Fl4k's 4th Skill Tree Thoughts

I feel this is needed: @Noelle_GBX

I had to come back to this. It keeps growing on me and I have very strong feelings about @Ratore leaving Borderlands 3 behind. And it’s not the good kind of feelings.

What Ratore wrote was some kind of goodbye letter. A sad one at that. And also a deep and not so obvious love letter to Fl4k:

You’re goddam right: This is Fl4k, and I fell in love with that freakish robot the minute I discovered them! And you, Ratore, seem to share that same strange love/interest. Maybe that’s why I always felt connected to you, man! One might call me a fanboy of yours. I don’t care!

What I do care about: I cannot believe Gearbox did really manage to drive away @Ratore from the game.
I might not be able to verbalise adequately why this is so terribly inconceivable! This is madness to me, to say the least!
Somehow Gbx did not only apply a double standard to the new skill trees and new coms that inevitably forces Fl4k into an unnatural bottom-of-the-list-position but they also did this (or are about to do so) in a way that shows Gbx does not truly “feel” Fl4k nor does it know what Fl4k and their community is all about. They seemingly just tried to fix issues that cannot be fixed in the way they did it. And they don’t seem to even comprehend the actual issues Fl4k have.

But Ratore said it way better than me. And this post is about the fact that all this drove away @Ratore.

For the uninitiated a quick sum-up of who Ratore is and what he means to Borderlands:

He is thee person to drive Fl4k theorycrafting all around the community (forums, discord etc) as well as the most knowledgeable person on all things Fl4k. And he doesn’t keep this knowledge to himself. By the way, I don’t mean to diminish the work of people like @nodreamsonlygoals, @Lazydata or the numerous people he worked with!

Ratore did not only (co-)create the most defining builds with the Gunboy build (Dakquans thread), the 3-Shot-Fade Away build (w/ Dakquan), the Flauncher build, Punchbot (with Lazy), Rakk Stab (w/ Quag) and various Rakk Attack builds but he’s also one of two people (together with Quag) to maintain the Fl4k endgame builds resource. And he does all this time-consuming work for us. And for Gearbox’s game! … he did do this until the purple mess arrived!

To give alittle more context on how he pointed out flawed interactions while also giving informed tips on how they could be improved:

Fl4k skills, pets, class mods: what could change
Fl4k’s predetermined skills
Fade-Away, Hidden Machine, Enemy targeting

Or the mighty damage formula thread:
Fl4k damage formula

So, he does (did) it all: Finding stuff out, testing it thoroughly and spreading the word. Fl4k players all around the world are playing on premises that he (co-)discovered!

Let’s all hope that Gbx manages to spark his interest in this game as soon as possible by going in the right direction. We as a community pointed at the right direction in various threads.
The game, at least to me, will be more stale than before without Ratore! I always felt like @Ratore got my back when playing the game, when finding bugs that almost killed the game for me or when just being frustrated by coms, skills, hotfixes …

And now even his kinda funny profile claim sadly comes true in a not so funny way: “I don’t really play this game” …
As I already said: Fl4 bad. From now on they sure are!


Wait did I miss something? Was Fuzzy Math nerfed?

When Fl4k’s tree was partially shown at the Pax showcase, Fuzzy Math was 6% per level while it is 3% now.


+27% Pet Damage is the payout for a DLC COM. Let’s do a quick check, Deadeye offers a multiplicative 35% bonus to all sources and boosts Go For The Eyes. While GFTE is a PITA to try to capitalize on, it is one of the highest bonuses available for pets.

A well rolled T4mer offers better payout than this new COM.


This thread in general is just sad. Maybe there will be some interaction we hadn’t anticipated or something. But I am not holding out hope. Not encouraged by what I have seen from the new skill tree.


One thing that also gives the tiniest of hope is that Nov patch might have other changes that indirectly, or directly, support Fl4k. We don’t have the patch notes after all. Chances aren’t high, but it’s not 0.

Even the bright side isn’t so bright lol, sorry.


I am pretty sure that the code would have been submitted as gold for certification probably a few days ago. So at this point the only thing that can save it would be hotifxes and a future patch. I am guessing that what we saw last week (or whenever it was) likely is the way the new skill tree and changes to the existing skill tree will look upon initial release.


this is the patch that buffs Rakk Commander, i’m calling it


They gonna buff it to +2 charges of Rakk Attack.


Dear god, take it easy man. We don’t need such Overpowered “Seein’ Dead” levels of Broken for our dear Fl4k.
+2 charges? Insane.


I’m done venting. If we’re going to get any changes we’re going to need to do it the usual way: by asking nicely 1000 times. If anyone wants to contribute their feedback I made a thread specifically for 4th tree feedback in Gen Dis.


hmm, that is pretty bad, if it was 6% I imagine i could get by with 2 points in it, leaving me room to add damage elsewhere, since that would still get me close to the now max of 15%

My issue with the skill is its long cooldown. it’s even higher than the one for leave no trace.
So unless its like what the other person said, and the skill was intended to literally only be activated with megavore, it might not be useful, at all.

@boombumr said the cooldown was about half a second, with that long a re-trigger delay and the low percentage of the skill itself i don’t see it being at all useful in combat.

