Why Farming was Comparatively Better in the Early Months of the Game

Quick disclaimer: I am not saying that the original system of drops was the best idea. It very much wasn’t and needed to be fixed. I am comparing the original drop locations (world drops minus a few exceptions) to the current drops. I am also focusing on base game only, as the DLCs are their own can of worms with drops and drop rate inconsistencies.

Borderlands 3 launched with very few dedicated drops, and everything else world dropped exclusively. I don’t think many were fans of this, I certainly wasn’t. However, compared to what it is now, I look back at it original state and can see certain positives that benefitted from the game’s absurd drop rates more than the current lot of dedicated drop locations.

Right now almost every item has a dedicated drop location, with a few, including Mayhem exclusives, only dropping from that singular location and their specific Takedown. This sounds good on paper, but due to the abysmal dedicated drop to world drop ratio, and the fact that a vast majority of base game drops are still world drops, it only really serves to limit farming locations based on the exclusivity of the drop.

Early game farming had a sort of engineered chaos to it. Unless you were specifically trying to farm for one of the few dedicated drops at the time, each farming run was a gamble, and you never knew what you were going to get since everything else was a world drop. This meant that you could farm wherever you wanted to farm, and you could get almost anything without expecting anything. You could farm Graveward and just hope for something good or something interesting. If you got bored, you could go to any of the other bosses and roughly expect the same type of grab bag farming. It was chaos, but chaos where you didn’t have a choice in the matter unless you were farming for things like the Redline or the King’s Call.

This chaotic farming also had its own limitations, as farming, for I think probably a lot of people, came down to bosses and locations which offered the most loot and was the fastest kill (why people loved Graveward and the early loot tink exploit at the Jakob’s Estate). But even then, it had an aura of fun to it because you really weren’t expecting anything specific because most were world drops only.

This all was supposed to change with dedicated drops, but I argue that, aside from a few exceptions, the problems of the original farming still persisted, but this time with the added addition of expectation, followed by disappointment. A lot.

Now, dedicated drops do work like I think people wanted them to, but those are at non-mayhem/early mayhem(?) levels. Farming Road Dog on Normal mode on a new character for three hours only really netted me his dedicated drops (sadly no Hellwalker). But my experience, starting from the original Mayhem 4 and persisting to Mayhem 2.0, does not reflect what was envisioned for dedicated drops.

Dedicated drops at Mayhem levels were, and still are sparse, and buried in a sea of world drops. What makes matters worse is the addition of Mayhem exclusive drops (and takedown exclusives) that require a certain Mayhem level. Not only do these drops only drop from their base game source and their takedown source, but they also require a certain Mayhem threshold, which increases loot quantity. And in the case of a few of these exclusives, they are some of the best gear in the game.

What this does, at least for me, is it limits where I chose to farm. Why would I farm, for example, Road Dog for a Hellwalker, when I can get those to drop from anywhere else? I tend to now focus my efforts on the likes of Killavolt for the Monarch, since he is the only one outside of the Guardian Takedown bosses that can drop it. I have gotten a few Monarchs after 18 hours of farming over a period of days, only one or two have decent annointments, and a lot of 9-Volts (were those ever good?). Same goes for GenIVIV and Warden. They are worthwhile farms for their powerful, Mayhem exclusive drops, whereas those without powerful, exclusive drops are not as worthwhile to farm usually. Especially if you are farming for something that can world drop.

Ultimately, what differentiates the drops pre-dedicated assignments and the drops post-dedicated assignments is expectation. The expectation that comes with dedicated drops, on top of the vast amount of world drops just makes farming that much more frustrating. Before dedicated sources, when you came across your 1000th Malak’s Bane, while it was somewhat disheartening and groaning, you were largely not expecting anything. Even if you were farming for a dedicated drop or hoping for something, the chaos of the system meant that you could expect anything. Now, with dedicated drops, unless you are specifically farming for it, your 1000th Malak’s Bane hurts more because you are expecting whatever you are farming for to eventually drop, especially if it is an exclusive item like the Sandhawk or the Kyb’s Worth.

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I’m also farming M10 Killavolt for Monarchs, for my deathless Moze.

