BL: TPS Scaling is ATROCIOUS

I’ve recently played farther into BL: TPS than I ever have, gone into the DLC and am currently level 50. The first time I attempted to fight the game’s Raid Boss, I kicked its ass. I never did anything like that the first time in BL2. I banged my head against walls for hours trying to beat Terra for the first time, and loved every second. I am posting this just to say that I am disappointed that the game’s difficulty curve was so drastically reduced from BL2 while the playable characters were given better skills than ever before. There is no endgame for me to look forward to with this game, and though I will complete UVHM and reach level 70 I do not expect to invest much time after that. My overall review of this game, all content included, would be a 7/10: I love the mechanics, I love the characters, the story is alright, but boss design is lacking, as are the great mobbing maps we’ve come to expect from Borderlands, and the most difficult part of the game is death planes when attempting cool jumps. Everything else is a serious pushover, and I still have 20 skill points to earn and invest. Hoping BL3 brings back harder scaling and an OP8-like endgame.

2 Likes

Play the mutator arena at level 9 with the vampire modifier on. Or just level 9 in general. Its very challenging. There’s holodome badass round, the raid boss at level 70, and eos. Theres definitely some challenging endgame content, just not alot. Its smaller than borderlands 2 so what can you expect?

1 Like

Playing who? I’ve done quite well, and I’ve done extremely badly in that fight. My first time was actually in NVHM with a level 35 character, and I suffered really badly. UVHM in TPS can be tricky, depending on the character you chose and the skill tree focus you start out with.

Most comments have actually been that the scaling is actually better in TPS than BL2 for the overall majority of players, and particularly the lack of enemy health regen. The major gripe is the lack of different things to do while levelling up in UVHM rather than the actual difficulty.

Not too many push through the OP levels (they’re definitely too much pain/grind for me), so I hope that would be a purely optional thing and NOT part of the purchase price or any season pass. As usual, YMMV (usual disclaimers regarding personal opinions etc.)

3 Likes

As far as “Raid” bosses go, yeah it’s lacking, but the Mutator Arena can be very challenging. And the final boss in Claptastic Voyage DLC is a way more fun fight than the Sentinal. Still not on the level of BL2 raids, but fun.

1 Like

Jack. I can’t stand Nisha’s weird aim-for-you action skill, nor Athena’s no ADS baloney. I guess I just didn’t expect the first time I faced the raid boss to turn into me crapping all over it with a level 44 Flayer while he and I were both level 50. [quote=“VaultHunter101, post:3, topic:1550714”]
so I hope that would be a purely optional thing and NOT part of the purchase price or any season pass
[/quote]

Well, they’ve never been anything but optional, just like all the other content in the game. Nobody is going to make anyone buy anything, so no worries there. I just want players of all skillsets to be able to enjoy the game. I’ve never died while fighting EOS, Eclipse, or either version of The Sentinel, and I think that’s just kind of crappy.

1 Like

Maybe you should give Claptrap and Aurelia a whirl, then!

1 Like

I’m thinking FR4G-TP, he doesn’t seem as OP as Aurelia when I do a theoretical spec for him. We’ll see how I feel once I’ve completed the game as Jack.

EDIT: http://thepresequel.com/Claptrap/055315150515051515150500300000000000
Is this an ok build? I refuse to go down the right tree and lower the damage of any weapon type at random, I’m going to use Jakobs shotguns 90% of the time, the game can suck it up.

1 Like

I haven’t played much Clappy(Got him through NVHM) but from what I understand from his section you’ll barely notice that 15% loss, especially since most of his best coms, and best shotgunning coms, boosts skills like Death Machine and Surprised Stabilize so they are entirely worth the trade off.
Because of Start With a Bang and Killbot you won’t be getting much out of Wax off, Wax On, and Repulsive is kind of meh in general. Through thick and Thin isn’t a waste but probably not worth it without an overclocker com, which also adds incentives to the right tree with Death Machine anyways. Reconsider the right tree at least a little.


I took an extra point out of Kick Him While He’s Down just because it’s probably better used to max out any skill your com boosts that you haven’t specced in to already.
If you’re really set on avoiding the Right Tree, I’d still recommend opting out of at least Repulsive. Maniacal Laughter can be decent with a Storm Front, and Kick Him While He’s Up is at least a little extra gun and critical hit damage every now and then. High Five Guys is also worth the single point even in solo.

Hope that helps!

