How would you balance Mayhem levels?

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like the designers have set themselves an impossible task. The scaling of health levels between 1-10 mayhem necessitates scaling weaponry. However, if you scale weaponry damage increase percentages at the same rate you scale mob health between mayhem levels, you have at least two problems - you miss out on the feel of increasing difficulty, and you make anointments overpowered at all mayhem levels. If you don’t scale weapon damage percentage at the same rate, you have an ever-decreasing pool of viable weapons as mayhem levels increase, making the game less vibrant and more like a slot machine with a FPS interface.

I post this in hopes that someone can either show me where my thinking is incorrect, or offer useful suggestions on how to make mayhem 10 less an odious exercise in farming the exact combination of anointments and artifact traits.

My months-long absence has reinforced my appreciation of the base game. The fighting gameplay, story and drop rates seem better than in previous BL games, but the “endgame” here is less satisfying than previous efforts, and I think it hurts the perception of the overall experience.


If it where up to me it would be more allong Diablo 3’s difficulty progression…

I’d remove weaponscaling completely for starters…

Overhaul the weapon system (probably make other rarities viable seeing they made manufacturer gimmicks and then did nothing with it)

Overhaul (nerf/remove the insane powercreep) the anoinments drastically…

Do the M11 treatment to all mayhem levels…

Overhaul mayhem modifiers, make all of them optional in every mayhem level and tie in fitting rewards for having them active…

Create more end game content like maliwan and guardian takedown, Slaughter shaft in every DLC and a raid boss on every planet…


Diablo 3-style progression, where the power creep is countered more directly by mob power increases does seem more workable, though you would almost have to get rid of anointments as they currently exist. Without changing at least one system it seems they’ll never achieve “balance”, assuming that is their desired outcome.

i have made a m…(forbidden word in here)
i basically tuned it back to mayhem 1.0 style
no player scaling, no weapon scaling, vehicles, anything
just enemies and drop chances but with decreased numbers
also ofc. i disabled modifiers xD
now the impossible task is kinda to make higher mayhem levels worth farming in when you are not having any “better” loot, since you are NOT able to bind dedicated drop chances to mayhem levels
they are fix for however you set them up for a specific enemy
so if i was sitting on the source code i would just increase dedicated drop chances for each mayhem level so that farming actually feels rewarding when enemies are just taking a much longer time to kill
also i would probably also increase enemy damage which you ALSO cannot bind to mayhem levels right now or at all. just global damage dealt by everything.

If I were designing it, based on the difficulties I laid out, I’d keep weapon scaling at a slightly increased power level. I’d either get rid of anointments altogether, or make them more rare, including for higher Mlevels. I like the Diablo3 difficulty suggestion garfield 1283 mentioned, and given that I think I’d make balance carry to you to mayhem 7 or 8 and make the last few levels something that people completed for bragging rights. Sort of a combo of the current system and the original one.

1 Like

The biggest problem is that M10/11 isn’t really that hard :joy:

In D3 i slowly progress through finding that better item or get lucky and find an ancient variant

In BL3… I just sneeze, click my mouse by accident and boom! Halft the screen exploded into a red mist :sweat_smile: and that’s on M10/11

Played Amara for a bit last time… Taunt just died because i farted :expressionless:

D3… Played my demon hunter i played since launch with the same build and i died… Quite a lot :joy: i hardly die in BL3 (99,9% i get instakilled because of some exploding barrel or get knocked of the map)

mayhem only exists because they wanted to give more levels without skillpoints
they did say this a few times before
so its not about making the game harder, they did realize they cant give us the lvl increase cuz of how skilltrees are designed around 50-60

that being said, mayhem and op lvls in all of bl history have yet to rly make the game better
op lvls made slag a must go
mayhem made annointments the same

they desperatly need to drop those entirely and just set the base lvl to 40 OR design the trees around lvl 60-70 at release
that way we dont need dumbass mayhem scalings and with time can have more options to skill into

in time you could replace the difficulty by how many wanted it to be originally
give us skulls that can we activated on will to change enemy intelligence
enemies pick up granades and throwing them back ( if possible)
enemies being more agressiv
enemies using actual guns / legendaries uniques that they drop when defeated, making it so much more amazing ( bl1 did this btw, dont know how the technology de-volved but well