And there is clearly an issue:

  • It takes about 2min to kill him and farm (due to that immune healthgate phase)
  • Quit/reload takes about 2min of loading screens
  • Game crashes about every 25 reloads
  • He drops about 1 Monarch every 10 runs
  • About 75% of dropped Monarchs have no element
  • Among elemental Monarchs, I had 10% Cryo
  • Among found anointements, I had 5% URAD

Not even considering the odds of a double-barrel, and assuming those metrics are correct, that means:

  • I have 0.038 % chance of getting the gun I expect, which is supposedly a dedicated drop
  • I may expect 2 632 runs to get it
  • This is about 88 hours of actually playing and 88 hours of those damn f***ing loading screens
  • I can expect about 100 crashes during that farm

Is it worth the trouble ? IMO, it’s not.

How could Gearbox fix that ?

  • Well, Monarch is dedicated drop from Killavolt above M6, so it would make sense that when playing on M10, the drop is guaranteed. This would divide the farming effort by 10.

Hear me, developpers ? Make your game enjoyable, for M. Torgue’s sake !


man i wish they would make named enemies and mayhem exclusives drop alot more
at mayhem 10 it should be as you said a guarantee, or at least 50/50… AT LEAST

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They should add some more slaughter shafts, want that Monarch and don’t feel like save quitting every 2 mins? Go to the BadASS slaughter shaft. Want that super rare class mod? Go to the flying enemies only slaughter shaft, etc, etc.

You can still boss farm if you want I guess, but at least by doing slaughter shafts you’re playing the game more than you are save quitting and you get lots of chances for the particular piece of gear you’re looking for

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They should make the dedicated drops have a chance to replace any other drop on a boss. Let’s say they drop 10 legendaries in a kill, then there should be a chance for ALL 10 to be replaced by the dedicated drop.

I wish they had turned the Takedowns into that sort of thing. Instead of only the bosses dropping the exclusive gear, give the mobs a smaller chance to drop it as well. Provides more incentive to at least attempt the Takedowns, and it makes the mobbing portions a bit more worthwhile and special.

The Slaughters and the Proving Grounds have similar issues, especially if you are looking for their dedicated drops. It is just a bunch of world drops on the way for a small chance to get the dedicated. They are great for world drop farming though, and fun if you aren’t looking for anything in particular.

I would like a crafting system, token or a point system. So that if you kill a certain boss over and over, eventually you can get the item you want. Whether it’s because you can craft what you want via legendary parts from guns you disassembled, or buy using tokens from the zone you farmed in, or earn via the points you earned attacking that enemy in that zone, or enemies in that zone (and at which point, those points would vanish).

And another favorite concept I have is that farming that map or part of the map would have higher chances of that gun dropping there. So you would have more chances on the way to a boss or around that boss.

I remember a Terraria mod that introduced a vendor that allowed you to exchange a boss drop for a token. And this token could be used as a crafting recipe ingredient for crafting another item from the orginal bosses loot pool.

So you go to the boss, kill him and get an item… it’s not the one you wanted, so you exchange the item for the token and, combined with some other stuff, craft the one you want.

And if it doesn’t have the enchantment you want… go the the enchanter and reroll the enchantment.



I do understand the appeal for a crafting system, though I would also understand the reason why developpers did not, and would not implement it: it’s a looting game, not a crafting game.

That being said, I would agree on any system that allows to get the gun I expect with decent effort
(considering the currently required effort is wayyyyyyyyy higher than “decent”).

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My biggest issues getting desired gear is the ridiculous number of horrible anointments even after GB removed over 20 them.

I have to get about 25-30 crappy versions before I ever see the item with my desired anointment. Most of which I get are ALWAYS for Amara, the only VH I don’t like playing. If its not for Amara, I’ll get a ton of ASE (for Flak and Amara) which are actually horrible for Zane or Moze, which I play the most.

I have the gear I need and want for my chars now but I have had to resort to trading items for my best Zane gear even though I play him 95% of the time.

Although I do find this game fun at times, I also see it as a chore and a super redundant fulltime job if I want something specific. That will be the memory I keep of this game and when it comes to others, would warn rather than recommend.

After action skill end can be great on zane. He has two action skills at once, remember, and you don’t have to spec into skills that extend the length of his action skills.

edit: But I do understand you annoyance at annointments. Which is why we need anointment rerolls.

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I thought farming was pretty awesome during the Loot the Universe event. But only when I activated the Cartels so that multiple Badasses would spawn.

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