Borderlands: Captain Bubbles

Check In: I am a mess today. I woke up feeling queasy and headachey and really unsure about this consciousness thing. Fluids and coffee and apple pie helped, but still it’s clear that my mending progress from last week’s cold took a couple steps back. As a result my ambitions for today’s entry is going to be scaled back to either an easy topic or a half-already-done topic.

Bubbles* was my first Siren — in fact my first player character — in Borderlands 2. Oddly, she’s not the first one with whom I completed the game and killed the Warrior. She’s also my favorite character in that she plays completely contrary to the way Borderlands 2 is typically played.

That is, I don’t kill anyone in single player, and in multiplayer, I may paint targets with slag, but generally leave their neutralization to my teammates. In the meantime, I take care to make sure they stay at top-notch health. Also, I run errands when running is necessary.

Here are the technical details: I max out the Fleet skill, which makes a Siren half-again as fast as the others so long as she’s not using a shield. With The Rough Rider, a “shield” that reduces damage rather than providing a quantifiable shield defense, this means a siren always moves at 150% speed.** Combine this with a Legendary Nurse class mod and a maxed out Elated skill, it means everyone in the team gets modest regeneration, turned into crazy good regeneration long as she has someone in Phaselock. Suspension is maxed out to extend that period as long as possible.

So while my teammates would take to getting their murder on, I’d just phaselock an enemy and leave him there. His naughty time-out would fuel the team’s health and well being. And on her own, between this skill and running fast, Captain Bubbles can run through crowds of enemies and recover from damage about as fast as she takes it.

Sadly, there’s a limit to the usefulness of this on her own, as many levels have sections blocked off until previous ones are cleared. But a few levels don’t have this prerequisite, which lends them to fishing through the loot chests for exceptional gear, a duty that has proven necessary (at least to me) in Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode (i.e. from levels 51 to 72 to OP8) given the bad-guys have four times normal hitpoints and taking them down is like picking at a block of ice.

Doing loot runs with Bubbles is probably about as close as I’ve gotten to Tomogotchi style gameplay, or games that are played in short bursts (and are influenced by calendar events and holidays). In anticipation of a future run with fellow raiders, I made loot runs a daily ritual (something like going to the store and getting a Magic: the Gathering Booster Pack) in anticipation of sharing my newfound gains.

Mr. Franklin spoke to this sort of daily ritualized gaming in a comparison between Destiny and Animal Crossing (even though they are otherwise very different games) in that they both catered to this short-run daily interim sort of play that becomes more prevalent, especially in mobile gaming.

Holy cow, I’m in bad straits. If it weren’t NaNo, I’d leave this for another day, but right now posting is mandatory. I may clean it up later when I get the chance. If it needs cleaning up. The ending is unsatisfactory. Such as life with zombie infections.

* Bubbles earned the promotion to Captain by reaching the level cap, and even running through the Digistruct Peak gauntlet to get to OP8, hence now Captain Bubbles. And no, she’s not related at all to the ex-military AI of Questionable Content fame.

** A blue-class Breakneck Banshee class mod can get a Siren to over twice as fast, but she stops regenerating everyone’s health and she becomes really squishy. I keep one handy because this can still be useful on occasion.

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