This irks me somewhat. It maddens & saddens me in equal measure when I start another Maya (I have 8 so far, she’s my fav) and it says 24/26 heads (I think) and something like 86/96 skins. I wish there was a way to know what I’m missing. BL3 should, a year after release say, have a tool where it would tell you what you’re missing & how to find them, rather than scour the wiki. I should stop being lazy & look them up…
As has been mentioned, it’s the combat variety available in the game that does it for me. We have all the characters’, their respective skill trees, different builds among these skill trees, different playstyles used with each of these builds, different gear sets used with these playstyles to choose from. We can take these characters to a huge variety of different maps with many different enemy types and unique challenge sets. Here is how I roll:
I have eight characters to choose from; one for each manufacturer (I play allegiance); two Commandos, Sirens, Mechromancers, and Assassins. (I also have a Gunzerker that I tool around with sometimes, but no Psycho). This allegiance only applies to guns, grenades, and shields (not COMs); COMs define one’s playstyle, and don’t adhere to any single dimension unique to the manufacturer, and that would limit my playstyle options without an interesting return.
Each character is mandated to use a) every Unique piece of gear available from their respective manufacturers (plus whatever else they see fit), and b) a different build from the other similar character, specifically, they can’t share more than one capstone. One of my Sirens (Hyperion) uses a Thoughtlock/Sub Sequence build, where the other (Tediore) uses a Scorn/Life Tap build. One of my Mechromancers (Bandit) uses an Anarchy build, where the other (Maliwan) uses a Little Big Trouble build. The playstyles between any two character doppelgangers is noticeably different, due to both the different build and distinct gear sets.
Each Unique piece of gear is fitted to a unique combat niche, so they all have a role, requiring me to use everything. I get to use a single Pimpernel, but I also have to use a Vladof Rocketeer (or whatever grenade/shield/gun one considers the “worst”). It’s up to me to figure out how to make these work in combat.
There are a bit over 75 different maps available (between the stock game, the DLCs, and the Headhunter packs). I don’t need to tell you how different these can be, given their routing options, enemy availability/density, environmental hazards, side mission options, secrets/easter eggs, and difficulty ratings. A romp through Southern Shelf is a much different game than a slog through Sawtooth Cauldron, for example.
In each of these maps, there are a number of things I will do, generally in this order unless I’m in the mood for something specific:
- Story mission (if I’ve restarted UVHM, and have a story mission to complete, that’s first).
- Side mission (if more than one is available, I pick whatever sounds fun at the moment).
- Map challenges (if these are starting to get full, I’ll work on BAR challenges)
- BAR challenges (if these are starting to get full, I’ll focus on these until I can prestige, and reset them).
- Map purge (usually combined with one of the above; everything on the map dies, and all chests/secrets are hit).
To facilitate this, I have a spreadsheet with all my characters and all the map options. It randomly chooses a character/map set, which I load and go through the priority list above for that map. Say my Bandit allegiance Mechromancer (built around Anarchy) rolls Tundra Express, where she’ll be dealing primarily with flesh-based enemies. Now let’s say she’s done with the storyline but Tina has a couple of side missions open, and we pick the Pretty Good Train Robbery. Maybe she does this with melee (using With Claws, some bladed thing, and a healthy dose of stacks). Maybe she plays close-range shotgun (Anarchy’s specialty). Maybe she plays ranged combat (with the Sawbar and Tinderbox). Maybe she lets Deathtrap handle everything, and she plays a support role. Maybe she puts on the Hide of Terra shield and plays shield offense (with Blood Soaked Shields and Unstoppable Force, it works). Maybe she does it King of the Hill style by assuming a position on top of some high point, and defending it while taking everyone out per the mission.
Think about how many different things there are to do among the characters, builds, maps, gear, enemy types, and combat styles the game has to offer through the lens I described above. If you only have a single character with one build, and four weapons that you use every time, you’ll run out of things to do after a while, but not for any fault of the game’s.
That said, here are some extra-curricular things that I like to do just because they’re available:
Non-Summoner Summoner: enrage a Goliath and run support for it, kiting it through the map and enemies as necessary to finish the mission. It’s surprising how far you can get them to go sometimes.
