Take a Side: BL2 or BL3?

Its no secret I dislike BL3, but there are countless individual things I do think stand out. The art direction in the DLCs is up there with Genshin Impact and Elden Ring as my favorites. I’ve spoken at length about how DLC2 took one kind of biome and explored it to its fullest potential. The sound design in the guns is arguably the best in recent shooters. I can go hours on the things I love about BL3 as much as I do the things I love in BL2. Hell, I have more hours in BL3 than BL2! It’s just that I things I dislike about BL3 are too much for me to enjoy the whole package. Clearly there are a lot of points we all agree on but I guess I dislike BL3 for those reasons rather than despite them.

Not as meaningless as being unnecessarily combative in a forum where genuine discussion is happening. I don’t understand it!


BL2 fans aren’t stubborn, a lot of people gave BL3 a chance and it disappointed them, I loved playing Melee characters in every Borderlands game and was excited to play Amara, only to find out that it was very lackluster and most builds revolved around a face puncher rather than actual melee. I found the game unfun and simply moved on back to BL2/TPS.


When it was one of main complaints, it matters ofc.

I don’t see many mechanics they changed from bl1 to bl2. They added tediore reload, movable ffyl, roid shields and that’s all.
They buffed the rocket launchers cause it was bad in bl1.
Many bl2 weapons were bl1 weapons also. They just changed the names like Infinity → The Dove for example.

BL1 being the only bl with linear scaling, i even don’t think loot system can be compared with others.

TPS was planned to be a moonbase dlc for bl2 anyway (it wouldn’t be on handsome collection else) It’s even not a problem so.


I’m still playing 3, and there are definitely things I like about it; I think the enemy AI is a fair bit better. BL3 is too easy though, and the damage scaling for Jakobs weapons in particular, is completely incoherent. I have a Mayhem 10 Traitor’s Death, and a Mayhem 1 Clairvoyance; and guess which weapon has higher damage?

Yes, the Traitor’s Death is a purple quest reward, and the Clairvoyance is a legendary; but across the whole 10 Mayhem levels I would not expect the damage gap to be that wide. I can partly understand it in the sense that in terms of handling and other stats, the TD is probably one of the best weapons in the game, at least for me; but I still don’t think the discrepancy should be that big. Apart from anything else, it means that there is at least one Mayhem 10 weapon which takes more than one shot to kill TVHM mobs.



The original is still the best…



BL3 100%.

More enjoyable endgame, vault hunters are mpre enjoyable, loot is so much better, i enjoy some aspects of the story more, gameplay feels fluid and good, NO SLAG, enviorments are better, enjoyable DLCs (Aside from TTADG i couldnt give a ■■■■ about BL2 dlcs)

BL3 is almost my perfect BL game it has its big flaws like every game in the series ofc but the posititves just outweigh the negatives. When i think to myself what game i wanna play in the series BL3 will always come to mind first.

So disapointed BL3 support was dropped for Tiny Tina’s mediorcelands.

No, you don’t HAVE to mindlessly farm the same content over and over to raise your level. But the alternative is to play the same game again, which is exactly what you said you don’t like about BL2.

I’m not extrapolating anything. You’re simply contradicting yourself and I’m pointing out the contradiction. You say BL2s level progression is horrible, while defending a game that only lets you get about a third way to level cap on a single playthrough and then you farm your way through the other two thirds because that’s really all there is to the game.

I won’t even get into the Pay to Win DLC which always comes with power creep weapons that you have to have if you want the most viable end game characters.

How many MILLIONS or people have bought BL3? And you think the opinions of 3200 people mean something? How about asking the 8+ MILLION who bought the game and have stopped playing it for their opinion? Not meaningful?


■■■■■■■ what? Did you play the right game???

Yep that answers my question

That’s not what I said.

You seem to be projecting your own personal dislike of BL3 (which is understandable) into some kind of “objective” design argument (which doesn’t track).

