A Guide to How Scoring Works Against PvE Enemies

If you’ve read 2K’s excellent write up of How Scoring Works in Battleborn’s Story Mode (if you haven’t I highly recommend reading up on it first), you will know that to get the best possible star rating score in any given mission you will need to kill enemies within a certain amount of time to trigger a Quick Kill Bonus. Triggering a Quick Kill Bonus can reward you up to 4x (or possibly more) the amount of score you would normally receive upon killing an enemy so it is definitely worth getting a handle on the mechanic.

Since the official guide didn’t get too nitty gritty about this, I decided to go looking for more information by doing a bit of data mining on the PC version of the game.

First off, all enemies can be broken into 5 tiers.

  • Popcorn
  • Basic
  • Elite
  • Champion
  • Boss/Unique

Popcorn & Basic
Popcorn and Basic cover most weak enemies that can be one shot with a well aimed critical hit or even just a standard attack. While these enemies will all have a type of “Basic” the formula for determining their Quick Kill Bonus might be classed as “Popcorn” because they are super weak and only have a small amount of health (ie Primal Thralls).

Elite
These guys are a bit tougher and have more health than your Basic tier. Enemies such as Evolved Thralls and Varelsi Hunters fall into this tier.

Champion
These guys are your proper tank types and may also sport a shield and other survival (trolling) tactics. Enemies such as Thrall Bonecrushers, MX. Elite Bots and Varelsi Defilers are tanks.

Boss/Unique
Those things that drop Legendaries (…well sometimes).

Note there are some other tiers, which cover things like environmental hazards and buildables, but for now we only care about stuff that generally don’t remain stationary.

Another thing to factor in is the mission difficulty and number of players. Internally there seems to be 4 difficulty settings, which I am not totally certain directly correspond to the difficulty options available in game…

  • Easy (Normal Difficulty)
  • Normal (Advanced Difficulty)
  • Advanced
  • Expert

So looking at a Primal Thrall:

Quick Kill Bonus Time Limit = PopcornGrade (0.25)
Quick Kill Bonus Score = GlobalScaleUpPerDifficulty(Difficulty * PercentPerDifficultyLevel) * PopcornBonusScore (0)

So even though you have 0.25 seconds, no matter how fast you kill a Primal Thrall, you won’t get any bonus score (regardless of difficulty) :wink:

Note: I’m not sure if the Bonus Score is added to the Base Score or if it simply replaces it. Will have to check this next time I play.

There’s a ton of conditional logic involved with calculating stats on enemies so I’m still tweaking my code but here’s some base values you can use to get a general idea of how Quick Kill Bonus works with each tier. These are base values, so you will have more time (and get more bonus score) on higher difficulties and/or with more players.

Note: It is also possible that these values are outdated as I am more than certain that patches/updates are getting applied in a way were I can’t always see the changes. However I don’t believe they have touched any of these stats yet.

Edit: Added Advanced mode values.

Popcorn
BaseScore: 25 / 31.25
BaseQKBonusScore: 0
BaseQKTimeLimit: 0.25 seconds

Basic
BaseScore: 50 / 62.5
BaseQKBonusScore: 100 / 125
BaseQKTimeLimit: 1 second

Elite
BaseScore: 100 / 125
BaseQKBonusScore: 400 / 500 (that’s 4x!!)
BaseQKTimeLimit: 2 seconds

Champion
BaseScore: 500 / 625
BaseQKBonusScore: 2500 / 3125 (holy cow!!)
BaseQKTimeLimit: 8 seconds

Boss/Unique
BaseScore: 2000 / 2500
BaseQKBonusScore: 4500 / 5625
BaseQKTimeLimit: 25 seconds (how is that even possible??)

You’d definitely want snipers and/or loadouts/builds with shield penetration if you hope to get Quick Kill Bonus on middle tier enemies as most of them will sport a shield and can even have an anti-shield penetration stat to counter your builds!!

An important thing to keep in mind is that while you will have more time and get a higher bonus score with more players and higher difficulties, all of an enemy’s stats go up as well (health, shield, attack power, etc), making it harder to take them down especially since they will also spawn in greater numbers and tend to be more aggressive!

My thoughts on all this…the majority of public matches I end up in are more focused on reviving each other and/or dying (like a lot). I’m also in Australia so I have the benefit of an always-on red bar despite having the best possible wired connection I can get. While there’s definitely plenty of elite/champion enemies spawning in 5 player matches (they literally spawn so much that they stack like cards XD), the sweet spot has always been when you have a team of 2 or 3. Most missions require you to defend something that practically everything will b-line for, so it can definitely be challenging to get those Quick Kills in with everything else going on.

