My big ass wish list for Borderlands 4 (FOUR), addressing the frustrations of BL3

I’d like to get my foot in the door before development begins on BL4, and I’d like some feedback on my suggestions!

First of all, my bonafides: I’ve been a huge fan of Borderlands since the first game dropped, I’ve put over two hundred hours each into BL1, BL2, and BL3. While I think each game is excellent, and stands on its own, I also think that the games have been getting steadily better. BL1 was better than no Borderlands at all, BL2 was better than BL1, BL:TPS was a Borderlands game, BL3 was better than BL2, and I have every expectation that BL4 (if there is one) will be even better than BL3 was. I just want all readers to know that I’m a huge fan of the series, and that this isn’t intended to be a long list of complaints, it’s things that I think could be even better! I write this as a fan, not a critic.

I don’t think these could be implemented in BL3, many of them are too big to ask for, some of them are so small that they honestly surprise me they weren’t in vanilla, but very few of them could be shoehorned into the existing game without an extensive rework. BL3 is in a really good place right now, and it’s best not to switch horses in the middle of a battle, but if these ideas were part of the design philosophy of BL4, I think they could really benefit the game.

I think these are all good ideas, but that doesn’t mean they are all good ideas, just that I think they are.

All of these are inspired by other games in other series, so they aren’t wholly without precedent, they just haven’t been featured in Borderlands yet.

"Little" stuff:
Settings and UI:

  • Low glare mode / Enemy outlines, to improve visibility in the fog of war
  • Better maps and quest tracking/design (See WoW: Multi-quest objective tracking, enemy patrol zones, breadcrumb quests, hubs, nooks and crannies, etc., make all mini/map features optional)
  • A “Drop/Quit/Ignore quest(s)” option (Multi-select, please)
  • A “Reset quest(s)” option
  • A “Reset crew mission(s)” option
  • A “Reset Boss/Zone/Level” button (Save quitting is a PITA)
  • More graphics options (Particle effects sliders, glare sliders, enemy outlines, widescreen, custom resolution, and weird resolution support)
  • More and more extensive accessibility options (Color blind mode, big subtitles, dialogue enhancer, etc.)
  • “Move,” “Scale,” “Hide,” “Show,” “Fade,” “Flip,” “Transparency,” etc., options for all individual HUD elements
  • More and more extensive camera options (3rd person, distance, speed, elevation, wider FOV, shake, etc.)
  • More and better audio options (Psycho scream sliders, surround and spatial options, Sound Card Support, etc.)
  • More and more extensive mouse/control options (Have you ever seen a competitive Overwatch player’s config file? It’s nutso!)
  • “PC friendly” interface options option

Inventory, specs, and talents:

  • More Inventory Management options (Loadouts, tabs [Gear type, character, etc.] extensive sort [user custom recursive plz], search, favorite, filter, and
    multi-compare functions, etc.)
  • More Spec Management options (Loadouts, search, favorites, templates, “Import from .xml,” etc.)
  • Item Score is extremely useless after leveling, and can even be counterproductive, please reevaluate
  • More informative weapon cards (Full-auto/Semi-auto, Red text descriptors [Optional], [Base DPS], [DPS+Spec], [DPS+Gear], etc.)
  • Less graphically intensive inventory management (Paper doll guns are fine)
  • Multi-Sell/send/scrap from bank
  • “Send to bank” directly from field or backpack
  • Access bank from field (Maybe on a cooldown, requiring a talent, unique item, or quest to unlock?)
  • BL3 has a Diablo sized loot system, it needs Diablo sized inventory management

World:

  • Better world hub (I’ve played for 300 hours and I still get lost in Sanctuary 3 sometimes)
  • Better placed elemental barrels and traps
  • More, and more frequent checkpoints and digistruct locations
  • More informative target dummies (Flesh, Armor, Shield, Mobbing, Bossing, etc.)

Combat:

  • Longer lasting highlighting/tagging (Enemies, items, locations, etc)
  • Adjust down sights view (Weapon silhouette can obscure the battlefield)
  • Further refinement to Mayhem mode balance and optimization
  • Further refinement to, or reevaluation of, anointments
  • Larger SDUs OR more powerful bullets OR more ways to regenerate ammo
  • Legendary versions of Purple guns (There are a lot of cool, fun Purple guns in the game that just can’t be used at higher difficulty levels.) OR
  • “Normal” legendary weapons (No red text, just lots of damage)

Other:

  • Minor mod support (Stats, rates, balance, numbers, values, tweaks, etc.)

