My trip to Gearbox to play Borderlands.


I would of wrote this a month ago but I had to sign some papers saying I wouldn't talk till today. So ya, Im writing this at midnight so I could write this asap. Also im putting this in General discussion because it covers more than just the game. 

Last month I was one of the lucky two to win the contest held here on the big Bomb. It was really the first only contest I had won. Good thing I live 30 minutes away from Gearbox's studio.  

Look were im at!

I arrived about 25 minutes early at the studio located at the Bank of America building in Plano, Texas. Walking in I noticed another man standing with a cameria and was messing with his phone. I asked him if he was there for the play session and he was. We started talking about the game and what other games we had been playing recently. Turns out he was from Shacknews.con and was one of 8 people, including myself, that had one contests from different sites. One being Giantbomb, Destructiod, Shacknews, and the Gearbox forums.

 
At around 4 Steve from Gearbox came down and showed us to the room were we would be playing. It full of three things I love most: Pizza, Soda, and video games. So just walking in I was happy. The other

Dudes fixing to play Borderlands.

 

 contest winners had already arrived and were getting ready to play. All of them seemed really excited about the game and were asking

 questions even before we started playing. The guy next to me though, a contest winner from Destructiod, was sooo annoying. He kept saying stupid commentative things about the game every 5 sec. Man that guy was annoying.

Anyways, on to the game. To start out bluntly, Borderlands is an AWESOME game. From the graphics to the gameplay it feels solid. The way the combat works is engaging and fun, and the quest system, while not anything new, moved quickly and at a fun pace. 
 
You start out with a standard machine gun and handgun. Im not sure if your able to pick from the beginning but we all started out as the character Roland. The soldier of the game with talent tree branching from Medic, Support, and a DPS spec. He has the ability to send out a turret that do many things from heal to supply ammo.  
 
Other playable classes/characters include.

  •    Mordecai- The hunter of the group. He's better off with a Sniper rifle. He is, from what I saw, primarily a DPS class.
  • Lilith- The mage of the group. She has a "Phase Walk" that lets her become invisible to enemy and can attack them while in this phase.
  • Brick- The tank of the group. His main role is the take the damage for the group. His ability is to take a TON of damage and deal massive amounts of damage also.

 

One thing you can do at the beginning is to change the color of your class. While not the biggest feature it was nice to see some customization to a named character.  A little Robot teaches you the basics but Ill let you guys figure out the rest. I dont want to completely ruin it. 

Playing alone I got up to level 6 in about 30 minutes. Not bad for leveling compared to other rpgs. The quest system will net you the most xp but killing things will also get you a fair amount of xp. While Im on the topic of killing things. This game is a strong M rating. The first time I did a melee attack the guy's head EXPLODED! It was awesome and this also happens when you get headshot and what not. Now back to the quest system. As I said before it has a nice flow to it. Now there is some running between wave points but thats expected. It has a very WoW feeling to it, but that makes it a good thing cause WoW's quest system is very strong and fun. The loot also is very Diablo-E. It can drop off anyone and anything and I is all seperated by color. How the loot works in multiplayer is Snake loot which means first come first serve. So be quick on getting loot! They did say they would change it if too many people said something about it. 
 

GET OUT OF MY SHOT RANDY!

At about the hour mark of playing we were asked if we would like a tour from Randy Pitchford himself and other members of the staff. The offices themselves were very casual. Full of action figures and video game merch. Randy's office was the best by far. With old video games everywhere it seemed more like a museum. The other offices were full of people ether working on Borderland or other projects that we were not allowed to see. They were constantly erasing things off of dry boards that they said we were not allowed to

Randy Pitchford gets punked!

 see. As we walked to the front desk they had a big stack of posters that they had just got in that day. We all got one and they were signed by Randy and other members of the staff. Along with a t-shirt and sticker. (Ill post a large picture of the poster at the end of this blog.) I could of done without the sticker but what-evs it was free. As we were getting our poster signed I noticed that Pitchford had a cloths pin on his back. Like someone was playing a joke on him. I didn't say anything to him because I thought it was funny but someone else said something to him and the cloths pin said Shacknew.com on it. Damn why didnt I thing of that...Anyways we saw their central server and that was only inte    resting because of the gnome that lives in there. Over all it was a nice office.
 
