Some ideas for Borderlands 4

Now, there will be some spoilers ahead in terms of story. I intend to use them in my explanation as to why we should change up the current formula of the series.

Story

In Borderlands 3, we have killed powerful godlike creatures. From the opening of the vault on Promethea to the defeat of Tyreen the destroyer. Though many feel the twins were portrayed as weak villains in the main story, on a technical standpoint, they were the greatest threat to plague the galaxies. The twins were sirens, able to leech off other sirens and perform feats like pulling Pandora’s moon out of the sky. That moon was the key to unlocking “the great vault” which had been the planet Pandora itself.

The destroyer from the first game is a Lovecraftian terror capable of devouring anything. From entire civilizations to the very stars that twinkle in the vastness of space. It was so dangerous, that an ancient siren named Niriad helped the eridians imprison the destroyer, by using their own people as bait to lure the great terror into it’s prison. It is set free, and absorbed by Tyreen Calypso, and the four vault hunters we play now defeat the terror, and end the threat of the destroyer.

We have come to the point now that the stakes are no longer high in opening vaults. Not when the Crimson Raiders prove that they have the badasses to defeat the beasts that dwell within them. There capabilities are great, able to slay powerful creatures with their combined efforts. It’s here, that I think the series should move in another direction. Not interms of what the game is about, the vaults are a vital part of the series as a whole. But I think the Crimson Raiders have become too big at this point in time. Not only with those who are capable of overcoming any challenge that opposes them, but also with those whose abilities make them a force to be reckoned with. They have an eridian expert in Tannis. Powerful influential allies like Moxxi, Ellie, and Marcus. And the power of the sirens.

Now, one of the best ways I think the series can progress is by moving away from the Crimson Raiders. Not entirely, but enough for the story to dwell on other types of happenings going on in the universe. One of the biggest draws for me when I first got into this series was the feeling of being in a universe I didn’t know or understand. The only objective I had in mind was to fulfill the objective of the game, which was to find and open a vault. Along the way, we were introduced to amazing, deranged, and strange characters. People that would help you on your quest, and inhabitants that stood in the way of your ultimate goal. Bandits, wildlife, dangerous mega-corporations that sought the same thing you did. It gave you the sense that there was a larger story going on, and that our vault hunters ended up getting mixed into that story in pursuit of the vaults.

For Borderlands 4, I’d like for Gearbox to recapture that feeling. One where the universe we explored was bigger than your character. I feel that one of the best ways to do so is by introducing another group of vault hunters who are not associated with the Raiders. Not to say they wouldn’t by the end of the game, but that joining up with the Raiders becomes a feat you earn by the end of the story. And the reason for this, is to see another side of the characters we have come to know and love. One of the main themes of Borderlands 3 was family. That through finding one another and being united in a common goal, our characters have accomplished great feats. They all come from different backgrounds but are actually birds of a feather. They care and look out for one another.

For the next game, if it is about the great war to come, then the theme I think the story should exhibit is conflict. The Raiders are not the only ones in search of the vaults. Yes, you have the corporations, and you have megalomaniacs like Jack and the Calypso twins. Not only that, but there are other vault hunters as well. People who seek the vaults for their own reasons, and those reasons are plenty. Power, vengeance, belief, wealth, greed, fame, thrills, a way to make a means end. Some of the core aspects of the conflict are because of those whose views, values, creeds, beliefs, and intent. The slightest variation can determine what makes you different from me and me from you. It could be these very reasons, these differences, that we come into conflict. What you have in mind may be different from mine. Or maybe there’s something about me you don’t like. Differing methods on how to handle certain things. Or maybe just something I do that makes you uncomfortable. It’s a dog eat dog universe, and you’d best be sure your bite is enough to keep you alive.

There are many people like this in the Borderlands universe. Hence why there is so much blood and conflict. Compassion and empathy is not something you will get unless you find people that are yours. Comradery, familial bonds, survival, a reason to want to fight together. This is something that should be depicted when the universe eventually goes into an all-out arms race in-game. As the story goes on, you have the Raiders, the Corporations, and the megalomaniacs all fighting for control. There will also be other vault hunters to consider. All vying for the treasure that lay in wait within vaults. We the players would take the role of a ragtag band of unlikely badasses fighting just like everyone else. Just a group of vault hunters who are making their way up amidst the mayhem.