Teen Wolf: Go to the Dust from the Three Horns Valley entrance. At the vehicle spawn there, spawn two vehicles. Leave one behind, and drive the other straight to the exit to the Eridium Blight, and wait there. As soon as you hear the Cara Van come calling, it’s either right in front of you (unlikely), in which case, use the nearby Catch a Ride to teleport to the other vehicle, and catch them on the other side of the map. In either case, you want to take out the guards as soon as possible upon the spawn of the Cara Van. When the Cara Van stops, hop on, and wait a minute. It will eventually resume its drive across the Dust. Your job is to ride on it, taking out all the enemies you can, and without getting knocked off, kind of like a moving King of the Hill. It’s a snap if you’re using a rocket launcher; less so if you’re using, for example, a shotgun.
Scavenger Trap: go to a map that has Scavengers running around. Kill everyone except the Scavenger (and pick up at least a few pieces of trash loot while you’re at it). Find some lethal environmental hazard (a slag barrel won’t work, but a cliff will, for example). Drop the loot near the hazard, and use it as bait to get the Scavenger into a precarious position, then finish him. Use Nuke, Execute, Fistful of Hurt, or some low-fuse Singularity grenade for the execution. It’s tricky, but somehow satisfying to use their drive for loose loot against them (and environmental kills are always fun).
King of the Hill: on any given map, find a high point that’s not too protected, and not too exposed, in the middle of some enemy camp. Charge in, stand on that thing, and take everything out without getting knocked off.
This! Borderlands is there and I know what it is, but there’s a suitably incredible number of deviations within it to be both familiar and exploratory (I’m still discovering and trying new things after over 4000 hours). Without self-analysing too deeply, I also feel a lot more in control of my Pandoran gameplay - in comparison to a stressful and mentally demanding outside life I can really narrow my focus on Pandora and it’s really my world. I often have it on in the background to dip into when I’m writing my thesis. Plus Krieg is always sympathetic when I’ve had a tough day.
More practically, I like using a big range of gear and there’s so many possibilities. If I just stuck with ‘the YouTube meta’ at OP8 I’d get bored. I like allegiance characters as these have really provoked me into using new gear and play styles I would not have thought of (my Bandit Siren kicks ass). I’ve tried other stuff too - two one-lifers (sadly deceased), a character who only uses mission rewards, a purely melee Maya (‘bullets are for getting back up’). I enjoy all three modes so don’t usually rush to level them all up.
And lastly there’s the coop aspect. I’ve made some genuinely brilliant friendships through bl2 and doing mad stuff with great people never gets old.
I have to try this!
The community keeps me going. That’s YOU, motherlovers! It’s also not a hollow statement. There have been countless occasions on which I’ve felt flat, popped by here or to various YouTube channels I subscribe to, and found inspiration to get back to Pandora and try something. Sometimes, it’s from vets like Derch or Demonite. Other times, it’s from people who approach this game in a very different way, like Adabiviak or hattie. Still other times, it’s because of a post or pm from a less known or new community member whose enthusiasm gets me fired up.
Off the top of my head:
Man of Low Moral Fiber’s particular way of narrating his videos sucked me in and shaped my entire process for problem solving the Peak.
Derch and Chuck80 made me want to find a way to contribute to the community in a very ‘pay it forward’ kind of way.
Kurtdawg’s unbridled enthusiasm and powerful “just happy to be here!” attitude infected me long ago. Waaaaay more than he knows.
Adabiviak and Slif_One have unknowingly been inspirations with their marked, firm insistence on doing this ■■■■ their own way.
…and seeing guys like Vinterbris come in at one level of development as a player, dig in, and push through to the next… that has never stopped keeping me excited.
Each person here puts their own stamp on this community, and I have to admit that I feed off of that.
Combat variety, massive gear selection and possibilities, co-op gameplay, progression, the community patch, the amount of resources available, and the amazing forum community.
I love the characters and gameplay.
I love looting and collecting stuff.
Love the visuals and world of Pandora.
Love all the crazy s*** you can do like kill an OP8 boss with the first gun you get in the game.
This might be the biggest one for me: the game is amazing for solo players and for co-op. Not many games are like that.
I will not stop playing until I get a cobra. And that’s that
I guess that means that you know how you will be spending the next 200 years. Good luck!
This. 4 mechro builds on my end. lol
This has been a real treat for me. ^ this right here. @Vinterbris has grown tremendously from the first post. and paying if forward constantly. I love this too much.
