I’ve been playing a stupid amount of Borderlands 2 in the last few weeks. I’m starting to have dreams about it like its real.

I got the Maya character up to level 50 pretty quickly on the second play through at which point I started getting bored with here since there weren’t any interesting challenges left. It’s not so much that she’s become godlike but I’ve max out most things except for some of the more esoteric badass challenges. Her phaselock had become something like a small nuclear weapon many things just vaporize and because of the added area effects it works great for crowd control. However, the way I’ve been playing here she is still vulnerable if enemies get close in, but I’ll probably go back, respec her and play a different style.

I think that is one of the things I most like about how this game plays which adds a huge amount of replay-ability on top of the various characters. You get stuck with the skills you’ve been building since for a moderate fee you can respec and use completely different play-styles even as the character is leveling up. So there’s no real way to make a bad leveling mistake since you can try different skills and if they don’t work out change them.

In line with the variability I decided to play Zero next to force myself to start getting use to close in fighting. I have to say that Zero is much more fun to play. He can quite litteraly cut a path through most hordes of enemies but can also snipe effectively. He also plays/levels much faster because with the Maya build I was using (long range specialist) I spent a lot of time waiting for her phaselock to recharge or to get a good head shot with a sniper rifle. I still spend about 25% of the time sniping with Zero but no waiting for skill cooldown since I’ve specked him out for melee combat so you just keep slashing and shooting until it recharges. This speeds up gameplay quite a bit.

Also Zero’s deception skill allows you to run past enemies more easily since if they start tagging you as you’re running by just through out a decoy and you’ve got time to run away and for your shields to start recharging. This is nice because I finally figured out how to level smarter. I was noticing that after awhile experience earned for killing enemies was suddenly dropping to nothing it finally dawned on me that was because I had leveled up so high past that missions specs it dropped from “normal” to “trivial” difficulty. So now I’ve made a point to prioritize missions in order of their level, lowest first. I’ve also found sometimes it’s advantageous to hold off on the mission turn-in since that’s where most of the experience points come from on most missions. That way I can play through more of the missions on normal difficulty gaining full experience for kills while not leveling up to fast. Then once all the missions are complete or I have ended up leveling them to trivial or there just aren’t anymore missions in that chapter I turn all of them in. If missions to become trivial but I still want to do them I just run past the enemies (in some cases they force a fight) to the objective and then just complete the mission.

Another time-saver I’ve found is that you don’t have run all the way back to the beginning of the area to transport out. Just “save and quit” then “continue” and it restarts you at the entrance to the area automatically at which point you can just log into the transporter and go somewhere else. This one can be a big time/headache save especially somewhere like Caustic Caverns.

I’m getting near the end of my playthrough with Zero and he’s up to level 36. I highly recommend if you play Zero to focus on melee or balanced since you almost never die sniping. Also bonuses to melee and especially “fight for life” are a necessity since you will die often but can usually easily get a kill and revive if you’ve set things up right. So bad guys that would take me an hour to wipe out with Maya, usually dying for real several times I can destroy in 10 minutes with Zero while reviving without any real deaths.

If you like first person shooters and/or role-play games any you aren’t playing this then you are wrong so correct yourself . . . now!
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