Gearbox Can't Increase Borderlands 2's Level Cap (Without Breaking It)

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First of all, if anything's giving way first, it's the game engine before your hardware, so stop pissing on the console people. They have things hard enough as it is. Using their fingers to play games, ridiculous.

However, I have little sympathy for them when I came up with a workaround in 10 seconds. Sure, maybe the game can't handle 2 warping, exploding, rocket pod, slag sentries, but why not lock out the 3 original trees at level 50, and open up a new tree specifically designed for late game balance and not breaking the game. It could just have small bonuses, and it could be controlled in a way that it only served to make the characters more adept, but not more of a strain on the engine (or hardware if you prefer to make yourself look better).

In fact, I'm sure my idea isn't the only way that something like this could be implemented. Heck, most of these people have actually studied and devoted their lives to game design, if they wanted to do something like this, they could do it even better. So next time, just tell us you're too lazy or tired of Borderlands to raise the level cap. Don't say we can't handle it.

This is not good news for me, I've not touched the game or bought the DLC because.......I don't know, tearing through a game without any gain just feels hollow. The loot seems to be not getting any better either.

I'm just letting the game rot until they find a way to raise the level cap.

This saddens me, but at least they've solid reasons. Oh well! Time to focus on my Siren.

They could always just add another level of progression different from normal levels. Call them 'prestige levels' that you gain only after hitting the cap, and come up with some new abilities for people to use that you can balance with whatever they might possibly have at level 50.

Done and done.

subtlefuge:
First of all, if anything's giving way first, it's the game engine before your hardware, so stop pissing on the console people. They have things hard enough as it is. Using their fingers to play games, ridiculous.

However, I have little sympathy for them when I came up with a workaround in 10 seconds. Sure, maybe the game can't handle 2 warping, exploding, rocket pod, slag sentries, but why not lock out the 3 original trees at level 50, and open up a new tree specifically designed for late game balance and not breaking the game. It could just have small bonuses, and it could be controlled in a way that it only served to make the characters more adept, but not more of a strain on the engine (or hardware if you prefer to make yourself look better).

In fact, I'm sure my idea isn't the only way that something like this could be implemented. Heck, most of these people have actually studied and devoted their lives to game design, if they wanted to do something like this, they could do it even better. So next time, just tell us you're too lazy or tired of Borderlands to raise the level cap. Don't say we can't handle it.

Yes, this exactly.

Congratulations Gearbox on a complete lack of foresight when planning your game with future expansions.

Sure, only a small percentage of players have hit the level cap, but it's these players that will be the ones to buy your next planned 'season pass' and extra expansions.

rhizhim:
and please focus on the exact words, "your x box will crash"
image

thank you xbox 360!

quoting you because i like your pictures :D

the thing is, they don't really need higher levels to pile on more skills you could have say a piece of dlc with a laboratory area with some crazed alchemist that experiments on you and lets you buy a tonic of skill to gain levels, but you need 3 levels to get a skill point
or award health or another stat instead of normal skills
or open a new tree of skills, and only let you pick from them when you're over a certain level
call them 'tonic skills'

there's always a way of modifying a system without breaking it, it's just down to creativity and budget
it may just simply be economically unviable

PunkRex:
Allow us to interchange characters as we progress through the game. This means if we hit max lev we can just swap out to a under level character and boost them, I love Claptrap but the idea of doing his starting missions five times is a tad jarring.

That's actually a pretty good idea. Too bad my highest levelled alt is only lvl 16. I don't think he can effectively handle those tough lvl 53 witch doctors.

seditary:
So they deliberately made a game that had nowhere to go even though they had plenty of DLC planned for it?

If that's an actual question the answer is "No."

Don't taze me bro:
Congratulations Gearbox on a complete lack of foresight when planning your game with future expansions.

Sure, only a small percentage of players have hit the level cap, but it's these players that will be the ones to buy your next planned 'season pass' and extra expansions.

Anything besides anecdotes and hunches to support that?

A big part of how this game's skills were set up was built around having them interact with eachother in interesting ways. Axton's Longbow turrent enhancement plus the Nuke enhancement makes both of those skill points wildly more useful than they would be if the two skills were taken seporately.

