My grim view of the future of the borderlands series.
The following speculation is only my opinion and has absolutely no facts to stand on, only my observations based on content released and my (pessimistically skewed) understanding of comments, tweets, and responses by gearbox staff.
Borderlands 3 will most likely have a shorter and more direct main set of campaign missions.
This I feel is due in part to the fact that the playerbase is evolving into a more immediate reward driven mentality. The information collected by gearbox, Via Shift, will show that the campaign was to long for many players to complete two full playthroughs, thus not reaching the maximum level.
Online play will be even more emphasized.
Playing solo will be all but wiped away in the next instalment due to random loot generation being purposefully handicapped to promote online play, where the generator will then only match the numbers present in Borderlands 2 solo play. This makes the games already shallow loot table feel more special due to increased rarity of viable weapons.
"Raid" Bosses will have an even more pronounced inclusion.
For whatever reason, Gearbox seems to want Borderlands 2 to have a MMO mechanic included. I feel that this trend of time locked "Raid" bosses will have a larger emphasis in the future. "Raid" bosses will have a higher than standard drop rate for specific "orange" rarity weapons, in a similar fashion that certain bosses in Borderlands 2 have specifically increased drop rates for certain "orange" rarity weapons. It may even be the only way to obtain said rarity of weapons. No doubt concentration on these particular encounters will lead to other areas feeling unfinished or uninspired.
The NPC's will have less personality.
Seeing that the most highly praised parts of Borderlands 2(by players) are the "funny" things that NPC's say, especially MR.TORGUE, the cast of characters will undoubtedly have very little to say except for petty insults, innuendos, and toilet humor. Every character and NPC will be shallow and boring, as a result the "craziest" scientist on Pandora, Dr. Tannis, will be a paragon of reason and awareness.
Already in Borderlands 2 there are less possible gun combinations than the first game. I have not considered shields, grenades, class mods, or relics in this discussion, these pieces of gear have seen the largest improvement since the first Borderlands. Loot in future games will have decreased drop rates, and more specialized designated drop areas.
I expect that chests will never contain any weapon of a useful nature, only junk for selling, so that players will be required to play online and fight daily "Raid" boss battles which will still have abysmal drop rates. All rarities will be completely tiered. Color of rarity will not be tied to the parts that make up the gun but instead be a factor of the weapon itself. guns may be made of the same parts but the color assigned will push the "Rarer" colored stats higher. Even with this artificial bump in stats, "orange" tier weapons, and DLC rarities to come will will be head and shoulders above the best of "purple" weapons.
Duping, Glitching, and Over-Powered Gear.
Because of the online emphasis, and "Raid" boss emphasis, glitches such as KSS, infinite ammo, and instant revives will be priority to the gearbox Patching teams.
Over-Powered gear will also be rebalanced in an effort to make the player play the game "Our Way" or "The Way We Intended".
Worst of all "Fixes" in future installments will be the Dupe (duplication of gear) fix. Gear will be "NO DROP/NO TRADE" upon pickup. The gear will still be sell able but other players will not see it in the vending machines.
Numbers! Numbers! Numbers!
Despite enemies appearing to have a "white" rarity assault rifle that, in the players hands couldn't even strip the shields off a minor enemy with an entire magazine, enemies will instead deal damage proportional to their "badassery"(tier). Each tier of enemy type will deal an arbitrary percentage of damage despite character equipment or level. Following in the trend of modern game design, damage, health,and shields will have numbers much higher than Borderlands 2. This is a mind trick to fool the player into thinking they are stronger or better than in previous games. Meanwhile enemies will not be smarter or more tactical at higher levels, They will simple be better bullet sponges. Thus the big numbers are rendered pointless.
(this particular opinion comes from years of tabletop roleplaying, card games, and miniatures. numbers are generally lower to help keep calculations from slowing down the game, increases in level are represented by 1 point increases, which often translate to a 5% increase in probability of success or damage. As an example look at points awarded for actions in games such as battlefield 3 or COD whatever. None of the scores utilize the "ones" column, they are artificially inflated.)
TL:DR I'm an aging and pessimistic gamer who just doesn't get the new trends of game development, and should be ignored for being a troll(having opinions).
most of that seems plausible, sadly.
you forgot something tho..
they will probably start offering micro-packs to buy legendary weapons to make up for the abysmal drop rates. say, 0.99 for a random 2 legendarys? double the price for 4 and a possible random 5th, etc, etc...
Sad but imo true. I also hate the online emphasis of the late gaming industry. That and the lack of inovative game designs. All is mainstream today so that good niche products like Okami for example are considered too risky. The mentality of some gamers today saddens me also. I miss the old days and good games from the past sometimes.
I did forget about micro transactions (skins and heads are just the start).
As for the industry not being innovative enough...
I went back to school a few years ago for "game art and design", I was hoping for more focus on design, but that's a whole other mess. Anyway the kids I was there with have great new ideas for what "gaming" can be. If they ever graduated from that money pit they should be scooped up quickly. I on the other hand would very much like to see games with more spit and polish. But your absolutely right It's to financially risky.
I think, If your not going to do something new, you should do something better. The Aliens: colonial marines game coming out next week is made by gearbox. That game Looks like Crap. In all honesty the game play, animations, textures, voice acting(that I've heard), all look Bad. I'm still going out to pick up my pre-ordered collector's edition on Tuesday, mostly because i'm a huge Aliens fan...mostly.
Funny that you mention Colonial Marines. I just got it today. But have yet to play it.
I can give a review later.
*SPOILERS.....even though 99% of the ppl on this board have already beaten the game...*
Yeah the storyline seems pretty dumb now with all the other vaults instead of the one on pandora. I can still see them turning BL3 into a Metroid Prime 3 type of rpg/shooter. Where instead of one world, you would go to different worlds, possible 5-10 in the main storyline, and then 10-20 in DLCS (each dlc containing 5 or less worlds). Ofcourse this would be quite a large game as in many different types of species of creatures on each world, as well as the usual humans.
I'm not so sure. I'm hoping gearbox will see fans reaction and fix the things that they negatively changed.