It’s not about max level (which was always a moving target). It’s about endgame design and how to reach it. There are good arguments about how redundant TVHM is in BL3 due to how Mayhem works. However, you can just slap on Mayhem and go to town.

In BL2, you need to do TVHM. Then you need to do UVHM. And in UVHM’s case you need to review your loadout because all of a sudden Slag is the only viable way to get literally anything done.

We’re not trying to discuss what is perfect here. Nobody’s claiming BL3 is perfect. We’re talking about which is better.

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I don’t think I can easily pick a side because both games were superior and inferior to each other in various ways, my TL;DR verdict is at the bottom. That’s not even including BL1 where I actually liked the weapon proficiencies as they gave you something else to achieve and upgrade even if your character had reached the max level. Although I came late to the party with BL1, I also felt like builds focused around max health and tanking were actually doable in endgame compared to any other instalment in the franchise, even though enemies like Craw could still healthgate you.

Where BL2 was at its strongest was the main campaign, the story and Handsome Jack. Even to this day, I’m playing BL2 co-op playthroughs with a friend and mutual friends who had never experienced any Borderlands game until recently. Even if I invest no time in making that character viable for endgame, the main campaign is always worth it regardless.

However with most of my friends who ever played BL2, they were put off by the idea of UVHM or OP levels, they just didn’t want to grind that much past the main campaign and I don’t blame them. Digistruct Peak itself was a great addition but not without its flaws - it was always locked to 4-player difficulty even if you were playing solo and you had no choice but to complete it to unlock OP levels one-by-one.

Conscripting players to go through such an awkwardly contrived and laborious process turned most people I knew away from pursuing BL2 endgame. That’s also not including the fact that because your main character’s level could be like 10+ levels behind most enemies, you’d have massively inflated health bars that also enjoy something like 70% or more damage reduction against whatever DPS you dished out, MASSIVELY compounding the sponge factor and crippling build diversity in endgame. This was all on top of UVHM which made the slag element pretty much mandatory.

I have fond memories of BL2. Even though when it came out, it had just one post-campaign sidequest (Terramorphous) until we got Gaige and then the first campaign DLC, but Terry was a worthy raid boss and it kept us occupied until more content released. I somewhat enjoyed the campaign DLCS and Headhunter DLCS with TTAODK being the absolute highlight of a DLC well made, but the grind for endgame was neither fun nor intuitively designed and that’s where in my view, BL2 really dropped the ball.

The Presequel was filler in my eyes yet more Handsome Jack content is always a good thing and is worthy of a mention for the fact that it binned the slag element and introduced cryo (my favourite element) for the first time. Playing around with cryo, laser and slam builds were what kept me playing TPS endgame longer than I would’ve done otherwise.

BL3’s main campaign and story are not that bad but they don’t recreate the same feeling of wanting to start more playthroughs like BL2 did, which is why I’m grateful that GBX didn’t add DLC characters like in BL2. Overall, I actually enjoyed the range of campaign DLCS more in BL3 than BL2, especially Moxxi’s Jackpot, GLT and Bounty of Blood. I didn’t mind Krieg’s DLC but was kind of hoping for more from it than what we got, it definitely didn’t capture the same heights as Tiny Tina’s DLC in BL2.

Locking 4th action skills and skill trees behind paywalls was not a good idea imho because it simultaneously introduced a pay-to-win factor as well as a play-to-lose one as well, depending on which characters profited and which ones got no worthy addition benefit from theirs. And while Arms Race is a cool idea in theory, it just felt so disconnected from the rest of the game and apart from a few pieces of loot that you could acquire and keep, it didn’t feel like true Borderlands to me.

And as for endgame, it was a good idea to have Mayhem levels available and you could choose whichever level you wanted without going through the lame process like in BL2, it’s just that Mayhem 3 was the limit upon the game’s release and it didn’t feel enough for most people, not to mention that the addition of anointments made the grind far worse. Then they brought out Maliwan Takedown which is superb content, and Mayhem Level 4 which hit the sweet-spot of endgame. M4 wasn’t just the best in BL3, it was superior to the whole UVHM-OP system in BL2 imho. Because the game felt challenging enough, yet it didn’t massively cripple build diversity at the same time. All GBX needed to do at that point was give us the option of turning off modifiers much earlier and tweak a few numbers like action skill damage and melee, and the game would’ve been far better off in the long run for it.

