If you've played Borderlands 2 to completion and then played it through to completion a second time on True Vault Hunter Mode, and you're still looking for more, you'll be happy to hear that the game is getting something of a new game plus plus mode.
It's called Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, and you'll have to be at level 50 to run through on what will essentially be a third playthrough. This official third playthrough means, of course, that the difficulty will be scaled much higher. Gearbox announced the news today at their PAX East panel.
The update comes out next week on April 2. Best news, though? It's a completely free update.
Top image the excellent work of mentalmars
At Gearbox's PAX East panel today, the developers of Borderlands 2 announced that players maxed out at level 50 will finally be able to get to leveling their characters again. As of April 2nd (next week!) you can download what is basically DLC for 11 extra levels (that's up to 61).
But it'll cost you $5 for the add-on, unless you've got that nifty season pass.
The add-on will also come with the return of the Pearlescent weapon type, which was a set of high-level weapon drops and an extremely rare find in Borderlands 1. We haven't seen this weapon type in the sequel yet, but if you download the add-on next week, you might see it pop up here and there if you're lucky to find one of those crafty little guns.
So this is what's happening right now before Gearbox's PAX East panel, where our own Tina Amini is standing by to report any and all further shenanigans live as they happen.
Before Gearbox Software came up the look and personalities of Borderlands characters Roland, Mordecai, and Lilith, they devised the basic archetype of each class, with each originally represented in art as a blockhead, a conehead and a spherehead.
Borderlands franchise director Matt Armstrong and lead character designer Jonathan Hemingway were at SXSW offering a behind the scenes look at the early stages of how the in-game team came together. The designers knew they wanted a Doom-style shooter guy, a stealthy Metal Gear-type expert, and a James Bond-style gadget killer. The rough concept art for each class was represented by a sketch that had a 3D shape as a head. After some thought, they realized a play-style was missing, and Brick was eventually added as a tank-type class.
The duo also detailed the original gimmicky UI interface for the skill trees, including Brick's tree involving a series of beakers and IV bags meant to reflect his drug-induced roid-rage abilities. Those were eventually scraped, however, in favor of the three-skill-tree system.
To see more of Borderlands' design process, see the slides over at Joystiq
At South By Southwest in Austin, Gearbox debuted a teaser trailer that hints at the addition of a new character to Borderlands 2. The character isn't fully shown, but looks to be some sort of melee-focused badass.
The video above comes via Polygon, who are on the ground at SXSW.
"A new vault hunter is coming," the teaser video promises. What do you think? Think it'll be a return of Brick-style brawling? I'd be in, but then again, I've barely even managed to mess around with the last downloadable character, the Mechromancer.
He stacks them, apparently. This image set, uploaded to imgur by bitterguy a week ago, was tweeted at Gearbox's Randy Pitchford this morning. The imgur description: "What to do with 180 leftover boxes in an office building with a high roof."
An ambitious recycling program, to be sure. It kinda reminds me of the Sears Tower:
When making a mobile spin-off of a major console/PC game, one neat thing to include would be some equivalent of the most popular features of the franchise proper. There were no gun loot drops in Borderlands Legends for the iPhone and iPad. Now there are.
Part strategy, part shooter and part action RPG, Borderlands Legends' big update adds the ability to loot random weapons from fallen foes instead of having to purchase them from a vendor between missions. The rest of the updates are just icing on the cake, and the $.99 sale price that's kicked in to celebrate the update is a bunch of lovely ripe strawberries sliced in half and arranged in an appealing pattern on top.
Technically it's been $.99 on sale before, but you've never gotten quite this much for your money.
Borderlands Legends — $.99 [iTunes]
This weekend, we reported that some players took umbrage with Tiny Tina, a character from Borderlands 2 and how she used "black lingo." Gearbox was receptive to these players, listening to their concerns and even offering to change the character in future updates should they be convinced that Tina's dialogue was racist.
Mike Sacco, a creative developer with the World of Warcraft trading card game, was one of the players involved in the dispute. Today, he tweeted that he no longer works at Cryptozoic, where he was previously a contractor.
The reasons why are not clear.
I reached out to Sacco for comment, but he said he cannot legally say anything on the matter. I've also contacted Cryptozoic, and will update this story if I hear back from them.
UPDATE: Cryptozoic responds as follows:
To clarify, Mike Sacco was never an employee of Cryptozoic Entertainment. He was a contractor.
We asked him not represent himself as an employee of Cryptozoic. After the message was delivered, Mike quit. We like Mike and we are as surprised by his reaction as you are.
UPDATE 2: Mike's original tweet has been deleted, though you can still see what he said. He offers the following reason for the deletion:
Image Credit: The Crimson Hammer
Today, an argument broke out on Twitter between Anthony Burch, lead writer on Borderlands 2, and a few players who think that Tiny Tina is a racist character.
The issue, as some folks saw it, was that Tiny Tina appropriated African American lingo. See above video, which showcases Tiny Tina dialogue, if you want reference.
The argument on Twitter, which ends with Burch saying he'll consider changing her, is as follows—note that this is a mix of developers, game journalists, and random fans:
Whether or not a change in Tina's character will actually occur is not clear, though I suspect many fans would be upset if she was altered: she is frequently cited as a favorite character.
UPDATE: Some are even defending Tina, as not all players believe she is racist:
Though this is but a small sampling of the response Burch is getting, which you can view here.
I reached out to Burch and have yet to hear back.