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

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)


I can’t accept that. From what Grant tweeted (there was a follow up tweet a little while after this one. I can PM if you want.) he seems to have much different conclusions about the classes design than the players do.

He seems to think that the master skill tree captured the class fantasy of a Beastmaster at launch. To that I simply respond with

I don’t want to take much more time to comb through and find more examples, but trust me there are several dozen of these. FL4K was never a good Beastmaster, even in M3.

GB had 6 months from the implementation of Mayhem 4 to Mayhem 2.0 to shore up pets. Immediately before Mayhem 2.0 was released they gave IB massive buffs that greatly improved its viability in the new Mayhem system. Yet FL4K’s pets went untouched.

Our pets are a relic of a bygone era. They were buffed to handle Mayhem 3 right as Mayhem 4 came out, and they haven’t been updated since. Think about it: Mayhem 4 enemies had 10 times the health of Mayhem 3 enemies, and since skills didn’t scale abilities that were buffed to take on M4 content (like IB) were essentially dealing damage 11x over what they needed for M0, while FL4K’s pets only deal 2x the damage of M0.

That massive difference in scaling is still being felt, and it was and still is totally within their power to correct it. But it requires them realizing that the design they think they implemented is not what is in the game. They can’t keep making these ridiculous distinctions between pets and action skills when they’ve basically designed the action skills to function like pets (out 24/7).


I feel that’s fair, but FL4K also therefore has Action Skills. So how do these resolve pet scaling in a way that also makes the skill worth hitting (I’m not saying they’re currently not, just kinda fishing for ideas). Much like how Zane with two skills at once was a tricky combination (that they resolved with uh . . . Seein’ Dead. Nevermind), an always-on pet on top of the skill keyed to them is a different ebb and flow to even something like 100% Auto Bear or whatever (or Zane with a non-Seein’ Dead build).

On the bit about the game at launch, I wonder if that’s because M3 wasn’t meant to be the goal at launch. Given the struggles in scaling the game up, I can believe that, but it’s just a personal theory of mine. I’m not saying it’s right (I’m a fan of top-down balancing r.e. difficulty, to a large extent), but that could explain why they saw feedback, or at least good playtime metrics, on Beastmaster builds.

The only action skill you need to worry about is Gamma Burst, because that is the only one that effects pets. It’s not as if Fade Away or Rakk provide bonus damage for pets outside of proccing ASE and TPI.

Look at it this way: at level 1 most pets have an attack command damage of 30, and this is on a 20 second cool down. Rakk attack has a base damage of 35 per Rakk, and each charge is on an 18 second cool down. That mean that even at level 1, base Rakk out DPS pet attack commands. Now toss in the fact that you can have 4 rakk, they scale with FL4K’s damage increases, you can get the cool down to five seconds per charge and get multiple charges, and Rakk can get bonus elements.

Action skill or no, one attack does the same damage on twice the cool down and has significantly lower damage potential.


You know what I would do with our favorite capstone? Add to it a permanent 50% damage increase to our pet, which doubles for every instance of Dominance and Gamma Burst active! And boom, 200% pet damage as a capstone and even without bothering to dominate enemies it would at least be 100% additional damage. Hell, make it a separate part of the damage formula to make it multiplicative. It’s a capstone for the pet skill tree, so it should boost our pets.

Well, considering how attack commands have cooldowns comparable to action skills we should see somewhat comparable damage coming from them in my opinion. Sure, theoretically you could have zero cooldown with Eager to Impress, but that’s still a skill you have to get first, so you either use at least 6 skill points or a class mod to use it. So yeah, the attack commands should do around the same damage (at least) as a base charge of Rakk Attack, at least relative to the cooldown, so effectively it should do twice the damage as a base Rakk Attack Rakk. Now that I think about it it should probably be more as the Rakks have at least some potential for element matching where that’s much harder to do with pets, especially during a fight. So, if a base Rakk Attack does 35 x 2 in damage, then our pet’s attack command should do 80-100 damage.

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I think something along these lines are reasonable.

Basically, we don’t expect the pet to deal tremendous damage at base. If it did the damage that Clone or IB did all the time then I could see that making the devs uneasy. However, what it is completely reasonable to expect is that when the pets are in Gamma Burst or executing their attack commands, they should be dealing damage comparable to (or with the AC greater than) other skills. That pets still deal comparatively low damage in Gamma Burst feels terrible for a Beastmaster class, and I’ve ragged on attack commands enough and don’t feel like doing so again.

