We’ve reached the third week of unique Borderlands 3 events, and this time around Gearbox has seen fit to tweak the numbers to make Eridium, a secondary currency that’s much harder to find than regular money, drop more frequently. The only problem is that there’s still very little on which to actually spend these purple space rocks.
Eridium was first introduced in Borderlands 2, where it served two very important purposes: expanding backpack space and ammo reserves as well as eventually purchasing entrance to arenas that housed the game’s uber-hard raid bosses. In Borderlands 3, however, Eridium isn’t quite as useful.
Upgrading your Vault Hunter is instead done with cold, hard cash, and raid bosses haven’t been added to the game yet. Instead, series mainstay Crazy Earl will exchange Eridium for cosmetic items — heads, skins, emotes and the like — and special “Anointed” weapons, which provide character-specific stat bonuses.
There’s also a special slot machine in the game’s main hub, Sanctuary III, that takes Eridium instead of space dollars or whatever it is the Vault Hunters use, but it’s generally not very fun pulling the lever over and over again for the small chance that you’ll get a piece of gear that’s much easier to find farming bosses.
This week’s event, “Show Me the Eridium,” only makes the currency’s relative worthlessness that much more apparent. In addition to boosting the amounts of Eridium that drop, prices have also been reduced on items that can be bought with the mysterious stones — from what I can tell, Crazy Earl’s wares have been marked down by 25 per cent, and the slot machine now costs five Eridium a pull rather than the usual 10.
Gearbox’s patch notes mention that normal enemies will now also drop Eridium, which was previously exclusive to just Badass variants, mini-bosses, and bosses, but it wasn’t enough to make a noticeable difference during my recent loot expeditions.
After the fun of last week’s festivities, which saw rare enemies make guaranteed appearances and drop unique loot, Show Me the Eridium is a bit of a letdown. Everything that Eridium purchases in Borderlands 3, from cosmetic items to Anointed weapons, can also drop from enemies and appear in chests. Furthermore, most hardcore players have already accrued a massive amount of Eridium, and without anything new to buy, the currency is practically meaningless.
The smart move for players is to simply hold onto whatever Eridium they earn during this event and wait for Gearbox to provide more opportunities to use it, whether that’s via raid bosses or something special like modifying weapon attributes, a common request in the Borderlands community.
Although Gearbox has been clear from the beginning that these weeklong events were simply the appetizers leading up to the big Halloween-themed Bloody Harvest celebration at the end of October, the offerings have so far been more disappointing than fun. I’m still playing Borderlands 3 because I love Borderlands, but my ongoing commitment to the game hinges almost entirely on the next few updates.