Medium:

Settings and UI:

  • Customizable crosshairs (It can actually make a difference, believe it or not!)
  • Custom filter/shader support (ReShade, SweetFX, etc.)
  • Combat log or “What killed me!?” X seconds of instant replay

Inventory, specs, talents:

  • The Manufacturer Mail Function is less useful than it could be (Maybe fun or unique items that can’t be looted anywhere else?)

Combat:

  • The new movement abilities (slide, slam, climb, barrel toss, etc.) are less useful than they could be
  • NO. MORE. PLATFORMING. WITHOUT. A. DOUBLE. JUMP.
  • More, and more varied Mayhem mode options (I actually really like Mayhem mode)
  • A “Reroll Mayhem Modifiers on Death/Load/Reload/Digistruct” OPTION (I just really like roguelikes.)
  • Allow users to filter Mayhem modifiers (MM may use these 23 out of 30 modifiers [in offline mode?])
  • Additional gradients in Mayhem mode (1-100 instead of 1-11? Obvs. wouldn’t work in current implementation of MM.)
  • Let users create custom Mayhem modes (See: HADES) [Let us upload them, too?]

World:

  • A much more informative target dummy (“Damage over X seconds” counter, etc.)

Other:

  • Moderate mod support (Texture replacements, model replacements, audio replacements, custom mayhem modes, etc.)
  • More weapon and character cosmetics, like, lots more.
  • Maybe HUD cosmetics?

Unrealistically large:

Combat:

  • “Smart” Mayhem mode option, the content rebalances itself on the fly, on death, on almost death, or after a period of not dying
  • Melee and weapons? (After Godhand you have no excuses.)

World:

  • A super informative target dummy (DPXS, TTK/Yhp, KPXS/Yhp, Elemental damage breakdown, contribution from talents, contribution from abilities, digistruct mobs, bosses, and arenas, custom dummies, etc.)
  • Procedurally generated… stuff. (Levels, dungeons, zones, enemies? I just really love roguelikes.)

Other:

  • Extensive mod support (New zones, new textures, custom models, custom characters, custom specs, custom mobs, patches, bug fixes, optimizations, overhauls, etc., “The Full Skyrim”)
  • “Diablo” or “Just way too much loot” mode
  • “DOOM” or “Just way too much melee” mode (I <3 Slayer mode, make it a check box)
  • If balancing “More than a billion guns!!!” is too hard, I mean, I’d be okay with ten million guns (depending on how you achieve it)
  • Vulkan support
  • Better optimizations (I have a 500gb NVME2.0 SSD that moves data at 2.5gbps, I have 32gb of high speed system memory, 8gb of video memory, and 16 CPU threads, I paid for all of the RAM, I want to use all of the RAM.)
  • Crossfire/SLI support (Don’t waste your time, I just think it’s neat, if it’s a check box then check it, otherwise, yeah, don’t waste your time, I just think it’s neat.)

And the big ask: More player agency in gearing beyond just farming and vending:

  • Give me more ways of finding my “Perfect Weapon” besides just farming a Traunt for seventy hours. Maybe let me break down those five/fifteen/forty crappy Kaosons in my inventory and X iridium to get one perfect/good/custom Kaoson, (after completing the extensive, multi-planet, multi-hour quest chain that unlocks the “disassemble” and “reassemble” features.)
  • Allow rerolling of gear perks, stats, parts, etc.
  • Allow upgrading of gear, some options:
    • [Butcher lvl 56->Butcher lvl 57]
    • [Butcher lvl 56->Butcher+1 lvl 56]
    • [lvl 56 M6 Butcher->lvl 56 M7 Butcher]
    • [BFG (Green)->BFG (Blue)]
    • “Add a scope”
    • Etc.
  • A crafting system (Many good and varied sources of inspiration!)
  • An “unlocking” system (“You have unlocked Variant 32 of 1,243 for The Butcher, digistruct a leveled copy for X dollars/iridium/legendaries/macguffins?”)

