I was playing Roland recently, and noticed that there’s not much information available about skills in Borderlands 1. If there was a more detailed skill guide on the old forums, it doesn’t seem to have been ported in the years since the switch. I then went to work testing Roland’s skills, partly to optimize my build, and partly out of curiosity. Below are the results, with Scorpio Turret included for reference.
Deploys an automated turret with a physical shield that shoots at nearby enemies.
Fires in 5 shot bursts.
Cooldown starts when the turret is deployed, and is active while the turret is active.
- Weak - These skills are helpful, but not worth focusing on
- Situational - These skills are good in their specific situations, but are otherwise useless
- Solid - Points spent in these skills will almost always be worthwhile
- Worse than advertised - Some part of these skills will perform worse than the in-game description
- Better than advertised - Some part of these skills will perform better than the in-game description
- Additive - These skills contain boosts that become less impactful when combined with other boosts to the same stat
+3% bullet damage per point. This bonus is multiplicative with other damage boosts.
While 15% at 5 points may not sound like much, the fact that this is multiplicative means that it stays relevant even when weapon proficiency and com boosts ramp up. This makes Impact into a solid DPS skill as long as you’re not relying too heavily on DOTs or exotic damage types.
Champion, Heavy Gunner, Rifleman, Support Gunner
Does not apply to DOTs, Eridian weapons, rocket launchers, splash damage, or carnage shotguns
May not apply to some red text effects
Does not boost the Scorpio Turret
+7% Scorpio Turret bullet damage per point. Does not boost DOT damage.
The Scorpio Turret doesn’t deal a lot of bullet damage, and this skill doesn’t do enough to change that.
Not boosted by any com
Does not apply to Guided Missile
+5% shotgun damage and +5% shotgun accuracy per point. Damage boost is additive with coms and weapon proficiency.
The accuracy boost can be very useful, and the damage boost is decent. However, this skill does nothing if you’re not using shotguns, which makes it somewhat situational.
Does not apply to DOTs
Does apply to carnage shotguns
Multiplicative with Impact and Grenadier
If you have more than +66% additive damage, Impact or Grenadier will boost damage by more per point.
For 7 seconds after killing an enemy, gain +11% rate of fire and +15% recoil reduction per point.
The rate of fire boost can be a massive DPS boost, and the recoil reduction helps to keep control of your weapon. When combined with Roland’s ammo regen and ability to boost mag size, this becomes Roland’s best DPS skill. The biggest downside is that high rate of fire weapons often hit the rate of fire breakpoints, especially at 30 FPS, which can nullify a large part of Metal Storm’s DPS boost.
Gunman, Heavy Gunner
The rate of fire boost is additive with rate of fire boosts from coms and weapon proficiency
At 30 FPS, the rate of fire breakpoints are 7.5, 10, 15, and 30, with your actual rate of fire rounding down to the nearest breakpoint.
At 60 FPS, the rate of fire breakpoints are 7.5, 8.6, 10, 12, 15, 20, 30, and 60.
Shooting an enemy with bullets increases the cooldown rate of Scorpio Turret by 45% per point. This effect is active for 2 seconds after each hit, with this duration being reset if an enemy is hit while Refire is active. This reduces base cooldown time by 0.9 seconds per point on a single hit. Refire is additive with Deploy and does not stack with rapid hits.
If you’re constantly shooting things, this is a massive cooldown boost. Being additive with Deploy means that Refire becomes half as effective with 5 points in Deploy, but it’s still a must-have skill if you like having your turret out.
Refire does not activate when dealing damage with the Scorpio Turret, Guided Missile, DOTs, rocket launchers, Eridian weapons, grenades, carnage shotguns, or splash damage
Some red text effects may not activate Refire
Refire can activate while the Scorpio Turret is still active
Refire does not activate when healing an ally with Cauterize
+9% assault rifle mag size and +9% assault rifle recoil reduction per point. Mag size is additive with other sources.
The mag size bonus gets overshadowed by Roland’s other mag boosts, and being additive means that this skill is less effective as a result. Recoil reduction isn’t usually very noticeable. Overall, Assault is weak when using assault rifles, and useless when using anything else.
