I'm concerned about how the dev team views FL4K's pets

I want you to be a game developer


“Not having afk gameplay”

I assume good ol’ Grant here didn’t watch Dakka Bear Moze or Zane clone in action lately.
I know, you can’t have a fair comparison between a pet and an action skill, but when you make such a statement you better know how your game works or you turn into a meme.

I always cringed a bit when people here used to say devs don’t understand their own game, but I’m seriously starting to think they actually don’t. This tweet let me speechless


To be fair, that tweet reads as the initial design they had for the pets. While I heavily disagree with it (among other skill tree design philosophies…), “but that principle can be relaxed some now” reads as something they changed their mind on.


I am not particularly shocked by what he said, on a design principle point of view , but as usual I think they went overboard in the implementation, there is a fine line between not allowing Fl4k to be a “summoner” archetype and rendering the pet offensive capabilities completely useless.


For the sake of my sanity that should not come to be, but I like theorizing and have conceptualized dozens of different concepts, a handful of which were Borderlands themed. At some point you get good at feeling what a game you play a lot needs^^

Also, something that could make the pets overall more fun and interactive would be to just increase their attack command base damage significantly (like, double it). That way players would be conditioned early on to use the commands to one-shot badasses and that would also make the pets as a whole more effective, especially if you have invested in Eager to Impress and Sic’ Em. Also, I would increase the bonus per point from Sic’ Em from 10% to 16,7%, so that we get 50% bonus damage for the 3 points. Add to all that immunity to self-damage (which the Gunslinger Jabber desperately needs!), the Boss anointment I mentioned above, additional damage bonuses from a full-on pet build and you could easily one-shot Traunt at Mayhem 10 with the Gunslingers attack command.


Would have been great if they hadn’t ninja-nerfed them awhile back.


It’s not a principle that needed to exist in the first place though. They designed the tree so that wouldn’t happen, so why are they deciding to ease up on something that can’t exist?

I just see threads of the implementation of Mayhem 2.0, where the devs left our action skills without scaling for 2 months (presumably to address the concern that scaling skills would allow players to skip to Mayhem 10 immediately) yet eased up on it later. It’s silly that the team is so afraid of us having powerful pets/action skills that they will intentionally gut their power, and then decide at some arbitrary whim when to restore it when they feel that some imaginary safe point has been reached. I uninstalled the game when they pulled that last time, and if it weren’t for the announcement of phase 2 I wouldn’t have bothered again. I’m not going to continue waiting patiently for them to decide it’s safe for me to have an effective skill while they dangle the carrot in front of my face to keep me playing.


Borderlands 3 suffers from somewhat of an identity crisis as the Devs try to not make the game play itself, while also lowering the barrier of entry of the game’s endgame content that much that pretty much everyone can with some easy tricks be Mayhem 10 ready after an hour or so max. Sure, the gear wouldn’t be perfect, but sufficient enough to kill enemies.

My problem with that is that by doing that the game has abandoned it’s old trademarks like difficult later playthroughs and those being the rewarding ones. Honestly at this point the game feels the easiest of all main Borderlands games, except maybe for Fl4k, but even then you can build around Fl4ks weak health and shield regen capabilities.

Mayhem 10 is really rewarding in the sense of drowning players in legendaries and I can accept that. But why didn’t they balance it in a way that makes anointments a bit less relevant and also grants lower bonuses from Mayhem levels while also lowering the scaling and loot bonuses, all just for playthrough 1?
That way we could have had an incentive to play the second playthrough and by rebalancing the Mayhem modifiers for TVHM they could have made the game more challenging and rewarding at the same time.

*And before anyone says it: I know how that sounds (like opening the floodgates of a predatory practice), but that’s why Gearbox should have done that from the very beginning to get us used to that flow.

Obviously, for that to not be a chore the story should have been engaging enough to not make even a second playthrough not tedium incarnate already.

Here is how I would have liked the playthroughs to be in practice:

Base enemy HP/damage: 100%/100%
Anointment Strength: 75%
Mayhem 10 Stats: 5.000% health/shield, 50%* loot bonuses, dedicated drop chance: Normal

Base enemy HP/damage: 200%/200%
Anointment Strength: 100%
Mayhem 10 Stats: 7.500% HP/Shield, 100% loot bonuses, dedicated drop chance: Doubled

This chart would result in players having much more nuance in and control over how hard they want the game to be. If we wanted to be as powerful as possible, the biggest possible numbers, we had to play TVHM for the better dedicated loot drops and anointments, but the game would be 50% more spongy than it is now and the enemy damage would be doubled. A NVHM player however could enjoy the much softer Mayhem scaling and just run through the game casually exploding stuff and would still enjoy loot raining from the heavens. The game would have 2 modes for 2 audiences.

