An honest attempt at explaining community reaction to nerfs

Hey All I am a borderlands player played axton(side Sal) in borderlands 2 and Fl4k(side Zane) in borderlands 3. In general great game played a bunch enjoying mayhem 3. However like a lot of the community I am a little upset with the recent nerfs. I am trying to explain the chain of events and why it frustrated me so maybe the devs can understand.

Endgame explanation:
I know endgame means a lot of different things to a lot of different people so I will explain what I found fun about the endgame of borderlands 2. I really enjoyed Digi struct peak and the OP system. Basically you had to get through really rough raids that were really hard even with a lot of the best gear. (Sal is kind of an exception and I get that the purpose of nerfs is to prevent sal 2.0). The basic idea is that I get more and more powerful until I am powerful enough to surpass the challenge. Then I feel good rinse repeat.

Nerf 1 (queens call, kings call, fade away duration) summary justified:
I started off playing crit fl4k having a grand old time. I luckily killed tyreen and got kings/queens call the night before that was nerfed. It was super hype to run around like a god and destroy bosses for a bit. However it was then nerfed. I was a little salty at first because I missed melting stuff like a god. However with time and perspective I was willing to admit the nerf was the right idea because it was objectively way to easy. All you needed was one gun and you got to melt all bosses from level 35 onward.

Nerf 2 (leave no trace) summary justified:
At this point I had reached endgame and was doing the endgame content (farming bosses, circles of slaughters and proving grounds). This one wasn’t a huge deal. Initially they made the skill totally useless so you just specked out of it. And then they brought it back to the point that it is worth specking into. Also this was mainly to nerf speedloading hellwalkers silly synergy where it could just have unlimited mag size. However this nerf had some unseen effects. It increased gun preference towards guns that didn’t need leave no trace to fire for duration of fade of way without reloading. Basically it pushed people more towards butcher, rowans call, Lucians call, and other guns have leave no trace built in. Overall this nerf was ok because it didn’t really effect your abilities to shred stuff and have a good time.

Nerf 3 (best in slot nerf apocalypse): summary not justified:
At this point I was really enjoying the game I had been farming endgame for a while and got a lot of the best in slot gear (the best gear for each category in the game):
Smg: crossroad
Shotgun: butcher
Assault rifle: lucians call
Sniper: lyuda
Grenade: recurring cloning hex
I was starting to play around with other builds I got the cryo hex with the regen on action skill and was messing with the rakk attach grenade spam build. Suddenly came the nerf apocalypse, every best in slot item got nerfed across the board. At this point a lot of my inventory and bank was mostly different elemental/anointed versions of best in slot gear that I was saving for other characters or using. So at this point it felt like half of the invested time I put into the game was just nerfed. I don’t know if at this point I should get rid of some of the gear to make more space or hold on hope for some reversions.

A talk about how bank space and the “world drop” system makes this feel worse:
Once you hit max level and reach endgame progress is now measured in terms of item progression (when you get a new item that’s stronger than what your using that is the new level up). This game has the “world drop” loot system where the best stuff isn’t available from a specific boss.

The Good parts of the “world drop system”
-Prevent people from farming 6 bosses for six specific pieces of gear then only using those forever (think Bee, sandhawk, bone of ancients from BL2).
-Easier to get a legendary
-Endgame progression is more of a steady curve and less of a sequence of big jumps.
-You have a choice of which content you farm (bored of spawn camping graveward, hit up the slaughter shaft for a good time ex. Or just generally mob and do side quests).

The bad parts of the “world drop system”
This system unfortunately reinforces the idea that you should figure out what gear you are looking for and end up throwing away a lot of gear that isn’t that. If you are looking for one specific piece of gear say a lucians call it is really hard to get. There are about 200 legendaries in the game so lets say you should expect to farm graveward 200 times before one drops. This being the case you are going to keep duplicates of best in slot gear. As a result your inventory space will quickly fill up.

The general idea of borderlands is to acquire awesome loot to kill enemies faster. The “world drop system” makes it take forever to get awesome loot. I went out and collected all the awesome loot. Now all the awesome loot is nerfed and in some cases completely wet noodled (RIP hex grenade).

