Well, the official news is finally here. At PAX East, Gearbox Software made a series of announcement, level cap increase and new class were the top two. Let’s do this in order because I know we’re all excited.
The much talked about level cap will be available on April 2: an update for the Xbox 360, PC, and PS3 versions of “Borderlands 2” will jack the cap up to 61, providing players with 11 more levels to grind through. We assume that this means we get to use another 11 skill points to deck out your Vault Hunter of choice, but Gearbox president Randy Pitchford has already described some of the problems, so who knows. A new, higher level gear makes its triumphant return from the original “Borderland,” as well: all Pearlescent-rarity guns start at level 51 and work their way up.
This update will be free to owners of the game’s Season Pass, and $4.99 for the rest of you who didn’t purchase that pass…tsk, tsk. Another update that same day will introduce us to the Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, a third playthrough of the game only available to players at level 50. It will be free for everyone. Just what we need, more Borderlands 2!
In this upcoming May, Borderlands 2 will be introduced to Krieg the Psycho, the game’s sixth playable character. This was teased recently at SXSW, Krieg is a melee-focused character whose action skill allows him to use a buzz saw to dispatch Pandora’s myriad baddies. Krieg can use the buzz saw at close range, or throw it at enemies behind cover. He’ll be vulnerable while his action skill is active, but killing enemies will replenish his health. The playstyle sounds similar to Brick, in Borderlands 1, a brutal melee class.
Krieg, of course, has three different skill trees: Bloodlust buffs Krieg’s axe and focuses on chaining melee kills together; Mania decreases the cooldown on his skills as he takes damage; and Hellborn increases damage when Krieg is afflicted by an elemental effect. The “stacking” mechanic introduced by the downloadable Mechromancer mechanic also makes a return — chaining kills using the “Bloodbath” skill will stack up increased weapon and grenade damage.
The Psycho Pack will cost $9.99 and isn’t covered by the game’s Season Pass, even though previous comments at SXSW seemed to indicate otherwise.
Finally and last but not least, the Gearbox panel ended with a short teaser trailer (captured by IGN above) of Tiny Tina playing a “Dungeons & Dragon”-esque board game called “Bunkers and Badasses.” While it’s not an official announcement, “Bunkers and Badasses” is somehow connected to the Borderlands 2, fourth (and last) bit of downloadable content, according to the panel.
Whatever it is, the fourth bit of DLC is slated for June and I know at GameGravy we are really excited.