If there’s one main gameplay change I really, really like in Borderlands 3, it’s the option to change how looting works with other players in your team.
In the previous games, everyone saw every weapon that dropped and everyone got pretty much the same gear. If you worked together to kill a boss and it dropped seven guns, then everyone saw the same seven guns and would have to work with each other to decide who got what. Or they could duel with each other and fight over who gets the one and only legendary that dropped from said boss. This is fine if you’re playing with people you know, utterly chaotic if you’re playing with random people.
Borderlands 3 brings a second option. Everyone gets their own drops. Whatever weapons you pick up, whether it’s from bosses or chests or whatever, are your weapons, dropped specially for you.
This is both great and not so great for a variety of reasons.
The biggest and most important reason is that no one can rush ahead, open every single chest then take all the good stuff before everyone else has caught up. Because this happened to me all the time in Borderlands 2 and is the third reason why I never got super into it. The other reasons being that I could never actually get people to play more than a few hours with me and the fact that the intro and tutorial area is the fucking worst. But it was always insanely easy for someone else to rush ahead while you’re killing enemies, grabbing all the loot. Sure, ammo and money and eridium are all shared, but gun drops, shields and grenade mods all weren’t, so you’d have to keep an eye on both your enemies and what your teammates were taking.
With Cooperative mode, even if someone goes ahead and opens every single chest, there will be guns there, waiting for you to claim. They won’t be the same guns as what your teammates get, but at least you are getting guns.The downside to this is that, because your loot drops are different, you might not get drops as good as your team mates. For example, I did the Killavolt boss fight with two friends – one got a legendary, one got a purple and I got nothing but greens. In another example, one friend managed to get a Bitch off a fiery Skag, while the other player got a different legendary that dropped in the same place. Meanwhile I got a completely different legendary in a different location that was, well, a pretty crappy shotgun.
But the real upside far outweigh the downsides. Because everyone gets their own weapons and other loot drops, that means that a team of four players are rolling for loot four times instead of just once. This theoretically means a higher chance at better loot! On top of the already better loot you get from having more players and more difficult enemies! Which is awesome. That means a little bit less grind.
Then again, there is already an absolutely massive difference between drops in single player compared to coop play. The fact that everyone gets their own loot and there are less reasons to fight and argue are just icing on the cake.