Things You Forgot Existed in Borderlands

Yeah, that’s a real pain. Even without the fighting, the sheer drive time from T-Bone Junction to the Prison or to the Armory is way way too long.


I am definitely not trying to brag, but I just made it from phasing into T-Bone into the Armory in 9 minutes 35 seconds. I killed maybe 8 enemies, plus Knoxx. Just run/drive past everything possible. I find that I have to do some fighting when forced out of the car near the end of Road’s End, where the 2 Devastators come out and some Pyro Lance. Lilith could easily Phasewalk past those annoyances. And someone who can really drive the Racer on boost (not me) could chop more time off. I’d bet that an 8 minute time would be difficult but possible.

1 Like

Playing Brick right now.

Miss Phasewalk dashing so bad.

Wish Berserking made you sprint.

Wasn’t there a bug or something that made Brick run really fast? I’ve never played Brick but I think I tested this “fast Brick” trick about 8 years ago…

Here it is as someone told me: “Activate Beserk - Hit the menu before his hands clap. You’ll walk at the speed that you run in beserk, and you’ll run even faster.” This will give a 36% increase over normal running speed.

Interesting, thank you!

1 Like

Pandora has a government?


Corporate government, I guess? Odd that Hyperion is listed there, given that it was Dahl then Atlas as corporate overlords. One of many untold stories, no doubt!


When I played Borderlands on ps3, I was new to gaming and unfamiliar with game mechanics. So, playing Borderlands - I thought it looked real cool, but I kept dying and couldnt figure out how to heal. And Claptrap annoyed me because I kept dying near him and he was saying ‘look! I can dance!’… so in frustration I quit playing.

Now, I think the reason I kept getting killed is because the psychos near Fyrestone were too levelled and I couldnt beat them.

So now that I am a better player, I got past the psychos, and know better than to engage higher level enemies, and get to play the rest of the game I missed on the ps3.


Pandora’s days are 90 hours long.

Source: Arid Badlands Tannis ECHO recording.


Which is why Roland’s idle comment of “burnin’ daylight, fool” makes me snort and roll my eyes. There are ninety hours of daylight, standing idle for five minutes isn’t going to change SFA

That’s why they use lunar days. You never really ever see the sun so the sun reflecting off the giant ball of ice in the sky makes it “day” or “night”

1 Like

Knoxx: Also, have you met our friend, the Sun?

That Roland sounds like a total punk in BL1 compared to his badass hero aura in BL2.

How much I hate Moe and Marley if you run in there at level 12 or so.

That Sanctuary is part of the BL1 lore, even if you never go there.

How GRRR it is when a suicide psycho kills you three feet from the door but you can’t just crawl over there and one-shot the stupid midget to get a second wind.

I’ve been playing BL2 quite a bit, and I kept trying to figure out why I remembered Krom’s Canyon and the Middle of Nowhere bounty board, but never could find them. Then I ran through BL1 on Brick and figured it out.

Technically, there’d be closer to 45 hours of daylight, depending on the planet’s axial tilt, time of year, etc. Although the time scaling means he spends like 10 hours of it before he speaks up about, which is probably a fair time to complain.

So I've been looking into this a little. The basic results are that the in-game moon is far larger than it should be (typical for games and movies), the moon wouldn't be remotely bright enough to constitute daylight, the moon doesn't actually rise or set (so no moon cycles at all), and the in-game lack of a sun is just for artistic and/or performance reasons. WARNING: Math, physics, and words lurk inside this expandable clicky thing.

To start with, we have this ECHO log from Tannis in BL1:
Day 43 on Pandora, at least I believe it to be the forty-third day I’ve been here. The moonlight cycles are difficult to get used to. The planet rotation day is over 90 hours long.

This gives us the 90-hour day length, and gives some hint of “moonlight cycles”. But would people really keep time by moonlight cycles? Well, no.

The Moon Problem

If we set the field of view to 70 degrees, we can fit three moons across the screen. This makes the moon about 23.3° in apparent diameter, or about 47 times our moon’s apparent diameter. Solid angle is then 0.512 steradians, which is 8000 times higher than Earth’s moon (which subtends 0.0000641 steradians), which lends credence to the idea that it’s very bright at night (brightness is roughly proportional to solid angle).

