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Borderlands 2 Q&A: You asked, PSU answered!

on 17 July 2012

If you followed PSU's extensive coverage of Borderlands 2 last week, you might know that I was recently given the chance to sit down with a near-complete build of the game and play as the enigmatic assassin Zer0. I tried to be as thorough as possible in my hands-on impressions, but one simply cannot cover all Borderlands 2 has to offer in a mere few pages.

That's why I turned to you - our revered community of PSU readers and forum members - to field your questions about the game. I'm here to serve you, the PlayStation Nation, so what better way to do so than to ask what you care about?

I'll be using my knowledge from hands-on time with the game and discussions with folks at Gearbox Software to answer your questions as best I can. If your question didn't get picked, don't fret - feel free to PM me through our fantastic forums, and I can try to answer your question one-on-one.

Finally, let us know in the comments below if you'd like to see more features like this from PSU. The whole team is here to serve and unite the original PlayStation community, so we (and myself) are always open to feedback.

Without further ado, let's get to it!

Community member DarkVincent07 asks,

"Hey! I'm wondering what role do the playable characters from
Borderlands 1 play in Borderlands 2?"

Hey! The roles of Lilith the Siren, Roland the Soldier, Mordecai the Hunter, and Brick the Brick are shaping up to be serious catalysts in the game's narrative. Gearbox level designer Carl Shedd described them to me as the "main characters" of the story, and from what I played, he's spot-on. You'll receive missions from them. You'll witness them have natural conversations that highlight their personalities in a way the first game never even alluded to. In at least one case, they'll even fight alongside you (kinda). Check out my hands-on impressions for a detailed example of how you'll be interacting with the Borderlands cast throughout its sequel.

Community member Terminator 101 asks,

"Will the game have split screen online"

As a PlayStation nut, these concerns were very important to me. So, to your first question - yes, you can play with any combination of split-screen and online players. Two players on one TV with two players on another? Totally! Two players on on TV with two other players from different states? Absolutely! Anything goes, and I can't wait for the opportunities this will open up.

"Will the game allow the second player to use his own saves, as well as his own PSN profile(and trophies))?"

Your second question is a bit more interesting, if only because it's a question that I myself posed numerous times to folks at Gearbox. You can definitely use your own save files on a friend's PS3, and it seems that all of your characters will be stored and saved within that single profile (making the transfer easier). Mr. Pitchford also made reference to using the cloud for moving saves, but it was unclear whether the game would feature its own native cloud support or he was simply referring to Xbox 360's native ability to do so and cloud storage for PlayStation Plus users. This matter, as well as the question of simultaneous PSN login, is one to which I've been pursuing clarification since the preview event.

Finally, "Is the world more interactive(destructive), or is it still all scripted like in the first game?"

The world at large does indeed offer more opportunity for interaction, but the changes lie mostly with how enemies use environmental objects to evolve (and how you can interrupt this process). The areas that I explored did not seem a great deal more malleable than zones from the first game, but it'd be safe to expect at least a little more interactivity in Borderlands 2.

Community member DreDayDetox asks,

"Is it longer than the first?"

Level designer Carl Shedd described the game's length as comparable to the first Borderlands. That said, there is a greater focus on placing side quests and optional content within the game world as opposed to the all-too-familiar Bounty Board trips that the first Borderlands was known for. Therefore, you'll be wandering around and exploring in a world that is more varied and immersive than ever - if that's your thing, you'll likely find even more reason to keep playing than the first game offered.

"Are there more weapons? I wouldn't the same weapon with a different color or a mod as a new weapon."

There will definitely be more weapons in Borderlands 2 than were featured in the first game. That's no easy feat, considering the first game won a Guinness World Record for its 17.75 million guns (I'm not kidding). The weapons you'll find and buy also carry unique traits that go beyond the elemental properties of the first game (although those are still here in full force) and embrace interesting functionality tied to the corporation who manufactured it. For example, Tediore weapons are digistructed, so when you dispose of the current model in your hands (by swapping for something else or reloading), your character will actually throw the spent gun at enemies and it will explode in their face! Swap back, and you've got another one.

"Who's your favorite character to go with on co-op and playing single player?"

