You too can help design Borderlands 2. Gearbox Software has invited PC gamers to weigh in on platform-specific options they’d like to see in the forthcoming Diablo-with-guns shooter.

On a recent forum post, UI Design Lead Jason Shields put out the call for suggestions of PC-specific features and “interface niceties” that would improve the game on PC. He doesn’t promise anything grand, but he does say Gearbox will “be putting a lot of effort into properly supporting our PC customers for Borderlands 2.”

The first Borderlands, while lauded for its solid shooting and addictive loot, had a troubled launch on PC. One character’s signature skill simply did not work. The GameSpy-powered networking was unreliable. It also lacked the graphics options to which PC gamers have become accustomed.

Gearbox already announced that Borderlands 2 would support Steamworks, and they are adding it to Borderlands so they can begin tracking player statistics to inform their development process. Borderlands 2 is still a year away, but Gearbox is already doing right by PC gamers by asking them what they missed in the original.

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  • Craig Getting - Thursday, September 8, 2011 - link

    Would you want a third-person mode, then, to see your customized character? Or would knowing that other people could see it be enough?
  • dusteater - Thursday, September 8, 2011 - link

    Ugh, this will run on Steamworks? No thanks. I bet it will not have a LAN option either. These publishers need to stop forcing this crap down our throats. Great games are ruined by running on Steamworks.
  • Aikouka - Thursday, September 8, 2011 - link

    I think the biggest problem that I had with Borderlands (~230 hours played so far) is that the DLC seemed to be more of an afterthought and the implementation was kind of poor. To be clear, that isn't to say some of the DLC content isn't fun, but rather it becomes a bit more of a hassle.

    1) No teleport points: The DLC zones only have a single teleport point, which is to the entrance. In DLC1, you have to walk everywhere. In DLC3, you get vehicles, but you literally spend 5+ minutes just driving to your destination. DLC4 is spaced a bit better, but you still have to walk from Tartarus Station to the entrance of whichever sub-zone you need to go to.

    I think the worst moment in Borderlands to me was in DLC3 when I cleared my way through one of the roads (took about 20+ minutes) and there comes ol' claptrap telling me that since I reached the end of the road, I now have quests available... back at the beginning. =\

    2) Additional levels mess up talents: In RPGs with talents, typically they are adjusted when levels are raised to avoid players simply having *almost everything.* In Borderlands, you had 46 talent points originally (1 always went to your action skill). They added 19 levels, which means 19 more points, and I believe DLC2 awards 2 extra points (1 per playthrough). This means that through DLCs and adjustments, you literally received about 50% more talent points without a single change to the actual talent trees. On my Siren, it came down to choosing which crappy talent that I had left that I wanted to waste points in.

    3) Class imbalance: I don't think that anyone will disagree that the Siren was completely overpowered in Borderlands. With a combination of reducing rate of fire (Mind Games) and shield regeneration (Girl Power -- I think), the Siren is nearly unstoppable in 1 vs. many situations. If you ever get into trouble... the Siren is also the only class with an actual escape mechanism (Phasewalk).

    4) Quest experience scaling: One of the problems in Borderlands is typically that you end up leveling too much. One reason why this occurs is that doing a low-level quest still grants the same experience. In other RPGs, doing easy quests will grant a reduced amount of experience and possibly reduced other rewards as well. This helps bring a player into parity if they start to out-level the content.

    5) Some guns are too good: In Borderlands, there are only a handful of guns that are truly worth keeping. They essentially outshine *anything* you will find. A few examples are the Maliwan Combustion Hellfire SMG, Maliwan Pestilent Defiler and the Jakobs Savage Unforgiven (w/ Masher mod). My Hunter was using a level 26 Defiler until around... level 68, because it simply could easily take down anything with how powerful the proc effect is. The Combustion Hellfire is very similar in that the proc is incredibly powerful. As for the Unforgiven... 7 bullets fired per pull of the trigger (1 bullet consumed) that all deal decent damage and have a +300% crit modifier. You do the math. ;)

    6) Lack of mouse scrolling: This has been mentioned by others, but for the most part, the GUI was fine. Not being able to scroll with the mouse was a bit of a bummer though, but not a deal-breaker. You can actually modify the game settings to allow scrolling in *some* menus, but not all.

    7) Collision detection bugs: One of the aspects of the game that gets a bit annoying is usually seen in DLC3, and it's where you'll be walking along a corridor of some sort and get stuck where the corridor meets a room. It seems there was almost a slight difference in height between the path and the room, which caused the game to not allow you to simply keep walking.

    8) Hotkeys don't always work: When it comes to the UI, probably one of the more annoying bugs in Borderlands is that the hotkeys don't always work properly. As an example, hitting 'L' to bring up your quest log sometimes brings up your map. Hitting 'TAB', which is stated to bring up an important menu pane (such as talent trees when you level) doesn't really do that.

    I've seen the Borderlands 2 in-game footage, and the game looks fine so far. The only complaint that I have is that I think they've tried to streamline the GUI a little *too much*. For example, the talent tree only shows one tree at a time. It seems this was done to allow players to see more of what's going on while they're in the menu, but how about simply making the talent pane smaller and showing all three trees at once? Most of the information is displayed in tool-tips anyway, so you *don't* need large icons.

    It's great to see the AI being addressed in Borderlands 2, and the footage showed that off pretty well. I'm actually curious to see if infantry type enemies will try and employ squad-based tactics (flanking, etc) against you.

    I also love the addition of a mini-map! Having to constantly consult your map was a huge pain... especially when it wouldn't open properly. :P
  • sticks435 - Thursday, September 8, 2011 - link

    Remember this gem from Giantbomb before Borderlands came out?

    Also remember how BL1 was supposed to have DX10 and all kinds of cool PC features and Randy said the PC version would be the best and then it all got pushed in favor of the console version? I wouldn't get my hopes up, as we've heard this before.
  • wyrmslair - Thursday, September 8, 2011 - link

    I admit it, I play FPS like a chicken sh!t and shoot everything from a distance. I also like to find high vantage points and climb/jump up stuff. I'm in the middle of just getting around to playing the first game (downloaded off D2D and everything seems to work just fine, thanks) and, though I like the tone of it, I'm really frustrated by all the places I can't go. I'm also frustrated by the fact that almost all the bosses are forced "up close and personal" fight styles. They go to the point of having a sniper character but then they make you fight up close and personal with him to kill the bosses? WTF? Oh, and the number of random "guy just spawns here when you show up there" is really annoying too since you can't snipe when there's no one spawned!
  • Aikouka - Thursday, September 8, 2011 - link

    Humanoid mobs *typically* don't randomly spawn in Borderlands. Sometimes you'll have a bandit or something similar come out of a hut/building, but it's not terribly common. However, Skaggs (dog-like creatures), Scythids (larvae-like creatures) and Spiderants (bug-ish creatures) do tend to spawn either out of the ground or out of the dens. Fortunately, it's pretty easy to tell where a Skagg will come from, but Spiderants tend to be annoying, because they just seem to keep coming! =P
  • wyrmslair - Thursday, September 8, 2011 - link

    Yeah, I know what you mean on the lower levels... haven't gotten that far yet as I'm just now working on the mine to get to Sledge. Either way, I reference games like HL2 or Far Cry as my point - having the spawn points farther out mean that you can actually act like a sniper. With Blands, I often find myself moving up to spawn the baddies and then backing up to my outlook point to start firing. It's actually quite annoying but I do enjoy the gameplay and crazy characters, so it evens out.

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