This does mean the moon is practically at the surface of Pandora compared to Earth’s moon. Assuming radii similar to Earth (3963 miles) and Earth’s moon (1079 miles), its center is 10467 miles above Pandora’s surface, or about 14430 miles above Pandora’s center. This is close the Roche Limit of 6000 miles center-to-center, but possible.

Tidal forces would be 4538 times higher, meaning the tides would literally be miles high, which would destroy everything on the surface unless the planet is tidally locked to its moon. This means the orbital period of the moon is exactly equal to the rotational period of the planet, and also means the moon would never appear to move in the sky unless you moved to a different part of the planet. This is supported by the fact that you can stand here all night and day in the game and the moon never seems to budge.

Before going further, note that this means there cannot be moon cycles, since the moon isn’t moving.

Tidal locking means the orbital period of the moon is about 90 hours (because the Pandoran day is 90 hours). Assuming masses similar to that of Earth (6·10²⁴ kg) and Earth’s moon(7·10²² kg), we see that our previous values for distance give us a time of about 9.7 hours. Solving for distance says we’d need to be about 10⁸ meters, or 63697 miles to get a 90-hour day with the presumed masses.

So this tells us the in-game representation is off given our earlier assumptions, but that’s okay. Pandora and its moon don’t have to be exactly like Earth, and the in-game representation doesn’t have to be exactly to scale. The nice conclusion is that’s it’s actually fairly close.

For kicks, let’s modify our assumptions a bit. Let’s say Pandora has ¼ the mass of Earth, and Pandora’s moon has twice the mass of Earth’s moon. This gives us a distance of 6.627·10⁷ meters, or 41178 miles in order to keep the 90-hour orbital period.

In order to keep the same gravity field at its surface, Pandora has to be smaller and denser than Earth. Gravity is proportional to mass and inversely proportional to radius squared, so a quarter of the mass means radius is cut in half (1982 miles). Volume is then one eighth what it was, and density is doubled. Nothing in our solar system is that dense, but it’s not implausible (this extra-solar planet has that density).

Similarly, Pandora’s moon has to be larger and sparser than Earth’s moon to keep the same gravity field at its surface. Twice the mass means 41% larger radius (540 miles). Volume is 2.83 times larger and density is 70% what it was, which is all reasonable enough.

This puts Pandora’s moon at 0.75 degrees, giving it a solid angle of 0.0005403 steradians, which is still 8.4 times that of Earth’s moon.

If Pandora’s moon has a brighter surface than Earth’s moon, it could get even brighter. Earth’s moon has an albedo of about 12%, meaning it absorbs 88% of sunlight hitting it (on average – albedo measurements get very tricky, but we just care about relative brightness). Venus has the highest albedo of the Solar planets, about 75%, meaning it reflects 6.25 times more light than the Earth’s moon, and Saturn’s moon Enceladus has a 99% albedo, or 8.25 times brighter that Earth’s moon. With those albedos, Pandora’s moon could potentially be 50 to 70 times brighter than Earth’s moon.

This also reduces tidal forces substantially, but they’re still 391 times that of Earth’s moon. So we still can’t really get away with anything but tidal locking and still have life on Pandora. Especially if we want our thousand-foot tides to occur every 12-ish hours (which gives us a 24-hour moon cycle).

So even though we can setup the moon and planet to be much closer and brighter than Earth’s moon, there still aren’t moon cycles of any kind.

The Sun Problem

The next problem is 90-hour days. Tannis explicitly says the solar day is 90 hours long. So we have a very bright object that lights up the planet for about 45 straight hours. Even using the above, generous math, Pandora’s moon is only 70 times brighter than Earth’s moon. Our sun is about 400,000 times brighter than our moon, so it’s still 5700 times brighter than Pandora’s moon. Pandora’s sun might be a little brighter or dimmer than ours, but those changes would be literally reflected in an equal brightening or dimming of its moon, so the ratio is the same.

