Battleborn – Borderlands fans should read this

BattlebornGearbox Software has been continuing to let out character previews, trailers, and interviews about their upcoming title Battleborn. I continue to find myself excited but apprehensive about the title given my affinity for Borderlands and because the game is treading into new waters. A recent interview furthers my belief that this game will feel very much like a MOBA and in many ways refutes some of those who disagreed with me about Battleborn having MOBA influences. Randy Pitchford directly credits Defense of the Ancients and other MOBA games for inspiring the way they have designed Battleborn. He even made a point to say the differences from the classic overhead view to a first person shooter is just a matter of the conduit whereby you interact with the game changing. I do think, however, much of what he said in a recent interview with Verge furthers my concern for hardcore Borderlands fans rejecting and criticizing Battleborn for all the wrong reasons. Continue reading

LawBreakers – MOBA Shooters a new norm

LawBreakersGears of War designer Cliff Bleszinski has unveiled a new game, LawBreakers, that will be a free-to-play multiplayer shooter. LawBreakers will be the first release from the new studio Boss Key, and it’s being described as a, “five-on-five, team-based shooter where law enforcement squares off against criminals”. In a similar vein to what we have seen from Overwatch, Battleborn, and Gigantic, it has clear MOBA influences with a dynamic cast of characters to choose from. There are some things in the gameplay trailer that have me excited, but given how many other titles are falling into this new category I have some concerns. Continue reading

Borderlands Movie – Hire me!

borderlands 2It has been officially announced that Lionsgate is developing a movie based on “Borderlands”. It is no secret that I’m a huge fan of Borderlands as I’ve made numerous posts and videos about what I would like to see done in Borderlands 3 as well as my recent series of Borderlands theories. There aren’t a lot of details about the movie to report, so this is just me putting it out there that I want to work on this movie. This is probably a somewhat delusional and foolhearty thing to do, but for the sake of organization and having easy access…

Below are two links to YouTube playlists, one for Borderlands 3 and the other for Borderlands theories.

Borderlands Theories Playlists

Borderlands 3 Ideas

Borderlands 3 – Leave behind low-grav?

Borderlands low gravityEach new Borderlands title has something extra to give it a distinct identity. The first title set the stage for the franchise with gritty graphics and dark humor. Borderlands 2 offered a massive amount of new guns and characters. And The Pre-Sequel introduced a completely new way to move around with low-grav as you float and butt slam your way around the game world. But is low-grav a good enough feature to be kept in the future title of Borderlands 3? I’m sure there are many mixed and conflicting opinions about this, so I think the best solution is to attempt to please everyone (something I don’t usually advocate). While many think, myself included, that low-grav got a tad tedious and slog-like, others rightly point out the fun and entertaining new element of butt-slamming as a vertical extension to the battlefield and fights. Rather than entertain a false dichotomy of having the feature basically everywhere like it is in The Pre-Sequel or completely absent like in Borderlands 2, I think a middle ground is a better approach. Continue reading

Borderlands 3 – Weapon Crafting

borderlands weaponsBorderlands has centered a lot of its marketing around one major element of their games: the guns. They boast of having millions of guns, and after playing through any of the titles you will really get a sense that when guns drop and show up they rarely look, feel, or behave the same way. Up to this point, however, there has not been any real element of weapon customization or crafting in any of the games. The Pre-Sequel had “the grinder”, but that became a glorified trash can that output the same result with the right recipe, so it had almost no customization factor at all. As I’ve said in previous posts I want to be careful not to suggest something that will take away from the identity of Borderlands while still trying to add something fresh and new to the franchise. Continue reading

Borderlands 3 – Drop it like it’s Diablo

Borderlands 2 loot dropBorderlands fans all enjoy different things about the game, but there is one thing we all love: the loot. Some players farm for hours just to get one legendary, others prowl forums and twitch streams looking for someone to dupe items for them, and some even hack into their games or play with randomizer mods to get crazy strong weapons and gear. To a certain extent loot turns into the sole focus for many gamers as the story and characters become secondary. I’ve already done a post and have video coming about how they can change legendaries to de-incentivize duping, but honestly they could just do something to make duping impossible. If they were to do this, I think it would be immediately necessary to have individual loot drops like in Diablo 3. And even if they don’t, individual loot drops would minimize the need and temptation to dupe. Continue reading

Borderlands 3 – Rethinking Legendary Items

Borderlands LegendaryBorderlands has always been a franchise where legendary weapons are coveted and hunted for by both the casual and hardcore fans of the game. In all three of the current titles the best and most illusive weapons have been cause for both criticism and controversy. Some have said the drop rates are too low, and I tend to agree with them. It’s also a point of disagreement within the community about whether or not duping weapons is acceptable or wrong, and some even go so far as to hack into their game to boost their weapons and gear. Recently the adjusting of legendary drop rates from Gearbox has been well received and has also seen a surge of increased engagement on YouTube channels and Twitch streams. Hopefully this means they are looking into improving or changing how legendaries behave in the next title, so I’m going to put forth my own suggestion on what they could do. Continue reading

Borderlands 3 – Rethinking Side Missions

Borderlands 2 side missionsBorderlands, like many other RPGs, has a wide variety and significant number of side missions. One of the things I have always liked about the side missions, especially in Borderlands 2, is that they are tied to specific characters, story elements, and often offer unique mission item rewards. A problem with this system, however, is that on your first and second playthrough the missions don’t scale properly. You end up feeling torn between playing all the side missions at your level and then being over-leveled for the main missions or skipping the side missions and quickly finding yourself under-leveled and outmatched on story missions. Either way you approach it, it isn’t that exciting embarking on missions that are multiple levels beneath you to get mission items that are too weak so you just sell them. So what can be done? Continue reading

Borderlands 3 – Rethinking Melee

Borderlands meleeAs I continue my series of posts about Borderlands 3 and things that I would like to see added, I turn my sights, or fists, to melee. Borderlands is clearly a franchise built around the shooter platform and genre, and I’m sure something they intentionally avoided is the “one slice kill” mechanics from Call of Duty. It always felt a little silly to shoot an enemy numerous times but one quick swoosh from a knife and down he goes. I do think, however, that Borderlands runs the risk of having the exact opposite problem. Melee does practically nothing unless you are Krieg as even Zer0 saw significant nerfs to his melee. Even if both Zer0 and Krieg had sufficiently strong melee attacks, it is woven to their character and skill trees, and not to the game world itself. I think there are some simple ways to open up the game’s fighting mechanics, since so many melee enemies charge up in your face, to give each player a unique melee attack specific to their character. Fans of melee characters, don’t worry, my idea would make your favorite character type cooler, so just hang with me. Continue reading

Borderlands 3 – Reversing the weapon pyramid

borderlands gunIf there is something Borderlands has consistently sold itself on, it’s the insane amount of weapons in their games. Practically everything you kill or open drops a weapon of some kind. Not only does the game offer a lot of guns quantitatively with respect to drops and loot chests, it also has a creative variety of weapon types. And the guns aren’t just plentiful, they look great. Sub-machine guns have sleek looking clips that spin as you shoot, pistols can come with unique and helpful sights, and sniper rifles look futuristic and ruthless. The franchise deserves high and consistent praise for their wealth of creativity, innovation, and dynamic levels of use with their weapon system. However, like other RPG’s, it struggles with the end game, as the field of useful and effective weapons narrows significantly. Continue reading