Should mayhem difficulty and modifiers be separate?


I hate to say it but ballooning health values aren’t a huge component of difficulty in BL3. I’m nearing 50 and have been playing RPG based games for a long time and I’ll tell you a truism that really helps to work these things out:

As soon as you learn how to not die, everything else is just time and DPS.

Once you get to that point where you aren’t going to die? Making enemies stand up for longer isn’t going to make the game any harder, just longer.

So what I’m about to say is a bit simplified so is easy to nit pick but I’m sure people using common sense will get it just fine:

The problem for your view in that respect is that many of the fights in BL3 are already sustained in nature and done via the method of once entering a fight, new enemies will spawn ONLY when other enemies have died. This means there’s a secondary control in place of how much incoming enemy fire is activated at any given time. Once you can survive that level of enemy fire it cannot get any ‘harder’ to survive just by making the enemy live longer.

Side Note: What this spawn-over-time does is stop the hardest part of any fight being “first contact” simply because that’s when the most enemies are standing. I’m not suggesting it’s a ‘bad thing’ in any way, it serves a very useful purpose.

Then there’s the fact that BL3 also only spawns enemies by proximity. This means that as long as a player doesn’t advance too far and trigger a new spawn there is no potential for an increased number of enemies that will increase the amount of incoming damage. Again, as soon as a player is able to cope with the incoming damage, no increase in enemy health will increase ‘difficulty’.

The same can be said of bosses. Once you know how to reliably survive every phase of any given boss it will never kill you again. Giving it more health will NOT make the fight any harder because once you can reliably survive the only question that remains is how long it will take you to kill it (or if you can kill it if the boss can self-heal).

At that point the only way the game currently has an active implementation to accomplish an increase in difficulty is to increase enemy DPS to make it possible for the game to kill the player. That is done entirely through Mayhem modifiers.

Side note: Of course Mayhem Mode modifiers can also make the game easier by giving the player DPS bonuses to align themselves with in order to kill enemies faster and reduce the incoming damage more quickly.

Out of the two aspects of Mayhem Mode increasing difficulty, ballooning enemy health is actually the least effective because the longer a player spends playing the game the better their DPS becomes and the less effective enemy health becomes in the face of the player gaining access to the most powerful weapons the game has to offer.

At it’s base level your idea of how difficulty is accomplished is a bit skewed and I imagine a lot of experienced players just won’t agree with you at all.

Mayhem 2.0 will probably restructure all existing Mayhem modes, hopefully for the better (providing difficulty instead of just taking more time). Following that will be UVHM (again, hopefully a better improvement than a TVHM is now - a base health boost and some minor tweaking elsewhere).

Calling for Mayhem 5 is premature until we see what those are going to bring to the game.


Probably. All speculation though.

The game is ready for M5. Once guardian ranks got turned on again, M4 got too easy. Time for a bump.

I don’t understand why anyone would have a problem with them being split.

It’s great for people that hate modifiers and it has exactly 100% zero effect for those that want them.

There’s literally no downside to having them split… I don’t understand people sometimes. They don’t want other people to enjoy the game as much?


I feel ya Hurdy.

I’m the kind that doesn’t care at all for random modifiers. I kinda like to create a build with generally set weapons and play from there.

Thus, I like less random combat modifiers but I’m okay with more incoming damage and more health.

Seems to be an option to please all without losing any challenge to the game.


The only games with similar difficulty solutions that I’ve played were Bastion and Synthetik. I do not remember that about Bastion, but Synthetik’s difficulty modifiers were a welcoming way to make me challenge myself - one by one I’ve introduced new modifiers into the play and it didn’t feel like a kick in a duck.

Just outsource development of Mayhem 2.0 to Flow Fire Games, GBX. /jk

EDIT: Synthetik is being developed by “Flow Fire Games”, not “Free Fire Games”. Stupid.


Splitting them seems like a good idea. I see the possibility of satisfying both parties. Players who prefer OP levels would just increase Mayhem levels as you described. Players who prefer modifiers would have mixture of Mayhem levels and modifiers. Modifiers can be selectable or randomized. Ultimately, the rewards would be same for both sides, which is easier said than done.


