Ideas for improving BL formula

First, I want to discuss all of potential benefits if items didn’t have levels, hence allowing to start looking for end-game equipment right from starting the game.
+Would remove limitations and problems caused by differences in player levels in coop play. As result anyone would finally be able to play with any of his friends whenever he wants to, without having to drop the idea due to difference in character levels.
+Would make balancing items far easier for not having to consider how item behaves on different levels, thus allow to go further with diversity of item abilities.
+Would provide maximum satisfaction from looting better gear since very first step into the game.

Leave leveling system for building character skills and for displaying difficulty of enemies. The game would be far more diverse if you could meet enemies from all the way from level 1 to level xx where the level doesn’t represent their health bar, but their amount of actual skillpoints and abilities, just like how it goes for vault hunters. In my opinion that would be a far better system than one where players magically do close to no damage to a higher leveled enemy.

I think that this is a direction which needs to be explored, because I don’t think that current Borderlands formula is perfect and I firmly believe that it can be improved a lot. After all, the community have played the same game over and over to point of puking, so Gearbox might as well use the fact to their advantage to experiement with new mechanics and completely change the system for better good, since not only that would improve experience for fresh blood in the franchise but also would give fresh experiences to all of tired BL fans. Or at least that’s how I see it. Opinions? Other ideas?

So…If you find a really good gun at level 3, you don’t change weapons for the rest of the game.

That’s really not what gearbox intended in their ‘game of choices’. We’re supposed to be looking for upgrades for the entire game.

Why not? But you’re probably not gonna find the best weapon at level 3, knowing how rare equipment is normally in BL.

What’s this ‘game of choices’ thing? Give me link to the quote please. :smile: Or is that your idea of what Borderlands is for you? I don’t see how it’s beign taken away from not having equipment levels. If it’s about choices then I’d rather have all items more balanced, hence I’d be able to make actual choices instead of beign forced to use specific combination of gear suited for my character.

It’s from a dev interview from way back, around the release of bl2, if I recall correctly.

Under your system, if I find a weapon with perfect parts there’s no reason for me to ever use another. In bl1 a perfect weapon would be useful for many levels. That was changed with the different scaling system in bl2, where even weapons with perfect parts would have a more limited useful period.

This is all intentional. It explains why there is no real crafting system other than the grinder.

If that’s so then I disagree with the idea if the concept of choices is archieved through implementing limitations on what each character can efficiently use. That’s why I’m all for returning item proficiencies and have skill system focused on character abilities while avoiding alterations to equipment stats.

I guess it’s done to decrease problem of ninjalooting, but if equipment no longer have levels then it would be easier to attain the loot and hence it would naturally decrease ninjalooting problem in it’s own way. Hence removing equipment levels is alternative solution to the problem, which instead doesn’t restrict player’s freedom of choice.

The articles @Psychichazard were referring to are here, and I would recommend reading them both to gain insight into the developers thoughts on the subject:

http://www.gearboxsoftware.com/community/articles/1092/inside-the-box-evolution-of-loot

http://www.gearboxsoftware.com/community/articles/1087/inside-the-box-the-borderlands-2-loot-system

Personally, I like seeing the evolution of gear. If I wasn’t forced by levelling to try new things, I’d probably use the same 2 or 3 weapons for everything. This means I’d miss out on exploring the creativity that went in to creating the gamut of weapon types created for these games.

Finding new weapons - especially those that might have niche applications - is part of what keeps me coming back to the game. (As one example, I’d never really bothered with the Triqueta before, but I ended up having to use it and got hooked on it.)

I can also say that I’ve never had a problem with ninja-looters, but then I don’t tend to play with randoms very much.

At the end of the day, though, the developers will do whatever they think is best for their game (and hope that enough people like it to buy and play it.)

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Yes, I do enjoy evolution of gear too, but in end of day when I reach level cap I’m already starting to get tired from having to keep upgrading my gear. Also what I really want is to get ultimate equipment, not to grind for level cap, which is why I propose this. As for using same 2 or 3 weapons for everything, that’s why I suggest to add back profiency system and change skilltrees to be more ability based by avoiding affecting weapon stats, so every character would be free to have fun playing and experiment around with all of items game provides for them without having restrictions whose makes majority of even red text guns inefficient in comparison to minority of select few efficient items for character. Regardless I see your argument of using same 2 or 3 weapons for everything as invalid, because that’s exactly the problem I have with how game works in BL2. Specific items are viable for specific characters and in the end it’s still the same, you just have to refarm the same ones once and once again during process of leveling up.
(edited my rant, probably still messy, but I hope you get the idea)

Thanks for links, now I’m off to read them.

Personally, the game in which I am least likely to change weapons is BL1, which has the proficiency system…

What level your character is? Proficiencies gets easy to farm on higher levels for enemies gives far more xp.

Doesn’t matter - Pt.1, Pt.2, Pt.2.5 - in BL1 I tend to blast away with the same weapon until I die too frequently. I haven’t really paid much attention to what the proficiency levels for each type actually were until relatively recently. I tend to try and switch weapon types more often now to level them up more or less concurrently while plaything through the story. And the ability to farm XP to gain proficiency depends more on the difference in level between your character and the enemies - if you’re too over-levelled, you get next-to-no XP.

Do you have a better system to propose then? Better than a system which lets anyone to naturally gain proficiencies with guns they actually likes using? The thing is, BL2 system is worse in that regard from what I see, because the game actually restricts what types of gear are efficient based on character, not on player’s preferences.