Also, I would add more Mayhem Modifiers that are not intrusive to our sight. For example we could have BL2 style of health regen for enemies back, but the strength of the regen varies depending on if we use the normal, hard or very hard version of the modifier (regen per second of max health (normal, hard, very hard version): 5%, 10%, 20%). Obviously bosses would also regen health this time, but only at half the rate, although a damage race against a Takedown boss with 20% health regen per second would be one hell of a fight, but primarily it would be hell xD

Edit: Had to change the formatting, which somehow nuked itself


Absolutely (except the flak thing)
Easy is not enough to describe the current state of bl3 on mayhem 10.
2 characters have afk builds…
Amara is the gamebreaker number one. All most all of her action skills are insane. She can one shot hole areas without any effort every few seconds…
Ironbear is an indestructible killing machine (autobear even more)…
Mind sweeper…
Fire in the skag den…
Short fuse…
Zanes clone is stronger then he ever was…
All caused by mayhem scaling.
GBX said they wanted us to play with our action skills, so they made them like being one of the avengers. If they touch flaks pets they’ll go in the same direction, making flak himself a babysitter for his OP pet.

Unfortunately I see no way in fixing any problem without removing mayhem scaling, but that will break the game I guess :weary:


We said, “Improve these skills!”
Gearbox heard, “Raise the numbers!”

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Gearbox and dont listen to community feedback, list a more iconic duo.

Ehh probably better off waiting for an unofficial patch from the modders then waiting for GBX to do something about this at this point.


That sounds great for PC players. . . :pensive:


The trouble is that we have complained so much about nerfs in the past that Gearbox has now said they will focus on buffing (almost exclusively apparently). But what happens when they only buff things? Higher numbers, power creep and a lot of gear/mechanics being left in the dust. The game felt a lot more balanced on release than it does now. Hopefully they will stick at 65 for a long, long while abs and tweak things until we get some of that back.

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Yes that’s true. Before mayhem 2.0 was implanted the game was on a good way in balancing. I’m pretty sure the base game was never designed for mayhem scaling when bl3 was in the making.
That was the idea of some ■■■■■■■■ and we have to deal with it now.

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OR, wait for it, super duper genius idea …

Make pet damage scale with the damage your dealing with gun over the past few sec

BOOM. Mind blown.

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Exactly! Why didn’t they kill off melee then when they wanted to preserve the gunplay aspect of the game?
They’ve created options but did not follow through at least on the pet part … I don’t get it. Especially, since you (and many others) already dismantled the absurd argument of AFK playing the game. Double especially, on Fl4k.

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Just got to pop in here to say possibly the obvious, hah. You’re right, but that’s the balance of hindsight.

By the time the game was released the game was designed and implemented. Reworks since release have taken iterative reworks to various systems. Maybe they thought they had more freedom in the scaling than it resulted in there being. Maybe the game post-release evolved in an unexpected way. Maybe the stability problems just really stuffed the timeline.

They’re easing up on “afk gameplay” now because that can be seen in Iron Bear and so on. But these are active skills, not creatures that exist at all times (good point on Wilhelm BTW, maybe the studio difference - and it being shut down - contributed there). Here’s hoping FL4K sees substantiative changes that allow for better scaling - particularly if Gearbox want to add more Mayhem levels.

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Extremely well said boombumr, I hope so much that your post gets to somebody on the GB team that actually plays FL4K.

“Not having AFK gameplay and your pet doing everything”. This really got to me and is why I said what I did above. That comment alone would lead me to believe he doesn’t have much playtime with FL4K, either that or he doesn’t understand the mechanic between gunplay and the pets as far as skills are concerned. Wow, it just blows my mind.

I main FL4K and have seen how much fun it can be launch our action skill and have our pet do some really nice damage, at the same as I’m pounding with weapons as well. It’s just fun. Why have a skill tree with pets involved if the pets stand around and do nothing???

I’ve played sparingly since the last DLC so has there been rumor of another nerf to FL4K’s pets??? I hope not.

This needs to stay at the top of the forum in hopes that somebody responds.


I was Fl4k main starting, then switched to Zane even prior to Seeing Dead.

The issue I have is that the whole pet buff/balance should be maxing out blue tree with some mixed in green. Red tree should have been left as strictly Fl4k buff damage. Want a pet build? Bet your butt you are wasting almost all skills in blue tree with a reworked capstone that actually does a hoot.

Nothing was really an issue w/ pets in base game when you first started, even when the game first came out. Then you had the constant nerfing. Then Mayhem made them go back and revert nerfs and buff things. Then content came out and they nerfed that stuff. Then they had to rebuff things. Then all classes got in a sweet spot. Then M2 came and shat on everything and nothing was even close to balanced while people were quarantined at home. Then the player base got tired and a majority quit.
The End.

(well that’s where my story ends anyway, I didn’t stay for all the recent stuff)