If you are seriously going for high score, I’d stick to private matches unless you are just in it for a quick boss run. Just sit back and pick off enemies one by one since completion time apparently plays no part in your final score. You also have a maximum of 100 minutes to stretch out a mission and find a boss that constantly spawns enemies to rack up your score (and just so you know, I didn’t learn this fact through data mining XD).

Don’t forget!! The quick kill bonus time limit activates the moment an enemy takes damage from any source!!


[edit]

Ok so I’ve been comparing values with what I’m seeing in-game and it looks like “Easy” is Normal difficulty and “Normal” is Advanced difficulty. The other 2 modes don’t seem to be used at the moment (maybe a future TVHM or just something they used for testing balance?).

If you kill a M1. Blade Bot on Normal, they give you 25 points, and on Advanced they are worth 31 (it’s actually 31.25 but is hidden due to rounding). Like Primal Thralls, Blade Bots are Popcorn grade so they don’t give you any bonus score for killing them fast. Playing in Hardcore doesn’t appear to play any part in the game difficulty used in these calculations.

Also Quick Kill Bonus Time Limit actually doesn’t appear to scale at all :open_mouth: , and the Quick Kill Bonus Score is only affected by Game Difficulty. Having more players won’t increase the amount of bonus score you get from killing an enemy quickly, so the only benefit of having more players is an increased number in middle tier (Elite & Champion) enemies, which equals more score anyway.

Attack Power, Maximum Health and Maximum Shield Strength are affected by the number of players, but by the looks of it only in the internal"Advanced" and “Expert” modes which aren’t currently available in the game.. Correction I was only calculating values using NumPlayers=1.


[edit2]

So it looks like you can still get part of the Quick Kill Bonus even if you take longer than the time limit to kill an enemy. Basically the amount of bonus is added to the base score with an unknown (but high) rate of decay. I don’t know the actual formula, but say for example you are using Marquis and you have Auto Loader active. Landing 2 critical hits with Bindlebane’s sniper scope on an MX.Striker will kill them quick enough to get 67-70 score (which is +17-20 more that what you’d normally get) out of a possible 150. That’s quite a loss in bonus points but at least you aren’t getting totally ripped off!!

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Very useful info “if true”, but how can you speak with such certainty about all this without having insider info and/or being able to look at the game’s code…?

I mean, Gearbox never even actually denoted some rather basic information, such as what qualifies as a “Major Enemy” for gear effects and such ffs…


Also, Gearbox’s post on “How Scoring is Calculated” was rather disappointing to me, as did not explain very much at all, and certainly not some of stuff stuff I wanted to know the most, including topics like:

  • Medal thresholds on each map.
  • How score thresholds are altered based on the number of players
  • How players dropping mid-missing out are handled for scoring
  • How many “Extra Lives” it takes to cap out the “Golden Score Pickups” drop amount modifier
  • What is the actual score value of each “Golden Score Pickups”, and is it altered based on the number of players in the mission (or by any other factors)
  • Etc.

I too wish GBX would dive a little deeper about scoring.

I did get this information from data mining the PC version of the game as with most of the other guide posts I have been putting up.

[edit]

Updated my OP to make this more clear.

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Thanks so much for the info! Man, those times are short! Definitely need a good, coordinated team to focus fire well. :stuck_out_tongue:

These are base values (some enemies might even have a scale multiplier, too soon to tell though). Once I have looked over the data more, I’ll try and do up a visual guide with values for each difficulty/player combination.

Ok so I’ve been comparing values with what I’m seeing in-game and it looks like “Easy” is Normal difficulty and “Normal” is Advanced difficulty. The other 2 modes don’t seem to be used at the moment (maybe a future TVHM or just something they used for testing balance?).

If you kill a M1. Blade Bot on Normal, they give you 25 points, and on Advanced they are worth 31 (it’s actually 31.25 but is hidden due to rounding). Like Primal Thralls, Blade Bots are Popcorn grade so they don’t give you any bonus score for killing them fast. Playing in Hardcore doesn’t appear to play any part in the game difficulty used in these calculations.

Also Quick Kill Bonus Time Limit actually doesn’t appear to scale at all :open_mouth: , and the Quick Kill Bonus Score is only affected by Game Difficulty. Having more players won’t increase the amount of bonus score you get from killing an enemy quickly, so the only benefit of having more players is an increased number in middle tier (Elite & Champion) enemies, which equals more score anyway.

Attack Power, Maximum Health and Maximum Shield Strength are affected by the number of players, but by the looks of it only in the internal"Advanced" and “Expert” modes which aren’t currently available in the game.. Correction I was only calculating values using NumPlayers=1.

