A vast, hilarious and insightful post from a Lockdown Palace inmate opens with this bombshell:
Gearbox gets it. Well, sort of. I mean, it’s kinda hard to tell.
I predict that Borderlands 2 is going to be an awesome game… but that’s a pretty lame prediction, isn’t it? We already know they “get it” at least that much. Gearbox knows how to make an awesome game.
Afterwards, though, I predict that everyone will immediately go back to playing Borderlands 1. Now _that_ is a prediction for you.
Although he uses the convincing pseudonym of Chazmina to avoid being dogged about pending projects, Steve Yegge, Google employee extraordinaire, is the actual author. But don’t tell anyone. His blog is pretty much all over the place within in the realms of programming, web dev, life and gaming so what we’re looking at here isn’t just another press release. In his epic, sprawling Borderlands monograph, “The Borderlands Gun Collector’s Club”, he explores what makes Borderlands what it is and, ultimately, why people are still playing it years after its release.
He’s clearly spent a lot of time in Pandora, among other virtual worlds, and thus he can put Borderlands’s greatness into context by analyzing its parallels with Diablo, Rage, Mass Effect, Bioshock, Fallout, Bulletstorm, Skyrim and Metroid. After this far reaching appraisal, he goes on to explain the astonishing addictive power of a “Token Economy” and how Gearbox uses it, perhaps by accident (given the armory and the Crawemerax glitches, if they are glitches), to create a game with massive replay value, to the extent that it could possibly outlive Borderlands 2. He also explains how the bugs in the loot generation system (Draco anyone?) and all its “fiddly rules” create a situation that attracts the crowd of mavens who comprise the backbone of the Borderlands gaming community. And what about all the modding for “nonsensically” overpowered weapons?
Surprisingly, it doesn’t seem to hurt anything…You can also tell that the modders are no longer having fun, because their behavior becomes bizarre — the kind of shit you normally only see at the end of a Bethesda game, where once you’ve leveled up high enough you get completely bored and start jumping off cliffs naked to try to air-kill boss monsters with a single swing of a broomstick.
Steve also goes over his critiques of the game including number of equip slots, the money problem, PS3 networking issues and being unable to play as a midget (although Salvador might take care of that one). And in the end he notes that the Diablo III release date is upon us so none of this is likely to matter anymore. LOL. Steve may have been raised in Diablo, but I for one have never touched it, and whenever the choice is presented between swords, sorcery and guns, I know I’m likely to choose guns, and I don’t think I’m alone. Especially when Gearbox is involved. Don’t get me wrong- I respect Diablo, and I respect the swords and sorcery genre, but there’s just something about automatic weapons that whisks me to a sunny cloudworld of rainbows and unicorns. Ah Glorious Ogre…
All in all this was probably the most entertaining Borderlands read I’ve ever had the privilege of coming across, and although scrolling down the article barely seems to register on the sidebar, I couldn’t stop even though I knew for certain there wasn’t even half a chance I would get a maxxed out Pearlescent at the end of the page. Weird.