Borderlands 2 had a fantastic 4-player coop, but certain design choices have been cumbersome. The high-level discrepancy between characters would cause the under-leveled player to be useless and die constantly, joining a friend at a specific point in the game could be impossible due to story progression and most importantly, shared loot meant that it was first-come, first-serve to get the best loot.
Which ironically put Zer0, the actual space ninja of Borderlands 2, at a disadvantage, since his long-range playstyle meant he had to cover more ground to get to the loot. But all of that is changing as Gearbox will change some of the basic gameplay elements where the coop is concerned.
So first and foremost, shared loot is gone! Every player will see their own loot in chests and falling out of enemies, so you’re no longer going to be swindled by your pals. Presumably, players joining your game will still increase the number of enemies on the map though, so that is still the best way to tackle challenges, which is welcome. Though if you want to, you can still enable shared loot, if that’s the kind of game you like to play.
Due to having to share loot in Borderlands 2, often times playing with friends gave you less useful loot than playing solo and that’s not ideal. Often enough you’d have to compensate by grinding solo, which in turn could cause you to be over-leveled. Speaking of which, the impact of the level discrepancy is no longer going to be that dramatic. In Borderlands 2, something like 5 levels of difference between you and the mobs would seriously amp the challenge. Gearbox stated that this isn’t going to be the case anymore. How exactly they plan on implementing that system, whether it be just by making enemies less bullet-spongy, spreading the initial level cap wider, or just by either down-scaling or up-scaling the damage and health of some of the party members, is at this stage uncertain.
All in all, exciting stuff. A breath of fresh air to shake up the old staples. I’m wondering how they’re planning on implementing these changes and whether that will make the seamless process of joining a game a little bit more of a hassle, but hopefully not.