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Make me like Borderlands 2...

Posted: Wed May 22, 2013 7:15 am
by GawainBS
I played BL1 and it was a pretty ok game, although a bit long and dragged out.
I pre-ordered BL2 and I only played 4 hours before I got fed up with the repetitive walking to and fro from objectives, resulting in one of the duller gaming experiences of 2012, barring Inquisitor.
Please give me arguments to take up BL2 again, since I hope to get my money's worth from it.

Posted: Wed May 22, 2013 10:16 am
by Lemmus
Personally, I quite enjoy both of the Borderlands games, but I play them intermittently. They're a good way of blowing off steam in a hurry when I'm stressed, as opposed to my usual RPGs which are more about long-term character development and story. There are two advantages of Borderlands 2 over 1, I think.

First, it just feels slicker. While certainly it is just more of the same, it's also a more polished version of the same. Sort of like Diablo to Diablo II, or WarCraft 1 to 2. With both series, the first two were very similar, but the second just worked better. In Borderlands 2 there are more weapon types, lots more grenade options, the scenery is more varied, and the classes are more distinct. I miss Mordecai's bird, but the Mechromancer more than makes up for it, and I prefer the new siren's ability.

The second reason is about the story, oddly enough. While this is no Baldur's Gate or Witcher, the story isn't quite as much "go to the place and kill the big bad" as you might expect. Sure, they imply that that is the story, but there's more going on there. I'm being careful not to mention specifics in case you have somehow avoided spoilers, but lets just say that the game takes a serious look at the sorts of personalities who would be vault hunters (or any dungeon crawl/ RPG party), and has some pointed things to say about the difference between protagonists and heroes.

It's somewhat subversive, actually, since you don't realise how dark they're going to take it until you're invested in the character, and unlike some cut-scene games, you cannot really say that the action doesn't make sense.

Posted: Wed May 22, 2013 10:49 am
by GawainBS
Ok, your story arguments are convincing me. I guess I'll just have to trudge through all the boring parts. Is there an auto-run function?

Posted: Thu May 23, 2013 11:31 am
by Kipi
Not directly, though cars do make the movement between areas less tedious, even fun at times.

The main reason why you should play Borderlands 2 is the story and writing, especially the humor. Yes, the first few hours can be a bit boring, but once you reach the first major "town", it gets way better.

I could also just direct you to the review I posted some time ago in [url='']User Reviews[/url] -section... ;) :D

Posted: Thu May 23, 2013 11:46 am
by GawainBS
It's just that the first four hours so far consisted mostly of running to an area, have some action, then run back again, rinse & repeat. Not really intresting at all.

Posted: Thu May 23, 2013 6:28 pm
by T0kR4M
It's just that the first four hours so far consisted mostly of running to an area, have some action, then run back again, rinse & repeat. Not really intresting at all.

...this sentence pretty much describes my reaction on the first one... Make me like Borderlands 1 !... I played nearly 10 hours and then I quit. Boring.

Posted: Fri May 24, 2013 4:11 am
by GawainBS
I think with the first one I bit through the bullet in the hopes of things picking up. Part 2, however, has so far only part 1 to convince me...

Posted: Mon May 27, 2013 11:19 am
by Lemmus
Both games do use (or overuse) a quest hub system, where you get quests, go out and complete them, run back to turn in and get more, etc. This never really changes, but it does expand. A few hours into the game, you'll find that you have 3 or 4 quests in each of 3 or 4 zones. Several of those zones will also have sub-quest hubs, where you can get a few more quests. As you get further into the game, this will expand, so that you have 3 or 4 quests in each of a dozen different zones.

Whether or not you have to run back to start after each map depends on how much you stick to the main quest. If you avoid side-quests, there will be a lot of running back and forth, since most quest NPCs will be in your home base. If you do more side-quests, though, you can do to an area, play through the local quests, then use a teleporter to go to the next area, and just wait until later to turn in any quests.

