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A Modest Proposal
April 24, 2011 9:36 AM   Subscribe

Gearbox Software helps a fan with a modest proposal. (with some help from Borderlands' Claptrap and Anthony from "Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin'?"
posted by empath (29 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ah, that's awesome. I need to play more borderlands.
posted by yeoz at 9:42 AM on April 24, 2011


(that video is better than anything in the actual game, tbh).
posted by empath at 9:42 AM on April 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh, and here is the actual proposal.
posted by empath at 9:44 AM on April 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm guessing they play Borderlands on a console because the answer wouldn't have been so positive otherwise.

Snark aside, this was really cute.
posted by Memo at 9:48 AM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I absolutely loved the style of Borderlands so much. This falls right in with that. I played many hours of the game I just couldn't stay hooked. That being said this was such an awesome way to propose.
posted by Phantomx at 9:49 AM on April 24, 2011


Awww. Geektastic. NERDS IN WUV!
posted by rmd1023 at 10:11 AM on April 24, 2011


My boyfriend actually sent me the original proposal video yesterday. It was great, and very cute. Definitely a memorable way to propose. I'd love something like this, or somehow gaming-related.
posted by cmgonzalez at 10:14 AM on April 24, 2011


I was expecting a videogame about eating babies.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 10:18 AM on April 24, 2011 [14 favorites]


Now I feel as though I missed out by not making herpes jokes when I proposed.
posted by mindsound at 10:25 AM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's really nice of the team to go through all the effort to animate that, and I love HAWP.

Although, and I don't mean to insult the team, I find Claptrap kind of annoying, and my only experience I've had with the game is trailers.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:28 AM on April 24, 2011


Claptraps took a pretty mediocre game and made it much more a chore to play through. That video certainly didn't change my mind at all. Good job on that guy for getting engaged, though.
posted by codacorolla at 10:29 AM on April 24, 2011


Borderlands was loot/build porn, people. If you don't like loot/build porn, you probably didn't like the game. We get it.
posted by cmoj at 11:32 AM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


"He wants to take it to the next level."
"You mean anal?"

At which point I did my best to keep this screen from getting covered in tomato soup.
posted by dw at 11:45 AM on April 24, 2011


Even if you hated Borderlands, Ben and Tora clearly didn't. And that makes this a pretty awesome thing to do.
posted by kafziel at 12:30 PM on April 24, 2011


Borderlands was loot/build porn, people. If you don't like loot/build porn, you probably didn't like the game. We get it.

I've played Diablo, Diablo II, Diablo II:ES, and Torchlight more times than I can count. Borderlands was mostly an exercise in tedium in comparison. I think it was mostly the consolized design decisions that they went with, the fact that the whole game seem predicated on selling DLC, and the goddamn claptraps with 4 lines of voice-acting that made it such a chore. Oh yeah, the backtracking. And the boring character builds. And the loot. And the art style. The enemies too. And the fetch quests.
posted by codacorolla at 1:59 PM on April 24, 2011


[Discussing the game itself is a reasonable tangent but can we please do it with a minimum of venom? ]
posted by restless_nomad at 2:14 PM on April 24, 2011


The biggest problem with Borderlands was the terrible itemization, which didn't provide adequate incentives. I won't say it was as bad as Hellgate: London in this respect, but their biggest problems were the same: they put the cart before the horse and focused on graphics and theme while neglecting the core play experience. Balance was crappy enough that things were largely cookiecutter and mindnumbingly boring. If they had spent time tweaking numbers, it would have been awesome, but it ended up mediocre. Diablo, on the other hand, lives forever because the fundamental game systems are so robust.

The lesson is: if you make a "loot/build porn" game make sure you have good loot and good builds. If you don't, you just made bad porn.
posted by mek at 3:12 PM on April 24, 2011


I'll go further and say that Borderlands' poor result is because of initial design decisions: in that they wanted to make a First Person Shooter, they immediately determined that all of the "classes" should be about shooting, and so their mechanics all had to revolve around that. This severely constrained their ability to devise unique and exciting skills, resulting in an overreliance on passives which modified your gunfire. This, in turn, led to players reaching the obvious conclusion - I want to get whatever shoots hardest. Instead of developing a vision for a character and selecting tools to fit that purpose, the tool was dictated at the outset - gun. Take the gun that shoots hardest. The end.

