FL4K Skills, Pets, Class Mods and Interactions: what could change

Hey! This is intended to be a collection of suggestions, ideas and reports for FL4K Skills, Pets, Class mods and any interactions/mechanics that are in need of fixing or deserving of a change, be it because they are underperforming, not working in the correct/intended/implied way or just downright bugged. The end goal is discussing how these things can be changed (or fixed) and have suggestions displayed for each addressed topic. This way, i hope this becomes a welcome input from us FL4K players to Gearbox in regards to ongoing issues.

The method is: approach subpar skills, fundamentally broken concepts and interactions that seem great on paper yet perform in a subpar manner and provide discussions on how they could be made into something that works. This means the input won’t come just from me, but also from the discussions that happen in the thread. Although there is a FL4K bug megathread, bugs will also be addressed here when appropriate.

Suggestions are merely that: suggestions. The objective here is to primarily let Gearbox know why we think such things deserve to be looked at, and then provide player suggestions that may or may not interest Gearbox.

Thanks to PsychicMoves, AscensionSociety, Firespirit11 and KeroZero360 for helping start the thread.

Thank you to @Prismatic for the assistance in formatting.

Special thanks to @plenipotence for helping and testing a miriad of things, and for being awesome.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Most sections are currently under rework

1. PRIORITY CHANGES : Things that should be addressed with more urgency, due to being plagued by bugs, having interactions that don’t work properly or being just detrimental to gameplay. Jump to section

1.1 PETS Jump to section

2. MASTER TREE Jump to section

3. STALKER TREE Jump to section

4. HUNTER TREE Jump to section

5. CLASS MODS Jump to section

6. ANOINTMENTS Jump to section

Whatever has bugs, wrong values or other issues in it will have it listed by its side.

Whenever certain terms related to Damage Formula and math are mentioned, they will be based on the thread [Guide] FL4K’s Damage Formula.


1. PRIORITY CHANGES

Fade Away, Hidden Machine and enemy aggro | Has BUG

  • A lot of enemies are perfectly tracking FL4K during Fade Away as if they weren’t invisible at all. It can be seen it on Striker Drones, Wotan, Kraken, Traunt, Death Spheres, Melee enemies in general, etc. They also tend to dodge shots like they know where FL4K is.

  • The above issue probably stems from the fact Fade Away either doesn’t drop aggro or force enemies to change/lose targets at all when activated, meaning that they’ll still be “targeting” FL4K. Even the enemies who shoot the spot you were at when turning invisible seem to count as “targeting FL4K”.

  • The whole issue also culminates on Hidden Machine not being applied to damage done during Fade Away unless you’re shooting taunted or non-aggroed enemies. Shooting taunted enemies is somewhat possible to do with certain Fade builds since it has the Not My Circus Augment (which has its own issues), but it requires very specific setups that can loop the cooldowns extremely fast. Shooting non-aggroed enemies almost never happens and it requires playing around a lot of spawns that only occur when you’re already very close to them, not to mention it being simply impossible in most harder fights.

  • At the end of the day, it simply makes no sense for it to work like this because since the skill makes FL4K invisible, enemies would be either searching for them or targeting the Pet (which some of them do, at least).

  • Fix/Suggestion
    Entering Fade Away should drop the “targeted” status completely, even if the enemies keep shooting the spot FL4K was last at. Enemies perfectly tracking and attacking FL4K while invisible is something that needs a fix, and is present in most areas of the game in some form.

  • Video proof on the issues:
    Double behavior vs. Traunt (targets where FL4K was but summons the ice wall where FL4K is)
    Takedown Stinger Drones (locked on after FL4K was already invis and tracked)
    Hidden Machine trigger issue
    Hidden Machine trigger issue by @Spacerobots
    Thread addressing enemy behavior

  • NEEDS FIXING.

Big Game, Hunt Power, Pet Damage On Hunt Skills And Displayed Values | Has BUG/Inconsistency

  • The pet damage added to certain Hunter Skills last year’s hotfix does not get affected by Hunt Power boosts coming from either Big Game or Cosmic Stalker.

  • Psycho Head On A Stick and Interplanetary Stalker have their displayed values updated when affected by Hunt Power. The other Hunt Skills, however, do not. The duration of Psycho Head doesn’t seem to properly update either.

  • NEEDS ADDRESSING/FIXING.

Hunter’s Eye values and Megavore crit interaction | Still has BUG and weirdnesses

  • This skill is a Hunt Skill, yet it’s not said to be one in its tooltip.

  • Crits on humans (or Bosses with Bounty Hunter equipped) coming from Megavore do not get the crit bonus.

  • Guardian enemies are not classified as anything currently, but they might very well fit the robot/robotic classification (at least from what lore indicates).

  • @plenipotence Tested the Damage Reduction vs. Beasts, and it seems to no work against a good amount of the beast enemies. It does work vs. bosses when paired with a Bounty Hunter Class Mod.

FL4K’s Regeneration And Survivability

Note: as of the hotfix that allowed chests to spawn Mayhem scaled items, enemies with guns have had their guns scale with Mayhem level. This is extremely detrimental to the design of FL4K’s survivability AND damage (conditional skills based on our health!) and has no place being in this game, unless we are just going to conveniently forget not every character was designed with a “press button to fully heal skill”. Scaling shield capacity will never fix this issue because healthgate abuse will always remain the best form of survival, and hopefully Gearbox knows that, considering the lifesteal-fest that was BL2’s endgame.

Survivability has been a decently heated topic when talking about FL4K. Some of players find the regeneration-centered survivability a problem, others are fine with it but would like to see it buffed.

  • Regeneration-centered survivability is entirely viable in this game. Enemy damage has not [entirely] escalated to absurd levels yet. The main problem with FL4K’s capabilities at that are the values, which are quite in the low side of things.

  • Lifesteal is not only unnecessary, but also the laziest route possible at addressing a warranted character weakness. FL4K has (well, had, as of current game state) a distinctly noticeable and achievable damage advantage over other characters when properly geared for it, but the tradeoff came in actually managing your survivability to get rewarded with such damage. Properly buffing and introducing regeneration won’t hurt the character’s design, but will rather further increase the theme.

Suggestions
Here are some general ideas encompassing all skill trees:

  • Self Repairing System: increase the HP Regen per level to 0.6%.

  • Turn Tail And Run: this skill has underwhelmingly low regen for some reason. It could easily be 0.8% per level, especially since it has a condition tied to it. This skill also has suggestions regarding its other features in the Stalker Tree section.

  • Not My Circus: could really benefit from some QoL changes and a slight buff in functionality. The suggestions for it are in its own section on the Stalker Tree topic of this thread.

  • Rage And Recover: finally fixed and quite decently powerful. I do think its skill tree placement warrants one of these two changes - 1. The duration being increased by one~two seconds or 2.(potentially a bit too powerful) Allow kills to extend the duration of the skill, up to one time, meaning that if you keep getting sequential kills the skill will be lasting six seconds as long as you keep it going.

  • Who Rescued Who: the condition tied to this healing easily warrants it being at least 1% per level.

  • Mutated Defenses: should work on FL4K too, with a separate cooldown for FL4K/Pet.

  • Shared Spirit: increase trigger threshold to 50~60% health. It’s current trigger is at 30%, which usually means being a shot from death anyway. Show the exact trigger threshold on the description.

  • Spiderant Pet: base regen value could be increased to 1.75%.

Frenzy

  • Frenzy has a big problem in the fact that it works against itself, or even doesn’t really stack at all. If FL4K is too powerful and kills too quickly, there is no time or opportunity for the pet to hit an enemy (and i say this while taking He Bites into consideration). If the Pet has enough damage to kill something, it works against itself by not being able to stack it because the enemy is dead.

