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PAX West 2019: Borderlands 3 Endgame Explained

With multitudinous hype ratcheting the game to its most anticipatory levels, the last remaining weeks until Borderlands 3's launch will be Gearbox's most trying time, especially with the company's CEO, Randy Pitchford, making headlines in some negative connotations. No matter the case, Pitchford opened the PAX West reveal with some of the company's own brazen wackiness, showing off parody trailers, like a shampoo ad and cola summer commercial inlaid with Borderland's weirdness.

One of the main things that separates Borderlands from other looter shooters is its playability after the missions have been completed. The roadmap for Borderlands 3 released at the PAX West main stage already looks fresh and inviting, as the release isn't the end of Gearbox's involvement with the game. In addition, neither is the player base done with the game once they've finished the story missions.

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Much like how the story of Borderlands 3 focuses on social media, as the villains utilize it to get away with murder, so too has Gearbox used it to promote the hell out of the game. A podcast is in the works partnering Gearbox with Kinda Funny in order to discuss all things Borderlands 3. In the debut episode, as Randy Pitchford called the PAX West main stage ending event the initial pilot, one of the main questions asked by host Greg Miller was endgame possibilities. Where do we go and what do we do once we've beaten the game?

Creative Director Paul Sage mentioned how Borderlands 2 is still played regularly today and eyes three main concepts for this: "repeatable gameplay," "advanced character growth," and a "good core gameplay loop." Using this to their advantage, the developers worked hard on bringing fresh content beyond the story, specifically Mayhem Mode, True Vault Hunter Mode, and an all-new Guardian upgrade system.

Mayhem Mode differs widely from the arena modes in the past, focusing instead on loot rewards and attendant XP. Each round will feature varied enemies and monsters at random levels, giving the player diverse interaction queues and strategies for literal mayhem.

True Vault Hunter is making its return from Borderlands 2, wherein you play the story retaining all items and perks but on a much harder difficulty. In their upcoming title, Gearbox has made Vault Hunter even more harrowing, yet has also added greater rewards for the player tough enough to finish it through again.

The game will also feature a completely revamped leveling and perk system, called Guardian Rank. Like Borderlands 2, the Guardian Rank system will utilize specific challenges, this time around somewhat hilarious ones, in order to rank up the player's stats. Paul Sage revealed at E3 2019:

"...[Guardian Rank] has different skills and skins you can unlock as you go through. And the cool thing about that is every character that you play on in that account gets the benefit of Guardian rank."

Via Gearbox Software

Despite drawing a bevy of inspiration from its predecessor, Borderlands 3 is shaping up to be unique in its own right. There are plenty of things to do following game completion, from challenges to game modes. It's sure to keep us busy for quite some time. As the news keeps swirling out of PAX West, eliciting much and more excitement for games to come, the Borderlands fandom will be wondering what guns they'll be using and what perks are best for their builds.

September 13th is definitely close, but the Halloween event called "Maliwan Takedown" can't come any sooner.

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