Since the release of the original Borderlands in 2009, and Borderlands 2 last year, one constant has encompassed the franchise like a Rakk circling a horde of bandits:
Loot. These games have TONS of loot.
So what’s so special about loot? I’ve been asking myself that question for a long time now, and with the Borderlands 2 Loot Hunt in full swing, I find myself asking again. After countless hours farming for Bee shields or multiple runs against raid-bosses like Pyro Pete and Terramorphus, the simplest explanation might just be the answer.
Hunting for loot is awesome.
LOW DROP RATES
A common complaint throughout the Borderlands community is that some of the best weapons/mods/shields have extremely low drop rates. One of the rarest weapons in the game, the Cobra, can only be dropped from a specific enemy type. Killing 100 Burners might net one or two sniper rifle drops, and of those one or two drops, there’s only a .88% chance that it will be a Cobra.
But whereas others might choose to complain about the low drops, I personally like them low. I still remember the first pearlescent weapon that fell from a wandering Goliath or that time I found an Infinity pistol in a red chest. These finds were made memorable because they happen so infrequently AND because they were good weapons.
In almost all games, an element of farming is present. Farming is the idea of repeatedly hunting/killed the same enemy or groups of enemies over and over until you net one of their rare prizes. When I was younger, we didn’t call it farming. We called it playing the game. In Final Fantasy IV for the SNES, my best friend and I spent hours killing Red Dragons at the end of the games in the hopes of finding Kain’s Dragoon Lance. We did this because we wanted to find the best the game had to offer.
In Borderlands, the best is always right around the corner. Even once you have a weapon or mod you’re happy with, another will usually come along. The best (if there is such as thing) is also interpretive. My level 72 Caustic SMG might not be the best weapon to another player. Such is the beauty of Borderlands. So many choices and play styles can come together.
THE LOOT HUNT
The Borderlands Loot Hunt is one of the most brilliant pieces of video game marketing that I’ve seen in a long time, if ever. Every day over the course of a month, a new target and challenges are released to anyone who has signed up for the hunt. Every time you kill the daily target, you’re entered into a drawing for $100,000 worth of prizes. After playing Borderlands 2 for so long, I’ll jump at a chance to make some money off my experience.
But the fun of hunting specific targets isn’t nearly as fun as the daily challenges. Every time you kill the daily target, a rare weapon will drop. The daily challenge requires you to take said weapon, and as a community, kill a mass amount of a specific enemy. If all the daily challenge requirements are completed to 100%, yet another rare piece of loot is made available.
The daily challenges breath new life into the game. I was starting to get a little bored mashing up Field Rats with my Unkempt Harold, but yesterday, I had to take my newly acquired Fire Veruc against the Field Rats instead. It was almost like playing a new game, plus, I found love for a weapon I’d found once before and discarded because I didn’t much care for the feel.
In the end, Borderlands is a getaway from the stresses of real life, but finding loot is the icing on the cake, making it all taste that much better.
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