For a game that boasts over a billion different gun combinations, there aren’t very many actually useful ones. This means that players have to wade through a vast number of weapons to find those that would hold up as viable. This is especially true on high mayhem levels, where the enemy health pools mean only the best builds can perform well, and there are even more useless legendary drops to wade through to find what you want. A new way to work towards the weapons you need to fill out your build would be amazing.
My suggestion is a gun-encyclopaedia or Gun-paedia that tracks weapon parts that you have discovered through playing. The way I imagine this working, is through a menu tab that lists all guns (or items in general, no reason this wouldn’t work for shields, grenades etc.) by weapon type. All weapons are undiscovered by default, but when you pick up a weapon, it’s parts are added to your list of discovered parts. This could be seen within the Gun-paedia s the weapon itself being now visible within, and when you click on that gun, you can see the variants for each of its constituent parts, e.g 1 barrel out of 5 unlocked, 3 out of 6 handles unlocked etc. The highest character level and mayhem level that it has dropped on is also tracked for each component. This provides an incentive for completionist types to collect guns that they would normally ignore, so that they can complete the encylcopaedia, which could reward weapon skins for different percentages of completion.
The real way that this could take some of the RNG frustration out of the end game, is if you could digistruct new weapons using the parts that you had unlocked, by using an in game currency such as eridium, or something akin to BL2’s seraph crystals that drop from end game content. You could head to a specific vending machine or something like that on sanctuary, and select the gun you wish to create. You then select your level and mayhem level and any of the components you wish to be used for the gun (from any options that you have previously unlocked). You then accept your choices and pay a set amount of currency (proportional to the gold value of the gun most likely, seeing as that has already been calculated by the developers) and there you go, you have your new gun.
There are many potential benefits to a system like this. Firstly, it will reduce player frustration. At the moment, farming can be incredibly frustrating. For example, if you need a particular legendary weapon with a particular element and a particular annointment (which you will do, almost every build relies on a few specific weapon rolls) then what are the chances of you getting such a weapon?
Lets run some hypothetical numbers just to provide an example, in this case for a weapon that can roll every element and drops roughly once in every 10 runs from a specific loot source. There are currently 17 universal weapon annoints since the patch, and between 5 and 7 class specific depending on your class. Lets use 23 as our number of total weapon annoint options. There are 5 different elements. So the chance of us getting this weapon on a particular boss run is (1/10) x (1/23) x (1/5) = 1/1150. In other words, on average, a player will have to kill the boss 1150 times for the desired weapon to drop. If we assume it takes 1 minute to kill the boss, including loading times and time taken to reach the boss from the spawn point, it will usually take over 19 hours of dedicated farming just for this one gun. Many players would have to farm much longer, because random chance does not reward with certainty. By the time you get the combo you want, you will likely have seen all of the elements, annointments and other components pop up in sub-optimal combinations, multiple times, often getting your hopes up on first glance, then dashing them when you read the item description in full. This is not a rewarding system.
As mentioned before, tying the gun creation to a new currency would allow gearbox to balance the availability of these tailor made weapons, and also provide a reason to do the currently less than useful guardian takedown. If scourge isn’t going to drop any useful items himself, it would be amazing if he could drop something that allows us to work towards better weapons.
This system is also lore friendly, as it is effectively exactly how the vehicle system works. Find parts, scan parts in, digistruct new vehicle from discovered parts.
Players would still have to farm specific sources to get guns, and this would not take all of the RNG out of the game, it would just make players feel like each and every drop of the weapon they want is helping them towards that perfect roll.
I’m interested to hear what people think of this idea, so feel free to lay into it with whatever criticisms you have. Thank you for reading this lengthy post.