It’s for this reason that I think the story should go from narrative to character-oriented storytelling. Like in the first game, we play through events we don’t know have significance and are contacted by different people for it. It could be the characters we know and love. It could be new characters we have yet to meet. Or those who seek to oppose us. Also, like the first game, there should be no big bad antagonist or at least no clear antagonist. The reason for this, it can’t really get any bigger then what we’ve faced in 3 at this point. And if we are able to travel the galaxy to different planets again, this would especially make that case. Cause it means we’ll be facing off against multiple antagonists, making any main antagonist take a back seat. That leaves the greatest concern we players would face, and that’s being the vaults themselves. Instead of making those bosses giant bullet sponges, we should give the importance of opening the vaults’ serious thought. We are about to face an enemy that should not go down by normal means. In this instance, there should be a method to defeating the monster, via the environment, having characters that are powerful enough to do harm to the beast, or the beast being small enough to kill realistically with our own vault hunters.

Which brings me to another point. Our new vault hunters don’t have to be more powerful than the vault hunters we’ve played in the past. Cause at this point, to really say that any new vault hunters can outdo the deeds of the current ones we play now would be seriously downplaying the feats they have accomplished. If you told me that Zane, Amara, FL4K, and Moze were the most powerful vault hunters in the universe, I’d believe you. Their feats were no joke, they killed something they really shouldn’t have been able to. And took out many powerful forces even before that last boss. Our new vault hunters don’t have to outdo our current ones, they just have to overcome their challenges. Being the badass doesn’t always mean you’re the best of the best. Sometimes it means being able to hold your own and overcome odds you know most wouldn’t have. And if there is an active war going on for the vaults, then the fact that they can hold their own in pursuit of it is a testament to their capabilities.

Characters

The universe of the Borderlands is home to many types of people. So far, the ones we have been presented are those in whom we might relate or understand. My suggestion, introduce us to characters we can not. The ones we have come into conflict with the most. Or just any other person that is a product of the universe they inhabit. Characters that represent the average person of this universe, and becomes a badass through their accomplished feats.

Maybe play as a cannibal, not someone who suffers from a split personality like Krieg, but someone who is aware of what they do and revels in it. Or maybe a fanatic, we’ve seen what the COV is capable of, so why not someone whose faith makes them as determined as any vault hunter? Or maybe a scavenger, someone who lived by making ends meet, and sought to become more. Or maybe a character related to the ones we know. I thought it was awesome that Zane was a Flynt, and that he was the brother of two bosses we faced in BL 1 and 2. Maybe Gearbox can finally introduce Zed’s forbidden brother Ted. Or bring another member of the Flynt family into the story. It could be the sister Zane mentions in a line of dialogue he makes when he blows up enemy vehicles.

We could have a character who is an engineer that can build useful tech. A Corporate big wig who is secretly trying to get ahead by becoming a vault hunter. A Cyborg, a mutant, or maybe even an alien vault hunter. All the possibilities are there, we can play the deranged, the broken, the scary, the evil, the devoted, the creative, the survivors, the strange, and the exotic. Each with their own styles, aesthetics, and points of view. They don’t have to be the most handsome or beautiful. But reflect on what it is they are and stand for. I wouldn’t mind playing a character that looked like he came from one of the bandit clans. Just decked out in tribal tattoos and war paint. The point I’m making here, when it comes to characters and concepts, Gearbox can go crazy with them. Outlandish would fit the mold of the Borderlands universe well. I don’t know how many vault hunters the next game in the series will have. It’ll likely stick to teams of four, but any one of these concepts are liable for becoming vault hunters.

While I think the design and concept of the current vault hunters are some of the best Gearbox has come up with this far, they could have done more with them. Like give them character-specific missions, or gave them their own opinions and views when it came to one another. I get that they want to leave room for interpretation, but I do think they could have done so while drawing on the concepts of the characters. It would have made them feel like this group of strangers that became this ragtag team. People who would not have associated with each other if not for their common goal. They have their pasts and personalities, I see no reason not to utilize them if an opportunity was there.

We don’t really need to revolve the series around the Crimson Raiders or some big bad main antagonist. We can focus on other groups and characters that are also trying to make their way. This way, the story can be paced to a point where we could explore all aspects of the universe they inhabit. All the while, keeping to the main objective of opening a vault. You can take all types of routes to get to that point. Which means you can fit in as many returning characters as you want. You’re not being held to a narrative that limits you, you are being told a story through the perspective of your character. They’re not the big heroes, they’re not morally ambiguous, and they don’t even have to be the big badasses that have to save the day.

