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When I finished Normal Mode at around Level 30 and went back to the Southern Shelf (still at Normal mode), I found that all enemies there are now very easy to kill, meaning they didn't level up (or hit a level cap).

When I went to Oasis (Captain Scarlett DLC location) as a Level 36 character in True Vault Hunter Mode, I noticed that the enemies are the same level as me.

What factors determine enemy levels?

Specifically, I would like to know:

  • Are enemies affected by what level a character accepted a mission?
  • Or is it what level a character is when they first entered an area?
  • How does Normal Mode, True Vault Hunter mode, and the Ultimate True Vault Hunter Mode affect enemy levels?
  • Are there enemies that will scale to the player level, as the player levels up?
  • Any enemy leveling differences specific to the DLC areas?

EDIT:

  • There is now an answer that explains how this works generally: "In playthrough 1, outside of the DLC, there's no such thing as scaling. Enemy levels are determined solely by the area they're in and your mission." Can anyone expound on that, and comment or provide an answer on what are the specific enemy levels on specific areas and/or missions?

  • This answer states that "enemies do not actually "scale", or at least from what we know of..." and lists specifics for enemy levels on certain areas in the game (sans DLC areas). Can anyone expound on that and/or add specifics for enemy levels in the DLC missions or areas in TVHM (PT 2.0) and/or UTVHM?

  • The Ultimate True Vault Hunter Mode update has just been released, can anyone provide info about enemy levels on that mode, including the DLC areas or missions?

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In Borderlands 1, the DLC always scaled to your character level when you first visited it. The Borderlands 2 DLC seems to behave the same way. –  Philipp Oct 21 '12 at 14:10
    
@Philipp: I'm not sure. I played today in Playthrough 1 as a 37 and enemies were 30. There might be limits or ranges? –  Mufasa Oct 21 '12 at 15:09
    
@Philipp At Oasis, will the enemies there be stuck to the character level when you first visited the area, or will they level up as you do? –  galacticninja Oct 22 '12 at 12:08
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What do you need to know the general ranges of specific missions for? The current missions specifically state what level they are and future missions aren't significantly above either: your current level or the level of the preceding story mission. –  Ben Brocka Feb 27 '13 at 2:15
    
@BenBrocka It would be nice to know the relative difficulty (level of enemies and their equipment) of specific missions or areas, compared to the player's level. If a player currently has a lot of missions, this could allow him or her to better select which mission they're gonna go for. –  galacticninja Feb 27 '13 at 2:52
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3 Answers 3

In playthrough 1, outside of the DLC, there's no such thing as scaling. Enemy levels are determined solely by the area they're in and your mission (certain missions effectively "level up" areas, notably Sanctuary and The Dust). You can easily check the level of an area by checking out the vending machines in the area, they sell items scaled to the level.

DLC in playthrough 1 scales to your level...ish. It maxes out at level 30. I played the DLC as a level 34 character and was disappointed to see everything was at level 30 in playthrough 1. Not sure if it has a minimum level it scales to.

Playthrough 2 works the same way until you beat the Final Boss; then everything in that playthrough scales to your level (except mission rewards for missions picked up before the final boss).

Playthrough 3 works the same was as Playthrough 2 after the final boss: Everything scales to your level, period. In team play, it will always be scaled to the highest level player's level. And you have to be at least level 50 to unlock it, so enemies are effectively level 50-61 at all times. Though if you take a mission before leveling up, the mission will still stay at that lower level, as always.

Basically the game works like a standard RPG without level scaling until you A) beat the game twice (because you should be maxed out anyway) or B) enter a DLC (because you can do that at any time so a preset level would be a really bad idea)

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Does that mean, that in my True Vault Hunter mode playthrough of the Captain Scarlett DLC, all enemy levels will be stuck at the level my character entered Oasis (level 36)? (That is, until I finish the game twice.) –  galacticninja Oct 22 '12 at 6:36
    
No; it seems that the enemies scale, until you're over level 30, which is where they stick. –  KBKarma Oct 22 '12 at 9:34
    
@KBKarma The enemies I encounter in True Vault Hunter Mode at Oasis are the same level as me (level 36) - Does that mean that they'll scale with me until level 50 (current maximum level cap)? –  galacticninja Oct 22 '12 at 12:04
    
