Borderlands: More Time Travel Shennanigans

So, I’ve learned to time travel in Borderlands TPS. In this case, it’s an unofficial exploit that allows me to open up two incidents of the game at once and then have a character visit himself. This doesn’t present opportunities for time-kissing except maybe a creepy auto-erotic, narcissistic sort. I suppose it does allow for Claptrap to high-five himself or for Lady Aurelia to hire herself as a valet.

But considering the way Borderlands TPS tracks characters, it also allows for duplicating gear. Any gear that can be passed from one character to another. (Even heads and skins!) The process is simple. PlayerI-1 hosts a game with the item(s) to be duplicated. PlayerI-2 joins Player’sI-1 game with the same character. PlayerI-2 drops all the gear to be traded and then exits. PlayerI-2 then saves the game (e.g. going by a save point or changing levels). Done!

Personally, I wouldn’t have concerned myself with duplicating except that Borderlands 2 gave me multiple causes to distrust the game and utilize exploits. (A different duplication exploit in Borderlands 2 happens to be conveniently available at any time, without all that mucking about with time travel.)

Regardless, weapon duplicating is here now. It surprises me that it hasn’t been included in Borderlands TPS.

Already, they’ve made three significant changes to discourage the need for exploits. One is going back to the original Borderlands (one) practice of making the daily deal in vending machines commonly a rare-or-better piece of gear. In Borderlands 2 interesting weapons were seldom sold from the vending machines, and money became mostly useless, except to farm Eridium from the slot machines. Secondly, they made sci-fi pew-pew style energy weapons a common occurance, rather than rarer-than-purple (blue = Rare, purple = Very Rare, gold = Legendary) and then thirdly, they offer the Dahl Grinder (Not to be confused with the Hyperion Grinder in the sleepy town of Overlook) which will convert three items into a new item of the next higher rarity level, with a Moonstone surcharge or a (high) risk of getting only a weapon of the same rarity.

But duping was part of the means to survive Borderlands 2. It helped me run countless mules (characters made for holding gear) through the early chapters to get to Sanctuary (Sanctuary in Borderlands 2 is the location of the storage Bank and Stash). Duping was also a tool to help survive the terrible climb from levels 50 to level 72 in Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode in which the enemies are so tough that even killing common marauders is like carving through a block of ice with an ice pick. Only with several levels of OverPower (and using higher-level weapons at a lower level world) does the balance of the game start feeling endurable again, where one can enjoy the game without excess caution or dying with few or no exploitative weapons.

That said, it also made the Borderlands 2 community a friendlier one. The original game encouraged stealing and running with precious loot (or only playing with close friends.) The ability to dupe weapons encouraged players to share loot and to encourage strong character builds. Farming and fishing for loot* became a communal thing, where I’d keep in mind items my friends wanted during my daily runs. (Interestingly the Borderlands community also got friendlier with people conceding rare weapons or giving them away once an exploit allowed access to the Secret Armory of General Knoxx without the time limit.)

So what would a duping machine look like in a Borderlands game? Probably a machine where you insert an item and a bunch of currency and get two back…with these features:

~ Duplicating is pricey, but not outrageous. The cost would be paid in Moonstones or Eridium or whatever other dear currency is being gathered. I’d give it a schedule like Cost = Level (of the item) × Rarity-Multiplier (White = ×0.5, Green = ×1 Blue = ×1.5; Purple = ×2 Legendary or Seraph or rarer = ×2.5)

~ The duplicator wouldn’t quite duplicate the item. Rather it would randomly create a similar item, favoring, but not guaranteeing the same components, so a Dobby Lyuda that does fire damage will still produce a Dobby Lyuda that does fire damage but probably a slightly different one.

~ Duplicating requires sacrificing the original item As above, actually it would create two similar items so the original is lost in favor of the new ones. So the original is changed as well. If you found a gun that is balanced just the way you like it, you may want to not dup it after all.

Duping has become a part of the game. An in-game duping machine would allow duping to stay within the control of the developers. And by not doing so, well exploiters will exploit and when we ordinary shlubs need those, exploiters are our friends..

Disclosure: I haven’t played Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode in Borderlands TPS so I don’t know if it is as bad as it was in Borderlands 2.

* Farming is repeating a events that produce a lot of an item or item type, such as killing a raid boss for its Eridium and Seraph Crystals. Fishing is a subset of farming, repeating events that produce a random result in search of a specific end result, such as running through levels with lots of loot chests searching for E-tech Rocket Launchers.

Credit where it is due: I learned the exploit that allows someone to join their own game from this YouTube video. I didn’t watch it all the way through as I was at the time just interested in passing low-level gear to starting characters.

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