Battleborn, Gearbox Software’s doomed hero shooter, was instrumental in the development of Borderlands 3. Art director Scott Kester told Metro UK that coming off Borderlands 2, the development team needed a change, and Battleborn provided that opportunity, even if the general audience wasn’t keen on the result.
“By the grace of the beautiful 2K they allowed us to say, ‘Hey, we want to try this Battleborn thing, we just want to kind of reset our palette, we’re gonna try this thing’. And we did it and… you know, if we didn’t make that game Borderlands 3 wouldn’t be as good as it is now. It made us think about things a little different.”
Scott Kester also revealed that Gearbox doesn’t consider Borderlands 3 a Games-as-a-Service (GaaS) title. At least, they don’t call it that, but they do plan on making “meaty” expansions and supporting it with substantive endgame content.
One of the head-scratching decisions during the launch of Borderlands 2 in 2012 was the implementation of the SHiFT rewards program. Periodically, Gearbox Software, or its marketing partners, would publish codes that could be redeemed for in-game goodies. These rewards included Golden Keys that would exclusively open a Golden Chest in the hub town of Sanctuary. Every time a player opened the chest, it would give them high-level rare equipment – arguably some of the best stuff in the game. The idea was that the release of codes would keep fans engaged in a meta-game of seeking out and sharing codes in the real world.
Unfortunately, the Golden Keys were a balance problem. Why hunt for in-game loot when the best stuff could be had by plugging in codes? Sites like this one made it trivial to find codes, so it was easy to amass hundreds of Golden Keys. The in-game loot that dropped naturally off enemies, even bosses, rarely equalled the quality of Golden Chest contents, so who was going to waste time on the loot treadmill if they had keys to spare?
You’d think this issue would’ve been resolved by now, but Gearbox is apparently still keen on SHiFT rewards. During the announcement for Borderlands 3, the studio released codes good for more Borderlands 2 loot. (C3W33-RZ6ZJ-TFJ6C-TTJ33-RFHX5 for 100 keys, W3KJB-H9CBW-XRBRW-JTBTJ-9JRXK for 25 keys, and C35TB-WS6ST-TXBRK-TTTJT-JJH6H for an handful more.) They also announced that there will be codes specifically for the HD remaster of the first game launching on April 3rd. The studio seems committed to the SHiFT program, so I assume it will be used in Borderlands 3 as well. It’s a big assumption, I grant you that, but here we are in 2019 still copy-pasting codes to get loot.
The most successful piece of DLC for Borderlands 2 was Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep. It was a satisfying piece of content because the premise, Vault Hunters play a fantasy role-playing game with a psychopath as GM, allowed Gearbox to blend all the crazy ideas that didn’t fit in the main game with a fantastic bit of character development. The Claptastic Voyage, coming for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel looks like it may provide opportunities for the same kind of storytelling. In this fourth chunk of Pre-Sequel DLC, the Vault Hunters get zapped into Claptrap’s brain to retrieve a MacGuffin from his source code.
These anti-heroes will have to deal with Claptrap’s personal insecurities, his malware, and digital representations of his crushing loneliness.
Claptastic Voyage also includes the Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2 which will raise the level cap to 70, and give each character 10 more skill points to earn. It will be available on March 24th for $9.99 separately or as part of the season pass.
2K Australia and Gearbox have announced a fifth playable class for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. The Handsome Jack Doppelganger Pack will let players take on the role of a Handsome Jack clone. Jack’s double has the power to call up two “Digi-Jacks” to fight alongside the player, disappearing once the action skill timer runs out. The Doppelganger class has The Hero of the Story, Greater Good, and Free Enterprise skill trees that are new to the Borderlands series.
Depending on how you spec out your Skill Trees, these Digi-Jacks can earn you bonuses or even get you a Second Wind in Fight For Your Life. “Jack” can also shoot enemies with wrist lasers, get buffs every time he picks up money (in typical CEO fashion), or even get upgrades for using guns made by specific manufacturers.
The Handsome Jack Doppelganger Pack will be $9.99 if purchased separately, or included as part of the Season Pass. The DLC will be available on November 11th for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or Steam versions of the game.
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