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  • Acceptable Targets: Several sidequests parody a number of political and activist groups.
    • The Concordia People's Front are a group of bloodthirsty environmentalists, representing groups like PETA who care more about animals and the environment than people. Once said animals turn out to be ugly, though, they turn their back on them. A later mission, Recruitment Drive, also reveals most members are far more concerned with blogging, drinking coffee, making shirts and passive-aggressively abusing each other in meetings than actually accomplishing anything.
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    • The People's Liberation Front is a Dirty Communist organization that thinks they can solve all their problems if they just get enough guns to start a revolution and lead the disenfranchised to rise up. Actually, they're a parody of Serious Business True Art Is Incomprehensible artists who think a few weird art pieces will fix everything.
    • Captain Chef is a bold British explorer and 19th century-esque imperialist who holds Fantastic Racism views regarding the inhabitants of Elpis as well as a staggering Moral Myopia to killing them (to be fair, they were trying to kill him for "claiming" their world). This is Played for Laughs as the inhabitants of Elpis are space-travelers themselves. Chef, nevertheless, is treated as an enormous joke and fool. Becomes somewhat Harsher in Hindsight or Fridge Brilliance when you realize it's probably a reference to Australia's own checkered past with native peoples.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
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    • Is Jack Affably Evil and covering up the fact he's brought a Death Star-esque station to Pandora for the purposes of conquering it with an Adorkable Hot-Blooded Nice Guy demeanor or he is actually a Well-Intentioned Extremist at best who only goes wrong due to personal betrayal?
    • Is Wilhelm a Consummate Professional and Punch-Clock Villain who doesn't care about anything but his paycheck or a hidden sadist who enjoys inflicting misery whenever he can? There's evidence for both with Wilhelm's excited reaction to Jack spacing the scientists as well as complete non-reaction to mind-wiping Felicity. When the Vault Hunters hit Helios and Jack asks how they're holding up, Wilhelm will concede that he, "Kinda feels bad for that AI we erased." But qualifies that he may just be jealous she got a cool robot body. Jury's still out!
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    • Is Athena a Token Good Teammate to the Pre-Sequel Vault Hunters who is being unfairly persecuted by Lilith? Athena insists she's Not So Different from the original Vault Hunters, which infuriates Lilith. Dissenters point out Lilith spent the entire time following the Pre-Sequel fighting Jack's tyranny and protecting the people of Sanctuary while Athena... didn't. Was Athena actually a Punch-Clock Villain who chose Screw This, I'm Outta Here! over stopping a tyrant? And since she's telling the story, can we even be sure her version of events is true?
    • Lilith, Roland, and Moxxi get this too. Heroes trying to stop a monster or the very people responsible for Jack's Start of Darkness? Lilith gets it herself with her attempt to kill Athena at the end, along with being one of the ones who was gloating outright at destroying the Eye of Helios. Was she seeking Revenge Before Reason or was Athena responsible for Jack's rise to power and in need of punishment for it?
    • The Meriff. Is he a Too Dumb to Live Obstructive Bureaucrat who is passively allowing Elpis citizens to be murdered en masse or simply a weak-man terrified of the gun being pointed at his head by Colonel Zarpedon? He suffers severe self-loathing for skimming from a local food bank charity drive but, by Pandoran standards, is a saint since much of the money DID go to the charity.
    • Tassiter seems the very epitome of a Corrupt Corporate Executive and Pointy-Haired Boss who is constantly belittling Jack as well as the employees of Helios Station. However, his attempts to undermine Jack prove well-founded as we find out Hyperion DIDN'T authorize the creation of the Eye of Helios. Likewise, his distaste for the Helios project is related to the fact he thinks the Vault obsession of Jack can lead nowhere good. Which it doesn't.
    • Colonel Zarpedon is a subtle case of this as, either way, she's a A Mother to Her Men who is a Well-Intentioned Extremist but some fans question whether she's actually justified in believing the destruction of Elpis is the only way to prevent something much worse from happening. Given the amount of Eridian technology and side-effects she's showing, it's likely she knows more than anyone else about their technology. A few people reject her Not So Different from Jack due to the fact the latter wants to be known as a hero while Zarpedon just wants to help people. A minority opinion is she really is a monster as they don't believe destruction of a planet can ever be justified.
