Starting today, you can explore the deserts of Borderlands 2's Pandora aboard a sand skiff on the hunt for buried pirate treasure. But down the line, expansion packs for the game could have you plunging the depths of Pandora's ocean or visiting the Hyperion base floating between the planet and its moon.
Those are just two of the ideas floated by Borderlands 2's vocal community that developers Gearbox Software are thinking about as possible future DLC packs.
Borderlands 2 lead designer John Hemingway told Polygon recently that the studio loves working with the game's community in coming up with ideas for the game.
Many of the original Borderlands expansion packs were the result of things fans were calling for, he pointed out.
But both the original Borderlands first DLC and Borderlands 2's "Captain Scarlett and her Pirate's Booty", were built on concepts driven purely by the team's own interests.
"The reason 'The Zombie Island (of Dr. Ned)' existed is that there were a group of people here very passionate about zombies, so we introduced zombies into Borderlands," Hemingway said. "Captain Scarlett came from a very similar process. People here said they wanted to do pirates, so that became a springboard."
In "Captain Scarlett and her Pirate's Booty", players are tasked with finding the missing pieces of a fabled compass which will in turn lead them to a pirate treasure. The game expands the map of Pandora, giving players access to a wasteland of sand dunes and sand pirates. It also brings with it a Star Wars-like sand skiff that can be used to zip around the deserts of the expansion pack, but that can't be brought to the areas of the original Borderlands 2 map.
The expansion pack delivers about the same amount of content as the original Borderlands' "The Secret Armory of Genery Knoxx", Hemingway said. He estimated that it will take players eight to ten hours to play through the new content.
Hemingway's favorite part of the content is the characters, he said.
Scarlett is an unrepentant pirate who repeatedly tells you she plans to stab you in the back after you help her collect the missing pieces of the compass. Shade is the senile, very crazy, sole inhabitant of the once appropriately named town of Oasis.
"The characters bring a lot of life to Borderlands," Hemingway said.
Playing through a chunk of the game earlier this month, I had a chance to collect the first missing piece of that compass. My travels started me in the dunes of the game's new wasteland, but quickly moved to an underground, vibrantly colorful oasis packed with new electrified enemies and some interesting weapons.
While this new pack doesn't change the way you play the game (Check out the Mechromancer if that's what you're looking for), it does give you a lot of new scenery.
Gearbox spokesman Adam Fletcher told me at the time that the new content is designed for characters who are at least level 15, but that the game will scale up if your character is higher than that.
This is the first of at least four downloadable packs coming to Borderlands 2. All four of those packs can be purchased individually, or as part of the Borderlands 2 Seasons Pass.
Hemingway declined to say what they're doing next in the way of DLC for the game, only pointing to the fan ideas that they're thinking about, which include visits to the Hyperion base, ocean and even new character classes for the game. He also noted that Gearbox is willing to take chances with their add-on content.
The original Borderlands' "Madd Moxxi's Underdome Riot" "was really interesting DLC because it was so polarizing," he said. "Some people loved it and some thought it wasn't for them.
"We're okay with creating polarizing things."
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