Once you get close to your ideal build, then what?

I’ve played all the BL games, some quite a lot, but not as extensively as other people. For example, I had 600+ hours in BL2 and played in UVHM, though I don’t think I stuck around long enough to get to the final level cap. I can’t remember if I played Digistruct Peak and/or OP levels - if so, then not much. So I’ve probably missed out on the ‘true endgame’ of all the games. I’ve also never played other looters like Diablo or Destiny.

I’ve been enjoying BL3, despite all the messups, and I’ve been enjoying the process of farming for better and better gear to make my dream build. Though it’s become increasingly difficult to ignore the feeling that it’s all pretty pointless, since I can defeat any content in the game so easily. I mean, what’s the point of getting a gun or a COM with a slightly better roll if the ones I have already are enough to destroy any boss in seconds?

I did the Guardian takedown in M10 True Takedown mode the other day, and though there were some hairy moments, it was pretty easy. The difficulty came from not falling off rather than from combat per se, and certainly not from Scourge, who’s a pussycat. I enjoyed the challenge and will do it again a couple of times, but I hardly feel the need for better loot (let alone a whole new skill tree), which won’t help much with falling off. In fact, when I do eventually get significantly better loot, the combat in the GTD will become as mind-numbingly easy as it is everywhere else at the moment, killing the last area in the game where I actually have fun combat.

I assume that what I’m describing is not meant to happen in a game like this, right? Surely I’m supposed to feel enticed to keep reaching for the dangling carrot, rather than feeling like someone’s given me the key to the carrot cake factory and now I feel bloated and gross :laughing:

So my question is, what usually happens in the endgame of games like this (whether the final stages of BL2/TPS or other games like Diablo)? Do they usually have content that remains constantly difficult, encouraging ongoing bettering of your build? Or is it normal that they release content which is super difficult for a while and then becomes super easy until the next round of content? Or is it normal that players break through the ceiling after a while and move on to another game?

And do you think BL3 will permanently/periodically become challenging again? I guess this is why people keep calling for raid bosses?

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If I can’t get the carrot for too long, or I keep getting kicked in the junk every time I reach for it, I generally decide to look for carrots elsewhere. Of course, once I have all the carrots I want I’ll probably move on, too. Endgame is as the name suggests, in my experience - the end of the game. Games I’ve gotten the most play out of usually don’t keep me around because of the end - it’s either the basic gameplay, or there’s character creation options that keep me revisiting the beginning to try out different things. Occasionally a game will briefly draw me back in with additional new content, too.

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bl endgame is a sandbox to me: a place where you can constantly experiment different things. There is no such thing as ‘ideal build’ what I aim is kill things in the most unusual ways, instead of looking the meta looks at the underdogs.

For instance I had a lot fun building Zane around the Rogue which is a weapon people regularly spit on, yet the Rogue is probably one of the best weapon they ever did, not about dps but because you can really build around its gimmick and make it a lot better this way.

Now let me tell you about cool diablo like game ( free game!) Path of Exile , its endgame philosophy is drastically different and probably more in line to this ‘challenge’ some people are obsessed with. In Poe you don t do a build just like that, just opening the skill tree is generally enough to discourage the noobs. You have to think long and hard about what you want to do, any point respec is costly with rare currency. Then you have to craft or trade for your specific gear, best gear is always crafted, crafting is an art that will take months to master, gathering best material and currency require intense grinding and trading. Once you do all that ( which can take a lot of time), maybe you will be ready to find the equivalent of raid bosses, you ll need to grind simply to earn the right to fight them( tries are limited) you ll have to have a very solid build and know their patterns

Well when I remenber my days of POE and compare to bl , poe is definetely an hardcore game( you even have a rogue lite mode) and bl a light fun game. Different games, different philosophies, different players or same players in a different state of mind…

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It’s a looter game. Supposedly, you would play a full run in lower difficulty, gear up, farm for optimal gear, and go for a new run on higher difficulty. Assuming you already roll on M10, you may:

  • make sure you cleared absolutely everything, each secret of each map, each crew challenge, each side mission, each voice record hidden thing, each trophy/achievement, etc.
  • start a new character (if you haven’t tried the 4).
  • repeat that on UVHM to have mission rewards as perfected gear.
  • challenge yourself with not-in-game goals (eg. clear trials and takedowns as fast as possible, build for manufacturer allegiance), for your own pride.

That is the main issue of BL3, once you hit L65M10 and feel comfortable, there is not much challenge left, and farming for perfect gear is tedious due to low drop rates (including the annointment system).

Compared to that, BL2 gave you access to OP levels only if you were able to clear the infamous digistruct peak (without dying, in a single run) in the lower OP. And because the scaling was exponential, everything doubled (or more) each OP, and running several OP levels in a row was almost impossible, you had to farm and gear at each new step. I guess you would remember that if you reached OP6 or higher.

Diablo3 is a different beast, as you have a capped level of gear, tools to reroll and/or improve gear stats, and going in higher difficulties makes farming easier (if you’re geared to face that difficulty). Developpers have included a system similar to guardian tokens that almost infinitely improves your damage, it requires lots of hours of farming to be able to challenge the highest tier of difficulty.

