In a recent hotfix intended to bring balance to Borderlands 3‘s loot system, Gearbox Software has stirred controversy by reducing the amount of loot drops in Mayhem Mode, Borderlands 3‘s endgame mode that was originally meant to increase the quality and frequency of loot drops by increasing difficulty.
While some players thought the nerf to loot was necessary to preserve the game’s magic, many others have expressed strong disagreement. Personally, I think the nerf was a little much.
The thing about looter shooters like Borderlands 3 or Bioware’s latest IP Anthem is that these games are not just about getting loot. They’re about getting the loot that you need. By decreasing loot drops in general, you also decrease the chance of experimenting with various builds, weapon combinations, etc. This, ironically, is what really ruins the magic.
The one thing that keeps people playing games like Borderlands 3 is the constant need to adjust playstyles to newly-acquired gear. However, if players rarely acquire gear, they have even less of an opportunity to adjust playstyles, thereby making the game feel like a monotonous move toward an infinite void of nothingness.
I do agree that legendary gear was dropping fairly frequently for me when I first started Mayhem I. However, most of what I originally acquired I no longer use because I picked up other gear to take its place. This is what gave me the drive to keep pushing forward. After the loot nerf, that drive is quickly diminishing.
To sum it all up, if Gearbox wants to hold on to its players, it cannot afford to throttle gear drops as Bioware did with Anthem. We all know how that turned out. Again…these games are not just about acquiring loot. They are about acquiring the loot we need.
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