First off, I want to give a big kudos to gearbox for the news update that dropped today. Mayhem 2.0 is cool but came with a lot of flaws. You’ve listened to us about those flaws and it looks like you’re aware of and actively fixing just about everything everyone was complaining about. I love the transparency about the upcoming fix schedule, and the quality of life improvements are a nice cherry on top.
Among the mountain of good news though is one thing that quite concerns me: you’re making the enemies less tough in higher mayhem levels. I’m sure some players will welcome this. But I’m certain there are many like me for whom this might actually wreck the enjoyment of the game.
Here’s the thing. Mayhem 10 is already too easy. And no, I’m not saying that because I’m so hardcore/badass/masochistic. It’s just genuinely a lot easier to kill enemies than it was in the old M4.
I think this point has too often been lost in all the discussion about gear balancing, action skill scaling and loot drops. The fact is that in many situations, mayhem 2.0 is indeed too hard: melee/pet/iron bear builds, when using most older guns, or in the context of grenades or nova shields for example. And also in the case of some of the bigget bosses, in relation to their drops. And naturally the most vocal complaints have been around these frustrations.
But if you forsake melee, action skills, and use mainly newer guns like yellowcake or OPQ, then the majority of the game is ridiculously easy on M1-M7 or so, and still pretty easy on M10. To me it doesn’t feel like an uber-challenging endgame that I slowly inch towards as I pick up better gear. Rather, it feels like a pretty normal way to play the game that seems to involve less struggle than the old M4 ever did. I’ve seen this said by others many times, though like I said the point gets somewhat lost among the more frustrating grievances. But I’d argue that at the heart of most of those grievances was a problem with balance (or effort/reward ratio) not with difficulty per se.
Once you scale up the grenades, action skills etc., M10 will be even easier. And if you slightly nerf some of the newer guns while significantly buffing many of the older ones (which I’m inferring from the news post is what you’ll do) then it’ll probably become easier still (albeit harder to just cruise through the entire game with nothing but the yellowcake). And of course then will come more juicy weapons with future events and DLC, and M10 will become easier still.
So while I overall look forward to the upcoming changes, I really hope you’ll reconsider making the higher mayhem levels easier than they already are. If your vision is that M10 is something that hardcore players aspire to, while those who just want to have some fun play on lower mayhem levels, then I believe you’ve already let your vision down with the first release. Hardcore players were diving into M10 on day 1 and were doing just fine. Complaining about drop rates and balancing, yes, but doing fine.