They are not being held to any narrative or plot, so you writers at Gearbox can have as much fun as you want with the story. Other than keeping characters as themselves, you’d have nothing to worry about if you tell the story from a point of view that doesn’t revolve around established characters or planets. This would be an ideal point for people who are new to the series to jump in. It also allows veterans of the series to revisit that feeling of being in a universe they don’t know or understand. We’d be dealing with a new group, on new planets, who’d either be in cooperation or competition with the established characters we have now.

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this is a great idea. a fresh start with new characters is something ive been thinking of as well, and a smaller scope could really work for better focus. I think TPS was the closest to this, i’d love this once we’ve fleshed out and have had enough (in a good way) of our existing characters.

imo something tps did really well was its playable characters, most of them were “new”, even if we already knew wilhelm/nisha/athena, their personalities in that game were so much more realized they were basically new. timothy was great, and aurelia was likable despite being a rich, self-centered socialite. bl3 did her dirty by forgetting she was capable of empathy though :frowning:

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Agreed, I still think there’s more to them then what’s been presented so far. Though when the next game comes out, I’d like the next team we get to be even more outrageous. Example, imagine these types of characters on the same team:

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This is my imagined dream team right here. People like this could actually exist in the Borderlands. You never know what types of outrageous characters could make the roster next.

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Also, for TPS, that story was centered around Handsome Jack and his rise to power. The vault became secondary, compared to the primary goal of stopping the lost legion. I’m hoping that in the next game, our vault hunters do their own thing. That the story does not revolve around any certain characters, but around the journey of getting to the vaults. Along the way, we meet familiar faces, but the story is not determined by them alone. You’d also have characters that oppose you, and the overall mayhem that afflicts the universe.

I’d also like for the next batch of vault hunters we play be deeper. I’d like their concept to mean something. Of course, we can satirize and make light of what they are, but it should play a role in what they do and why they’re doing it. Furthermore, I’d like for the other vault hunters to say something about it, whether they agree, disagree, or are indifferent to what their teammate is doing.

For example, the cannibal could have once been part of a bandit tribe enslaved by the corporations in pursuit of the vaults. The cannibal could seek the vaults for vengeance, because where there are vaults, there are people like those who wiped out his /her clan. In pursuit of the vaults, the cannible fulfills their vengeance in hunting these people, and taking the contents of the vault for his or her self. Other then cannibalism, this person seems like the type you’d usually talk to. Deranged in their morality, but easy enough to get along with. But it’s because this person is a cannibal that someone like the fanatic crusader, or the scavenger, may have something to say in this regard.

It doesn’t have to be all serious, but if players play these types of vault hunters together, the difference should show. Not just in terms of gameplay, but in how the characters react to one another. It’s meant to drive home this point that times have gotten desperate now that the universe has entered into an all out arms race. They take what help They can get in pusuit of what is is they hope to attain or achieve in hunting the vaults.

It would also drive home the point that they are a team for better or worse. Which is why I hope in the next game, Gearbox implements missions specific to the vault hunters we play. Like missions that come up when you play a certain vault hunter. You can solo it, or share and invite friends who play different characters to the mission. The sense I’d hope these missions give, that these characters are different, and are complete strangers to one another. Yet, they fight together as a team, and their reasons could range from a sense of simple comradery or because the character still believes the other is still of use and wouldn’t want to risk losing a resource. Either way you slice it, it is meant to give you the sense that it is good to have a friend at your back in a time of need…or at least someone who cares for whether or not you live or die in pursuit of a common goal.

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I duno,dude. This was at Gearbox since late 2017 and while i didn’t know how deep they were into the development of B3 , i do sent it to them anyway. I gave it to them for free, for the thing was just ideas and an outline of a story. And as thing was there for more than 2 years Gearbox never reached out for anything. And as the game is already out I’m no longer obligated to keep it in. So that’s the thing. It’s a very long read, but if you made it to the end you might notice that it fits a lot of your description.

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Doesn’t mean we don’t have to talk about it. Even if they don’t use concepts we fans suggest, it should still come to them that they have A LOT to work with. They don’t have to rely on trends, culture, beliefs, or anything else related to our world today. But feel free to delve into other types of concepts. Not ones that represent anything we are, but what the Borderlands represent. Which is constant war, bloodshed, crazies, and wild frontier like civilizations. Many stories can be told in the Borderlands, the example I gave in my last message was meant to represent that.

