There have been a few video games that require a shift in my thinking to truly enjoy.  The first Assassin’s Creed game presented itself as a heist-stealth-assassination style game rather than as the historical-sociopathic-murderfest that it actually is.  Or the fact that Terraria and Minecraft, which are both games about digging, the most important thing to do when starting is…. not dig, but rather find some hole in the ground to explore (after tree punching).  Borderlands 2 is another one of these games.

My first playthrough of my return to Pandora was as Salvadore the (over-the-top) Gunzerker.  That went through a couple of evolutions – the pacing of the initial gameplay (unlocking shield mods, all 4 gun slots, grenade mods, class mods, etc) was at the same pace as the previous game – which I thought was a bit too slow in the original Borderlands, is now a snails pace with the second.  It first took a smaller scale respeccing from the dual-wielding ammo-regenerating Rampage skill tree to the hot-swapping, fasster-reloading Gun Lust skill tree, which better maps to my play style. So around level 15 with Salvadore I decided to take a little break.

So then I gave Zer0 a go.   As of level 7-8 his primary action skill is fairly underwhelming (creates a holographic decoy which draws enemy fire).  I imagine part of the reason he’s been viewed as an “advanced character” is he’s sort of a mage-style squishy character until reaching higher levels.

After returning to Salvadore, checking out some more story and plot events(!) I decided to take another break (level 23). There was something scratching at the back of my mind, and I thought I’d start a fresh character to give it another go.

So they I checked out Maya the Siren, and that’s when a shift in my thinking in the game occurred.  After about 30 hours of gameplay (level 10-12 – 53 total levels), I started to realize that the world of Pandora is one of small details, subtle development, and slow pacing.  My initial frustration of perception of Pandora as a world of bloaty MMO-style bonus quests started to fade away, and I began to enjoy the detours, the side-quests, and fleshing out of the world.

So now after a few more Maya levels, I’m back to Gunzerking – I tried a Golden Key (1/23, just to keep things spicy), cleaned up my stack of side quests, and dove back into story missions.

Now if only I can hack my stuck brain free in Dark Souls…

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2 comments on “Recalibration
  1. angryscholar says:

    I never got into Borderlands. For some reason it didn’t seem like it’d be my speed.

    • vigorousbog says:

      I found it to be an interesting take on the action RPG genre. It’s got a definite style, a unique world, and more thought involved than Diablo 2 style clicking extravaganzas. Having to achieve critical hits by placing your shots in specific locations, introduces a more active degree of participation.

      That being said, I don’t care for the grindy, MMO-style elements that many seem to enjoy (farming legendaries or the very end game Crawermax or his big brother in Borderlands 2)

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