When we returned we went on to 4 player co-op. I kept on playing Roland because in past games like this one I usually pick the medic. Gameplay moves fast and furious. People are shooting left and right while ammo and loot is falling all over from dudes you kill. The key to the gamplay was to stay together because later in the game the bad guys get really hard to take down. It also doesn't help that there is a bunch of them on screen at a time most of the time. Playing the medic was fun but there was one flaw: the other people wouldn't stay still. How the medic heals is ether A) Throws out his turret and the turret heals people B) When the medic kills someone the gets a ring around him that heals party members C) You shoot your teammates with your gun. That last option is really the only big one because the turret is on a cooldown and you don't kill that many people because of your low damage output. There is a problem with shooting your teammates to heal them is that they dont stay still for very long. That makes shotguns and rocket launchers the better tools for healing. You also cant heal yourself which is a bummer. I told them that though so they might change it. 
 
I could go on forever talking about what I saw and played but ill leave that to questions if anyone has any. So please ask a-way. 
 
Another note: If I have said too much please tell me and Ill delete this. If that doesnt happen then good. This took forever to type. 
 

Here is the poster I got.

 

 

47 Comments
48 Comments
Edited by SpecialBuddy


I would of wrote this a month ago but I had to sign some papers saying I wouldn't talk till today. So ya, Im writing this at midnight so I could write this asap. Also im putting this in General discussion because it covers more than just the game. 

Last month I was one of the lucky two to win the contest held here on the big Bomb. It was really the first only contest I had won. Good thing I live 30 minutes away from Gearbox's studio.  

Look were im at!

I arrived about 25 minutes early at the studio located at the Bank of America building in Plano, Texas. Walking in I noticed another man standing with a cameria and was messing with his phone. I asked him if he was there for the play session and he was. We started talking about the game and what other games we had been playing recently. Turns out he was from Shacknews.con and was one of 8 people, including myself, that had one contests from different sites. One being Giantbomb, Destructiod, Shacknews, and the Gearbox forums.

 
At around 4 Steve from Gearbox came down and showed us to the room were we would be playing. It full of three things I love most: Pizza, Soda, and video games. So just walking in I was happy. The other

Dudes fixing to play Borderlands.

 

 contest winners had already arrived and were getting ready to play. All of them seemed really excited about the game and were asking

 questions even before we started playing. The guy next to me though, a contest winner from Destructiod, was sooo annoying. He kept saying stupid commentative things about the game every 5 sec. Man that guy was annoying.

Anyways, on to the game. To start out bluntly, Borderlands is an AWESOME game. From the graphics to the gameplay it feels solid. The way the combat works is engaging and fun, and the quest system, while not anything new, moved quickly and at a fun pace. 
 
You start out with a standard machine gun and handgun. Im not sure if your able to pick from the beginning but we all started out as the character Roland. The soldier of the game with talent tree branching from Medic, Support, and a DPS spec. He has the ability to send out a turret that do many things from heal to supply ammo.  
 
Other playable classes/characters include.

  •    Mordecai- The hunter of the group. He's better off with a Sniper rifle. He is, from what I saw, primarily a DPS class.
  • Lilith- The mage of the group. She has a "Phase Walk" that lets her become invisible to enemy and can attack them while in this phase.
  • Brick- The tank of the group. His main role is the take the damage for the group. His ability is to take a TON of damage and deal massive amounts of damage also.

 

One thing you can do at the beginning is to change the color of your class. While not the biggest feature it was nice to see some customization to a named character.  A little Robot teaches you the basics but Ill let you guys figure out the rest. I dont want to completely ruin it. 

Playing alone I got up to level 6 in about 30 minutes. Not bad for leveling compared to other rpgs. The quest system will net you the most xp but killing things will also get you a fair amount of xp. While Im on the topic of killing things. This game is a strong M rating. The first time I did a melee attack the guy's head EXPLODED! It was awesome and this also happens when you get headshot and what not. Now back to the quest system. As I said before it has a nice flow to it. Now there is some running between wave points but thats expected. It has a very WoW feeling to it, but that makes it a good thing cause WoW's quest system is very strong and fun. The loot also is very Diablo-E. It can drop off anyone and anything and I is all seperated by color. How the loot works in multiplayer is Snake loot which means first come first serve. So be quick on getting loot! They did say they would change it if too many people said something about it. 
 