We need ways to multiply our pet’s damage so that it can get from those low base numbers to something better. An average Gamma Burst build can get at best a 10x multiplier to pet damage with Gamma active.


taps mic is this thing on? =)

I just want to comment on one thing. We are always listening, reading, and evaluating feedback. Noelle does a great job relaying information from forums here. We really appreciate all the feedback.



Oh dang, I missed this.

First off, thank you so much for replying here. I realize that this post may have come across kind of hard, but I do appreciate the work your team does. I just felt very concerned that in this instance, the vision of the dev team and the experience of the players were diametrically opposed on this topic.

Can you explain what your intentions for FL4K’s pets are? It would just really help us understand why the team has made the decisions it has if we knew what kind of gameplay you were trying to encourage.


@gRANT_ I don’t have anything else to add other than that I am appreciative that you guys read this stuff, and also to ask that you take what we are all saying in the spirit that I believe it is intended - and that is a spirit of love and passion for the game.

As I’m sure you know, there are a bunch of us on here who really, really love the game and the characters (specifically Fl4k) that you all have created, and we want to see it reach what we view as its full potential.

Thanks for listening!


Yeah sorry, don’t want to take up too much space in the thread now - but the implementation is arguable, sure. But the game now, the scaling opportunities afforded with the Mayhem levels, VH levels, and extra gear in the game are vastly different from at release.

I was only trying to argue for why things may have been a principle in the first instance - not that they should be anymore :slight_smile:

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This reminds me of a southern father in a 90s movie :joy:


@sammantixbb Said in the voice of Winny Jakobs.

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What if Dominance made whichever pet we select a Badass variant with +50% health, +100% damage, +20% movement speed and +50% attack command damage before any other skills, bonuses or anointments in apply. It wouldn’t effect the gameplay loops in any major way but it would make the capstone viable at last and open up pet builds in a significant way.

Edit: not saying those would be the exact level of buffs to give, I’d leave that up to Gearbox to figure out.

Edit 2: another option I’ve heard which I like is gaining the ability to bring 2 pets into battle.

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I like the idea, but I would assume that the Devs at Gearbox wouldn’t just abandon the current iteration of the skill, especially as there is already gear directly tied to it. But I think that a flat buff to the base damage and potentially other pet stats would definitely be a good thing to add to the skill to make it worthwhile.

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fl4k’s pet has to be viable somewhat to make tr4iner - a dlc item some what viable.

Right now its still remain one of the worst designed item in the entire game. A legendary class mod worse than a green and trash at level 30. Even stuff like the devoted isnt utter useless in the base game…


Since I know a dev is watching this thread, I want to take the opportunity to point out what it is about this topic that riles up FL4K players, and why this is a big deal to us (or at least what I personally feel, but I think most people in this thread at least will find it relatable).

When FL4K was first announced, I loved literally everything about them: the hobo-robo look, the deep voice, the chuni/Tokoyami vibes, the way they just calmly walked around a bandit camp poppin heads,etc…However, the thing that absolutely sealed the deal for me were the pets. I had just come off of TPS and had been playing a pet based Badass Digi-Jack build for the better part of 6 months in a row. The thought of the new pet class in Borderlands 3 being a character that I found so interesting was incredibly exciting. I watched all of the streams of people playing FL4K, looking to see how the pets would work: what skills did they have, how much damage did they do, how could you interact with them? None of the streamers actually utilized the pets, so I had to wait until launch to try it out myself. I was so excited when I started my first FL4K playthrough. At first I figured I would go with Beefcake, but I found his goofiness and mannerisms off putting. I tried the skag for a little while but it still didn’t jive with me. When I landed on the spiderant, it was like a match made I heaven. I loved all her mannerisms, her aesthetics, and even just that gait she has is hilarious to me.

But I noticed early on that none of the pets really felt impactful. I knew they were stacking Frenzy, but most of them were pretty bad at building and maintaining it. Even at level 17, the damage and survivability felt lacking. The passive buffs were pretty small. I tried the attack command, but aside from being slow to activate it didn’t do that much more damage than a normal melee. Around this time I saw Demonite’s video on pet bonuses, and learned about the Friendbot not working, Atomic Aroma not stacking Frenzy, and Cryo not boosting pet damage. I felt so disappointed that a lot of the interactions I wanted to try to improve my experience were non-functional. I tried my hardest to make it work though. I respecced my build a dozen times to get my pet’s survivability in a decent spot, I utilized the terror pet damage anointment to buff up my spiderant’s damage as much as possible, and I forewent all capstones to get as much pet damage as possible. I still struggled to get my pet to consistently and easily kill trash mobs.