1 Like

I agree with most of points but to me it’s not only scaling but - in the case of Nisha and Jack - over-designing the characters. Nisha: hit action skill and hold down fire button - everything dead. Jack: share your nova shield with your pets - everything dead.
To me the best designed character is Krieg : every benefit comes with a cost. Which forces you to set him up and manage him very carefully. This is challenging and that is what engages me.
I haven’t played Athena enough and haven’t played the others at all so here’s hoping.

2 Likes

I view Krieg’s “benefits with a cost” skills more as the method the devs used to guide your hand. I’m pretty sure they knew that the Flame of the Firehawk was a shield implemented into base game before Krieg was anywhere near completed. All the reduced shield delay, while shield is down, and light yourself on fire really did nothing but benefit Krieg. There isn’t really any “cost” in his skills with the exception of a few.

So like I was talking about before, I think it’s more the devs way of saying “please don’t use the Bee on this massive slab of meat of a character that we literally named ‘war’, he’s not a glass cannon and we don’t want you to play him that way.”

So there’s no cost if it doesn’t cost you anything. It’s more of a way to facilitate a playstyle, as end game Kriegs run a FotF or a RR. Both of which don’t care about negatives or benefit from them.


Here is my take on the few true skills that come at a cost.

  • Pull the Pin - Any skill that requires me to die to benefit from it is automatically bad in my book, and the bonus it provides is definitely not worth it for anything but suicide farming the Bunker. Note: this is a bit different from skills that help you if you slip up and get downed. They help prevent you from dying, they don’t encourage it.
  • Fuel the Rampage - Down side “don’t have ■■■■■■■ teammates”, and it has no down side in solo play. You shouldn’t be specced into this past level 30 so there should be no accidental Norfleet death. And lore wise he is shipped with Maya and her skill ‘Restoration’ negates the down side of the skill and just so happens to be on the the same tier as FtR.
  • Redeem the Soul - Again no downside in solo play, and again to no surprise works oddly well in conjunction with Maya’s ‘Res’ skill and even more so if the Krieg has ‘Light the Fuse’.
  • Silence the Voices - Makes sense lore wise and maybe it was their way of allowing you to self strip your shield/recharge your action skill. But really it’s more of an annoyance in the end game, that restricts gear choice and has mixed results b/c of scaling. If it couldn’t chain it would be the epitome of “risk vs reward” skills, but even with the best gear possible it starts getting into the area of “to much risk” at the highest difficult.

EDIT: Oh and ‘Pain is Power’, but it’s just a bad skill in general and promotes low skill level play.


The only other skills you may be thinking of are his micromanagement skills, like ‘Bloodbath’ and ‘Fuel the Blood’. These more or less simply influence what gear you use in the same way ‘Money Shot’ and ‘Reaper’ do. So if you want a Chain Lightning to Grog heal to bad, you want that Fastball to proc that 500% gun damage more.

Jack has similar skills, but there are so few instances where you need to play him at his absolute best that they get over looked. It’s also funny you bring up YHMS, because it is very much so a skill that comes at a cost. Unlike Gaige with ‘Sharing is Caring’ where you can “cheese” the downside, with Jack you have to accept it. If you want your Digi-Jacks to tear stuff up with a Black Hole, then you have to wear one as well and you damn well know it’s not going to protect you anywhere near as well as the Shield of Ages you want to be wearing. The cost becomes even more glaring if you make use of the Avalanche to glitch buff your Badass Digi-Jacks.

4 Likes

Excellent response. I don’t mind getting schooled by those who truly know the game mechanics. I guess it comes down to the fact that Krieg, Maya, Zero (and to a degree Gaige) truly engage me whereas Nisha, Jack, and Sal don’t (as much) due the fact that they kind of do the work for you - at least from my perspective.

3 Likes

with a few minor differences, http://thepresequel.com/Claptrap/555503100515510515052500300000000000 ,that build is the way I have went and have never had any problems, in fact very rarely get killed unless I do something stupid.
As for the right tree, I agree, I have points in fuzzy logic, but consider (this is my opinion only and how I play) everything else in that tree as Limiting or a waste of Good points

1 Like

Yeah I can definitely see that for Nisha and Sal. That’s why I tend to gravitate towards Chuck’s Deputy build for Sal instead of his standard. As for Jack I can definitely see it with him too, his action skill does a lot of the thinking for you if that makes any sense. Much like Sal the initial challenge with Jack comes from knowing how to build him and making sure things interact the way you’d anticipate. So once you know what skills are good and that he turns Jacobs shotguns into Gods you’re good.

