Anyone hanging around Borderlands social media (Twitch, Reddit, YT, these forums) has seen the FL4K’s new skill tree is receiving mixed reactions from the community. While the increases to survivability and pet damage have been long requested additions for some players, other feel that the lack of FL4K damage makes the tree unappealing to spec into or that too many skills are redundant.
I’d like to use this thread as a platform to offer concentrated feedback and suggestions for this content (Trapper skill tree and the Cmdl3t class mod). I’ve been very negative about this content and recognize that continuing the conversation in that manner will not be productive in the long run, so I apologize for my tone thus far and would request that we do our best to keep this thread constructive. Also, keep in mind that wholesale reworks of the skill tree are not likely. What was shown is mostly what we will get.
To start, I feel that while the shield tanking and pet damage themes of the tree were both meant to address long standing criticisms about FL4K’s survival and pet damage, I think the the current meshing of the two together is very problematic. As the tree is currently designed, you need to give up FL4K’s damage in order to gain more survivability (through shield tanking) and pet damage. This is an issue because:
- Shield capacity does not scale with Mayhem while enemy damage does, meaning this skill loses effectiveness as you go up the mayhem ladder.
- The pet damage in this tree is gated behind 2 skills: Take This and Throatripper. However, for the non-loader pets, most of their damage will come from Mayhem scaling shield effects and not their own attacks. The shields that will increase their damage the most will be things like nova shields, spike, etc…These shields will buff the pet’s damage, but do nothing for FL4K. Likewise, if you equip your pet with something like a booster shield, that won’t help most of the pets at all. So you need to choose between having a shield that doesn’t work for you, or doesn’t work for the pet.
- The only shields that benefit FL4K and the pets from being constantly full are amp shields (only for gun pets).
So if you want to play into this tree’s strength of buffing your shields and pet damage, you are pushed towards using the Loaders with amp shields only. On top of that, in order for the pet and your shield to be full for constant amp for the both of you, you’d need a taunt. Blind with Anger provides one, however because it stops enemies from attacking you, it outperforms any of the shield related survivability skills (after all, not getting hit at all is better than healing through damage). So you’ve gone down the whole Trapper tree and picked up various shield related skills, and most of them can be made redundant by an action skill augment. I believe that the tree needs a thematic tie between shield tanking and damage for both FL4K and the pet. My suggestion to achieve this would be…
Change Wooly Armor into a 75% Damage increase for FL4K and the pet while FL4K’s shield is full.
With this change, there is an incentive for FL4K to keep their shields full, regardless of the shield type. It ties together the themes of shield tanking and pet damage, and the FL4K damage portion of the skill would allow it to synergize with other trees and play styles. Fade Away + Not My Circus, the reworked Dominance/Red Fang, Gravity Snare, and ASS shields on Rakk builds would all benefit from the high shield damage mechanic.
What are some of your thoughts on how to change the tree and/or COM?