Borderlands 3 – Rethinking Ammo Stations

borderlands ammo dumpBorderlands is a franchise that isn’t shy about their focus on guns, lots and lots of guns. Whether you’re blasting through crowds with a sub machine gun or unloading rockets on a boss, the game has a constant flow of weapons and ammunition. Something that can become a bit tiresome, however, is constantly having to worry about ammo (and money in the early game). And not for the reasons you would probably think. The more you advance in the game the greater amount of ammunition is needed to be carried and used in order to fight the enemies. Usually the increased value of loot and the monetary drops and rewards are enough to keep your cash flow more than sufficient for consistent purchasing of ammo.  What ends up happening however, is the constant need to stop and hammer the purchase button which starts to become mechanical, repetitious, and really unnecessary. So what could be done differently?

At least “refill all”

The most ground level and basic change they could make that would be a good step forward would be to offer a “refill all” option.When playing splitscreen, even on the Xbox one, if one player is slamming away at the purchase button, slowly refilling all their ammo, it actually causes frame rate drops for the other player. I don’t know if this is an engine issue, because even on a next-gen system is causes a slight stutter as they continue to press purchase. It’s also just tedious, especially as your ammo capacities increase the more you level up and advance in the game. Again, in my mind, this just takes away from the experience as you have to keep stopping to press the X button 30 times before continuing on your mission, all while your splitscreen partner has to wait or play with random frame drops. So, at the very least I think they should add a “refill all” button on the ammo stations to keep things moving and less monotonous.

You get a bullet, and you get a bullet!

It’s also time to remove ammunition from the economy of the game. Since money becomes a complete non-factor later in the game, charging money for ammo in the early game is just a cause for frustration and incentivizes money duping. I think the digistruct technology could again be leaned on as a way to remove any need to purchase actual ammunition. This would allow the gun stations to actually carry high quality gear, and if duping is done away with, money would now have a much more meaningful and tangible purpose. As it stands, weapons in the shops are basically ignored and worthless, and money just serves as a means to an end to buy endless bullets over and over again. Regardless of how the ammo changes, I think the economy in Borderlands could use a pretty significant overhaul, and one step in that direction would be to remove ammo from the monetary portion of the economy.

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