I’ll update my OP with this new information.

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What I see in the game doesn’t look like what you’ve stated here. At least for bigger enemies - they are definitely harder to kill in 5-people team than in solo play.

Ahh sorry I misspoke, I’ve only been calculating the values with NumPlayers=1. I’ll fix that right away.

[edit]

For solo players, these stats (Attack Power, Maximum Health, Maximum Shield Strength) only seem to increase with a difficulty of 3 (internally called Advanced) or 4 (Expert), which is why I said that.

Okay I think I’m calculating enemy stats well enough to be able to provide some more information.

I’ve added the calculated Kill Scores and Quick Kill Bonus Scores for Advanced difficulty to the OP but I’ll also include them here. Format is Stat: NormalValue / AdvancedValue

Popcorn
BaseScore: 25 / 31.25
BaseQKBonusScore: 0
BaseQKTimeLimit: 0.25 seconds

Basic
BaseScore: 50 / 62.5
BaseQKBonusScore: 100 / 125
BaseQKTimeLimit: 1 second

Elite
BaseScore: 100 / 125
BaseQKBonusScore: 400 / 500
BaseQKTimeLimit: 2 seconds

Champion
BaseScore: 500 / 625
BaseQKBonusScore: 2500 / 3125
BaseQKTimeLimit: 8 seconds

Boss/Unique
BaseScore: 2000 / 2500
BaseQKBonusScore: 4500 / 5625
BaseQKTimeLimit: 25 seconds

Fun fact: MX.Deadeye Robots (the robot snipers) have Basic tier stats but are actually worth as much as an Elite tier enemy!! So always make sure to headshot the little suckers for some easy bonus points :wink:

Attack Power, Max Health, Max Shield are affected by the number of players (when you have 3 or more players) but ignores the difficulty. So an enemy should have the same stats for either Normal or Advanced.

Some enemies also have immunities to certain skills/effects, which is why for instance you can’t Knockback a boss etc. Some of these skills are likely unique to certain characters or character types, and as I haven’t played them all I don’t know what all of these actually do.

  • Slow Immunity
  • Stun Immunity
  • Knockback Immunity
  • Knockup Immunity
  • Forced Move Immunity
  • Blind Immunity
  • Silence Immunity
  • Charm Immunity
  • Immobility Immunity
  • Counter Immunity
  • Jamming Immunity
  • Provoke Immunity
  • Stealth Immunity

[edit]

Quick Kill Bonus adds to an enemy’s base Kill Score, so the MX.Deadeye I mentioned? Worth 100 points normally but if you headshot it you get 400 bonus score meaning a total of 500 score!! You really need to invest in Shield Penetration though. Trying to trigger bonus score on MX.Strikers and even with Marquis it still takes 2 shots which is too long to trigger the bonus -_-

[edit2]

It also seems as though there is a rate of decay with the amount of Quick Kill Bonus score you receive. If you kill something within the time limit, you will get the maximum bonus score, but if you take longer you will get less until the decay reaches zero. So like I wasn’t able to kill an MX.Ronin within 2 seconds to get the full 500 score, but because I killed it quickly I still got 396 score.

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Work in progress enemy info card (anyone remember the old Borderlands 2 Official Guides with stats on enemies?? I loved reading those things…) :wink:

A reminder that these values could be old if there has been any enemy balancing done through a hotfix/patch that I can’t check against.

Also Golems are another enemy type that if you can one shot their exposed chest orb you can get 500 points per kill!! The fight with the Galactic Emperor in The Algorithm for instance could net you like 3000+ score while playing solo just for one-hit killing the Frigid Golems.

I’m actually surprised the data is even housed client-side, since the server is always the thing running and keeping track of these calculations.

Either way, nice job - can’t have been easy to unearth this all, and it’s a hell of a lot more detailed than what Gearbox posted… =.=

I don’t think its that surprising. It makes total sense to store static information in the game files as the load times would be quicker and it would likely require less bandwidth. Hotfix stuff is obviously only present while the game is running and it looks like they are using a custom update method so I can’t pull any information for new and future content :’( . So as time goes on, my information is going to become outdated, but hopefully by then there will be more (official) resources out there to aid players who are getting frustrated with how some things aren’t explained in detail within the game or is misinformed by what you find online.

I personally quite enjoy doing this kind of research for games I like playing. I did a ton for Borderlands 2 (which is partly why I am able to pull information so quickly) I just never shared it with anyone because I jumped into Borderlands much later than most. Battleborn on the other hand is still new, and there’s clearly a lot of questions (and frustrations) from players including myself and when I have a question, I like to go to the source :wink:

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