Borderlands 4: The Case for a Playable Ava
By Claudia Tanús
Even though Ava is one of the most disliked characters in Borderlands 3, she could be the perfect choice for the next playable Siren in the saga.
Ever since the release of Borderlands 3, fans have been clear about their dislike of Ava. This young character was first introduced in the latest game, but Ava's attitude and the way she is presented has not been well-received by many Borderlands fans. The problem about Ava not clicking with the audience is that she is most likely going to be a returning character, which could actually be a negative feature for some enthusiasts.
Ava was not a fan-favorite character from the get-go. She is introduced as Maya's apprentice who wishes to become a vault hunter as well, but there isn't much about Ava that makes her an interesting character that players can root for. However, the main problem came with Maya's death. Not only was Ava responsible for it, but she was not willing to accept the blame, and was even bratty about the incident. Given how Maya was a fan favorite, Ava was in for a rough start as one of Borderlands 3's newly introduced characters.
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Once Gearbox realized Ava was not well received, there were some clear efforts to make her look better. The Director's Cut DLC included a deleted scene in which Ava has a more humane reaction to Maya's death. After the release of the animation, many fans wondered why the scene was left out of Borderlands 3, as it completely changes the way Ava is perceived.
Aside from the deleted scenes, there were some additional quests in the Director's Cut DLC featuring Ava that also helped players feel more connected with the character. While the "Mysteriouslier" series is not too related to the rest of the game's narrative, the side quests are a good way for players to interact with Ava again. Together with the cut scene in the DLC, the Murder Mysteries seem to be a way for fans to make peace with the young Siren.
However, Gearbox's effort might not have been enough to make all players forgive Ava. Not every player checked out the DLC, meaning that the overall perception of Ava could be mostly the same. Nevertheless, there are still good reasons to give Ava another chance in the upcoming games, possibly giving her more protagonism.
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Ava's role in Borderlands 4
As little information as there is about Borderlands 4, it is likely that Ava will make an appearance. Furthermore, Ava could even be the next playable Siren. So far, it seems like the only reason to not make Ava the next playable Siren is the impression she made among fans. Of course, that should not be taken lightly, as it could affect the game's sales. However, there is a huge opportunity for Gearbox to make a more flattering marketing campaign for Ava.
Even though Ava is not one of the most beloved characters in the franchise, there are much more pros than cons for making Ava a playable character. Ava's personal story gained a lot of complexity after Maya's death in Borderlands 3, meaning she could be set up for an interesting arc - possibly one of the best in the franchise. If done correctly, it could make Ava more relatable in the long run, which could benefit the Borderlands narrative going forward.
Furthermore, it has been established that Sirens play an important role in the Borderlands universe. Because of this, it is unlikely that Gearbox will decide to brush Ava under the rug now that she is part of this group. By making Ava a playable character, fans could feel like they are contributing to Ava's growth while also feeling more immersed in the game's lore.
Borderlands 3 is available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
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Why Borderlands 3 Fans Hate Ava, Explained In Detail
By Sean Murray
From being a do-nothing brat to literally getting a beloved hero killed, Borderlands fans hate Ava for some very good reasons.
This is why all Borderlands 3 fans hate Ava.
First, this is HUGEspoiler territory, so if you haven’t played the game or are still working your way through the campaign, you might want to skip this one. But come back, because you’ll probably want to have a thorough explanation for all the rage you’re feeling against this snot-nosed brat.
Now that only those of you who’re aware of the terrible consequences of Ava’s action remain, Ava sucks. That we can all agree. But the detailed reason as to why she sucks can be provided thanks to Reddit user ironangel2k3, who writes with the air of an author.
Head on over to the Borderlands 3 subreddit post for the detailed explanation. To summarize, Ava is a “Scrappy-Doo” character--someone who is brash, argumentative, naive, and seemingly completely unaware of how their antagonistic nature puts themselves and everyone around them in danger.
