We’re currently in the midst of a week-long Borderlands 3 event, during which players can expect bosses to drop specific legendary loot with greater frequency. As someone still looking for a decent class mod, this was an exciting prospect for me, but after spending some time farming the bosses in question, I don’t see myself changing up my loot-hunting habits any time soon.
After completing the Borderlands 3 story and as many side quests as I could find, I recently hit level 50 with Moze the Gunner, my main character. But as with other looter shooters, reaching the level cap in Borderlands 3 is just the beginning. I’ve spent this time tinkering with my skill trees, finishing the difficult end-game arenas, and most importantly, hunting down legendary loot.
Since my build is focused on landing successive critical hits to return bullets to the current magazine, the mid-game boss Graveward and its large critical hit points make for the perfect farming target. It absolutely melts under the onslaught of my Lyuda sniper and Butcher shotgun, meaning I can get a bunch of kills in quickly without it feeling like too much of a slog.
The current Borderlands 3 event, Bonus Boss Loot, encourages players like myself to leave our comfort zones and try rematching one of the several other bosses in the game. Early-game adversary Mouthpiece, for instance, now has a greater chance to drop the Gatling Gun, a powerful Jakobs assault rifle that features a fully automatic firing mode, while main antagonist Tyreen can reward players with the Bitch, a regrettably-named SMG that has been a franchise mainstay since the very beginning.
As compared to previous games in the series, it’s a little more difficult for players to find the specific gear they want in Borderlands 3 because every enemy and chest has the chance to hold any item. The Bonus Boss Loot event therefore seems like a godsend on paper, especially when it comes to obtaining legendary class mods. Right now, I’m looking for a Bloodletter class mod with the right mix of skill boosts. I’ve found a few during my time farming Graveward, but not the particular kind I’m looking for.
During the Bonus Boss Loot event, I have two targets in my search for the perfect Bloodletter class mod: Katagawa Jr. and Pain and Terror since Gearbox has imbued these bosses with a greater chance to drop legendary class mods for every character. Now the problems start setting in, the first being that their boss arenas are located at the end of two huge levels that require a good deal of on-foot travel to reach.
In contrast, Graveward is a great boss to farm not only because it’s easy to land critical hits against it, but also because the area in which you fight it is located right next to one of Borderlands 3’s fast travel stations. Plus, with an ammo shop situated outside Graveward’s arena, players can easily restock before each fight. This convenience is notably missing from the places you fight Katagawa Jr. and Pain and Terror. “But what the heck,” I thought. “As long as they drop a bunch of class mods, it should be worth the trouble.”
But after fighting Katagawa Jr. a couple of times, I wasn’t seeing the class mod drops I expected. Other players posting on social media seemed to be having the same issues, with many sceptical that Gearbox had increased the loot values at all.
Further issues immediately became clear during my first go at the Agonizer 9000, the giant death machine piloted by Pain and Terror. While the boss normally has pretty high health, these numbers are increased dramatically in the end-game Mayhem 3 mode, which also boosts loot drop chances. This, combined with the robot’s few and easily-destroyed critical hit spots, makes Pain and Terror an absolute grind compared to how quickly Graveward can be farmed, and I soon gave up on the Penn and Teller-inspired duo entirely.
I gave Gearbox a day to work out any lingering kinks and sat down this morning for a quick experiment. Katagawa Jr., despite the inherent randomness of his boss battle, is a much easier foe to defeat than Pain and Terror, so I decided to go a few rounds against him to see how his loot drops stacked up against my old favourite, Graveward.
After 10 runs, I had accrued two legendary class mods — neither were my precious Bloodletter, sadly — out of a total of 10 legendary drops. Four of those runs yielded zero legendary items whatsoever. The entire ordeal had eaten up about 40 minutes. Graveward, on the other hand, dropped three legendary class mods out of 16 total legendaries in the same number of battles. While that may not seem like much of a difference, it took only 20 minutes, meaning I was likely to find triple the class mods from Graveward for the same farming time.
My conclusion? Players should probably stick with their normal farming routine, especially if that routine revolves around Graveward. The hulking monstrosity is a dead simple enemy whose predictable fight can be repeated much faster than those of most bosses in the game. Plus, it’s almost guaranteed to drop at least one or two legendaries after every defeat.
During my time participating in the Bonus Boss Loot event, I was disappointed to find that my regular farming tactics were working just fine — a change of scenery would have been nice — and in fact provided greater opportunities for gear acquisition than the bosses that were purportedly boosted with loot drops. Here’s hoping the bonuses in future events are more substantial.