I hadn’t played TPS in awhile, and decided to do a play-through using the restriction of only white gear. Just finished it this morning, but it wasn’t anywhere near as enjoyable as it was in BL2.
Most of the same elements are still there:
- money can be a real challenge, even most of the way through the game, when there are numerous desirable white items in vendors
- ammo restrictions (with only white upgrades) mean changing weapons more often
- swapping gear, reconfiguring, and scavenging in general is more important
The last one in particular is the essence of the challenge. With only one color of gear usable, you don’t find your go-to weapons as often, and have to make do with substitutes. And that also increases the desire to find more gear, and there are generally good payoffs when you’re hoping for ‘white’. (Which is a fun perception-altering condition in itself!)
So what went wrong? I think it comes down to two basic details.
Even though I went straight through story missions with no side-quests, I wasn’t under-leveled anywhere near as much as when doing the same thing in BL2. Using white gear isn’t all that crippling unless you’re also fighting mostly ‘skull’ enemies, and I think the TPS leveling tries to be more ‘fair’ to the player than BL2.
White COMs remove some of the best parts of TPS. I think they did a superb job with character abilities, but part of that greatness happens when you boost the skills past the 5 max. (And the search for COMs that boost what you want, etc). Since white COMs have no skill boosts, that element is gone.
Comments or alternate challenge ideas for TPS are welcome.