Some notes, because the internet is pedantic and people won’t take me seriously if I don’t also point out why everything I’ve just said is wrong:

  1. Many of these ideas are mutually exclusive, why would one need a crafting system and an unlocking system and an upgrade system? That would be a wasteful and counter productive use of the dev’s time. With that in mind…
  2. …not all of these ideas necessarily need to be implemented, I would honestly be happy to see any of them implemented, they are what I see as solutions to problems in the game, and a patch is a patch, a solution is a solution, which is why…
  3. …not all of these need to be implemented completely. Mod support to just adjust gun balance would be great, a training dummy that just told me DPS would be an upgrade, adding just a search function to the bank would make my life much easier, so if only half of the idea is a good one, just advocate for the half that you support.
  4. The “Unrealistic” list is just that, it’s too much to ask, but I’m asking for it anyway, because the squeaky wheel gets the oil, and who knows, maybe they’ll inspire a dev.
  5. I am literally throwing ■■■■ at the wall and seeing if anything sticks.
  6. Whenever possible, where ever possible, everything possible should be as optional as possible.

But I’d like to re-emphasize that any proposals I’ve made here should be as optional as possible. Some players like the glare and fog of war, these players should be allowed to turn glare and fog up to 11. Some players like the mystery of discovering red text explanations on their own, these people should be able to disable red text descriptors. Users who don’t want to use mods, or play in modded games, shouldn’t be forced to.

So anyway, what do you see that you like? What sounds like a good idea? What could be added or changed to make the ideas more gooder? What suggestions of your own would you like to see added to the list?

6 Likes

What does that mean?
Otherwise, nice post

My own frustrations: I want a balanced game, and the game to be by default balanced, people who want to break it could do it otherwise.

My sound card has its own Surround Sound, like, formula, it’d be cool if there was a way to pass through sound processing directly to the sound card, or just make more use of a sound card’s feature set.

Like I said, I’m just throwing ■■■■ at the wall, if there’s a way for GBX to better optimize sound for standalone devices, then I want it.

And I fully trust GBX devs to look at this list and say “Whaaaaaat!? That gamer has no idea what he’s talking about, our sound is already completely optimized! So I’m just going to look at the other 99 items on the list.”

Ditto. You probably can’t tell from my post, but The Butcher is my all time favorite gun, not just in Borderlands 3, in any video game! But it’s not… it’s not a very good gun right now. Passable, but not great. Better balance would be a brilliant boon.

Also, thanks!

For better sound processing support they’d need to work on better / more (Niche) Audio API’s , don’t know how that’s gonna work for them, best to always use standardized sound card/dac that doesn’t have its own special thing if it’s in hardware.

And yes, I did notice the Butcher part and it did give me an idea of it being your favorite gun.
By balanced I meant that things work without making them broken. Bringing back a gun that was better than this previously and making it look bad, yeah, that’s not a good idea. Don’t need that insane fire rate when it doesn’t have the damage to even count for it.

A lof of nice requests/features, but I remember people asking for some of that even before TPS was released. Then it was blatantly obvious that TPS was just a “reskinned” (for lack of better term) BL2, but also introduced new ‘features’ like too much talking by NPCs (while player stands still waiting), which made people also ask for ‘skip cutscene/dialogue’ button.

And there was a lot of other requests and feedbacks. It’s not like people asked for tons of zones, enemies, and raidbosses. It was simpler things like UI improvement, maybe saving the skill trees and gear ‘loadouts’ as presets, etc.

The fan-made Community Patches appeared for BL2 and TPS, rebalancing the weaker skills and items, rearranging the drop rates, fixing many other things, and introducing minor quality of life stuff like Eridium being auto-pickup.

After that, it took a few years of BL3 to finally be released, turning out basically - again - just a “port” of BL2 to a more modern engine, inheriting all the problems BL2, and making some of them worse (fast travel UI, oh god).

It was a bad sign when during one of the first announcements and demonstrations of BL3 the devs said “oh ye eridium is auto picked up now”, almost like it’s some amazing feat.

They didn’t implement all these things in TPS nor BL3, and if BL4 will ever be made, I bet it will be again just another version of BL2, still with tracking only one mission at a time, clunky and buggy UI, overcomplicated fast travel, even more dialogue while you have to wait, but tons of very important features like weapon trinkets, weapon skins, room decorations, and vehicle parts. Oh, and emotes. Can’t go wrong with that!

2 Likes

You might very well be right, and I could be barking up the wrong tree here…

Thing is, you keep talking about reskinning BL2, and I actually loved the ■■■■ out of BL2, so that’s mostly okay with me. (Bears mentioning here that I played Megaman games for decades, so maybe I’m just more okay with clones than others are) but they could take that already fantastic gameplay, and fluff it up with user friendly features!