Bonus mag size tends to empty itself when in a menu or vehicle, or when loading the game.
Your Scorpio Turret launches missiles which seek out enemies, dealing explosive damage in a moderate radius. Enemies hit by this effect may be staggered. Missiles can only launch while the turret is actively firing, and will not launch between bursts. At 1 to 4 points, up to 3 missiles will be launched per turret duration, with more points reducing the delay between missiles. At 5 points, up to 4 missiles will be launched per turret duration.
At 1 point, this skill is a decent value for the stagger effect and the missiles’ ability to clean up weak enemies, but the missiles’ damage is otherwise forgettable. More than 1 point is really a waste.
Not boosted by any com
Although the turret must be firing its gun at an enemy to launch a missile, missiles often target enemies that the turret isn’t aiming at
Missiles will always be launched upwards and forward, which can make them ineffective in enclosed areas
Missiles can target enemies behind the turret
Missile damage is not boosted by Sentry or Grenadier, and is always explosive
+5% shield recharge rate per point.
Shield recharge rate isn’t a very important stat, and this skill doesn’t do enough to change that. That said, you need to spend points to reach the better skills in this tree, and this skill makes for a good filler.
Commando, Leader, Patriot, Tactician
Additive with com boosts to shield recharge rate
+3 ammo regen per point for you and your allies while near your turret.
If you like ammo regen, this is a good early game source of ammo regen. In the mid to late game, this skill gets overshadowed by Supply Drop and the Support Gunner com.
At 5 points, a full turret duration will regenerate the following amounts of ammo: 120 repeater, 90 SMG, 60 AR, 30 revolver, 30 shotgun, 24 sniper, or 18 rockets
A glowing blue circle around the turret shows the range of Stockpile’s effect
Only the held weapon will regenerate ammo
Regenerate 0.75% of your shield capacity per second per point for 7 seconds after killing an enemy.
The regen isn’t close to enough to keep up with incoming damage, and if you’re not taking damage, normal shield recharge will leave this skill in the dust. Depending on how infrequently you take damage, this is one of Roland’s worst defensive skills.
While active, Quick Charge can prevent the sound effects for losing your shield from playing, which can cause you to lose health without noticing
Increases Scorpio Turret burst size by +1 per point, increasing the turret’s effective rate of fire. At 5 points, this allows the turret to fire up to 70 shots, compared to the default 45. More than 5 points slows the burst, resulting in no additional DPS gain.
This is up to a 55% gain in turret bullet damage. Unfortunately, turret bullet damage is weak, and like Sentry, this skill doesn’t do enough to change that. This could be a decent boost to turret DOT damage, depending on how the turret procs DOTs.
The maximum number of shots the turret can fire with 0 to 8 points in Barrage are: 45, 48, 56, 56, 63, 70, 66, about 67, about 74
+3% grenade, rocket, and splash damage per point. At 1 point, regenerate a grenade every 35 seconds. Points 2 to 5 each reduce this delay by about 7 seconds, so grenades are regenerated every 7 seconds at 5 points. These bonuses are only active for 7 seconds after killing something.
If you use lots of grenades and rockets, this is a decent damage boost, although it is a little small for a kill skill. The grenade regen gets overshadowed by Supply Drop. If you’re mostly using normal guns, you can skip this skill.
Marine, Patriot, Shock Trooper
Also boosts carnage shotguns
Multiplicative with other damage boosts
Does not apply to Eridian weapons
Grenade generation only counts time while kill skills are active
Points 6 to 9 will each reduce grenade generation delay by about 0.75 seconds
+20% Scorpio Turret cooldown rate per point. This boost is additive with Refire.
At 5 points, this skill will reduce your cooldown time by half, which can make a huge difference. While Deploy is less than half as potent as Refire, it’s also a consistent passive bonus, which tends to balance out the two skills.
