In the Borderlands games, you are able to get a lot of unique gear. And just like you, I have also been farming bosses non-stop to obtain that specific legendary weapon. In this article, I want to talk about that “non-stop farming” part. Because the drop rates on these items are not always ideal. I must say it has gotten better over the course of time, however, I think there is still room for improvement. This topic was inspired by Rami from Vlambeer, a Dutch indy developer. He asked the following question:
If the drop rate is set to 10%, how many times do you need to repeat the action before getting the item?
In this case, most people will say; 10 times. By the logic of 10×10=100 that would be true. However, each new try will currently count as an individual action. Meaning each time you will have just a 1 in 10 chance of getting the item. What if we introduced a loot control mechanic that tracks your drop progression. Call it a bad luck protection. In this case, if you still haven’t acquired the unique drop from this specific boss after 9 tries, it will automatically give it to you on the tenth try. Wouldn’t this system of control be fairer for the mainstream audience? I know there are still die-hard fans that like to grind for hours to get the feeling of accomplishment. Personally, I also like that to be in the game. A game should challenge you and then reward you. Although growing up and having other responsibilities also cuts down your game time.
At the launch of Borderlands 2, the drop rate for legendary gear was 2%. Since then, Gearbox did a survey and increased the legendary loot drops on BL2 and BLTPS. I believe that currently, games have a 6% legendary drop rate. Which is a lot better than what we had in the first Borderlands. There the Devs could set an awesome value at max and you could still end up with only common white gear. So what if Gearbox revolutionizes their gear system once again and implements this loot control mechanic to the current set stats of 6%. This means that you would have to farm a boss 16 times at max to acquire his specific legendary item. Would you consider this to be a reasonable amount of tries to get your rewards?
Loot Should be Rewarding
The thing is that I also want the game to feature awesome loot that is very rare. Loot that makes you feel all happy inside when obtaining it. You could argue that Gearbox could introduce the Pearlescent gear again. Making it “extremely” rare for the die-hard fans, however, I want the gear to be meaningful. The Pearlescent gear in Borderlands 2 was a bit lackluster. Yes, they were very rare but I also didn’t get excited when using them. The same goes for most of the seraph weapons as those felt more like an afterthought and changed up some stats on existing gear.
So on one side, you want legendary gear to be more accessible and on the other side, you want to have very rare items. do believe that Gearbox already tried to implement those things. Because they did include unique gear as some of the quest rewards. For me personally, I didn’t really like to “farm” those by repeating the all story missions all over again. And the save and quit trick to get all the elemental variations also felt lackluster. In Borderlands the Pre-Sequel you did see they tried to adjust things by listening to your feedback. One of those things was the grinder, which did offer a return on your time spent. However, sometimes that just felt a bit cheap too as the grinder became your source for Legendaries. The chance of getting Legendary weapons in vending machines as an ‘item of the day’ was bigger in BLTPS than in BL2. These machines did become your source for Legendary weapons as not every Legendary item assigned to a specific boss loot pool. So with these changes you can see that Gearbox is trying to make both ends of the stick happy, but what is the best middle ground?
Multiple Loot Items
Also, I’m not sure how this loot tracking mechanic would work if bosses have multiple legendary items assigned to them. On the 10th turn, you get a random legendary or should it track individual legendaries? If you already have item 1 you should get item 2 by default. However, then you get the question, what if the player already has all the items, do you keep going through the loop or do you then switch to a random legendary specific to that loot pool? The challenges that game developers face each day. You could help them out by letting them know your opinion in the comments below.