    • Claptrap, of all people, gets this. Since it turns out Claptrap was once Handsome Jack's personal war robot, however stupid-acting, there's now a question if he's The Atoner for his actions bringing about the latter's rise to power. Other people just think Claptrap is as much of a joke as ever, he just now has a history of killing even more people.
    • Nisha Kadam is a straight-up sadist, but she got hit with this trope as well when she mentions that she got bitten by her own puppy, which was infected with space rabies. It's also heavily implied she was abused by her mother. As well as that, she's a much more quiet and actually slightly more reasonable person in Borderlands 2, which is set 3 years after the events on Elpis. Could she have had clawed back some rationality, or did she just need to act more Sheriff-fy when running a town?
    • Is minor NPC Doctor Spara from the "Fresh Air" and "It Ain't Rocket Surgery" sidequests a Mad Scientist or just crazy? While the latter sidequest ends with the Vault Hunters questioning her credentials, she's too distracted by the spectacle of her house getting destroyed to answer. On the other hand, she does seem to understand and apply the scientific method, which is more than we can say about most scientists in fiction, period.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Janey Springs had her lover horrifically maimed and eaten by Kraggons but you'd miss her being traumatized by that, given she's so chipper.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • The "Lab 19" quest is given by the ECHO of a scientist's last words warning of an unspeakable horror, leading to a sealed section of the labs with a vault requiring a constantly-changing combination code. Nakayama and Tassiter both warn you in the strongest terms possible that you absolutely must not release what's sealed inside. What lies inside is a clone of the Destroyer... who is the size of a coffee table. Dr Nakayama admits that he screwed up the math during the cloning process. Admittedly, in this case the trope is invoked deliberately for laughs.
    • For all of the build-up to her being the main villain, Colonel Zarpedon goes down very easily and quite quickly, as long as you are good at staying out of range. But since she wields an Eridian staff with almost no ranged attacks and you have guns, Zarpedon can be pathetically easy no matter what your class.
    • The raid boss that you can fight after completing the main story is even worse in this regard, simply being a stronger version of the already anticlimactic final boss with no major changes beyond a couple new attacks that behave very similarly to ones it already had. Unlike most of the raid bosses from the previous game, you're not even locked out of the arena if you die before the fight ends; as long as one teammate is alive in the arena, you can reenter as often as you need to.
  • Anvilicious: As in the Tiny Tina DLC for the previous game, head writer Anthony Burch continues his tendency to occasionally use fan-favorite character Mr. Torgue to scream about GUNS, EXPLOSIONS, AND VERY SPECIFIC OPINIONS ABOUT SOCIAL JUSTICE at the player.
  • Awesome Music:
    • "Come With Me Now" by Kongos in the Last Hope trailer.
    • "The Final Countdown" by Europe in the launch trailer.
    • The intro to the game has "Black Dragon" by The Vines.
    • The overworld music in Concordia.
    • And the end credits have "What Makes a Good Man?" by The Heavy.
    • "The Year 1812" overture, that accompanies Claptrap's Pirate Ship mode.
  • Awesome: Video Game Levels: The level where you storm the Hub of Heroism and clear the station is pretty much awesome. So is the fight on the Lunar Launching Station, which is nicely designed.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Claptrap's inclusion as a playable character. Some people are getting really tired of him being everywhere. Though others are just getting tired of the Butt-Monkey jokes, probably thinking he's suffered enough for trying to create a robot uprising. By extension, his Action Skill that is very random with many effects is either ridiculously fun or potentially game-breaking. Several of the effects he's capable of producing would be hideously broken on any other class if he was capable of accessing them consistently, particularly One-Shot Wonder, Funzerker, and Mechromagician.
    • Janey Springs. Those who like her tend to find her a funny, Adorkable lesbian. Those who are annoyed by her find her a shrill, preachy character established and defined by her homosexuality and little else. (Standing in contrast to Sir Hammerlock, who doesn't make a big deal about his.) And what really didn't help matters is when Scooter was killed off in Tales and Janey effectively took his place as the comedic mechanic. This was remedied by the release of Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary DLC for Borderlands 2, which takes place after Tales, and it's his sister Ellie who takes over for the Catch-a-Ride machines, and not Janey.