So the obvious thing here is that the sun would dominate during the daytime. Sure, the moon would be very visible during most of the day, but it wouldn’t have any meaningful effect on surface brightness. During the night, though, the moon’s phase would be the same, every single time, unless you were at a different location on the planet. So some parts of the planet would have very bright nights (much brighter than a full moon on Earth), and other parts would have very dark nights (as dark as a new moon on Earth).

Now, suppose we have a moon that orbits every 22.5 hours (conveniently a quarter of the day length) and life on Pandora magically isn’t eradicated twice daily (maybe humans live on tall cliffs far from the coasts, in contrast with what we see in-game, and they somehow survive the entire surface being covered in active volcanoes). During the day, you wouldn’t really notice the moon except that’s it’s up there. During the 45-hour night, you’d notice two bright periods about 12 hours long, except that they’re still much dimmer than the normal daylight period.

Sunlight is about 100,000 lux. Our Pandoran moonlight is no more than 17.5 lux. In comparison, nighttime house lighting is about 30 lux, 50-100 lux is acceptable for safely moving around a strange area without tripping over anything, and 200-500 lux is comfortable for reading. That said, I can navigate in full moonlight (0.1 lux) across unknown terrain without too much difficulty (fences and potholes can be troublesome though), so 50-100 times brighter light would certainly be enough to get around town with. But it wouldn’t be any kind of daylight.

This is supported by another of Tannis’ logs.
Day 457. This is exciting. I think I might strip naked and run around to celebrate, but I’ll do it during a dim cycle for fear of prying eyes.

Note that she calls it a “dim cycle”. The idea being that it’s not dark enough to be “night”, but it’s substantially dimmer to the point she doesn’t think prying eyes will see her.

So why isn't there an in-game sun?

This does pose a bit of a problem. Clearly, there should be one. But leaving it out means they can reduce the stress on the rendering process, and they can have static shadows that appear to come from the moon. Most people aren’t going to think about it, and it just works.

Skyrim has dynamic lighting, but still opted for not rendering the sun itself, so maybe there’s some kind of weird research I haven’t heard about that people prefer skyboxes without rendered suns. (Of course, Skyrim’s moons orbit a point floating in the middle of space instead of orbiting the planet, so I’m pretty sure they weren’t worried about accurate orbital physics either.)

Borderlands 2 problems.

Borderlands 2 has a clock in Lynchwood set to a 24-hour cycle that perfectly corresponds to the day/night cycle in-game. (It also corresponds to exactly 24 minutes in real life, but that’s not terribly important.) There’s no reason you can’t just scale a 24 hour clock to move slowly (3.75 Earth hours for every Pandoran hour), so maybe the locals just like having 24 hours in a day. Or maybe the developers just goofed with that. Or maybe they thought there weren’t enough people listening to Tannis in BL1 to figure it out if the Lynchwood clock had run for 90 hours. Or maybe they liked 1 real second = 1 game minute better than 1 real second = 3.75 game minutes.

I don’t know, but it is a bit strange.

Some of these might be present in BL1 as well, but I haven’t tested as thoroughly.

BL2 clearly has what appear to be sunsets, midday, etc. The lighting definitely comes from the general direction of the moon, but often it’s off by like 20 or 30 degrees. This implies that there is a sun, but it isn’t displayed, and they just made the shadows visually come off the moon so it looks a little better. Like BL1, the shadows never change directions, so it would be more awkward if there was a visible sun moving across the sky that the shadows didn’t line up with.

While the moon is always on the horizon, it changes direction. Sometimes it’s to the north, sometimes to the west. This doesn’t seem to be related to global location or time of day. My guess is the level designers didn’t even think about it.

A big problem with the idea that it’s the moonlight on the surface is that the moon actually fades behind the atmosphere during the bright daylight, even on a clear day. This tells us the atmosphere is significantly brighter than the moon, which wouldn’t happen if the moon was the source of the light.

There’s also the issue the the light is clearly coming from an unseen source below (and presumably behind) the moon.