This group is comprised of people that have absolutely nothing to do with one another. They have their backgrounds, their values and beliefs, and their own way of looking at the universe. Some of these things would be agreeable for them, some would not be. Some teammates may dislike or hate each other as much as they’d like or love one another. Point being, they all have a common goal, they don’t share the same reasons for said goal, but they STILL have a common goal. It’s on these grounds that many team dynamics can be formed. This group would have their story, and we the players can determine and interpret how it plays out by understanding where the characters come from and how they portray themselves within their concepts.

The cannibal can look deranged, deformed, and demented, but could be the nicest one among their group to talk to. He does not see the act of eating a fellow human being as wrong, but as something that is natural. And you can’t blame him, he comes from a bandit tribe that practices cannibalism. These tribes exist because there is no set bar of society in this universe. The cannibal in this sense reprsents the universe that is the Borderlands, which is humanity unleashed and without limits.

The fanatic could chase the vault with zealot like ferver, preaching that the vaults are divine, and that the beasts that lay within them are meant to test the faith he practices. He could be suffering a psychosis, one that helps him carry on, and makes him determined. But also makes him dangerous to those that stand in his way. He could be the most dangerous one of the group. He and the cannibal could be at odds with each other because the cannibal is not out on this sacred pilgrimage for enlightenment or belief in the divine nature of the vaults. The cannibal is instead here to fulfill grotesque vengeance upon those that had wronged him and his tribe. The fanatic does not trust those that would eat his fellow human beings, but tolerates the cannibal as a teammate because the vaults have deemed him chosen. How the fanatic came to this conclusion, the cannibal is still alive, has aided in his divine mission, and is a great allie to have despite not walking the path he believes to be righteous.

The scavenger could just be a survivor, and one that could come into conflict with both the fanatic and the cannibal. Both could represent something the scavenger dislikes or hates. One being belief, or this idea that there is anything good or righteous. The other, one of her teammates eat people. No sane person should trust someone who believes in some existential nonsense or someone that is not bound by any. Those are two extremes, one thinks to highly of themselves in pursuit of belief, the other is someone without set limitations or principles. Two loose canons that could ruin everything. But a canon is a canon still, and the two are good at what they do. The scavenger recognizes this, and uses this knowledge to an advantage. The main reason the scavenger became a vault hunter, she wanted out of a life trash and scrounging around for tech and food. She sought it by becoming a vault hunter, aiming to become more in doing so.

And then finally, there’s the last image I set as an example. This one being that we could utilize more family members of already established characters. Ted, the forbidden brother of Dr. Zed could act as the team medic. He’s not in the vault hunting game for glory, belief, or vengeance. More for simple opportunity. He doesn’t care for reasons or personal beliefs, he just knows that he has patients to tend to. His teammates, capable as they are, get shot A LOT. His stake in this, probably to grow out of his brother’s shadow. Zed made a fortune and became well recognized . The vending machines are proof of that. It made business for regular doctors like him much harder to come by. So, he took to becoming a field medic. And the three idiots he fights alongside are his patients. He doesn’t much care for the vaults, but is willing to assist in getting to them. Who knows, maybe he might find some alien technology in the vaults that would be of worth to him and his profession. Doesn’t hurt to make a quick buck either. And loot is plenty in the trade known as vault hunting.

One thing these people all have in common, they are the extremes of this universe. Not the untouchable badasses, but people who are determined in getting what they want. They’re people who are too into themselves, what they are doing, what they are, and what they stand for.

Overall, what I’m getting at here, I just utilized four simple basic concepts, and made them bigger. It’s not a stretch that people like this could exist in the Borderlands, so the devs can go crazy with any given concepts in this universe. It could all work to give the sense that this is the going ons of the universe. We don’t have to be the big heroes. The story doesn’t have to revolve around specific characters. We the the players we should feel as much a part of this universe when we select our characters and enter into the game. At this point, there’s no exscuse not to explore other aspects of this universe. Not just in terms of lore when it comes to the eridians and the sirens. But its universe and inhabitants as a whole. So in a sense, the short answer to this long drawn out response…just go crazy with the direction you want to take with this universe in terms of story and characters. There’s a war coming, and in this war, I doubt there’s any real good guy. The Raiders aren’t above anyone else in regards to vault hunting. It’s as Lilith said, vault hunting takes all types. I am interested in these possible types she is referring to.

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Read the entire thing.

Sorry for the long response, but I do enjoy discussing these sorts of things. Been a fan since the first game of this series, and enjoy thinking of what could happen next.

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I gotcha. Same here. But in order to discuss things you propose you must read the whole thing i posted. I’m not saying that what you have in mind is bad or flawed, not at all, but if you read my thing you might find the same themes and dynamics. That’s why i posted it.

