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

@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!

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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:

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@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…

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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.

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17 Skill Points
• Sic Em - 3
• Ferocity - 5
• Go For The Eyes - 5
• He Bites - 3
• Psycho Head On A Stick - 1

There are SEVENTEEN skill points dedicated to pet damage only. This is quite the investment for pet damage, especially considering that those 17 points could be spent to improve in other areas like personal damage or survivability. Even at level 65 this is over 1/4 of our total skill points.

Of these 5 Pet skills, 2 of the have to be triggered by FL4K. Leaving no room for “AFK” gameplay to maximize pet damage.

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Flak is a beastmaster that punishes you for playing him as a beastmaster. And im still baffled by that. I dont where why trainer ever was put into the game, what a joke.

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I can only think of the Trainer class mod for gear related to Dominance and I think that class mod would be improved enormously by these changes. Imagine if the card simply read:

“Hunter kill skill. Whenever Fl4k’s pet kills an enemy, Dominance is applied for 10 seconds.”
As for skills, I wouldn’t change them at all. We’ve got some nice choices which would still work nicely.

So the class mod would allow the stats to stack twice but not indefinitely. The mod becomes one which buffs our pet in a major way. It would mean cutting a mechanic from FL4K’s set up (turning enemies to our side), but we could still do it through Amara’s Glamour augment and the Traitorweed in DLC3.

Capstones should feel satisfying and enjoyable, your reward for going all the way down a tree. Unfortunately Dominance in its current form isn’t in that place but I think if Gearbox made this change then Fl4k’s pets and the Master tree would have taken a step in a direction players would truly appreciate. What do you think?

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Dominance in the way it works at the moment cannot be applied upon kill without just copy-pasting the Trainer class mods effect (so effectively dominating the enemy that would have been killed and killing it at the end of the Domination). Or you give Dominance an area of effect and let it affect multiple enemies at once, but in that case they need to be damageable or else we just stall out our own mobbing. It’s not an easy skill to make good without breaking aspects of the game.

But also, I want to make the concept as efficiently to implement as possible for the slim chance that Devs take notice and want to use our ideas. Practicability is king. That’s why I would not change Dominance, but rather add stat bonuses, make those solid on their own and then improve them while an enemy is dominated. Basically, instead of abandoning the original idea (which creative people hate to do anyway), I would just add to the idea to make the skill worth taking and then incentivise the usage of the original concept by further increasing the added bonuses. Basic operant conditioning so to speak.

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Imagine if FL4K had a gamaburst com that gave him Gaige’s upshot robot skill, but with pet damage instead of melee damage.

I guess it technically already exists in one of the augments, but it has a cap. Which seems kinda lame to me.

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I don’t think it should even be that far in the tree, your pet being able to taunt should be a fairly basic staple of the beastmaster class itself and then skills in that tree would reduce the cooldown of the taunt and increase the chances of the pet surviving taunting in the first place.

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For feedback I’m just going to link

Probably the largest of the FL4K feedback thread

I don’t think the basics of what we’ve been asking for has changed much since release.

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There have been so many great ideas thrown around. Where do you start??

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Your start by taking a solid look and coming up with a plan to help one of the most under represented VHs get some fixes. Throughout the games life so far he has received the least help of any of the Vault Hunters. Was nerfed from the get go, and ignored since…

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If anyone is interested, here is my idea of a rework for Dominance that preserves the original idea of the skill, but makes it an all-around good skill for pet builds. I increased the duration of the original skill to make using it more convenient with the new bonuses. The damage bonuses should be applied separately in the damage formula as the last bonus in the equation. That way the skill would have a massive impact on the pets performance no matter the equipment, which would future-proof the idea. Also, all 3 bonuses are meant to be additive to each other. Last but not least, we need a skill indicator for when an enemy is currently dominated.

And here it is…

Dominance
Melee Override Skill. FL4K establishes dominance over an enemy, turning it into an ally for a short time. If the enemy is a Beast, the duration is doubled.
While under the effects of Dominance, the target constantly loses health until it dies or the effect ends. Only one enemy can be dominated at a time. An enemy can only be dominated once.
In addition to that this skill grants bonus damage for Fl4ks pet. Additional bonuses to pet damage while Gamma Burst is active and/or while an enemy is affected by Dominance.

Dominance Duration: 20 seconds
Target loses 2% of Max Health/sec
Pet damage: +50%
Gamma Burst damage bonus: +50%
Dominance damage bonus: +100%

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This represents perfectly how I felt with Fl4k since the game released, it’s so sad.

The pet feels like a tool, instead of a companion like it should be.

Please, buff the pets, GB.

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Also, Fl4k has a lot of voice lines when your pet kills someone or something, so I guess they wanted pets to be able to kill at some point in development

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