One life purity musing

As I’ve mentioned, in BL1 & 2 I generally only do 1Life runs.

I’ve been musing on a circumstance in BL1 that I’m torn on.

When I begin a BL1 one life run, I go to T-Bone junction and grab a bunch of stuff from the 4 grey/red chests there and sell 'em.
On the way, sometimes I miss the jump from the lower red chest on the broken walkway section.
When I do, I generally delete the character, losing about 40 minutes of progress.

However, I’ve been thinking about this.
As we know, falling off the edge in T-Bone junction does not cost you a respawn fee, and you do not get any death animation.

So, what is it? Is falling off a death, or are you falling into a very broad fast travel field that exists under T-Bone to simply teleport you back to solid footing?

Thoughts? I recognize that this matters only to about the 10 people who still do 1Life in BL1, but it’s been on my mind.
Death, or fast travel?

For my no-death runs I count it as a death. If I recall correctly, the edges of the screen go red and the death scream is triggered. My memory could just be bad, though, and if it is, then I would still count it as a death anyway. Functionally, it is no different from Lilith using Phasewalk to run off of the cliff around Crawmerax. She will respawn downstairs without paying the death fee. Another version of that is avoiding death by turret in Rust Commons West when getting the red chest that is out of bounds. You can walk off the cliff in a specific way to avoid the fee, but it is still a death as far as I am concerned. Also, saving and quitting to avoid death is something I regard as cheating.

The only absolutely unavoidable case of getting to Fast Travel without a fee is doing the Armory missions. Besides being forced by plot, the only excuse for this one is a lack of both a death scream and the screen going red. It would have been nice if you could just plant the bomb, then leave, but such is life. It could have been cool to get a “walking away from the big explosion” cinematic for it.

Back on topic, it is ultimately up to the rules you set for yourself. I have plenty of self-imposed rules, such as no entering the DLCs out of order, or after the completion of the main plot. You could just as well treat it as a giant safety net for the area if there is no red screen/death scream if your conscious is okay with that.

Everyone has different rules. I used to fight Mad Mel in a way fellow no-death player MeltintheSun (if I recall his name correctly) regards as cheating (parking vehicle on ramp, running inside to trigger fight, running back and jumping in the vehicle, jumping out and relatively safely sniping Mad Mel while only taking damage from the occasional rocket or thrown buzzaxe) for his purposes. I now use a new way that could also be regarded as cheating (I jump up on a rock inside the arena, and for whatever reason I cannot be hit there) as it is even safer than the old way. Are they both cheating? One? The other? Does it matter? Let your conscious decide.

I agree with most of your points, and will continue to delete my character on the odd times when I fall off in T-Bone. Feels appropriate in my one-life world also.
I don’t do the DLCs in order cuz I don’t know what the order is (and don’t particularly want to), I gave up on BL1 when it first came out and only really got into it after the April remaster, so don’t know what order they happened in.

As for Knoxx, I just don’t complete the DLC. I dislike the auto-death in the Armory, so I just get to the end and don’t go in the story way. I have used the fall through the floor glitch just to check out the boxes, but I’ve never gotten anything interesting in the 3 times I’ve done that so don’t care, I can get pearls from Craw.
Thanks for your perspective.

DLCs are in the order they appear on the Fast Travel. If for some bizarre reason that is not the case, it goes: Zombies, Moxxi, Knoxx, Robolution. I do it because I like for the story to stay coherent. Athena’s cutscene to open the Knoxx DLC makes no sense at all if you head there from Fyrestone. Also, fighting… pretty much every boss in the Robolution really ensures it goes last. Different strokes for different folks and all that.

Killing Crawmerax is canon, so that means blowing up the Armory is canon given, according to the story, the Armory’s detonation is what woke Crawmerax up . All that means is blowing up the Armory did not have the intended effect of killing the Vault Hunters. Also, the Robolution happens some time after Knoxx, so they could not have died when the Armory detonated.

It was fantastically lazy design and writing by the developers of the Knoxx DLC when it came to that, but oh well.

I’d call it a death but it’s entirely up to you, as @bryanswpaulsen said. What feels like cheating to me (e.g. cheesing the Mad Mel fight) may not to you. What feels like cheating to Bryan (e.g. farming the cliff chest in RCW) does not to me!

I have chosen not to cheese money by going to T-bone, but again that’s up to you. I’ve done enough one-life runs to know that money is a non-issue once you move past the earliest part of the game…definitely by the time you reach Dahl Headlands. It would make the early game less tiresome (constant ammo issues) but I doubt it would make any difference in the outcome of the run. I always die to something stupid, and from reading your posts the last couple months, I see that so do you… :joy:

Oh, and I think an estimate of 10 people doing BL1 one-life runs may be about seven too high!

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I do it mostly for my one real cheese - buying the gold SMG SDU upgrade in T-Bone to take me to 1260 SMG ammo. Yes, total cheese, but I like it better than constantly scrounging ammo.

