Borderlands 2 Has Better Guns, Apparently

By Jim Rossignol on December 9th, 2011 at 10:30 am.


That sounds flippant, but for a loot-driven game like the Borderlands sequel it’s actually pretty important. It is, as concept designer Scott Kester explains in the first episode of a new video series about the forthcoming game (below), about making a loot-chomping shooter less repetitive by making the content more interesting, and more distinct. No new game footage in this video, sadly, so you’ll just have to make do with Mr Kester explaining the “it’s the same but better concept” over several minutes.

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44 Comments »

  1. Flint says:

    Great thing to update and focus on. One of the things that annoyed me in Borderlands was how boring the loot was, which was kinda iffy for a loot-centric game.

    • sneetch says:

      I found that a lot of the higher level weapons being dropped were frankly useless compared to the lower level stuff I already had. Dull vendor trash for the most part.

      I hope they make them “better” in some way although I didn’t get a sense of how they were going to do that in this waffling dev diary.

    • ZephyrSB says:

      I think the main problem with the loot in BL was that a couple of mods (mashers, double anarchy, any of the 100% x4 Elems on uniques) totally overshadowed just about every other option out there. When I purposely played an AR solider avoiding these mods, the loot choices were generally a lot more interesting (even though despite being focused on AR, he still would have been more powerful with a good masher or defiler).

      A loot system that included a lot of unique weapon mods on the levels masher and double anarchy, just spread over the entire weapon spectrum, and just generally avoid ‘it just fires a bit faster’ trash would be the best way to go IMHO.

    • Vagrant says:

      I’d actually argue that they needed better deilivery of good low level guns. The first 10 to 20 levels you’re basically running around with boring pea shooters. Late game you’re bristling with firepower, but there’s not much to do once you’ve finished the game. I’d like to see some good post-game raid style content.

      My friends and I basically just make a big loop of major drops, then maybe charge the armory again despite not getting any loot. Knoxx’ Armory at level 69 is a lot of fun co-op, but not having anything worthwhile at the end is dissapointing.

    • Qazinsky says:

      Personally, I hope they balance the orange elemental weapons better, they were often so overpowered you never needed to get a new weapon once you had one, Hellfire, Defiler, Firehawk, Cobra, find one and you’re pretty much set (unless that paricular enemy are immune to that element).

    • Felix says:

      In my opinion, there is only so much you can do when you limit your loot to guns. We aren’t even talking “weapons” in general, just guns. What I wanted to see is more kinds of weapons and the inclusion of armor. This is the loot we are used to seeing in Diablo-style games where loot is definitely a huge draw. Perhaps even single-use tech like Deus Ex (thermal goggles, thermoptic camo, etc. but related to this game).

      I’m not asking for it in Borderlands 2, but I am asking for it in the next sequel if there is one. The potential of this game to go above and beyond while maintaining its core gameplay values is still vast.

  2. caddyB says:

    There are going to be guns in Borderlands 2? Amazing.

  3. dorianGREY326 says:

    did this guy do the voice acting for oblivion? 4-5 lines of dialogue and a monotone voice.

    • Jhoosier says:

      I really wanted to hear what the guy had to say, but I’m not sure he actually said anything.

      Also, why does he have underpants on his shelf?

  4. Kdansky says:

    The guns, you know, the loot, I think, you know, the guns, the loot, you know, you know, I really, you know, you really, the loot, you know.

    That’s what I heard. He didn’t say a single meaningful sentence.

    I found borderlands irritating: Shotguns usually carried 2 bullets and reloading made my screen shake, many other guns required repeated clicking to shoot, and enemies were bullet-sponges. Also overuse of iron-sighting.

    Also: Diablo game with only ONE SKILL per character class, and all other talents tiny passive bonuses?

    • Gnoupi says:

      You know, really. I mean, the comment, you know.

    • NaloaC says:

      ^^This. You know.

      Genuinely looking forward to BL2. One of the best games I’ve bought over the last few years was Borderlands with the DLC and sank plenty of hours into it and never really tired of it. Certainly the loot is the critical thing that you want to work well since it forms the mainstay of why you grind through so many enemies. However, when you start reaching a point where you set a cash value limit on whether or not you should pick something up to sell, you know you’ve reached a point beyond silly.

    • DocSeuss says:

      Usually carried two rounds? Sucks to be you. I had shotguns with 8-12 rounds regularly–a few got upwards of 24.