    • As demonstrated above under Anvilicious, Mr. Torgue, or at least this characterization of him. Some players will agree with that political stance, others will not. It's pretty cringey regardless, and really makes you wish for the old EXPLOSIONS AND CURSING Torgue. And speaking of cursing, see below.
  • Broken Base:
    • The game very much did become this for multiple reasons. Fans of Lilith and Athena became at odds with each other over the actions of the former while Jack fans were all too eager to paint the Vault Hunters (and Moxxi) as responsible for driving him crazy. This got vicious on the Borderlands Confessions tumblr blog to the point where nobody was allowed to talk about Lilith OR Jack.
    • On the gameplay side, many are crying It's the Same, Now It Sucks!, while others enjoy the gameplay enough to let it slide.
    • The "Memelands" joke, made by one of the "code monkey" Claptraps in Jack's office. Either it was a good Take That! against the series' detractors, a childish case of Dear Negative Reader or a clever bit of Self-Deprecation (since the Claptraps appear to be stand-ins for the development team).
    • The "moral ambiguity" theme of the game has lead into a massive debate over every important Vault Hunter and NPC, with many arguing whether or not they are mass murderers or good.
    • The cursing censorship. Funny in 2, where it was restricted to very unserious moments, and had some justification in the case of Mister Torgue (His voicebox was censored). Here, it's either even funnier or painfully jarring, where bleeps are used exclusively for comedic effect and Gosh Darn It to Heck! is employed in full, very noticeable force everywhere else.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • Looks like the developers are trying even harder to avert it this time (Though given that all Borderlands games have their own respective pages for Game-Breaker, it's questionable whether they'll succeed) given that the game has areas where elemental weapons simply don't work. This will force players to spend much more time thinking about their loadouts and reshuffling them every now and then.
    • Deliberately averted with one of Claptrap's skills which causes him to develop buffs and debuffs to random weapon types, forcing the player to constantly shift for maximum power.
  • Contested Sequel: Or contested pre-sequel, rather. The addition of Energy Weapons, Cryo element, oxygen plus ground pound as a new gameplay mechanic, new roster of characters, and a playable Claptrap as a Mechanically Unusual Class are praised from a gameplay standpoint. When it comes to the story and character interactions, this game is praised as well for having plenty of story cutscenes and having recorded unique voiced dialogue lines for the playable characters even during the main story (And there are plenty of them to boot! Just take this compilation video of the Prologue for example). This is in direct contrast to Borderlands 2 that doesn't have unique main story lines for the playable Vault Hunters, until the later DLCs.
    • On the other hand, Elpis' overworld usually consists of barren moon landscape which the players will traverse over and over again Before the player got access to Helios, and most of the sidequests are poorly designed boring slog, either requiring you to do a long walk, or even outright back-tracking. Those became the major negative points for fans and gamers in general.
  • Crack Pairing: Zer0/Athena. A pair of stoic sword-wielding assassins with iffy social skills, it would seem like they were made for each other if they'd ever exchanged a word.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Energized Shuggurath. Scarily accurate barrages of shock damage that chew through your shield and health bar ridiculously fast, and wrecks your vehicle something fierce, picking a fight with two of them is guaranteed to wreck your vehicle. Not to mention the rathyds it LOVES to sic on you...
    • Ophas, a strange, twisted Eridian Guardian that looks like the unholy union of one of H.R. Giger's creations and a Constructor, they have high health and damage, but rather low mobility, especially compared to their compatriots, the Guardian Cherus, Sera Guardians, and the like. Not only do they love to distract you, which allows other Eridian Guardians to murder your ass, but they spawn Puttis like nobody's business. Further aggravating the issue, Puttis can generate, or recharge shields for EVERYBODY, which, considering the Eridian Guardians' love for shields, is very problematic. The more powerful variants are even WORSE, with the Opha Superior having a crapton of shields, health, and FRIENDS.
