Season’s Bleatings: Borderlands 2 DLC

By Adam Smith on September 24th, 2012 at 1:00 pm.

I’ve barely begun to scratch the surface of Pandora and I’ll never actually shoot the handsome off Handsome Jack’s face. I like finding weird guns but actually shooting my way through the missions feels like sticking my head into a beehive. BUZZ BUZZ BUZZZZ, go the bees, and even if I manage to eat some honey while my face is being perforated, I’m still going to have a headache afterwards and there are a lot of dead bees piling up around my chin. I certainly don’t feel the need for more Borderlands 2, but for those who do there’s that Season Pass. Four episodes of new content for £19.99. And there will also be new characters and vehicles to buy. Those won’t be included with the pass.

Talking to Kotaku, Randy Pitchford spoke about the season pass content: “The stuff we’re planning and working on for the Campaign DLC Season Pass is big DLC stuff – more like Knoxx…We’re extremely far along with the first campaign DLC. The second DLC is also in amazing shape. The third DLC is a little farther out and the fourth DLC is just in the pre-concept stages.”

The Mechromancer will be the first piece of paid DLC, arriving October 16 for $10, although the character was included with pre-orders. In a game that already contains so much, is it necessary to have more? If I was enamoured with the hyperactive world, I might feel aggrieved that all of the extras might well end up costing more than the base game, but as it is I reckon adding more anything to Borderlands 2 would be like chucking a stick of dynamite into a supernova. Ignore the dimestore dynamite if it rankles you and just watch worlds burn. If you bought Borderlands 2, you’ve already paid for that privilege. I’d maybe pay 50p to have a little less of everything, but then I am an ageing Englishman who has developed a quietly contemplative turn-based process for the eating of scones.

Borderlands 2 has been quite the success in its first week on sale, topping the multiformat charts. According to ChartTrack, the PC version alone outsold the 360’s professionally evolved foot-to-ball simulator.

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69 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    Crimsoneer says:

    I’d be tempted, but after getting the base game for only 22 quid, I’m not sure I’m willing to throw that much cash with no idea what I’m buying.

    • Torn says:

      Green man gaming have been doing a 20% voucher code for quite a while now, you could get the Season Pass for £16.

      I guess it comes down to wanting the dlc for a reasonable price (compared to buying outright when it’s released) v.s. waiting for the ‘game of the year’ edition next year.

      • banksj17 says:

        I went to the site and didn’t see anything about a code, do you have any more info?

      • scatterbrainless says:

        For a game that’s so heavily co-op it makes a kind of sense to buy it on release/season pass, as it means you can play through DLC with friends for the first time. But I guess it’ll depend on how keen my friends and I are on Borderlands 2 when the DLC roll out. We all have attention spans the length of a – oh look, something shiny!

  2. Ansob says:

    More character classes is definitely a thing that was missing from the first game – I’m glad they’re going that way and I really hope they end up doing two or three more, beyond the Mechromancer.

    Also really happy they’re aiming for Knoxx levels of quality as their baseline for the DLC rather than the weaker stuff like Zombie Island. It’s a shame more devs/publishers don’t do DLC like Gearbox do.

    • deadly.by.design says:

      Yes, this. Knoxx was probably the best add-on I’ve experienced in this era of downloadable content acronyms.

      When you think about, the Knoxx DLC was really when the game started to hold its own. Sure, the original game was zany, crass and had terrific amounts of loot. When you play Knoxx, though, the humor becomes more consistent, the endboss characters begin antagonizing & chatting with you over coms, and the experience really starts to come together. (2mins to loot an entire complex full of loot chests!) In essence, it was what Borderlands 2 is, but in baby DLC form.

      If the BL2 DLC is the quality of Knoxx from the original, the Season Pass would actually be worth it. I think that’s why Pitchford dropped that name. After saving $15 by going the way of the 4-pack with friends, this DLC-weary player may actually purchase the $30 pass.

      Vehicles? Meh, unless it flies. Characters, I might buy… but ehh. It’ll depend on how fun the rest of the content is. Think about it, though–you already accumulate Badass points for every in-game challenge the player fulfills. If you play through the game with 5-6 characters, your accumulated BA points would make your account pretty ridiculous. (as BA bonuses apply to all chars)

      • Premium User Badge

        jezcentral says:

        My vote for the best DLC would be (gasp of horror) Dragon Age 2’s Legacy and Mark of the Assassin.

        It’s amazing what you can come up with when you have to. Bioware’s DAO DLC was pretty unspectacular, until Leliana’s Song.