In a game I want to get more and more powerful not less and less powerful. Each week it feels like I am dreading what new nerf will make me less powerful. Nerfing every best in slot item makes me feel like they didn’t even test these guns or items and made mayhem 3 too easy.


I feel people rush to whine without even actually trying things out ingame.

Instead of the usual ~15 minutes it now takes me about 18 minutes to clear full Slaughter Shaft using “RIP hex grenade” and Flakker and/or Scourge.

The horror.


I love that it’s world drops, most of it, for the exact reasons you mentioned…
I am getting kinda sick of the nerfs though…

Honestly felt that the nerfed grenades were the only ones that felt good to use at all… what’s the point of throwing a grenade, if your weapons do more damage anyway? Isn’t the point of grenades to do short bursts of extreme damage?

And the nerf to the Flagger seems excessive… either drop the magazine size or the damage… not both… or at least not to this extend…
It WAS overpowered… but you’re not gonna make people happy playing the game, by keeping to nerf what they’ve built… the friend I’ve played the most with, complained and ended up not playing anymore, because his characters kept getting nerfed… were they overpowered? Sure… but it still stings when you get nerfed hard…

Higher mayhem modes and a boost to other weapons and builds would be the better way to keep people happy… they would still be super powerful, where they’re used to play… they would have more build/weapon options, and still have the balance of the game kept…

I’m not saying you should never nerf stuff… but some of there nerfs are drastically changing the fun and effectiveness of whatever is hit by it… it’s not fun for people

Oh… and the HORRIBLE limit to bank slots… there’s FAR more different legendaries in the game than there’s bank slots for… not to mention that many of them come in different elements, variations and anointments…
Oh… and good luck if you have a couple of good leveling items you wanna save for toons…


At the end on the day as we say. The Nerf’s really hurt the people playing M3 on TVHM. You can play all other modes with any load out. The issue now is they change the playing field where now it took you about let say 45 minutes on M3 The Slaughter Shaft to complete, with new Nerf looks like we will try tonight but looks like just not going to be worth it to get weapons that mean nothing at this time. Enjoy the game on normal then there is nothing to complain about since you are a God even with white guns

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imma fix the game for you guys to kill things super fast go an do unforgiven crit swapping shenanigans, there you can kill things super duper fast now. leave the damn discussion alone, gbx will not change anything back.

I agree. The reactions are always instant even before the actual hotfix hits. This echo chamber effect just rings out and everyone just hops aboard. Then they cherry pick the patch notes to drive their point. They always ignore the buffs and just focus on the negatives.


I think its important to not be overly negative and act like the devs are idiots. I think its clear the current loot “world drop” system was created to solve a lot of the issues with the dedicated drop 5% thing. Farming for a new DUPA every two op levels in BL2 was a pain. I much prefer the slaughter house’s to killing savage lee, hunter hell quest, the treants in the forest.

The issue with the final nerf isn’t that I can no longer kill enemies its that across the board the best gear got nerfed. This feels bad. Perhaps this doesn’t bother all members of the community, but it does seem a significant section is upset.

Back to the devs they did roll back the Leave no trace nerf and it does seem like they are at least looking at community feedback and interacting with the community. This being said I don’t think it makes sense to say gbx won’t listen at all so don’t bother bringing it up.


If the point is re balancing weapons and builds to increase diversity and force people to play a different way then you end with a game where it doesn’t matter what gear you run or what you spec into because it’s all practically the same.

GBX for the love of god stop crapping on us from your dev castle and let us play how we want , just cause everyone runs a certain build doesn’t mean you have to nerf it , you limit the bank space to a point it is useless to save anything then when you do get something worthwhile it’s rendered useless,. There will always be a meta, you can’t just keep nerfing the meta. Forcing people to re grind out gear and builds is a poor excuse for end game to keep people playing…so glad I didn’t buy season pass at this stage cause I don’t think there is longevity in this game . Way to go gbx you have managed to destroy the fun for casual gamers who ran meta to have a bit of fun and for the hard core gamers you have managed to make most of their limited inventory useless and forced them to re grind, respect and start again.