      Don’t get me wrong–the guns REALLY need to be improved in the series (wish more devs would take lessons from Halo in this regard; Bungie made practical, useful, but extremely diverse weapons that went above and beyond the traditional pistol/rifle/shotgun/sniper/rocket tree).

  5. Gnoupi says:

    I understand that they paid for the IP, and worked over it… But honestly, having DNF merchandise (including underwear) in the background kinda lowers your credibility.

  6. tkioz says:

    I really wish game devs would spend 10mins brushing up on their public speaking before doing stuff like this… if I had to listen to one more “like” or “you know” I was libel to stab a pen in my ear. It’s not hard to think about this stuff before hand and spend a few minutes practising.

    Very interested in the game, annoyed at the video.

    • Hypatian says:

      Yeah. That guy really could have done with, y’know, any kind of script, um, at all. Like a script, maybe…? We think, um, y’know, that scripts are really, um, important.

    • sing says:

      I can’t believe you said that. That’s almost liable or slander.

  7. Grimhound says:

    I really don’t want the same game with Borderlands 2. I want a game that shows they have learned from the first and have actively changed things and improved upon mechanics to make the experience better. I want gun modularity and customization. I want character customization. I want to be able to have an experience where my avatar in co-op is personalized to represent me and the way I play beyond some arbitrary WoW-esque skill tree.

    • Qazinsky says:

      Agree completely, in a time were they streamline every sequel and remove features, I think Gearbox should do it the other way, even if that only means splitting the shield into hat + chest armor, it’s at least a step in the right direction.

    • mouton says:

      There are tons of things they should change, really. Like, the difficulty which is way too low most of the time, the quest structure that easily breaks in multiplayer unless you religiously play with the same people every time, the poor storyline and, in general, something to do with all those shiny guns and stuff. I felt I kept improving my arsenal for nothing. Then again, I felt the same in Diablo, so

  8. DigitalSignalX says:

    After the craptastic clusterfuck that was RAGE, (I still can’t get it to run on my HD6870) I just want it be bigger and better then BL1. And to be able to you know, actually be able to, like, play it. You know.

    • DocSeuss says:

      @DigitalSignalX, I don’t understand–why mention RAGE? Is it because you, like so many people, are under the mistaken impression that, since both series have stylized art and borrow from The Road Warrior, they’re similar games?

      …because they’re not. RAGE is more like Zelda-shooter than anything.

  9. diebroken says:

    Stop making games! I need to catch up as it is…

    • mouton says:

      Oh look, Steam Holiday Sale is almost here! Isn’t that neat?

  10. Squishpoke says:

    I think they should also take a look at the level design. Personally I didn’t like it very much… something just didn’t click right.

    • Qazinsky says:

      And 4 seaters, hell, I’d settle for allowing the other two players hanging off the side of the regular car like bandits, maybe limiting them to using repeater pistols or supplying them with a generic one temporarly if they don’t hold one.

  11. fresquito says:

    Loot is really bad done in Borderlands. I’m playing through the DLC right now and, to be honest, I don’t know why I’m playing it. Every enemy drops lots of useless items that pile up in your inventory until you need to drop those that are cheaper to pick up new items. And you can spend like five levels with the same set of items. It’s kind of lame.

    However, I don’t think loot is the worst flaw of Borderlands. I’d be happy with the same loot system if the made the game good from a gameplay point of view. Weapons feel bland, AI is retarded, and hit detection is a joke. Then add retarded Clap Trap, uneskippable cutscenes, a forgetable and silly story and an open world that is as dull as it can be.

    Then again, why the hell I’m playing this?

  12. Mist says:

    My major problem with the Borderlands weapons was that the “baseline” for how good/awesome a weapon was, was very very low.

    As in.. I get the feeling that in a good loot system, the average weapon is ok, and rare/special items that you find then make it awesome.

    While in Borderlands, I got the feeling that the average weapon was completely worthless, and most “special” items just sucked less. To be more concrete: the average weapon had some combination of 2 bullets per clip, horrid RoF, horrid accuracy, horrid reload speed (may have been coupled to RoF? not sure). If you found a weapon that actually fired at a decent rate and would hit what you aimed at, it was cause for celebration.