Take Diablo 2 and the difference couldn't be starker - there's literally hundreds of viable ways of reducing your enemies to pulp, and thousands of possible parties, and randomly generated dungeons, the result is that no two playthroughs are ever the same. Borderlands offers nothing that comes close to that, which becomes painfully evident shortly after beginning playthrough two.
posted by mek at 3:26 PM on April 24, 2011


I really liked the aesthetics of Borderlands, which I guess is what's being leveraged here, since there's no gameplay (apart from the beautiful gameplay of married life, that is). It's not necessarily how I'd propose (asking the studio behind Duke Nukem Forever feels like a hostage to fortune), but it's a sweet gesture on all sides, right?
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:46 PM on April 24, 2011


Well, yay on Gearbox then. This sort of thing actually makes me think that some companies think of their fans as, well, fans instead of money sponges to squeeze.

(And I enjoyed Borderlands too.)
posted by Samizdata at 5:45 PM on April 24, 2011


I hate to be cynical, but Gearbox is getting their money's worth on however much they spent to make that short.
posted by codacorolla at 5:48 PM on April 24, 2011


Borderlands was loot/build porn, people. If you don't like loot/build porn, you probably didn't like the game. We get it.

No, it was an FPS with some of that layered on top. Much better thought of as an FPS-plus instead of a full RPG.

hey immediately determined that all of the "classes" should be about shooting, and so their mechanics all had to revolve around that. This severely constrained their ability to devise unique and exciting skills, resulting in an overreliance on passives which modified your gunfire.

This hasn't been my experience at all. I spent the longest time using a Mordecai (the guy with the bat-bird thing) that rarely used guns at all. Likewise, it's pretty easy to set up a Brick that primarily just hits things with his fists.

This, in turn, led to players reaching the obvious conclusion - I want to get whatever shoots hardest.

That hasn't been true for me either. For one thing, the effectiveness of the various kinds of guns depends on the enemy. For another, there are lots of other things -- some guns are better in ways that don't show up in the stats you see (especially for sniper rifles), and there are lots of things that matter besides hitting hard. Especially when you're looking at guns that bleed acid or make fire or whatnot.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:56 PM on April 24, 2011


I'm not accusing Borderlands of being bad, it's just a potentially great game that strived for mediocrity. Mordecai's bird skill is actually an excellent example of a dumb cookie cutter build, as speccing completely for it turns it into a deathtouch ability on a short cooldown. Kite bird kite bird kite bird loot. Brick's fists are fun but not viable at endgame, at least they weren't when I stopped playing (several DLCs I didn't care to pay for ago).

It's a good weekend rental but it just doesn't stand up under scrutiny.
posted by mek at 6:05 PM on April 24, 2011


When I played brick, I pretty much only punched with him. With Lillith, I did the cheesy inferno/firefly build, though...

I probably dropped about 40 hours into the game, total. Maybe more. Played all the way through it twice by myself and once in coop, plus all the DLC.
posted by empath at 6:07 PM on April 24, 2011


HOORAY FOR ADORABLE PROPOSALS. Seriously, people.
posted by honeydew at 6:12 PM on April 24, 2011


Reading peoples opinions about Borderlands, I realized something. I like these kinds of flawed games where not every skill lines up neatly with making a particular build and you can play through several times, seeing what kind of wacky build you can make work. For example, my favorite and most effective build was (it's been a while) with the girl who could turn invisible, souping up her power and loading up on skills that give you fire rate boosts and such in general and upon kills. These would stack and I could dive into a mob with an SMG, go invisible and come back out, killing one or two wak guys with the resulting blast and then going nuts with melee and the now obscenely fast SMG. It didn't feel like a build that was handed to you as an option and if you were good with it it was incredibly effective.

The first Dragon Age was like this too in some ways.
posted by cmoj at 6:15 PM on April 24, 2011


I really, really enjoyed Borderlands up until I started on the DLC. Needing to get in a truck and drive, literally for up to twenty minutes, just to get to where I left off last time (since I didn't feel like trying to play through the whole game in one sitting) just killed it for me. It was, up until the DLC, pretty decent fun, at least in the general story/feel of the game, and the sense of humor. The video sounds pretty good from what I've read, and I'll make sure to check it out when I get home. Thanks for the post.
posted by Ghidorah at 12:57 AM on April 25, 2011


You couldn't use the zone transporter?
posted by uri at 1:41 AM on April 25, 2011


It seemed in the Armory that there's only the one zone transporter that takes you into the DLC. I checked online repeatedly, but it seems like the setup of the game, by design or by design flaw, who knows, only allowed them to put the zone transporter at the start of the DLC, but not any others inside each DLC. What had been an enjoyable, if occasionally tedious grind quickly lost the enjoyable, and moved into full-time grind, especially once I got to the General, then essentially ran out of bullets trying to kill him. Every kind of ammo. Three times.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:16 AM on April 25, 2011


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