    • In True Vault Hunter Mode, Rabid Stalkers, just like how they can be of an annoyance from the second game. Obscenely fast, rapid damaging melee attacks, bullet sponges and resistant to freezing until their health is gone. They will put you into FFYL, and the only way to even deal with them effectively is to freeze them then start wailing away as much as you possibly can before they thaw. Even worse when there is more than one.
    • Lost Legion Eternals all start with laser weapons that can snipe you from half-way across the map for half your shields with insane accuracy, have about three-times as much HP as any other enemy, and they love to show up in groups. They're actually easier to deal with after they take enough damage and transcend to their next form, since at that point they drop those damned lasers. There is, however, the issue that by ascending, they regain all of their health. Hope you weren't trying to get your Second Wind off of one!
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Handsome Jack gets this from some fans. Some of it is deliberate, since Jack's arc is about developing from moderately reasonable to a Big Bad. However, as the game shows Jack's Start of Darkness, many fans have decided Jack did nothing wrong. They ignore his Kick the Dog moments or choose to believe they were justified/excused by the trauma or pressure he endured, even blaming the heroes from the previous games for Jack's mistakes, to the point of denying Jack any responsibility at all. Which is confusing, given that before the game even starts, he'd imprisoned and used Angel to manipulate the original Vault Hunters get a hold of the Eye of the Destroyer and construct a giant death ray with the express purpose of killing people with it.
  • Ending Fatigue: Overlaps with That One Level. The story reaches its climax after killing Zarpedon, saving the moon, and destroying the Eye of Helios. Instead of ending, the game introduces the final chapter. This starts out with an entirely new area, teeming with new and powerful enemies (and a miniboss consisting of waves of them). At the end of that area is the below mentioned RK-5 boss fight. Again, instead of ending, the game introduces another new area, now stocked with completely overpowered enemies. After making it through that gauntlet, there's another new area, again with more annoying enemies, and even a mini-boss out of nowhere. After all that, several hours of gameplay later, you finally reach the final boss.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Athena has achieved a level of popularity consistent with the original Vault Hunters despite only appearing in a single game and one DLC, to the point that she returned in Tales from the Borderlands and can be even recruited to fight the Traveler in the final episode.
    • Nurse Nina is an unexpected one as her All Amazons Want Hercules and Mother Russia Makes You Strong attitude is more interesting than Doctor Zed's cheerful incompetence. It helps that Nurse Nina, despite being an Ax-Crazy Blood Knight when it come to romantic relationships, seems more concerned about her patients too. She even has the character quirk of a out-of-place manga version of herself on her vending machines.
    • Nisha was already one by Borderlands 2, but her status as a Darkhorse went way up when the game came out.
  • Epileptic Trees: The giant brain in R&D has, amusingly enough, provoked fierce speculation on what the hell it is exactly.
  • Fanon: It is near-universally agreed that Timothy Lawrence had his face scarred by Jack out of jealousy after the events of the main campaign. Funnily enough, there is a head called "And Jill" that lets the Doppelganger have the scar. However, this has been Jossed if posters depicting Timothy in Borderlands 3 are to be believed.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Claptrap/Felicity is steadily gaining popularity.
    • Nisha/Handsome Jack is also gaining support. It helps that they were a canon couple in the second game.
  • Franchise Original Sin: A common criticism of the game is that the constant backtracking and fetch quest missions that only pad the game. However, an IGN reviewer pointed out that the constant wandering has always been present since the first Borderlands game and that such problems should've been ironed out in the Pre-Sequel after multiple installments.
  • Game-Breaker: Found here.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • The Cryo weapons have the added effect of slowing players down until the debuff stops, but sometimes the slow-motion movement will remain even after the damage-over-time has stopped. The character will stay in slow-mo until the player exits the game. If this happens during, say, the Raid Boss, it makes you completely unable to dodge attacks.
    • A particularly frustrating one occurs in an early sidequest, where you have to turn five valves in the correct order to close a toxic slime pipe. However, if you don't solve it in 5-10 seconds, the woman who gives you the sidequest will annoyingly ECHO you and tell you to hurry up. However, solving the puzzle while this dialogue is happening will result in the pipe not being closed and the sidequest is completely broken. No amount of saving, quitting or turning off your console will help you. You've just been locked out of a sidequest by one piece of dialogue.
