Bordercast concerns

I’ve gone on record prior to yesterday saying that the Mayhem 2.0 changes, and further, the non scaling of action skills felt deliberate.

At 30:00 in the youtube video of the Bordercast, they start talking about the addition of this in the patch tomorrow, and Nick Thurston says:

“The important part for Mayhem is to provide sort of a gear check to make sure that, you know, if you’re on Mayhem 10 you need to be able to pump out mayhem 10 levels of damage.”

Ok, now sure, I can see what you’re talking about, to an extent, but you are acknowledging that Action Skill are specifically not taken into consideration for the damage output.

Meaning, Moze’s Class Mods that are Iron bear Centric, Her Skills in the Skill tree that are Iron Bear Centric, EVERY SINGLE ITERATION of her Action Skill, were specifically, completely, gutted, to make sure that we could pump out Mayhem 10 levels of damage.

They then go on to talk about how they are now these “underlying bonuses they are going to give players” when talking about the buffs to action skills.

This is Borderlands.
An Action Skill isn’t a underlying Bonus. It’s supposed to be the defining part of the character.

Sure, the trees give some characters better perks than other characters at certain things, but at the heart of it, those skill trees aren’t character defining without the action skill.

This isn’t an underlying bonus, this is supposed to be the Character defining feature.

I am just utterly frustrated that this is the stance that they have related to the Action Skills, and it speaks to the massive design flaws inherent in the Iron Bear Action Skill for Moze.

There were a significant number of ways that Iron Bear could have been designed to make sure that the gear you are wearing is impactful on Iron bear when you use the action skill, but they chose to do none of that, and go with flat static values. I’m not exactly certain that I have much confidence in seeing the character ever really balanced after listening to the rationale that despite moze’s only action skill being Iron Bear, it’s only purpose being to deal damage, having 2 class mods that are completely dedicated to Iron Bear, deep skill tree points dedicated to incentivizing players having to stay in / hop in Iron Bear as long as possible, that they would gut the skill so terribly to make sure that “we’re doing as much gun damage as possible”.

I don’t know, I was already pretty irritable about the whole situation, and listening to their conversation about this just irked me.

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It’s been obvious that they don’t care about actions skills since the only time they buff them is when they are about to release a new difficulty with 10x more EHP to invalidate the buffs they just gave.

Imma go out on a limb here and say that GB has lost a significant amount of potentially long-term players just by having the signature styles of VHs suck. Melee Amara, pet FL4Ks, and IB Mozes were struggling but getting by and competing on M4, then Mayhem 2.0 nuked all of those builds. Then they do what should’ve been done at launch and scale them and they call it a “bonus” instead of what it is.

A fix. An implementation of a missing feature. This isn’t some thing that you decided would make the game better, it’s a basic design feature of every other game in this franchise that his been absent for nearly a year.

What’s done is done and at this point I’m ready to take whatever band-aid fix we get, but they’ve worn me down with their handling of something that is borderlands DNA.

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It’s like they genuinely just keep forgetting how their own game works. It’s not even funny anymore.

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Yea I feel ya action skills definitely aren’t what they use to be gbx holds the guns and anoints to too much importance currently causing everything else to suffer as a result and doubt that will change anytime soon but, Lets wait and see how it turns out I promise you if things aren’t as good I hope they’ll be, I’ll be one of the first to complain.

I dunno. Was Many Must Fall viable for Zer0 on OP levels without a Rapier (or similar combo)?

Gear always mattered. Gear was always key to a build. You cannot have a Borderlands build without having gear. Likewise, you cannot without an Action Skill. Some of those are definitely scaling badly into Mayhem, but others are absolutely critical. What would Zane be (regardless of COM), without his skills? Both Barrier and Drone modify your actual playstyle (drone suffers a bit there; that skill tree is definitely more geared to Kill Skills).

I can understand the resentment behind the lack of action (unintentional, sorry) on specific Action Skills. But the arguments here also seem to go too far the other way, to the point where you’re upset that gear is critical - gear has always been critical in Borderlands. Here it’s no different.

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I’m not sure that I’m ready to take any Band Aid Fix.

Especially with the news that the loot related adjustments that were supposed to arrive with this patch have been delayed, they have to NAIL THIS, or I’ll just eat the rest of the cost of the Season pass I paid for, and just go back to playing games with my kids.

If this were true they wouldn’t be buffing action skills tomorrow. The whole system matters - which you would also know by his discussion regarding all the math involved in deciding things like damage output in the very same Bordercast.

That’s part of the point.

Iron Bear gets zero stats from your equipped gear.
But it’s an integral part of the playstyle. Even if you hop in and out to proc ASE’s, most people spec Auto Bear to leave it around.

At M2.0 Launch, they made that point worthless, and made Iron Bear even more worthless.

They made Iron Bear nothing but a 5 second interruption of your playtime if you wanted the anoints.

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10 months after the game came out. 2 months after Mayhem 2.0. After putting Mayhem levels on the gun card. The only time they adjusted skills was before patches that buffed enemy health by 10. They never actually buffed skills to do damage on level.