GET OUT OF MY SHOT RANDY!

At about the hour mark of playing we were asked if we would like a tour from Randy Pitchford himself and other members of the staff. The offices themselves were very casual. Full of action figures and video game merch. Randy's office was the best by far. With old video games everywhere it seemed more like a museum. The other offices were full of people ether working on Borderland or other projects that we were not allowed to see. They were constantly erasing things off of dry boards that they said we were not allowed to

Randy Pitchford gets punked!

 see. As we walked to the front desk they had a big stack of posters that they had just got in that day. We all got one and they were signed by Randy and other members of the staff. Along with a t-shirt and sticker. (Ill post a large picture of the poster at the end of this blog.) I could of done without the sticker but what-evs it was free. As we were getting our poster signed I noticed that Pitchford had a cloths pin on his back. Like someone was playing a joke on him. I didn't say anything to him because I thought it was funny but someone else said something to him and the cloths pin said Shacknew.com on it. Damn why didnt I thing of that...Anyways we saw their central server and that was only inte    resting because of the gnome that lives in there. Over all it was a nice office.
 
When we returned we went on to 4 player co-op. I kept on playing Roland because in past games like this one I usually pick the medic. Gameplay moves fast and furious. People are shooting left and right while ammo and loot is falling all over from dudes you kill. The key to the gamplay was to stay together because later in the game the bad guys get really hard to take down. It also doesn't help that there is a bunch of them on screen at a time most of the time. Playing the medic was fun but there was one flaw: the other people wouldn't stay still. How the medic heals is ether A) Throws out his turret and the turret heals people B) When the medic kills someone the gets a ring around him that heals party members C) You shoot your teammates with your gun. That last option is really the only big one because the turret is on a cooldown and you don't kill that many people because of your low damage output. There is a problem with shooting your teammates to heal them is that they dont stay still for very long. That makes shotguns and rocket launchers the better tools for healing. You also cant heal yourself which is a bummer. I told them that though so they might change it. 
 
I could go on forever talking about what I saw and played but ill leave that to questions if anyone has any. So please ask a-way. 
 
Another note: If I have said too much please tell me and Ill delete this. If that doesnt happen then good. This took forever to type. 
 

Here is the poster I got.

 

 

Posted by JJOR64

Awesome.  Can't wait till the game comes out.

Posted by Absurd
@SpecialBuddy said:

It has a very WoW feeling to it, but that makes it a good thing cause WoW's quest system is very strong and fun.

Everything sounds great, except I never thought the WoW quest system was that great, maybe I didn't get far enough into the game but it seemed to be very grindy.
Edited by Manachild

Randy pichford, seems like a cool guy 
Seems like you had alot of fun.

Posted by SpecialBuddy
@Absurd: Well im talking post lich king. Before that is a little grindy.
Posted by Absurd
@SpecialBuddy said:
" @Absurd: Well im talking post lich king. Before that is a little grindy. "
Ah, I only played vanilla WoW.
Posted by Ping5000

What about the quality of the quests themselves? Were they interesting? Well-written?

Posted by Linkyshinks

Thanks for the write up dude, sounds like you had fun. The game sounds great, looking forward to it a great deal.

Posted by DanielJW

Cool write up, the more I hear of this game I feel compelled to buy it.  
 
Did you get any idea of how jumping into the multiplayer works? Is it just an option from the main menu, or what?

Posted by Psyx2

 Sounds pretty good. Did the quests seem at all grindy to you? My only concern is that they might be too much like an MMO.