  • Pets are not smart. They take a while to properly go after enemies and target them and their AI randomly feels like just doing nothing. Trying to stack Frenzy with a Spiderant Scorcher (one of, if not the the most terrible pet at this) is not a nice experience, especially on Rakk builds.

  • Only taunt effects paired with a point in He Bites can reliably stack this in a very consistent manner, and mostly Red Fang’s effect, because the Fade Away augment has a very weird activation system that sometimes bugs out the pets even more, although it does accomplish this function very well too when it goes smoothly.

  • The skill duration is way too short, only getting tolerable with a class mod giving +3 to Big Game, and even then, you can have a full fight with a lot of enemies and manage to lose all of your stacks because of Pet issues.

  • Suggestion 1
    A list of options that could be implemented in some manner (not necessarily all at the same time, of course):

    • Base duration of stacks increased by 1.5~2 seconds.
    • When the stack timer ends, lose 1~2 stacks and then the timer starts again for the next loss. Each stack would not have their own timer, though, just like it works currently.
    • If FL4K finishes off an enemy that was damaged by their pet, they gain 5 Frenzy stacks (effect should not count as a Hunt Kill Skill to avoid any sort of abuse with Bounty Hunter)
    • If FL4K’s pet kills an enemy, grant maximum Frenzy stacks.
    • DoTs and similar effects caused by the pets could count towards stacking.
    • Atomic Aroma Augment should stack this.
    • Some slower pet attacks could possibly grant more than one stack per hit, seeing as they can be kind of… clunky.
    • Frenzy stacks could increase the pet’s overall animation, attack and movement speed. This would improve stack maintenance by consequence.

Dominance | Has BUG

  • It’s clearly FL4K’s worst capstone, if not the worst in the game. It’s a pain to use. When you do get in melee range, it doesn’t even trigger reliably and might require multiple hits. There’s no visual indication of how long the skill lasts.

  • Taking over an enemy is not very useful in the first place. Borderlands enemies make lousy teammates. They don’t have the mechanics that make our characters actually good at the game, like matching elements, going for crits, saving you out of FFYL, etc. A rocket badass that health-gates you in a few shots ends up tickling your enemies because of how their damage works compared to ours.

  • There is no meaningful connection between Dominance and anything else in its skill tree. Up until the capstone, Master is all about damage and survival for FL4K and their pet. Dominance tacks on a new, unrelated ability instead of giving something to FL4K and/or their pets.

  • Suggestion 1
    A path that i safely think would be preferred by the vast majority of FL4K players is overhauling this skill to be something more meaningful. Here’s an idea inspired by Wilhelm’s “Overcharge” Capstone in Pre-Sequel:
    Activation Changes:

    • Would still be a Melee Override. When FL4K Melees, they perform a powerful mid-ranged melee attack with whip of sorts, or anything that can fill that role. While that happens, as leader of the pack, FL4K says any of their usually more intimidating voice lines, inspiring themselves and allies while also enraging their pet.

    Effect Changes:

    • If an enemy was hit by the melee attack, it is marked for hunting and takes 20% increased damage from all sources.
    • For 10~15 seconds (duration debatable) after the attack, FL4K gains 50% increased Hunt Power, 10% Fire Rate and 10% Movement speed (one of these two could be an amount Health Regeneration instead, like 8%/s or so).
    • FL4K’s allies receive 50% of FL4K’s general skill tree damage boosts for the duration and 10% movement speed. (Only “V1” boosts: Pack Tactics, Frenzy, Horned Skag Damage, Empathic Rage Interplanetary Stalker, Power Inside), and only if FL4K has them spec’d, of course.
    • FL4K’s pet is enraged for the duration, moving, attacking and performing any animations at a much faster rate.
    • Cooldown of the melee override would only start after the effect ends, of course. Could be 10~20 seconds?

    Other features/ideas that could replace any of above or be mixed and matched are:

    • Trigger all Hunt Skills and Kill Skills to their max values upon using the ability
    • Hunt Skill duration alongside the Hunt Power
    • Increased pet passive bonuses by 100% while the effect lasts. Could multiply Barbaric Yawp’s effect:
      [(Bonus x (1 + Yawp) x (1 + Dominance)]
      Or just add to it (weaker):
      [(Bonus x (1 + Yawp + Dominance]
  • Suggestion 2
    If keeping the enemy conversion theme is necessary, then it needs an activation method that is way more efficient than the current one. Some ideas:

    Activation Changes:

    • Melee Override: while aiming down sights with any weapon, pressing [Melee Button] will shoot a high velocity dart that triggers the skill’s effect.

    Effect Changes:

    • FL4K can dominate up to three enemies. Dominated enemies receive all of FL4K’s pet boosts and effects (meaning things He Bites + Frenzy combo would work on them, and their damage would increase too). FL4K receives an unique bonus for each dominated enemy (or a single boost that gets stronger with each enemy dominated). Dominated effect lasts for x seconds (this really should be relatively long duration because a) if enemy conversion is to be anything close to powerful, it needs to go all-in and b) short durations would just make it insanely interruptive to gameplay).
  • Video proof for skill trigger bug:
    Using Face-puncher
    Just meleeing

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1.1 PETS

Behavior

  • Sometimes (more often than not) Pets just don’t attack, get stuck searching a target, or hang way back (probably stuck) until they finally decide to do something. Attack commands do not help with this, because they also tend to bug out pet actions or are slow and weird in execution.

  • Jabbers have a tendency to naturally go after barrels, and it bugs them out completely, not to mention it takes a long while. More often than not, they just die because of it exploding. The huge time spent going after the barrels would be much better spent on shooting things and stacking Frenzy, or properly serving as distraction by triggering taunt effects. Spiderants and Skag suffer from the pathing/behavior problems, with Skag seeming to be a bit better for reliable aggression.

  • Attack Commands for all pets seem to bug them out randomly too, especially when they’re in the middle of some other action.

  • Suggestion 1
    Pets need to be much more responsive, decisive and quick in their actions in general. Some customization like letting us disable/enable the Jabber’s unending will to search for a barrel sounds great, and maybe some other pet behaviors and unique attacks too. A new command button (like ping, could even be the actual ping) in which we can just make them attack or move what/where we want them to would also be welcome.

Damage

The current problems with pet damage are unreliability + inconsistency due to their behavior, a bad spread in the damage formula and buggy/questionable things. The major solution to pet damage right now could come in the form or giving them a better formula spread. Pets need a second or even three damage multipliers, and the “Pet Damage” skills should be smartly spread between those so that they can achieve significant numbers for endgame activity.

What i’m about to suggest is just an example of a reimagined pet damage formula. With this in mind, let’s try to display what that could look like and assume we have:

  • TYPE A Pet Damage
  • TYPE B Pet Damage
  • Gamma Burst’s bonus radiation to pet attacks applies to ALL pet attacks
  • Go For The Eyes is now 4% Crit Chance per level, 10% Damage per level. Can work on any pet attack and applies to the pet bonus elements.
  • Jabbers use their guns during Gamma Burst. Or make it a menu option.
  • Pet Damage patched on the Hunter Skills after the game launched as buffs actually gets boosted by Hunt Power.
  • The Attack Command Shield Anointment is now a “While Action Skill Active” 35% Bonus Element that applies to ALL pet attacks and to FL4K.
  • Gamma Burst Anointment: While Gamma Burst is active, 115% Radiation for FL4K , 60% TYPE B Pet Damage.
  • Rakk Slag turns into an ASE (a very overdue change imo). Remains “V2” type damage for FL4K. FL4K deals 100% Increased Damage with Weapons and gets 50% Type A Pet Damage after Casting Rakks.