Okay, I see where you drew a similarity between what I wrote and you made. Keep in mind, I’m not finished with what you made yet, but I figured I’d write this message before I forget. When it comes to the characters and types of stories they may have. When I wrote it, I meant it as an optional side story. I didn’t mean it as part of the main story, but as a side quest that could come up if your character reached a certain level or area of the game. The main objective is the vault and the steps they must take to reach that objective. Anything meant to progress your character to the vault is the main story mission. It’s in the same fashion as the first Borderlands. You have no real direction, the story just unfolds as you complete the main quests.

Quests specific to a vault hunter is not actually part of the main story, rather a side mission you can do on your own or with friends. In this way, it’s meant to give completing that mission significance. You know a little more about your vault hunter when you complete these missions. There doesn’t have to be any dialogue between the characters, or cutscenes, as it’s meant to be left to player interpretation. You the player that is maining this vault hunter can complete this character-specific side mission on your own or with your friends. Reasons for this, there is no guarantee the other vault hunters would be willing to help each other on more personal matters. These are not characters that are guaranteed to like one another.

I point out in my last message that they have their own reasons for being vault hunters. They are people obsessed with what they’re doing. With the mayhem that goes on, it’s just as likely they wouldn’t want to get involved with any more problems then they have to. Which is why the side missions, and whether or not you have allies accompany you, is optional. It’s meant to give you the player the sense that this group is a team, but at the same time, don’t have to be one. Because of their differences, there is no guaranteed solidarity. It’s meant to give you the sense that they are a ragtag team. A group of people that would not have associated with one another if not for a common goal they shared. They could help each other, but they don’t have to.

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Finish the thing,man. I use the same structure while my “vault hunters” were never meant to be a vault hunters at all. They are criminals with a past, mistaken by the last living eridian to be the “chosen hunters” she needs to close that Lost Vault. As the story progress people from their past comes to reveal more about their personal background, but also they have those psychotic visions that the main enemies evokes in order to manipulate them into their deaths. Every vault hunter has it’s own unique subplot that entwines with the main plot, delivering different character progression by leading them into specific turning points ,that affects the ending depending on which character you’re playing.

Alright, read it, and gotta say very creative. Well done, though as you may know by now, some of these things are not gonna happen now. Atlas isn’t the bad guy anymore, Tina’s parents were both confirmed dead, and the eridians are pretty much gone as far as we know. But still, impressive stuff, like the teen automotive characters Sam and Silly. The drag queen lady Saxxon, Father Wasteland, Zenyth, you got some interesting concepts around your characters. And you connected some of them to the main cast, I especially like how you Lee is Zero’s sword master, and how we’d get to see his face.

Though there are still differences in what you and I have suggested. Yes, I did say that the new vault hunters should not have anything to do with the Crimson Raiders. That’s not to say they wouldn’t by the end of the story.

Another thing, I never said that these characters weren’t vault hunters. I said they had different reasons for being vault hunters. As in, different motivations, but they are people who chose to be vault hunters. They aren’t people of significance, and they weren’t chosen. That was the point of me saying the next game should start with a new batch that has nothing to do with the Crimson Raiders. As of this moment, the current characters are set up as the main group we are following. What I’m suggesting, they don’t have to be, because they’re not the only ones hunting the vaults. There are others in their universe that seek the vaults. If Borderlands 4 takes place during this great war the Watcher warned us about in the Pre-sequel, then it’s the perfect opportunity to present those who are not like the Raiders. These characters could join up with them by the end, but until then, they would either work with or against each other. Reason for this, again, this new batch has nothing to do with the Raiders and the Raiders don’t know who our vault hunters are. It’d be like how Fiona and Athena fought Mordecai and Brick in Tales from the Borderlands. Our characters are not established or well known vault hunters yet, so the Crimson Raiders would regard them the same as any other opposition.

In regards to our characters and their actions, we are actually in some agreement. I do think the next game should implement some RPG like choices. There would be a war going on, and people would likely form their groups and sides. Which side would win could be part of the main story we as players could determine. It would give players more agency in regards to how some story events could turn out, and give the sense that your character plays a role in the story. Though I’m not sure about the specific character endings. Again, they aren’t anything special, just a group that came together and accomplished their goal in the main story. Whatever the ending would be for this group should be the only ending. For me, their sub-plots should not play an overall role in the main story, because they don’t. The characters have their stories and backgrounds, and we should be able to explore them when possible. Though I don’t see how this would determine the outcome of the ending. Because again, this group is nothing special. They have no ties to the Crimson Raiders, and they aren’t chosen by any higher force like your character Zenyth. They’re just a group that found each other by chance, all with the same goal of finding the vaults. All have different reasons and motivations for wanting to be vault hunters, but they make do with one another, because they know they have a better chance together then on their own. I’m actually hoping when the next group forms, it happens something like this:

As war erupts around the universe in a race for the vaults, through the mayhem, our new group finds one another. All fighting against a common foe, be it the the corporations, some new cult or syndicate, the insane broken masses, or some terror unleashed by a vault. This how our new group is formed, when they know it is better to fight together then die alone.

