With her robo-arm and cyberpunk pigtails, she’s been one of the most intriguing new additions to the franchise. Her core skill is her ability to summon her own heavily modified Claptrap-eque robotic minion, Deathtrap.
In an interview with eurogamer, lead designer John Hemingway detailed the still in development skill trees that the Mechromancer is rocking.
The tree put on display was called “Best Friends Forever.”
Hemingway said of the Mechromancer and her talent design:
“The design team was looking at the concept art and thought, you know what, this is actually the cutest character we’ve ever had. I want to make, for the lack of a better term, the girlfriend skill tree. This is, I love Borderlands and I want to share it with someone, but they suck at first-person shooters. Can we make a skill tree that actually allows them to understand the game and to play the game? That’s what our attempt with the Best Friends Forever skill tree is.”
The mechromancer brings a set of skills to the table that allow less skilled people become a more functional part of multiplayer co-op and have more fun in single player mode. Can’t hit the broadside of a barn with a cannon? No problem! One of the first talents in the tree is called Close Enough, that allows bullets that miss your targets to have a chance to ricochet off walls and objects towards your enemies.
Hemingway also said he wants to use one of her other skill trees to act as a counterbalance to the “easy mode” BFF tree:
“Right now, I’m thinking of it as a hardcore mode. So if you are a really expert player, and you want to do some tricky, difficult things, this is the tree for you, for just a totally different experience. We’re not ready to talk about it, because we have no idea if it’s even going to pan out. But we’ve got some interesting ideas there.”
All in all the Mechromancer sounds like a solid addition to the lineup of characters we all know and love. I personally can’t wait to play the hell out of Borderlands 2, the Mechro is a big part of my excitement.
I wish that was where I could end this article, and usually it would be. However, the eurogamer interview has triggered some nasty reactions from the public.
The fuss is over Mr. Hemingway calling the BFF tree “girlfriend mode.” There have been accusations of sexism and gender stereotyping on the part of Mr. Hemingway.
In this writers opinion, those claims are false. Contextually there was no malice behind what was said by Mr. Hemingway, when I first read the “girlfriend mode” anecdote, I laughed and thought it was kind of cute. I understood what he was saying, as I think most calm and logical people did. The BFF tree helps you share your gaming love with someone special. Doesn’t matter if they are male or female, your girlfriend/boyfriend, friend, parent, sibling.
The president of Gearbox Software, Randy Pitchford has come to the defence of Mr. Hemingway saying:
“I’m sure Hemmingway is getting noogied now, but not his fault. A personal anecdote has been twisted and dogpiled on by sensationalists. Fun!
There is no universe where Hemmingway is a sexist – all the women at Gearbox would beat his and anyone else’s ass.”
Mr. Pitchford, you are an awesome boss. I sincerely hope that the reaction to the comments made by Mr Hemingway do not impact his standing with Gearbox.
I’ll leave you guys with a positive note. The brand new Borderlands 2 Handsome Jack trailer dropped. It is awesome and you should watch it. The Mechromancer DLC pack is expected to drop 60 days after launch. Let us know what you think about the new Borderlands 2 info.