Part of the reason the beginning is so annoying is because they have merged an extended storyline preface with a tutorial, so that you do not unlock the resources of the main town until you reach a certain point in the story. Avoiding spoilers, until you reach Sanctuary the first time, you're still basically playing Chapter 0.

To make this area go more quickly, you may want to get in an MP game. You'll miss a bit of the story, as MP groups tend to move FAST (they're just run & kill groups), but it will get you trough the beginning of the game quickly. For myself, I played my first character to Sanctuary solo, but all other toons I play MP; I know the intro story, and MP lets me push through the beginning in a fraction of the time.

Ultimately, though, Borderlands just won't be for everyone. I used to play a lot of FPS games when I was younger, and a lot of RPGs as well. These days, I'm out of practice for the FPS, and don't have the time to sink into RPGs that I used to, so I have to be a lot more limited in what I play. Borderlands provides a nice side game for me as it reminds me of my FPS days without requiring the same level of player skill, while providing a bit of light RPing for when I just don't have time to play the big ones.

Much as I love Skyrim, for example, there's just no point trying to get into it if I know that I won't be able to play for a month. Jumping into Skyrim for an hour or two doesn't work well, especially if you haven't played for weeks, as it can take that long to remember where you were in the story. With Borderlands, an hour is enough to clear out a zone and complete a few quests, and the story, while interesting, does not really require that you remember what already happened because it relies more on archetypes and standardised formulae.

Posted: Mon May 27, 2013 11:33 am
by GawainBS
Funny mentioning of Skyrim: remembering where you were in that story? ;-) Not much happening there.
I have reinstalled BL2 and I'm going to give it a go tonight.

Posted: Tue May 28, 2013 1:25 am
by GawainBS
I like it marginally more now. I found out how to use Elementium and I'm getting some better weapons, meaning enemies die without needing 3 clips.
I'm playing as Maya, aiming for this build:
Is it decent? Mind, it's only for singleplayer, I tend to avoid MP as the plague. I'm not aiming at a lvl 60 build, because I'm not getting DLC before I like the game better.

Posted: Tue May 28, 2013 11:21 am
by Lemmus
Been a while since I've played Maya, but that looks like a reasonable build. I'd probably drop one of the 1st or 2nd tier 5/5 abilities from each speciality initially in order to unlock the 3rd tier ones (Converge & Cloud Kill) faster, then backfill. That also depends on your play-style, though.

I usually favour sniper rifles at range and shotguns up close, rather than the high fire rate weapons, so Foresight and Ward are less important. If you prefer getting closer to targets, then the extra ammo and shields will be more valuable than the special effects.

re: Skyrim, I think it's safe to say that I enjoyed the game (and Bethesda's RPGs in general) a lot more than you do. While I'll agree that the main quest of Skyrim isn't exactly Hemingway, that's not the only thing that I'm talking about. When I talk about story in games I also mean the side quests, the characters, progression in factions and guilds, which dungeons and events I've taken part in, and most especially how I've developed the PC's personal story.

While I don't have the time right now to go into a lot of detail, I've also spent a fair bit of time thinking about how these stories are constructed, and I don't think Bethesda's competition is really as complex as many fans like to pretend. Even the big name games like old Bioware titles are barely RPGs, with formulaic stories and cheap writing tricks (eg, twists for the sake of twists, not adding to the character development). The only thing those games really have going for them is their characters, but to my mind that means that you are playing the game to see someone else's story, not create your own.

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:45 am
by Tricky
I hear it's great co-op. I would have played it with my girlfriend if either of us had the machine to run it.

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:48 pm
by GawainBS
I won't touch MP with a 10 ft pole. Too many assholes on the internet.

Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:10 am
by Tricky
GawainBS wrote:I won't touch MP with a 10 ft pole. Too many assholes on the internet.

Nothing is stopping you from excluding the Internet and just playing it with a friend. The best online play is always over a LAN. :)

Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:52 am
by GawainBS
Thanks, but none of my friends are intrested, and I've given up again on BL2. The gameplay absolutely couldn't intrest me.