Yesterday, Borderlands 3 dropped a new hotfix that addressed a lot of bugs and issues currently plaguing the game. What it did not address is the largest bug that has been a problem for weeks and may end up being in place for a full month or so before it’s fixed, given how often these hotfixes arrive.

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That would be what’s going on with the Guardian Rank system. As in, the entire thing is pretty busted.

The half of the Guardian Rank endgame system that gives you percent bonuses to your skills still works. That can be a little hard to measure, but I can see basic stuff still functioning like my shield getting the 10% boost it’s supposed to have from putting points into that stat. But what is not working is any of the perks in the Guardian Rank skill tree system, and that’s kind of a big problem. Among the perks that are really, really important that aren’t working are:

C-C-Combo – Increases gun damage by 2% for 1 second per shot

Resilient – Recover from Fight for your Life with full health and shields

Dead Man’s Hand – Allow aiming down sights and increased accuracy in FFYL

Shield Reboot – Killing an enemy starts shield regen

Topped Off – Action skill cooldown increases at full shields

You get the idea. That’s not all of them, but when added together, the entire tree really impacts gameplay significantly, and yet it has not worked since the Maliwan Takedown update which not only introduced the game’s hardest activity, but also its hardest difficulty, Mayhem 4. And lacking those abilities has been a significant problem.

This is sort of emblematic with my main problem with Borderlands 3 these days. The game is fun, I really want to play it and farm it endlessly, but its technical problems are just…very bad. Maliwan Takedown is a good activity severely hurt by both matchmaking issues and straight-up crashes. My first six attempts to beat it on PC led to hard crashes at the Valkyrie boss fight every single time before I finally got through. My first attempt trying to take my console buddy through it led to a disconnect at the exact same spot. It’s very frustrating, and obviously players are still dealing with general performance issues on both console and PC from framerate to menu lag. And past the Guardian Rank system not working, there are a lot of skills across all characters (particularly Zane) that remain bugged or broken and pretty much have been since launch.

I appreciate Borderlands dumping out all this content from holiday events to raids to now DLC. But these tech issues are actively hurting the arrival of new content, and they need to be brought in line before the game can live up to its full potential.

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I’ve been writing about video games, television and movies for for over 10 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. I cover all

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I’ve been writing about video games, television and movies for for over 10 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. I cover all manner of console and PC games, but if it’s about looting or shooting, I’m definitely there. If I’m watching something, it’s usually science fiction, horror or superheroic. I’m also a regular on IGN’s Fireteam Chat podcast and have published five sci-fi novels.