        Gearbox really nailed it though, Mad Moxxi’s Underdome notwithstanding. Sandbox games seem to suit this approach. Saints Row 3’s DLC also fit in perfectly, despite being relatively undemanding, but at least their season pass did what out said on the tin.

        It makes you wonder how Just Cause 2 missed the ball by such a country mile. I guess it was early days back then.

        It does seem to be a bit harsh to advertise a pass, and not have it cover everything, though.

        • deadly.by.design says:

          I think part of what crippled JC2 was its lack of story progression. Even if the narrative wasn’t to be taken seriously, there just wasn’t enough of it. There were only 7 main missions, and it left me with the feeling that the bulk of the game was just a big distraction. (albeit a really, really fun one)

          Couple that with the ticky-tacky item DLC, and you’ve got a flash-in-the-pan game experience. Lots of fun for what it can do, but not much there to keep people playing (or paying). The only people who continued to pour hours in were the ones who enjoyed screwing around. Once you realize that most of the massive island is startlingly bland, aside from a few set pieces, you usually lose interest.

          • malkav11 says:

            Pretty much. Just Cause 2 is a spectacular sandbox, but it’s also a very one note one, with not much else beyond screwing around blowing things up.

          • janmos654 says:

            it’s just worked for me mate. downloading as we speak, well as I type anyway!

            oh and it’s it’s just shy of 5GB, I may be getting told off by my ISP!
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sor9GzivGbk

      • mouton says:

        In terms of humor, Knoxx was an obvious improvement over the main game, mainly through the character of the aforementioned general. It wasn’t great, but it was consistent, as opposed to the disjointed mess of vaguely amusing bits and pieces of BL . I am glad to see they went this way again AND made it genuinely funny in the person of Handsome Jack (well, so far, I am not too deep into the game, so).

        Still, Knoxx had tons of boring collection quests, something that, so far, *seems* to be reduced in BL2.

    • Advanced Assault Hippo says:

      No, Zombie Island was the best DLC from Borderlands in my opinion.

  3. ReV_VAdAUL says:

    I don’t follow sport but is it common for season tickets to not allow you access to all games that season?

    Cos I’d always assumed that was the case just as I assumed a season pass would cover all DLC for that season.

    • malkav11 says:

      It’s certainly common for “season pass” bundles of DLC to only include the main DLC. Saints Row 3’s “season pass”, for example, was the three content DLCs plus a couple of cosmetic items, while they’ve continued to release droves of semi-cheap cosmetic and cheat DLCs that are a completely separate purchase.

      Unfortunately, while I might be inclined to label Borderlands 2’s vehicles as mainly a cosmetic purchase, new character classes very much aren’t and should be included in a theoretically all inclusive pass, imho. That said, I imagine the pass will still be a good value if one can find it on sale the way I did the SR3 pass. ($7 or so for all three content DLCs.)

      • MaXimillion says:

        There would be an uproar by the people that preordered the game if the extra character class they received would be a part of the season pass, since it would mean they would get less value for their money if they bought it.

        • roz says:

          GB have already said that the mechromancer class won’t be in the season pass, I guess they agree people would RQ.

        • malkav11 says:

          That one is completely understandable. It was a preorder incentive. But it does sound like there will be others beyond the Mechromancer.

      • Cam says:

        As much as i want to play BL2, the current reliance on DLC (no matter how good it may be) makes early purchasers end up paying more money. I’ll wait until I can get the whole package in a Steam sale or something.

    • Auspex says:

      It’s quite common that football season tickets will not admit you to friendlies, cup games, European games and testimonials.

      • Ergates_Antius says:

        Or away games, obviously.

        So yes, quite a good analogy really…

  4. Rao Dao Zao says:

    So, wait for the inevitable Goatee that will include all the DLC?

    • Stromko says:

      Or at least wait for them to go on sale. If the season pass included all the DLC, I might bite.. but this lost me somewhere in this paragraph, try to spot where. “And there will also be new characters and vehicles to buy. Those won’t be included with the pass.”

  5. Zanchito says:

    Season pass doesn’t give acces to all season content. Totally outrageous pricing. I’m a sad panda.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      It’s still pretty good value if you are intending to by all the campaign DLCs at release. (i.e it’s cheaper than it would be to by them seperately)

      Just imagine they’ve called it a “DLC 4-Pack” instead of “Season Pass” if that makes you feel happier.

      • Zanchito says:

        You are not un-right, sir, but I still take offence at the misleading naming.

  6. jon_hill987 says:

    Ah DLC, making me wait for the game of the year edition since 2009.