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Thanks,man. Like i said we’re in the same spot on what we expect from a future borderlands game. Mine is probably too complex for execution and according to the story, it speaks for itself that it can only be the last game,for it have to resolve a lot from the mystery of the eridians, the siren connection to them to the very nature of the Borderlands universe itself. I do realize that crafting this into a game will take a huge amount of work, for there are 5 different protagonists end everyone holds its own story, but i still believe that Borderlands is capable to deliver such thing for it has the right tools to do that.
The Crimson Raiders appear as a motivator, as Brick and Athena broke into the space prison searching for Zenyth and released the new team, so the Raiders will continue to seek out for your character for they know from the Watcher that they need you with them to close the lost vault and stop the seraph infestation , so at some point they will appear as enemies in the game.
In Borderlands 2 we joined our B1 characters while they fight Jack, so I was curious how the player will react if he have to fight his favorite characters from the past games. You fight Zero, but in the end you have the choice to kill him or spare him. And you can be punished for making one choice and rewarded for making the other. It brings a lot of replayability for every single character. If you don’t kill anyone from the Raiders they will join you and help you along the way. My team dies by the end of the game in a form of sacrifice, saving the universe from the entity in the vault. But they’re resurrected by the other hidden eridian in the DLCs, as the rpg choices during the game defines the outcome of every character when they’re reborn in the last “the real world” DLC. It’s a slightly changed concept of the karmic rebirth, when a fictional character dies, he will be reborn as a normal human but his quest will continue there trying to find the The Man or The Stranger. You cannot use weapons there but you will have to face the consequences of your choices during the game, because whatever character you killed in the game they will also reappear in the “real world” making your life miserable.

Your iteration is what i truly expected from Borderlands 3. Personal side missions is a great storytelling tool, but instead to know more about the new vault hunters we got the same fetch quests from the previous entries with no character development involved.

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Can we get a TLDR for the novella ?

In terms of the new characters fighting the old ones we’ve come to know and love, it’s possible. Though you are correct in saying that this is likely something saved for the end of the series. A lot of your concepts are. But killing off past characters also may work two other ways. With one adding suspense to the continuity, giving fans the sense that the main characters could die at any given moment. The other as a means to “clean the slate” in a sense. Essentially killing or moving away from the old cast to make way for the new one.

Borderlands is a universe of great possibility, but it is still a satire. That is one of this series charm, the light humor one could laugh or chuckle at even when the universe is a dark violent place. While choosing to spare or kill characters would be an awesome RPG element to the game, I think this would be too dark and unrealistic. Dark because we’d be slaughtering characters we know and love, and unrealistic because that is to say our characters are OP. While it is possible to say that our new characters would become more powerful overtime, to say that they could kill the old characters that easily would be a stretch. You have to remember that the current characters we have now have accomplished great feats of their own. It would only serve to piss off players who have played and loved the character. It would be like Maya, a character who had accomplished so much and had become very powerful, only to die in the most avoidable and anti-climatic way possible.

As for character development of the new vault hunters, this would again go back to character interpretation. We’re likely talking about characters who know themselves and what they are by now. Not much chance for any more development on their part. But that’s not to say they couldn’t develope as a team. I know I said that these character specific side missions didn’t have to have any dialogue or cutscenes, but it would be interesting if the characters said something to each other in regards to helping each other complete their personal side missions. It would give players the sense that the characters are aware of one another, and can grow together as a team. Cause whether they like it or not, they are a team. In a time of war, it’s always better to know you have someone at your back.

For example, say the cannibal is doing a personal side mission with one of the three other examples. This would be their dialogue.

Fanatic: You may be a heathen, but the divine vaults have deemed you my ally. There may be redemption for you yet, you may still walk the path to enlightenment. But we’ll never know if you die before that. So I will help you get there.

Scavenger: I know the feeling of payback, and it is good to give back what is owed. For how bad you I think you are, these people were worse. I don’t mind killing or stealing from them. These pricks had it coming.

