First playthroughs are a chore because pretty much everything is always under-leveled or over-leveled. If you do too many side quests and exploration, the game will be too easy, and loot will be useless. If you don’t do enough, most drops won’t be usable. Then there are instances (at least one, anyway) in the campaign where enemies suddenly drop several levels despite occurring after a previous mission where they were higher. Plus, I often find things like caches later on when I’m far past the area’s level, yet fast-travel choices don’t show what levels locations are at, making it difficult to know that. Why have Borderlands games always withheld solo loot scaling until after beating the final boss? The game is most enjoyable when the character, area, and quest levels all match, which is almost never the case before beating the final boss.
I’m not sure if I see the correlation you are trying to make between what Paul says in his article and you relating it to playing solo. The issue with the mobs being over or under-leveled in a playthrough happens to solo and group play. Can you elaborate more on what you are talking about in regards to a “solo” issue?
In short, no. I posted about this somewhere on these boards, but I’ll do the cliff notes version. The whole idea behind ‘‘vanilla’’ first play through is to get you educated on the cycle of this game. (bare with me here) You run around getting guns then you get to a boss. Now you’re used to trash adds so you feel confident. He uses you as a chamber pot. Now your options are go level yourself up, find better weapons, call out for help. And this where the game really lays it out. They want you to explore, call buddies, etc to keep you wanting better gear. Having friends helps your odds obviously. Having an easy time dissuades you from hunting for gear. You dont hunt, you get bored, you shelf BL3. Now from another players perspective the first run through is about learning what works for you. With a very small number of exceptions bosses rely on mechanics and you knowing your own abilities. Its the Bl version of a tutorial run. This got way longer than i intended, but it’s something to keep in mind. The fun factor from being in groups can be an absolute blast, in other words Go Hunt
I think you did a fantastic job explaining. Borderlands is supposed to be an RPG shooter. It is described and labeled as such. What you see in a lot of RPGs is the same concept. Find a boss you can’t fight? Do some side quests and get stronger. Sure you come across some areas that do not scale well, it has been like that in BL1,2,3. Just as @theonlytosser described it gives people a chance who never played to understand it 1st, beat it, then enable mayhem 4 and rock on!
That makes sense for bosses that are at a higher level, but the campaign dropping levels after a previous area makes no sense, and doing all side quests and exploring makes you over-leveled.