why does Borderlands 2 punish solo players?

Something Amyss

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crazygameguy4ever said:
I'm playing as Maya.. I wanted to try the unique Siren character.. maybe she's not good to play as if your going solo?
I soloed up to Handsome Jack's City with Maya. Then I got bored and never beat the game solo or with friends. I don't think she's necessarily a BAD character for solo, but if I had it to do over, I probably would have does Axton solo and Maya with friends or something.

The larger problem is this game is horribly balanced for SP. With a team, you can mostly brute force at leas the first playthrough. With SP, you need the right element to go after a given boss, so you'd better hope you get a good one in the right category. That makes the difference between a cake walk and the cake being a lie.
 

FoolKiller

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crazygameguy4ever said:
I only recently got Borderlands 2 and while it is fun, it's also one of the most frustrating, and difficult games I've ever played. The main problem seems to be that the game punishes you for not playing with a teammate(s).. I get that it wants you to play as team with others.. but some of us like playing games solo and I don't under stand why the game forces you too play with others to get through the game. At the very least, Gearbox should have included difficulty options for solo players so that you can get through the game on your own with out dying a million times.. I've only level up my character to level 7 and I've already died around 6 or 7 times.. mostly on the bosses.. when facing Boom and Bewm specifically I had to keep retreating and getting health from the vending machine over and over again to keep from dying any more..

What does everyone else think about the difficulty of the game?
1. All the Borderlands games were designed with teamwork in mind.
2. For Borderlands 2, the following is true:
Axton is the easiest to solo (out of the original four) as his turrets can both protect and act as your teammnate
Salvador and Maya are excellent in the late game because they become overpowered, but can be problematic early on
Zero is good early on but is severely undermatched late game. His strengths lie in keeping his distance and later on that's not an option soloing.
The two DLC characters are both well-suited for Borderlands soloing.
3. They did improve some previous issues. Now you can actually move a bit while downed. This was done to aid soloists.
4. You're going to end up needing a team if you want to beat the end game raid boss. There was a build that allowed you to solo it but Gearbox nerfed it as they didn't like people beating it so easily (we're talking solo victory in under 10 seconds).
5. The leveling system of the Borderlands universe is shitty to begin with.
 

Jamash

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Jun 25, 2008
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The game doesn't punish solo players, but at just level 7 you're not going to have a lot of skill points to make yourself an unstoppable killing machine, and because the difficulty scales with the number of players, even if you played with 3 other level 7 players, you'd all still die at least 7 times.

I started playing with Krieg and I died quite a few times in the low levels, when I had barely any skills, just a pittance of health and low level equipment, but once I advanced through the game and had more skills to invest, I barely ever died except when I press the wrong button and threw a Contraband Sky Rocket grenade at my feet in the indoor shooting range at Sanctuary.

Just perceiver and unlock more skills to give yourself more health, better shields, health recovery or allow you to kill them before they kill you.

It's no that the game is more punishing to solo players, it's just that with the skill progression and character development, low level players with low health, no skills and poor equipment are more vulnerable to the dangers of the game, so when you are a level 7 character who is barely better than a normal human, it's best to act like a normal human and use cover, avoid overwhelming firefights, approach outnumbered battles sensibly, pick off targets one by one from a distance and retreat if necessary to heal.

At level 7, I was a vulnerable grunt who couldn't do much more than take 1% more damage before dying and explode when I died, but now I laugh in the face of danger, actively seek out to get hit and when my health gets low, I just transform into an unstoppable hulking mass of destruction, regain all my health and kill everything in sight... and on the off chance I do get downed, I don't die, but instead just run at enemies throwing dynamite at them so get second winds, or detonate myself in a massive explosion that is sure to kill anything around me and get a second wind... all skills and abilities that I didn't even have a semblance of at level 7.
 

Warhawg01

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FoolKiller said:
1. All the Borderlands games were designed with teamwork in mind.
2. For Borderlands 2, the following is true:
Axton is the easiest to solo (out of the original four) as his turrets can both protect and act as your teammnate
Salvador and Maya are excellent in the late game because they become overpowered, but can be problematic early on
Zero is good early on but is severely undermatched late game. His strengths lie in keeping his distance and later on that's not an option soloing.
Don't confuse opinion or bad conventional wisdom for actual truth. Zero is not overmatched in UVHM, with some decent gear. The Pimpernel sniper rifle is the most damaging gun in the game if you know how to use it, (more effective at range than the Harold) and is a blue quest reward. Keeping your distance is absolutely still a valid option solo. I've soloed the entire game + all DLC as Zero in UVHM. It can be done. And has been, by many. Sniper Zero, Shotgun Zero, Pistol Zero, Melee Zero -- you name it.
 

Netrigan

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There's a couple of factors in it.