Worse, the Scrappy-Doo is unable to extract themselves from said danger and relies on their friends to save them from certain destruction. That’s the vault hunter, in case you were wondering.
But it’s Also Maya, Ava’s hero and mentor. Although she seems to worship Maya, she also refuses to listen to her even when she’s giving out good advice and it ultimately leads to Maya’s death.
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Which wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the fact that at no point does the audience agree with Ava’s decision-making. She just comes off as a brat that keeps making poor decisions. You can wave it away as a spoiled kid just doing spoiled things, but the fact remains that you never feel like you’re on Ava’s side.
Congrats Gearbox, i don't think anyone will top your outstanding characters. from borderlands3
Worse, Lilith puts Ava in charge of the Crimson Raiders instead of someone with seniority--or even the remotest idea of how to run an intergalactic gang of vault hunters. She seems to only exist to eventually inherit Maya’s powers and be put in charge of the Crimson Raiders, which is just bad writing all around.
Commenters speculate that Ava will eventually have a redemption arc later on, likely as a DLC in the same way that Tiny Tina got one in Borderlands 2. But in the meantime, we'll all just keep on hating her.
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Freelance writer and contributor at The Gamer, Sean hails from Toronto, Canada. If you ask Sean what he likes, he'll say, "Robots, Ninjas, donuts - in that order."
The Hated Borderlands 3 Character Who's Getting A Second Chance
The Borderlands franchise has managed to introduce many colorful and exciting characters over the course of three main entries, one Telltale series, and a "pre-sequel." Out of all of the characters to have played a part in Borderlands' bonkers storyline, there may not be a single character who is disliked by fans more than Borderlands 3's Ava. Considering how dumb Borderlands 3 can be, that's saying something. And now, Gearbox has announced that the character will be the focus of a series of brand new missions.
In the new episode of The Borderlands Show, in which Gearbox typically gives fans a heads up about upcoming patches and new content for the looter shooter series, several big reveals were dropped. Among these is the fact that Ava will feature in a new side-quest in the Borderlands 3 Director's Cutadd-on.
According to Randy Varnell, Head of Gearbox Story Group, the writing team for Borderlands 3 has been toying with the concept of these Ava-centric missions for quite some time, but they didn't fit in with the original release of the game. These missions are inspired by paranormal podcasts and will follow Ava as she tries to solve a series of murders with the Vault Hunters in tow.
Varnell remarked on his excitement for the project, stating that the addition of these missions brought the game much closer to the team's original vision for Borderlands 3's story. However, as pointed out by Borderlands Show host Greg Miller, fans may be confused by seeing such a disliked character getting a moment in the spotlight.
As explained by TheGamer, fans have found Ava to be "a 'Scrappy-Doo' character," someone whose attitude consistently puts all of the other characters in danger. Even worse, Ava is handed a number of huge responsibilities at the end of Borderlands 3, which many feel she didn't earn.
Randy Varnell explained that Gearbox listened to fan feedback when it came to what people liked and didn't like about Borderlands 3. Varnell said that he understood that Ava didn't connect with audiences, but he felt like a lot of what made the character so great was unfortunately cut from the released version of the game. These new missions are way to show audiences the fuller version of Ava that they never got to meet.
In the comments on the official livestream, fans seem to be split on whether or not they support the idea of a new Ava-focused quest. On the dissenting side, some fans noted that this is likely to upset fans even more. One person wrote, "Wow, doubling down on the most hated character in all of [Borderlands]. What a genius move." Others seemed relieved to hear that Gearbox would be acknowledging fan complaints and fleshing Ava out a bit more.
Fans will get to see if their feelings regarding Ava change at all when Borderlands 3 Director's Cut add-on drops on March
How the Borderlands 3 Directors Cut DLC Can Redeem Ava
By Richard Warren
Though it will surely be a tough task, Gearbox has an opportunity to finally redeem Ava with her missions in Borderlands 3’s Director’s Cut.
