The Borderlands 3 reveal was a lot to take in at once. We’re rarely given so much free time with a game we know next to nothing about, and Gearbox gave us the reigns for three whole hours. We got a close look at two of the new vault hunters and their skill trees, found out the campaign will take around 30 hours ‘if you beeline’ through it, and that there are still a ton of weird, surprising guns to find.
But with an entire galaxy to explore, Borderlands 3 promises to be much bigger than its predecessors. Those three hours were illuminating, we just have plenty of questions left. If you're hopping back into Borderlands 2 in anticipation for 3, we've gathered Shift Codes for Borderlands 2 (opens in new tab) that work in 2019.
James Davenport: Will we see specialized quest design for multiplayer?
There were a ton of endgame bosses you could tackle with friends in Borderlands 2, but I’d like to see Gearbox toy around with quests that require more than min-maxing your vault hunter. The bulk of Borderlands 2 quests consisted of following map markers and killing the bad guys there. The occasional kill-quest wrapped around a good joke or decent storytelling buoyed the repetitive nature of that design, but I’m hoping to see some quests that introduce interactive elements that go beyond pointing and clicking.
Destiny 2’s raids and strikes essentially turn bosses and platforming sections into puzzles that require close observation and cooperation. Divorced from the games-as-a-service stuff I’m tired of, it’s just good shooter design. With the ability to clamber up ledges and crouch-slide, Borderlands 3 is in the ideal position to make use of its juiced up mobility beyond traditional combat scenarios.
Jarred Walton: Will we get a better fast travel option to eliminate lengthy runs across the same maps?
I can't be the only one that eventually tired of the sometimes lengthy treks for missions. Grabbing a sidequest only to discover that it required me to run (or sometimes drive/fast travel) back to an area I just left is boring. The fast travel helps, but not all maps in the previous Borderlands games have fast travel locations. I'd love a quick dropship right into the heat of the action.
Tyler Wilde: How big of a role do Rhys and company play?
I'm not a huge Borderlands fan, but I did love Telltale's spin-off, Tales from the Borderlands. I was excited to discover the star of that game returns in Borderlands 3 (I wasn't sure if those characters were in copyright limbo or something after Telltale dissolved), but then disappointed to learn that Rhys' voice actor, Troy Baker, isn't returning with him.
That suggested to me that the TFTB crew might only have walk-on roles, but James encountered a Rhys hologram during his recent preview session, which has re-encouraged me. I hope the events of Tales from the Borderlands and its characters are important to Borderlands 3 as a whole, as Rhys and friends are one of the main reasons I'll play it.
James: Besides loot instancing, will Borderlands 3 have any new social features?
I don’t need or even want Borderlands 3 to try to be another Destiny, but there’s no denying it’s better with friends. Borderlands 2 just threw you into sessions with strangers and left it there. I’d love to see a simple social hub or Monster Hunter-style bounty board make it into Borderlands 3, or maybe a lightweight guild system, especially because the Epic Store’s friend features are still very limited.
And once you’re in a game with like-minded folks—yep, it’s another Apex Legends-inspired wishlist—let’s see a ping system, text-to-speech and speech-to-text chat options. I’m happy that Borderlands 3 hasn’t abandoned the greater structure of Borderlands 2 in favor of the popular design trends, but Gearbox should borrow a few ideas, namely those that cultivate positive cooperative play and accessibility.
Jody Macgregor: Will the memes be good?
I was concerned about how Borderlands 3 would update the series' very of-the-moment humor, right up until the moment I saw the achievement for causing a ton of incendiary damage was called "This is fine." Now I'm less worried, but I still want to know how memey it will be. Borderlands 2 walked the fine line between "enough to annoy fussy people on the internet" and "enough to annoy me personally", I just want to know Borderlands 3 will repeat the trick.
Jarred: Will quests start scaling with your current character level?
There are a ton of sidequests in the Borderlands games, but I'd often end up with a bunch of 'trivial' quests below my level. A new mission for level 12 players assigned when I'm already level 15 means I won't even bother. Or similarly, if I get a level 12 mission but other quests and activities boost me to level 16, I'm not going back.
Maybe there's a sense of satisfaction for clearing out the task list, but I'd like to see the risk and reward for quests scale to keep things interesting. Just don't make everything scale all the time, only the quests—sometimes it's fun to go back to an area and kill off weak critters.
Wes Fenlon: Will Borderlands 3 have a gun that shoots a gun that shoots miniature Claptraps?
I'm not a fan of Claptrap, but I'd be pro Claptrap-as-tiny-bullets, shot out of a gun that was, itself, shot out of a gun. That's the level of stupid absurdity I expect from a new Borderlands. To rephrase the question, though, I do wonder how many of Borderlands 3's billion guns will be special, bespoke designs, rather than random number tweaks to rate of fire and damage and so on.
Most of my favorite guns in Borderlands 2 were just randomly generated weapons that perfectly fit my playstyle, but there's something really exciting about knowing there are unique, hand-designed guns out there to find in the sea of loot. I'm looking forward to finding out how many of those will be sprinkled around BL3's multiple planets.