The scaling in Borderlands 2 is perfect as it is. As a player at OP8, I can attest that the game is easier there than it was playing through the story during the 50-72 grind. The hardest part of the entire game, IMO, is getting gear that can kill efficiently while leveling up. But now that I’ve been at endgame for a while, I can see that the scaling is working as intended, in terms of enemy health and dps to player health and dps. I by no means have perfect gear, but with a full skill build and loadout the game, like I said, is easier for me at OP8 than it was at 56.

That bit from ~55-58 has got to be the toughest. The scaling everywhere else is fine with me, but I always struggle getting through that level range.

I’m convinced it’s because of the gear. That’s about the range where level 50 Legendaries would start to drop off completely. Though I did one time get to and kill the Warrior in UVHM at level 52. I was so proud. After that I had to grind out 19 levels, though. Never again.

I’m actually fine with either system - it really doesn’t figure much into my thought process when I’m actually playing the game. Plus, in TPS I often forget that I have skill points to spend!

That said, I wouldn’t be adverse to a hybrid system: let the perks for using specific weapon types accrue to those weapons like in BL1, but have general combat and progress perks result in points that can be distributed to other stats like the BAR system in BL2. And perhaps allow a little more spread in where you can put those points before the system starts limiting your choices.

I’d say just improve the proficiency system in a way which doesn’t discourage using different weapons. Balance weapons in way that they all are viable. For that I think that my initial proposition works well enough. Having no weapon levels and enemies not having overblown health bars means that all weapons should be balanced to be pretty viable against a regular enemy, thereby an entire gun type wouldn’t be terrible just because proficiency is lvl 0.

As for ensuring that player have reason to switch equipment during playthrough and prevent problem of playing entire game with just a single item, I believe that alternative solutions instead of leveling system can be implemented. For example, diversity of enemy types and their weaknesses can be expanded to point that using certain weapons to deal with them is efficient enough to justify switching things up. However I think that Borderlands 2 is already doing that decently at that imo, except it doesn’t let switch weapons when a character is specced for specific weapon type only and hence doesn’t take full advantage of this diversity of enemies.

On the note, I suggest to implement back weapon parts system from BL1 so it makes it into a challenge to find every legendary with perfect parts. This same system also ensures that the white, green and blue items have actual hiearchy in quality of weapon parts instead of just having entire rarity tiers looking same as higher colored equipment, except worse texture slapped over them. Or maybe I’ve bias right there, for seeking “perfect legendaries” is why I keep playing BL1 despite at this point it consists only from farming Crawmerax as the only viable loot source besides Armory… I mean that despite he spits out so many legendaries at once, it still takes a lot time to find perfect legendaries, so maybe high quality parts should be made more common as compromise.

As for idea to have NPC mechanic which can switch weapon parts for price, I’d be all in if not for the thing I’m most drolled over in BL series - potential existence of hybrid weapons - weapons whose are hybrid between unique&legendary and even one hybrid between legendary&pearlescent is possible in BL1(Invader Nemesis). I’d really like having that potential over having a mechanic who can switch parts. Maybe both can be implemented at same time?! Oh, Indeed, when I think about it more I realize that it can be done.

Yess - implement that mechanic, hence give a reason to salvage high quality parts from lower rarity weapons while not have option to switch out legendary/unique/pearlescent parts. Make crafting possible and allow possibility of finding hybrid weapons. I’d love that.

I’d like TPS scaling, BL2 style endgame, and a ‘shop’ in which you can harvest parts from weapons to put them on others. It would be cool to find a Ravager and then swap out an accessory for a foregrip to make it a Casual Ravager, for example.

As far as removing weapon levels goes…

I really love the fact that BL2 and TPS each have decent guns that you can just pick up. Lascaux, Gwen’s Head. It would be very cool if this became a tradition crossed over with the Grog Nozzle type of pick up.

Maybe put in 4-5 blue guns which are easy to get and which scale with level, but which are not so good that they cut out incentive to use legendaries, purples, etc. The Lascaux, Gwen’s Head, Good Touch/Bad Touch, Vibra-Pulse… These are guns which are good, usable examples, and none of them would break weapon diversity by not scaling. They would serve to ensure that a player had good tools to use in pursuit of better or situationally superior weapons.

Honestly, I have no complaints with the TPS weapon scaling. I use a very wide variety of guns in that game.

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I have serious issues with TPS scaling. The skills are too overpowered for the weak scaling of enemy health, and if any weapon can kill any enemy, as I’ve found to be the case, I find it unplayable. In BL2 I currently play OP8 as Maya with only two pieces of OP8 gear, and find it quite enjoyable. I downloaded an online save file for an endgame TPS character, one-hit all the enemies in a map, and long story short, the game is no longer taking up space on my hard drive. I think I would rather play BL2 on a console than waste time on another game with TPS scaling.

Well, there’s the problem right there. How do you know it wasn’t modded beyond what would actually be possible by playing through the game? The only issue I have with TPS right now is how long it takes to level up in UVHM due to a shortage of side-missions and generally low XP from mobbing. Apart from that, the scaling seems fine so far (still only up to level 60 though).

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This is my idea of level scaling of enemies while avoiding simply making them bulletspongier per each level.

Overall quality of gear enemy uses depends on his level. Higher leveled enemies have higher chance to use and drop legendary items.

Furthermore, enemies unlocks those “skills” per level:
5-9 health increased
10-15 x ai behavior unlocked
16-20 increased resistance to a single type of damage
21-25 x ai behavior unlocked
26-30 movement speed increased / decreased in exchange for higher amount of hp
31-35 x ai behavior unlocked
36-40 reaction delay decreased & accuracy increased
41-45 x ai behavior unlocked
46-50 health regen added