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  • Showing only topics with the tag "borderlands". Back to normal view
    1. So the pre-announcement announcement for the next Borderlands game (which is probably not going to be Bord3rlands but something else) was posted today. It's pretty neato. But, as a HUGE fan of the...

      So the pre-announcement announcement for the next Borderlands game (which is probably not going to be Bord3rlands but something else) was posted today. It's pretty neato. But, as a HUGE fan of the first 2 games (Pre-Sequel was aight), to say that I'm pessimistic about the future of the franchise would be the understatement of the decade.

      The odds are so completely stacked against the next Borderlands game, that it will be a miracle if the game is anything less than a catastrophe.

      Every possible thing that could go wrong with the game, will go wrong, from the industry's standards to the developer and publisher of the title. I want to be wrong about this, but considering the circumstances surrounding it, I'm very comfortable expecting otherwise.

      Allow me to go down the list, here:

      • The Borderlands formula was built for loot boxes. You could even argue that it was the first AAA game to be designed AROUND them. The W/G/B/P/O rarity system that the game established has been used by every other similar system since. The entire game revolves around tiered loot, attained primarily through low-chance drop tables which the player has to grind through the game to find. The previous entries in the series made this formula fun for a bunch of reasons that are self-evident while playing, and by some miracle, Borderlands: TPS somehow came out before Overwatch showed the industry just how amazingly profitable it is to put unregulated gambling in a game made for minors.

      I expect that the next game won't JUST have monetized loot boxes, but because they'll likely nerf Borderlands 2's already comparatively abysmal drop rates to make them more appealing, the game will REVOLVE around monetized loot boxes. Different tiers, different prices, approximately 30% of which can be earned in game, but only if you grind your heart out, because the game is also going to be designed for that. Next point:

      • 2k Games, publisher of the previous three titles, is one of the only AAA publishers out there that hasn't yet successfully jumped onto the "games as services" bandwagon, and with the Borderlands formula basically being that of an MMO minus the enormous playerbase, plus decent shooting mechanics, you can expect it to follow in the footsteps of other such glorious recent titles as Anthem and Destiny 2.

      Not only will the game likely be released unfinished and with the standard array of season passes and roadmaps that plague the industry, but the game will likely sacrifice what made the first 2-1/2 compelling and enjoyable (them being first and primarily progression-based RPGs) to keep players playing, grinding, and waiting for the next DLC drop. I'm expecting that the game will not have a proper end or a new-game-plus mode, instead turning the formula on it's head and following the aforementioned "Live Services" in their footsteps to create a dull, grindy experience which will basically serve as a platform to sell the aforementioned loot boxes and whatever else will be included, which, speaking of...

      • like every other game produced by a company accountable to shareholders, you can expect aggressive monetization, stopping just short of pay-to-win gameplay, if it even does. 2k is one of the worst offenders for this, and at launch, I'm expecting a full, $60 game with a $25-$30 season pass that's ESSENTIAL to eventually get the finished product, and an array of loot boxes to further dig into your wallet. Not only that, but you can easily also expect other gameplay "enhancements", including:
      • Drop chance and quality boosters (to make up for piss-poor drop rates)
      • Experience and progression-circumvention boosters (to make up for the god-awful grind)
      • A full array of new cosmetic options (now removed from the base game entirely, available only by purchase)
      • 2-3 in-game currencies (and at least one premium currency on top of that, used to buy better loot)
      • A vast swath of DLC which is NOT included in the season pass, announced anywhere from a few weeks to a few months after launch (most of all of which will be disappointing or the absolute bare minimum, at best)
      • this is only barely touching on the gameplay and story itself, which is being developed and produced by Gearbox, a company who is at this point legendary for their inability to... function. From their CEO being one of the industry's most prominent jackasses to their... interesting... writing department their (apparently) sexist, rather uber-like office bro-culture, the most astonishing thing about the company is that it still exists - their last and only 3 major releases since Borderlands 2 in 2012 were Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Aliens: Colonial Marines, and Battleborn. They're also known for such titles as Bulletstorm, the most recent Duke Nukem, and, hilariously, are front-and-center in the publishing clusterfuck that surrounded We Happy Few being awful.

      With their record, it's not just a surprise that they still exist, it's a surprise that the Borderlands franchise was ever produced successfully at all. Now, they're relying basically entirely on the next Borderlands launch in order to stay afloat - only one more nail in the coffin for the above points about monetization.

      To say the odds are stacked against this game is doing it a disservice. The idea that it might be DECENT, never mind as good as it's predecessors, is laughable.

      It saddens me to say it, too. I hold out hope that they'll pull a rabbit outta the hat on this and that the game will magically be one of the only examples of an uncompromising AAA game in the last 5 years. They somehow managed to produce the first few games in the franchise, and this one's been in development for a hellova lot longer.

      But I'm not holding my breath.

      10 votes