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Why Borderlands 2 Level Cap is Still 50

Gamesbeat sat down with Gearbox Software's Randy Pitchford to discuss Borderlands 2, and say they plan to publish the entire conversation next week. In the meantime, they have posted a portion of the interview where they explore their agenda of getting the level cap raised, as it remains at 50 after three DLC releases, as opposed to the original Borderlands, which had two level cap increases. Randy admits they didn't plan very well for the cap raises in the original role-playing shooter, calling them mistakes. He then frankly admits they didn't really plan for an increased cap in the sequel either, which is why they are not repeating their mistake, and are still approaching how to raise the cap, saying: "Itís a big challenge. Itís a big undertaking. Itís not going to just turn on. Itís a thing we have to work ourselves through." Here's more, including an indication that console limitations may play a part in this as well:

Thatís by design. Some of those things start to become game-breaking. This has actually created a huge problem for us. We designed the skills really well this time, but we did, for better or for worse, make a lot of the decisions with the knowledge that there will be no more skill points available to put into any trees after you reach level 50. We knew the impossible configurations. Some of the design exploits that. Some of the impossible configurations, if they were possible, would break the game. Sometimes very literally. ďOh, thatís gonna blow memory. Your Xbox will crash.Ē

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20. Re: Why Borderlands 2 Level Cap is Still 50 Feb 8, 2013, 12:05 Alamar
ItBurn wrote on Feb 8, 2013, 10:41:
It's a failure of design if when you reach the cap you have "all skills" and are just like every other character. You plan in advance a system that works. A good excuse may be lack of time/funding, but again, planning.

I agree, but I see 'all skills' and 'just like every other character' as different things...

But let me elaborate... If you can unlock all skills by/at max level, but can't use them all in your build, you're not just like every other character... Except... The Internet... Popular builds are posted, and a good percentage of players use them, so you could argue that unlocking skills (instead of following a skill path and having all skills out of that path locked, always) means that everyone ends up the same, so 'all skills' and 'just like...' are the same...

Except that even if skills are locked in when you choose them, people research builds earlier and all end up the same anyways, so it's kind of moot : )

I'm personally (hobby dev) using a design where you can unlock stuff as you level, and then choose your focus (let's say, offense vs defense vs movement), and that lets you 'slot' a given number of skills from each focus... Letting you swap your focus (at your base) in between 'adventures' let's you not be gimped (as badly)... But in the end, some people just want to be locked in, and want to have to make a new character. Others want to be locked in, but know beforehand (again making locking moot)... And hopefully many just want to build a new character based on a new item/skill found (For example, D2's low-mid level unique items).

Anyhow, I'm ranting, so I'm done ; )

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