His next skill cap IMO comes from how you as the player preform after you’ve been given this nice cushy safe haven. Unlike Krieg, Maya, and Zero who’s micromanage chaining happens in a very short period of time (especially b/c of BL2’s scaling); usually taking place within the span of ~10 seconds, meaning it will happen multiple times per engagement. Jack’s happens more or less never because engagements are never long enough, it’s when you are put into a situation where you won’t have your action skill up 100% of the time that your skill as a player is really put to the test. Try him out in the level 9 Mutator Area and see if you have the same opinion. My fixation with glitches also plays into my opinion of how much Jack engages me, as I make it so I have a glitch active 95% of the time in general play.

I did this for my Time Trials so it’s sorta overkill, but I thought I’d add it.

3 Likes

Yes I have and got my ass kicked! So yes I completely understand the problem when the Jacks are recharging - it’s just that in the main game, this is easy to manage.
It’s great to have the Mutator Area for exactly that reason. I had as much challenge with Nisha.
BTW, great vid. That loop Quad is super badass.
Edit: I am starting to change my opinion of Jack now that I’m in UVHM : that being he’s boring until then. Not boring now.

2 Likes

I’d agree with the OP. I don’t mind enemies not recharging health but the difficulty in UVHM in general is childs play. Around level 60 I could kill all mobs besides BAs with the bright strategy of run straight towards them and spray at their heads with a level 50 Fridgia. Granted Fridgia is one of the most efficient freezing guns and Aurelia has freezing buffs but come on, that shouldn’t have been happening. Gun is 10 levels behind, all care in the world thrown to wind and no problems encountered.

After reaching level 70 I ran through main campaign, Claptastic and Holodome including BA round while ignoring sidequests and I died whole 2 times. Softening the UVHM scaling from BL2 is fine I guess but this game made it way too easy.

3 Likes

I actually like the way BL:TPS was scaled and how it’s UVHM was balanced. Yes BL2 was harder in that sense but the way it approached difficulty was poorly designed as far as I’m concerned, particularly how game mechanics like DoT and even Sal’s Brawl Tree were stripped of nearly all utility. Say what you will about TPS’s UVHM but at least it was a little more clever with distributing buffs to health and shields differently among mooks and badasses/bosses rather than give everything 4x health and health regen before calling it a day.

That said, the game was really hurting for Overpower levels and if this method of difficulty become the norm for future installments then Overpower levels ought to be treated as a must-have. BL2’s method of difficulty was a sore point for a good chunk of people because they simply had no other option to continue playing the game and level up their toons without having to deal with what they perceived to be a punishing difficulty curve, to the point that many dreaded the second UVHM update on the old forums as their choices were restricted to “hard” and “really hard”. The roles are switched in TPS but it’s very much the same situation where a subset of the player base is unhappy because they’re stuck with a method of difficulty that they don’t like, only this time around it’s those that enjoyed BL2’s style that are left with the short end of the stick.

I don’t really want the BL2 style of enemy scaling/buffs to come back and I think the TPS style is certainly on the right track, but clearly there needs to be some form of compromise or alternatives that can satisfy both sides of the coin. Otherwise we’ll keep seeing folks feeling alienated by the game and frankly, I think that blows.

5 Likes

I would agree that the whole 4x health and health regen wasn’t the brightest way of handling the difficulty and I would also agree that TPS got some tweaks kinda right like making enemy shields a bit tougher. I think it should’ve done a bit more though.

I think part of the bad experience for players in BL2 stems from the fact that the game is not really that challenging in NVHM or TVHM so the sudden change in difficulty curve when entering UVHM feels bad. Perhaps if the game had been a bit more challenging in TVHM the change wouldn’t have felt so dramatic. I can understand people not liking it when they can steamroll the game and then get a wrench thrown in their gears. TPS however feels like it’s shying away from throwing any wrenches and that’s not good either.

1 Like

Yeah, the hardest part of TPS is getting XP, it feels like. Enemies and mobbing seem to be pathetically weak, as do the bosses.

I wish OP8 had made its way into this game, I really do like the mechanics

2 Likes

I think that is in large part due to the levels you advance in the DLCs. It takes half of TVHM for the enemies to catch up. It took me all these years to stop playing the DLCs in NVHM.
Of course, it’s even more so in TPS. You can level up continuously in NVHM in the Mutator area.

1 Like