That’s my frustration: BL2 and BL3 were/are such fantastic games, but they could be so much better!! Just a few changes around the edges, not even gameplay changes, just like inventory and spec management, could dramatically improve the quality of the games.

I get where you’re coming from, it’s frustrating to ask for the same thing over and over again… but that’s the only way we get it, is if we keep asking. If we sit down, shut up, and wait for BL4 to drop then we’ve got no chance of seeing any of these changes implemented.

It’s frustrating, I feel ya’, but we gotta’ do it.

1 Like

It is still some ways for BL4 to happen if at all
But they really need to bring back BL2 difficulty to BL3, there wasn’t such a thing running around 1 shotting everything without careful setting up of the situation (Unless you were Salvador, but even then you had to have some specific combinations at end game for this to happen)
And yeah I agree, if they made legendary drops as common as they are at end game (Which has a good reason - having much bigger variety of the same items due to rolls and anoints…) they should provide with better sorting and general item management.

Someone on Discord suggested for the anoint system they could have implemented something like the artifact system in BL1 but I went further to imagine it more like the Kanai’s Cube in Diablo 3 system in a way because it makes sense, 3 slots, Weapon / Shield / Grenade (In D3 it’s Weapon / Armor / Jewelry) this way you can just look for the right roll on the item instead of looking for the right roll and the right anoint combination.

Regarding tracking only one mission, first of all, you can change between the missions in the menu and through the game through 2 buttons (gamepad it’s d-pad arrow keys, keyboard it’s [ and ] by default) and that’s good enough because if you literally have multiple missions on screen, you’ll have a pretty messy minimap too…

But yeah, GBX could probably learn from UCP, but if they do that they probably will acknowledge modding and that’s not what they want.

With how things are turning up, it seems like GBX don’t have a statement on the games direction because I’ve already contacted them several times about different bug reports (Which were flagged as mostly a local problem for some reason, even though they are common even on Influencers Streams, like that Dialogue stuck bug that happened to Joltz in DLC1, and they expected me to do all the work for them) and also for suggestions, which they (or 2k, I don’t know the relation there between the two in terms of these things, I know 2k is publisher and gbx is the dev, but for some reason it’s a known fact that they want us to do the procedure of bug reports through 2k) had a statement that they want to see what the community thinks about it first which pretty much 100% confirms that GBX doesn’t have a statement on the game, besides the fact that they also have big problems with the balance of the game.

A game should be balanced first, which would mean that everyone can play it and make it work for themselves, an unbalanced game would mean that certain people will like it, and others won’t.

EDIT: I’m also currently trying to reach gbx/2k with a couple of bug reports that were detected based on the 4th skill trees so I’ve had some issues through 2k (which might have been resolved) but before that I’ve sent a message directly through gbx, to also provide us with a statement on the game so we know what to expect from further patches/hotfixes in terms of balance.
Blizzard does it with Diablo 3, even if several unique items / sets are not up to scale atm, they provide with enough communication on what they’re trying to do, and the game is kept balanced. Don’t see a problem why GBX can’t do the same.

I will keep it simple…

The ability to play the game without it crashing the console I am playing it on.

1 Like

I read “reskinned Borderlands 2 in a new engine” and I must come in to advise;

BL3 was built from ground up in the Unreal 4 engine. One of the goals of the dev team was to “bring Borderlands to the Unreal 4 engine and have it feel like a Borderlands game.”

There was no reskin… It was built from scratch

No anointments.

For the ‘ways to find guns I actually want’, keep the mail system, it’s perfect. And, I’ve suggested before ways to change gun parts.

Limit it to a certain number of times parts can be changed before they’re permanent, require large amounts of currency, maybe require a new currency acquired through challenges.

These are just a few ways to balance it, but still require playing the game.

I said “reskinned” (for lack of better term) in quotation marks. Okay, not reskin, but a remake. A recreation of BL2 on UE4 but with new story line and characters.

It doesn’t matter if it was built from zero on a new engine. To be honest, I doubt that, because it’s highly likely that a lot of things and elements were ported to new engine. What does the new UE4 give as a benefit that extends and improves BL3 gameplay anyway? “Better” graphics? Perhaps the reason is it runs better on modern consoles or something.

It’s still the same game almost exactly. If it was made from scratch then they surely took care to replicate all the problems the previous entries had. Sure, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, but where are the improvements and fixes?

BL3 is basically a game from 2012 (BL2) released in 2019.

