Tag Archives: borderlands 3

Borderlands 2 Gets New DLC Leading To Borderlands 3’s Release

Come hell, high water, lawsuits, inadvisable Twitter threads, or equally inadvisable voice actor casting choices, Borderlands 3 is coming out. Currently, it’s scheduled for this September, which means it’s right around the corner. Gearbox, it seems, has decided to prepare players by sending them back to the colorful killing (and looting) fields of Borderlands 2 one last time.

The new Borderlands 2 DLC, “Commander Lilith & The Fight For Sanctuary,” briefly appeared on Steam yesterday. While it’s since been removed, its description lives on thanks to Resetera.

“Return to the award winning shooter-looter for a new adventure that sets the stage for the upcoming Borderlands 3,” the description reads. “Sanctuary is under siege, the Vault’s map has been stolen and a toxic gas is poisoning Pandora. Fight new bosses, explore new zones, get new loot (including an entirely new tier beyond Legendary) and join up with Lilith and the Crimson Raiders to take on a deranged villain hell-bent on ruling the planet.”

The DLC will up the game’s level cap to 80 and also allow new players to roll characters at level 30 so they can “dive straight into the action.” According to data scraped by SteamDB before the page got taken down, it’ll be coming out on June 9. That puts it on the same day as the Microsoft E3 press conference, meaning we could be looking at an on-stage “Oh, by the way, [sly yet practiced wink born of decades spent in marketing], it’s out now” announcement. Granted, it could be placeholder info, but regardless, this DLC is gonna have to release soon. Like, super soon. Otherwise, it’ll come out after Borderlands 3, which would be kind of incredible, actually.

Source: Kotaku.com

I Like It When The Numbers Get Big

Video games are art. Video games can tell complex stories about the nature of the soul or bring players to tears with their honest belief in heroes. They also have numbers in them. Lots of numbers. And I am a big buffoon who loves when numbers go up.

I’ve been denying this simple fact for a long time. After all, numbers are used as part of the treadmill to keep players mindlessly locked to their games. The importance of numbers and statistics is key to things like lootboxes. In many mobile phone games, strong characters and items are found through “pulling” for rare items. This can often mean using in-game currency that’s purchasable with real money. A player’s desire for the biggest, bestest numbers and statistics can draw them to participate in an exploitative monetization model created specifically to wring every last cent out of them.

I know all this. I am intimately aware of it and find it disgusting. Mobile games are a hellscape. I also love it when I get a rare weapon or stat-increasing “wrymprint” in Dragalia Lost that boosts my Might level to further heights. Because even if you are aware that you’re living in Idiocracy, we’re all still giant apes who happened to beat up all the slightly dumber apes. If I have the largest Might level, does that not make me the bigger and most powerful of all the apes?

In games, numbers are abstractions of certain qualities. The more, the better. Striking a critical blow in Final Fantasy XIV doesn’t just mean that you hit the enemy, it’s an indication that you really hit the big meanie super hard. You big, tough Warrior of Light, you. In some cases, like in the Fallout series, having big numbers in stats like Intelligence unlocks special dialog options that allow better rewards or easier progression. You’re not just smart, you’re exceptionally smart. A goddamn genius. Meanwhile, a low number in Intelligence can lead to limited options and (sometimes questionable) dialog options. You want more, you need more.

I can’t begin to decipher the ancient impulse that leads humans to believe that having more of a thing is better. Some of that is probably tied to survival instincts. In the times where our near-ancestors had to deal with absolutely bonkers shit like sabertooth tigers and roaming raiders, you probably wanted the biggest dudes and the biggest spears to avoid getting eaten. This somehow got codified into the notion of wealth, where we stopped collecting each other’s goddamn skulls as proof of how big we were and did the totally sensible thing of deciding that shiny stuff would do. Humans fucking love shiny stuff. That’s a part of video games too; see the colorful item rarity systems in games like Diablo 3. Anyway, the point is that capitalism became a thing. You got wealth by (supposedly) being tough or adventurous or cunning—all of which are largely code words for being a dubious asshole—and your collection of wealth was a bigger number than the other guy.

