Gearbox Community Badass
Welcome back to Gearbox Community Badass! Well, so far we’ve covered the obvious bases — streamers, cosplayers, and artists (and be careful not mistake “obvious” as a synonym for “boring”), but this week, we honor one of our best and brightest: @Chuck80! If you’ve ever looked online (especially here on the forums) for a guide on “teh best build to get teh best lootz” or something similar related to Borderlands, there’s a good chance that Chuck had a hand — or at least an influence — in creating it. Chuck is just one of MANY members of the community that take pride in disseminating some of the more complex elements of Borderlands (uhh, math) and creating informative and easy to understand guides that anyone can use. Chuck was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to chat with me a bit and give me some advice how I (or anyone) can create a great Borderlands guide!
How long have you been playing Borderlands?
I started pretty late actually. Around the time Tiny Tina’s DLC was released. I was never into shooters (Last one I played for any significant amount of time before BL2 was Goldeneye on the N64… so yeah…) but one of my friends was very insistent that I try that one out. I was hooked
What is it about Borderlands that has you hooked and coming back for more?
The intricacies and depth of the game. I’m the kind of person who likes to master things fully and BL is a real mouthful. I played BL2 almost nonstop for a year and I was still finding new things, thinking up new combos…seems there was always another gun that I had never tried with this setup or that build. So many weird items balanced out by different things that there is almost always a way to make them work better than normal if you take the time to weight out their weaknesses and try to match them with skills that cancel them out. In TPS, each time a DLC came out, I was immediately out trying to find the new Pimpernel.
Who is your favorite playable character?
Aside from the fact that it’s gleefully fun to destroy everything that gets in your cross-hair while laughing maniacally, the fact that the “extra” for Sal is not a pet or a special effect…but a second gun, opens up a world of combos. For example, while there are many things that will modify Axton’s turret, Nisha’s showdown or Maya’s Phaselock, they remain basically the same thing overall. But Sal’s 2nd gun can be ANY gun in the game, so the number of possible combination is just mind boggling. No wonder Salvador is considered to be broken: his schtick is making combos. And also, Sal is not an “execution” character: If you’re doing badly, it’s because your build is bad, not because you are playing wrong, go back to the drawing board and try again. That suits the mediocre player that I am. With a good build, ANYONE can play Sal. That’s also part of the reason Sal has a reputation as being “easy mode”: while player skill is personal, builds can be shared, and most players who say that Sal is easy used builds designed by other people.
Any funny or crazy Borderlands moments that stick out you from you travels across Pandora?
Less “crazy and funny” but great.
Tiny Tina’s DLC’s final cutscene remains to me a great moment in character development in an otherwise goofy game. I’m not gonna go into details as I don’t want to spoil anyone reading this who might not have played it yet, but it’s a kind of moment many movies try to get…and fail.
You’ve written some pretty amazing community guides to the Borderlands games. Any tips for someone who might be looking to write a guide of their own?
so tips eh ?
I would say that clarity is the most important thing: clarity of text and purpose.
Clarity of text:
what are you trying to say ?
Is there a way to say exactly the same thing with less words ?
Are you on subject ?
Is some of the information you are giving not 100% relevant to THAT specific guide ?
Could that part be better served by explaining it somewhere else ?
Have you covered your subject from more than one angles ?
Clarity of Purpose:
Who are you trying to help ? (is it a guide for new players or for seasoned veterans ?)
If you are making a guide for new players, are you using terms they are familiar with and avoiding “forum lingo” ?
Are you working from the assumption that the reader knows a particular piece of information ?
If so, have you provided a link to that information and a quick summary ?
What will your guide provide it’s readers ? insight on some skill or gear ? a new idea for a build ? maybe highlight a particular thing’s unknown benefits or flaws ?
It’s tempting sometimes to make a guide about EVERYTHING…but people just get lost reading that and a lot of good info goes skimmed over. Pick a subject, stick to it, be clear, be concise.
Also, read your feedback. If the same question comes up more than once, it may be a good idea to review your text, and see if you can’t answer that question by rephrasing some part. If you forgot something and someone points it out, work it in (like maybe you said that something is generally bad, but someone points out that with a particular character and setup, it’s great, then it’s worth mentioning)
Don’t be too prideful: going on the defensive about your guide leads nowhere: most of the time, either you are wrong, or you were not clear enough. Take the time to expose your point rationally, and to correct your text if you are wrong. Everyone makes mistakes
And lastly, make it abundantly clear what part of your guide is fact, and what is your opinion. A LOT of unnecessary debates can be avoided that way.
…I guess that covers it
What are you most looking forward to seeing from Gearbox in the future?
…Ok, that’s fairly short, so let me elaborate
Right now, as I understand it, Gearbox is focused on Battleborn, which looks like an amazing game, and i’ll probably give it a shot. But it’s a bit outside of the side of Borderlands that I like (I’m more of an RPG fan, Elder scroll, Fallout…that sort of thing) Once it’s out, Gearbox will have more resources to put on other things.
And next, comes BL3, which I can’t wait to see.
But I don’t want it to be released too soon: I’d rather not see it before 2017 if it means that the game is gonna be more polished. Rushing BL3 would be a tragedy. Take your time to make it right…we’ll wait.
Where can people go to check out the latest from you?
Here I guess, LOL. I would like to be able to shamelessly plug a kickass Youtube channel, but I have no real video capabilities (though that might change with BL3 ) and i’m fairly mediocre as a player to be honest…so it might not be that interesting to watch.
What i’m up to ? Well, I feel that pretty much everything that I wanted to write on the game, I already have. Though I never played BL1… I might give it a try while waiting for BL3 (and Fallout 4)
I don’t know if I would be able to bring something new to the table, but who knows ?
Until then, I’ll probably keep coming on the forum, answering questions and providing what help I can to new players