Borderlands 3 is full of memorable characters many of which have been with the series since its inception. While players have a strong attachment to characters like Lilith, and the four new Vault Hunters were well received, some of the other fresh additions have not been as well-received by fans. The Calypso Twins, for example, were widely garded as weaker villains than Handsome Jack. However, the lukewarm reception to this pair of antagonists could not compare to the fanbase’s reaction to Ava.
While Borderlands 3 did a lot right, it was criticized heavily for its main story. While not everything can be blamed on Ava, the character played a role in some of the narrative’s most frustrating moments. Viewed by most as annoying, unlikable, and useless, the Borderlands community has made its feelings known on the character. With Ava set to have a big role in the Director’s Cut DLC, though, Gearbox has the chance to sway public opinion back in the character’s favor. While it will take work, the expansion could serve as a great way to address the community’s criticisms, making Ava into a stronger character before the next game arrives.
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Apologizing For Maya’s Death
Ava’s Director’s Cut content will see players working to solve a series of murder mysteries, and while the concept seems perfect for a quest line, Gearbox is asking a lot by centering the missions on Ava. After all, many players have formed a deep hatred for the character, so sweeping her actions from Borderlands 3 under the rug would be a bad idea. While it is possible that players will still enjoy this content despite Ava’s presence, having her acknowledge her own flaws early on could be a great start.
Ava’s apology would need to address her attitude prior to, during, and after Maya’s death. While many consider the moment unnecessary, there seems to be no plans to retcon the popular Siren’s demise. As such, having Ava learn from the moment is a necessity, especially considering how she acted after the death took place. Despite being the direct cause for her mentor’s murder, Ava placed the blame on Lilith for no reason at all, acting rude and spoiled for the remainder of the main story. While this attitude does keep with Ava’s teenage nature, Gearbox never shows her being punished or growing out of this phase.
A big step toward Ava maturing would be to have her talk directly to the Vault Hunters — and the players controlling them — at the start of the DLC. Taking proper blame for Maya’s death and admitting that she had a big role to play in what happened would be a great first step, while a second would see her apologizing for her outburst with Lilith after the fact. While more needs to be done to make Ava likable, having the character extend an olive branch to the audience would not hurt.
A New, Mature Ava
Following this apology, Ava needs to drop her new role as the leader of Sanctuary and the Crimson Raiders. While players took issue with Ava causing Maya’s death and not being nearly remorseful enough for her actions, they took greater issue with the fact that Lilith gave her control of Sanctuary 3. While Ava not being punished for her mistakes and her harshness after was an issue, a greater problem was how the character was rewarded for this behavior. Having accomplished nothing throughout the story and shown no leadership skills, Ava getting this position makes no sense whatsoever.
The role could have gone to a character like Tannis, who is not only a Siren, but also a genius scientist. Even better, Brick could have taken on the role, as he has proven to have leadership experience in the past. Fortunately, this can still happen, and Ava can show she has changed by turning down the role herself. At the start of the Director’s Cut, she can explain that she is not ready to become the leader of the Raiders or Sanctuary, passing on the position to one of the aforementioned characters.
Turning down the role would be a great way to show a changed Ava, winning Borderlands fans over in the process. Her logic can be as simple as an explanation that she does not feel old enough for such a task, with Gearbox able to turn the moment into some classic Borderlands humor. Having Ava joke that a teenager should not be given such a role would be a tongue-in-cheek moment that speaks volumes, and it could be a good way to get fans to move on. After all, Borderlands 3’s finale set up Ava as a key focus in future entries, meaning that the elephant in the room will need to be acknowledged at some point.