Look at all these loot shooters. These games are predicated solely on the idea that folks will run the same content over and over again to up their statistics. You have Destiny 2, The Division 2, Anthem, and soon there will be Borderlands 3. All of these games are fundamentally peddling the same experiences, all enticing players who lust for more loot that is quantified with bigger and bigger numbers. A homogenous AAA slurry is slurped up until we get a sequel with a bigger number at the end of the name. Numbers have ruined the gaming landscape.So here I am today, fully aware that numbers are the basis of questionable practices and systems that exploit many people. Systems that dangle the prospect that people could also have more stuff as the best possible thing that can happen in our lives. Systems that turn our catelog of art (at least at a certain level) into a grey wasteland where everything is the same. That’s stupid and I hate it. Meanwhile, I spent an entire evening checking to see if the Dragon’s Dogma servers were up because I wanted to see how many rift crystals my companion had collected by helping other players.

I have over one million rift crystals now. One million! That’s a big number and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I grinned like a buffoon as whatever societally ingrained Pavlovian response kicked off in my brain. I salivated like a slobbering dog at the mere idea that one million could become two million.

I can’t keep lying to myself like this. I am a friggin’ dope who loves the big numbers. Don’t just give me Excalibur, give me Excalibur+1.

Source: Kotaku.com

Everything We Learned Today About Borderlands 3

On Wednesday, Gearbox Software showed off the first Borderlands 3 gameplay, playing through an hour’s worth of tutorial and gunfights in new regions of the series’ long-term setting of Pandora, and a place or two beyond. The gameplay displayed a vault’s worth of small new tweaks while still sticking to Borderlands’ art style and core gameplay.

Today’s Borderlands 3 gameplay stream—hosted by Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford— showed reworked controls. You can now mantle and slide, making for more fluid gunplay than the stodgier, straightforward movement of the previous games. Some guns also come with an alt fire mode. One pistol, for example, had a tracking round you could fire, which made all subsequent normal rounds home into the tracking bullet’s location.

That’s in addition to expansive and reworked skill trees, which give each playable character three action skills to develop and swap between at the start. In the demo, one player controlled Amara, a Siren class with a suite of abilities that included a Phaseslam area-of-effect attack, a Phasegrasp that lifts enemies and holds them in place, and a Phasecast that sends an astral projection of herself forward, dealing damage along the way.

Pitchford said that each action skill will also eventually unlock augmentations that will allow for further customization, which could lead to very different builds between players who choose the same character. These augmentations were not shown, however.

Borderlands 3 has also made some changes to how loot works in co-op: The game comes with what Gearbox calls “loot instancing,” which means each player will effectively get different, level-appropriate loot as they play together. This comes coupled with level balancing, which scales higher-level characters downward so they’re not overpowered when they join a lower-level character’s game. Borderlands 3 will also come with a classic mode that keeps co-op exactly as it was, complete with loot for you and your partners to fight over.

For the first time, Borderlands is leaving its long-term setting of Pandora and its moon, moving the hub city of Sanctuary to a giant spaceship—the Sanctuary III—and eventually taking players to a number of planets.

As the event wrapped up, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford rallied fans by noting that Borderlands 3 wouldn’t have microtransactions “or any of that nonsense,” a statement that, according to other members of the Borderlands team, is false. There are microtransactions set for Borderlands 3, but according to producer Chris Brock, they will be for purely cosmetic items.

“When we say ‘no microtransactions,’ what we’re really trying to say is that we’re not trying to nickel and dime people,” Brock told GamesIndustry.biz. “We’ll probably make content after launch that we will sell, but we also don’t intend to take what Borderlands was and then chop it up into chunks and sell it.”

At this early stage, Borderlands 3 looks like it’s bearing down hard on the series’ big calling cards—a wild variety of guns, a sense of humor that walks the line between irreverent and obnoxious, and flexible cooperative play. We’ll see whether or not that’s aged well when the game comes out in September.

