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Posted by Kevin Corrie on Aug 14, 2012

Can’t Shoot The Broad Side Of A Barn? Don’t Worry, Gearbox Has Your Back.

Borderlands is obviously a game that combines multiple genres into one big happy bundle of explosions and lewd gestures and as a result has taken its place as a classic among the games to arrive to the scene in the last 5 years or so. However, it did have a few issues that came along with this approach, namely the gamers attracted to it having difficulty enjoying their favorite elements of the game, but lacking for example the FPS skill necessary to progress through the fast-paced game. Gearbox may however, have come up with a solution to this conundrum.

Lead designer John Hemingway stated that, “The design team was looking at the concept art and thought, you know what, this is actually the cutest character we’ve ever had. I want to make, for the lack of a better term, the girlfriend skill tree. This is, I love Borderlands and I want to share it with someone, but they suck at first-person shooters. Can we make a skill tree that actually allows them to understand the game and to play the game? That’s what our attempt with the Best Friends Forever skill tree is.”

Ignoring the potential rebuttals from the dubiously named “Girlfriend Mode”, the true purpose of this skill tree on the first DLC character, the Mechromancer, is to make the game more accessible to casual gamers. Can’t aim to save your life? No longer a problem if you’re playing the Mechromancer, with a simple upgrade in her skill tree called “Close Enough” bullets fired towards and enemy will ricochet off of surfaces and redirect towards the opponent to compensate for bad aim.

Hemingway stated that while it is intended to assist casual players it will by no means be a simple ‘easy mode’ for advanced players. Gearbox is hoping to see the use of the skill tree in creative ways in order to pull of some tricky effects. What do you guys think? Should Gearbox remove the challenge from Borderlands 2 while giving the advanced players some new tricks to pull out of their sleeves or leave the Vault Hunting to the professionals?

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