Now what this formula could look like:

Final Damage Output = Base Damage x Mayhem Scaling x TYPE A Pet Damage x TYPE B Pet Damage x Sic’ Em x DE4DEYE x Go For The Eyes x Splash x Elemental Multiplier x Harmageddon

Changes:

Base Damage = (BaseHit + 75%GammaBurstRad + 35%ASABonusElement)

TYPE A Pet Damage = [1 + (FuriousAttack x HuntPower) + LickTheWounds + Furryous + PowerInside + Ferocity + (IntStalker x HuntPower) + (DangerousGame x HuntPower) + GrimHarvest + RakkSlag]

TYBE B Pet Damage = [1 + (PsychoHead x HuntPower) + PackTactics + Endurance + (Frenzy x HuntPower) + GammaBurstAnoint + Friendbot)

Go For The Eyes = (1 + GFTE). (1 + 0.50) at 5/5, up to (1 + 1) at 10/5

What this does accomplish is:

  • Introduces another Pet Damage modifier that is very centered on blue tree. Endurance being part of TYBE B Pet Damage makes Gamma Burst a more atractive choice for pet damage purposes, same with the Gamma Burst anointment change.

  • I made Rakk Attack intentionally a bit behind in general pet damage, but would still have better access to splash boosts for attack command centered gameplay (DE4DEYE + GFTE finally being a worthwhile combination too). It would still have access to great general pet damage however, especially when using Rakk ASE and doing a good formula spread.

  • Go For The Eyes is now something that can constantly come into play.

  • Didn’t tackle Fade Away into this because that is a whole other can of problems, especially in regards to anointments.

This effectively changes our pet’s “constant” formula that we get by just playing, killing stuff and keeping track of our buffs from

(Base Damage + GammaRad) x Pet Damage

to

(Base Damage + GammaRad + 35%ASABonusElement) x TYPE A Pet Damage x TYPE B Pet Damage x Go For The Eyes

If you work and spec for it to get access to the TYPE B buffs. And it all retains the theme of not gimping FL4K’s performance for doing so, since they are evidently supposed to be powerful together. Pair these changes with good QoL, AI and Attack Command functionality changes and even the current pet base numbers could be potentially something very nice.

Survivability

  • This has been mostly solved with the recent increases to pet health. There is still a minor amount of things that can potentially one-shot the pet, and those are mainly barrels.

  • When the pet blows up a barrel, that barrel gets the Mayhem Scaling from the pet and it ends up killing the pet. The same might be true for other environmental effects, but i’m not sure.

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2. MASTER TREE

Gamma Burst

  • Gamma Burst has a significant amount of issues, and they mostly end up also being related to the pet issues, or just being the same actual problems. Rather than extensively saying things hat have been said already, i recommend checking this thread by @boombumr that goes in deeper about Gamma Burst’s problems: We Need to talk about Gamma Burst

Atomic Aroma (Augment)

  • The base damage this scales from is very, very low, and it doesn’t even trigger Frenzy. Currently this serves as a decent damage boost to pet damage builds at best, but those already have to deal with a lot of other problems.

  • Suggestion 1
    The base damage could use a very significant boost. When it damages an enemy, it should be able to stack Frenzy.

Burst Aid (Augment)

  • Fun and interesting in concept, but the fact the rift can’t be moved at all and blocks your vision in the worst manner possible makes it not worth it even on the builds it could be. On builds that use Red Fang, the arguably best/main choice for a Gamma Burst build, you don’t ever need this Augment and are way better off using Endurance + Empathic Rage.

  • Suggestion 1
    For Gamma Burst in general, allow the rift to be moved 2~4 times per Gamma cast by pressing the Action Skill button again. This could be used to re-teleport the pet into a desired position and also move the Healing Rift. Reduce the visual clutter of this by a lot.

  • Suggestion 2
    Alternatively, the rift could follow FL4K akin to Fragtrap’s Disco Ball thing in Pre-Sequel (but on FL4K’s shoulder), and heal nearby allies at half/75% effectiveness. It would need massively reduced visual clutter for this. The healing could maybe be reduced to 15% but not lower, considering there are already some tradeoffs involved in picking this augment in the first place.

Go For The Eyes | Has BUG (?)

  • This skill fails in both concept and execution. Being locked to the pet’s first melee attack is already problematic, and it’s straight up worse than just grabbing always on pet damage from Ferocity. Of course, pet builds can grab both to get the most out of pet damage, but with all the existing pet issues it’s simpler to say: the skill is terrible at what it tries to do.

  • @boombumr Confirmed Go For The Eyes currently does not boost the extra elemental damage added by Gamma Burst on the pets. NEEDS FIXING.

  • Suggestion 1
    Skill rework:

    • Flat 4% Crit Chance and 10% Damage per point. Would Apply to any pet attacks (ranged or not) and also any bonus elements the pet has. Would be able to trigger FL4K’s crit dependent skills.

Psycho Head On A Stick

  • For what it intends to do, it’s good numbers wise. The movement increase could use some changes for overall Pet QoL, and when you compare the Pet Damage to some Pet Damage numbers on some other skills , it looks a bit on the low side, especially considering its tier and it being a Pet-only skill, even while boosted from Hunt Skill Power.

  • This is a hunter ksill that gives 0 benefits to FL4K themselves, and that’s a bit questionable considering the overall theme of FL4K and pet getting stronger together.

  • Suggestion 1

    • Turn the movement speed into overall speed for the Pet, so it makes all Pet animations quicker.
    • The Pet Damage could be made to be its own part of the Pet Damage Formula (or at least additive to something like DE4DEYE), effectively making it fully multiplicative to the other Pet Damage boosts, resulting in a significant damage increase for the pet.
    • FL4K should receive movement speed and damage too, with the damage falling under the V1 category (additive to Power Inside, Frenzy, Tactics etc.) or being its own multiplier/V2.
    • An alternative to this could be it granting increased pet bonuses for FL4K on kill instead of just straight up damage. So this way the pet would get Pet Damage and Overall Speed, while FL4K would get movement speed and increased benefit from pet bonuses, like a 100% increase to pet bonuses on kill that would additive to Barbaric Yawp.

Hive Mind/Shared Spirit | Has Wrong Values

  • The listed values on both of these skills seems to be incorrect/wrongly displayed. Hive Mind seems closer to 13% while Shared Spirit is closer to 33%. Update: Damage Reduction values in this game can be inconsistent: sometimes they report their final result in the formula, sometimes not. So these skills are either accurate or inaccurate depending on what Gearbox wishes to display. Thanks to @DocStrangelove for their Damage Reduction thread.

  • The way the reduction is calculated is:
    1/(1+15%) = 13.04% Damage Reduction for Hive Mind
    1/(1+50%) = 33.3% Damage Reduction for Shared Spirit

  • Suggestion 1
    Needs either a tooltip or numbers adjustment, depending on what’s supposed to be the correct value. Currently, they should report ~33% (Shared Spirit) and ~13% (Hive Mind).

Barbaric Yawp and Pet Bonuses | Has BUG/Wrong Values

  • The Jabber Pet tooltip does not update with more points put into Barbaric Yawp, but the bonuses work. NEEDS FIXING.

  • Pets without offensive bonuses are almost never worth equipping when you have five points in this skill, they pretty much entirely wasted.

  • Needs suggestions.

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3. STALKER TREE

Guerrillas In The Mist (Augment)

  • This augment has basically niche bossing uses at the moment, with not really any worthwhile advantages over anything else. The fact it pretty much requires Unblinking Eye and St4ckbot do to actually meaningful damage is not really working to its favor either.

