Borderlands 2 DLC character the Mechromancer will feature a skill tree system which makes play possible even for gamers with little to no skill in the FPS genre, reports Eurogamer.
The Best Friends Forever skill tree, referred to as "girlfriend mode" by lead designer John Hemingway, is just one of three skill trees to ship with the new character.
"The design team was looking at the concept art and thought, you know what, this is actually the cutest character we've ever had. I want to make, for the lack of a better term, the girlfriend skill tree," Hemingway told Eurogamer during a recent studio visit. "This is, I love Borderlands and I want to share it with someone, but they suck at first-person shooters. Can we make a skill tree that actually allows them to understand the game and to play the game? That's what our attempt with the Best Friends Forever skill tree is."
One skill available in the BFF tree is "Close Enough" which helps bullets find their intended target by ricochetting off walls and other objects.
To counter the super easy BFF tree, Hemingway says he hopes to includes a hardcore tree too.
"So if you are a really expert player, and you want to do some tricky, difficult things, this is the tree for you, for just a totally different experience," he explained. "We're not ready to talk about it, because we have no idea if it's even going to pan out. But we've got some interesting ideas there."
Following the publication of the Eurogamer report, gamers and many within the industry took issue with the term "girlfriend mode" leading to some angry reports, forum posts and tweets. Gearbox Software president Randy Pitchford took to Twitter in an attempt to set the story straight.
"Borderlands 2 does NOT have a girlfriend mode," Pitchford stated on Twitter. "Anyone that says otherwise is misinformed or trying to stir up something that isn't there.
"The future DLC Mechromancer class has a skill tree that makes it easier for less skilled coop partners (any gender!) to play and be useful."
Pitchford labelled Hemingway's girlfriend mode comment as a "personal anecdote" and said "there is no universe where Hemingway is a sexist".
Borderlands 2 will be released September 21.