As anticipated, more details about the upcoming Borderlands sequel have emerged courtesy of Game Informer. Posting on Gearbox Software's forum, various subscribers of the magazine have shared their impressions of its exclusive article. Although we already knew Borderlands' four player characters would be replaced with fresh faces, the original cast will reportedly have a cameo as NPCs (like L4D's characters appear in L4D2).
One of the new characters is a bearded dwarf named "Salvador," a "Gunzerker" who can dual-wield any two weapons. Salvador seems to fulfill a similar role as Borderlands' Brick the Berserker and at least two of his abilities have been shared: one increases the fire rate of any gun the longer its trigger is held, while the second boosts accuracy when dual-wielding same class weapons or doubles damage when using different class weapons.
Borderlands 2 will address some of the primary complaints about its predecessor by revamping the bad guys. Your foes should prove more challenging to dispatch as they'll be more diverse, responsive, intelligent and coordinated. Some of that intellect will rub off on non-combative NPCs as well, as they'll move around more, perhaps on some form of daily schedule as you find in Bethesda's RPGs -- that last bit is our speculation though.
There won't be any new elemental effects (i.e. fire-enhanced weapons that set enemies ablaze), but there's talk of a new elemental item called "eridium" that will be used as a form of currency or to improve guns and vehicles. Gearbox is reportedly building a new weapon loadout, but there's no word of a crafting system. Customizations will be limited to the eridium-based enhancements, class mods and artifacts you're already familiar with.
However, in-game weapon manufacturers will have new unique themes including various special enhancements, styles, decals and colors. Because of that variety, it's said that no two manufacturers will have the same looking weapons, unlike the original, which greatly rehashed weapon skins. Vehicles will also be improved and Gearbox is reportedly striving to make some if not all of them four-seaters to accommodate co-op parties.
Other random details: characters will again have three skill trees except they'll have more defined abilities instead of simple stat boosts, claptrap (the chatty automaton) will return in some capacity, and story missions will no longer be static (i.e. failing to meet a quest's guidelines may change your story). We haven't read the full 11-page thread on Gearbox's forum, so you might want to skim through for nuggets we've missed.