  • Guerrillas had heavy reliance on Leave No Trace. That nerf paired with the Guerrillas duration nerf makes a single reload waste a lot/most of the skill uptime.

  • Suggestion 1
    Either the duration or the damage nerf could be reverted at this point. The game has clearly come full circle in balancing and week 1 Guerrillas wasn’t even that strong to begin with compared to a lot of things in this game. More than that, Fade Away still has an anointment problem, and buffing this back up would likely not solve the core issues with it for the current game difficulty.

Not My Circus (Augment)

  • A top tier augment when the pet doesn’t feel like ruining it. It seems like the pet needs a target to cast this, and must also get somewhat close to it. Even the ranged pets stop shooting and run right next to an enemy, wait some time and then do the (unnecessarily long) animation for the taunt. On bosses like Graveward, some pets don’t even perform the taunt at all due to the distance requirement.

  • There’s an unnecessary amount of steps for the pet involved in this. I’ve been able to loop 4 Fade Aways in succession without seeing it do a single taunt. I suspect the animation the pet has to do is one of the main sources of problems here.

  • The duration feels a bit too short. This is not a big problem when using weapons that can very quickly cycle Fade Away, but a change here could make more weapon choices attractive for the Action Skill.

  • Suggestion 1
    Taunt should instantly happen when FL4K gets out of Fade, or at the very least always one second after. The animation for it could be skipped entirely, and the taunt should happen no matter where the pet is, not requiring some strange enemy proximity factor that is counterintuitive to it being an area effect. A small increase in the effect’s radius could offset the potential issue of the pet not being close enough to enemies.

    Alternatively, the Taunt could happen when Fade Away starts, rather than when it ends. It could receive a small duration icnrease to compensate for the duration loss it would have out of Fade. This would also allow better use of Hidden Machine inside Fade Away, considering the current targeting issues.

Until You Are Dead (Augment) | Has BUG

  • This is a great augment, however it seems to be currently plagued by a bug that causes it to remove even the Regen/Movement from Fade Away. Current manner i’ve seen it happening: If i manage to cast Fade Away before the 10s window of the Augment runs out, it will end during Fade Away and i’ll lose both the regen and the movement speed from the Skill and the Augment. This bug needs some testing for confirmation of it being related to the Augment. I’m pretty sure it is, but still. It 100% is a bug that exists. NEEDS FIXING.

Eager To Impress

  • The skill is decent at most but very weak overall when compared to Headcount. It has some applications for Rakk Attack, but it’s not really necessary at all when Head Count exists.

  • This skill could be of very good importance for Fade Away if it had a meaningful cooldown value, by effectively increasing weapon variety since we would be able to better cycle our cooldowns with slower/single projectile weapons.

  • Suggestion 1
    -0.6 Cooldown per point, up to -3 Seconds.
    -1.2 Cooldown per point on a pet kill, up to -6 Seconds.

Turn Tail And Run

  • Standing still in Borderlands is usually not a good idea. This is a game where enemies have one-shot healthgating and displacement attacks (those COV launchers destroy the hopes of using this well). Of course, it’s somewhat usable in certain circumstances but in most builds it’s very skewed because not moving is quite a big problem. It’s not even that usable on Fade Away since we have the little problem of some enemies still perfectly tracking FL4K.

  • The Regen and Damage Reduction while moving are good in concept. The Regen value itself is way too low.

  • Suggestion 1
    FL4K gains increased Health Regeneration, Damage Resistance, Gun Damage and Fire Rate, but the bonuses vary depending if FL4K is moving or still.
    At 3/3:
    Health Regen: 1.2% (2.4% while moving) - Buffed from its previous value because it was way too low
    Damage Resistance: 8.7% (17.4% while moving)
    Gun Damage: 12.5% (25% while still)
    Fire Rate: 6% (12% while still)

    These end up as the same numbers as before (except for the Regen buff), but FL4K won’t get punished in their damage as much if they need to move and shoot (which is necessary in this game), and it would still be needed to sit still to get the maximum out of our DPS.

The Fast And The Furryous

  • This is a great skill overall, but it ties back into the Health Regen problems. Together with Turn Tail and Power Inside, it’s a decent chunk of damage being conditional on factors that don’t really warrant their existence and can end up just being turned off by single instances of high damage coming from enemies or environmental effects.

  • An example of how annoying this can get, is that on the hardest endgame content enemies simply have extremely powerful attacks that can healthgate you immediately: Stop-Gap/Re-Charger/Transformer only go so far in keeping you consistently above 50% when facing a horde of Badass COV Rocket Launchers or the Sphere + Dog + Jetpack Spam of Maliwan Takedown.

  • Suggestion 1
    Add a helping factor when below 50% HP. Could be HP Regen, Damage Reduction or something else. An extra Reload Speed boost of 15%~20% when above 50% HP sounds like a welcome boost that would be in line with the skill’s overall theme.

  • Suggestion 2
    Reduce the threshold for the effect cutoff to 25% health. Alternatively, halve the bonuses when below 50% health.

The Power Inside

  • This skill looks great on paper and it’s very good in action. It is overall amazing. The only actual problem it has is the 50% Damage being tied to FL4K’s current health when you cast the skill. This ties back into Health regen problems, enemies with powerful one-shot healthgating attacks etc.

  • Suggestion 1
    Simply make it like Furryous, where the necessary threshold is only being above 50% Health. Full health is nearing absurd as a requirement, especially in a game like this.

    The alternative is, seeing as this is a capstone, removing the % threshold requirement altogether. When compared to the insane DPS boost Megavore gives without any similarly punishing system, this requirement looks a bit weird. While this is not something i would generally agree with, some players have expressed their agreement to it, so it’s worth considering.

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4. HUNTER TREE

Rakk Attack (Action Skill)

  • This Action Skill could possibly benefit from some QoL changes.

  • Rakks are a tad too slow, and have some problems actually hitting enemies at times. Not only that, but their limited “range” makes them deviate from the enemy you want them to go at more often than you’d wish.

  • The cast animation is a bit too long and interruptive considering the very spam-centered gameplay loop it wants you to have.

  • Suggestion 1
    The cast animation could be sped up significantly OR it could just become a one-handed cast, which would allow it to flow much, much better during gameplay, especially with it being a multi-charge skill. It would also be a welcome change to a build that usually doesn’t have much time to waste.

    The flying speed and effective range of the Rakks could be increased a fair bit. Double Tapping the Action Skill button could command the Rakks to spread around and search for different targets if available…

Falconer’s Feast (Augment)

  • The healing on this augment could use a small bump. This would help Rakk builds that go for Master tree and generally have less regeneration than Green.

  • There’s some debate on whether the healing should happen exactly when the Rakks hit or when they return FL4K (currently it happens when they return to FL4K, or at least that’s how it feels like). The immediate healing would arguably prove more useful in most situations of the game.

  • Suggestion 1
    The % of Max health Returned could maybe be bumped up a bit, like to the 10~12% range. The healing could happen immediately as the Rakks hit the enemy.

Leave No Trace

  • This skill has a history of two nerfs, one heavy-handed nerf that put a 2s internal timer on it and another that alleviated it to 0.3s. The reason it is being talked about here is simple: the nerfs were not well thought out in the sense that it created anti-synergy with a considerable amount of FL4K skills that increase fire rate, and also with high fire rate weapons in general. Skills like Overclocked, Turn Tail And Run and Eridian Skag all have noticeable anti-synergy with a skill that is generally core to most FL4K gameplay due to these nerfs.

  • Meanwhile, slow firing guns just happened to become some of the most powerful in the game (like launchers), but those are the least affected ones.

