Yesterday, I was excited to take on Borderlands 3’s new Takedown at the Guardian Breach event, a new raid-like activity in the game. Takedowns are now balanced for solo play, I had spent the last month farming Mayhem 10 for perfect drops on all my characters, I was ready to go.
And yet, I wasn’t.
In the first zone, I knew something was wrong. Despite changes in yesterday’s patch to reduce enemy health in Mayhem 10, even in the very first mob, these creatures were absolute tanks. My Zane 200% damage Monarch build that could burn any Mayhem 10 boss used all its ammo to kill about five enemies in the first area.
Something was wrong. So wrong that I actually emailed Gearbox about it. First, they asked me if True Takedown mode was accidentally on, which scales the difficulty to four players instead of however many are actually there (in my case, solo). It wasn’t. And past that, this is their official explanation for now:
“Also worth noting, this content is meant to be harder than other content in the game. At this point people should not be expecting to breeze though it like they can on Maliwan Takedown, especially on Mayhem 10. QA ran balance sweeps and while they found the content hard, they were still able to beat it.”
If this is intentional, it’s terrible. I literally don’t have a prayer of completing this content. Past the enemy health issue, which is the most pressing, this was absolutely not designed for solo players with multiple crystals that need to be charged in other zones where failing to do so results in instant death. And Borderlands 3’s matchmaking system is abysmal. Yesterday after launch I tried to find a group on both PS4 and PC for the takedown. But you can only matchmake for “takedowns” generally, not specific ones, so 80% of the time I was getting thrown into the old Maliwan one. And the rest of the time I never found a full group of four.
Not that it would matter. I saw professional Borderlands YouTubers struggling with a full squad yesterday. I did see one person beat it solo on Mayhem 10, Joltz, but it took him a full hour and this is the kind of guy that doesn’t just have a perfect roll on a gun, but one in each type of element. And he was using an infinite health infinite ammo Amara build which is the only thing that seems like it has a prayer. And at the end of his run he got…no new legendary drops from the boss.
The problem is that there are no real solutions for players here. In another game like Destiny, a raid will launch and be incredibly hard. But players can power up, get new gear, and it gets easier. Borderlands has not raised any of its caps, however. I cannot level past 57 or farm better Mayhem 10 guns than the ones I just got in the last month. I have no way forward.
It also makes no sense that if this level of difficulty was intentional, it manifests in crazy amounts of enemy health. Gearbox literally just had a patch that same day to reduce Mayhem 10 enemy health because players hated it so much, and this takedown launches making enemies ten times tankier than the old levels? That defies all logic.
The rest of the game, including the old takedown, is fine. The new levels seem to be working well. But the only new content is this takedown and the only thing I was interested in playing. But it was not made for solo play, matchmaking is terrible, and it seems unplayable for 98% of the playerbase right now due to how tanky enemies are. Major changes need to be made or this will be the worst content drop I’ve seen from the game, despite the raid itself being mechanically and visually interesting. Until that happens, I’ll be playing other games.