  7. Premium User Badge

    neofit says:

    I’ll buy all campaigns without a question, but they can keep their “horse armor”. And I want a Tiny Tina campaign.

    • Fierce says:

      Absolutely.

      Tiny Tina is without a doubt the best character in Borderlands history, moderately edging out Scooter, Steve and Claptrap. And I’m being polite to these great characters by using “edging” even though I’m confident in my usage of “moderately”.

      If there isn’t any Tiny Tina DLC, Gearbox will be missing a serious opportunity for fandom dollars. MY fandom dollars. You listening Gearbox?!

      More. Tiny. Tina. ASAP. And her voice actor and script writer need raises too!

      • Prospero424 says:

        I just realized that Tiny Tina is voiced by Ashly Burch of “Hey Ash Watchya Playin'” fame, which makes total sense. She’s hilarious.

  8. ArtyFishal says:

    The thought of more Borderlands kind of makes me nauseous. I like the guns and the graphics, but I find the world tedious. The humor feels so lazy- intentionally annoying or disgusting characters are still annoying and disgusting. The writing is piss poor and it truly reminds me that I’m wasting my time when I’m playing it.

  9. L3TUC3 says:

    They already wanted $60 for the base game, and they’ve already announced a heap of DLC. I find it a bit steep.

    I’ll wait for the steam borderlands 2 bonanza sale with all the dlc included in 1 to 1-1/2 year from now.

    • Jenks says:

      Same here! Spoiler alert: it will be called the Game of the Year edition, even though it won’t win a single meaningful game of the year award.

  10. DickSocrates says:

    How many people really play this type of game through more than once with more than a single character? I know the hardcore replay endless with different builds, but I would wager all of my 10p fortune that the vast majority of people pick a character class and don’t even get to the end of the game, let alone starting over again.

    • tetracycloide says:

      Similar statements are true for just about every game ever.

    • Premium User Badge

      Morph says:

      I completed the main game 7 times through various solo and co-op plays, but I guess I’m not that typical.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hidden_7 says:

      Yeah, I played the original through with two different characters, both playthroughs each, including all the story DLC (gave Moxxxi’s a miss).

      I don’t know if I’m typical, but I quite like the Borderlands model. I find it very replayable, and endlessly playable, in the sense that if they keep giving me more, I’m happy to keep playing more.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    Now I think that Pro Evolution Soccer is about breeding footballers, with a floating Darwin head giving you tips on the best WAGs to pair with your current players.

  12. derbefrier says:

    I enjoyed all of the story DLC in the first Borderlands and thought it was a good value for the content. The cosmetic stuff i could do without so i will pass on that but there are enough gamers that love being special little snowflakes so hell if people want it why not give it to them. There is a reason we are seeing more and more of this. Its convenient to bitch at the publishers and act like this is being forced on us but they are only reacting to us the consumers so maybe its time to practice what we preach instead of publicly hating on it in some forum then running home and buying the newest skin for your favorite LoL character so all those noobs will immediately know how awesome you are.

  13. Dowson says:

    Is all this DLC talk meant to be appealing to consumers or something?

    I’ve rarely seen anyone react with anything other than ‘I’ll wait for a sale/GOTY’ when they announce they plan this stuff.
    I wouldn’t mind if they popped out £30 in DLC if the main game itself wasn’t £30.

    • Buemba says:

      If I enjoy the game I definitely don’t mind some DLC (As long as it’s of good quality).

      And I imagine most of the people who say “I’ll wait for a sale/GOTY” after the announcement of DLC are the same who already decided to wait for a sale before buying the game anyway.

      • Jenks says:

        I bought 2 copies of Borderlands on the day it came out. I’ll wait for the ‘GOTY’ of the sequel because I learned my lesson about their dlc. Where do I fit into your theory?

  14. ShinRyuuken says:

    If we can’t have our previous soldier back, can we give Mordecai some closure and in the original cage of Bloodwing there’s an egg for him? That’d be nice.

  15. roethle says:

    Pre-ordered I’ll get the rest on steam sale like I did New Vegas.

  16. udat says:

    I don’t like all this DLC stuff very much. The longer it goes on, the less I like it.

    With Borderlands 2, I want to buy the game and play it, and I like the idea of owning the complete game, but charging so much money on top of the game basically at the moment the game is released seems somehow wrong.

    Does this DLC “add-in” to the existing game? Will this not totally fragment the user-base? There you are playing away in your co-op multiplayer game, only to have your buddy receive a series of quests in an area you don’t have access to. Game broken. It seems a double whammy to have this fragmentation planned to appear as soon after launch as possible.