Or Maya bouncing back bullets, and recovering hitpoints when she does damage, and causing damage when she takes health damage. Plus acid clouds that trigger on the ricochet just for fun.

Or all the skills that enhance the terrifying power of Salvadore's Gunzerk, on top of all of the skills that extend his gunzerk.

Y'know how in Saints Row 3, you build up enough upgrades and you're basically unstoppable? Taking no damage, firing nonstop without reloading or running low on ammo?

Y'know how in Skyrim, some arrangements of skills and perks leave you kind of fragile, relative to the monters that come at you, and some of them turn you in to the fucking god of thunder?

They're trying to avoid that. And if they'd rather send us a dissapointing message, advising us that this is going to be hard and not to hold our collective breath on an increased level cap, and that if/when they get one working it will not be straight-up progression off of the current framework than just add some numbers and watch Xboxen burst in to tears and/or flames, then I'm okay with that decision.

(edited for spelling)

Cognimancer:
Pitchford notes that only about 16 percent of players hit level 50 at all.

Well the reason I haven't gotten there (level 50) either on Steam or 360 is I don't want to get there before beating the DLC so I avoid TVH mode. People are waiting for a level increase so they have something to look forward to when playing the rest.

I understand his concerns though. In part 1, I had a level 61 Roland and the only map capable of causing me concern was Secret Armory of General Knoxx. Having said that, I kinda like the idea of having a god character in the game. And it isn't THAT overpowered when you are playing solo.

Hell, they removed some items such as the healing shields which made the game ridiculously easy in the first one.

EDIT:
They also aren't lying about the Xbox having issues. I have an Xbox and my level 35 with all the bells and whistles has severe framerate drops whenever I decide to do some more intense fights. And I'm only playing zero. I don't want to know what would happen if I tried it with Axton and the double turrets.

2nd EDIT:
I think the reason people are fuming an extra bit that no-one seems to mention is that the achievement for getting to level 50 is called Capped Out... For Now. I've never seen something that hints so powerfully at raising the level cap as that.

PunkRex:
Allow us to interchange characters as we progress through the game. This means if we hit max lev we can just swap out to a under level character and boost them, I love Claptrap but the idea of doing his starting missions five times is a tad jarring.

Good idea.... and agreed. I actually hate doing the mission to kill Flynt. Its a really hard and boring fight when soloing Zero. Until I get to Sanctuary I'm really bored of the game.

PortalThinker113:

wulfy42:
Ok this is just silly.

First..only 16% of players hit the current cap of lvl 50? So only 16% of players like the game basically?

This is what confuses me a little.

I love the game. I've put 50 hours into it, finishing the main quest and the first two DLCs along with a bunch of side quests. I still have not reached the level cap with my single character. Am I doing it wrong? I keep seeing people talk about how easy it is to hit the cap, and I'm really not all that close after 50 hours of one character...

Most of them do it with XP exploits. The recently closed Tiny Tina exploit was among the most popular, but there's a few other areas where you can farm XP fairly quickly.

I think the 16% represents the truly hardcore players. For the first game, I played through all the content on Normal Mode, thoroughly enjoyed myself, but never touched Vault Hunter Mode because I didn't really see the point of playing the entire game again. And only because I found the second game a much more enjoyable experience did I take the time to figure out how to get my character up to Level 50... then do exploits to get the remaining four up there as well.

Netrigan:

PortalThinker113:

wulfy42:
Ok this is just silly.

First..only 16% of players hit the current cap of lvl 50? So only 16% of players like the game basically?

This is what confuses me a little.

I love the game. I've put 50 hours into it, finishing the main quest and the first two DLCs along with a bunch of side quests. I still have not reached the level cap with my single character. Am I doing it wrong? I keep seeing people talk about how easy it is to hit the cap, and I'm really not all that close after 50 hours of one character...

Most of them do it with XP exploits. The recently closed Tiny Tina exploit was among the most popular, but there's a few other areas where you can farm XP fairly quickly.

I think the 16% represents the truly hardcore players. For the first game, I played through all the content on Normal Mode, thoroughly enjoyed myself, but never touched Vault Hunter Mode because I didn't really see the point of playing the entire game again. And only because I found the second game a much more enjoyable experience did I take the time to figure out how to get my character up to Level 50... then do exploits to get the remaining four up there as well.