Instead, they announced Mayhem 2.0 and decided to create another major problem for themselves. They proved that just like in BL2, they announce this sheer excess of new levels and OP/Mayhem levels like it’s an objectively good thing, and then are stumped to realise it creates far more problems than solutions and are having to devote more time and resources towards ‘balancing’ things based on questionable decisions of their own making.

Despite Mayhem 2.0, I still prefer playing BL3 in endgame both for its gameplay and mechanics in comparison to BL2 as well as the fact that you can do way more with build diversity at M10/11 than you could in BL2 with OP8-10. Even a friend of mine who I’ve played BL2 with a lot but couldn’t stand UVHM let alone OP levels, was totally fine with playing Mayhem and investing time into making endgame builds. I must’ve made about 10+ builds for Moze that could clear all content, both true takedowns included, some not even using splash damage, and about half as much each for FL4k and Amara. I felt like I was free to experiment with the game in so many wacky and random yet fun ways in a manner of which I didn’t feel like there was such liberty in BL2’s OP levels.

As for Wonderlands which I can’t comment on too much, I love the idea of mixing different skill trees and I do like the idea behind character creation, although I do feel like they need to flesh out the latter as I found it was lacking in range and variety in some ways. But like with BL2’s OP levels, GBX said ‘hey let’s make the same mistake we made almost a decade ago!’ and locked endgame content behind a boring and tedious grindfest. It’s as if they took the best BL2 DLC, made it into a standalone game with BL3 graphics and mechanics, but thought a mixture of Mayhem and its modifiers combined with unlocking one Chaos level after another up to a total of now 50 was somehow a great selling point.

If GBX ever do BL4 (and I’m hoping it would be the very last one in the series if they do) then I just want them to learn from their past mistakes more than anything and see the following:

  • BL2 was the peak in terms of main campaign and story, it’s a tall order for any other game to follow. Even though it had almost nothing in terms of endgame content in its first month or two, it had a good raid boss which was enough. Make sure BL4 has at least one raid boss on release and no, not a recycled one like the final boss in TPS!

  • Design the endgame similarly to Mayhem 4 but without the random modifiers or at least not enforced upon us. You don’t need to enforce people into unlocking each level either but even if that happens, at least it’s just 4 levels and not anywhere between 10 and 50! Implement all this as part of the game on release so that it’s more ingrained into the system and you can better attempt to ‘balance’ the overall product. Also allow us to flip a switch somewhere where we can experience ‘true’ difficulty for the entire game and not just in trials and takedowns.

  • Do not ruin the design and balance of the game with needless excess - no more extra levels: the level cap at 50 was enough in almost every instalment both for balance and build diversity. The grind for getting more guns just to meet with the new levels is not particularly fun, and more skill points just hurts build diversity and creates more problems for the devs because they have to ‘rebalance’ things as a consequence which has never been GBX’s strong point.

  • Copy the BL3 & Wonderlands model and introduce more skill trees over time, but as free content and not part of a pay-to-win model. This would further increase build diversity over the course of the game’s lifespan, even more so if GBX can resist the urge to throw more levels at us. Also if BL4 is the final chapter of the franchise, you could get away with character creation again but done better.


BL2’s main campaign, story and protagonist were the best. Anything Handsome Jack was involved in just made the experience worthwhile every time. But BL3 had better and more enjoyable endgame content, with a healthier range of build diversity, weapon variety and lack of a mandatory element such as slag, as well as no extra damage reduction on top of insanely over-inflated health pools.