Medic: Well wasn’t that somethin. Glad I came along, otherwise you’d have been blasted straight to hell. Which reminds me, when we get a moment, I’d like to run a quick check up. It might sting a bit, but it’s better then having your health impaired. Won’t reach the vault that way.

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Just another two ideas I figured would be fair game to pitch. The first being team dialogue dynamics, in which in the characters react to one another, carrying a conversation between one another. This could be done in the event that there is more then one player character. You wouldn’t hear any lines of dialogue or conversations if another player was to play the same character as you do. But there would be unique dialogue and conversations for each character, whether they’re a duo, a trio, or the whole group of four. It’s a way in which we’d get to explore our characters personalities, their dynamics, and the development they’d undergo fighting as a team. To hear these dialogues and conversations, it wouldn’t have to be any different from the way we hear dialogue right now in 3. They could happen at the start, during the quest, or at the quest’s end. It could be used to make the characters seem more reactive to their situation, giving us different views and perceptions to how it is they perceive the universe they live in. I’d assume to some of them, some things are normal, agreeable, and worth doing. While to others, disagreeable, unacceptable, and wrong. This feature would help to give voice to what life in the Borderlands universe is like for those who live within the constant mayhem of it. It might also help in replay value, as players would run over missions again to find these dialogues and conversations.

The second idea, showcase the struggle of the vault hunters. While it is awesome to play a badass, even the characters we play as were not always so. They had become so through their skills, powers, and feats. With the next batch of vault hunters, I think the hardships they endure should be called forth and acknowledge. Not like it’s all in a day’s work for them, but something they did, or had to do, or felt they had to do. Vault hunting is no easy task, all games in the series have made that clear. With everything that is set to kill you, you could argue that you’d have to be insane, desperate, or a true badass to pursue the vaults. I’d like for the next game to depict which of these will be the case for each individual member of that group. I’m not against the rule of cool, having cool characters represented as badasses, but I’d like for the next characters to be a little more “down to earth” in a manner of speaking. They don’t have to be cool or flashy, or have insane over the top gimmicks. Not saying they don’t have to, this is Borderlands after all, but their concept and character should be genuine and authentic when faced with situations and absurdities that would prove to be quite challenging for them. Different backgrounds could certainly mean diiferent reactions, be they serious, hilarious,outright strange, and inappropritate. It’s fine to satirize and crack fun at their situation, but if a moment could provide depth for the characters, then that could be just as awesome. They don’t always have to be the cool, suave, or level headed badasses. Instead, they could react as any other would in their universe when confronted with challenges, hardships, and strange happenings. Their own reactions could also be just as unorthodox or uncomprehensible. It’d be realistically what you’d expect of them given their background and class. So overall, the next group doesn’t just have to be these cool over the top badasses that can solve everything. They could also be a group that is trying to make their way through the mayhem while facing as many problems as the rest of the universe does.

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This idea is in regards to character evolution and growth throughout your characters progression. When looking at Amara, FL4K and Wilhelm, the further down a tree you go, and the more powerful you become, the more changes you see are implemented to their bodies and abilities. With Amara, her tattoos become evident all over her body. With FL4K, you see changes to the bot’s pets. And with Wilhelm, selecting certain abilities down a skilltree unlocks a new aesthetic to his design and a new ability to be utilized. His voice changes, parts of him become cybernetic, and situational abilities become useful tools added to your kit.

What I suggest for the next game, the further down a skilltree you go, the more changes you see to our characters progression. Whether they become more muscular or thinner, their tools and gadgets take on different looks and aesthetics, even the small things like their hands, or whether or not they wear more or less armor. Hell, you could even go all out with the body horror, implementing terrible scars, wear and tear to the characters body, or have them undergo mutations. Each skill tree could work to add a changing aethetic as you go down them, all that work or speaks to that specific tree. If you go for more tools, the character looks more and more like a survivalist. Couple that with a tree that is meant for up close and personal combat, and you’ll get scars with a gritty look to it. Just from looking at the character, you’d know what skill tree a player has gone down. It all works to add more customization and a feeling of watching your character grow as you progress through the game with them.

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My idea is that the 7th siren has the power to undo events that happened in a certain window of time, and she would use that power to cancel all the BL3 events, so its script can be remade from scratch, actually following what was established in the previous installments.

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Bl4. Where the Crimson Raiders are the bad guys including all our old VHers. They keep opening things that should remain closed and they need to be stopped.