  • Suggestion 1

    • Further reduce the timer to match a more forgiving one, like Short Fuse’s, which means it becoming 0.1s or at least being halved. This would make fire rate investments and high fire rate guns not hurt the performance of Leave No Trace so much, while also leaving the slow fire rate weapons mostly unchanged in practice.

Second Intention

  • This skill is powerful, but the crit kill requirement for the larger bonus has some weird issues. A non-crit kill seems to be able to replace the currently going crit kill bonus, which can consistently make it weird in usage in many scenarios.

  • Suggestion 1

    • Turn the requirement into just a kill. While the crit kill requirement does add a fun twist to it, it curently just acts more like a limitation that will randomly penalize FL4K, while also making the skill less effective for builds that don’t want to go for Megavore. Skills like Head Count and Leave No Trace have very rewarding synergy with their crit requirements, but in this case the skill would just feel much more satisfying to play around without it.

Ambush Predator

  • The skill’s distance trigger is somewhat lenient. However, with the way spawns work in this game and how enemies just jump at you, it can be a tad unreliable even on builds that could make good use out of it in theory.

  • The crit damage is a bit underwhelming, not exactly because of its value itself, but when compared to the other available skills around it. Further down the tree, Galactic Shadow gives a 5% lower boost for a single point.

  • Suggestion 1
    FL4K gains increased Weapon Swap Speed. When there are no enemies nearby, FL4K gains increased Critical Hit Damage.

    • Swap Speed: 5% Per Point.
    • Critical Hit Damage: 6% per point (or even 8%, easily warranted)
    • Alternatively, the Swap Speed could be Projectile Speed, probably at a higher value like 15% per point (Making it very rewarding for the use cases it would have).

    An alternative to the the way the Crit could work: Enemies that are not near FL4K take additional Critical Hit Damage. This would allow FL4K to still receive the benefits of the skill against enemies that are further away in situations where it’s nearly unavoidable to not be near an enemy (like on the Takedowns).
    If it’s conditional trigger is to remain as is, it could warrant the crit damage being on its own spot of the crit formula so it at least feels rewarding to play around.

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5. CLASS MODS

Red Fang

  • The only truly useful skill boost here is He Bites, and it’s pretty much for its utility factor, although it can do acceptable damage with the Mayhem Pet scaling.

  • Suggestion 1
    Eager To Impress and/or Ferocity could be swapped for any of Hidden Machine, Frenzy, Turn Tail And Run or even Ambush Predator. All these suggested skills have some form of synergy with the class mod’s effect and would pair well with it.

Rakk Commander

  • The skill boosts, besides being a direct copy of Red Fang (or the other way around), are mostly terrible since there’s only minor utility and no damage. The passive rakk charge is mostly useless except for very niche.

  • Suggestion 1
    Full rework suggestion:

    • Change boosted skills to Big Game, Frenzy and Psycho Head On A Stick (Or Galactic Shadow?).

    • Effect: After hitting an enemy or returning to FL4K (whichever happens first), FL4K’s Rakks turn into a Prismatic Rakk of a random element and attack enemies for a short time. Prismatic Rakks count as temporary pets that can receive boosts and apply pet related skills.

    • The way this would works is: Rakks are cast. If they hit a target, they will do their usual damage and then turn into the Prismatic Rakk. The Falconer’s Feast healing would apply on the moment they turn into the Prismatic Rakk. If the Rakks hit nothing, they will turn into the Prismatic Rakks once they return to FL4K.

    • Prismatic Rakks would receive all the boosts normal Rakks usually get (which means it includes Splash and Action Skill Damage, alongside general boosts), and then additional pet damage. Wether or not they would have HP and be targetable by enemies is up for discussion.

  • Suggestion by @palpabl_purpura
    Special Effect could be changed to allow Falconer’s Feast to heal for both health and shields. @Ratore: This sounds good, and would probably work better if the Class Mod gave you the augment itself too, like Zane’s Shockerator Class Mod.

    Expanding on this idea:

    • Change boosted skills to Rage And Recover, Dangerous Game and Grim Harvest (Or Head Count/Leave No Trace).
    • Effect: Grants FL4K the Falconer’s Feast Rakk Attack! Augment. The healing is doubled and now also restores shields.

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6. ANOINTMENTS

  • Most FL4K specific anointments are simply downright bad, and the ones that weren’t bad became irrelevant or overtaken by new/changed anointments.

  • The game has a lack of Action Skill Start / While Action Is Skill Active anointments. More variations of these could provide some much needed change and variety to a lot of playstyles.

Gamma Burst Anointments

115% Radiation While Gamma Burst Is Active

  • This anointment suffers from a clear problem: being locked to radiation. Now, this is obviously due to the Action Skill’s theme, but there are definitely ways to bring some variety to this so the anointment doesn’t suffer a severe penalty whenever armor comes into play (which is basically pretty much everywhere in the Takedowns).

  • It’s an anointment for the pet-centered Action Skill, but it grants nothing to the pet.

  • Gamma Burst has a significant damage disadvantage when played as a fully offensive setup compared to Fade Away/Rakk Attack. This basically locks the logical Class Mod choice as Red Fang and doesn’t open up these more offensive possibilities.

  • Suggestion 1

    • Effect rework: “While Gamma Burst Is Active, FL4K and their pet gain 115% Bonus Radiation Damage and 30% Hunt Power.”
    • Add a Corrosive variant of the anointment. Cryo could work too, but would cause a possibly unnecessary overlap with Zane’s SNTNL Cryo anointment.

8% Movement Speed After Issuing Attack Command

  • This Shield anointment is just beyond terrible and useless, for reasons that hopefully don’t need explaining. Rather than removing it, the suggestions here will be centered around turning it into a “While Action Skill Is Active” anointment that still spawns on shields, which would end up favoring Gamma Burst in the long run.

  • Suggestion 1

    • Effect rework: “While an Action Skill Is Active, killing an enemy grants FL4K 15% Hunt Power and 4% Movement Speed. Stacks up to 4 times (60% Hunt Power / 16% Movement Speed). Stacks last for 10(?) seconds (not individually, so you could keep all going as long as you keep refreshing the 4th stack)”

Fade Away Anointments

  • There are some points to be made about Fade Away’s anointment problems, and some things that are likely mistakes that could be made:
    • This Action Skill will never really sit comfortably well with “While Action Skill Is Active” anointments, unless they are broken strong enough to be worth it. This is because losing all that damage when Fade Away ends is problematic to the gameplay loop and causes it to feel weird.

    • At the same time, Action Skill End anointments only fit Fade Away well when used with the base, 3-Shot version, but they end up diminishing the value of the Action Skill itself by a lot unless used with good knowledge behind it + specific loadouts.

    • The main solution for Fade Away would come in the form of Action Skill Start Anointments. This would 1. Fix the ASA issue of damage loss once Fade ends and 2. Fix the issue with ASE where damage during Fade Away is bad. The simple baseline for this is “On Fade Away Start, FL4K gains anointment for a short time”. An alternative is “After the first shot in Fade Away or when Fade Away Ends (whichever happens first), FL4K gains anointment for a short time”. This second variant is interesting because it would not rush players who use base Fade for its extra uptime, mobility and survivability, while not really affecting GITM negatively at all.

    • For the love of all that is good, this Action Skill does not need more Gun Damage anointments. Bonus Elements or other modifiers are way, way more adequate for it as an anointment, especially when you consider that some Fade setups already have St4ckbot giving up to 495% Gun Damage. Looking at the community-used damage formulas and guides (FL4K one is here), and through much discussion with various names in the FL4K community: Bonus Elements, V2, Amp or unique modifiers are the places to have a good Fade Away anointment on.

