Hello, I’m Velvet, I’m here to share an idea I’ve had about making Iron Bear and Moze work better together as well as just making Iron Bear work better in a looter-shooter type game.
First I wish to set the stage about the concept of Action Skill design in Borderlands 3. Every Action Skill is a reworked version from one of the previous games, for example Fl4k’s Fade Away being Zero’s Decepti0n, Rakk Attack! is Mordecai’s Bloodwing, Zane’s Barrier is Athena’s Kinetic Aspis, most obviously Amara’s Phasegrasp being Maya’s Phaselock and the list goes on but for Iron Bear it isn’t so simple. The closest related Action Skills would have to be an awkward combination of Axton’s Sabre Turret, Gaige’s Deathtrap and Krieg’s Buzz Axe Rampage and even then it would be a bit of a stretch.
So why does it matter to compare old Actions Skills to Iron Bear?
Each previously named Action Skill expands on the pre-existing but with the mindset that Iron Bear was based from Sabre Turret, Deathtrap and Buzz Axe Rampage we can see a bit of resgression. Rather than being an addition to game play like Axton’s or Gaige’s Action Skills, Iron Bear is a replacement.
So why is being a replacement a problem?
A main point that should be brought up is that in the Borderlands Series gear matters above all else and very few Actions Skills interact solely with your weapons, so having a convenient, low damage turret that has utility but doesn’t scale or interact with your gear is still worth using because it is just a bonus tool for your character to use and is adding to your game plan. The problem is that you switch from a fully geared out Moze into a Turret that doesn’t (aside from HP) interact whatsoever with your equipment, most skills and takes away grenades. So what is the point of farming for gear if half the time your character won’t use it whatsoever?
It could be argued that Krieg’s Buzz Axe Rampage is similar to Iron Bear but Krieg still has access to his shield, relic, classmod, skill trees and capstones. He is one character while Moze and Iron Bear are two. (Iron Bear and Moze classmods rarely interact with each other aside from damage, ex. Bloodletter, Bear Trooper, Raging Bear, Rocketeer, Sapper).
If Iron Bear is buffed won’t that fix the problem?
Yes and no. The yes being Moze has an Action Skill, the no being it doesn’t interact with anything she does. So why ever farm for gear in the Series known for such a thing if Iron Bear will carry you through it anyways? Why play Moze over Iron Bear?
So what has this too long write-up been leading to?
My idea would be giving Iron Bear his own inventory. So you equip his weapons, shield, classmod and grenade effectively making Moze the first ever character to have 6 weapon slots, 2 grenades, 2 classmods and 2 shields (It would also offset her bad classmods previously mentioned). This would not only drastically improve Iron Bear but it would make the majority of Moze’s skills interact with Iron Bear. Matched Set, Redistribution, The Iron Bank, Click Click, Forge, Pull the Holy Pin, Short Fuse, Selfless Vengeance, Armored Infantry, Thin Red Line, Vladof Ingenuity, Behind the Iron Curtain, Phalanx Doctrine, Force Feedback and Tenacious Defense! And also who on earth wouldn’t want to duel wield Plaguebearers? (It even has "Bear" in the name)!
I’m not saying this should replace the already existing system because early leveling would be painful if you had to equip Iron Bear but late game it would be fantastic. The experience would be much like playing Salvador. It could be either or both.
So that’s it! Even though this will likely never happen I can always dream. I would love to hear your opinions. Thanks for reading.