All while given no additional content, bugged events 3 out of 4 toons that don’t work as expected, multiple performance issues, and broken mechanics, think you time would have been better served fixing the core mechanics and getting this sorted before tinkering at the edges and nerfing ■■■■ into the ground based on buggy metrics broken mechanics


You’d think someone in the dev or testing team would notice one of their legendary guns was melting all before it or some of their grenades were so OP before letting people farm for a month to get them.

Call me cynical but getting people to spend more time in games is a dark science.

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im pretty sure using Digistruct Peak, something that was created literally a year or two after release, to contextualize the endgame of a recently dropped game, is not compatible. we haven’t even seen what endgame for BL3 looks like, all we’re doing right now is screwing around in the highest possible difficulty, which if you look at what “endgame” for lv50 was in BL2, was incredibly different when we entered UVHM lv61, and later lv72 and OP8.

all this going on now is just changing up a new game that is going to drastically change in half a year, and a year and so on

i don’t really think it’s terribly useful to write essays about how the patches are devastating to your frame of mind, because this is a game that is going to improve with DLC and new content and patches just like BL2 did and it’s worthless to write an Essay on Patches Upsetting The Community because it’s October and this game came out approximately a month ago

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I do somewhat agree, but I main Zane and he needs a real patch after the MASSIVE pre-launch nerf. He is not what I saw on streams and via staff interviews when I picked him and i don’t have 100 hours right now to move to another main.

i don’t really know what to tell you if you picked your character based on what you liked and then found it wasn’t what you liked. can’t really go "look at the pre-launch video, why doesn’t zane do that now"bc we can’t even determine /for sure/ if we can replicate those conditions or whatever. at least with videos made after the game was available to the playerbase we can determine differences

I am talking about what was shown and promoted by the company regarding Zane via the promotional materials, employee interviews and limited release selected streamers ( playing with company spokespersons in attendance) the week before launch. They promoted him as the employee company favorite and a powerhouse. He was then nerfed in the launch build MASSIVELY only hours later.

Its not on me that they advertised him one way and hours later released him in another state entirely. In the industry it is sometimes called a launch downgrade and its often frowned upon by consumers.

Sorry if I was not clear.

jc, can you provide examples

I’d love to have been at the table when this was discussed. “Let’s make around 200 legendaries but only give people 50 bank spaces” Amazing gaming experience. Anyway I think I agree with all this OP.

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These things didn’t exist in the first 2 months of Borderlands 2. To be accurate this wasn’t added to the game until almost a full year after release. So what you enjoyed about Borderlands 2 wasn’t the “original” iteration of the game and more just something it evolved into.

What did you do with the gun after it was nerfed?

These guns were always being used as they were the top tier so everyone just copy/pasted the top end builds.

This is just a big copy & paste of “best build in the game.” If at this point in writing all this out you don’t feel every nerf was justified we have a problem. This “Best in Slot” term isn’t something to be used in a game with hundreds of unique pieces of equipment. Best in slow would mean there 1 gun, 1 shield, 1 Com, 1 Artifact & 1 Grenade that is “Best in Slot.” That’s 5 items out of hundreds. Borderlands isn’t a “Best in Slot” game.

There’s tons of Unique guns out there that aren’t Orange that might just make a brand new build for you. Try out some of the other guns in the game and ignore all the influences or “best” build guys.

I’m probably gonna stop coming back here. I used to like talking about the games I enjoyed, now I see that most people get online just to be sad, miserable and complain about everything.

I found a post showing the nerfs but not the buffs. there were a few. Some were reversed in hotfixes but as per recent history nerfs are usually big and buffs are often small.