    • Any and all suggestions discussed here will take into account both GITM and Base Fade Away as playstyles.

Fade Away Accuracy + Handling

  • This anointment only ever had a real place back in old Mayhem 3, where the game was easy enough for it to be a viable utility pick for some weapons, but it was always hanging by a thread. After that, it just got completely useless.

  • It goes without saying that this needs to become a damage anointment, or it will just never have a place.

  • Suggestion 1
    Some ideas for an ASS damage anointment (numbers always up for discussion):

    • “On Fade Away Start, FL4K receives 50% Hunt Power and 65% Damage with weapons for 15 seconds.” The damage would be on the V2 section.
  • Suggestion by @palpabl_purpura
    Could change this to “while in fade away, gun damage matches maximal elemental weakness”. This is 175% for fire/flesh, 175% for armor/corrosive, and 250% for shields/shock, but you can do this damage with any weapon.

    Expanding on this idea:

    • “On Fade Away Start, FL4K’s shots will deal 80% bonus elemental damage based on the target’s elemental weakness for 15 seconds”.
    • Alternatively, “After the first shot in Fade Away or when it ends, FL4K’s shots will deal 80% bonus elemental damage based on the target’s elemental weakness for a short time”.
    • Numbers are always up for discussion.

Fade Away Nova

  • The only interesting factor this anointment has is that, like some other Nova anointments, it seems to pull some shield properties too when it happens, but not even from all shields that have unique ones. The damage is terrible, the radius is tiny and it has been made obsolete way before it was ever possibly relevant.

  • Suggestion 1
    Some anointment ideas to replace this (numbers are always up for discussion):

    • “Fade Away Augments receive 50% increased effectiveness and duration. On Fade Away Start, FL4K’s shots receive 25% Amp Damage for 15 seconds.” Could do just the Amp.
    • “On Fade Away Start, FL4K receives 50% Hunt Power for 15 Seconds.”
    • General Anointment idea: “On Action Skill Start, FL4K gains 7% Hunt Power per second or when killing an enemy, for 15 seconds. Stacks up to 100%.” This one would be cool because it would be usable with both Rakk and Fade, while also playing around an actual character mechanic. These numbers are likely exaggerated but it’s just an example.

Rakk Attack Anointments

100% Damage vs. Enemies hit by Rakks (Rakk Slag as it is also known)

  • This is a gun-oriented anointment, and so it will be discussed here in that context.

  • This anointment has lost all of its purpose. Partly due to the massive clunk involved in using it, and partly due to the introduction of new anointments + changes to existing ones.

  • The absurd clunk involved in the usage of this anointment is not warranted. Rakks can be slow, have dumb targeting and have limited range. Most endgame activity is filled with enemies in the map: this makes it even harder properly utilize, because you will only have it applied to a few targets at max (generally just one depending on how the Rakks behave), all while having to wait for the Rakks to actually hit those targets.

  • The R4kk P4k Class Mod slightly minimizes the clunk, but here’s the catch: using a R4kk P4k is a massive damage tradeoff in gun performance already. With Rakk Slag, it is still lower damage than a proper Cosmic Stalker/Bounty Hunter + Generic Anointments (Next 2 Mags and Consecutive Hits). In fact, on any build with any class mod, the generic anointments are very close to Rakk Slag in performance, with Rakk Slag having an edge of around 15% at most in final damage multiplier, which is just unjustifiable considering the mess it is to use. 200% Splash ASE absolutely beats Rakk Slag to the ground in damage, and there’s not ever a case to use that over Splash when available.

  • Suggestion 1
    Turn this into a Rakk ASE Anoint instead of the current “debuff” it acts like. Buff the damage to anywhere between 120%~150% so it has a bigger edge in final multiplier compared to general anointments. Its damage formula placement should remain as is.

    Alternatively, it could work differently: After casting Rakk Attack, FL4K gains 75% increased damage. Stacks up to 150%. Stacks would have the same timer, so you would retain the full buff in prolonged combat or lose both when the timer ends. Values are up for debate, of course.

    Currently, the anointment only applies to damage caused by guns. This could be potentially changed to apply generally (while retaining its formula placement) so the Rakks themselves would also benefit from the damage, which would free them up from the shackles of Splash as the only anointment option for Rakk damage. Alternatively, it could remain a gun-only boost but also give the same value separately in the form of Action Skill Damage, and although that would still be much weaker than Splash for Rakk Damage, it would be a fair balance since it’d be usable on all guns.

50% Crit Damage After Casting Rakk Attack

  • Being very blunt, even if it was 100%+ Crit, it would remain a bad pick.

  • Suggestion 1
    Delete it from the anointment pool.

Extra Rakk Charge

  • This anointment has only seen extremely rare use cases that aren’t of the exploitative nature. When spawned on a gun, it does effectively nothing good and just takes the place of a damage anointment, or it’s used for the known Rakk Charge exploit for ASEs.

  • This has potential as a shield anointment, it just needs to give something else to go along with the Rakk Charge.

  • Suggestion 1

    • Remove it from the gun anointment pool.
    • Shield Anointment rework: “FL4K gains 35~50% Splash Damage (or Action Skill Damage/V1/V2/Unique Modifier) after using Rakk Attack! Grants an extra charge of Rakk Attack!”

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29 Likes

Thanks for working hard on this Ratore. Hope GBX sees this. I only play FL4K and basically felt the entire essay here in my gameplay. I love the BL3 but it’s so frustrating with all the perks either not working or just being useless. Please gearbox, help us Fl4K players out.

4 Likes

And hes still the second best vault hunter. I might get bored of fl4k if he gets fixed and outclasses amara.

The nova anointment has to go, I didn’t pick fl4k to replay lilith. Should be swapped with rakks crit bonus. Make the nova apply to rakks when they make a kill. Accuracy should be scrapped and either bullets pierce shields or a melee crit anointment. I want a fl4k melee build

Agree with just about everything on here.

Exactly. Considering FL4K has a pet AND a skill to make enemies less likely to target them in the same build, there is no reason enemies should be targeting FL4K is FA at all.

It is nice to have skills that reward having high health though. There are really only 3 in the entire franchise that work like this: Jack’s Lean On Me, and then Fast&Furryous and Power Inside.

I like your suggestion about putting lifesteal on WRW, especially since it would give Gearbox a reason to get rid of that god awful anointment.

That could be where Dominance comes in. If it gave the pets a decent bonus, it would be worth getting.

Exactly why I keep arguing that the pets are not meant to be solely tanks. Without Gamma Burst, the only one that can tank at all is the spiderant, and only with heavy investment in health regen and All My BFFs.
If pets are meant to primarily be tanks, then they should have way more utility skills than they do. Heck, they may as well not have any damage skills if their whole reason for existing is to take hits. A roid shield would help their damage way more than any other bonus they have (a Ward would give them 300% melee, the best they can realistically get right now is 220% tops from skills). Of course that would be repeating the formula of DT and Digi-Jacks, but it worked quite well so I’ll gladly take that over what we have now.

Yup. The biggest problem here is that if they buff the base damage to be suitable for M4, the pets will actually decimate the earlier difficulties of the game easily. This is a tough one to solve if GB doesn’t want to just scale off Mayhem level.

It’s the only thing making pet damage builds, or what you can make of one, viable. The pet’s base attack rate is too slow for them to seriously lay down the deepz without help. If this was just boosted a bit (increase the base damage by about a 3rd or so by level 50) and make it trigger Frenzy, and the value of this skill increases immensely for any Gamma build.

All it really needs imo. 50% chance to crit at 5/5, so you can get 100% crit w/ class mods. I think that’s fair.

