I question the concept

OK, I’ll admit, I was pleasantly surprised by arms race.

Something DIFFERENT and something FUN …and I will definitely keep replaying it.

For a while…

But Captain Obvious keeps staring me in the face.

I have this brand new skill tree, with all kinds of possibilities…and yet I can’t use it in arms race.??

Nor is there really any exciting new content I can go to to and theory craft with it.

No new Takedown…no new side missions…no new Story DLC, no additional “classic” Raid bosses, no reworked bosses, no reworked trials areas, no new “slaughter arena”…

I like arms race, but I’m just not sure if this is what this game needs at this point in time.

And sometimes I guess I come across as a negative Nancy. But that’s not true about me at all. I am the eternal optimist, a glass half full kind of guy.

But I’m also not afraid to say how I feel about something and hopefully in a nice manor that doesn’t tick off the people I’m trying to have a discourse with.

What’s your take??


Should this be on the General Discussion?

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Sure…the mods have total permission to move it…

Or can I do it??

No clue…

Arms Race is a novel take in Borderlands. As someone who’s not married to the latest fad meta nor orange-only gear, I find it entertaining, but not a ton more so than the regular game. Players who have seriously restricted their gameplay to a single build and a handful of weapons may find it refreshing, for example. I think of it as a distilled Borderlands challenge. When life gives you lemons and you’ve got access to a wet bar, why make lemonade when you can make a Long Island Iced Tea?

Think of it like one of those cooking shows… you get a handful of asparagus, a peach, and some sourdough bread, and you’ve got fifteen minutes to make some dish out of it. There’s some fun there, but it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. The challenge in this metaphor is the art of making something palatable out of restricted ingredients, as opposed to gorging on another thanksgiving dinner.
They’re different ways to play the game. If you go into it looking for thanksgiving dinner, it’ll be disappointing (which is where I think a lot of players go with it). If you go into it as a challenge to see how good of a meal you can make out of the scraps leftover in your college son’s refrigerator, it’s way more entertaining.

As a player fluent in making lemonade out of all the “crappy” weapons in the game, I find Arms Race an entertaining diversion.


I see a lot of threads regarding people’s reactions/responses to Arms Race in the General Discussion area. Here are just a few:


I think Arms Race has no synergy with Borderlands 3, and it feels like gaming company bought Gear Box and this is their interpretation of how Borderland’s should play/feel. Here are my most immediate problems with it:

-We’re locked out from the content we purchased. You can’t use any “Designer’s Cut” gear or skill trees in the game. To top it off, you risk losing anything you discover in the mode with the extremely flawed
“Extractor” Concept.

-Cap on extracting loot? Are you kidding me? The game that bills itself as the ultimate looter shooter
has a limit on how much content. How about making a game mode we want to play over and over instead of forcing us to play it?

-Murdercane is a terrible idea and totally contrary to the spirit of Borderland which is about exploring maps and discovering loot.

-The Vault Hunters are homogenized. The only difference between them is their voice. We’ve spent a year developing their skills and experimenting with the right loot for their builds. Not in Arms Race. Welcome to Noob Town.

-The Boss fight is horrible. Some dude in an electricified Gerbil Ball fights you in a tiny store room
where buffed enemies spawn n repeatedly. Worse Boss Fight in the game hands down.

Bottom line: Arms Race is a game mode Frankensteined from popular Battle Royale Game Modes. It feels like a stand alone part of BL3 because it has no natural connection to the story or characters in the game.

It’s hackneyed, poorly thought out and executed. If I’d played this as a Demo I never would’ve played this. And that’s what I feel like right now, a Beta Tester.

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I guess I put this in the Moze sub forum because I have always felt that Moze players were the most knowledgeable about the game from the perspective that I only play…


And I think we have a lot of different threads because it is a hot topic.

I’m fine if the mods want to combine it with another thread.

But I think it’s a valid discussion regardless…

I agree that it is a valid discussion, and I see no reason not to have one in a Moze thread. As it so happens, Moze was my first BL3 VH and is my main goto. :slight_smile:

So, my thoughts, aside from specific suggestions in my other thread, are as follows:

Caveat - I have neither purchased nor played Arms Race. My opinion of it comes from observation of marketing releases and other people’s feedback juxtaposed against my playing experiences with the BL franchise.

