The the team at Gearbox has been saying for a while now that their plans for Borderlands would be influenced very directly by requests and comments from fans. In an interview with designers Stephen Cole, Drew Mobley, Jonathan Hemingway, Matthew Armstrong, and artist Tim Wilson on Gearboxity, they reveal just how seriously they take your feedback.
Of note is the inclusion of item storage, which Hemingway says there was a huge demand for from players. So too was the "wave-based" fast combat that has become so popular in other shooters lately like the Horde mode in Gears of War 2 and Firefight in Halo 3: ODST. Armstrong also discusses the new combat rules in the game, known as Moxxi's Maxim's that force specific combat requirements on the player with each successive round.
"Moxxi's Maxims are a set of combat rules set by Moxxi, and they are where this thing goes crazy," he explains. "I think we have over 20 Maxims, and each one significantly changes the nature of how you have to fight. At first you don't have any Maxims, and then when Moxxi introduces one it makes you have to think and change the way you're playing. You could get a rule coming in that says 'shotgun challenge' and all of a sudden everyone has bonus damage with shotguns, and every other weapon does reduced damage. The enemies do more damage with THEIR shotguns. Now, all of us, we need to use shotguns. Then, maybe next round, Moxxi gives you a rule that says 'Headshot.' Suddenly, body shots do nearly no damage, but to compensate, headshots do massive damage. Now imagine if you have a shotgun challenge AND a headshot challenge at the same time, now we're dealing with close combat! As The Maxims get more and more complicated and stack on top of each other, of the difficulty increasing and the number of enemies increasing, we really get into some wild, enjoyable, chaotic fun."
The conversation very effectively shows the passion that the Borderlands design team has for their game, and how dedicated they are to continuing to enhance the experience with new areas, new characters, and new rule sets. It's refreshing to see a team approach a new franchise in this manner, and be so open in their wishes to appeal directly to fans in a game they're already playing, rather than simply disappear for another 18 months to build a sequel in which they guess at what fans want.
You can read the whole conversation here.