Borderlands 3’s new Mayhem 2.0 update is a great idea that sadly falls a bit flat
Great in theory, but it definitely feels rushed.
Recently, Gearbox recently released an update for Borderlands 3 that completely changed how its Mayhem system – the end-game mechanic that ups the difficulty and rewards – works.
At first, the update seemed great, with higher levels dropping more powerful weapons and offering new, unique challenges in the form of modifiers. These modifiers can do everything from make enemies immune to certain types of damage to giving everyone big heads.
Now, after about a week with the update, the cracks in the system are starting to show. We’re not even going to talk about the broken drop rates for rare items at higher levels (which, as of the time of writing, has been fixed) or the fact that Mayhem-level guns don’t have badges letting players know what level they dropped at, but instead, look at some of the issues with the systems in place.
Proper scaling of things like melee and abilities
The biggest issue with this update is that many things that were once good are, well, no longer good and this comes about due to scaling issues with the new Mayhem system. While having 10 levels of Mayhem (increased difficulty, enemy health, etc.) is nice, Gearbox forgot(???) that people use more than just guns to dispose of enemies.
Things like melee damage, grenades, and abilities do not scale properly to these higher difficulty levels, making them all but useless. Yes, abilities are still used to proc certain, powerful things, but the actual damaging aspect of these skills is lacking at best. For example, Moze and her Iron Bear. Moze’s Iron Bear recently saw a huge buff, making it viable for end-game content, but then mere weeks later it is useless (again).
The same goes for melee abilities and damage. Amara had a unique melee build that may not have been “top tier” but it was a fun, unique way to play the previous end-game activities. Now, with enemies having much larger health pools, these builds are also useless. I’m sure a fix is on the way, but this never should have been an issue.
New Mayhem modifiers are interesting, but some are way too gimmicky
Introduced alongside Mayhem 2.0 was a smattering of new modifiers that require players to change up their playstyle. This is a great idea, but again, it feels like they are half-baked.
Modifiers like “The floor is lava”, which makes the floor literal fire if the player stops moving in a fight is fantastic, forcing players to adapt their playstyle, but others are too punishing and just an unnecessary mechanic to inflate difficulty.
These include ones that reduce critical damage or reduce all damage other than critical damage. While you could argue that some of these work for specific characters and builds, it’s not fun to sit there and reroll your modifiers until you get a set of four (at Mayhem 10) that work for your character and build.
Not all is bad with the introduction Mayhem 2.0 in Borderlands 3
Some of the new anointments will prove to be great additions to previous builds, while also bringing new builds into the game. Others are “meh” but that’s to be expected in a looter shooter. Also, it’s important to remember that not every player is chasing “the meta” and having unique perks for those players is always welcome.
The new weapons introduced in Mayhem 2.0 and the current Cartel event are all great, but they outclass almost every other weapon in the game right now. That’s… not great and will need to be addressed as well to promote build diversity. Hopefully, we’ll see those tweaks in the coming weeks as well, as I’m sure YouTubers like Moxsy and Ki11er Six would like to make build videos that aren’t just “here’s the same build, but with the new weapons.”
Overall, Borderlands 3 is still a great looter shooter for players looking for that type of game, but it definitely feels like this update was pushed out a bit prematurely.
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