Then you have these wonky shadows that make no sense, further leading to the conclusion that realism wasn’t the goal here. The Pandoran shadows are coming from that bright spot beneath the moon, but the moon itself (and the Helios base in front of it) is lit up from behind us, to the right, and below us, meaning it should be nighttime.

Also of note in that picture is the position of Helios. It’s supposed to be “orbiting” (not sure I like that term here, but whatever) in a geostationary position between Pandora and its moon. Except that it’s way off to the side. It ought to be below the moon from any vantage point on Pandora. Unless you’re directly under the moon, in which case Helios would be directly between you and the moon. It would never be above, left, or right of the moon while standing on Pandora. Yet again leading to the conclusion that the level designers didn’t care about physical accuracy here.

(There’s also the issue that in Tales, Helios apparently “fell” out of orbit after its engines were shut down. They’d have to be out of commission for a long time for that to happen, and it still wouldn’t hit the surface, just enter an elliptical orbit around either the moon or the planet. (Don’t quote me on that last point, I’m too lazy to figure out the orbital calculations for that. It’s doing nearly 2875 mph with a semi-major axis of almost 41178 miles, but that’s as far as I got.)


Since when have video game designers ever cared much about actual physics. IRL, if you hit a pebble or brush the curb, you either don’t notice or your car jolts slightly. In Borderlands, your vehicle, even a massive six-wheeled truck, does an aerial 360 and lands belly-to-sky. Actual physics actively avoids video games

In the Pre-Sequel, there is a Vault inside the moon. To me, that argues for the moon being at least partially hollow and possibly not even a natural satellite at all

Right scholarly work, as they say. And seemingly (to my non-doing-math reading) accurate.
The only thing I might say about the Moon is in its mass. As we know from the PRe-sequel, it’s been hollowed out to some extent by the Eridians. How much is the key to modifying the conclusions you’ve drawn.
The crackening and the repeated quakes point to a lack of stability that would not (necessarily) be reflected by a typical solid “dead” moon or orbital body, which could be caused by Pandoran tidal forces affecting what I’ll call a Thin shell moon.
Say it was once further away and naturally solid. The Eridians needed a place to put the vault, so they both extensively hollowed it and moved it closer to Pandora.
If there are, perhaps they hollowed it and moved it into one of the Lagrange points in the orbit of Pandora. One thing I don’t know, and can’t tell from 3 games of gameplay, is if there are other moons or massive orbital bodies that might affect the location of the Lagrange points in Pandora’s locale.

This would provide the stability needed (I think), and the reduced mass from the hollowing would reduce the tidal forces.
I think the key here is what the mass of Elpis actually is.
Edit: And if the reduction of mass of the Moon seems to impact the apparent gravity on the surface, I’ll submit that we have some evidence for gravity manipulation on the space station and elsewhere itself. Lack of atmosphere does not make you jump higher, but variable and controlled gravity does. So the Eridians could have installed gravity generators inside the hollowed Moon.



So I fell through the map and once I hit about 3000m from the place I was supposed to go to, I died.


They are spiderant TOILERS, not spiderant TAILORS. I always thought it was a reference to weaving a dangerous web or something, nah, it’s just the dumb font…


There are several places you can do this. (In OBL anyway). Tbone, dahl headland, the secret cave in Kroms canyon, the power plant in earls scrapyard.

And yet both BL2 and BL3 have 24-hour clocks. (The former being the clock in the outer section of the train station in Lynchwood, and the latter being Moze’s wrist watch.)

Looks to me like someone at Gearbox isn’t keeping time with the lore continuity. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Ba-doom PAH!


This post is basically:

"mfw There’s a Claptrap Rescue in Crazy Earl’s Scrapyard. =| "

I love how it gives you no indication that such a thing exists too. Like, none of the missions draw you toward the northern part of the Scrapyard so you could be justified in thinking there’s jack monkey squat up there, so you have to actively search that part of the map yourself. You can find the broken Claptrap plus a few red chests, which is nice for the loot-starved (or for hoarders like me :slight_smile: ).

GG WP Gearbox.