Agreed. The damage fell after hard after M1, and Is pretty insignificant in M4. Considering that the damage pretty much doesn’t matter, it can at least be better as a damage reduction skill for the pets.

There was a similar weirdness with DR skills in BL2 and TPS. The skill lists what goes into the formula, but what you get at the end isn’t the same because of the way the formula works. I think it was Sal’s DR skill.

100%.

For M3, the Red Fang was perfectly designed. Ferocity buffed He Bites, which could do some OK damage boosted and gave the pet more DR outside of Gamma Burst so you could kill enemies with the pet and cooldown quicker.

For M4, the bonus damage reduction doesn’t seem to do as much since it takes a bit longer to kill enemies anyway, and the reflected damage ain’t worth c##p anymore. The synergy of the COM is still amazing, it just doesn’t work as well when enemy health gets bloated to such a degree.

In which case, you may as well focus on more utility. The COM already gives a taunt, so getting health regen and damage reduction (perfectly synched up with your pet’s) would make our pet an MMO style tank. We already have something similar with the Divergent COM (+ Hive Mind, Who Rescued Who, and Eager to Impress).

Overall agree with just about everything. FL4K has way too many bugged skills and unintuitive interactions.

3 Likes

Yeah, i should mention those boosts make sense (or made) in a pet damage scenario. It’s something i also messed with on MH3 and it was fun, yet still completely outclassed by a red/blue build that just used it as a button for enemies to ignore you and make even 4p takedown a joke. This class mod has real power and i wont really complain if it stays as is, but i wouldnt mind using a version with +5 Hidden Machine too, or at least something worthwhile. Pets are just in a entirely sad situation and them being insufferable to build around even in MH3 just makes me question more and more why they aren’t just immortal stat boosts.

3 Likes

Thanks for working on this Ratore. I have some suggestions for this

  1. Fade away accuracy needs to be retired. Gearbox decided to give 850 health, 1K shields and armor to enemies, so anything other than damage perks become an unaffordable luxury.
    I would change this to “while in fade away, gun damage matches maximal elemental weakness”. This is 175% for fire/flesh, 175% for armor/corrosive, and 250% for shields/shock, but you can do this damage with any weapon.

  2. Fade Away nova needs to be changed to overkill orbs ala Amara instead. The orb number is based on the amount of enemies killed.

  3. Rakk Charge is actually useful because if prompts ASE annointments.

  4. I don’t have much experience with attack commands and lifesteal, hopefully someone else can weight in.

  5. I don’t think GITM should be scrapped. Of course, it should be changed back to the original 8 secs and 50% crit damange. With the above annointment, you should be able to do some good damage.

  6. Rakk Commander should be changed to allow Rakks to heal for both health and shields.

  7. Rakk Crit should be crit damage increase of 100% per stack for a max stack count of 3. If you miss 2 crits, it resets.

1 Like

I think Zane and Amara both may be better at this point.

2 Likes

I’ve already swapped my build to having my pet basically tanking everything, and I agree with this 100%. As it stands, I never bother looking at the skills on red fangs, just the modifiers that I’m looking for. I can still wreck stuff on MH4 with the unorthodox build I have running, but there are some times when its damn near impossible to keep my pets health up

Zane is arguably better in terms of just living longer and tanking shots, as amara does, but fl4k can blast through content before enemies have a chance to all react in time. Look at this op’s takedown challenge video, besides the kraken and woton double kill one shot, all his mobbing are just common place fl4k gameplay. But this devolves the post and refer back to the post I made, his skills and better anointments will boost him by themselves. Pets I think are a wet dream, I don’t have any hopes for a pet build

1 Like

The problem of “while Fade Away is active” anoints are that they should be good for both Normal Fade and Guerrillas. Right now both are in a weird spot, with Normal Fade just being better most times because of the anointments being triggered sooner. Normal Fade ends in 3 shots, and considering its playstyle involves dealing damage outside of Fade too, there’s a good chance that such anointments would still be simply very bad for it. They would at least maybe make Guerrillas tolerable. I think something that works during Fade and after Fade for some seconds would be the best way to approach it.

Guerrillas still has a place and i’ve been recently playing around a setup that favors it, but at this point it feels like something that will always have to be thought about when approaching Fade Away and anointments, and in my opinion we’re better off getting rid of it and expanding on the power of the main ability which, since Mayhem 4, has shown itself to be much more interesting than 5-7 seconds of panic mode that forcibly locks you into Unblinking Eye.

Fade Nova certainly needs something, and not being a Nova is the first step into the right direction.

Well, useful or not, that’s just a glitch/bug. I’d say it needs a replacement anyway.

I’ll get to adding suggestions soon. I’ll try to keep it a 3-4 maximum suggestions per item and change them depending on how discussion goes, so the main text doesn’t get too long. This is just an idea of course, i could add just about everything (within reason) too depending on what people think.

Edit: Added some of the suggested stuff. Will get to the others later. I’ll also make sure to add enemies dodging your shots from Fade Away like highly trained ninjas even though we’re invisible (or are we?) as a potential issue. Not sure how much this bothers other people but i feel it’s a weird thing.

2 Likes

Very good write up. Thank you for your hard work, Ratore!

You have Head Count as a skill that needs urgent fix, but I am not sure if I agree with it because I think the synergy between Head Count, Megavore and weapons like Brainstormer would be too OP if they just fix the skill straight up.

2 Likes

The synergy is there and it already works fine most of the time for Fade/Gamma (in fact i’ve only had it occur once in those skills). It’s a very relied upon skill in almost (if not all) FL4K builds. Funnily enough, Rakk Attack doesn’t need it as much as the others, with usually a single point being more than enough for me, yet it is mainly this Action Skill that is plagued by this bug and can basically break gameplay for some time depending on how unlucky you get.

It is very strong but i think within FL4K’s gameplay loop it’s just very fitting, and not OP. Any manner of nerf to this skill would heavily injure FL4K builds for no real reason, since it basically carries the fast pace you usually have to maintain to survive, or gets back your survivability skills. And it being strong or not doesn’t mean it shouldn’t get fixed, since it’s quite literally just bugged/broken.

1 Like

This perfect describes my sentiment towards GiTM and why a fix for it is not so simple. No manner of simply adding a few buffs would compensate for the 2-4x DPS you are losing by not having ASE. The biggest problem IMO is the lack of a F4de Away specific anointment which is competitive with the ASE ones. The second is that 2 of the other 3 FA augments don’t actually do anything for FA but are like mini ASE anointments. If we had an augment that massively increased reload speed/reduced ammo consumption/buffed damage in FA, we would be in a better place right noww. Reverting LnT would be a step in the right direction, given base F4de wasn’t affected, but GiTM was absolutely gutted by its nerf. Even a single reload basically kills FA - and Fl4k kinda has bad reload speed compared to say Zane or Amara.

The second would be to give a proper anointment for FA (both GiTM and base Fade TBH). Something that favors GiTM would be ‘each consecutive shot in F4de Away gives +20% weapon damage’, while a Base F4de Anointment could be ‘Your last shot in FA deals bonus damage based on the amount of duration left - +15% damage per second left’.

1 Like

Maybe instead of scrapping gitm, give it a way to extend the duration and any effects fl4k is under with crit shots? That way it his dps doesnt drop while in fadeaway and after. Could be a diminishing returns added for fadeaway extension and for buffs it just freezes the cooldown while fadeaway is active

I don’t think the synergy is OP for Rakk build, but I cannot say the same for FA.

Even with the current bugged state, certain type of weapons and grenades can cool down the AS very fast, allowing us to be in FA constantly while keeping the ASE anoint active all the time. I just don’t think this is how GBX wants Fl4k to be played as it is way more powerful than GitM was pre-nerf.

