At PAX East this year, there is no overlooking the fact that Borderlands 2 sits atop the list of most anticipated games for many of the attendees. Much of the game’s changes and character customization has been detailed before, but Gearbox Software still has a few tricks up their sleeve. During the company’s panel, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford unveiled the brand new Mechromancer Class. The new character type is still in the conceptual stages, so owners of Borderlands 2 will be receiving the Mechromancer as DLC 60-90 days after release.
Obviously when gamers hear the words ‘DLC’ and ‘character class’ in the same sentence the worst is immediately assumed. However, this case is something entirely different. Pitchford was completely open during the panel about the fact that the Mechromancer is still in the early, early stages of development. The team has ideas about what they want to do with the character class, but nowhere near enough time to complete it and implement it into the existing game.
As such, the character will be tackled wholeheartedly only when Borderlands 2 moves into certification and the team can direct the necessary resources. So far the team only has concept artwork, depicting the Mechromancer as a diminutive steampunk girl whose abilities seem to extend beyond her own physical strength. Along with the character herself, one sizable murder-bot dubbed ‘Deathtrap” was also shown in concept artwork.
For those who pre-order the game (or presumably purchase it at full price) the Mechromancer DLC will be downloadable for free when it is released. Otherwise, players will be spending a bit more for access to the character class.
Aside from adding a player class to the numerous pre-order goodies for Borderlands 2, this reveal goes a long way to back up Gearbox’s claims that they are dedicated to making the sequel far less repetitive than the original Borderlands. Some might complain over the delayed content on the grounds that it should have been thought of and developed sooner, but the development team has to be commended for adding content to their game even this late in production.
The 60-90 day window given by Pitchford can also be understood, since the expanded skill and ability trees for the Mechromancer will need to be built and balanced from the ground up. With Borderlands 2 set to release in September, time just wasn’t on their side.
What do you think about Gearbox’s desire to follow through on a good idea, even if it means later DLC offered free to owners? Is this case of Gearbox’s customer support extending beyond release something you’d like to see more of, or preemptively avoided?
Borderlands 2 will release on September 18, 2012 (September 21, 2012 for international markets) for the PS3, PC, and Xbox 360.
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