    • Another big one is that in "The Beginning of the End", an objective fails to trigger when you complete it on the second playthrough. Here is a fix using a save editor.
    • One of the powers from one of Claptrap's build tree adds cryo effects to his butt stomp. The mission "Trouble with Space Hurps" has an objective that requires you to butt-stomp some monsters. However, they won't register being butt stomped by Claptrap if he has that particular cryo stomp power. If the player is soloing with Claptrap, the only way to proceed is to travel all the way back to Concordia, respec out of that power, and travel all the way back again to complete the mission. The icing on the cake is that this mission is located at the far end of a vast map that requires several minutes of travel and multiple jump pad uses to reach...and the nearest fast travel station is at the other end of the next zone over.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Lost Legion Engineers. They will throw wormholes (which pulls you in), turrets or shields while you fight if you don't kill them quickly. The last can be particularly nasty if you're in Fight For You Life. They can easily descend into Demonic Spiders territory in True and Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode.
    • Rathyds. A lot worse when you're facing a Shuggarath and these little assholes come and jog your aim off, they're always in your face as well.
    • Putti's can be infuriating when you're focusing on taking down an Opha which has an endless supply of Putti's to throw at you that also frequently tends to heal the Opha's shield. They get much worse in The Holodome due to coming in variants that are resistant to certain elements, how fun!
  • Good Bad Bugs: The "Yellow Sniper" glitch, (bonus points for being caused by a "glitch" weapon type.) Using a glitch Jakobs sniper rifle from the Claptastic Voyage DLC has a chance to switch to yellow mode on reload, giving it rapid-fire, auto-fire and chance to not use ammo. This is standard for glitch weapons, but the true bug comes into effect if the player switches to another weapon when the sniper rifle is still yellow: any weapon used will gain the benefits of yellow mode and fire at an unbelievable rate (as if using one of the old turbo buttons.) A properly specced Nisha exploiting this bug can destroy ECLIPSE/EOS in seconds.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Colonel Zarpedon's mission is to destroy Elpis and Pandora in the process in order to prevent a worse fate from befalling the universe. Along comes Borderlands 3 and its revelations that the "Great Vault" the Calypsos are searching for is Pandora itself, the Key to it is Elpis itself, and the fact the Destroyer (yes, that Destroyer) is still alive and they want to absorb its powers to become gods... It's quite possible that Zarpedon knew this was going to happen in the end, thanks to her revelations in Elpis's Vault, and wanted to prevent the true form of the Destroyer from ever being released in the worst way possible.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: The post-game is derided for being short in comparison to previous titles. The first game had three DLC campaigns, the second game has five campaigns that put together were bigger than the base-game. The Pre-Sequel only has one DLC campaign along with a raid-boss which is a rematch of the final boss. This would have been alleviated had the second campaign "Luxy's Space Adventure" not been cancelled when the developer dissolved.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: A common complaint is that the gameplay is that, minor differences like the new weapons and the OZ mechanic aside, it's virtually similar to Borderlands 2 (This game has been criticized for relying on the same engine as BL2 but with minor tweaks and all. One can clearly see that the game options, user interface, menus and graphics are just ported over from the second game)... which was nearly the same as Borderlands 1 itself. The writing faced similar criticism for going to the same well for jokes (modern pop culture references and internet memes). Total Biscuit summed it up here.
  • Magnificent Bitch: Colonel Tungsteena Zarpedon is the Commander of the Lost Legion, and the head of the assault on Helios. After her men corner Jack and his Vault Hunters, forcing the latter to flee to Elpis, Zarpedon monitors their movements and attempts to sabotage their efforts to stop her at every opportunity, all the while showing them utmost respect and offering to help them leave Elpis should they no longer wish to fight. Zarpedon is a valorous woman who earned the love and respect of her soldiers, to the point where they will follow her cause even after she's killed, and her ultimate goal—to destroy Elpis with the Eye of Helios—is purely to prevent a worse fate from befalling the universe at large.