1) Your Build: There are certain builds which are complete ass for solo play. Such as, Maya is the Nurse Character and you want to avoid her health skills as much as possible in favor of her damage skills. She's actually dead easy if you pick the right skills.

2) Your Gear: I'm currently playing the Pre-Sequel and was finding it frustrating... until I got hold of one hell of a gun and the game got super-fun again. Sadly, this is largely down to luck.

Non-Luck Solution: If you've got an extra controller and aren't afraid to do a bit of grinding. Use the money-cloning trick to get a nice stock-pile of cash, then spend some serious time working the slot machines in Sanctuary to get good guns. It's what I did in Pre-Sequel and it netted me a great laser Beam Gun, which was all the difference in the world.
 

RJ 17

The Sound of Silence
Nov 27, 2011
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Personally I can't think of a more mind-numbingly boring experience than soloing a Borderlands game. But if you're going to do it anyways, don't play the Siren. You can solo with her, but she's not meant for soloing. Most of her abilities (from what I recall) function more in a supportive role, improving your team's over-all performance.

Wanna solo the game? Play the mechromancer.

As for why the game "punishes" solo players it's because it wasn't meant to be played single-player. Oh sure, you can play it single player...but you can also play CoD single player. What do these games have in common other than being shooters? They both "allow" single player but are clearly designed with a multiplayer focus.

My suggestion: get some friends to play with you or don't bother wasting your time with the game. It's quite literally nothing but a grind-fest with a good sense of humor. :p
 

SonOfVoorhees

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Not that difficult if you take your time. I completed it with the sniper guy. Dont rush and if you lose at something then do something else as you need to level up more if your playing it solo. Though that Boom and Bewm boss were tough.
 

Netrigan

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RJ 17 said:
Personally I can't think of a more mind-numbingly boring experience than soloing a Borderlands game. But if you're going to do it anyways, don't play the Siren. You can solo with her, but she's not meant for soloing. Most of her abilities (from what I recall) function more in a supportive role, improving your team's over-all performance.
I did and had a blast. One of her skill trees is a damage tree, so you stun lock a baddie, he rises up in the air taking all sorts of elemental damage, which bleeds on every around him. I didn't realize what a pain certain enemies were until I played as another character, since those guys were up in the air taking damage the second I saw them.

There's a few rough patches, but it was down to expired gear not my totally kick-ass powers.
 

bliebblob

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Sep 9, 2009
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Aye I know exactly what you're talking about. People can boast all they like about being able to solo this and that, but that doesn't make it any less frustrating to be sitting there in fight for your life mode and there isn't a mob in sight. I did manage to finish both the main story and tiny tina's DLC solo as maya though, despite how frustrating it often got. My advice? Always carry a rocket launcher, and the second you go into fight for your life mode you whip it out. One, sometimes two rockets usually do the job. Don't even bother with anything else and don't use it at any other time because they almost always have only a few shots and reload incredibly slow. Oh and make sure to reload it whenever you have a chance because you do not want to have to do that when you're already down. As for bosses that don't spawn mobs for you to get second winds off of... Yeah I got nothing.
 

asdfen

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Oct 27, 2011
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I find borderlands 2 and the pre sequel are frustrating to play solo
In BL2 its impossible to find any good loot and on playthroughs where you cannot outlevel the content the game requires close to best in slot items that are impossible to obtain solo without cheating. Where you can outlevel content it usually requires plenty of grinding.
Personally I solve all of the above with a save editor but the amount of enemies which come very close to one shotting regardless of health / shields still pisses me off. Mind you I do not play this game using cover. If you are able to strike a good balance between too easy and to hard with proper amount of cheating the game becomes enjoyable. All of the above are console concerns.

When I play BL2 on pc its much better as my aim with mouse keyboard so much better that it compensates for lack of loot somewhat but still the game is way more enjoyable after save editor.

Borderlands original I do not have the same problems and find it much more enjoayble.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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I played the first game solo and on co-op... I got the impression that difficulty was scaled. I don't know if this is the case with BL2.
 

Rayce Archer

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Your first play-through of BL2 should be numbingly easy. If you're hitting a wall, go back and do sidequests for a few levels.
 

Shamanic Rhythm

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Because Gearbox fairly obviously didn't balance it around solo play. Everything that frustrates you in single player disappears with multiplayer.

Bullet-sponge enemies? 2-4X the damage output kicks that in the head, especially if someone has slag weapons.
Boss with a bullshit attack? Multiple people can flank him while someone else kites.
Enemy type vulnerable to a specific elemental effect? More chance of someone in the party having that damage type. Also better drops for elemental weapons.
Shitty drops? More players, better loot.
Enemies who drop you and then run and hide while you're in FFYL? Having someone who can get you up helps.