all of this is making the game alot better and harder without the dumbass need ot mayhem or op which forces us to play around overpowered ■■■■■■■■ and min-maxing
the game is now in the state where nobody wins

mayhem bonus scaling ruins all content that isnt heavily overscaled
and base game is just too easy now as every gun is balancd around mayhem 10

which also is a thing, nobody rly plays at under mayhem 8 because why, mayhem 11 is a thing

and i will say bl3 was on release rly good, it wasnt this trashfest, it had once mayhem 4 was out and the first balance patch for that ( no more bullet reflection) was the moment the game was PERFECT

mayhem 4 was when the game was difficulty wise perfect, it should have NEVER moved away from that

  • crit and bulletreflection are ■■■■■■■■,
    but the SLIGHT increase to health n ■■■■ made the game just about perfect
    i remember that time as the best the game has been ever since release
    i had the best time there, dlc 2 was so good to play because it was released during this time, so everything was in this sweetspot

now everything is just meh
from ■■■■■■■■ you die to ■■■■■■■■ they just disintegrate

nobody wins

perfect change, revert every single buff made since then, EVERY SINGLE ONE, then revert back to ld mayhem 4, and rebalance from there

Redux mod sets out a pretty good blueprint here. It just removes anointments outright, then significantly reduced all the health scaling and such to match the lack of anointments, and removes all modifiers from mayhem levels. Also Mayhem 11 has better rewards than Mayhem 10.

Only way it could be improved is to leave in just a few utility anointments (no straight damage ones).

This is absolutely the way to go. Weapon scaling and an over-reliance on anointments is the biggest issue. It makes scaling and balance near impossible when you’re trying to scale two different things at each level: the enemy health AND the damage your weapons / skills do. There also needs to be more end game content. Takedowns should have been a major focus. I assumed we were going to be getting one every few months, instead its been a year and a half and we have two.

I think the biggest challenge for GBX is that your character’s power has no real way of “slowly” progressing because your damage generally relies on just your skills + weapon; whereas Diablo has 10+ item slots not to mention Gems to incrementally increase your character’s power. I think one thing GBX could do is to make higher tiered versions of each legendary item that could be then required to plow through the highest tiered Mayhem Modes, similar to Ancients and Primals in D3. Maybe the BL3 equivalent of Ancients and Primals could be Pearlescent and Seraph rarity from BL2, except instead of being different items they are higher tiered versions of existing legendaries. And they really need to include re-rolling for at least anointments. Of course none of this will never happen, but it would be a cool way for players to become stronger without scaling guns at each Mayhem level, and it would allow them to make finding the legendary + proper anointment combo much easier for the casual player while making the hunt for Pearlescent and Seraph rarity versions much more difficult for the hardcore grinders out there.

And yes get rid of the damn modifiers, how on EARTH have these not been made fully optional yet. If you have to make an entirely separate mode that removes all modifiers this should be common sense to just make them optional at all levels.


Mayhem 10 is 2000% health instead of 10000% insanity. Mob damage increase by 10% every mayhem to a 100% max.

No more mayhem gun scaling/passive scaling nonsense, skill scaling toned to x10.

All annointments thats above 50% in stat is cut down to 20~30%, fix bugs on useless ones that dont even work

Every 2 mayhem adds a new annointment slot, maximum of 5 slots - these will be like extra parts rather than essential.

Guardian takedown after final boss give annointment reroll and recombination machine at cost of eridium. Recombination takes annoint from one gun to another gear, the gun is destroyed in the process.

why yes i know the answer. by removing mayhem levels all together of course.

  • Go back to mayhem 0-4 (maybe a couple extra mayhem levels to account for higher level cap)
  • get rid of mayhem levels on guns
  • keep the modifiers but make them freely selectable
1 Like

I prefer BL2’s concept around making tougher versions of base bad guys for each successive VHM that scale with level caps. For example, for Normal (NVHM) you had Psychos that scaled up to level 30, depending on where you were in the storyline. For True (TVHM) you had Armored Maniacs that scaled up to level 50 and for Ultimate (UVHM) I think you had Legendary versions that scaled to the player’s current level (in other words, no level caps).

