Today I am going to talk more about the game of the month this month, Borderlands 2. If you missed my last post, go ahead and give it a read to see some of why I chose it. Without further ado, I’m going to discuss how much I love the loot mechanic in BL2 and what I am excited for changes with in BL3.
So, put yourself in this mindset. You’ve just started your first playthrough of BL2. You fight a boss, complete a quest, or even get lucky from fighting some enemies, and a gun drops. You can tell from the stream of light that it’s a blue rarity weapon. For being new, it’s kinda exciting because it’ll be a nice upgrade at the beginning stages of the game.
For some people, they get lucky and maybe get a purple or or even an orange legendary drop from the first boss. Others, only get a white or blue drop and it takes them a little longer to get something more worth their effort. It is this duality that really makes Borderlands’ loot system shine. Nothing is guaranteed, but eventually you will get something good because of the frequency of drops.
From doing research, Gearbox’s Dev Blog has information on how the loot system works. You can read that here.
If you don’t want to though, I’ll sum it up kinda quickly. The basis of the system is that when an enemy dies, the game goes through a loot pool to see if something drops, and from there, it either ends or goes through more pools to put together the item that will drop. Roughly, there is a 1-in-12 chance for an item to drop and from there, the type, parts, level, rarity, manufacture are all determined and then the final result is spit out in a form you can pick up.
Then from there, the player level and type of enemy come into play. Player level is used as a limiting factor for what can drop in terms of weapon types, then other types of loot like shields and relics and class mods, and also determines what level items can spawn at. So as the player levels up, they gain access to more things they can get. Then, depending on the type of enemy that is fought, there is an increased or decreased chance for higher rarity items to drop and some specific enemies have increased chances of specific items. For example, the named enemy, Savage Lee, has an increased chance to drop a Harold, so you can reliably farm him for this item.
So, as you can see from the above, there was a lot of thought put into the system. With Borderlands 3 coming out soon, Gearbox decided to change up how this system works with procedural generation. This makes me very excited for the possibilities because it drastically increases the amount of items there are in the pool. This also would promote playing with friends because there is a chance you can get items that are better geared for your friend’s character and vice versa. I haven’t seen too much detail on the new system, but I look forward to seeing how it plays out this September.
Thank you again for reading. Next week, I’ll be taking a look at how the balancing of the difficulty is done.