Borderlands 3's Quest Cycling Option Is Amazing

Image: 2K Games, Borderlands 3

I’m getting pretty sick of opening up menus in games, so when I realised I could just toggle through quests at any time in Borderlands 3, I was overjoyed

In previous Borderlands games you could highlight a limited number of quests to pursue at one time. The latest game effectively lets you track all of them simultaneously, without ever leaving the main screen. On PS4, where I’ve been playing, left or right on the d-pad will take me through all of the objectives I currently have open. It’s hands down the biggest quality of life improvement I’ve come across in a game this year, and it’s something I wish I could magically insert into every other quest-heavy role-playing game.

I’ve been playing a ton of Destiny 2 since the Shadowkeep expansion came out in October, and I constantly find myself scrolling through the game’s menus to try to figure out what exactly I need to do for the dozens of quests and bounties I have open at any given time. Destiny 2 only lets you track up to three activities at once, even though the game’s current grind revolves in part around completing as many bounties as possible, of which there are dozens of new ones to burn through every day.

Was that Gunsmith bounty for scout rifles or pulse rifles? Did I need to kill opponents in the Crucible with solar abilities or void? Am I supposed to be killing cabal on Mars or on Nessus? The answers require constantly flipping through my directory. Checking doesn’t take a ton of time, but repeatedly doing so over and over takes its toll. It feels like trying to unlock my phone every three minutes while cooking a new recipe and then trying to scroll back to the directions as I’m bombarded with half-loaded ads. Every second of my life that slips by in this manner feels acute and like an eternity.

As we near the end of this console generation, load times in general, and menus systems in particular, feel more sluggish than ever. Destiny 2 has become notoriously slow on console, and trying to get to my quest list to find out how many opponents I still need to defeat in PVP for the Forging the Broadsword questline takes approximately seven seconds. I can scroll through just about all of my available quests in the same amount of time in Borderlands 3.

Open world games with cascading questlines like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey would also be a bit less overwhelming to navigate with a handy toggling tool. As more games dish out side-quests and to-do list-style scavenger hunts, better tools to navigate them become more important. I’m not in favour of every game needing a daily planner to make sense of them, but I wish more games had smart shortcuts for organising the clutter. Why stop at a quest toggle? Why not track multiple quests at once and let you toggle through which ones, like saving favourite stations on the car radio? Hell, why not even add custom modes for players to choose from that select quests based on how close you are to the next objective, or even help map out the most efficient route to completing all of the tasks within a given area?

I scroll through enough menus in my daily life paying bills, responding to email, checking calendar appointments Give me more games that make me spend less time doing the same. 


Comments

    Borderlands 3 doesn't deserve credit for this. Not even a little bit. The amount of quest objectives you'll just straight miss in BL3 unless you're CONSTANTLY spamming the quest cycle button is absurd.

    The feature it's amazing right up until you realise you still have to open the map again ANYWAY to see where objectives are, or more specifically how to get through the map to them. And any game that doesn't let you track more than one quest at a time is having a laugh at the player's expense.

    MMO's have been managing multi-quest tracking just fine for like 20 years at this point... So what gives with these shiny new AAA games being intentionally handicapped by bullshit design?

      Yeah, I could not believe this wasn’t fixed from the earlier BL games, which all suffered from this nonsense.

    Remember when people were making fun of quest markers?

    It would be better to copy Skyrim/oblivion and have persistent markers for all selected quests - having us toggle them off when we choose rather than an arbitrary limit.

      Yep good idea, and it wouldn’t even be bad as Skyrim, which suffered a bit from quest markers across the whole open world, whereas BL’s map-by-map approach would be less cluttered.

    On PS4, where I’ve been playing, left or right on the d-pad will take me through all of the objectives I currently have open.
    ... except to use this functionality, you have to give up the control scheme that allows d-pad weapon selection, and instead have to repeatedly push triangle to cycle through your weapons, which is hot bullshit. I mean, good idea in theory, totally butchered by the control options.

    Last edited 20/12/19 9:47 am

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