What lacks in BL3 is an incent to farm - either a challenge that prevents the access to higher tier of difficulty (BL2), or some way to improve the gear you already have (Diablo3) - and a loop in this farming (I gear up to face difficulty+1, there I’ll gear up for difficulty+2, then…). The current BL3 system allows to gear up straight from M0 to M10, and the biggest issue is that you actually CAN do that without intermediate steps, and without much trouble.

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You lost me at “free game” :laughing: I absolutely refuse to play free games because I only want to play games that are designed around making me have a great time, rather than be designed around how to get me to periodically cough up microtransations and keep me indefinitely hooked. Actually, that’s one of the big flaws with BL3 - even though it doesn’t have microtransactions, all these free events and power creep and games-as-a-service nonsense kinda makes it feel like it does…though that’s another topic.

I totally appreciate your “sandbox” mentality. That sounds like a really good way to play the game. Though it’s not for me personally - different strokes for different folks and all that. Gaming for me has always been about the focus and the challenge. I usually only play games once (on the hardest difficulty, always, and with total emotional investment), and once I beat it the game feels spent to me. Borderlands is different, because the challenge doesn’t really begin until after the first playthrough.

But that’s why I’ve never been one for sandbox-style games where you make your own fun rather than chasing after a set goal. So I’ve never played a single minute of The Sims or Minecraft, for example, and never will, even though I fully acknowledge that they must be really good games…for those people whose personalities are suited to them.

It hadn’t occurred to me that my challenge-centric mindset might actually be at odds with BL3. Hmm, gonna think about that…

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Yes, so true. I was really excited when I heard about the upcoming M2.0. I imagined the epic struggle it would take to claw my way up the levels. Though that mirage started to crack when I noticed people on the forums on the morning of the M2.0 launch talking about how they just beat this or that boss in M10.

ok I will just correct the misconception about the economical model of path of exile, because it is absolutely not like those mobile games you think of. The only microtranscations that exist are cosmetics and absolutely no gear or progression is gated by payment, it is a strong point of this game and they are adament about it. It is rather exceptional for free game and their work is beyond reproach on this point plus the overall quality is largely equal and superior to paid game

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OK, noted. I’ve made a mental note to place Path of Exile in the ‘give it a chance’ pile in my head :slight_smile:

I still dislike that there’s such a strong culture of gamers wanting something for nothing that models like this are encouraged - because for every developer who takes the high road and does it well there’ll be 5 devs who take the pay-to-win route, which erodes the expectations and standards of the industry as a whole. As we’ve already seen (and I’ve already moaned about) it even affects paid games like BL3, where Gearbox now feel compelled to prioritise frequent free content over basic quality control. But I guess it’s good that some companies are showing how to do free-to-play in a way that doesn’t harm the games.

POE sounds intense. I’m intrigued!

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Only a personal view but I think GBX overlooked progression when they were putting together BL3.

They obviously believed that they would maintain a long-term player base by concentrating on endgame. So they made it very easy to max a character to get into endgame quickly. They included loads of legendaries, and their variants, to farm. They fed in further, new gear in various events, raids and DLCs. They also trickled in level cap rises. For better or worse, they chose Mayhem Mode as the mechanic for increasing difficulty.

What they didn’t do was provide a consistent levelling/progression system to give the constant challenge that most gamers enjoy. I play FPSs and Borderlands is about as close as I get to an RPG or “game as a service”. However, I had the misfortune to play Destiny 2, once (my co-op group ran out of new games and it was free). After you gained your skill set during the campaign, the game introduced a secondary levelling system. I disliked the pointless grinding but I couldn’t fault the constantly increasing difficulty and improving gear.

In BL3, you race to the level cap and that’s it. I haven’t been using Mayhem Mode generally but I did give it a try on one of my characters. I quickly realized I might as well go straight to M10. Since I’ve no interest in collecting guns or “God builds”, that was it. Nowhere to go. Even if you enjoy farming, as Volny points out, it eventually becomes pointless without somewhere to go.

In the first three games, progression was slow but provided a constantly increasing difficulty level. Even non-legendary gear, at the higher level, was worthwhile. In BL2, GBX even recognized the need for further progression after the level cap and gave us OPing. In BL3, the lack of progression has ruined the game for me and my co-op friends and it may well be that it has reached a point where it no longer satisfies endgame players either. A shame.

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Bl3 is a game as a service? Damn this is the reason why the game is worse compared to bl2…

I hated this mechanic in BFV already since you are forced to play the game all time to no kiss anything.

