelia:cryo, Claptrap:fire, second Claptrap:explosive).

That was cute at first, but in later game stages, the lack of elemental variety was a little rough. If I came across an enemy imbued with the element of choice, or I came across enemies with health types inherently immune to the element of choice, it got pretty rough. The characters wound up keeping their elemental affinities, but I had to “augment” their gear selections with some off-element gear to let them deal with those situations. Since the goal here is to “force” myself to use as many unique weapons as the game offers, I basically made a list of all the unique weapons in the game, assigned the best (in my opinion) by element to those characters with that elemental affinity, and divided up the rest somewhat randomly to give everyone a workable selection of off-element gear.

If you fire up a pure elemental allegiance in BL2, do let us know how that goes.

This is great, would you mind sharing your method to do this? This looks like a great idea to maintain the game fresh and if anything lets me learn something new in excel, thanks. Also, hello guys, I’ve been lurking the forums, reading everything and soaking as much info as I can ever since I got the game a couple of months ago and finally decided to make an account, I apologize if me asking about something a month old is a no go.

Welcome to the forums! Other than the random game/character picker, I’m mostly using Excel as digital graph paper to make it easy to keep these organized. The BL2 stuff is pretty simple, since it’s by manufacturer (if it’s made by Hyperion, Maya gets it, for example). For TPS, I started with a list of all the weapons in the game (and add new weapons to the list as they are released). Obviously the list isn’t a “bazillion” rows deep; there are basically just the red-texted items plus anything else I want to include. I’m not sure exactly what you are looking for? I just organize the TPS gear by whom it is assigned to, the element, and the type so I can filter/sort it to check for an even distribution.

I’m interested in how you built the spreadsheet to randomize the characters you use alongside the map you’re going to be playing. It just sounds like an awesome idea that I would love to try out. (I hope this isn’t deviating from the actual topic too much)

Ok, I start with two columns of information: a list of numbers from 1 to 71 (in column A), and next to those the list of map names (in column C). I have some other unrelated info in column B. This is just for the map selection, but the same process goes for the manufacturer/character selection.

In another cell (F2), I choose a random cell from the list in the first column (whose numbers sit in cells A3 through A73 with the formula =RANDBETWEEN(A3:A73)

I then use VLOOKUP in the cell in which I want the selected map displayed: =VLOOKUP(F2,A:C,3). The arguments are as follows:
F2 - this is the cell containing the randomly selected value from the numbers in column A.
A:C - this defines a little array for the formula (columns A through C in this case). The first column needs to contain the reference numbers for the argument above as well as the column with the data you want returned below.
3 - this tells the formula to look in the third column of the array defined above (column C in this case) for the data to be displayed based on the row selected by the value from F2.

When you press F9, Excel will update the formulas, which includes selecting a fresh random number (which will then update the subsequent formulas). If you press and hold F9, Excel will throw a stream of random numbers at that formula, and the rest of the sheet will keep up by updating the formula results accordingly. I’ll hold F9 down for a few seconds to “roll the dice”, and whatever it lands on when I let go is what I play.

To keep it neat, I hide the gridlines by setting the fill pattern for all the cells to white (and then hide the metadata by setting the font color to white). Then I use conditional formatting to highlight the map name (and character/manufacturer name) based on the random number selected.

Thank you for taking the time to explain it in such detail.

Just a note, you do not need to fill the cells as white to hide grid lines, if you have excel 2007 onwards, go to “View”, and in the “Show” section, untick “Grid lines”

Handy, as you can then easily put the gird lines back in if you need to do more work.

Hm, I dont’ even bother with TPS anymore. I don’t know, there’s something about BL2 that just feels… better? Didn’t even look into the DLC or the Baroness (got the season pass). I feel it’s more of a multiplayer experience and I’m single player only…

Aaaaanyways, as for the elemental builds:
First of all, I have far less experience with BL2 than many many other users in this forum, having only one character at level 72 and never looked into OP levels.
So this is just an opinion that might not be true. At all!

Explosions: Like I mentioned, the Torguemando works great and I’m going Torgue only since level 15. Afaik, Krieg is good at explosive damage, too.

Shock: My Gaige basically used shock weapons from the beginning. Not exclusively, but with all her skills I feel loaders etc go down way faster with shock, than with a corrosive weapon (THAT MIGHT BE ENTIRELY WRONG, since it just “feels” that way). regardless of that, it WORKS. I’m not someone who min/maxes (that much), so it might not be optimal. Which is true for alnost every “restricted” build.

Corrosive: I don’t know any skill that boosts that kind of damage, but I thought maybe Maya would fit the best. With a corrosive Bone of the Ancients and Cloud Kill… My Maya is level 30ish now, maybe I’ll try that.

Fire: I’d say Krieg, obviously. But that may be a hard choice, because of all the loaders and stuff that resist fire. I don’t know if “fire only” would work in this game.

Swapping to a slag weapon (in general) or another element if the target is resistant/nearly immune to “your” element would be ok, I guess.
In general the game is not that hard once you figured some things out (again, no OP experience here!).

I’d love to have more weapon-type restricted builds, but I feel only Sal is capable of that, since he can regenerate ammo. I’m going with pistols for him (though he died way more than my Axton yesterday. Weird.). Loved that in BL1, where I “assigned” weapon types to my characters (what made sense, considering the mechanics).

Still looking for manufacturer builds for Jakobs (maybe Zero? I think I’ll respec. Like you guys said, there is no sense in forcing me to play in a certain way, or to have fun. When it’s no fun, don’t do it!) or Vladof.

This is becoming more of some kind of diary and me writing about stuff that drifts away from the topic…
Apologies for that.

As someone currently running a Hellborn/Mania build with Krieg on OP8, I can tell you that fire is entirely feasible with Krieg :grin: Because of the way his skills are set up even loaders aren’t much of a problem (although I still carry at least one of each elemental type of weapon- no sense making things too difficult for yourself…).