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Making A Friend In Tiny Tina
By apologizing and refusing to lead the people of Sanctuary until she is older, Ava would be well on the way to becoming a more likable character. From there, giving her a relationship beyond what she had with Maya will be a must. After all, the best bit of Ava content in the main game was her mission with Private Beans. The hilarious Maliwan enemy making fun of Ava was funny, but it also made the player feel bad for her — a feeling that quickly went away after the events of the main story. Still, the mission’s blueprint is an effective one.
While Ava does not need a character to antagonize her again, giving her someone to build off and learn from would be a huge step in the right direction. After all, Borderlands’ characters are defined by their relationships with others. Rhys and Zer0, Handsome Jack and Angel, Lilith and Roland, and Krieg and Maya are just some of the many relationships that help players get attached to the franchise’s characters. As such, Ava needs a foil of some kind, and the perfect option seems like an obvious one.
With Ava’s DLC missions seeing her record the findings of each mystery via her podcast, there is plenty of potential to give Ava a co-host. While several characters could work, there is no better fit than Tiny Tina. Loud, obnoxious, and loved by many, she is the exact opposite of the quiet and reserved Ava. The DLC could establish a bond between the two, something that would make logical sense due to their closeness in age. Through Tina, Ava could become a stronger character, and the duo could eventually become one of the biggest attractions in future Borderlands content.
With a proper pairing, strong apology, and showcase of maturity, the Director’s Cut missions with Ava could showcase a version of the Siren that is a far cry from the one seen in Borderlands 3’s main story. From there, showing off her powers and a bond with her cute pet Hermes would be all it takes to make the most despised character in the series a popular one.
Borderlands 3is available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.
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Borderlands 3 ava
With the behind-the-scenes content in Director's Cut, players can experience Borderlands 3's most emotional deleted scene. The following article contains major spoilers for Borderlands 3.
Of all the behind-the-scenes content included in the Director's Cut add-on for Borderlands 3, one selection has a particularly heavy emotional impact: a deleted scene of Maya's funeral.
Originally intended to take place following Maya's shocking death at the hands of Troy Calypso in the Promethean Vault, this scene ultimately had to be cut from Borderlands 3's story campaign. Now, thanks to the treasure trove of enlightening extras in Director's Cut, players will have the chance to witness this scene as a voiced storyboard animatic.
To get more insight into the making of this powerful scene, we asked Gearbox's Sam Winkler, Co-Lead Writer for Borderlands 3, about how Maya's funeral scene came to be and what it means to finally share it with the community. You can see the full scene for yourself when Director's Cut launches on April 8.
How does it feel to know that the Borderlands community can now see this scene as you originally envisioned it?
Sam Winkler, Co-Lead Writer for Borderlands 3: It's admittedly bittersweet, since it's hard to work on a story without falling in love with it and some things inevitably have to be cut. But I'm extremely happy that players will now get to see these moments. I wish more games had the chance to include the "DVD extras" behind-the-scenes content. Without it, players rarely get to see the development process in rough form, warts and all.
For Director's Cut, we went back and looked at what had been intended for Maya's funeral sequence. We worked with animator Hill Gavin and the original voice actors to bring the scene up to our standard of internal storyboard animatic. Pretty much every cutscene in BL3 went through the same process, which allowed us to prove out sequences that can look very different in text-only script format. It was a lot of fun getting the actors back, because they wear these characters so well and immediately understood the intent and weight of the scene.
During development, when was the decision made that Maya would die? What were those initial conversations like?
Maya's death was built into the plot of Borderlands 3 very early on, before [Co-Lead Writer] Danny Homan and I even came onto the project in At the time, the leadership team was developing the high-level arc, sketching out the plot structure from planet to planet. The early goal was to cement the Calypsos as having a terrifying new power: the ability to take away Siren powers and use them for themselves. It wasn't until later that we introduced the sequence of Lilith losing her powers to Tyreen that kicked off the whole race, and by then the Maya story beat was solidly locked in.
Were any other major characters considered to be slain by the Calypso Twins, or did it always have to be Maya?
