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Easiest character to start w/?

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So I'm finally about to start playing Borderlands, but I was wondering: what character would people recommend as a good starter? I have very little FPS experience, my closest would be Mass Effect 1 and 2. I have played as a sniper in that, but I worry that I was only really successful thanks to time slowdown when entering scope as the sniper-focused class. That said, I'm a much better shot when I have a chance to stop and really aim, and in close, hectic situations I tend to put lead into just about anything near me, whether that's ground, sky, friends, enemies, or open space. I guess my desire is for decent toughness and range, so I can kill things without getting too close, from cover, and be able to take a few hits without it being instant curtains. Who would be best for that? My current leanings are Mordecai, who has the range and power but may be a bit iffy in terms of toughness, and Roland, who seems to be much tougher but has to get closer (shotguns mean something is close. That would be bad.) Any ideas? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.25.57.109 (talkcontribs) 19:15, 30 December 2010


the easiest character to start with would be the one that matches your playing style. Mordecai the hunter is suited well to sniping perquisite wise. that said, all character types can snipe allowing for accuracy of weapons and sight drift. the learning curve from ME1/2 can be steep going from 3ps to fps with no time stops (fallout players will notice this as well). another good choice is lilith because she can always phasewalk out of a jam, find cover and attack anew. roland can throw out a turret and pick off enemies with a flanking maneuvre. and of course brick can rage out of a situation provided he is not downed whilst doing so w/o a target for a second wind. my advice is to wing it. if you die youve gained intel on the enemy and early in the game your not losing much money. later in the game when money is no object this is also doable. the bummer is bosses who regen to full when you cash out to hyperion unless you are in a multiplayer game and someone else is still alive. when you are low on health try to rush the enemy, i know this is counter intuitive, but there is no frustration like hiding behind a rock and catching a grenade with no one around to shoot (second wind). enjoy!   Dr. F    Chemicalweapon   Wordpress shovel   Boston globe bullhorn  01:37, December 31, 2010 (UTC)


In my opinion, I think you'd like Roland. He's good with shotguns as you said, but he's also a combat rifle/machine gun expert. A good combat rifle with a good scope can be more effective then a sniper rifle. I love the Raven. A combat rifle with good power, can have a good scope, and tends to have good accuracy. His scorpio turret would suit you I think, it distracts enemies and gives you cover, plus at higher levels can heal and regen ammo, among other things. Also Roland has the most diverse comm selection IMO, ammo regen, shield recharge, damage+, firerate+, magizine capacity+, and way more are just some of his comms. I'm a fan of Mordecai, but he is frail, your right about that. Alot of people like Lilith for her phasewalk, and alot of people hate on Brick. Personally my favorites are Roland and Mordecai. No one can tell you what good for you though, like the good Dr. said "just wing it" trial and error is pretty fun. Psn- NovaBomb 03:27, December 31, 2010 (UTC)


Two things I don't think anyone's mentioned yet are "aggro" and "weapon proficiencies," both of which serve to make sniping in this game very unique. The way weapons work is that each one falls under a certain category (proficiencies), like "sniper rifles" or "shotguns." Each time you gain experience, the weapon you have active (ie, the one you're shooting at that moment) determines which proficiency also gains experience. These proficiencies can then "level up" just like your character can, and confer passive bonuses for that weapon type (ie, higher sniper proficiencies reduce the time it takes to reload snipers, as well as the "sway" that occurs after you take a zoomed shot).

The proficiencies are static across all classes - everyone has all of them, with the same bonuses, and they all start at 0 in each of them. What this means in essence is that you can take a "close combat" class like Brick and still become very effective with sniper rifles, just by using them a lot. The only two advantages Mordecai really has over Brick in this scenario are A) an entire tree devoted to talents that help sniping, and B) a sniper rifle as his initial weapon (meaning he gains proficiency for it right from the very start). Those two things aside, Brick's perhaps even BETTER suited in the long run towards snipers, albeit counter-intuitively; the fact that he's meant for close-quarters brawling means he'll be that much tougher to take down when the enemies (most notably bosses) manage to survive your initial assault and decide to get up close and personal.

The other thing I mentioned, which I call "aggro," is a term more commonly seen in MMO's like World of Warcraft. Simply put, it refers to when monsters notice you. Typically there's a "range" of distance involved (ie, enemies won't notice you if they're across the map from you, but they'll probably start firing at you if you walk into their immediate line of sight), and level differences traditionally play a part as well (an enemy several levels higher than you will chase you farther than a weaker enemy, since they view you as "easy prey"). Obviously this varies from enemy to enemy as well (Rakks tend to leave you alone unless you enter their hive's immediate vicinity, whereas a Skagg den might only initially send the one or two visible "scouts" at you - until you kill them, at which point you are guaranteed to face several more in rapid succession).

The reason this is particularly important to a sniper is that in general, you'll be able to get sights on an enemy well before you're close enough for them to notice you (they'll just be idly walking around, or perhaps attacking each other); however, the way aggro works in this game is that once one enemy in that vicinity notices you, they all notice you, immediately, even if the initial guy is dead. There is no such thing as "preventing an alarm" - once you shoot the first bullet, that entire bandit camp is going to know exactly where you are, and every single one of them is going to come for you. Understand that I'm being literal here - enemies aggro as soon as you FIRE the first shot.