  • Mis-blamed: The aforementioned complaint about the sense of humor is often blamed on the game's main writer, Anthony Burch. The people that complain about the over-saturation of references conveniently forget that the original game (which didn't have Burch as a writer) was also loaded with references to other media, most of it modern pop culture.
  • Moral Event Horizon: There's a lot of debate over when Jack crosses his. Some believe it's when he memory-wipes Felicity but this is justifiable in some people's eyes due to the overwhelming need for combat-trained robots. His murder of four scientists on the POSSIBILITY one could be a traitor is depicted as being the moment that he crosses it for Moxxi, Lilith, and Roland. Some players think this was justifiable as well. Depending on the timeline, Jack crossed it before the events of the game given he has already locked up his daughter and turned her into an interface for Hyperion. He's also used the Eye of the Destroyer to create a superweapon he intends to use to cleanse Pandora of "bandits." All without the approval or knowledge of Hyperion. Moxxi, herself, believes Jack was sick and twisted since she was dating him.
  • Most Annoying Sound: The Dahl Grinder will not wait for you to make your decision when you use it. Barely a second passes and it might already bitch at you for taking too long!
  • Narm:
    • Jack's Gosh Dang It to Heck!-bit of Angrish after Moxxi, Lilith and Roland betray him, trying to send him and the Vault Hunters into a black hole seems very out-of-place, given how extreme the event was. Fits the character, though, given his (admittedly often hypocritical) aversion to profanity in Borderlands 2.
    • Admit it, despite how terrifying and disgusting they are, the sight of an Opha tottering around slowly made you giggle a bit.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • While Claptrap has always been a Base-Breaking Character, reception for the character as Fragtrap has been almost universally positive. This may have to do with the story adding an element of tragedy to the character. Also, the fact Claptrap is a difficult but rewarding character to play. Watching him get betrayed by Handsome Jack after serving him faithfully the entire game is also heartbreaking. Further rescued by the "Claptastic Voyage" DLC, which shows a lot of insight into Claptrap's I Just Want to Have Friends mentality and makes him a lot more sympathetic.
    • Pink-quality weapons as well. In the previous game, pink-quality denoted Seraph weapons - which were agreed to be somewhat uncreative, thought to be rehashes of legendaries, and had a reputation for being underpowered early in their introduction. Though thankfully, that was hotfixed, but they never truly shook the reputation. Pre-Sequel reassigned the color to the DLC-exclusive Glitch weapons, which acted more like a counterpart to E-Tech or Luneshine weapons: otherwise ordinary weapons with a unique graphical effect and the potential to activate one of several glitch effects during battle, such as multi-shot or a built-in Amp shield effect. They're agreed to be one of the most useful classes of weapon thanks to the glitch effects.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Some fans believe Moxxi, Roland, and Lilith are responsible for Jack's Start of Darkness. They believe that if they hadn't betrayed Jack, he never would have turned evil. Lilith gets the worst of this due to scarring Jack's face. This ignores Jack was already planning to take over Pandora via giant orbital laser and admitted it to their faces, that he had already imprisoned his own daughter and used her to manipulate the events of the first game so he could build said orbital laser and that Jack repeatedly shows that he enjoys killing and is totally self-obsessed, and the fact that he outright murdered his head scientists in cold blood because one of them suggested the possibility that there could be a mole for Zarpedon among them. This said, the fact that Lilith is called out on her behaviors by her friends in the final cutscene does show that this isn't entirely the case.
  • The Scrappy: Pickle is quickly becoming this, most of the hate being directed at his voice and accent and him stealing your money every time you complete a quest for him. Not to mention how his quests usually involves a long, boring slog. The fact he has little impact in the story besides one mission which could be given by Janey Springs or Moxxi doesn't exactly help, nor does having to listen him for one long story mission.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Subverted with the Oz Kits and the gameplay mechanic of using oxygen sparingly. The inclusion of Oxygen and Oz Kits and needing one to survive is NOT frustrating in the slightest, contrary to many people's thoughts on it prior to the game's release who considered the concept both tedious and annoying. Thankfully, the directors took great pains to remove the frustration from the mechanic.
