Thursday, April 05, 2012

Advice to Gearbox w.r.t. Borderlands 2

A little late for this even if they'd notice, but:

1. For the love of God, make it harder.

Borderlands was, in general, way, way, way, way too easy. The single added feature that would have improved B'lands most was a difficulty setting. The problem was so serious that someone created a difficulty mod...though that could only fool the game into thinking that there was a different number of players, and only up to 4.

An L4D-type difficulty setting is optimal, because it allows you to largely tailor the difficulty to your preferences. Nobody likes getting their asses kicked ad nauseam, but it's also no fun if you're just striding though the map laying waste to everything in sight.

2. Shake things up

If it were me, I'd bend over backwards to shake things up now and again. Some suggestions:

a. HUDs on the fritz
You become extremely dependent on your HUD. I'd make them less effective in some environs, or make them susceptible to damage, or maybe make static weapons knock them out temporarily.

b. Make ammo a problem sometimes
Ammo is almost never a problem. This contributes to the game being too easy. You can generally just hold the lever down, spray and pray.

c. Really work to make some characters more effective in some situations
For most of the game, e.g. sniping is way, way underpowered, IMHO. No matter how good your sniping skill, you can usually do better by just wading in and slugging it out.

d. Split the groups up a lot
This really makes things interesting.

e. Make stealth important at some points
Force players to use melee weapons.

3.  New Element: Cold
Why is there no cold elemental effect? How can you not have that?

4. Melee weapons
Why not melee weapons? Some guns add melee damage. But I want cool swords and stuff, too.

5. Versus mode
I don't like Versus mode in L4D b/c I like my zombies mindless. It's part of the allure. But B'lands cries out for Versus mode. It would make the game way, way awesome.

Death means virtually nothing in B'lands. It costs a few readily-replaced dollars. This contributes to the first problem, that the game is too easy. Even just an L4D-style delay before respawning would be better.

7. Misc
I'd about smoke grenades? And give the bad guys prox mines, too. You could also shake things up a bit by, say, diminishing hearing after grenade blasts.

[8. Friendly Fire
There should be a way to make friendly fire count. This would help address the difficulty problem. There's apparently a mod for this, but I've been too lazy to get it.]

I dunno. Too late for any major changes, I'm sure. It's a really fun game, but it could be even...funner.


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