    This all adds up to me not buying any of it at all, and continuing to play FTL, which is a game that hates me, but at least it’s honest about it.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hidden_7 says:

      Depends how you play it / who you play it with, I suppose.

      The first Borderlands DLC was quite good, I felt, in that they were little self-contained adventures that gave you more Borderlands, at a high level of quality. You had to explicitly make a point of warping to the areas they were in — it was never a case that you’d see a big door that you weren’t allowed to walk through — and they didn’t propagate changes across the main game. I suppose it could be jarring if your co-op partner warped to a DLC area and you were kicked from the game, but the way I play it is only with friends of mine. I played through the whole Borderlands 1 campaign with one buddy, pretty much, and am right on track to doing it again with Borderlands 2. With that model it’s easy enough to see a new DLC come out, and decide if we want to play through it; it was never the case that one had it and the other didn’t.

      So I suppose if you play a lot of online co-op with strangers there might be an instance of “fracturing the player base” but that model never seemed to me the one for Borderlands. For starters many of the game’s designs actively work against playing it that way. Things that are rightfully called out in reviews that simply aren’t a problem if you just play the game with the same 1 or 2 people. Loot is shared, for example, with whoever can loot it first getting it, and the game doesn’t scale particularly well for players of wildly mismatched levels. So I suppose different amounts of DLC might be another problem to drop on the pile of that method of play, but for me I’ve already written that off anyway, because of the rest of the ways the game works against playing it that way.

    • fish99 says:

      There’s nothing to really complain about here. BL2 on it’s own is a fine game and plenty long enough to be good value for money, as was Borderlands 1, then for people who want more there’s DLCs. How is this a bad thing? These DLCs weren’t on the disc, and they’re not done yet, so it’s not like you’re being charged twice as much for the same game, you’re paying more for more game, if you want it.

      The DLCs for Borderlands 1 were, for the most part, very good, and value for money, and for people who had a blast with the main game gave them another 20 hrs or so.

      TBH you get more content from 4 Borderlands DLCs then you got in most old fashioned expansion packs, for roughly the same money.

  17. tkioz says:

    Normally I’m pretty hesitant about DLC, I’ve been burnt far too often dropping $10-15 on a 2 hour bit of content, but Gearbox is the exception. I got a good 20 hours out of the Knoxx DLC for the original Borderlands, it was more an expansion then the typical one or two mission DLC (See ME2… bleck…), and generally well worth the asking price.

    I’ve got the season pass, it came with my game (Birthday gift on Steam, got a Pre-Order Copy and a Season Pass from one very good friend who is too good to me), but if I didn’t I’d definitely be looking into it.

  18. Tom OBedlam says:

    BL1 is the only DLC I can think of that did DLC right, campaigns that were external to the main plot and offered a decent bang for your buck. Dr Ned was a little short, sure, and Moxxie’s wasn’t well balanced for anything less than 4 players, but they were worthy experiments in DLC that eventually led to Knoxx and Claptrap. I will certainly be picking up the campaign DLCs, though I’m unlikely to drop any money on new classes unless Brick is made available again. Borderlands isn’t like Diablo for me, I don’t want to experiment with builds or try out different play styles, I just want to scream continuously through my special ability.

  19. Unrein says:

    I don’t see what the problem is with people about this season pass. No doubt Borderlands 2 will have tens of hours of content just in the base edition just like Borderlands 1. Don’t need no more? Don’t buy it. Besides, Borderlands DLC has always been completely tangential to the main story/world, so you’re not really even missing out on anything if you don’t buy any DLC. Not to mention the story is shit.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hidden_7 says:

      Borderlands is already a pretty big game, I doubt anyone can honestly accuse it of being crippled for length to make the DLC look more attractive. I’ve been playing it through co-op, so that means the occasional bit of doing content again because I’ve finished a quest while solo that I have to catch my co-op partner up on, but I’ve put 60 hours into the game and I’m not even done one playthrough yet. In fact, what I thought was the point we were gearing up for the finale had a plot twist happen and now there’s a whole new hub area opened up to explore. Granted we’re completionists, so we’re doing all the side quests, you could definitely blow through just the campaign more quickly if you wanted to, but still, there’s a lot of game here.

      And that’s ignoring the Diablo like nature of the second playthrough, or playing with separate characters. The main game is by no stretch short of content.

  20. tangoliber says:

    I honestly wouldn’t mind Borderlands having an long-term subscription model. I would love to see a steady stream of new weapon types and endgame content. They wanted to make the game a hobby, and they were very successful at that. I already see myself playing this game for years.