Posted by crusader8463

The game looks like it will get old fast to me. And with the complete lack of character customization I'm feeling less and less interested in this game. Plus the animations look a little meh to me in most of the videos i have seen. And you saying the missions are like wow might have just put the nail in this games coffin for me. I hate wow because of their crappy quest system, and how the whole thing is designed around time sinks. Maybe there will be a demo i can play on my PC before this game comes out, because sadly it looks like i have lost all interest in this game from what i have seen of it so far. It's alot like Brutal Legend in that sense for me. I WAS uber excited for that game, but with each new video or screen shot i seen i lost more and more interest in it, to the point of now i could care less about it. Time will tell. Glade you had fun at the event, i wish i could have gone.

Posted by Khann

Ugh, I don't like the sound of the co-op loot system. There is always someone missing out, and someone getting angry when I play loot based co-op games with my mates. Someone needs to find a solution to that.

Edited by SpecialBuddy

To answer you guys questions about the quests I would say they drive the story line in the same way other MMO quests do. So make the storyline more engaging, others are just random things. Yes the quests, to me at least, seemed very MMO. Take that how you want. I personally think they are fine. 
 
From what I was told co-op multiplayer works kind of in the sense that Burnout: Paradise did. Were players could just jump in and out freely. Not sure if you have to go to a menu. They didnt show us that much.
Posted by hungrynun

Thanks for the insight. Good to see you had fun during the trip.
 
P.S I'd love to play your Gen someday.

Posted by SpecialBuddy
@hungrynun: Sure hit me up. I love playing people with my Gen. XBLGT: CannedHedgehogs.
Edited by hungrynun

Word. I'll be sending that FR asap.

Posted by EnchantedEcho

Awesome write-up, sounds like you enjoyed yourself.
Game sounds promising , pre-ordered it today :)

Posted by MattBodega

Seems super cool! I'm totally interested in seeing how Borderlands turns out.
At the very least, it seems like a super cool time at Gearbox!

Edited by PenguinDust

Very interesting.  Gearbox better change that loot system because 1st come/1st serve is only a recipe for loot whoring and arguments.  I like how you told them to change it so the healer could heal themselves.  That would make no sense otherwise.  Also, are the quests assignments the same for every class?  Are they voiced, texted or both?  Is there a recall quest button in case you forget?  How many quests can you have running?  What does the map look like?  Does it give you hints to where to accomplish your quests?  What are the rewards like?  In other words, can you give me more details on the quest structure without telling me what the quests are?  Oh, and how much loot can you carry?  Is it all bagged like in WoW and are small items stackable?

Posted by SuperSambo

If your playing with mates the money shouldent really matter as you change just trade it right? Was never a problem on pso and what not for me...

Posted by mracoon

The game looks really fun. Did you get to use any vehicles?

Moderator
Edited by _Phara0h_

I can't wait to get my paws on that game... you luck bastard......

Posted by CitizenKane

Congrats, man!  I am really jealous you got to play this game so early.  
 
Since it's an RPG, what perks are there for the different classes?

Posted by kashif1

heres a question, how many guns did you find in your time there.  ALso about the loot system, can someone take loot that they already have?
 
By the way whose the other guy

Posted by Scooper
@Khann said:
" Ugh, I don't like the sound of the co-op loot system. There is always someone missing out, and someone getting angry when I play loot based co-op games with my mates. Someone needs to find a solution to that. "
What I thought. If I'm the sniper I'll naturally be furthest away and that means no loot.
Posted by Griddler

You're so lucky you got to go.

Posted by SpecialBuddy

So many questions! Ill try to answer as many as I can but if I dont get your im sorry. 
 
I found a bunch of guns while playing. That might of just been because I was healing and needed to be up with the action. I do remember our sniper complaining about not getting any new guns. So we ended up letting him get some new sniper rifles when they dropped. I think when the game comes out it will boil down to how nice your teammates are. 
  
Im not sure what the different perks were for the other characters other than Roland. Roland did have some good ones like making his turret cooldown go by quicker and the ability to have more ammo on him than the other classes. I dont really remember anything in particular. Only because I was busy playing. :P 
 
The quest system is a mixture of text and speech. The person giving you quest will tell you the basics while the text will give you details. You get a way point at the bottom of your screen that tells you were your next objective is located. It seems pretty easy to me but I did get lost once because I was over looking a cave in a wall. I really didnt look at the map that much because of this way point system. If you think of WoW quests then you have the structure of the quests in Borderlands. Go kill 5 of so-in-so and go find 10 of such-and-such were the main types of quests I did. There could be more though.
Posted by brainwins

Congratulations on the trip, dude.
Did you play it on an X360 or PC?

