All is well at Mayhem Level 3

A wall of text here. There’s a [TL/DR] para at the bottom:

When I first started mayhem mode, which was recently, it was very difficult. I had just finished normal mode, and my guns just weren’t up to killing stuff at mayhem level 1 in the Trial of Survival (which may be the easiest trial). It was a struggle. But after a couple of runs, I was geared up enough to move on to mayhem level 2. Level 2 was a bit of a struggle, but nothing like my first run through the Trial of Survival. Now I’m at level 3 and loving it, as I’ve found sweet spots for both build and gear.

First the build. I’m playing a Moze character which was originally built around Iron Bear (IB). I’ve changed this now to a “run and gun” build, not dependent on IB, and for which I owe a shout out to Moxsy. While I don’t have any of his gear, I did follow his skill point distribution and basic ideas. It’s a Deathless build, centered around increased gun damage, and dependent on the Rushin’ Offensive skill for sustainment. The Bloodletter CoM aids both sustainment and gun damage; and while there’s a lot of synergy going on throughout the build, I don’t think it would work well at all without the recent changes which added life steal to Rushin’ Offensive … it’s a good build now, fast paced and exciting, so thanks for that, Gearbox!

For gear, I’m not sure what to expect at each mayhem level. Like I said up top, I found mayhem mode very difficult to start. Now I’m finding it just right on Mayhem 3. For guns, I’m using an Atlas Optimized O.P.Q. System AR and a couple of Binary Mocking Cutsman SMGs. The AR has 2 x 4058 damage at an 8.58/sec rate and with 2.3 sec reload. The Cutsman’s (or Cutsmen, if you’d rather) have 3478 damage at a 4.54 rate and with a a 3.2 second reload. Obviously, the AR is the workhorse. The SMGs are there for elemental damage, and the shock SMG sees very little use (except for Josie Byte). However, I’m doing the Handsome Jackpot DLC at the moment, with the cartel event also enabled, and the corrosive gun gets quite a bit of use. It’s not needed for bush league loaders, but is much needed for Baddass loaders and some cartel thugs. It was very instrumental in that certain fight in The Compactor, where you fight the mini-boss while looking for the AI chip.

So, that’s around 64K dps for a non-elemental weapon and around 16K dps for the elemental weapons. That’s somewhat misleading, as the Cutsman can hit several times per shot. Still, the AR is quite strong, and I think it will last into, maybe through, mayhem 4 … though I’ve not tried it. The SMGs are strong enough now, but will be low end next mayhem level. Also, the AR is not so strong now that it just blows through everything without need of elemental support. All in all, I’m feeling quite good about game related things right now; but I’m wondering about expectations going forward. The run and gun build is fun and works great so far, but I always need to be running at the fire, in lieu of strafing or backpedaling. That suggests high dps needs, and I’m wondering if there’s any guidance for what to expect for subesquent mayhem levels.

[TL;DR] I’m at mayhem 3, ready to start 4 soon; and I’m wondering what guidelines exist, if any, regarding dps expectations at each successive level. If 64k dps is just somewhat OP for me here at level 3, what dps might I need for level 5?

Thanks for reading.

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There aren’t any guidelines. Just try it and see how it goes?

Not really any guidelines to be honest - a lot of people seemed to have jumped straight to either 6 or 10. From everything I’ve read 10 is the most problematic in terms of gear choices and damage output; level 6 is the minimum level for mayhem 2.0 specific drops.

Given how easy it is to change mayhem level at any time, I’d suggest just trying 5 and seeing how it goes. You’ll find things as you play anyway; just keep an eye on the modifiers so you’re aware of elemental damage reductions that would make some items much less useful than you’d expect.

@wtfnonamesleft - jump straight to mayhem 6 with your current gear. Farm Killavolt @ Lectra City for the Monarch AR’s in all elements and Katagawa @ Atlas HQ for the Sandhawk snipers in all elements and finally Captain Truant @ Athenas for the Kaoson SMG in all elements and you have all the weapons needed to tackle Mayhem 10 if your build is up to it.

At add, if you want to make farming the M6 bosses easier, grab an OPQ and/or Yellowcake from the cartel event at your current level before you journey forth.

(I mean, hell, I had farmed M10 Warden with a non-mayhem Yellowcake.)

The way you are playing is how in my opinion you get the most out the m2.0 patch. The community is in a rush to do m10. I would understand if there was gated content but there isn’t.

The only advice I’d give is that if you are planning to go much higher in the near future and you like the Cartel weapons and want to keep using them, then I’d suggest you go as high as you dare before June 4th even if only to farm them, because you won’t get an opportunity after that and if you have e.g. M4 weapons but want to try M6 you won’t be able to get an upgrade.

Other then that, I’d suggest taking advantage of the Loot the Universe event and farm for weapons with the best anointments for your build. E.g. the 300% while enemy is above 90% health anointment makes a very noticeable difference (and would be better for Moze than the 200% while A.S is active). That way you’ll have the most powerful gear for your level and would be in a much better position to increase a level or two should you decide you’re ready

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Community not in a rush to m10 the problem is m10 is 1 weapon drop away. There is no working your way up to it. There is no need to farm new items just weapons and certain weapons at that. I was doing m6 effectively when the patch dropped. 20 mins later a yellowcake dropped and m10 was easy mode.
No way you can blame this one on the community. This is all gearboxes fault…again.

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M10 is a lot more than simply whether you can do it - for a of people having fun is just as much, if not more, important than getting as high in the levels as you can. Some people are in it for the destination, others for the journey

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Thanks for all the replies, and I’m satisfied that I’m on the right path. Plus, forgive my forum incompetence. I tried to quote a post in a reply, but instead replied to an entirely different post with my intended quote. Gearbox forum software is “different” … to be kind.

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I myself try to enjoy the journey. Unfortunately the way GBX did MH 2.0, there is really no journey involved. After M4, same level equivalents of the non-cartel weapons, outside of a select few, drop off to uselessness.
The few outliers like Lob, Krakatoa, and Hellshock will get you to M10 quickly.
The fact that most of the fun weapons I enjoyed become useless so fast tarnishes the journey.
Especially the DLC2 weapons where I barely had a month to enjoy them (Seeryall, Oldridian, Soulrender all useless past M4)

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It’s a hosted service from It does take a little getting used to, but does pack some interesting features. You’ll find lots of information about how the forum platform works here: NEW FORUM BASICS.