What this means is that the "element of surprise" is greatly diminished in Borderlands. It also means that the enemy you're shooting at will ALSO notice you, often BEFORE the shot lands; I can't count the number of times I've had dead-center sights on a bandit when I hit the trigger, only to see my shot "miss" because he immediately strafes to the right and starts firing at me. I know it's ironic to decry a futuristic videogame for its lack of "realism" but it really is frustrating, especially if you've just come from a game like Call of Duty where snipers translate to "one shot, one kill, no alarm still." To go from that to the gameplay mechanics of Borderlands will require a LOT of patience on your part. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.69.39.108 (talkcontribs)


After all that, you still didn't sign your post. If I may summarise what .108 has said in paragraphs,

  • 1st: Explaining weapon proficiency. That's it.
  • 2nd: Any class can get much better at any weapon with said proficiencies. Brick may be better for survival when sniping - if the enemies get too close, he can take short- to medium- range damage better than Mordecai.
  • 3rd: Explaining aggro. That's it.
  • 4th: "enemies aggro as soon as you FIRE the first shot."
  • 5th: Therefore, you may sometimes miss your shot, as the enemy may move away during the bullet's flight time. Get used to it.

 nagy   talkScorpio-fulllog     08:27, December 31, 2010 (UTC)


A bit off topic, but I actually think that the way Borderlands handles aggro makes the game more realistic. Usually real life Snipers don't camp like they do on a traditional First Person Shooter game, and they carry a backup weapon for if they are found and need to fight up close (and they know how to do that too). Its all a matter of perspective though, I guess, as I'm more used to RPGs than anything.

Back on topic though, I would have to agree with Novabomb on this. Not only does Roland suit your needs for something that can survive when push comes to shove and you need to fight up close, but he isn't too bad with a Sniper Rifle either. Heck, he isn't too bad with any weapon as a matter of fact, and not just because the fact that Borderlands has Weapon Proficiencies - he has skills that work well with a variety of weapons because they are more generic. This makes him extremely versatile, and versatility IMO means survivability. If you want, I may even draft up a build for you to follow as you play through the game, with pointers as how to play a more Sniper-ish Roland, utilizing mainly Sniper Rifles, Combat Rifles and Revolvers. Sig-kmcUserpage-kmcInventory-kmcBuilds-kmcTalk-kmcLog-kmc 17:28, December 31, 2010 (UTC)


Sorry if this is a bit late. I'd recommend Roland or Lilith to newbies, especially Lilith since her Phasewalk skill will save your butt and get you out of trouble faster. IMO, no character is 'better' with any weapon. Their related CMods can give them a unique advantage but the characters themselves don't have a special affinity towards being a "Sniper" or whatever, despite what their character's description may imply. -- MeMadeIt  20:38, January 3, 2011 (UTC)

(The Evil Dr. F's note - the dramatic (re-entrance) return of MMI!)

Personally i say you need the pick the character that suits your playing style best. I started with Mordicai. Loved the bloodwing action skill and still use him alot as a level 69. I think it just depends on what your likes and dislikes are. Wing it...start with one character and if you dont like that one try another. That was my method!! LOL Im working on getting them all to level 69 though. Once you get used to the game with one player you have to play it with all 4!! Lynne1984 00:43, January 4, 2011 (UTC)


I agree, plus as you play the game, you will figure out its intricacies. The builds for a new player are important though, since you can spend points without focus. I will give you some guidelines and maybe spur more discussion for your leveling enjoyment. If your having problems with any one character, consider a respec :)

Brick is the easiest to build if you go all points in the TANK tree with Rapid Reload and Revenge from the blaster tree, just stay away from bash if you want a true tank. This gives extreme survivability from the first points.

Roland wants to load up both shield skills from his SUPPORT tree and go for Stat in the MEDIC tree for the quickest way to survive well (dont be fooled by his cooldown skills, since it wont work as stated).

Mordecai only heals from Riotous Remedy and Out For Blood (get those) and a build down the ROUGE tree works best for new players (you can call your bloodwing back to heal yourself if you need to).

Lilith wants both her cooldowns which takes longer to realize her potential, but she gets Inner Glow and Hit & Run on the way to her cooldown skills which is combination that gives uniterruptible healing AKA "get out of jail free". Her Girl Power skill heals shields also. With her cooldown skills (Blackout and Hard To Get) and the three other skills mentioned above, Lilith is the most survivable build in the game as well as the most complicated character.

It all depends on how much you like builds and how much time you want to research things.

I hope this helps your new characters, although these are just pointing out some of the strengths of some of the skills... Definately check out multiple builds :)

I am the best robot 08:00, January 4, 2011 (UTC)


After all that "THIS IS DA BEST USE THIS CHAR", just read the character pages accessible from the front page. Just pick the one most suitable for your playstyleRiceygringo 03:08, January 11, 2011 (UTC



To be honest the best over all starter character is probably Lilith since all characters can get very high damage and Lilith is probably the most defensive character. Brick is probably the second most defensive character but in my opinion berzerk is the worst special skill by far. For a brand new character though Brick can actually be easier to play initially while you get used to the game (healing from Berzerk lets you focus on shields + defensive skills early on). Lilith really shines though with her phasewalk both allowing her to recharge shields and health, position herself and even get right up in the face of enemies etc.


If you like revolvers Mord is great, and bloodwing is also a blast, but he is probably the most frail character which can make life much harder for a new character still learning how to play. Everyone can rock with a sniper rifle so his real advantage is with revolvers. Blood Wing is a great offensive power (Probably the most offensive one in fact) but it can also add to survivability as well later on. I'd consider Mord to be a more advanced player...good for a challenge and probably best to play after going through the game with either Lilith or Brick (Lilith being far easier then Brick).


Roland is good if you play online alot but doesn't really shine in any one area. His damage bonus even to shotguns doesn't compare to the damage bonuses you get from other classes and his only real advantage is with assault rifles damage wise. In many ways I would consider him the least offensive player in fact. Meanwhile he doesn't shine defensively at all either. Even mord really has more defense in many ways (bloodwing can bring you back up after you take a dirt nap for instance by killing something or even returning and healing you...and you can pretty much have him out nonstop late game). Roland is probably the most challenging character to play for a new character.

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