What’s Wrong With Borderlands?

The quick description seems to be “a FPS with Diablo-style loot and questing in the Weird West.” Every comment I have seen has been positive, along the lines of “it is pure, concentrated, liquid awesome, with a side order of flaming orgasm.” The most negative I have heard is “moar!” Heartless has been blogging it since he got his new URL, and I am particularly fond of this video. Steam will give me 10% off if I pre-order and buy-3-get-1-free so I can bring in all my friends for the coop mode.

Having played with Heartless and seen him go through a couple of other games, I expect that I will know what is wrong with Borderlands in about a month. Few people effectively express that anguished rage after initial enthusiasm that comes from a dream not quite fulfilled. It really is an art, and my version is just pissy analytic verbosity. Like that phrase right there. Anyway, maybe this is what we have all been waiting for, or maybe we will find that we did not miss Diablo-style loot after all. I’m thinking of picking it up, maybe getting the 4-pack so I can gift some friends, and I want to know if you know any landmines.

And if you haven’t heard of it, hey, crazy fun.

: Zubon

15 thoughts on “What’s Wrong With Borderlands?”

  1. It looks really interesting, but not quite my thing. Maybe down the road if it’s on one of those crazy $5 sales.

    I just plunked down the $18 for Torchlight. I’m not a big Diablo-like fan, but it looks like it’s going to be well worth it and I was really looking forward to Mythos. So we’ll see in four days!

  2. The only truly bad thing I have heard besides too many guns, which is a stupid complaint anyway, is that it does get a little boring sometimes just playing solo. Now boring for who? An FPS gamer, an MMO gamer, a console gamer? I dunno, but that’s the one pitfall I’ve heard.

  3. I plan to pick it up for PC. Never been a huge fan of Diablo loot systems for some reason but many people think I am broken.

  4. I’ll likely pick up the 4 pack cause it’s such a great deal, but I also often worry about WHO I’m gifting it to. Will they play once and never look back? Did I just waste my money?

    Maybe I’ll just buy a single…

  5. You can expect me to be all over this on the PC. My brothers and I have been anticipating this one for a long time. It isn’t an MMO, it isn’t an RPG with “shooter elements.” It’s a shooter with “RPG elements,” and apparently, those elements are actually well done, and don’t feel tacked on like they would normally.

    If all this proves true then great, but I plan on finding out for myself on the 26th. I’ll be sure to have a rundown from the FPS perspective.

  6. Yes, I will let you know what is wrong quickly when I play a game. I am attempting to fix that problem… err well at least in public voice chat :P I bitch a lot and I am in a 12 step program.

    Anyways there is a list of items that have cropped up so far:

    1. Its hard to determine where to go and what to do when two players are seperated by more than 5 levels.

    2. The PC version is rumored to have some UI issues with leftovers from the Xbox version cropping up (and of course they are unusable in the PC version :P )

    3. It doesn’t appear to be much fun solo past the first 10 hours or so. So its really about the co-op.

    Other than that, everything I’ve heard is positive.

  7. *incendiary comment of the day*

    Diablo/II were not fun past the first 10 hours, but still compelled you to keep going. If Borderlands is the same, it’s not a problem.

  8. It’s a co-op game, period. Sure, you can solo just fine up to level cap, but it just isn’t as fun.

    The game scales difficulty up and down as people drop in or out of your game, which makes for some intense fights against Badasses (think Bosses or Elites from MMO’s).

    It’s first a foremost a shooter. On the 360 anyway (my PC won’t run it) the shooter controls are the same as COD4 and the vehicle controls are identical to driving Halo’s Warthog. The shooter feel is very, very solid.

    The RPG elements are also solid and well-done, and don’t feel like something tacked onto the end at all. From leveling, assigning points to skill trees (something familiar to MMO players), some guns have level requirements, some don’t and you’re always comparing and re-comparing certain stats to really decide if Gun B is better than Gun A or not. It’s addictive, and the whole exploring for, and collecting, loot begins *immediately* the moment you can move in the game, so don’t worry so much about following the little Claptrap robot right away or you’ll be passing up some good initial loot (cash and ammo).

    One negative would be the loot system. XP and money are shared, everything else is free-for-all, whoever picks it up gets it. There is no trade window; trading is only accomplished by dropping an item on the ground for someone to pick up. For me personally it’s not an issue because a cooperative PvE shooter is not a game type I would ever in a million years PUG with. I only play with friends, and for the people who have been PUG-ing in Borderlands the main gripe I’ve heard is the other people running around nabbing all the loot, even the really good class-specific stuff so they can sell it.

    I’m not sure if the PC version will have dedicated servers but I kinda doubt it since it’s a 4-player game on all platforms. That being the case, what I see on the 360 is that whomever is hosting sets the “world” for everyone. Low level players coming into a higher level game *will* get some kickass XP and level fairly quick — example: I was level 9 and two friends came in with brand-new level 1 characters and within an hour they were caught up with me (and I was still leveling the whole time as well) — but the low level players will miss out on all the beginner quests, quest rewards, story elements, etc. that the host has already completed. That being the case, and having gone through this a few times with a few friends, my suggestion is to play your first character solo until level 5 before you even consider co-op. That way you learn all the UI elements, you get the first few quest reward items, and you get your very first skill. If I recall, even if all players start new characters and co-op all the hints are turned off, but I might be wrong about that. Not a big deal for experienced players who can glance at a UI and figure out what’s what, but for some it’s best to just let the game show you every time something new is introduced.

    Other than that, I’d love if the map would stay at the zoom level I left it, but I’m not experiencing any honest-to-goodness negatives about the game yet.

  9. @ Scott

    It is hosted peer to peer on the PC, so no servers anywhere (to my understanding).

    Also I’ve heard it recommended several times to play to level 5 solo to learn the game.

    I thought there was a setting to duel other players for loot drops, so they had to kill you to ninja loot,Or is that just a rumor?

  10. @heartless: There is dueling, but nothing to do with loot drop “ownership” or anything. Assuming both players have dueling set to ‘accept’ in the options, just melee a player to challenge him, and he melee’s you back to accept the duel. It’s just a way to have some 1v1 PvP in the world rather than going into an arena.

  11. Some very obvious cons with the PC version:
    – No push-to-talk in the PC version. If you have a mic, it is hot. All the time. Look around for an ini change to disable it, though.
    – The UI is a bit cumbersome at times and it’s very obvious it was designed for a console and then ported. The bizarre combination of mouse controls/keys to maneuver around the menus hurt my head.
    – There are a few quests that trigger cutscenes/intro videos. It seems like only the host can get credit for completing these. It annoyed a few players, but didn’t have any impact other than that.
    – Duping/cheating *will* be a problem if you play with PUGs, but why the hell would you do that anyway?

    The rest is really just learning curve, in my opinion. This game is incredibly fun, with a dangerous blend of bite-sized quests and Diablo-style loot. I constantly found myself trying to wrap up just one more quest or level one more time to use that shiny new gun in my inventory.

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