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.