I kinda wish they don’t address the Head Count bug because if they do, they would have to nerf something in return to balance things. That would unfairly penalize Fl4ks that don’t utilize the synergy.

The reason i see Guerrillas in such a bad light is because i think it’s actually just being detrimental to both the Skill Tree and the Action Skill itself. It is Gearbox’s attempt at making Fade a skill that can be used with all weapon types, yet you can use normal Fade with all weapon types.

Not only that, but normal Fade has the tools to support such a playstyle. Unblinking Eye, Until You Are Dead and Not My Circus are all competitive choices between each other for a Normal Fade setup with fully automatic, high fire rate weapons. Meanwhile, Guerrillas entirely locks you into Unblinking Eye while giving you pitiful damage in most setups. If it was scrapped, and we had some anointment that had an effect both in and out of Fade (after it ends for a few secs), and a good replacement for the Nova anointment, i think a free’d up augment slot could be used for more interesting choices like the one listed on the main post. It could also simply be something like 2 extra Fade charges, or retaining Fade’s guaranteed “hits that count as crits” for a few seconds after it ends (with the damage bonus), since it would still fall well into an ambush themed character.

I think this is a situation where one will always end up being a superior choice unless for very select setups, and Guerrillas will always be the biggest offender and the hardest one to balance because of its reliance on Unblinking Eye. Yet if Unlinking Eye is changed, it could negatively affect Normal Fade in a big way too. That’s why i suggest rebuilding the augment with the Normal Fade in mind, since it’s a much more versatile approach, can use the general Anointments decently, would still benefit from having a Fade Anoint, and it can be mutated into a lot of cool, different stuff.

Guerrillas was always overrated, even by Gearbox. The first batch of nerfs looked like a joke few days/week after when Amaras were stomping the game with ease and quicker. Normal Fade was always as strong/stronger, yet it went under the radar because the endgame was not explored too deeply yet. Anointments, their uptime and proper use of build synergies on the hardest content are the endgame (on the builds sense, of course). It is how we get rewarded for actually putting them together.

All of this is making for some of the best and varied FL4K builds to ever exist, all Action Skills included. How exactly is FL4K “to be played”? A big/medium wait between cooldowns would hurt all FL4K builds immensely because of how important said things are to endgame viability. Fade Away looping is probably some of the most fun and rewarding stuff to ever come out from FL4K, and it has a lot of choices involved, ranging from weapons, skills, augments and class mods. The same applies to Gamma/Rakk. It’s all curently perfectly fitting within build variety, and any changes to Headcount would just cause unnecessary harm to all of these setups.

It’s better to give setups that can’t reach Head Count another decent manner of reducing their cooldowns, rather than harming all of the ones that do for no reason. There is unfairness between builds, and then there are actual bad builds. A build that doesn’t have its synergies in check to face the hardest endgame content can simply be a bad build for that difficulty tier, and that’s no fault of a good skill simply existing.

4 Likes

It is Gearbox’s attempt at making Fade a skill that can be used with all weapon types, yet you can use normal Fade with all weapon types.

Not really. Yes, you can use them, but its once more just exploiting the ASE loop that plagues this entire game. If I wanted to use high FR weapons, I wouldn’t bother with FA, I would just use Rakk Attack - which gives me a far more reliable upkeep of anointments with most weapons. The only exception would be the Brainstormer, because it actually allows me to be invisible 80% of the time.

The point and draw of F4de Away isn’t the taunt or the health regen - its obviously being invisible and scoring autocrits which have synergy with many of Fl4k’s skills. The former help, and can sometimes even be very powerful. But I think in the name of min-maxing, we have forgotten why we play these games - because of fun. Sure, some may think GiTM is a low skill playstyle - but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t exist. But the poor design of ASE anointments means we are conditioned to think that somehow, the way the game should be played is to end our action skill as soon as possible. Which is honestly really stupid. Can you imagine if Salvador, Jack or Wilhelm were in this game and their only AS anointment was accuracy and handling? It would utterly gut them as a class.

Yet GB has shown that they can make a class strong independent of the ASE loop - just look at Gamma Fl4k or Zane. The key to it? Strong anointments. If F4de Away had an anointment that gave it +300% gun damage, I guarantee we wouldn’t even be having this conversation right now.

retaining Fade’s guaranteed “hits that count as crits” for a few seconds after it ends (with the damage bonus), since it would still fall well into an ambush themed character.

I actually had this idea for a COM way back in September/October - but we both know why we want this - its because we want the cake and eat it. We want FAs autocrits as well as the ASE bonuses, and then quickly refresh our cooldowns with autocrits and basically have 100% anointment upkeep. But that just perpetuates how poorly thought out anointments are that we want to be out of our action skill more than to be in it. Yet the change can be so simple - just give FA a busted anointment and suddenly everyone will be all over it.

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Min-maxing itself is fun for a lot of people. I enjoy it but only to a certain degree. I absolutely agree that the whole Anointment and ASE stuff plagues the game in a very negative way. We all want to do damage during Fade, and Guerrillas is the one that needs an anointment the most. It is certainly why i’ve been recently messing with a lot of things to try and have real damage without anointments, with decent sucess (not on Guerrillas of course, lol). Sadly, it is the best we have for Fade right now. At the same time, i think it has some of the most intuitive and fun uses of ASE stuff.

Things like the Tag 3 and explode playstyle with stickies + splash anointments, Sniping, Point blank shotgunning etc. are things what work in a very unique manner and can actually use the skill for damage. They rely on ASE (some not even that much), but they also reward you with great damage during Fade Away too. Guerrillas feels terrible in this regard because it has no power on its own. One Shotter shields have also been a great discovery for Fade builds and they currently allow for some real insanity during Fade Aways… it feels as if it had an anointment. It’s really fun.

My point is simply that the actual main skill - the 3 charges one - should not be forgotten when addressing anointment issues, and knowing how things tend to go one would certainly end up being way favored over the other, and currently it’s Normal Fade being favored, and just because it can use ASE stuff better, since Fade might as well have nothing for Anointments at this point. If we get a Fade Anointment and it does nothing when the third shot is gone, then what’s the point of using it over going back to looping ASEs? I personally think anointments as a whole are a mistake in how powerful they are, and the whole Mayhem Scaling just forces every build into abusing them in a way that will always bring us back to such discussions. If Mayhem Scaling was way, way lower, and anointments were more like slightly better Pre-Sequel luneshines, build variety would probably increase in a very good manner.

Not My Circus and Until You Are Dead are augments, and so is Guerrillas. I don’t think Guerrillas has a low skill playstyle (on the beginning of MH3 pre-nerf it was a cakewalk, but so was just about everything), it think it’s rather one of the most dangerous FL4K playstyles, even if it had good anointments to go with it it would face the problems of the very short duration and FL4K being somewhat squishy in general. Fun is the end goal, and i personally think further building the main skill - which could still have it’s weapon limitations worked around through a different augment - would make for something very fun.

And of course, i’ve been adding suggestions for Guerrillas. This discussion is great, i’m glad we’re having it.

I should probably also mention on the Stalker Tree how the current Fade Away tooltip is misleading to every player and Gearbox could word it better on how it’s not actually a real crit.

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Idea for Rakk Commander (while keeping its current effect): You can hold down the AS button to rapidly fire all charges of Rakks. This gives incentives to stack as many charges as possible for the highest burst damage possible. Fl4k can stack 6 whole charges so that could be interesting. Granted, if they smooth the Rakks out with QoL changes this may be less good but certainly better than what it is now?

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