[Guide] Top Gear for Athena

(Sheriff) #442

As long as it’s a reasonable setup and that it’s the same for both guns it should be fine.

I want to see the “Top gear” glitched thinking (meaning perfect parts) Vs a shock gentle Octo, Tediore grip, Hyperion stock.

Reasonably speaking, almost no one should be able to farm a perfect glitched thinking without… External help, but it’s the best line of comparison possible.

If you have time, maybe compare the Octo to an “average” thinking ? The kind of thing everyone can find with a bit of luck (maybe with the right grip and accessory but non-glitched and a random stock). The point behind that is to see if it makes sense to recommend the Octo at all as a stacker. (“Get a perfect Thinking, otherwise the Octo is better”… Or “Don’t bother with the Octo as even a sub-optimal Thinking is better”)

(Pandora's Industrial Engineer) #443

I’ll just use my base set up then. Why shock I know the DoT is more likely to proc on shields based on your thread but fire last longer, or did you have another reason in mind?

And when the yellow and green glitch proc you’re going to see a spike the Octo can’t climb.

(Sheriff) #444

Yeah, 2:

1: most players will want to farm for a shock one first because it’s more versatile.

2: Getting to 700 stacks slower will make any difference between both guns more obvious.

As for glitches… Yeah… Maybe use results from a try where no glitches got off? Just to have consistent results. We can all assume it’s gonna be more on average after :slight_smile:

(Pandora's Industrial Engineer) #445

So on the flesh dummy then I’m assuming.

(Sheriff) #446


(Spark Seeker) #447

If we know that the Glitched version is going to outperform the Octo I think it is better to try the regular Thinking against the Octo as a alternative until you get a Glitched gun.

1 Like
(Pandora's Industrial Engineer) #448

As I said the Octo is only a viable replacement for mobbing. Anywhere you’d use the Thinking family as a pure stacking weapon and switch to something else later the Octo would lose hands down. So besides UBA and a couple bosses the Thinking is better just like I led on.

Results. Without Unrelenting, Storm Fronts, ect… to back them in the shooting range this is what I got.

  • Octo maxed out at 350 stacks

  • Glitch Thinking got 999

I didn’t time them b/c I didn’t upload them, if you really want to see them I can.


Practicable is key in the whole deal. It could be any grip but that accessory will make or break an effective stacker whether it’s the Thinking or Octo. My 60 Thinking had a Jakobs grip and still had a 4.0 FR with 8 pellets. Even with crummy parts it consistently outperformed an Enforceable Bullpup with all Hyperion parts. The advantage in fire rate proved more important than the enormous advantage in damage and mag size that the Bullpup had.

(Resident DoT fanatic) #450

Alright, here’s the result of testing 8 fire SMGs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6nCn8idpc8 (EDIT: IGNORE THE FROSTFIRE BIT)

As per Hoyle’s request, I tested it in the first part of Pandora, and I think while it’s short and meaty, it’s not really the best place to test SMGs like these mainly because of just how much these f***ers move around! Therefore, there is a huge variability in how fast I kill these enemies even within the same run because they might cooperate or they might not and move and teleport around like there’s no tomorrow.

While I originally only intended to test the Hellfire, I realized I needed some sort of baseline so I included these 8 fire SMGs in the mix: Hellfire, glitched Maliwan SMG, Meat Grinder, Fast Talker, Cheat Code, glitched Hyperion SMG, Torrent, and Frostfire.

In all of my runs, I kept everything the same except for the guns. Aspis and Smite does introduce variability but you can see how the guns perform before Aspis and Smite kicks in very early on each of the runs.

Torrent was sort of the baseline - it performs very averagely. Let’s first point out the guns that didn’t do well.

Unlike what Hoyle thinks, Hellfire didn’t do badly. Instead, it was one of the “top gear” that performed pretty badly: Cheat Code and hyperion Glitched SMG.

While these should be easy to use, the ease of use goes right out the window when enemies are moving around like this and the stacking and damage output capabilities were quite poor. So in these testing conditions, these guns were not as good as the others (mind you, these 8 SMGs are still better than most others).

Meat Grinder and Fast Talker are universally considered some of the best SMGs out there, and for a good reason, too. Fast Talker imo is the clear winner of this testing, as it is good on stacking (only losing out to Hellfire and glitched Maliwan and meat Grinder) DPS, mag size, reload speed, and ease of use. It tears up small enemies and badasses equally and at any range, whereas the Meat Grinder really has trouble killing these dudes anything outside of whisper range. But still, it stacks and kills very fast when the enemy is very big and is up in your face.

So that leaves us with the three Maliwan SMGs - the SMGs OP doesn’t like, apparently.

Hellfire, as expected, stacks up high and fast and does great body damage since it has 50% splash. The splash helps out the Hellfire in many ways - DoT stacking and extra damage being two of them. Now, in this particular run, the enemies are especially uncooperative, I don’t make use of Aspis and Smite much at all, especially when compared to other runs, but when I can shoot them, holy damn do they melt away very quickly. Reviewing the footage, I also noticed the ease of use - while it doesn’t have reverse recoil like Hyperion SMGs, the DoTs allow you to miss and still do high damage (remember, DoTs actually do good damage in TPS, especially with Hellfire) AND stack. And the hipfire is pretty good too.