Nah bro ground up, theres a missing video that was on YouTube of Grahame and crew giving a talk to students at a uni (I presume). The presentation went over FX techniques and innovative ideas/implementations done in unreal 4 by the devs. They showed their solution to onscreen hit indicators and optimization in particle effects…

It was extensive and very informative. The goal was to build Borderlands in Unreal 4 and be successful - I reckon they did AWSOME.

A student asked at the end how heavily modded by engineers U4 was to accommodate for building BL3, Grahame said “Nearly every aspect”

Its new man

So, on screen hit indicators and particle system? Graphics. OK, nice. And these days I see a lot of people posting and asking for options to get rid of FX clutter because they can’t see stuff they are shooting at, especially with certain Mayhem modifiers. Super innovation on a new engine.

What other innovative things did they describe of nearly every aspect?

1 Like

Point is nothing is ported over or copy pasted from code found in Borderlands 2
:slight_smile:

Have a nice day.

Can’t wait for BL4 being constructed from scratch on UE5 :smiley:

2 Likes

That isn’t a bad thing (BL4 U5) and to gesture that it is, in an attempt to demean the quality of the game is pree lame lol. Ok then. Bye now \O

Tbh I wish they would stop focusing on graphics unpopular opinion but focus only on game play optimisation and story I also do not mean to sound rude but we need a new gearbox team working on it the current team gave us bl3 I can not in good faith see any thing changing for 4 I feel there is a theme in bl3s stories that we are not allowed to talk about in today’s climate sadly and I feel the current gearbox team would carry that theme thru to bl4

2 Likes

I agree with you about the graphics, Borderlands 1 and 2 still hold up exceptionally well (In my opinion) and they were always efficient, running at reasonable frame rates (to be fair, with a few stutters.)

As for firing the whole GBX team… uh… let’s not. I tried to play the Pre-Sequel, it just never felt right to me. BL3 is a really good game, I haven’t played it for 283 hours because I hate it. Plus, whoever the person was who came up with the melee damage scaling fix is a friggin genius, he deserves a raise.

Loot:
More is not better. Borderlands is supposed to be about loot, but the loot system is broken in BL3. When talking about BL4 I hope they start here. I don’t want BILLIONS of guns. I don’t want 70 hours of farming a boss for the perfect weapon, especially when a level increase is going to make that weapon junk. Whatever system is put in place it needs to respect the amount of work going into it. It needs to be more nuanced. If level caps are going to be constantly changing, as we have experienced in BL3, the loot system needs to accommodate it. Borderlands has long been about the parts system and it works well. Different combination of parts result in different outcomes for the quality of weapons. Personally I think they should lean into this and allow us to break down weapons and collect those parts. There are many ways that they can do this without turning the game into ‘easy’ mode. Orange weapons/equipment should not be the be all end all. They shouldn’t drop from the sky like rain. It should be special when you get one. Blue and Purple weapons should be useful in end game. It is a rare blue/purple that you can play with in end game. One time weapons are ridiculous, especially given that finding a ‘perfect one’ is almost impossible. So resetting quests/contents is one way to address this issue.

Visuals:
Can I please, for the love of all things holy, see WTF I am shooting at. I don’t really care how you fix but please do.

Story:
If you are going to use cut scenes you need to account for the fact that the VH is present. It seems that this would be a no brainer but it breaks immersion when a scenes takes over and all of a sudden the VH is not a part of the story. Can we also stop with the journey into the mind of different characters. Cheap ploy that Borderlands has beaten to death.

Bugs:
I actually feel sorry for the developers. BL3 has felt like a runaway train catering to an insane schedule of releases. Instead of barrelling towards the next DLC or seasonal event how about we stop and fix some ■■■■. Get the base right before trying to shoe-horn some new content in.

Gameplay:
More thought into how skill trees will work and synergize with each other. It should not take an over powered COM to make a character work. A well built character should be able to barely survive using no COMs and white/green weapons. BL3, IMO, has too much reliance on COMs to make things work. Amara might be the exception.

I could probably go on, but I will stop here.

3 Likes

Tbh I did say get a new team and yes I know what that means but I do not want humans to lose their jobs I say humans as we often forget they are people nobody’s like you and me just normal peeps but from a customer side I have problems with the current staff I don’t know if they can be fixed an example of what I ment before the dlc hammerlock and Wainwright kiss scene can not be skipped every thing else in the game can though but sadly in this climate if I point that out I am an ist and a phobe I am not treated as a person with a legit problem and I feel that has been a theme with bl3s story as a whole