I don’t get why people feel they need to play the highest difficulty and blast through it with no actual difficulty…

Nobody forced you to play OP levels or to even reach the highest OP level…

BL3’s end game got destroyed because of this… M10/11 was dirt easy…

TTWL at this point is pretty spot on as it comes to difficulty (3 difficulty options and chaos levels on top of that)

BL2 for me is the better game (to this day there’s still stuff i’ve never actually finished only did the last dlc 1 time ) had only 2 characters at OP8 but got put off because of the weaponscaling…

BL3 got some nice QoL stuff (manteling for example) but got destroyed with M2.0 and the reintroduction of weaponscaling (worst mistake they could make) together with releasing the OPQ it took me about a day to totally destroy any endgame

TTWL takes the best of both but lacks in stuff to do in endgame (this is where BL3 shined but it was so easy that it wasn’t worth playing it after steamrolling it within days after release)
As for difficulty, i can mix match how ever i like. Atm playing chaos 50 at relaxed but i can just set it to hard when ever i want to test my build’s limit. In BL3 only thing that actually did that for me was the GTD wich i did (normal not true TD) with flak using only my rakk attack.

Not trying to take a jab at anybody but difficulty is and should be optional. I dropped BL3 because the lack of challenge after M2.0 (and the focus on only buffing legendaries and how easy it was to get)


I realise this is a circular argument generally but . . . why not just not use something like the OPQ? If difficulties should be optional (and I agree with this), why do you find yourself needing to use one of the strongest weapons in the game?

This is to you personally. Like I said, generally, this is an argument that goes round and round. I just want to know why you decided on the gear you did. Or was the OPQ just an example?


It’s possible. I have a max damage Plasma Coil, with complimentary anoint, and, I shlit you not, it’s sitting in my bank, just waiting for me to decide to use it. I’ve got a max dam Complex Root, a max dam x2 Creamer, and a +splash dam/rad Hustler - I can basically Boresplosion the entire game. Or, you know, choose not to, depending on what would be fun for me, personally.

Never once has a Legendary forced it’s way into my inventory or hands, nor has there ever been “too many Legendaries” on screen at any given time. In fact, the very concept of “too many Legendaries” is laughable on it’s face to me. But what do I know? I haven’t gulped so deep of BL2’s nostalgia hose that my eyes are smushed up against Handsome Jack’s stomach, with a grog nozzle buried in my assertion that perfection has been achieved. :see_no_evil: #slag

It’s a designer’s problem. BL3 and BL2’s difficulty were tightly linked to progression, a huge part of BL’s appeal. So its understandable people feel frustrated they can’t tackle higher difficulties if it means getting sub-optimal gear.

If they want to fix this, Gearbox needs to find a way for players to feel secure in whatever difficulty they play in. Which imo no BL game has done perfectly.

One issue that makes players like me frustrated is BL3’s gameplay is so much more straightforward than BL2. There aren’t any deep VH gameplay strats to learn. I still feel there’s so much for me to experience for Krieg/Zer0/Gaige. Whereas in BL3 I feel I’ve learned almost all there is in how to play all 4 VHs, made faster by how similarly they all play.

Personally I don’t think BL games have been interested in testing raw mechanical skill since BL2 and I’m disappointed. I’d love BL to appeal to more people but not at the cost of the audience that wants to take time to practice and get better.

And slight vent, people who want BL to remain mindless fun exclusively as if adding “Dark Souls” difficulty will take anything away from them makes me want shout into the void lmao


It was right after M2.0 and cartel event :wink:

I actually stopped using it quite quickly because i kept dying from the splashdamage.

Also it wasn’t just the OPQ…

After M2.0 it was either legendaries and actually play the game or try using non legendaries wich they didn’t even bother optimising for M2.0.

And here’s the age old argument, why would i need to handicap myself in order to have a challenge? Doing so was a challenge in itself.

OPQ was just the most obviously broken and everything went down hill from there. Add in all the level increases and powercreep wich made BL3 boring to play (so much to do but nothing was actually challenging)

If they would introduce TTWL weapons system into BL3 i would actually pick it up again.

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True :wink: pretty much the reason i hate the weaponscaling.

