Class Mods have so much wasted potential

First off I want to mention that I love this game and I think Gearbox has made improvements over the previous installations on so many levels, however, Class Mods to me is not one of them. In fact, Class Mods (COMs) drive me nuts in this game. But let’s start with the positives.

There’s a few things I love about COMs in BL3, for example the ability to boost 1/1 or 3/3 skills, being able to benefit from a skill without having to spec into it, or getting a skill boost on white COMs.

However, there is a ton that I don’t like about them, and my main problem with them is that they don’t feel as impactful as they did in previous BL games. In previous games, if I found a COM it affected my playstyle and my build in a significant way. Let’s take BL2 for example. Now a huge percentage of class mods were far from perfect even in BL2, but they didn’t have to be, because they were good enough to change how I played the game.
If I was playing Krieg and found a Crunch COM with boosted Strip the Flesh it incentivised me to build around explosive gear. Even though the other 2 skills were pretty much wasted on this COM, it still had a clear theme to it.
If I was playing Axton and found a Grenadier COM I wanted to make use of grenades and weapons that get boosted by grenade damage.
But BL3 handles COMs differently. It’s more involved.

Here are some things that I don’t like about Class Mods in Borderlands 3:

  • The amount of total skill points on purple and legendary COMs:

You only get 5 total skill points on a purple COM, which is just too little to incentivise a different playstyle in my mind. Let’s say there is a 5/5 skill on there that changes the way you play and you want to boost it to 10/5. But then there’s also 2 other skills on that COM that support that same playstyle, but you can’t boost them. It’s hard to really go for a theme when you are so harshly limited.
Now you have your legendary COMs, the majority of which do have some interesting passives, but why do they have the same amount of skill points as your purple ones? They should have waaay more than just 5. And most of the time the skills they boost don’t even synergise with the passives, which is really really sad.

  • There is wayyyy too many combinations of skills and passives:

So let’s say you’ve theorycrafted your perfect COM for the build you’re going for. Well good luck getting it. Most COMs can roll so many different combinations of skills that even getting the right combination is soooo damn hard. Then you add in the passives, which makes it exponentially more ridiculous. So more often than not you find yourself relying on good passives instead of skills, which is really boring and not at all what COMs should be about. At that point a Class Mod feels just like your Relic, but with even less impact on the game in a lot of cases, because chances are it doesn’t boost the skill(s) you want.

  • Too many Class Mods boost the same skills:

Now because those passives are rolled from the same pool and a lot of COMs boost the same skills you can literally have 2 class mods with different names that boost the exact same skill and have the exact same passives. That’s just straight up horrible design. And then there is sooo many skills that get boosted by 2 or more different COMs.

Let’s take Amara for example. You can get:

+5 Arms Deal on Warrior and Brawler
+5 Infusion on Pilgrim, Stormbringer and Elementalist
+5 Do Harm on Pilgrim, Tiger and Dragon
+3 Fast Hands on Mantis and Artisan
+3 Personal Space on Brawler, Master and Breaker
+5 Conflux on Master, Phasezerker and Nimbus
+5 Tempest on Stormbringer and Nimbus
+5 Restless on Tiger and Dragon
+5 Violent Tapestry on Warrior, Elementalist and Nimbus
+5 Jab Cross on Warrior and Breaker
+5 Clarity on Pilgrim and Phasezerker
+5 Anima on Stormbringer and Phasezerker

Nearly half of all her skills (12/28 skills) that can be boosted are boosted by 2 COMs, some even by 3. Combine that with the shared passive pool and you have a severe decrease in Class Mod diversity.

  • The passives often outweigh the skill boosts:

As I stated above, because most COMs are so poorly synergised and the right skill combination is so hard to find, you find yourself looking for fitting passives instead of fitting skills in a majority of situations. Which again, makes COMs kind of like a “Relic 2.0” more so than actually changing the way you build your character. But that’s not all. I think the numbers on some skills are too small to be made impactful by boosting them, especially seeing as a mere 5 points is the maximum total number a COM can boost. Most of the time you are way better off having a good passive stat on your Class Mod or Relic, or both.