    • After the game's initial release, a significant number of bosses and unique enemies within quests did not respawn, yet still had Legendary drops or skins/heads tied to them. If you didn't dashboard or Alt+F4 after killing them, you would never get another shot at them during that playthrough. It was even worse if they were part of a plot quest, since there was no way for you to farm the Level 50 version of them. Since the Borderlands series pretty much revolves around farming specific bosses and enemies for their best and rarest loot, this made many people quite unhappy. A patch released in March 2015 made these bosses and enemies respawning, except for Zarpedon, who had her loot pool added to the Sentinel's instead.
    • Fragtrap's action skill was hated to near-base breaking levels, to the point where if someone showed up in a multiplayer session as Claptrap, they would often be immediately booted (or if hosting, abandoned). The randomness of his Action Skill as well as the hijacking quality of many of its results note  meant that nobody wanted the risk of having the robot on their team, since it would often lead to constant annoyance at best and a Total Party Kill at worst. But four Fragtraps coordinating their action skills and getting a good combination of them can be devastating.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: After the player lands of Elpis, you have to get familiar with the supporting characters and antagonists, along with sidequests involving them, usually in the vast expanses of Elpis. Once you returned to Helios, the pace picks up as the space station is largely tight and packed.
  • That One Boss:
    • Deadlift, the very first boss, can quickly become this in either mode. He has an obscenely powerful shield that will require a shock weapon to down in good time, and his shock balls will quickly whittle down both health and shields. Made worse by the elevation that makes finding enemies for a Second Wind very tough, not to mention them being able to boost away out of range and sight. And god help you if you go into FFYL on an electrified floor; you'll respawn with so little health, it'll more or less put you right back into FFYL automatically. To make things needlessly harder, you don't get access to a Quick-Change station until after you defeat him, so you're completely out of luck if you want to reallocate your skill points into something that you think will be more useful, unless you cheat the system by going back to a previous playthrough or temporarily join someone else's game while they're in Concordia. Most of this can be attributed to him specifically teaching players about elemental weaknesses and low-gravity fighting, though, as detailed in Wake-Up Call Boss.
    • RK-5. A giant flying jet, he will constantly spawn powerful Eridian and Lost Legion allies. What makes this worse is that it is very hard to hit him, the area is extremely large, and he does a stupid amount of damage with both his lasers and his nukes. If you're put into FFYL you better pray you're playing co-op or you have an enemy nearby to shoot—and not a Lost Legion member way over on the other side. Many players have pretty much quit TVHM because of this. It certainly doesn't help that he taunts you the whole time with the same three lines, so often, the case of the first 5 minutes of the boss fight is going into FFYL by an Eridian Guardian and hearing nothing but "I'VE HAD IT UP TO HERE WITH YOU VAULT HUNTERS! I'VE HAD IT UP TO HERE WITH YOU VAULT HUNTERS! READY FOR A MISSILE MASSACRE! DIE DIE DIE!" as you try to shoot a Lost Legion Sniper from the other side of the arena. And if you fail to revive, you have to endure a 15 second elevator ride before you can re-enter the arena. It's very common to die to RK-5, spend 15 seconds in the elevator ride, only to immediately get downed again. To make matters worse, it hits right in the middle of the Ending Fatigue section, and the fight is at a point where it's easy to miss sidequests, leaving you underleveled for an already-frustrating fight. From a plot perspective, you don't even have a good reason to fight it; the Vault Hunters point out at the start of the fight that they could just run past and enter the Vault, but Jack insists on taking it down, paranoid that it could return to stab him in the back.
    • Teh Earworm side boss. To get it to appear you have to kill it's four difficult-to-hit tentacles, which only appear out of the ground some of the time. Then when it appears teh Earworm has a really tough shield and a lot of health,only sticks around for a couple of seconds before disappearing and forcing you to fight its tentacles again, and recharges its shields every time it appears. You have to bring a weapon which can drain its shields quickly, then switch to another weapon which can do a massive amount of damage to kill it. Then you have to do again, twice.