First and foremost I agree that the mode as conceived of and executed sounds dull and the opposite of fun… for me. I am one of those “narrative” types that Randy felt would not be interested and he was correct. Honestly I have no idea why anyone would have even considered that this new “mode” would be anything other than a “meh” snooze-fest and spent their money upfront, ESPECIALLY after the degradation in content delivery across the last year. I will stop there, else I may devolve into an actual rant that would prove most unhelpful to anyone.

I am also in the camp of, “Hey, howzabout putting more emphasis on addressing the plethora of issues and concerns from your existing community before announcing a new Season Pass that forces GBX into a new legal commitment of resources within a short time frame (and “short” here takes into account the ongoing pandemic constraints).”

Under the circumstances, and given the lack of focus on existing issues, it would not surprise me that this was a half-baked, cash grab, plain and simple, most likely using some test area that some of the devs threw together for their own uses. Though as to whether said alleged cash-grab was due to personal greed on Randy’s part or pressure from investors to meet their greed, or some shortfall of earnings that has placed GBX in a precarious position financially, who can say?

However, after quietly watching GBX from afar over the years, I could also believe that Randy and his team(s) actually believe this mode to be fun and a worthwhile pursuit. As such, and if I am correct in this hypothesis, I also think that they will be watching the responses to see how they can expand their core idea in the future. Think of it as Arms Race 1.0. In that sense, now is certainly the time to provide constructive feedback so that they can tweak things to keep people interested.

Towards that end, I feel that there are two directions feedback can provide. The first is to, let’s say, “enhance” Arms Race as it is now to make it more enjoyable. Although, if I am correct that GBX itself thinks that the core concept of guns only, no skills is fun and worthwhile, then all suggestions to “add skills back in” will fall on deaf ears. It would be like asking and expecting Randy to do away with Mayhem Mode completely, which he will never do given that it is the central theme of ALL of BL3’s marketing campaigns.

However, there is a second direction for feedback and that is this. What other, similar “modes” could be added to the mix that players might be willing to participate in. That is where suggestions of “Rogue-like” and others come in. In other words, in addition to Arms Race mode that has no skills, what other modes would you recommend (and some of these might have skills)?

That is my overall take.

So keeping all that in mind, after having bought and played the new mode, what are your thoughts on what would make the current form of Arms Race better and more playable/re-playable, other than adding skills back in? Some ideas I have heard are simple items like adding vending machines to the starting area and allowing fast travel back to the starting area after a run (which I hear are both currently unavailable for who knows what reason). Others include adding more maps areas, toning down the Murdercane times to allow for more exploration, adding more variety of bosses and so forth.

Or was there something else that you wanted to discuss? You did mention that you liked the mode but thought it might not be what the game needs at this time. What did you mean by that? Do you have any examples of what you think the game does need or could use (other than addressing existing bugs, etc.)? Are there other ideas that could constitute another “mode” that you had in mind?

I love what you type there. Quality

But oi OP, Arms gave another activity within the universe. Takedown-ish but raw…“The no new tree in arms race” thing goes over my head - I was using race to grind gear out for the new tree, for new builds, to use on mains outside of Arms Race where the other activities are.

The whole race is akin to a gamble, slot machine. It feels like bl2 waiting for the sheild recharge, melee striking to stagger foes so you can get a shot in, have a bad loadout day (which doesn’t happen in BL3 main/storydlcs).

Use a white pistol to kill the boss and get M10 Legs for it :smiley:

Arms race needs to award guardian rank perks, random skill points and Action skill activations in return for kills and achievements each run.

There’s little mini arenas that unlock chests, they could award a capstone, or something,

The mode’s biggest problem is that it literally feels bad to use white gear because we’re so used to the improvements garnered from playing the main game. Take away guardian ranks and the guns feel plain awful to use.

What I really do like, is the rogue-like feel. Starting a new run scraping together gear that kinda works is a fun challenge but it’s lacking some meat. I’d suggest Gearbox looks to the progressive playthrough unlocks of games like Everspace and Enter the Gungeon for ways to put meat on the bones of a mode that could literally add endless Replayability to their game

Also let us get more guns faster and there be more enemies per run. She’s a bit scarce out there. Once I’ve managed to get to a chest fight and loot a Goldie it’s time to run to the boss room and get out. It’s all over a bit fast. I’d like more things to shoot, and a little more time to do it.

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Absolutely LOVE this idea!

In one swoop…addresses a bunch of “concerns.”

Exactly. On a per run basis having perks and skills be unlockable would add for the interesting and exciting ways a run can evolve.

Emergent gameplay that gives the trade off between power and necessity.