Ohhhh... Yeah, that would explain a lot. I haven't used any exploits, my goal was to just to play the game as intended. (Although I did sort of exploit the final boss a bit to beat it solo...) I don't know if I'll ever hit the cap, really- I'd rather start a second character than take the time to get my one up to 50. Personal preference, I suppose.

wulfy42:
Ok this is just silly.

First..only 16% of players hit the current cap of lvl 50? So only 16% of players like the game basically?

Not at all, I never hit the current cap and I really like the game. I just had no desire to play through the same content again just to get a gun with higher damage numbers.

I loved playing through it and doing all the DLC, I'd just rather play something new or something in my backlog of games instead of doing it over again for more levels.

If they are afraid of it being a cake walk when you level up can't they just do another mode beyond True Vault Hunter Mode? I get bored of games if they are to easy so this is a concern for me if it is made to easy. But can't they also release new characters as well? I'm sure people wouldn't mind the lack of level cap raising if they had new people to toy around with. I have already maxed out the Mecromancer and Commando on 360 and I'm currently doing the Siren on the PS3. What they choose to do or not to do is up to them. I however will always love the game.

theultimateend:

seditary:
So they deliberately made a game that had nowhere to go even though they had plenty of DLC planned for it?

If that's an actual question the answer is "No."

No its not an actual question, it was rhetorical because anyone who had been paying attention knows the answer is yes because Gearbox screwed up the scaling from the start.

Once I hit 50 with someone, I just started a new character, tried things a different way etc. What's so hard about that...

I play it for the game play, not to see little stats go up, so it doesn't really bother me. I like the adventures and the cool guns etc.

I get it actually. Imagine how ridiculous double slag turrets would be. Among other things.

Ashannon Blackthorn:

Now to you who are designers or programmers, is what Gearbox saying legite? Are there workarounds? Will it just need time?

Depends how it was coded, if it was just hard coded then it would either require a complete rewrite or a large modification of the level system, if it was done properly it would probably require some tweaking (e.g. disabling skill points after lvl 50). The main issue is console hardware, likely the ps3/360 will run out of memory (there more than likely pushing it to the upper limit when they released the game) where as any half decent gaming rig will have more than enough.

Either way I don't particularly see much point in capping, you can finish the game by level 28 (probably lower) and while there are those perfectionists i would much rather try a different character once i'd capped and finished that current playthrough than want a cap raise. It's not like an mmo where there is a ton of endgame.

Heh, bet they feel silly about naming the Level 50 achievement: "Max Level... For Now"

While their honesty is great, coding your game so that you can't change it for fear of breaking it just sounds like poor design/coding to me.
Shame too, I've always liked to max out skills for games like this.

RatherDull:
I get it actually. Imagine how ridiculous double slag turrets would be. Among other things.

The max tier skills actually do not change the power balance anymore than marginally.

You can already destroy the content at level 50, having 2 slag turrets or a slag turret that nueks people when spawned is - simply put - not adding much to the overall killing power.
You win now already, you will just win slighlty faster.

The true power of the skill trees usually is in the first 3 tiers, being free to add more points there is what would truly break the game.

Giving people access to all 3 top tier skills? nah. wont do anything.

Deathtrap will not become a super murder machine - it still dies horribly fast (especialy in co op). Gaige will not give up shooting things with a anarchy'd shotty just to claw dudes to death. Or trade the discord/shock/bee for claws....

Phaselock - you'd kinda want ruin + the bounce to other targets.... but the true power lies in the tier 1-3 skills. on all chars.

so i say: give some more levels but lock out the tier 1-3 skills ^^ then add some new skill past top tier.... which serve to emphasse a specialisation and suck away the points you'd need to get the top skills of all trees.... just so that people can decide if they want a combination of skill tree top tier effects or go spec more into the one skill trees aspect.

I understand people's frustration with this, I too was looking forward to some more level progression with my Gunzerker, but people are acting like Gearbox was just leading us on and then going "SYKE" when in reality they were actually trying but realized that they couldn't in the middle of doing so without making the game extremely unbalanced and potentially breaking the game. At least they had the courtesy of telling us so rather than going along with it and us ending up with a broken game

Mike Kayatta:
Meanwhile, hitting level 50 gives you an achievement called "Max level ... for now."