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Only for high mayhem levels. IB does just fine at lower levels. And it seems like that will change for higher mayhem levels with the update on Thursday.

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BL1 endgame had a variety of usable gear and action skills were effective.
BL2 endgame had a wide variety of usable gear and most action skills effective.
TPS endgame had a wide variety of usable gear and most action skills effective.
BL3 M1w/M4 endgame had a modest variety of usable gear and action skills(even more so prior to M2.0 mess).
BL2 M2.0 has very few viable gear and noteworthy of useless action skills across the board.

Gear is not THAT critical prior to this mess. I could use blue/purple endgame in every series(except M2.0) and do fine in endgame content.

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OP isn’t saying that at all.

IB and other abilities are designed to do damage. They are part of the VHs damage output. It feels like GB didn’t consider this for Mayhem 10, since they mostly focused on the gear check without realizing that, by their own design, few gear pieces actually effect IB and other abilities. So IB gets left by the wayside with no scaling and few gears that buff it, yet now that it is being scaled to actually do what it is designed to do it’s being spoken about as if this is a special bonus.

It doesn’t sit well with me (and presumably OP as well) that the way they discuss bringing AS up to par is being treated as a bonus rather than an integral element of the game.

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Sure, but is that how we are going to judge Action Skills?

Yeah, that’s cool, until you get to about Mayhem 4, and then you’re better off pretending it doesn’t exist?

My irritation is two fold.

1.) It was intentionally broken at higher mayhem levels, to make sure that you could meet the “gear threshold” without it (which makes IB pointless)

2.) With the fix, they still haven’t just taken simple steps to make Iron Bear scale off of you, and your equipped gear.

By taking an approach where your gear actually matters for Action Skills (as someone else pointed out, with Zer0? I don’t know, I didn’t play Zer0 past Level 20 ish) you “future proof” Action Skills, so that changes in the future, can be done where you are only adjusting the values of guns / grenades / shields, instead of having to continue to do this.

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This is the biggie to me. I felt like Timmy’s clones, Wolf, and DT were essential to my damage output. If I didn’t have them out I knew I was doing less damage, and not just because of the bonuses they provided but because they contributed noticeable damage.

As things stand right now, I never expect my Gamma Burst pet to kill anything past Mayhem 1 or 2 at best. Without Flock n Load, my Rakk can’t 100-0 a single Maliwan guy even with a full splash build and ASE elements. I’ve seen the sadness that is melee Amara in Mayhem 5.

I’m glad these are being fixed, but the whole rationale of needing Mayhem 10 damage to clear Mayhem 10, without considering that we would need Mayhem 10 action skills to do Mayhem 10 damage as well, lead us to this current situation. And I think we really need to voice our dissatisfaction with this mindset so they don’t bring it into BL4.

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Apoologies for snipping folks’ posts, just aware this post of mine could get long.

And like I said, some Action Skills are less viable than others. But it’s not like BL2 didn’t have the same evolution. Zer0 (I keep using him as an example as he’s my BL2 main), if you went for the kunai capstone first, turned his AS into a glorified kunai trigger. The act of invisibility didn’t actually matter that much anymore, unless you also invested in other specific skills.

Gearbox is not done balancing BL3, and the stated preference for powerful Legendary weapons has been raised time and time again. BL3 is more about the Legendaries than it is about good blues and purples (though, I’ve got to emphasise, these absolutely still exist. Maybe there isn’t much on the level of a Q-System, but they still exist).

People can do white-only runs on BL2. But let’s not pretend everyone could. People were doing low-quality gear runs in BL3 (prior to M2.0, sure, but also because M2.0 is still pretty young).

Good gear was always critical in BL2. The entire concept of god rolls originated there (maybe it did in BL1? I don’t think parts mattered quite as much though, because the difficulty curve wasn’t as steep by design).

I’m not commenting on the OP, mainly the overall trend of the thread.

Action Skills are absolutely a part of the Vault Hunter’s kit, but I think it’s too far to say they’re a part of their damage output (at least without piling things on top - which is what Anointments as a system are designed to do. Zer0’s invisibility doesn’t really add to his damage by itself). Iron Bear is a relatively unique case, and I agree with a lot of the frustration there. Iron Bear doesn’t complement your weapons - it replaces them. Iron Bear isn’t autonomous (unless specced to be, which reduces build diversity if you always need this for it to be competitive), it takes the player away from anything else they had going on (mechanically or build-wise). I get that. I honestly think IB is a harder design solve than even Zane’s dual skills (Seein’ Dead’s overperforming bazooka of a band-aid aside).

I think people need to separate out the “Action Skill”, as in, the core timed ability that does something, and every other thing that integrates with the AS. BL3 without even considering Anointments did this with the free, always-swappable Augments (which I think was fantastic, but hampered by the fact you have to go into the skills screen to swap them at any time, which also hurts co-op because the game is only paused when you do so in single-player).