Oh Yes. Many many dumb ways to die… I just ended my PS4 1life in the tunnels leading up to the R.R. power plant when I went down, and the enemy who put me down ran behind a barricade :exploding_head:


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Yeah, we are probably the only 3. I have not played at all in a few months, since the way the co-op no-death run with my buddy went (for him to die on part 2 Crawmerax, which was the very last thing we had to do, is brutal). I have already completed two successful no-death Bricks, although I am considering a final successful no-death Brick for 2020.

Here’s a fun one to test what is/isn’t cheating for you. Using the doors in the Sledge fight - fair play or not? The fight is supposed to be a chaotic up-close-and-personal affair, but using the doors makes the fight super easy and risk free (not that it is particularly hard as is).

Mentally, it can be hard to tell the difference between cheating, finding creative solutions, and not doing things the way they were envisioned. How do you decide?

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I’ve never done this, but that’s simply because I never thought about it.

To me that is a fair play. The level designers chose to have this option available (vs. the many other mini-boss arenas where all escape routes are closed), this is not a flaw in the graphics engine or other glitchy thing.
If it’s normal then it can be used. Take the entrance to Krom’s canyon, for example. You can take out the two closer turrets from waaaay far away, far enough that those turrets cannot lock on you, they cannot fire, so you’re shooting without any potential peril. Is that an exploit? Nah, it’s just level design. Many other spots like that where you can fire without taking damage, or run to avoid damage.

So level design use is not an exploit to me

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That’s my thought as well. If you are doing completely normal things within the confines of the game, then it is fine to me. Glitching into walls to become invulnerable would be cheating. I also regard usage of Brick’s speed boost via Berserk cancel to be cheating.

Where I find MeltintheSun’s perspective on my original approach to the Mad Mel fight reasonable is there is a timing aspect to the jumping up and accessing the vehicle that is similar to the Berserk cancel. Easy to do, but not a normal part of gameplay. The new way is simpler, less risky, and requires nothing unusual. However, I am curious as to how he decides what is and is not acceptable for himself.

Also, I always snipe those turrets leading to Krom’s Canyon from where you pick up the parts to assemble the shotgun. Never occurred to me that it could be considered a form of exploit, but your perspective on it is good.

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I see it this way - the ramp to get back out of the Mad Mel arena raises as soon as Mad Mel is dead. To me, that means the battle is supposed to be fought down there amid the chaos. I didn’t even know you could shut the doors on Sledge…as you said, not a particularly hard fight anyway.

I haven’t sat down and made logical decisions about anything really…I just have gone with what feels like cheating to me. I guess I enjoy the tension of the difficult parts - how much strategy and gear prep can I do beforehand to give myself the best chance at surviving? I died to Mad Mel probably a dozen times before settling on a strategy, so being able to beat him “honestly” now is a better feeling than merely getting past it.

I haven’t played the game at all since the end of my last one-life run. Just checked the thread - May 24th. Not sure when I’ll give it another shot…the idea is starting to sound appealing again.


Good point about the ramp and excellent argument against my old method. I had totally forgotten about that, and it makes me agree with you that it is, in fact, cheating.

Given my two no-death Bricks used it, it provides some incentive to do a final one using the new method.

I’m firmly in the camp that the ramp for Mad Mel is not an exploit or glitch.

The ramp was built the virtual height it was by the designers. Had they raised it 3-4 virtual feet, then getting back in your car would not be possible.
As it is there is no special effort or technique to do this, just drop your front wheels over, then get back in with a simple entry, no jumping, running, special leap involved.
Feels OK to me.

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You described my old method. However, the developers do drop the ramp once the fight is started. It is a creative solution to the developer’s attempt to stop attempts to leave, but MeltintheSun has swayed me.

… Not that it really matters. The new way I use is simpler, safer based on the times I have used it, takes place inside the arena, and requires nothing fancy to accomplish.

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Because I’m waaaay to lazy to figure it out on my own, can you describe the in-arena shooting spot you use now?

Assume you are on the ramp, facing into Mad Mel’s arena. If you jump down the ramp and go a short distance to the right, there is a rock outcropping you can jump up on to.

Essentially: drive into the arena to trigger the fight. Circle around to where the rock outcropping is. Get out of the vehicle and just jump up on to the rock outcropping. While on it, for whatever reason, I have never been hit there.

I searched for a video that makes use of the general area. It is the second method, the one he calls “The Hidey-Hole Glitch Trick”. He glitches into a wall, but uses the same general area - pay attention to the rock he jumps on to. You do not have to glitch into the wall like he did in order for it to work. What matters most is simply jumping up to the rock.

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Thanks, just got my latest Siren through the Robot Revolution unscathed, so I’ll be a-killin’ Mel in a game-hour or so and trying this technique.
First I’m going to play a little BL3 though.