Exactly my problem with this whole affair.

Chalk this up to yet another reason I'm still regretting paying sixty bucks for the game. I've yet to even finish my first play-through. And frankly, I'm not even sure I ever will.

I had high hopes, given how much I enjoyed Borderlands (after, annoyingly, having to turn to the community for patches and fixes), that Borderlands 2 would be better. Especially given the promises and hype Gearbox peddled leading up to the release; like saying they were improving the writing.

So, imagine my surprise when I learned that by "better writing" they meant coming up with such pearls of creativeness as "boner fart" and "butt stallion".

Christ I wish I could get my $60 back...

Fappy:
I personally like making new characters once I have hit the apex of a previous character's potential. Is this something the player base is really adamant about? Sounds kind of silly to me.

I would have agreed with you had I seen this article a month ago, but since I've hit 50 with my main character in BL2, I realized that being high level was when the game really started. There are all sorts of "raid bosses" (not really worthy of the distinction, being that they're so easy to kill by oneself, but whatever, I'll humor them) and hidden challenges that you can find at higher levels; not to mention the awesome loot you find.

Going from a level 50 character to a level 10 character is a bit of a buzzkill. To me it is, anyways.

Slightly more on topic; I really hope they think up some way to raise the level cap in a way that's satisfactory to them; I don't want to shelf BL2 quite yet, but I'm running out of reasons to keep myself interested in it.

Honestly, though, if they do manage to find someway to raise the level cap, the enemies are going to level with us.
Why do you guys think that things will be any different at level 61 vs 50?
If they find a way to do it, I'm pretty sure the power balance will be kept the same.

So really, all a level raise will do is make all the legendaries we've farmed for useless....

I'd be much more interested in something else in place of a level cap-raise.

Right. Can I see a show of hands for who wants to farm for LEVEL 60 legendary guns?

....

Exactly. We leave the cap as is. Otherwise most of our hard work going for these things has been pointless in the wider scope of things.

What the fuck does game balance have to with anything? It's a Singleplayer/Co-op RPG. Breaking the game is half the point of progression!

As I've said before, I won't be buying any BL2 DLC until they give a backpack increase and raise the level cap.

RedDeadFred:

Supermane1985:
That's bull. Anyone played the most recent DLC and agree with this? I've got multiple level 50 characters and some of the new Level 53 enemies are crazy hard even with a good skills combo and full loadout of legendary weapons. Current endgame design basically requires good co-op partners, an increased level cap may strain an xbox's hardware but no way would it break the game for 95% of players. Regardless, they could have let people know this from the start instead of letting us expect the cap raise for 6 months. Very poor form Gearbox, I expected more from you.

Did you even read the article? This obviously isn't something they anticipated. Also, the end game isn't THAT hard. With the right loadouts for each area/raid boss you can solo anything. Sure it may be challenging but what the fuck is the point of playing if you can just roll over everything like in the first game?

Actually, after reading the article, some of the issues seem like things they should've anticipated: like how certain perks might clash or make the character OP. They should've seen that coming at least. It seems like they put a lot of thought into the perks and how they could cap off at 50...just not beyond?
Still, not the biggest deal in the world. At this point I have three characters to completely play through the game with and some really bitchin lv 50 hardware.

GonzoGamer:

RedDeadFred:

Supermane1985:
That's bull. Anyone played the most recent DLC and agree with this? I've got multiple level 50 characters and some of the new Level 53 enemies are crazy hard even with a good skills combo and full loadout of legendary weapons. Current endgame design basically requires good co-op partners, an increased level cap may strain an xbox's hardware but no way would it break the game for 95% of players. Regardless, they could have let people know this from the start instead of letting us expect the cap raise for 6 months. Very poor form Gearbox, I expected more from you.

Did you even read the article? This obviously isn't something they anticipated. Also, the end game isn't THAT hard. With the right loadouts for each area/raid boss you can solo anything. Sure it may be challenging but what the fuck is the point of playing if you can just roll over everything like in the first game?