  21. Pelt Hunter says:

    Now, I’m from Colorado so obviously I’m dealing with American Dollars so I’m not certain of the exchange or what have you but I purchased Borderlands 2 and the Season Pass, pre-ordered from GreenManGaming for $58 total. GMG had a 25% off code and it was already discounted to $47.99 I believe and that made it $36. I used the code again for the Season Pass to get it for $22. That’s pretty damn good to get the base game, pre-order class and items, AND the Season Pass for less than a PS3 game.

    Which is nice. Sometimes I really love GMG. They have some of the best sales on new digital games.

    Note:GMG is based across the pond to any skeptics.

    • Zanchito says:

      Heh, different points of view and all. Some people think of how much they are saving, I can only think of how much I’m spending.

    • Mitala says:

      Honestly, I’d be fine with the purchase of the Season pass if I spent 58 USD as you had, but I myself got everything on steam, not knowing of the GMG sale, which.. docked me 90 bucks. It’s kind of disappointing to hear that they want us to buy the characters and such separate, which will easily sail over the 100 dollar mark. :c

  22. Efrizial says:

    with the annoying loot system im not sure i want dlc :/ … other than boss and quest you can’t find anything really good , and with the big scaling of HP and damage between level any weapon you find become obsolete after 2-5 level

  23. SuperNashwanPower says:

    I was teetering before, but this just became a definite “wait for the GOTY next year” for me

  24. Premium User Badge

    mpk says:

    I think that if you take the risk and pay for the season pass then you deserve everything you get (and/or don’t get for that matter). I think they’re just another method for publishers to take money from customers in the short term, with no guarantee of value given in the long. See also pre-orders 6-12 months before the game is released, and digital deluxe editions that cost twice as much as the regular. Whats the scope for a refund if Gearbox suddenly disappeared, for instance?

    I’ll pick and choose when it comes to DLC, but I’ve never been attracted by the chance to pay for my avatar to be a slightly different colour to everyone else’s. As long as I’m not forced to buy character/vehicle DLC to play co-op with people who have spent the cash, I’ll be happy.

    That said, I’m a big Borderlands fan (the original is my most played game on Steam) and I probably will end up buying the DLC at some point. But at least I’ll be able to read reviews and know whether I’m getting value for money.

    • Archonsod says:

      They’ve already stated on the forums that in the case of the Mechromancer there won’t be a problem having players with and without the character in the same game. I’d assume the same would apply to vehicles etc. Suspect they’ll stick to the BL1 model for the campaign DLC.

    • malkav11 says:

      In every case where there’s been a season pass, AFAIK, that bundle has remained available even after all the DLC in it has been released. So it’s only a gamble if you’re the kind of person that buys things before they’re released. (Which, to be fair, I am. Just not on DLC.)

  25. jorygriffis says:

    If it does not offend, I’d like to see if I can start a thread here–a kind of support group for people who played a few hours of Borderlands 2 and can stomach no more. It is just so god damned smarmy and masculine! I can’t stand it. If anyone agrees, please help me. If not, then please, disregard.

  26. Euphoric says:

    Bloody hell – wait a minute…

    I have to buy the game, and then on top of that I have to actually pay more $$ for DLC? WTF are they thinking trying to gouge us cheap bastards.

    The next thing you’re going to tell me that they’re re-releasing it on Origin for crying out loud. (/smirk)

    • malkav11 says:

      Can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic, so just in case you’re not:

      You aren’t required to buy DLC. Not ever. But yes, if you enjoy the game and you’re willing to pay whatever the ask is, you can get more content for that game. Such a horrible thing, I know.

  27. absolofdoom says:

    So much moneys to pay to get everything for BL2. Even just the regular DLC plus the game is expensive. I can’t decide whether to buy the season pass or not either.

  28. Pelt Hunter says:

    It should be noted that, while not a great a deal as the previous one, using GMG20-27J4Z-8NXHO at GreenManGaming nets you 20% off nearly all digital titles. On the fence about Borderlands 2? Get it for $43.20 with a redeemable Steam key.

    Perhaps you bought the base and don’t know about all this DLC nonsense but surely for $24 flat instead of $30 or retail $40 you could take the plunge?

    It’s not a bad deal. Get it while it’s hot. 30% off Sleeping Dogs is very nice as well. That game is incredibly well done.

  29. Shooop says:

    I really liked the previous Borderlands’ DLCs since they were actually like expansion packs instead of hackneyed ideas that didn’t make it past the cutting board the first time around.

    But I’m not keen on buying something when I know so little about it.