And much like @Handsome_Dad here. The community is what sustains my interest. I like to help. and I still receive help.
New and interesting perspectives provokes thought. which I like.
any one up for some Vault Hunting?!
It wouldn’t have been possible without all of the help i’ve got from this community though, both of you included in that
What sustains me in Borderlands games is that they are just a lot of highspeed fun with generally good difficulty curve. It feels and plays differently at different levels and unlocking a new skill for your arsenal always feels nice.
My main enjoyment usually comes from simply the process of leveling as that is the part of the adventure that is never the same from character to character. Who are you playing, what skills do you go for first and especially what loot do you get.
That said my favorite part of leveling is the UVHM climb from 50 to 72 (EDIT: for BL2 that is). Unlike NVHM and TVHM you can just ignore the story here and there and run wherever you wish to do whatever you want. To quote Aurelia from TPS: “What area shall I violently depopulate next?”
It can be a pain in the ass if you run into a drought of good weapons but farming some gear to kill Tinder Snowflake and then farming the train a few times ain’t too bad of a chore and opening the train is pretty exciting at those levels too. Endgame is enjoyable too with all of the available challenges (hope we get even more in BL3). My biggest problem there is the peak as it’s not my cup of tea but it requires several playthroughs if you want to get all the way to OP8.
That being said I’ve lately suffered from a bit of BL overdose after doing a ton of stuff in the 3 games during the past year so I’ve spent a couple of months away from Pandora and her moon lately. I’ll dive back in at some point and hopefully catch some co-op action when I do. The man can leave Pandora but Pandora does not leave the man.
I haven’t read the entire thread yet (but I will) and so maybe someone else has said something like this…
A tiny little moment of particular fun for me while going thru the MQ is when I’m fighting the loader waves in Overlook or Control Core Angel or fill-in-your-fave-wave-fight-here and I actually have to stand around and wait for the next wave to spawn. Being that far in front of a fight makes me realize that I have learned a thing or two about the game.
1600+ Hours later, it’s still a better game than most any other I have access to.
I’ve been back and forth between Borderlands games and Mechwarrior Online. I played a few hundred hours of Battleborn, and still dabble here and there. I tried out WildStar, and quite enjoy it as my first-ever MMO (has a familiar-ish vibe to BL). TPS was great (no, really… Why are y’all laughing?). I still go back and farm a little in BL1 once in a while (maxed out Lilith and Roland; PT 2.5 is just too easy next to UVHM). Even tried out Paladins for a bit. Did the DooM thing when it came out. Went to the PS4 for more DooM, for Fallout 4, and for No Man’s Sky (I revisit whenever they drop a new content patch, and will continue to do so).
But nothing scratches the itch like Borderlands 2 does. It’s the gold standard for me. Just today (well, yesterday technically; Saturday at any rate) I spent 13 hours (interrupted here and there by coffee, cigarettes, food, and chatting with Mrs. RAbbi) playing BL2, and will probably put in several more on Sunday. I’ve never run Digistruct Peak with Salvador (or Gaige, or Zer0, or Krieg), so I’m running him up the scale.
It’s always a blast to see what others are doing with their BL2 characters. Allegiance runs, weird builds, whites-only (gear, not people), etc. I love that thread. And apparently I’m not alone, as it’s like 8200+ posts in now.
I remember coming to the old forum as an Axton guy, and realizing that Maya deserved a shot, and falling MADLY in love with that character. Derch, Spunky, etc., were all QUITE helpful in sorting me out and getting me on the path to success with my OP8 sirens.
And now, I’m working on overcoming my lifelong fear of playing the tank. Sal makes that easy, of course.
What sustains me? I’m FAR from running out of fun in BL2. I’m FAR from running out of challenges, and to me a challenge is fun. I’ll spare you the long story, but suffice to say that I enjoy having something new to work on/toward in a game, and Borderlands 2 has yet to run out of that for me.
Mid-term, say before the end of the Summer, I want to have solo’d every raid boss (except Dexi) with Salvador. I’ve already done like half of 'em with Maya, but I’ve hit my comfort limit with her abilities against bosses. Time to step up to Salvador. That’s my next challenge.
That’s what sustains me in BL2. And it will almost certainly continue until BL3 drops, and perhaps for some time after.