Borderlands 2’s True Vault Hunter Mode is truly challenging

I beat Borderlands 2 a couple weeks back, finished up a few other sidequests I left hanging before taking on the Warrior,  and then even started over with a new character. I boosted Gaige the Mechromancer up to Level 5, just enough to see her robot in action. She seems like fun, but I couldn’t simply forget about my Siren. Not after all we’d been through. Not after I finally figured out how to spec her skill tree to my style of playing, which is based around stealing large amounts of health back and keeping enemies at bay with Phaselock to suffer from corrosive, burn, and slag damage.

And so I selected her to journey once more across Pandora in what the Gearbox folks have dubbed True Vault Hunter Mode. Basically, it’s New Game+ with some alterations. Most of those ramp up the difficulty, but with great challenges comes great rewards. Unfortunately, sometimes three Super Badass Maniacs stand in the way, and for the solo player, that’s just death–over and over and over again. You start the game over completely, but get to keep your level, weapons, equipment, skins, and Badass ranks. Enemies are scaled to your level the first time you enter  an area, which means I was taking on Bullymongs ranging from LV 35 to 37 right from the start, and all it takes is one leap-hit from them to deplete a shield. Yeah, I was mostly getting by on Second Winds for those first few encounters.

The original Borderlands had this feature as well, and it was great for speeding up the leveling process. My Soldier got to Level 61 speedily thanks to playing storyline missions a second time on a raised difficulty, but I really don’t remember them being nearly impossible to do. Tough, sure. But not like what Borderlands 2 has been throwing at my Level 35 Siren now. Well, except for some missions in The Secret Armory of General Knoxx DLC. Those Badass Crimson Lance Shock Troopers were tough buggers.

So, in short, it’s tough. Really tough, especially for solo players. And from some over-read Internet grumbling, I am not looking forward to running into any of the following by myself: Rabid Stalkers, Blood Varkids, Badass Wormhole Threshers, and Badass Constructors. This might be a case of where I swap between playthrough 1 and 2 to level up though that’s a much slower way to advance. And besides, all the best gear is in playthrough 2, especially as you creep closer to the current level cap of 50. Though the first DLC for Borderlands 2 looks somewhat uninteresting story-wise and mission-wise, it might be just what I need to level up a few levels quickly. We’ll see. But either way, all Vault Hunters should take this post as a healthy dose of warning: playthrough 2 is no joke. If you’d like to help me get through it, I’ll be crawling along the ground, fighting for my life, a Super Badass Maniac standing over me. Approach at your own discretion…

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2 responses to “Borderlands 2’s True Vault Hunter Mode is truly challenging

  1. I’ll admit that the Badass Constructors are nothing to sneeze at, but with the 12 Pounder rocket launcher you get from the DLC content (Captain Scarlett and her Pirate’s Booty), they go down pretty quick. I mean, the thing deals over 35k worth of damage. However, I suggest you stick with corrosive damage when it comes to all Hyperion robots. They go down much faster. Though explosive also works with surprising effectiveness. So grab yourself a shotgun with explosive properties, or a launcher, and get down to business. With the Varkids, you’re going to want fire. It’s not a joke, it’s in all seriousness. Little bastards burn quick and easy, though you can also use explosive rounds for them, as well. Threshers, I suggest sticking with explosive rounds. It’ll save your ass more times than you could possibly count. As to the Stalkers, use electrified weapons, to get rid of their shields. Then go nuts with a rocket launcher.

    Unfortunately, I have Borderlands 2 for the PS3, rather than the 360 (My brother has a 360, though, just not Borderlands 2), so I won’t be able to help you. Regardless, good luck, man.

    • Thanks for the tips! I haven’t picked up the first bit of DLC yet, but it seems like there is some necessary weaponry in there that can help one survive TVHM. Haven’t encountered a Badass Constructor yet and am not looking forward to it.

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