Source: Kotaku.com

Borderlands Is Getting Review Bombed On Steam Over Epic Store Exclusivity

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Yesterday, Gearbox announced that Borderlands 3 will be an Epic Games Store exclusive for six months after its September 13 release. Like clockwork, Steam users began review bombing previous games in the noted dabbing robot shooter series shortly after. Twenty-four hours and thousands of negative reviews later, Steam’s new anti-review bomb system has yet to defuse the problem.

Over the course of yesterday and today, Borderlands 2 has received nearly 1,600 new negative Steam reviews, while Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel has been hit with 420 and Borderlands: Game Of The Year Edition has picked up 320. These games are receiving renewed attention not just because of the Borderlands 3 announcement, but also because Gearbox recently updated the Borderlands Handsome Collection with new HD textures and put the series on sale. Still, you need only look at Borderlands 2‘s top reviews to see what much of the negativity is about.

“Love the game, but I can’t recommend it because the sequel will be exclusive somewhere else,” reads one highly upvoted review.

“Scummy company that insults every single person that purchased the game on this site,” says another. “Skip it.”

And then there’s one that’s just two middle fingers with the words “Epic Store” between them.

There are also a handful of positive reviews near the top that still express anti-Epic sentiment.

Last month, Valve revealed a solution to Steam’s increasingly ubiquitous review bomb problem: a new system where a human team digs through reeking piles of fishy reviews surfaced by an automated program, and—if they find those reviews to be sufficiently suspicious—they’ll “mark the time period it encompasses and notify the developer.” Then they’ll remove those reviews from the game’s overall score and stop other reviews posted in the same period from counting.

Currently, it’s impossible to say whether or not Valve has reached out to Gearbox, but the company has yet to make any marks or remove these clearly trolling reviews from Borderlands games’ scores. Kotaku reached out to Valve and Gearbox for more information, but hasn’t heard back.

It’s worth noting that these review bombs aren’t blowing up Borderlands so much as they are pinging harmlessly off its cel-shaded shell (which is probably made of guns). The Borderlands games are triple-A hits with tails so long that they circle the dang planet, ensnaring millions of players to this day. Despite review bombs, interest in the series appears to be on the rise, with Borderlands 2 peaking at over 40,000 concurrent players on Steam today, putting it in the platform’s top ten most-played games. The Handsome Collection is also currently a Steam top seller. This is likely due to a number of factors, from Borderlands 3‘s recent reveal to the new texture packs and discounts promoting them.

Other games, however, could still be susceptible to review bomb tactics if lag time becomes a standard part of the new anti-review-bomb system. That could mean lost sales that developers don’t get back even after their games’ review scores are wiped squeaky clean, not to mention lasting negative sentiment in the Steam community. It’s good to see Valve relying more on human teams to handle moderation issues, but the failure to act quickly could be a potential downside of that. On the other hand, it could just mean the company is still working out some kinks in a new system. Here’s hoping it’s the latter.

Source: Kotaku.com

Gearbox Announces Borderlands 3 

The long-anticipated third Borderlands game is coming, Gearbox said today, following months worth of hints and teases. No word on platforms or a release date just yet, although publisher 2K Games has suggested that it’ll be out within this coming fiscal year (which ends next April).

This is the fourth entry in the critically and commercially successful loot-shooting Borderlands series, after the first two games and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, which came out in 2014. It looks a whole lot like the other games:

This news comes after a difficult past few years for Gearbox, an independent studio in Frisco, Texas that has seen two high-profile failures this decade. In 2013, it released Aliens: Colonial Marines, a poorly received game that became infamous for a misleading pre-release demo full of flashy, fake graphics. And in 2016, Gearbox put out Battleborn, its stab at the hero shooter genre that flopped hard. Now, the company will hope to win back jilted fans with a brand new entry in its most successful series to date.

Gearbox says there’ll be more revealed next week, on April 3.

Source: Kotaku.com