TTWL chaotic gear is a great step in the right direction. But with the recent chaos level increase i’m kinda getting the feeling they went a bit too far. Ascended gear makes the first batch of chaos levels absolete. And i really feel like they’re planning in a level cap increase (wish they would stop this crap already)


Honestly criticism of the highest difficulty being made easy by using a strong weapon is very valid. Having top gear and the game becoming a cakewalk isn’t mutually exclusive. I want to use the cool guns I find but that doesn’t mean I want the game to practically play itself.

I was actually thinking of reinstalling BL3 for a new playthrough because I’ve been craving a new Borderlands game. But the thought of stumbling on a legendary and ruining the balance of the game stops me from pushing through. Last time I ended up with a near-full legendary loadout by level 8, and they were doing too much damage for a first playthrough. I can’t imagine this being someone’s first experience with the game, the trickling down progression of loot is thrown out the window.

Not using powerful gear you find- I understand if its looking for some broken exploit like the pimperhab. But loot you find is intended to be used.

Yeah, I am a fan of having a weapon at max level and sticking to it. TTWL unfortunately feels like you’re grinding for grinding’s sake. You aren’t meaningfully progressing your character, it’s just gradual damage bumps in your guns! One upside to that (or consequence?) is that I don’t feel forced to do the higher “difficulty” levels.


All bases pretty much covered.

In short : I can continue to play 1, 2 and to a lesser degree TPS til the day I die. I have ~6K hours in those three games and will happily continue to grow that number. That’s not because of rose coloured glasses (although I have a LOT of GREAT memories associated with BL2) — it’s because the games continue to entertain and challenge.

For all the things 3 does right, it’s not enough to overcome the things it does wrong. Therefore I won’t likely ever reinstall the game. One thing I’ll say again is the “more is better” aspect of 3 is quite possibly the single worst tenet the developers decided to hook into. At least for me.


I always felt handicapped in BL2 by design, so it’s interesting to see you come from the other way lol. I mean, fair enough. The level increases in particular (the last one) made skill points so available that maxing out whatever critical path you wanted was super-easy.

For me, BL2 was always like “well I forgot to not complete the Grog Nozzle quest, I guess I’m stuck without the gun that everybody recommends on every build”. Or I didn’t have a perfect Skullsmasher, or whatever. Everything was about perfect parts and DLC-specific gear (Rapier, Grog Nozzle, etc). And even the Pimpernel (sorry @gelboy but I put weapons with that amount of potential - glitch or otherwise - into the same class as the OPQ. The OPQ wasn’t just broken because of its damage. The whole design of the item was strong).

Sure, they weren’t required, but it’s kinda in the same way that some of the gear in BL3 isn’t required. It’s a challenge to get the balance right, and unfortunately I haven’t touched TTWL so I can’t comment on what it did there.


The Pimpernel is perfectly fine on its own. It’s just combining it with the Ahab when it becomes just… completely unfair lol. Not denying I clipped under Vorac to delete his toes though because ■■■■ Vorac

Not using powerful weapons to enjoy the game more is a perfectly fine thing to do! I’ve been doing that with all the BL games. I mostly never farm the Harold early game, and never touch Golden chests. I also avoided BL1R’s Gearbox weapons but there are some like the Bessie and Reaper counterparts I keep just because how batshit rare the originals are. But those were pretty far and in-between, it never happened as much as BL3. See: a recent new character playthrough. Night Hawkin has tigher RNG, but having this good a bp early on by playing naturally is ridiculous to me :s

And that’s not including the 20 Hails and Crits I got later on.

That’s when it started to become something I can’t overlook because of how often it happens. Oranges/uniques having significantly higher drop rates/easier to get and huge power gaps on their own (instead of being discovered through synergies between other gear and skills) is fully intended by the designers. Not originally, but that’s what it ended up being 2.5 years later. I can mod and dismiss every legendary that drops into my hands, but I just wish I didn’t have to balance the game myself instead of Gearbox.

Some people enjoy it, completely valid! I find it stale and ruins my sense of progression and discovery.