@galacticninja I'm unsure. I was working off Ben Brocka's answer there. I've not got to Oasis yet, and the Borderlands wiki doesn't seem to mention True Vault Hunter mode at all. From what I've read on this Neoseeker post, it seems they should scale when you enter, but that should be all. As I said, I've no idea. –  KBKarma Oct 22 '12 at 12:14
    
@galacticninja that I'm not as sure about, but I assume so. TVH only scales to level 50 after beating the main story, but the DLC scales by default. Since TVH starts around level 35 it seems silly to cap it below level 50. Scaling doesn't appear fixed to one level but to your current level; as you level up in the DLC (up to the max, if any, in your playthrough) new missions/enemies should scale up too. Not 100% sure on that but I definitely noticed levels increasing as mine did. –  Ben Brocka Oct 22 '12 at 13:18
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To address OP's edited question, enemies do not actually "scale", or at least from what we know of. In PT 1.0, enemies do not scale, and are based in the areas where you can find them (in terms of storyline progression), and so is PT 2.0, where enemy levels are based on area. Only in Playthrough 2.5 will enemies "scale", to level 49 (bosses 52).

On average, most players finish PT1.0 around level 30-32, so when you start TVHM (PT2.0), the enemy will "scale" with you, starting at level 33. Ironically though, they do not actually scale in PT 2.0, instead, increasing in level until a cap of 52 in order of storyline missions. Here's an example:

This is the basic route they expect you to follow for most of the main storyline:

  • Windshear Waste (Claptrap's Place) - Starts with enemies level 33
  • Southern Shelf - Liar's Berg
  • Three Horns - Divide
  • Sanctuary
  • Frostburn Canyon
  • Three Horns - Valley
  • The Dust
  • Bloodshot Stronghold - Enemies here are around level 36
  • Bloodshot Ramparts
  • Tundra Express
  • End of the Line
  • The Fridge
  • The Highlands - Extraction Plant - Enemies here are around level 42
  • The Highlands Overlook
  • Thousand Cuts
  • Opportunity
  • Wildlife Exploitation Preserve
  • Control Core Angel
  • Eridium Blight - Enemies here are around level 46
  • Sawtooth Cauldron
  • Arid Badlands - Boneyard
  • Arid Badlands - Badlands
  • Hero's Pass
  • Vault of the Warrior - Ends with enemies level 52

Basically, based on the areas that Gearbox expects you progress through the storyline, the enemies will increase in level up to the warrior. This creates the basic assumption that to actually kill the Warrior at the end of PT2.0, you'll be around the range of level 49-50.

Once finished with the storyline twice through, you unlock Playthrough 2.5, where enemies now scale with your level. Since your expected level is around level 50, enemies will also spawn at level 49-50.

In terms of equipment, equipment generally spawns at the same level you will find enemies in that area. If you have finished the storyline twice and unlocked PT2.5, the level of weapons will scale to your level.

In UVHM, enemies will always spawn 2 levels higher than you, and in multiplayer sessions, will scale based on the HIGHEST LEVELED PLAYER. Meaning, if you have a party of level 50s, and a level 61 decides to join in on the fun, and you're in UVHM, all enemies will instantly become level 63 (highest lvl = 61 + 2 = 63).

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@Iszi I've added an answer. –  lumbricus lubricant Mar 5 '13 at 2:14
    
Do you have any info for enemy levels in the DLC missions or areas in TVHM (PT 2.0) and/or UTVHM? –  galacticninja Apr 6 '13 at 3:11
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Playthrough 1: Normal as you would expect. Enemies scale in area from 1-32.

Playthrough 2: This is where it gets interesting. Enemies start in the first area as 33 and scale up to the Warrior fight at 52. However, when you beat the game, all enemies would be 49~. Enemies don't scale to your level in any part of Borderlands 2. However, they go to 50 after you have finished the main quest-line on TVHM.

DLC enemies have a specified level range. They do not scale depending on your level but on the quest and area you are in.

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The DLC quests do scale to your level, within a range : see this answer –  Ben Brocka Feb 27 '13 at 15:22
    
This is a bit too general to address the OP's edit and bounty request. We're looking for a per-area accounting of expected enemy levels, not a summary of the playthrough levels. –  Iszi Feb 27 '13 at 17:00
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