I've only spent hands-on time with Zer0, but I already know that he's awesome (and built up for both solo and co-op play). I'm excited to learn more about Axton's skills in the coming months, but Maya's versatility could make her the most important squad member of all, and similarly well-suited to solo content and working as part of a team. Meanwhile, Salvador the Gunzerker looks ready made for breezing through the game guns-blazing, but the damage output and bullet hell he unleashes is an asset for any group of players. But, yeah - Zer0 kicks ass. Just watch his Deception skill in the game's latest trailer.

Community member HellsJester asks,

"Will the Premiere Club pre-order be available on Steam for the PC version?"

I'm afraid I don't have the answer, but according to Gearbox Software community manager ChrisF, all retail copies of the game will ship with Steamworks. Therefore, you can expect the Premiere Club voucher content to be compatible. No official announcement, though.

And, "Will we get a skill tree calculator for all the classes on the Borderlands 2 website before release?"

During the preview event, I overheard Gearbox Software president Randy Pitchford express his excitement about the idea of previewing skill builds and experimenting with a companion app on-the-go. However, there was no official announcement regarding this - it seemed to me Mr. Pitchford was just totally psyched about how cool that would be. So, no word yet. PSU will seek confirmation.

Community member DarkVincent07 returns with a question about character customization. With regards to a screenshot that depicts Salvador in a pink T-shirt, Vincent asks,

"And I'm guessing this implies visual customisation for the characters? What is the extent of this? Clothes, hat? Facial hair and accessories even? I'm assume its all in-game and not micro transactions too ><"

You can collect two main items - heads and skins - for your character as you play. The headpieces can change many things at once - Zer0's headpieces mostly just changed the design of his mask, but other characters will received different hairstyles, accessories, and more as a part of each individual "head" item. Take a look at the screenshot below to see some of Maya's different headpiece and skin combinations - you're looking at four different headpieces and four different skins. You can't, say, individually add just an eye patch.

Gearbox wants to integrate these rare finds into the stream of random loot you'll collect on your quest, so some players may never find every possible costume. If you have a save file from the first Borderlands, you'll also unlock a unique set of costumes for each character - click here for more details.

Community member TheTenth666 asks,

"will the BL1 characters be playable as DLC?"

Gearbox is quite tight-lipped on the matter of DLC, and if the original Borderlands cast will come one day as playable characters, that day is a ways off. After all, Borderlands 2's Mechromancer DLC (the only announced post-release content) isn't expected to release until at least a few months after the base game launches in September. More likely, costumes for each of the four main characters might exist as in-game loot that changes their look to resemble the original heroes. No promises - just speculation of mine.

"will TK Baha make an appearance?"

Other than Marcus Kincaid, the only characters we know for sure are coming to Borderlands 2 from the first game are the four playable protagonists of yesteryear - Lilith, Roland, Mordecai, and Brick.

"will there be other vehicles like bikes or jetpack?"

No word on what alternative vehicles will be available at launch.

Last but not least, community member bariton1 asks,

"Has the PvP improved with proper mods like Arena / Teams / Deathmatch / Ranking etc. ? Have they actually improved the RPG part and has the game now the classic rolls of tank , healer and supporter ?"

While Dueling with other players is still possible, there have been no PvP additions to the game, and the Arena mode from Borderlands has been removed. Sorry!

However, your second question yields a happier answer. A great deal of work has been done to amplify the roles of each character and how important those roles are to enemy encounters. It's not as simple as the MMO trinity of tank, healer, and DPS, but the skill trees for each character will certainly funnel you toward builds that maximize one aspect of your character's personality. For example, Zer0 can be leveled to excel as a pure sniper, devastating melee ninja, or a team supporter. Meanwhile, Maya can be given excellent healing capabilities or the stat bonuses and Action Skill modifiers to become a force of elemental destruction. Greater variety, better presentation, and more incentive to use your abilities in a strategic way - I saw all of these things during my demo, and you can read more about them here.


Well, that's that! I'd like to thank everyone who submitted a question for this feature. Keep your eyes peeled to PSU.com for more Borderlands 2 coverage, and let us know what you thought of this piece in the comments below.