Posted by s0ck
@SpecialBuddy:
I really enjoyed your little preview and thank you for posting details about your trip. 
I look forward to playing the game upon release becase it looks so different and fun.
Posted by SpecialBuddy
@brainwins:  We all played it on PC with Xbox controls.
Edited by mracoon

Did you get to use any vehicles?

Moderator
Posted by Smarter_Martyr

Nice work, man. But that poster? I hope that isn't the box art. Looks a little unrefined.

Posted by SpecialBuddy
@mracoon: No not from what we were doing. We were mostly fighting but im almost possitive there will be vehicles. 
 
@Smarter_Martyr: No that isnt the box art it was just a poster I got. The "unrefined" look you see is the quality of my cameria.
Posted by thecleric

Did they give you an option to play with the mouse or was it just sort of, you had to use the Gamepad?

Posted by Damian

Thanks for getting this out ASAP. A lot of us would have colluded to smother you in your sleep if you hadn't. 
 
Nice preview. Doesn't seem like much was revealed there. But what you write is in-line with my high expectations of this game. If I get a split-screen preview that has the same effect, it's 110% mine. 
 
The only question I can think to ask (sorry if it's been answered) is a little more detail about weapon drops. Do the enemies only drop what they were shooting you with? Or can they drop any random gun?

Posted by CL60

Lucky.

Posted by Jeffsekai

Man thats so awsome WHY DIDNT YOU TELL ME YOU DID THIS :'(

Posted by PureRok
@Khann said:
" Ugh, I don't like the sound of the co-op loot system. There is always someone missing out, and someone getting angry when I play loot based co-op games with my mates. Someone needs to find a solution to that. "
Blizzard did with Diablo III. Everyone gets their own loot that drops that no one else sees.
Posted by Lind_L_Taylor

Thanks for the write-up, although I didn't want to read it all since I want to have some surprises when I play it. I can feel myself picking this game up on Release Day!

Posted by SpecialBuddy
@Damian: Enemys drop random guns. Each is completely different from the others. This can be on a small scale to a very large scale. The grade of the weapons is very much like WoW were there are common guns(white) uncommon guns(green) rare guns(blue) super rare guns(purple) and legendary guns(i think its orange). I only found a few Blue level guns but those guns were noticeably better than the green ones I found. 
 
There is an interesting thing about the effects some guns have. Some can catch people on fire while others have acid bullets. Others have different types of ammo that you wouldnt think would come out of that type of gun. For example, one of the guys there found a machine gun that shot grenades. Yes i said a grenade shooting machine gun. It was one of the highlights of the weapons seeing him blasting groups of enemys with it.  
 
Another aspect of the weapon effect is that they might be rarer than the weapon itself. For example I found a Sniper Rifle that was of green rarity but had a blue level effect. So in sense there can be two different guns that have the same basic effects and powerups but one can have a much better special effect than the other. This makes the weapons very unique and fun to collect.
Posted by Jared

Awesome, sounds like you had a great time, I'm really looking forward to this game.

Posted by John_Bender

Glad you enjoyed yourself. Also thanks for the write up, nice that you shared your experience with us. Please don't delete this, a very interesting read. Cheers.

Posted by Khann
@PureRok said:
" @Khann said:
" Ugh, I don't like the sound of the co-op loot system. There is always someone missing out, and someone getting angry when I play loot based co-op games with my mates. Someone needs to find a solution to that. "
Blizzard did with Diablo III. Everyone gets their own loot that drops that no one else sees. "
That is GREAT to hear.
Posted by demonbear
Posted by ribeye

healing bullets, what a great idea, seems like why did it take until twenty oh nine, brilliant, this game has been on my must-get list for a while now, i can't wait

Posted by zzZBibboZzz

i envy you
Posted by kashif1
@zzZBibboZzz said:
" i envy you "
necrobumper
Posted by natetodamax

*is jealous*