Does this mean there is therefore far more RNG in getting a good build than ever before? Yes. Do I think Gearbox should do something about that? Yes. But all these comments about the devs not knowing their own game also irk me when people don’t seem to be versed that well in games design at all. I don’t expect posters in general to be. But I do when people start throwing specific stones r.e. design and what “should” be in the game.

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I don’t think this is true. I think you’re confusing “not accounting for action skills” with “unable to scale both weapon damage and action skill damage in the same patch.”

Though I get where you are coming from. They don’t seem to understand that shields need to be scaled - not shield capacity, but the damage which shields can deal (nova, spike, etc).

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Yes it did. Deception added 650% melee damage and 200% gun damage, similar to the way FL4K’s Fade Away works but with melee damage added. Similarly, Nisha’s Showdown added a bunch of gun buffs.

Anything that is part of the VH kit that does damage is part of their damage output. Not everything is a significant contributor, but things like Cloud Kill, Phoenix, and Clappy’s various nova skills were fairly powerful additions to the overall DPS of characters.

I don’t understand why you keep bringing up gear though. GB designed M10 as a gear check, but there isn’t much gear that effects IB and other abilities. Designing an endgame around a concept that excludes 75% of the character’s action skills from performing their primary function (Rakk, Gamma, Phasespells, IB, to a lesser extent drone and a tiny bit clone), was a bad move. While it’s great it’s finally being addressed, the mindset behind it is not healthy for the future of the series. There’s nothing fun about action skills being relegated to buff buttons, and while I have no understanding of what could have been happening behind the scenes that it took 10 months to address, I will also freely admit (as I believe we discussed before) that I don’t really care what the reasons are: they suck and I hate them (the reasons, not the devs before anyone gets it twisted).

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Once i heard them talk about Short Fuze i was like ■■■■, they’re going to ■■■■ it up.

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Sometimes you just have to :joy:

That is the thing,… most legendaries here can still be out shined by crappy blues/purples.

Phase I was supposed to be about balancing, so was Phase II, and it looks like they back tracked yet again.

Good gear was not nearly as critical. You didn’t need a DPUH in end game. My Axton preferred to use single with highest damage. But I didn’t need to farm for it right away, only when I was bored, I used mag size in the mean time. I didn’t just trash it, I only trashed the ones levels below me.

BL3 your parts do not matter, your anointment is most important. I can trash the most OP weapon/shield/grenade because the anointment sucks. BL2 I could use it for time being,… no issue.

My Axton also could swing between Grenadier, Engineer, Soldier, or even Tina DLC COMs depending how I wanted to roll my build. I could go Nuke even on OP10, or double slag,… doesn’t matter, depended how I wanted to roll my class.

Siren I could go, Legendary Siren, Nurse, Cat, Cleric, Trickster, Binder, or Terra.

Let’s see with Zane,… how many Com options do I get that are plausible at M10?
Fl4k, how many choices we get here?
Moze?
Amare?

I mean you do get my point right?
Sure gear counts, they just said they are not scaling coms to M10,… so how many COM choices do we get in BL3 vs BL2 vs hell even BL1 had better com choices.

You can’t compare BL3 M2.0 to anything except a cluster f**k grenade because it messed everything up,… oh wait even those grenades didn’t scale :rofl: (yet,… maybe)

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EDIT @jbow2020

I get that the changing of their plans doesn’t get folks on board. But also, if they’re changing their plans, that also means they’re trying things out. I get the frustration that it isn’t sorted yet. But if it is ever going to be “sorted”, I’d also rather they take the time.

I think a lot of the fuss between Anointment and Legendary (parts) would go away if there was a different way of getting Anointments. Or re-rolling them. I’ve never argued that.

As for Phase 2, I dunno yet. I want to dig into the actual changes to see, and then evaluate from there.

Certainly, if this was the last balancing BL3 ever saw to its endgame, I’d agree with you, boombumr and others completely. I just don’t think it is. I don’t mind games getting this kind of lengthy post-release tweaking. I understand that others don’t feel the same though!

Consider me affected by kunai spam and being unable to get into a(n endgame) melee build properly before BL3 came out (a lot of BL2 I played very casually). My bad.

My argument was meant to be more towards how certain interactions devalue the original action skill, and indeed even change not only how it literally plays, but how people use it. Kunai being my endless case in point, it was often better to get a faster reset to get kunai again (unless you managed a Many Must Fall / Death Bl0ss0m build).

I bring up gear because people seem to undervalue how important it was to literally any build in BL2. What was a melee build worth without a melee attachment? Why was the Rapier the definitive recommended bonus (because it was the highest, and what mattered was getting the highest bonus to your melee damage in a lot of cases).

I mean, “action skills being relegated to buff buttons” is reductive. That’s exactly with Decepti0n is! Without the middle or right tree capstones, that’s all it is. It’s not the same as Axton’s turret, or Deathtrap, or Krieg (though those two benefitted from post-release design, I think, being DLC offerings). Action Skills are buff buttons. That’s exactly what they’re meant to be. What do you see them as? Perhaps excluding Iron Bear for a sec (as I think that’s transformative).

(edited for a bit of grammar, sorry)