Arms Race 2.0
With Borderlands 3, Gearbox Software added a new game mode to the franchise. While it’s based on the popular Battle Royale, the developer managed to give their own spin to the game mode. While Arms Race in Borderlands 3 is fun there are things to improve upon. Here are some of the things that I would like to see in Arms Race 2.0.
Table of contents
The map Stormblind Complex in Borderlands 3 looks a bit plain to me. This is probably due to the fact that everything is covered in snow. However, I would have loved to see more distinct zones. I would love to see areas having their own theme and enemies.
If Arms Race in Borderlands took place on a holodeck you can have different zones that look distinct just like each of the planets do. With Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, you are playing in a child’s fantasy board so anything goes. But each zone can offer different experiences and challenges.
If I think back at Battleborn’s final boss battle stage, you have these 5 floating areas. Each of these areas was themed to one of the planets and the center one was kinda neutral. Because each platform was distinct you easily knew where you were and could communicate this to your friends.
Arms Race strips you from all your gear and with each run, you start fresh. However, your Action Skill is a character and game-defining element in Borderlands. It’s part of your combat loop and with that element being stripped away, you lose a bit of the core game.
A lot of fans would have loved to keep their base action skill or have a generic action skill. I would have loved that as well but I would also like to see some more progression by unlocking additional skills. Have a minimalistic version of your skill trees that only contain 5 skills and each skill can only be upgraded once.
I wouldn’t mind if there was some kind of Battleborn Helix Skill Tree for each character class but I think that would be a bridge too far.
What if you could unlock in-game events in a special vending machine. Arms Race is all about making every weapon valuable again. Yeah, because you start with nothing, crappy guns are good again. But weapons have transformed into a currency in Arms Race. While you could sell your gear and buy new ones, it would also be cool if you could unlock different things.
- Additional Loot Drop
- Increase Loot Drop Rarity
- Increase Money Drops
- Slowdown the Murdercain
- Unlock Passive Buffs if Skills aren’t a thing
I would love to see things be shaken up in Arms Race. If you look at the Revenge of the Cartels event in Borderlands 3 you see Gearbox Software pulling several tricks to change up the gameplay in the Villa Ultra Violet Map. Different enemies each time you run the map and randomized item location that is needed to unlock the final boss room. Things like these could add a bit of variety to your play sessions. This forces you to do things differently rather than playing it safe and doing the same thing over and over again.
Currently in Arms Race, you have to fight your way through a wave of enemies before the door opens up to the loot room. It would be cool if there was a mini-boss instead. This named enemy could then also have an increased chance to drop one of the legendary items that are assigned to that loot room.
The Boss fight in Arms Race isn’t all that exciting and also becomes repetitive. Having multiple bosses would be beneficial. You could even mix it up by adding the different mini-bosses to the fight like what Gearbox Software did with the Revenge of the Cartels event.
Looking back at Battleborn, the ‘Oscar Mike Vs Battleschool’ DLC not only featured different chambers but also 3 different boss battles. While the bosses were all robot spiders, they all had different attacks and mechanics.
Tiny Tina’s erratic behavior could justify the different bosses.
The Arms Race map is a great place to insert hidden treasures and secrets. I would have loved to see an easter egg that only unlocks if you did trigger specific things during your playthrough.
Find hidden switches in all corners of the map and a hidden boss fight will play out at the end. Tease this boss behind a gate or something to trigger the curiosity of players. If the final switch is after the main boss, this additional boss stays optional and also gives a clue what folks need to look for. Please let there be an additional loot splosion/room afterward.
Find 20 hidden plush bunnies for an achievement (This task doesn’t have to be done in a single run).
With the whole Overworld in Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, I could speculate what Arms Race would look like if you added an Overworld map to the whole Arms Race Mode. However, I think we are going into 4D chess territory and making things too complicated. So I’m just gonna throw that idea out there and let you fantasize about that.