To end this on a positive note, here are some Class Mods that I personally think have good synergy/fully embrace a certain playstyle:

Amara’s Breaker - Personal Space, Find Your Center and Jab Cross all encourage a melee-gun-hybrid in-your-face-playstyle and the COM-passive damage reduction further supports this
Amara’s Artisan - the boosts to Deep Well and Dread are very very solid for a general gun build and 6/3 Fast Hands is sweet too. The fact that it always comes with +3 Fast Hands +1 Deep Well and +1 Dread means you can mix and match your passives way easier than with other COMs and even if you get bad passives it’s still a really solid option
Moze’s Blast Master - The synergy between the 3 skills is perfect and the COM-passive further supports the theme of not having to reload

Some afterthoughts:

  • I’m hoping we get more themed Class Mods like the ones I just mentioned with the release of DLCs
  • I would like to see purples and legendaries be able to boost more than +5 (purples +8, legendaries +11 maybe?) Of course that’s easier said than done with the balancing and other things, but I don’t think they are in a good spot right now.
  • Possibly have legendary COMs boost 4 or 5 skills instead of 3
  • I think the numbers on some skills are just too low compared to the numbers on the passives. I don’t think the passives are too high, I would like to see the numbers on some skills more in-line with the passives

What do you guys think about COMs in BL3? Do you like what they did with them? Or would you agree with me, and if so, what would you change about them?

18 Likes

I prefer the COMs for BL3. It allows more customization and builds. They just need to fix some of the broken ones.

1 Like

I agree! I get the feeling that these coms were primarily designed with ~ b A l A n C e ~ in mind. The fact there’s so little incentive to min/max is further diminished by the fear of well-synergized builds being “adjusted”.

2 Likes

My thoughts exactly.

I believe they are being stingy with points in preparation to the level cap increase, to not have COMs scaling beyond control again. Also things like being able to buff the one-pointers throws off any possibility of judging by the total number of points.

I do agree that they kinda suck right now, the points are rarely worth, a lot of the skills are bad, and the passives being random makes them much harder to get the right combination.

5 Likes

i have a love / hate relationship with class mods in this game. i think the potential for some really sick combinations is there, the problem is that it’s so hard to get that roll. Some legendary mods are so strong and build defining that it’s hard to not use it while some legendary mods seems incredibly weak. take bloodletter for moze as an example. it has no use outside of SoR and it’s pretty much the only choice for SoR as well. unless you avoid all the health reserve skills, but honestly - why would you if you went that deep into SoR tree? i suppose it’s possible to make something with SoR and a good roll blast master, say +1 redistribution +4 vampyr and put all points into SoR/BM. but it’s so much work and requires such specific rolls that i don’t see it as a viable choice especially when bloodletter is so good out of the box. legendary COMs feels like the only choice in most situations and it’s make builds pretty limited and non-functional trees in some cases even. but at the same time i like that they offer something strong and functional with minimal effort. idk. as i said, love and hate it.

i do agree with that to many COMs boost the same skills, i’m not sure why they do.

2 Likes

COMs are something I really really enjoyed farming throughout each game. I’ll farm them for perfect stats even though I know they’re not BIS. I just like making builds around epic COMs.


Doesn’t bother me too much. Some of them are useful. Some of them just don’t scale well with points. Others, I blame the skill for not being good or the combination of the skills.

I like the ability to customize them. It’s a blessing and a curse. You can find some powerful stats. I have an epic Low Life Gunner COM that has +18% critical damage and +45% Hyperion critical damage. I do agree that it’s overwhelming. They need to make it easier. Especially, if they add more (I hope they do). Maybe a way to reroll them or themed ones like you mentioned.

Agreed, but I don’t mind it if the COM is designed well. Designed well in a sense that it impacts gameplay and that it successfully lives up to its name. Too few actually do. It’s disappointing that they didn’t utilize other skills.

True, but I feel rewarded when I get good stats. I did find some +5 and +1/+4 Marksmen Gunner COMs. It really depends on what skills are being boosted. If it’s something like Conflux, then yeah. It’s skewed towards the passives being better.


I mostly agree (don't agree about needing more points). What I'd like to see: Better skill combinations and more importantly, better balanced skills and legendary bonuses.
2 Likes

My biggest problem with them is how random they are for their low droprate. I have been trying to get an armored (+4 to stainless steel bear) bear trooper mod with max health on it for some time, (max health and action skill cooldown would be even better) but there is no reliable method for farming legendary class mods.