The sequence in the Vault on Promethea was always going to end in Maya's death, simply because of the nature of the moment. The Calypsos had to become more powerful at the expense of the Crimson Raiders. At certain points in development there were other Calypso casualties later on in the storyline, but I'll leave those to the imagination.
What did you want players to feel for Ava in this scene? For Lilith?
The first scene aboard Sanctuary III is about pain and powerlessness. Ava is young, but she has a lot of experience feeling lost and alone. Maya is the closest she's gotten to having a family. After the initial shock is gone, her first reaction is anger—at Maya for being gone, at Lilith for trying to help, at herself for believing things could get better. Meanwhile, Lilith is still grappling with her own idea of herself as a leader. She's lost her powers and now a close friend. As the leader, she takes the weight of responsibility on her own shoulders, even though Maya expressly asked her to stay on the ship.
The second scene on Athenas is ultimately about trust. Once emotions have cooled, the two are able to reach out and admit their fears to each other. In her eulogy, Lilith admires Maya's ability to see things in people even they can't see. Afterward, she and Ava reconcile over Maya's trust in both of them. Without her around, they have to hold themselves true to what she saw in them. Lilith can't replace Maya or bring her back, but she can offer Ava the same family that Maya did. It's up to Ava to accept that offer and surpass the fear of abandonment that led her to lash out earlier.
In the storyboard, we get to see quick glimpses of Krieg and Zer0, who have plenty of experience fighting alongside Maya. What's going through their minds during this funeral scene?
Zer0 is a fairly buttoned-up character, but he respects a warrior above all else. Maya was a fierce Vault Hunter who went through the same trials as he did back on Pandora, so for him the moment is about honoring her in the way she would've wanted in an Athenean ceremony.
Krieg is a tough one. Those who know their history from Borderlands 2 and the Meat Bicycle Built for Two short will immediately understand that Krieg is hit by Maya's death hardest of all. On Pandora, we're able to hear ECHO logs of the progress Krieg had been making in balancing out his two personalities. It was in large part Maya's trust in him that pushed him to better himself. When she died, he felt that he might be unfixable. But as Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck explores, even the dead live on in the ones who remember them.
How was the storyline of Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck impacted by Maya's funeral scene ultimately not making it into the base game?
As players watching the scene might guess from his presence, Krieg was intended to appear in the base game during the Promethea storyline. Cutting him from the sequence left only the Pandora ECHO logs, along with Maya's now-final conversation with him—"Don't worry, big guy. I'll be back. I promise."—hitting far more painfully than was intended when written. So when we started working on DLC4, we knew that we had to address Maya's central importance to him without retreading the already brilliantly executed story of loss in Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep from Borderlands 2. It pushed us to show Maya not just as an object of grief, but as person that still lived inside Krieg who could persist and grow.
Are there any other characters you would've liked to see attending Maya's funeral?
I would've loved to bring all the Vault Hunters from Borderlands 2 back for this moment. There was talk of bringing in characters who would have known Maya such as Sir Hammerlock and the B-Team (Tina, Brick, and Mordecai), but they hadn't been introduced in the campaign's plot yet and that would've screwed up the timeline.
What does it mean for a Siren to pass on? Do Sirens experience death differently from ordinary mortals?
Ultimately, whatever their metaphysical powers may be, Sirens are human. They die, whether it's a bullet to the head or a tentacle through the entire torso. That said, Borderlands 3 answers a few questions about Sirens and poses even more. When a Siren dies, they are able to choose either to will their powers to another person or release them into the universe. As both Maya and Nyriad mention in different moments, a Siren can still feel the connection to the previous owner of their powers, stretching like a braid or a chain back into the past. They can also imbue their memories into objects and heal themselves from otherwise catastrophic injuries using Eridium. This is all to say that, for Sirens, death might be a little more complicated.