  • That One Level: The last 4 areas, Vorago Solitude, Outfall Pumping Station, Tycho's Ribs, and Eleseer, are rage-inducingly hard. To wit, Vorago Solitude contains the Lost Legion Eternals (who have a tendency to regain all their health unless they haven't ascended yet, otherwise they will try to ascend and heal themselves the first time at low health) in large, open areas, which is practically begging to get your sorry ass laser-sniped. It also has a boss fight consisting of several waves of difficult enemies. A short hall after that fight leads to Outfall Pumping Station, with RK-5, a difficult boss in its own right. Following this is Tycho's Ribs, where the Eternals are accompanied by Eridian Guardians, fast, hard-hitting, durable enemies that love to show up in groups and change elemental affinity to screw you over. THEN, you get to Eleseer, which ditches the Eternals, but introduces the Ophas; ALL of their variants, combined with new, flying Guardians. What waits at the end is a Final Boss with SEVEN FORMS (in actuality, four human-sized forms which count as one fight, followed by three giant forms which count as a separate battle). At least the Scenery Porn and the Visual Effects of Awesome mitigate the frustration.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • The early game features a sidequest where you have to turn in fifty white-level weapons to a mailbox - which, for the uninitiated, is more than your inventory can physically hold, and that's without going into the backup guns you'll probably have. This quest isn't so much hard, as it is annoying. You have to go to a very specific place to turn in the guns, and there are enemies that surround the place that respawn every time, including at least two to three guaranteed Badass Scavs. Also, every ten guns you donate introduces some place you have to go in order to retrieve the guns after they were stolen, forcing you to put the donation on hold and clear out a small area before doing it all over again. And what did the quest-giver need all those guns for? He just uses them to make a statue of a flower in Concordia. (That said, it is one of very few quests that provides a Legendary item as a completion reward.) Of course, given the humor and tone of the series, this was probably totally intentional. Do nice things for people only to get screwed. One thing can make the mission much more tolerable, although still tedious. Each character has a “personal item” ECHO in their inventory. It sells for $100, but the buyback was glitched and never patched. Buyback is free. You can sell it infinitely to gain enough money to clear every gun vending machine out of their white guns.
    • "To The Moon" in TVHM is possible to fail in less than a second from one objective: you're supposed to protect a transponder on a moonshot box, except that its health doesn't scale to the new difficulty. This means, if you're unlucky, a sniper could spawn and snipe it as soon as the quest objective is given! All it takes is a few hits from any enemy and it breaks, making success extremely difficult unless it gets patched.
    • "Pop Racing" is one for those who like to get all the optional objectives, as this particular has an optional objective which is extremely easy to miss- beat Napykins time on your very first try, which means if you screw up once you can never get it without starting a new playthrough (saving and quitting counts as failing the objective) unless you exit to the dashboard or Alt-F4 before you fail until you get it right.
    • Much like the maligned "Arms Dealing" from 2, "Recruitment Drive" is a timed mission that sends you hunting around a large map for a handful of objectives. The rewards aren't even as good; "Arms Dealing" gives you a choice between a blue Relic or a green shield, but "Recruitment Drive" only offers a choice between two green weapons.
  • What an Idiot!: At the end of Jack's quest to take the Vault, Lilith shows up, Phasewalking in. You'd expect her to kill Jack where he stands. Instead, she smashes the Vault relic, scarring Jack, and escapes before finishing him, leaving a psychotic dictator hellbent on getting revenge on her and Roland. Could be justified by Lilith not wanting to expose herself to the other Vault Hunters' retaliation, being interested only in the relic's destruction, or the limitations of her Phasewalking, which only allows her a single strike before reverting to normal reality.
  • What Could Have Been: The "You Can Stop the Music" mission in Claptastic Voyage has unused dialogue to corroborate the "Mainframe" song being played constantly by Teh Earworm being catchy by having the Vault Hunters hum and sing along to it.
  • The Woobie: Skipper/Felicity, so very much. She seems to be a normal person but is actually an AI who is essentially a Sex Slave for The Bosun after you free her she thinks her existence will be better only to have her memory and personality erased and turned into a robot making machine.
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