NVHM allowed for casual players to experience the full narrative and the basic game play. TVHM provided challenges for more serious gamers and rewarded casual players looking to extend the playing experience. UVHM was designed for the more hard core types who wanted to max out their builds and try different build/loot combinations and game play mechanics. So in essence, NVHM catered more towards those who prefer a narrative, Role Play experience. TVHM struck a balance between Role Play and Game Play and UVHM was more about the mechanics of Game Play.

I think that in terms of overall progression mechanics for end game, this three tiered approach is superior. The hit point versus damage scaling problem would need to be resolved regardless of how many tiers there were, but having three creates a harmonious balance for all players. And having three provides a base level of stats for NPCs and equipment to work off of in terms of scaling - kind of like mini-quantum jumps that provide instant harder difficulty at the beginning but then gradually advance until you reach the level cap.

That said, I think Mayhem should be an overlay of whacky modifiers that sits on top of any of the (three) playing modes. I think that Mayhem should create just that… mayhem. Mayhem for players and for NPCs. Increased spawn rates, badass mini-bosses that attack everything, etc. Leverage some of the mechanics from Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot - Gun Wave, Horde Wave, Badass Wave, Boss Wave, etc. as well as loot/re-supply drops. Keep some of the existing mayhem characteristics. A handful of these mayhem Modifiers might actually impact damage or health, but the entire mode would not have that built in as a scaling mechanic.

By separating Mayhem modifiers from the various VHM’s, you eliminate the situation where everyone immediately maxes out Mayhem in order to obtain the best loot drops. By re-introducing three tiers of Play Modes (NVHM, TVHM, UVHM), you then provide gaming environments that all types of fans can enjoy while allowing all of them to also experience the full gamut of Mayhem within their preferred gaming styles.

The points that I am trying to make and the solutions that I am trying to put forth are vastly more intricate and complex than what I have touched upon here (and that can be boiled down into short posts), but I am hoping that most people get the gist of what I am saying. Bring back three tiers of play modes (NVHM, TVHM, UVHM) that create a balance between Role Play and Game Play to satisfy all types of players, and then provide a separate set of Mayhem Modifiers that create crazy situations that are not tied to any one mode or to enemy/equipment scaling.

Edit: Oh, and drop the Anointment buffs down to TPS levels. Remove them from the scaling equation completely. You could also create three tiers of anointments that match each play mode if needed/desired. And lastly, regarding anointments, make them trinkets or some other attachable item that can be swapped between pieces of equipment.

1 Like

I would remove them and simply have two alternative difficulties unlock once you have beaten the story. Mayhem mode and Badass mode.

Mayhem mode comes with harder enemies interchangeable modifiers to create chaotic difficulty. This mode rewards you with more of everything everywhere and some enemies drop special loot.

Badass mode makes all enemies tougher increasing Health, shields and Armor the same as Mayhem mode. You will get a few more drops off dedicated and spicific enemies. Some enemies drop special loot.

Basiclly cut out the middle man. As they are called now just Mayhem 10 and 11. Scale back the guns to remove OP levels. Scale the HP modifiers back for more even balance. Keep mayhem drops. Make modifiers optional and interchangeably with the addition option of randomizing them.

Like I described above Aal they need is something called a difficulty setting and a challange mode settings. GBX needs to stop trying to re invent the wheel. It is that simple :slight_smile:

I heavily disagree with the three playthrough system, it would be a huge downgrade going back to doing the story several times just because you want to gatekeep enemy levels in different tiers.

Completing the main campaign once, quests scaling up to your level (be it by mayhem or a similar system) and subsequent playthroughs being optional is the way to go IMO, and it’s one of the best QoL improvements BL3 has over previous entries (particularly BL2 & TPS in this case).

If you must hinder progression by not being able to just jump straight into M10/M11 somehow and gain that ability doing something else, that’s a more acceptable alternative, as long as is not something that gets tedious or is not good content like DigiPeak.

1 Like

(post withdrawn by author, will be automatically deleted in 24 hours unless flagged)

I’d want them to remove mayhem levels on items and have a list of selectable modifiers. Each modifier is worth a certain amount of points that totals into a “mayhem level”. Mayhem level dictates quality of drops. Also, remove mayhem exclusive items and make them all world drops.

1 Like