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Dev Update: Fine-tuning Mayhem 2.0

Posted: May 13 2020

An update on Mayhem Mode and quality-of-life improvements coming to Borderlands 3.

On April 30, we released an update to Mayhem Mode in Borderlands 3. Since then, we've received a ton of feedback about the changes made in that patch. We want to give the greater community an idea of how we will be addressing the community concerns we’ve seen thus far.

Our intention for Mayhem 2.0 was to provide a significant difficulty for those looking to create and test their most powerful Vault Hunter builds, while also providing everyone a more engaging, dynamic, and fun end game. Players experience Mayhem Levels as a slider so they can move up and down between difficulties. Also, by incorporating the combinations of modifiers, you can find the level you enjoy most. Did you get that perfect roll on a piece of gear? Then move the slider up and put your new gear to the test! Or, do you need a night off and just want to blow stuff up? Move the slider down and enjoy the Mayhem! That said, we built Mayhem 2.0 with longevity in mind. We don’t expect everyone to slip into Mayhem 10 immediately. As we introduce more content, levels, and gear into the game, more people might find themselves comfortable at that level over time.

Concerns over Mayhem difficulty, gear balancing, scaled damage sources, and build diversity are among the concerns we've heard most often. We’ll address these and more over two phases and roll them out with the next two patches. This is to ensure that the changes match our expectations in testing before you experience them.

There are always unforeseen challenges when working on patches and hotfixes, so we will keep players posted on more concrete release timings as these updates continue to progress. Here's a look at some of the things we’ll implement.

Phase 1: Stat Scaling and Gear

Phase 1 focuses on the feedback we received about Mayhem Level stat scaling and gear changes. We’ll make these changes at the same time to complement each other.

With the upcoming Guardian-themed Takedown, we will lower the health, armor, and shield stat bonuses that enemies receive in the higher levels of Mayhem. We’ll also adjust over- and underperforming gear, so that more gear is viable and balanced with the new lowered stat bonuses found in Mayhem Levels 7 and above. Certain underperforming Anointments will also see a buff with this change.

This phase will also introduce a way to see which Mayhem Level your weapons and gear came from. In the item card, you’ll see a line that reads “Mayhem Level” and the corresponding number for the Mayhem Level where it dropped. You’ll see this text in the same area where Anointment descriptions are.

Phase 2: Character Balancing and Build Diversity

Phase 2 focuses on feedback concerning character balance and build diversity. The goal of this phase is to give players the ability to create viable builds using their Vault Hunter's signature Action Skills that simply didn't deliver enough power in the past. We are building a foundation from which the community can create new builds centered around gear or Action Skills.

In this phase, we will scale non-weapon sources of damage with Mayhem Levels. This will scale Action Skill damage (including pets and Iron Bear), Melee/Slam/Slide Damage, and Vehicle Damage. Grenade Mods will now also drop as pieces of Mayhem Gear and have bonus damage for each level of Mayhem, just like Mayhem Weapons.

To give your Action Skills a bigger boost, we also will add Skill Damage to Class Mods in this phase. These Class Mods will introduce powerful bonuses to Action Skills that will help with new builds and achieve the goal of letting you choose how you want to play your characters. We know the community will find the builds that do the most damage, but we anticipate a greater amount of builds made and played for fun after we make these changes. Additionally, we will look at all Anointments to enable a more even playing field between them all.

There's also the concern that chests and vending machines in Mayhem Mode do not currently spawn gear for that level of Mayhem. This will be corrected in the second phase; as it currently stands, we don’t have the ability to change it right this moment. We are in the process of creating the data for this new functionality to work and will need the time to test it along with all the other changes.

Performance and Stability

We continue to prioritize game performance and stability. Our first step was identifying Mayhem Modifiers that players reported as causing the most issues, then removing them via hotfixes until a later date. Since then, the reports of stability issues have significantly decreased. The changes that we'll make in these two phases will contain various Mayhem Mode optimizations and restore previously disabled modifiers.

Quality-of-Life Changes

Unrelated to Mayhem Mode, we’re testing some quality-of-life enhancements. 

Fight for Your Life will receive the improvements we highlighted on a previous Borderlands Show. Coming in the next patch, a player’s movement will slow while they are being revived and the interactive radius around the downed player will increase to prevent them from accidentally running away from their saviors. We also will implement a particle system to indicate more clearly when a player is being revived, along with new functionality so that multiple players will be able to speed up the reviving process by all coming to a downed player’s aid.

Common feedback we receive is for named enemies to have their own drops. We are looking at making those changes and spreading out the loot pool in a future patch. This will coincide with an increase to the drop rate for dedicated loot.

We want to ensure players have a use for all the Eridium they’ve collected throughout the galaxy. The Veteran Rewards machine will receive a shipment of mission-specific rewards that players can redeem once a mission ends. In addition, you'll have good reason to pull out the Eridian Fabricator, dust it off, and start shooting out weapons with your gun gun. We're considering ways to increase the rate of Legendaries that the Eridian Fabricator can shoot out at the expense of more Eridium for each trigger pull.

The Future

Community feedback is vital to us. Thank you for letting us know what you like and where we can improve. We read and see all the messages! Consider all the above just another step in our continual commitment to you and the quality-of-life improvements we're bringing to Borderlands 3. We’re excited to share even more planned changes and glimpses of all the content still to come!

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