I liked Bastion’s pick your poison approach. I haven’t played Synthetik, but I just checked it out. It looks really interesting. Thanks for mentioning it.


Given that mayhem 2.0 seems to have brought this issue back up, I thought I’d bump this post back up, and see if people still agree. The vote ended in January with 73% wanting mayhem modifiers and difficulty level separate, so we can choose each.

SO, what do people want to happen to mayhem 2.0, based on playing it so far?

  • Keep mayhem 2.0 together
  • Split challenge from fun/modifiers and let us pick each
  • Some other option (add to comments below)

0 voters

I personally really like this suggestion

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There are two elements of randomness that I really hate in the game: Guardian Point bonuses and Mayhem 2.0 modifiers. I’d settle for the option to be able to lock even one variable down, just so I can spend more time playing and less time fishing.

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What do mean about guardian point bonuses being random?

I think the game should let players CHOOSE up to four modifiers they want (regardless of their difficulties), or not choose them at all.
An increased loot drop rate can be attached to every single modifier to make things more interesting (the highest drop rate bonus for VERY HARD modifiers).

This can help players with graphic issues while increasing the number of ways this game can be played with.

  • Take the best BADASS build you have and see if you can beat the game with m10 + 4 VERY HARD modifiers :smirk:.
  • Content creators can use m10 + zero modifiers to give demonstrations.
  • M8 + no modifiers: “history mod” with mayhem weapons for the upcoming DLC

And so on…

EDIT: m10 + 4 VERY HARD modifiers (4 very high loot drop rate bonuses, according to this mechanic) would be the new way to farm bosses (CRAZY LOOT + a real boss fight)

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When I assign Guardian Points, I am given two random choices from each of the three categories. And recently, they changed it so the lower bonuses will show up more often. I guess THEY want to decide how I build my character.

I know there are diminishing returns and all that, but I really don’t want/need vehicle damage. Or melee damage for that matter, or many of the other options. But I still have a limited pool to pick from. And unlike Mayhem modifiers, I can’t reroll my options. The point is lost. I had to go really deep into one tree because the other options were so terrible for several points in a row.


Well if you’re playing so much anyway that those stat boosts make that much of a difference, why not just max out all trees ASAP, and then you can pick what you want out of six options instead of two.

There are to separate issues. I’ve already maxed out the three “trees”. But for each tree, there are at least one or two bonuses that I don’t want, over better options. But I don’t have control over what options I have. Sometimes it’s a matter of picking the least-worst option out of the 6. And there are times when they are all bad, because they are low, because I don’t pick them, because they are bad. So they show up more often.

It’s a very punitive system. Diminishing returns, points take longer to gain, bad options show up more often.

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Well, for me at least, I sort of “took the hint” back with BL2’s badass point system that I shouldn’t expect anything more than a 10-15% increase in certain stats. And I think I can see why they do it, they don’t want characters to be “carried” by large passive boosts from the homogenous guardian perk system, it’s your character’s personal build that’s supposed to do that. The Guardian stat boost system is punitive on purpose.

I had issue with it back in BL2 as well. BL1 at least rewarded you based on your preferred weapon. And if I wanted to boost another weapon, I could, by using it. Practice makes perfect and all that.

But BL2 and 3 both have diminishing returns, so there’s already a built in balance that prevents players from being carried. If they wanted hard caps, they should have instituted hard caps and allowed us to pick where we put our points, like the Diablo 3 Paragon system (far from perfect, but outside of the Perks, better than BL3).

I think there’s a problem when they have to intentionally nerf the end-game stuff like this. The whole system should probably be reworked, but they have more important work to do first. The BL3 system was flawed from the beginning, but it became worse when they implemented the biased rolls.


I hope GB will consider this possibility for the near future. Crossed fingers :crossed_fingers:

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We should be able to choose our modifiers and then based on what we’ve chosen, the difficulty is set. This is how some other games do it.

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The only thing I hate about Mayhem is this stu**d garbage modifiers that ruins the game.