Because Scorpio Turret is cooling down while active, 5 points in Deploy will reduce turret downtime from 100s to 40s
The Scorpio Turret launches flying supply packages that seek out allies and refill their ammo and grenades. At 1 or 2 points, 3 packages will be launched during a turret’s lifetime. The 3rd, 4th, and 5th points will each add one supply package per turret lifetime, for 6 packages at 5 points.
This is an amazing ammo regen skill, with 1 point often generating more ammo than a solo player can use. While this doesn’t directly help you kill things, it does allow you to use more ammo thirsty weapons and strategies, which can increase your DPS.
Not boosted by any com
Each supply package contains the following ammo: 119 SMG, 92 AR, 66 repeater, 25 shotgun, 15 revolver, 10 sniper, 6 rockets, and 1.4 grenades
Unlike normal ammo regen, Supply Drop will refill all ammo types at once, not just the held weapon’s type
Supply packages will launch every 7 seconds at 1 point, with additional points reducing this by 1 second each
The first supply package launches about 2.5 seconds arter the turret is deployed
Supply packages move slowly, and may have difficulty catching fast moving players
+5% maximum health per point. Because Roland’s healing skills are based on his max health, Fitness increases the rate of healing of those skills.
Health stacking is fairly straightforward, and doesn’t make a huge difference most of the time. The biggest reason to take this skill is to boost Aid Station and Stat.
Champion, Shock Trooper
Additive with health boosts from Torgue shields
Boosts the Hp healing rate of healing skills, not the % healing rate
The Scorpio Turret heals nearby allies at a rate of +1% of maximum health per second per point.
This is a great source of reliable healing, especially when combined with turret cooldown skills. The biggest downside is that you have to stay near your turret, which can leave you vulnerable to AOE attacks.
Healing rate scales up with max health boosts
Stacks with Stat
A glowing red circle around the turret shows the range of Aid Station’s effect
+12% mag size per point. This is additive with other mag size boosts.
This is a large, universal boost to mag size, which boosts DPS in longer fights. Being additive means that this will do less when stacking mag size boosts, but Overload is a large enough boost that it should still be noticeable.
Gunman, Heavy Gunner, Marine, Rifleman
The extra part of the mag may empty itself when in a menu or vehicle, or when loading a new area
Increases the charge capacity of Eridian weapons
You can now deal ‘damage’ to allies to heal them, healing for +6% of your damage per point. This can be used to heal your own turret, but not yourself.
This is a great healing skill for co-op play, allowing you to easily keep your friends alive. However, this skill is almost useless in solo play.
Works with most damage types, including bullets, grenades, rockets, splash, and Eridian
Does not apply to melee damage
Healing will be displayed as red health numbers with a health icon, similar to damage numbers
Vehicles can be healed, but only if occupied by another player
Healing allies will not activate Refire
When an ally gets downed near your Scorpio Turret, they have a 14% chance per point to be revived by your turret. This does not work on yourself.
This is a great skill for multiplayer, especially when combined with Aid Station. Unfortunately, this skill is useless in solo play.
Does not revive players who were already down before you deployed your turret
Not boosted by any com
Reduces the bullet damage you take from enemies, such that your effective hitpoints are increased by +3% per point. Does not apply to other damage types.
This skill isn’t very noticeable when it’s active, and there are many areas where it doesn’t do anything. That said, the fact that Grit applies to both shields and health means that it will usually boost your effective hp by more than Fitness.
The damage reduction is calculated as: damage/(1+grit)
At 5 points, enemy bullets will deal about 87% of their normal damage
For 7 seconds after killing an enemy, you and any nearby allies regenerate +1% of your maximum health per second per point .
This is a good healing skill if you can regularly kill enemies, giving you more freedom of movement than Aid Station. The downside is that Stat is harder to activate when you’re fighting stronger enemies, which is also when you’re more likely to need the healing.
Not boosted by any com
Stacks with Aid Station, does not stack with itself
Healing rate scales up with max health boosts
A glowing red circle around the player shows the range of Stat’s effect
Has the same effect as Aid Station, but centered on the player instead of the turret
General Note: As a solo player, I can’t actually test the co-op skill effects, so I’m taking those from the wiki.
Feel free to post below if I got something wrong, or if there’s something I missed.