    Played the game for 40 hours (ugh…), and in that time I can only remember finding 3 weapons that actually made me go “woa, this weapon is cool” (2 with a massive elemental damage bonus, 1 with an extremely high RoF+high accuracy). That’s not enough, imho.

    • Steven Hutton says:

      Really?

      In the hundreds of hours I spent playing Borderlands I found countless weapons that I thought were really cool.

      The shotguns that had almost zero accuracy but fired nearly a hundred shots in each burst. POINT BLANK!

      The sniper rifle with the ten times zoom and 500% crit damage bonus. Combined with skills and class mods I had over 1000% crit damage. There was NOTHING I couldn’t one shot.

      The countless sniper rifles with in sane elemental bonuses. BURN. (I liked the hunter).

      The rocket launchers that fired a multiple rockets in a pattern.

      The rocket launchers that fired a single rocket that detonated repeatedly as it flew.

      The shotgun with an eight round clip that fired all eight shots in a second whenever you pulled the trigger. DAMAGE…. then reload.

      The countless assault rifles with all kinds of weird effects.

      The sub-machine guns with INSANE elemental damage. Acidy-melty.

      The one, and only one, gun i found with bouncing bullets.

      The sniper rifle I found that fired a 5 round burst. The OTHER sniper rifle that fired multiple rounds like a shotgun.

      The sub machine gun that fired in a spiral.

      The alien weapons that did all kinds of weird stuff.

      And of course the whole game is way, way better with four players.

      I’m so excited about borderlands two that I could platz.

    • Qazinsky says:

      @Steven Hutton;

      To be fair, that spiral shot was a part for smgs that could turn your dream smg into a hunk of junk with luck based accuracy.

      Agree with the rest though, that’s what’s fun with random loot, to manage to find THAT gun with optimal stats (according to your personal taste) finally after sifting through countless of near misses and way offes.

  13. Hisui says:

    You know.

  14. Shooop says:

    So how about some co-op that works out of the box instead of having to use Game Ranger for several months? And a FOV option in the menus instead of having to open the ini file?

  15. Simon Hawthorne says:

    I’m playing Borderlands for the first time (picked it up with all DLC for £5 in Steam sale). Guns do indeed feel like spitting.

    What mods should I use?

    • shitflap says:

      BorderlandsAdvancedConfig, toggle zoom, increase FOV, increase loot distance, disable splash screens, ambient occlusion and some other shit I don’t use.
      CBF with messing with ini files and this one works a treat, (except for FOV, needs to toggle to a specific key you have to reset after you sprint, enter vehicles but useful if you hate the default)

  16. AgamemnonV2 says:

    “Borderlands 2 Has Better Guns, Apparently”

    *Press play on video. First two weapons are: a sniper rifle with a hubcap for a cartridge and a shotgun with a beer bottle taped to the top.*

    Huh.

    • Vagrant says:

      This gives me an idea for better guns that would be basically already built into the game:
      Build your own guns, give random component drops. Modify that decent sniper rifle with the crappy clip, by installing a hubcap!

      I suppose it could hurt the ‘careful’ balancing of weapons, but it’s a co-op game not a competitive game.

  17. Sassenach says:

    I think it was a problem with the enemies more then the guns in Borderlands. Enemies were simple, providing little difficulty. So to up the difficulty their health and damage have to be increased, turning them into bullet sponges that can easily do massive damage to the player if they have line of sight. This doesn’t really add any challenge, though, except to patience. I think only Dawn of War 2 has had worse examples of this sort of enemy design.

    Enemies that take minutes (without exaggeration) of dedicated blasting to kill tend to emphasise damage per unit time excessively. Thus choices of ‘good’ weapons were far more limited then they really should have been given the system.

  18. vodkarn says:

    As someone who played Borderlands on PC, I will be skipping this game.

  19. jacobvandy says:

    What an awful fucking video.

  20. TheGameSquid says:

    Borderlands 1 was so boring it gave me cancer.

  21. sharkh20 says:

    I saw a counter-strike poster

  22. MellowKrogoth says:

    Am I the only one to not care that much about The Loot? I’d be happy with the same game as Borderlands 1, except with more emphasis on exploration and a story with an interesting ending. If the game is more or less as linear as the first, they could borrow a page from The Witcher and have branches in the story and various chapter endings.

  23. Big Daddy Dugger says:

    @guy in the video: NO I DON’T KNOW, that’s why you’re supposed to be telling me about it dude!