It's just a huge oversight and poor design. To progress in solo, you need to carry around 1 of each elemental damage type (as well as a regular version of that weapon type, because the DPS on elemental weapons that drop in solo blows). You also need to look up whatever variety of cheesy strategy is required for the particularly obnoxious bosses like Captain Flynt, Mad Mike etc.

Also, the Gunzerker is a great antidote to the frustrations of solo play.
 

PainInTheAssInternet

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Dec 30, 2011
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I'd say because it's designed primarily to be a party-based game. Unfortunately I find these kinds of games profoundly boring unless my teammates are in the same room as me in real life.

In the case of Borderlands, I did find it more difficult to tackle on my own for that reason and because the AI had no one else to shoot at. Also, in Fight For Your Life, it was pretty common to be downed by an enemy that would then run away.

I also found the rocket launchers to be perplexingly useless in BL1. I had more success with lower-level elemental pistols than mid-level launchers.

Edit: I was Roland (soldier).

Edit 2: Just went back and played BL1. I have two primary criticisms. The first is they really overdid it on enemy body counts. The second is related to the first as the body count is so high I find myself running out of ammo, even with the sheer abundance of it.
 

DoPo

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Jan 30, 2012
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crazygameguy4ever said:
it's also one of the most frustrating, and difficult games I've ever played
It is?

crazygameguy4ever said:
The main problem seems to be that the game punishes you for not playing with a teammate(s)..
It does?

crazygameguy4ever said:
the game forces you too play with others to get through the game
Agian, it does?

crazygameguy4ever said:
At the very least, Gearbox should have included difficulty options for solo players so that you can get through the game on your own with out dying a million times..
Umm, I think I did that. It's the default option. Also the only one.

crazygameguy4ever said:
I've only level up my character to level 7 and I've already died around 6 or 7 times..
WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!

crazygameguy4ever said:
mostly on the bosses.. when facing Boom and Bewm specifically
You mean the ones that were total pushovers?

crazygameguy4ever said:
I had to keep retreating and getting health from the vending machine over and over again to keep from dying any more..
Why?

crazygameguy4ever said:
What does everyone else think about the difficulty of the game?
It's...OK? It wasn't terribly difficult, more like...it had some long levels, I guess and you can't just teleport back to town as with Diablo so trekking could become a bit tedious. But it's not exactly hard. Well, perhaps as long as you are not outlevelled or you don't start some of the DLC (Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt, for example is way above in difficulty than any of the other areas of similar level requirements).

The final boss, in fact, was probably the easiest fight in the whole game. Boom and Bewm required a slight amount of strategy - kill the guy at the cannon immediately (snipers work wonderfully), then engage them one by one and that's it. Captain Flynt (he's a bit after Boom and Bewm) could actually be one of the hardest fights purely on the basis that you barely have any equipment at that moment, but he could also die surprisingly easy, depending on how you try to kill him.

At any rate, the game is not really hard but you do need to somewhat keep up with the pace in terms of levels and equipment. As with pretty much any other ARPG style game which Borderlands is clearly inspired by. If you have difficulty, try reexamining your equipment and tactics.

EDIT:
crazygameguy4ever said:
I'm playing as Maya.. I wanted to try the unique Siren character.. maybe she's not good to play as if your going solo?
I played Maya. The game was a breeze. Specialised in mainly in snipers, slightly in SMGs and a lot of DOT.
 

Netrigan

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Captain Flynt is my one big complaint in the early part of the game... although if memory serves there's an easy exploit after you die the first time. Instead of dropping down onto the ship, pull out a sniper rifle and take pot-shots at him. You can easily avoid any attack up there and have access to all the ammo and health you can buy :)

Once you get to Sanctuary, you have the slot machines to help you out. Even without exploits, you can usually get some sweet gear to keep you current. Bit of a pain when they take Sanctuary away from you for a while. Basically spend all your cash on the slot machines. Gets you Eridium to upgrade your character and you will net you some decent Green gear... maybe a couple of Blues and Purples.
 

michael87cn

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its actually a really bad game designed around getting you addicted. addicted players often confuse satisfying their endorphin fix with having fun. I guess because it can be fun to experience endorphin release.... but... its not done in the right way, imo. I don't have a problem with addictive elements, but I don't think they should carry a game on their own.
 

Netrigan

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michael87cn said:
its actually a really bad game designed around getting you addicted. addicted players often confuse satisfying their endorphin fix with having fun. I guess because it can be fun to experience endorphin release.... but... its not done in the right way, imo. I don't have a problem with addictive elements, but I don't think they should carry a game on their own.
I've never quite gotten into that aspect of it and just flat-out love Borderlands 2.

I just think it's a fun pin-your-ears-back-and-scrap kind of game. But you do have to kind of take time out and grind on the slot machines every so often, so I put some Sons of Anarchy reruns on the Kindle Fire and grind, grind, grind.