That depends on the player and how they play the game. The only time I used something close to a meta setup in Borderlands were 2 Salvadors in BL2: one was a deputy/melee hybrid, the other was a topnea spammer. Neither ever had the absolute best gear for the set up, but it was good enough to raid with so I just ran through mobbing areas (Lynchwood, Sawtooth, WEP) and enjoyed the power. On my other off-meta chars (pistol Axton, DFA Gaige, digi-life doppelganger, melee claptrap, Jakobs Sal, min-min lighter amp doppelganger), I’d get the closest to perfect gear for whatever set up I wanted, settle when I didn’t feel like pushing anymore, and then just enjoy wherever I was at. For TPS, and to an extent BL3, it was a lot of time theorycrafting set ups and pushing them against the endgame content. Once I could get past it, I was satisfied and just enjoyed having a good, self-created build. If I couldn’t (or rather, if it took a copious amount of effort and time since every build CAN clear endgame if you have the patience) clear endgame content, then I’d just have fun mobbing with it.

I feel like this feeling of boredom primarily comes from playing the meta. If you put together your own build and try to get it into endgame, it will take a fair amount of experimentation and time to get everything just right. Once you do, you have a great feeling of accomplishment and feel justified in enjoying your power. But since we’re on the internet and people can look up the most mathematically powerful set ups that have been completely optimized and follow a guide to a super powerful endgame build, that time spent theorycrafting, failing, and going back to the drawing board doesn’t exist. People just farm the gear they’re told to farm, spec how they’re told to spec, and if they blitz the game and get bored afterwards what is there to do?

To answer your question

That’s the idea, but it doesn’t happen. Think of this game like a math test, and the internet is a giant cheating ring. The smart kid in the class gives the answer to everyone so they all pass. Would you bother studying for the test?

That’s RPG’s in general. This is a numbers game, once you figure out how to get the numbers you need the execution is fairly simple. Some games are trying to buck this trend (Last Epoch had an update recently that revamped the endgame to add dynamic damage resistance to bosses so the more burst damage you do the less damage they take), but for the most part RPG’s are not inherently challenging gameplay wise. You just need a calculator.

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It can’t not happen at end game, which is what I’ve always wondered about players interested in loot over combat - like they’re automatically playing with a timer. Once you get the perfect gear, and farming is all you’re here for… you’re done?

For me, the game has always been about the enjoyable combat; farming/trading is a nuisance I deal with to get the gear that makes the combat enjoyable. I have nine characters at level 65, some of whom haven’t even touched some of the new DLCs (I save some of these for level cap increases, so they have those missions available), but every one of them is built, loaded, and plays differently, and they all have unexplored sections of maps, and loads of side missions/challenges not yet done. When they get all completed, they’ll reset the missions/storyline and start over.

I have a spreadsheet that randomly picks a map (66) and one of my BL3 characters (9) for me to play, which amounts to 594 possibilities. For each of those characters, I have anywhere from maybe six to a dozen different combat loadouts that I pick depending on my mood (including Mayhem options). I do something different in BL3 pretty much every time I play… gonna be a long time before I get bored here.

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I spent 7 years playing BL2 and not once did I get the carrot lol

I got close and become a meat monster but never quite where I wanted to be

There’s always more damage you can do lol

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Back to the original question, once I get to my ideal build, I create another ideal build with different setup and gear. Hence I ended up with at least 5 Mozes at lvl 65 who’ve completed main story and solo True Takedown M10.

My next job is to level up my two Zanes, Amarras, Flaks from 57 to 65. Get their ideal builds. Ideal to me means they can take out MTD M10 solo with ease without using cheats or exploits.

My goal is to have at least one ideal build with varying capstones. But my focus is really seeing how far Mozr cam go with other builds. I’ll be prepping a 6th Moze for the upcoming Iron Cub skill tree.

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Once I have my build sorted, I play the game. I like running the Maliwan Takedown without even looking at the loot. It’s therapeutic shooting stuff.

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Exactly.

Borlderlands used to be a looter shooter. Sadly though, in this game the shooter is an afterthought, and it’s all about the loot. Which means once you have the loot you want there’s really nothing to do with it. The shooting mechanics are good, but the gameplay is sorely lacking because virtually no effort has been put into making the enemies any better, more difficult, more diverse, or more exciting than they were in 2012.

It’s the one aspect where they could have really set themselves apart. The tech was there, they just didn’t bother using it.

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You know what’s funny here.

Borderlands 3 is a shooter played from first person point of view and an extensive loot system, right?

How do first person shooters that don’t have loot systems but instead just a static selection of guns and maybe a static selection of 5 or 6 mods that can be attached manage to have very fun and lasting gameplay?

Because they do. And there’s no reason why a loot system should prevent Borderlands 3 from being able to do the same. Unfortunately Gearbox forgot to make a fun shooter.

Eh, this is a rabbithole of an argument. Fun is a subjective measure. Even this thread, with questions on what there is to do in the endgame, has personal choice and preference as a major factor.

This isn’t me saying the game is perfect, or that endgame can’t be improved, for the record.

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More or less how I’ve been playing the game (I like how you go for MTD instead of GTD lmao). I’ve reached 2 of each VH and just ran out of motivation to play the game anymore.

New skill trees will probably bring me back in a big way since the biggest pull for me in these games is the sheer amount of options the player has (cough up until mayhem 2.0 cough) between gear, weapons, and skills. I’ll probably even start one of each VH at the beginning again to get the feel of the new skill trees

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