For those who like the grind, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is border areas the heaven. For those who don’t, it’s a solid shooter that lacks the sharp hooks of a real-life live service game. I imagine these dynamics will remain much the same in the wake of the game’s latest expansion, which adds the game’s first new class since launch: the Blight caller.
Released in March for consoles and PC, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is a fantasy spin-off of Gearbox’s border areas series of loot shooters. historical, border areas entries have emphasized meaty, story-driven expansions after release. (Wonderlands itself is technically a sequel to one of those: Borderlands 2is amazing Attack on Dragon Keep.) But for WonderlandsGearbox has instead chosen to release four smaller packs called “Mirrors of Mystery”, each a sort of series of battle rooms-light on story, heavy on looting and shooting.
However, the price tag remained more or less the same.
Read more: Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands Player finds a rare ‘One In 85 Billion’ item
The fourth such expansion, “Shattered Spectreglass”, was released yesterday and is available individually or as part of the game’s Season Pass. The most interesting aspect is the roll-out of the Blightcaller classwhich yields the total number of classes available Wonderlands to seven (and the total number of double lessons to a number. I need one of you who knows math to find out).
Blightcaller is a strange class. While the standard edition Wonderlands class-Stabbomancer is your type of killer, Brr-Serker is for melee-focused builds and so on – map neatly to classes from previous border areas games, the Blightcaller does not have an easy consequence. In general, does it deal in handing out? elemental damage. But it also has a companion. And a focus on defense, rather than offense.
For example, there are some skills that increase your damage proportionally to how much department (Wonderlands parlance for “shield”) you have. Wraithmail will recover part of your ward for every enemy you kill. That ties in with Flawless Edge; every point you invest in the skill increases your damage by 6 percent if you have a full ward.
His action skills, Bog Totem, summons a little tree mate who fires a barrage of small evil skulls that invade and attack enemies. But here’s the real draw: those skulls will match the elemental type of weapon you’ve equipped. Combine that with the Geist in the shell skill – that summons a similar barrage, one that acts poison damage, every time you land a critical hit – and you’re more or less a constant stream of elemental projectiles, dealing damage from up to three different elemental types at once.
I signed up last night Kotaku‘s Zack Zwiezen for a new one Wonderlands play on. I messed with a new Blightcaller character and we played until the end of the story mission “Thy Bard, With A Vengeance” which lets you choose a subclass. (Since Zack didn’t have access to the expansion, he couldn’t select Blightcaller as a primary or secondary class.)
There is no obvious similarity, such as, say, the… claw bringer and track guardresulting in the uber-powerful wildfire double class-but I finally settled for the track guard also for my Blightcaller, as it comes with a little mushroom monster as a companion. Now I’m a cool AF vowel magic mushrooms. The Blightcaller’s Active decay ability increases poison damage, making the little mushroom monster more powerful. I’m excited to see how the two continue to evolve over the course of this playthrough.
At least if I keep playing.
The Blightcaller is definitely a stunner. But it doesn’t radically change the game. Look, this is my fourth Wonderlands character. Maybe it’s because I’ve gone through the intro five times now (I lost one character because of I Have No Clue What Happened), but the re-roll for me has really bridged the gap between recent border areas games and the original: Wonderlandsand kind of Borderland 3 before, exist in the dark purgatory between a typical campaign-focused game and a live service game.
For a while I absolutely loved the endgame “Chaos Chamber” mode, what with its roguelike elements and seemingly limitless legendary loot drops. But it started to feel like a rut after a rut, all in the endless service of making bigger numbers so you can make even bigger numbers. Maybe, if you’re real, For real luck – like win-the-lottery-multiple times-luck – you’ll finish finding one in every 85 billion piece of equipment. Wonderlands has the compulsive repetition of a live service without the momentum spurred by the steady stream of content you’d get with a real-life live service game: a rotation of cosmetics, time-limited seasonal events (even Borderland 3 had some of this), new areas that don’t cost $10 a pop, a social space to get together with other players. The addition of the Blightcaller class does not change this dynamic.
So the rut, at least for me, has gotten old. This is good! Games can just end. You’re completely within your rights to enjoy one game, to have a really damn good time, and then… move on to the next one. When you start Wonderlands for the first time, sure, yes, I’d say opting for a Blightcaller build would be a good decision. But if you’ve been waiting with bated breath for this new class to revive the game, you’d better wait for Borderlands 4.