  • Death Follows Close and Seein’ Red swapped places; DFC bonus has decreased from 40% to 25% but extra duration has gone from 4 seconds to 7
  • Barrier duration increased from 9 seconds to 14, cooldown increased from 18 seconds to 24
  • SNTNL cooldown increased from 36 seconds to 60 seconds
  • Digi-Clone cooldown increased from 26 seconds to 28 seconds, duration decreased from 18 seconds to 15 seconds
  • Winter’s Drone decreases SNTNL damage by 20%
  • Charged Relay has replaced fire rate bonus with reload speed bonus of 20%
  • Futility Belt bonus reduced from 22% to 15%
  • Calm, Cool, Collected health regen bonus decreased from 4% to 3%
  • Nerves of Steel maximum stacks have been decreased from 99 to 15
  • Cold Bore weapon swap bonus decreased from 15% to 13%
  • Violent Momentum bonus decreased from 6% to 4%
  • Salvation bonus decreased from 4% to 2%
  • Bad Dose fire rate bonus decreased from 3% to 2%
  • Almighty Ordinance has changed to resetting SNTNL’s duration if it causes a kill, missiles fired has decreased from 5 to 4
  • Good Misfortune bonus decreased from 5% to 4%
  • Borrowed Time bonus decreased from 4% to 3%
  • Duct Tape Mod bonus decreased from 5% to 4% and has an added cooldown to 8 seconds
  • Which One’s Real duration decreased from 6 seconds to 4 seconds
  • Like a Ghost constant bonus decreased from 4% to 2%, additional chance increased from 1% to 3%

I cant find a posy showing everything to include some buffs. Zane was said by the streamers who played to be very strong before launch and last place on launch. Some minor buffs have happened but he still has issues.

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The problem is that this is a PvE game with basically no PvP. Most people I know play either by themselves or with one or two friends. If you are playing a single player game and find a great set up, it must be very disheartening to see that gear get nerfed for the sake of balance. What if Bethesda did that with Skyrim? I think that’s where a lot of frustration comes from.


Exactly. I can understand an imbalance in PVP ruining the experience however, there is no such detrimental imbalance in PVE.

What is more important right here and now is improving the stability of the game. Fixing the many bugs such as mobs getting stuck behind walls in Circle of Slaughter that can see you wasting an hour then having to quit because one mob cannot be killed.

These are the things that are more important in any PVE game. Balance is everything in PVP.


In response to Izthatit,

About digistruct peak and endgame:
While digistruct peak is a good example of endgame I will offer more. The basic idea is anytime you run into a difficulty wall and overcome it by some combination of getting good, getting better loots, acquiring more game knowledge and then overcome it its great. Some examples: BL2 TVHM the first time, Turning on mayhem right after completing BL3, Murderlin’s temple of bs floor traps, and BL2 raid bosses in general. It seems like the difficulty wall is mayhem 3 slaughtershaft and I’ve gotten over it but every week it seems like they artificially push me off the wall and I have to climb the difficulty wall again. Like someones changing the course while i’m on it because they didn’t try to run it themselves first.

What did I do with the guns:
Honestly I sold my king and queens call after the nerfs my trigger finger was hurting and the lyuda was still melting face just as fast, if not faster. I’ve kept most of the victims of the nerf apocalypse a lot of its still really good. Low key want my kings and queen’s calls back because I miss the cool bullet pattern.

About using the best guns in the game:
limited space: there is limited space. I can only really get so many guns. I want multiple elements, I want class mods, shields, grenades, relics, also underleveled gear for leveling. Given I can only really keep a sixth of all legendary guns at one time, I’m going to keep the best sixths. There really isn’t room. Also gear for different builds requires different anointments and I just don’t have enough space to hold on to Labs, and other low tier legendaries.

Meta Shaming: This is good time to address a point, meta shaming. There’s this idea about how all players should never run the same builds and everyone needs to constantly switch it up. The idea of the “Meta” as I know it is given enough time everyone would use and try every gun and setup and eventually learn what is the best. However thanks to the wonders of modern technology we can share our findings with others and reach consensus faster.

For example a simple meta problem of how do we melt graveward the fastest.

  1. pick all damage skills
  2. elemental projector relic & light self on fire
  3. anointed with + damage
  4. highest dps guns
    I don’t feel the need to experiment with this myself I am all good to look it up. Hey if you want to shoot graveward with every legendary in the game go for it just let me know which one does the most damage after wards.

The meta is basically the community working together to make stuff awesome. (See amara sherif build)