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

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)


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.