Actually, after reading the article, some of the issues seem like things they should've anticipated: like how certain perks might clash or make the character OP. They should've seen that coming at least. It seems like they put a lot of thought into the perks and how they could cap off at 50...just not beyond?
Still, not the biggest deal in the world. At this point I have three characters to completely play through the game with and some really bitchin lv 50 hardware.

The guy I quoted replied to me with the same thing. While I agree that they seem to have realized the balance issues, that doesn't seem to be the major thing preventing them from increasing the level cap. The unanticipated issue is that it could literally break the game. That's what I was referring to. Balance issues can be adjusted by nerfing certain skills when used in combination with others. That doesn't seem to be the major issue.

RedDeadFred:

GonzoGamer:

RedDeadFred:

Did you even read the article? This obviously isn't something they anticipated. Also, the end game isn't THAT hard. With the right loadouts for each area/raid boss you can solo anything. Sure it may be challenging but what the fuck is the point of playing if you can just roll over everything like in the first game?

Actually, after reading the article, some of the issues seem like things they should've anticipated: like how certain perks might clash or make the character OP. They should've seen that coming at least. It seems like they put a lot of thought into the perks and how they could cap off at 50...just not beyond?
Still, not the biggest deal in the world. At this point I have three characters to completely play through the game with and some really bitchin lv 50 hardware.

The guy I quoted replied to me with the same thing. While I agree that they seem to have realized the balance issues, that doesn't seem to be the major thing preventing them from increasing the level cap. The unanticipated issue is that it could literally break the game. That's what I was referring to. Balance issues can be adjusted by nerfing certain skills when used in combination with others. That doesn't seem to be the major issue.

Sorry.
Also, the same thing (re, perks & guns) happened with B1 when General Knoxx came out and few seemed to mind.
It does seem like there would be issues "under the hood" to raise the cap. Still, it seems like they should've tested for this kind of thing in the initial development...especially considering the level 50 achievement/trophy is something like "capped off...for now" isn't it.

If I'd known they had no intention of increasing the level cap, I wouldn't have bought the Season Pass in the first place.

Sounds like an excuse to me.

My initial thought here is that they never should have released the game with the intent of creating 4 DLC packs if they knew their game balance was wonky enough where they could never have the game progress in a way that would justify that content, given that an RPG like this is all about leveling up and accumulating bigger and better loot.

He's good at articulating problems, but at this point it's a situation where Gearbox should be looking for solutions, and if it doesn't find them with this reveal, it will kind of be deserving of any scorn it gets from this point on. To me doing this kind of DLC right from the beginning, selling season passes, and then saying "oh hey, we can't really have you advance any more than we set up initially, because of the way we designed and balanced the game... our bad" is the kind of garbage that makes me hate the game industry.

One day I am waiting for a game developer to release a pack of Level 51 weapons for an RPG in a game capped at level 50. People will download it, find they can't equip them (since they still require level 51, as opposed to just giving you weapons 1 level higher), complain, and then after enough glorious QQing come out and saying "thanks for your $$$, the weapons are working as intended, and we have no intention of raising the level cap since it would unbalance our game, the content does nothing for your advancement or character progression, but boy do we love money! The proceeds to this DLC are going towards mink toilet-seat covers for our studio labs...."

Gearbox is nothing quite so bad here, but that's the next level up, and I am indeed waiting for something spiritually similar to happen... and have been since before this article. The sad thing is, if done with the right franchise people would still fanatically support it for installments to come. :)

Um, destroy the balance, Too powerfull?

Yes please, since the game comes to a goddamn grind courtesy of the fact that i need thousand of bullets for every enemy making every battle a chore.

At least to me it is no fun to shoot and shoot and have nearly every little character nearly destroy you becaue they just shrug of most of the bullets and abilitys and walk up to us shooting all the time and destroying your shield in an instant.
We are as far as waiting for our main ability to cool down and then to throw them at the enemy cause that is the only thing that actually has any effect.

Weapons are just useless at level 50. If you find ne that has some effect it is most likely not of the type one personally likes to use.

I don not really think this games "endgame" is really well balanced.

Don't know why we go back into it every weekend, though.

I kept telling my friend that but he said that couldn't be the reason. I knew it, after playing all 5 characters to at least 10 levels started to see that, reading all the skill trees.

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