It makes me sad. I have been trying to get an artifact with both max health and action skill cooldown as well, but artifacts drop more often so I am hoping to eventually manage that.

Edit: +5 would be even better, but I have never seen a +5 mod on anything.

2 Likes

Tbh pretty sure Com didn’t give 10 skill point on bl2 release in-fact pretty sure they only get to 10 or so skill point when you reach OP8 or something like that. Anyway my point is that Com will probably give more skill point with the increase level cap or difficulty increase.

Legendary COMs in BL2/TPS were always +5 at lvl 50.

Yeah the 5 points cap tremendously diminishes the value of multiple skills being buffed by COMs. For example, the DE4DEYE buffs Two Fang and TFAF, both of which are solid skills. But for the Deadeye’s utility (sniping), Two Fang is always gonna be the stronger buff mathematically. Hence, players want to find a COM which buffs +5 TF, which effectively devalues TFAF being on the COM at all. Likewise, Amara’s Stormbringer buffs Infusion and Tempest. But if you are using elemental guns +5 Tempest is always gonna be the best roll, while NE guns benefit most from +5 Infusion - which ruins the unique synergy the Stormbringer would have had by being able to buff both skills, since its pretty much the same as any other COM buffing Infusion. In BL2/TPS, you would have been able to go +6/+5, which resulted in powerful combinations. The Storm and Femme Fatale both buffed Unrelenting, but they were differentiated by buffing Storm Weaving/FF and Gathering Tempest, which gave them better synergies with different toolkits.

And the Legendary COMs need alot of balancing. Some of their effects are ridiculously overpowered, others okay, and others completely negligible. The Phasezerker, Blast Master and (formerly) Bloodletter are so ridiculously good, while stuff like the DE4DEYE and Stalker are pretty meh, and the Cold Warrior and Rakk Commander are just terrible.

2 Likes

Remember, we aren’t level 72. Seems like you expect level 72 boosts when we are only level 50.

But they also didn’t give any other bonuses

Level 50 COMs could get +6/+5 or +5/+4/+4 already. The only thing UVHM did was increase the value of the passive COM buffs.

5 Likes

Maybe you should check again, cause every vanilla Legendary COM in BL2/TPS provides additional bonusses like cooldown rate and weapon damage. Also some of them have exclusive bonus like +45% movement speed on Legendary Siren COM while Phaselocking enemy.

well this is a example of ppl rushing to post a idea before actually looking for all COMs combinations, idk about you but the I found a class mod that totally changed my build, found a god butcher for FL4K with 45% jakobs crit dmg 25% dmg and 13% weapon fire rate, this made me change my weapons to jakobs only because dmg difference was insane, yes this changed my play style a lot, I was hating rowans call weapons before, but with this class mod its awesome, maggie pistol feels amazing now.

YES CLASS MOD CAN TOTALLY CHANGE YOUR BUILD STYLE, on my experience at least…

2 Likes

It was actually one of the things he discussed, but glad you got an awesome COM you enjoy lol.

4 Likes

That’s not the class mod - that’s a combination of passive bonuses that can be found on ANY class mod - which is one of the main arguments of this post if you had read it.

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You misunderstood me. I’m not saying they can’t affect your playstyle at all. I’m saying that it’s ridiculously hard to get one that actually changes your playstyle because you have to roll good skills and good passives on it, and when you do, it’s often the passives that change your playstyle which devaluates the purpose of a Class Mod in the first place. You are the prime example of this. You mainly consider your COM gamechanging because you rolled 3 excellent passives on it, and not because you rolled good skills on it.

4 Likes

Ok let me give a example of a class mod that changed my build based on the skills and not the passives so all ppl can be happy on this matter.

This class mod changed my build I was having, and helped me to go a gamma burst build without walking like a snail on the battlefield, you see I really wanted the fast and the furyous speed and dmg but I didnt want spend skills on stalker tree because doing so I could not get some skills on other trees, yes some skills on class mods made me totally change my build style and try new things.

Another example here


This class mod made be play with great horned skag more, because its best pet to benefit from +5 on barbaric yawp( I was rolling 99% of the time the jabber), it also made me to use master tree which I was not interested before, with this class mod I get from my pet around 65% pure dmg, yes that made me change the build I was having before.

2 Likes