Ava (Borderlands 3)
Ava is one of the main supporting characters in Borderlands 3, she's a young girl who lives on the planet of Athenas, where's she's learning and preparing to become a Siren under the apprenticeship of Maya.
Ava is currently the "scrappy" of the Borderlands fanbase, suppressing Davis Pickle as one of the most annoying and most hated characters in the franchise. Some people hoped that a future DLC will make her into a better character, while many others consider her a "creator's pet" and desires to have her killed off as soon as possible.
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS FOR BORDERLANDS 3 BELOW!
Why She Sucks
- First of all, Ava’s design is not at all appealing, she’s supposed to be a child but ended up looking more like an adult woman’s head stuck on a child’s body.
- Ava’s personality is also rather obnoxious, her high-pitched voice combined with her angsty, passive-aggressive, and overall insufferable tone makes it grating just to hear her speak.
- She’s best described as a “Scrappy-Doo”, a character that’s brash, argumentative, naive, and seemingly completely unaware of how her behavior puts themselves and everyone around them in danger. Resulting in her being a constant danger to others by forcing others like Maya and you, the vault hunter, to try to save her from threats she himself is provoking but wholly unable to deal with herself.
- Ava is exactly all of that, she’s bratty, hyperactive, naive, self-centered, and reckless. She frequently disobeys the orders of her mentor Maya and often lets her curiosity gets the better of her. Eventually, Ava’s arrogance and poor decision-making resulted in her getting captured by the Calypso twins, forcing Maya to sacrifice herself to save Ava. The fact that Ava got Maya, one of the most popular characters of Borderlands 2, killed, pissed off many fans of the franchise.
- Another annoying aspect of Ava is that she’s incapable of taking responsibility. She tried to blame Maya’s death on Lilith and the vault hunters even though it’s her own recklessness and disobedience that lead to the circumstances, and somehow the game takes her side.
- While Tiny Tina, a somewhat similar character from Borderlands 2, can come off as grating to some players. Tina only plays a small part in the main storyline so even the players who dislike her can simply avoid interacting with her after her part was played. Ava is an important part of Borderlands 3’s story, meaning that those who loath she had no choice but to deal with her irritating presence, A LOT.
- While Claptrap, a character who's just as loud, incompetent, and annoying as Ava at times, is also scrappy. He's more of a woobie, a character whom viewers show sympathy to because he's condemned by shoddy programming and is stuck as an irritant even though he's trying to help most of the time. And also Claptrap does get what's coming at him sometimes. Ava was also supposed to be a woobie but her persistently obnoxious nature and lack of consequences to her actions made her unsympathetic as a whole.
- Overall, Ava’s character appears to have no purpose but to become Maya’s successor. Having such an annoying character to inherit Maya’s legacy despite being the one who’s partially responsible for her death is like spitting on Maya’s grave. Reddit user ironangel2k3 went on to point out that removing Ava from Borderlands 3’s story loses nothing and may actually make the story better.
- Near the end of Borderlands 3’s campaign, Lilith hands over her position as the commander of the Crimson Raiders to Ava for no apparent reason, even though far more experienced people like Tannis or Ellie are around and that Ava caused nothing but trouble for the Raiders and nearly every single decision she made was a mistake. This is what Literature Devil would have described as a “Mary Sue moment”. The fact that Ava’s eventually rewarded for all of her faults only made players resent her even more.
- Speaking of Mary Sue moments, it is shown that she mastered her Siren powers unrealistically fast (within mere minutes) after acquiring them, as she Phaselocks herself, Lilith, and Tannis to same themselves from some boulders that were flung at them by Tyreen.
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The farthest corner of the hall, settled ourselves on soft armchairs behind a screen, and began our supper. In the process, in a low voice discussing our future joint "married" life. The thought that now, my cousin and all three of her "entrances" at my complete disposal, both at work and at. Home, just drove me crazy. And Elka quite watched as I "devoured" with my eyes her chest, clearly visible through the dress, with hard tops of the nipples.