Aside from pets, action skills, melee, and grenades not scaling, (all of which can be simply fixed), I’m enjoying Mayhem 2.0. I’ll explain why.
So at launch we started off with 3 mayhem levels. M1 and M2 they were largely unnoticed. M3 was difficult, and depending on the modifiers you got, nearly impossible. We complained about how these modifiers had a strong negative impact on our builds. Modifiers would randomly change from changing zones or reloading the game. It was completely random and many of us didn’t like it.
So they developers listened and made changes for M4. There was only 2 modifiers. A buff for us and a buff for the enemy. This made Mayhem far more consistent, especially when testing the performance of builds. However, at first many people complained about M4 enemies having health, shield, and armor scaled way higher than past Mayhem levels. This only lasted a short while, though. Many people put in work for build to make M4 playable. Short time later every VH has a few builds that can solo M4 TTD, a 4 player scaled raid.
Mayhem 2.0 launches. As you can see from the forums, Reddit, YouTube, and other social media many people are complaining about M2.0. “Enemy’s are bullet sponges.” or “Mayhem Modifiers are killing me.” Some like it, some don’t.
Mayhem 2.0 modifiers are more than just the pluses or minuses of the past mayhem system. In the old system I completely forgot M4 had modifiers. When M3 was the highest it would force you to completely switch weapons or make aspects of your build worthless. “My shotgun build sucks with -##% shotgun damage. Better reload in the game.” This made boss farming a pain as reloading could get you a terrible modifier roll.
With the new system, they did some things right:
- First, they made it so the modifiers could be changed in the menu at any time. You can continue to reroll until you get what you want.
- Second, they made the modifiers stay for that VH regardless of changing zones or logging off. Find something that works for you and you can keep it forever.
- Third, these are not just pluses and minuses that drastically change your damage output or sustain by just throwing in a number. These are actual “Gameplay Changing Modifiers.”
There is a very common way many people are looking at these modifiers right now. That mindset is, “What modifier has the least impact on my playstyle.” Like rolling Boundary Issues and staying farther away. While that is fine, it’s just forcing more of the same. The discussion then becomes, “What incredibly strong weapon can I use to kill just to get through higher content.”
Instead, I believe people should be looking at the modifiers another way. I mean, this is Borderlands after all. What would Borderlands be without a little abuse. “How can I abuse these modifiers.” Some are already trying to shift the argument. “Elemental pools suck, but not with a transformer.” “Healy Avenger heals the already spongy enemy, but you can also heal you and your shield.” “Floor is lava sucks, but you have an easy way to proc Elemental projector.”
I could go on, but you get the point. These modifiers don’t just need to be considered for your build, but your build should also be considered for the modifiers. It’s only been a few days. Players find wonky or crazy interactions sometimes weeks or months later. Heck, the Pimpernel was considered a terrible sniper for 2.5 years after the DLC it was released from, until someone found out how to make it work with the Bee shield and make all the shots crit. For all we know some of these modifiers could have a wonky effect that makes the higher content way easier with out using OP guns.
As for those OP guns and crazy scaling. I’m having no issue. Even without anointment I, and others, can get though the content and not have it feel like a slog fest. The trick is just getting the scaled weapons. I wouldn’t try OP8 with OP2 weapons. So don’t do M10 with M4 weapons.
Now, that isn’t to say there are glaring issues. We don’t have an indicator for what Mayhem level a gun is, Pets/Action Skill/Melee/Grenades don’t scale. This is also directly effecting your damage output. Before M2.0 they largely didn’t do much, but it was still a small amount. Now it’s an even smaller amount, but as we saw from updates to Zane’s clone and Iron Bear, the developers are clearly capable of improving the system in place. Grenades not scaling, I think, has a bigger impact that some believe.
As for Shields, COMs, and Relics not scaling. In my opinion, as someone who pushed multiple VHs to OP8, I think that is a good thing (Partially. I’ll explain lower) for two reasons.
- Power creep. It’s the obvious answer and one that will happen anyway, but why speed it up.
- Sustain. Currently the enemies in M10 do the same amount of damage as they do in M0. Only difference is if there is a mayhem modifier doing something silly.
This means that many of the shield that people use are still viable. You can still take the same number of damage. This also means you aren’t punished for gaining more health if you have life steal. BL2 in high OP levels became, “Don’t increase your health, it makes it harder to health gate with a Moxi weapon.” It forced the meta to be all about Moxi weapons and weapon swap speed.
The reason I said partially, was because many shields or relics provided some sort of damage and not just utility. Nova shields, Slams, etc. These absolutely need to be scaling with the higher mayhem levels. A M10 and M0 Nova shield should have the same capacity, rate, and delay, but the M10 Nova shield should be doing comparable damage to that which is required for M10.
So, that is why I like M2.0, why I think BL3 is on a good path, and why I think with some small tweaks, scaling, and quality of life fixes everything should be great for BL3 in the future.