Glitched Maliwan SMG was a surprising one - while it is absolutely beat by Hellfire in all ways possible, with the right glitch effects, especially the yellow one, it WRECKS. It even manages to edge out the Hellfire when it has the gltich effect active. One interesting thing of note is that after shooting at testing dummy for a while (same constants, no swapping/smite/aspis/grenade to help stack), Hellfire rapidly reaches and solidly manages 400 stacks, whereas the glitched Maliwan SMG, even with THREE back-to-back yellow glitches, only managed to hold 330 stacks. You should also note that the glitched Maliwan SMG does NOT have any splash damage, so it does less damage and doesn’t stack as fast without the glitch effects. The disparity between what we see here and what I experienced shooting at the dummy probably could be attributed to the fact that I really missed a lot of shots in Hellfire run and the yellow glitch on the Glitched SMG made up for the fact that I was missing. If you want to see me NOT missing as much with the Hellfire and showing its full potential, see this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaPTljgjaFc (Hellfire really IS good)

IGNORE THIS. FROSTFIRE CAN ONLY BE OBTAINED IN NORMAL MODE: And the last but not least, we have the Frostfire. This gun honestly surprised me. Sure, I wasn’t using any cryo on other runs, but even considering that, it performs really well! But what about the self-freezing effect? 1. It doesn’t activate very frequently, 2. unlike in BL2 where being slagged was a death sentence, since you can freeze enemies to make them stop moving, being frozen is not really a big threat at all, 3. you can simply wear a warming shield to negate this.

So we already knew the Meat Grinder and Fast Talker was good. Torrent was too “meh” for me, and the Maliwan SMGs all performed very well, even against many of the Top Gears. So what does this mean for the top gear list? Well, like how Cheat Code by itself really shouldn’t be up there on the Top Gear list but is since it is bundled with Fatale (which definite is deserving of Top gear title), the Maliwan SMGs should have their own place, lumped together.

The current guideline for Top Gear says:

The structure of the guide will be as follows: 3 to 6 slots in each category for the Top Gear: the best bits of gear that benefit Athena in the following categories:

DPS/Stopping Power
Ammo Consumption
Ease of Use
Effective Range
Elemental Versatility
Synergy with Athena’s Skills
Co-op Benefits
Other Factors (Moxxi, Melee, Glitch, Farmability, etc.)

And these Maliwan SMGs definitely qualify on DPS, Ammo, ease of use, elemental versatility, and HUGE synergy with Athena’s skills.

But there are already 6 slots in SMGs! What do we do? We can organize the guns by FUNCTION: Fridgia and Fatale are for freezing, IVF is for chucking, Meat Grinder is for close-up damage, Torrent is mostly outclassed by Fast Talker which is a great general all-purpose gun with high DPS, RoF, accuracy, range, stacking abilities, and Maliwan SMGs are for the DoTs and elemental synergy with CS tree.

(Pandora's Industrial Engineer) #451

I haven’t watched the vid yet. And I know you said ignore this, but a Warming shield doesn’t stop the Frostfire from freezing you. Just sayin’.

@ItsmeJamesAJ I know its only NVHM but I just wanted to put that tid bit out there.

(Resident DoT fanatic) #452

Even bigger of a hole: You can’t get the frostfire in TVHM and UVHM!

I don goofed on this one! Hence the big, bolded “IGNORE THIS” on the top of the post xP

If you look very closely, you can see the big, capitalized edits pointing out the mistake and telling people to ignore it in the beginning of the text, the middle of the text, in the video, and in the video description, and you may also notice that the comment was not edited, so you clearly did not read it.

Man, I hate it when people post without reading. It’s like a knee-jerk reaction - I’m not berating you, but for the love of god, please read the content before you comment next time. And that advice applies to everybody, especially that somebody who only likes to quote sh*t and reply to parts that fit his view.

(Pandora's Industrial Engineer) #453

Just take a sec and read my other post… I didn’t say that to add to the quality of your SMG post. I just did it for anyone that would read this and try it out in NVHM or happen to “find” it after encountering “Sir Gibbington”.


Am I watching the right video because from what I saw you were melting enemies?

Thing with the Cheat Code is that the critical multiplier is even more potent with Maelstrom stacks. You don’t need very many stacks to kill quickly with these weapons which is why you were killing faster and stacking less with Cheat Code.

1 Like
(Resident DoT fanatic) #455

I see the value in the crit damage since literally none of Athena’s skills boost crits.

but even with the crit, I was taking a fairly long time killing those UBAs. Probably because of the low stack

Now that I think about it, this test would’ve been way more favourable to the hyperion SMGs if I allowed myself to freeze enemies.


I thought it was faster than with Hellfire, IF you could Critical Hit. That’s the thing with Cheat Code/Fatale. Some players can’t be bothered with constantly being that precise and that’s okay. Hellfire works better when you just want bullets on target.

(Resident DoT fanatic) #457

Swapping + cryo on that video.

Cryo really would’ve been nice on this testing.

Btw you bring up a good point about crit vs body. I really need to crit with that gun but without cryo, it is very hard to do so (hence the low ranking on this particular testing). It’s like the BL2’s big “bitch vs PC debate”. Personal choice, I guess.

But there’s no denying that Hellfire is extremely strong in stacking department.

(Pandora's Industrial Engineer) #458


1 Like

Sometimes it’s just easier to crit with Fatale and not even bother swapping as your video demonstrated. I do this a lot in the Holodome or against Badasses.

(Resident DoT fanatic) #460

yeah, that’s why I love Fatale and keep separating Fatale and the CC - Fatale has a ton of general utility, like Absolute zero which can WRECK dudes even as a cryo gun.

1 Like

It has a ceiling as does any SMG. I don’t use SMGs for stacking. They get me nowhere on console.