Never going to happen but I would dig that.

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That would be a retcon to the retcon. Honestly, I think one of the reasons the story wasn’t as good as it could be was because the writers were trying to establish lore, where there had already been established lore. They were walking on egg-shells trying to make it work, instead of letting it flow as the past games naturally did. Where you are the vault hunters in search of a vault, and you get swept up into the craziness of the borderlands, with it’s insane inhabitants.

They could go in any direction with the quirky style of this series, and just have fun with it. In this game, they tried setting up lore that was apparently already established in this universe. Not only that, they gave the characters personality, but didn’t know how to work or establish them in their continuity either. They instead wrote the characters to what THEY thought the characters were like instead of what the characters had been established as. A lot of where I think the writing fails is in how the writers tried to establish continuity with what was already established. Pitchford even admits it in the Borderlands show, they could do what they wanted with the DLC, because they didn’t have to worry about anything established to make sense of the story. As a result, the DLC was one of the best stories told in this series. The writers know how to make a story, it’s keeping track with established lore and characters that seems to be their issue.

I’m not saying the Crimson Raiders become the bad guys, or become like the antagonists before them in any way. The idea I’m proposing is that we move away from this group to follow the story of another group. The Borderlands is a vast universe, there are six known galaxies in it we could travel to, and vaults are apparently everywhere. I don’t think the Crimson Raiders are the only ones searching for the vaults. I’m sure there are other vault hunters out there also looking for wealth, fame, fortune, power, or any other reason they may be hunting for the vaults. Of course, these reasons could come into conflict with the Raiders. At this point, I think the Crimson Raiders have practically set themselves up as the space police…or whatever they are, they’re policing the vaults while taking the contents of the vaults for themselves. This new group could be in competition or cooperation or both in their journey for the vaults. This in turn would give more focus to the new characters being established, while keeping interactions with established characters to a minimum. The story you’re following is this group’s story, not the Crimson Raiders. That group has essentially been established, and has become a powerful fighting force at this point in time with our current vault hunters. There should be no group that wouldn’t think twice to stepping up to them…unless they were that desperate, that crazy, or just that badass to make a bid for the vaults. This to me, would be a good way for Gearbox to represent the Borderlands and what it is like through people shaped by the struggles and hardships. Clay himself at one point said that one of the reason the bandits of the COV followed Tyreen was because no one loved or looked at them. Well, what if we experienced the Borderlands through the eyes of one of these individuals that set out to find their own way in the universe. They came to their senses, stopped being irrationally angry, and used that murderous rage to become more then they ever thought they would be. To me, that would certainly make an interesting story to follow. You know this person was a loser at one point, you know they’re fighting to become strong. Whether they find success in the end is on them, because what we think is right or wrong is our perspective, while this person’s idea of victory may be more morbid and disturbing, but they’re happy in the end.

This is the suggestion I’m making, that these characters be unlike the ones that came before. They aren’t the badasses, they aren’t the cocksure characters we’ve played as. They don’t have special abilities, powers, or technology that is much more powerful then anything we’ve seen…yet. They’re just a few of the inhabitants of this universe. In a sense, NPC’s we would either help or kill on our journey who one day decided to set out and make something of themselves. Hence my last message on this thread, that as we level these characters, we witness their evolution from these nobodies to badasses. You get a sense of their struggle, and the changes they have undergone to become what they are. That way, you know that whatever prize or feat they’ve achieved is no small feat to them. Hence why I said that they don’t have to be more powerful than already established characters we’ve played in the past. They have to make their way up there, but until then, they’d be more likely to be killed off if they encountered a member of the Crimson Raiders on their own. Their teamwork is key to their survival, they aren’t the loners that the other vault hunters were, they’re a group of people that realized they’re better off together then on their own. They work together to survive and overcome the hardships ahead of them. I’m not sure whether the characters would develop much in their journey, as they are likely to people sure of themselves and their decision to be vault hunters.

But you’d mainly see their development as a team, which is why I said the story for the next game should be more character oriented. You’re not aware of the grand scheme of anything, you’re not aware of the powerful forces that lay ahead of you. The characters only know as much as they know, which is why I’m hoping for character dialog between them if you play multiplayer. It encourages people to play together, so that you may hear the story going on between the group, instead of just relying on NPC’s. It makes the characters feel more alive and personal in a sense. You get a sense if who and how they are to each other, whether they like, dislike, or even hate each other. There’s the overall story, and the groups story, it adds variety with each character talking to each other, addressing their point of view to each other.

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