And that is exactly the sad part in all this. They seem to not recognize the good parts of their own design.

Amara is definitly not lacking in power. But her design is just not that good. It does not allow for alot of variety, every build feels kind of the same and the player is never forced to make decisions. The new tree is just more power and i just laughed when i saw the new class mod. So you now don’t have to switch elements anymore because of the capstone (wich was already mostly irrelevant with all the anointment stacking. just the action skill element switching wasnt designed that good), get all the benefits of the melee calculations (as if the facepuncher wasnt bad enough already) while still using whatever weapon you want.

Zane actually has even more design flaws, only one build and a very non-interactive playstyle. But instead of fixing this, they just stack power on top of it to hide it. Even his new action skill, despite being an on-use won’t feel meaningful or interactive if you can just spam it and are even encouraged to spam it to stack all the passive stuff.

Fl4k is the only character that has action skills that all feel a little bit different (and pet skills that would be nice if not for the AI and clunky controls) and they are also kind of interactive with utility besides just damage. Besides that there are also some interesting interactions and synergies in the trees (also in the new one). But at this time i am actually not sure if that are just coincidents.^^


@Ratore I hadn’t seen the part of this thread where you talked about taking a break from BL. Wish you the best and hope you come back at some point! You helped make this game more fun for me, and lots of others like me, with all the work you did. Thank you.


So is there a point getting this tree? I am not as knowledgeable about all things Fl4k than people on this forum, and I am worried to see the backlash.

Arm race seems to suck, only trees that interested me are Fl4k and Amara. I don t even know if we can buy tree individually.

If you’ve wanted to run a pet build on FL4K, this tree is a must. If you don’t care about that, then there isn’t much here for you.


I’m still upset that this is the case and not something that should have been with Master tree. 4th Tree could have been something greater. I think this adds on to the whole selecting Beastmaster only to find out its incomplete and you need dlc. At least to an extent.


Sigh… Yeah… I once again see Gearbox’s well meant intentions but in my view they missed the mark. They admitted that their design philosophy behind the 4th trees was to fill in the “gaps” of each character. Hence Moze FINALLY gets a 2nd action skill since she launched with just one, Zane gets a bonafide anointment proc device, FL4K gets “survivability” and some more pet boosts. I know very little about Amara’s new tree so I won’t comment on that.

And in theory their approach sounds awesome. I mean let’s be frank, Moze needs something besides Iron Bear. Gearbox dropped the ball with her, no way around it. And the other characters do have their issues, but I just don’t see why so much had to come as paid DLC. Why couldn’t they just… you know… buff some skills in existing trees? Rework some things that have existed since launch? I have no issue with paying for new content, but a lot of this gap filling has no reason to be new content. I’ll concede that reworking action skills may have been tons of work so it’s plausibly more feasible to just release new ones. But when it comes down to just buffing existing stuff to fill in these “holes?” I’m just not sure what happened. Would it have been that hard to ask some hardcore players what they would do to fill in those holes? Imagine how many responses a forum thread from Gearbox asking for FL4K pet feedback would get, even if it was limited to only discussions about number tweaks and not significant reworks.

I’m a little hopeful since recently Gearbox appears to have been looking at things like Dominance and Zane’s green tree & COMs. But I don’t want them to “fix” that stuff and then just leave it alone before players can test it out and see if it’s up to par. But maybe they will do a lot of this gap removal in the free patch that’s available to everyone. Won’t be long before we can read the patch notes and see for ourselves I suppose…


Shoot I know I’ve been making posts and suggestions about character fixes since this game launched. and boombumr has THE pet thread, with deep analysis on the benefits and problems which each pet and what they should be. That’s also been up for like a year.

That’s the thing though, the answer to near any question ever asked has most likely been answered at some point in the past.

We’ve had all the answers, I can’t even count how many threads there’s been about how to fix characters.

But every time a new “fix” comes, its always wrong, or just half-way right.

And they’ve changed how some skills work completely, there’s no reason they couldn’t have made most of the changes by just updating old skills.

But still that’s why I felt the trees should just have been free, since like they said they are essentially just qol fixes. Things the character should have already had.

There’s no reason they shouldn’t have someone taking advantage of the resource that is the forums.

How a job where someone is just watching the forums or bouncing ideas off the fans, would keep them from wasting time on things and prevent them from angering the fanbase.

I don’t know if its normal, but the way this game developed after launch felt “weird” its like every decision they made they were actually trying to alienate players.

I mean at launch it was buggy but people weren’t that upset because thats sadly expected now adays, but then everything else happened…

1 Like

The answer to the question you posed is, quite frankly, baffling to me. Not only do threads addressing these topics ALREADY EXIST on this forum, but we also know that the devs read these threads and forums - at least sometimes. Even just a brief review of any of the 912 threads on this forum regarding the subject matter would reveal hundreds of suggestions for possible improvements to Fl4k’s skills or areas where their skill set has holes. Some people even rework entire skill trees with suggestions.

GBX literally doesn’t even have to solicit the feedback. We create it for them and organize it into threads by topic! All the devs have to do is look, listen, and synthesize.