When pet damage and scaling were buffed in the November 19th patch, I was so excited that this was finally when pets were going to be a viable damage dealing option. Barbaric Yawp had been buffed the previous month which made master builds more appealing, and the only thing missing was having enough pet damage to make a beastmaster play styles feel worthwhile. And as long as I was playing on M3, the buff was perfect. The pets performed exactly like I imagined they would. However, once I turned the difficulty up to Mayhem 4, all of my excitement went out the window. My pets couldn’t do anything. I have several videos of my pet with full bonuses and Gamma Burst attacking enemies for the entire action skill duration before killing basic Maliwan commandos. Pet damage didn’t improve, it got power-creeped and was in an even worse spot. I tried all sorts of gear combos and complicated rotations to get as much damage as I could, but killing even 1 trash mob was an accomplishment, and repeating the process on every enemy I came across proved exceptionally difficult, unrewarding, and tiresome.

I gave up on the game for 2 months until I was urged by a poster to come back and test some new discoveries regarding pet damage. Much to my surprise, there was a lot I hadn’t yet uncovered about pets and there was still some potential to be squeezed out of them. I acquired a full set of splash damage gear and traded for the Deadeye class mod I needed, and lo-and-behold I was able to one shot those same trash mobs in M4 that gave me so much trouble! I felt ecstatic that my pet finally felt like it did something; not just existing and passively giving me a bunch of stats, but working in tandem with me to become even stronger. I saw my pet grow much stronger that day, and I thought I had finally figured out how to make FL4K’s pets fun for me.

But then I tried to take them into Lectra City and ran into 2 anointed enemies at once. My pets dealt little damage to them and were frequently dead, and my excitement quickly died down. I thought to try the Maliwan raid and see how my pet build stacked up. All of my pet investment may as well have been non-existent, as I couldn’t get the pet to kill most of the enemies, and it was often just a hindrance rather than a help. After failing my first 2 runs, I tried again by simply changing my gear and strategy to a meta anointment and weapon, and I made it all the way to Wotan easily. The pet build that I spend months crafting was still effectively useless in a majority of the game’s endgame content.

I thought that maybe new gear in DLC 2 would make a difference. I had heard that the COM would be focused on pets and got excited. What we got continues to be the worst class mod in the game. But the Iron Bear buffs began shortly after, and I was hopeful that FL4K’s pets would finally receive some much needed attention. I had a sinking feeling in my stomach when there were no fixes the week before Mayhem 2.0, and then BAM, it released with no pet changes AND no scaling. So our pets, who were already completely ineffectual for damage and really only had a use for taunting, were further relegated to a utility role only.

I put the game down again until phase 2 was announced. I was practically praying by this point that this would be the moment they got everything right for pets. They would deal good damage, have decent survivability, maybe even get some much needed AI tweaks. Instead what we got was one pet with one bugged attack that did (comparatively) amazing damage without any investment in pet damage, and all the other pets whose damage was STILL tickling enemies even with full pet builds. We finally had the damage we were looking for, but the way we got it was still completely against what we were hoping for.

What we wanted the entire time was for us to feel like WE could get our pets to DO SOMETHING. The entire design of FL4K’s pets currently is extremely passive. The best way to get the pet bonuses is to simply put 1 point in He Bites so pets stack Frenzy and Who Rescued Who when damaged. Red Fang makes your pet taunt all enemies AND makes it immortal so you don’t even need Who Rescued Who or All My BFFs to keep it alive. You get the passives just for the pet existing. All of that, combined with the cumbersome attack command controls and lackluster/non-existent bonuses for using it basically incentivizes FL4K players to ignore our pets. We toss them out, let them do their thing and stack bonuses for us, and avoid anything that actually requires working with our pets because the rewards are not there. If anything, it feels as if the game punishes us for actually trying to work in tandem with our pets.

We play pet builds to feel like we have a friend on the field. We want something to have our back and work with us to take on the biggest challenges the game has to offer. Nothing in this game feels worse than having a coop partner dragging you down. Now just imagine that you can’t get rid of this coop partner, and this partner just won’t listen to anything you try to get them to do. That is what playing pet builds has been like. The disappointment and frustration we’ve felt over and over has been from that feeling of having an inconsiderate coop partner that just rushes ahead and doesn’t work with you at all, and the game rewarding that rather than encouraging teamplay. Do you see why that would upset people after dealing with it all this time? We came to this class for Beastmaster, but the game in many ways pushes us away from playing like one.