Post got moved while I was typing so this might have a few continuity issues.
I generally don’t participate in threads like this, I read them and move on. Yesterday however felt like a sucker punch to me, so I thought it best to re listen to what was said and give a bit of commentary on why so much of it left me in shock.
So lets unpack some of the key points. I’ll be grabbing time stamps from the following video if anyone would like to double check what I’m referring to.
There probably won’t be much coherence here as I want to touch on key points of what was said and not everything.
22:52 This is a minor point of concern regarding yesterday and more concerns overall direction, but I wanted to talk on the level cap going to 60. If we get a level raise before each DLC like we have 3 out of 3 times now, this leaves us on course for level 63 or 64. I personally think that’s way over bloated for how weak the bottom half of so many skill trees are.
I’ll motivate this with a Moze example, consider this level 65 spec. This spec from a pros perspective is already peak Moze. Its a no sacrifices build that hits all the key points. What isn’t touched in red is almost entirely gun damage skills. If as Timmins says you want min maxed math Gun Damage is really no loss here. You can fill that void with the use of Pearl, consecutive hits or even a roll on a class mod. This of course ignoring that the spec already has 162% and doesn’t need more. There isn’t growth for Moze if we get close to this spec, min maxed specs are all going to land here because the current game systems make gun damage dirt cheap to find elsewhere.
Moze’s peak variety in my opinion is at level 57, where the trade offs are major between specs and there’s pro’s and cons to specs. By the time we reach 63 it will be easy to play with no Experimental Munitions and 4 Drowning in Brass, Moze won’t play any differently to that 65 spec and the trade offs of building differently are not favourable at all. This does not bode well for Moze going forward.
24:30 The new Guardian Ranks. Again I can’t help but think this is going wrong.
Ground breaker: The motivation for this perk is great, the issue is the math is likely going to make this perk another case of power creep. An overkill enhanced Ion cannon shot likely does enough damage to give this perk a massive base damage. This alone isn’t scary, the issue is that this base damage is going to receive bonuses. It will get v1, v2, splash and probably some bonus elements. So in the end it will way exceed 25% of the last 5 seconds damage, Moze will probably get it to at minimum match the last 5 seconds damage per hit. Fl4k will likely be showing off boss 1 shots on anything without immunity.
Dead Man Walking: Aren’t we already near invincible with too angry to die? FFYL has been a meme since the last round of Guardian Ranks. This is just going to make everything work anywhere.
Lead or Alive: This is nice, I like this one. I disagree with Timmins, this is the least impactful of them.
31:16 Scaling of Friendly AI Health seems innately flawed to me. As they say damage does not increase with Mayhem levels, there is no reason for pet health to. If the pet is dying at M10, thats not an M10 problem, thats a pet problem that Mayhem 10 is making obvious because pet aggro draw is about all we have been able to use pets for.
Specc’d properly and playing well neither Auto Bear or Fl4k pets should be going down. However there exists 1 shot mechanics that the pet has no protection against. Diadems in Guardian Takedown are the most recent example of this. The pets not going to survive this attack unless they buff health by an absurd degree. Survival in Borderlands has never been about the max health, its always been regen. MH scaling Health won’t change this.
32:00 Of the 3 he lists here only Do unto others isn’t already top class. Short Fuse and Remnant both scale off player damage and are capable of double dipping their respective characters biggest damage multiplier. Short Fuse has been Moze meta for ages and has a significant damage advantage over other specs. Remnant has suffered from the Amara meta not favouring 1 shot weaponryrecently however it is still mega strong. If you want proof that Moze meta is Short Fuse have a read through the builds recommended on the official discord server, as of the time of writing 3 of them use Short Fuse. With regards to Remnant you can look at this demonstration of scaling I did with Remnant Math.
I’m glad they realize double dipping occurs but it scares me that there was ever the thought that Remnant or Short Fuse needed additional help scaling. These are comfortably among the best skills on their respective characters. Buffing these skills while leaving the weaker damage skills untouched further strangles the meta and defeats their purpose of diversity.
34:36 Talking of Action skill scaling I am concerned for Iron Bear. Educated guess has led me to believe Iron Bear is treated as an entirely separate character which GBX has hand selected buffs for. This to me explains why Iron Bear gets splash but doesn’t get Action Skill damage from the 25% On Grenade Throw Anoint. Moze gains action skill damage but that doesn’t transfer when she gets into Bear. I hope Gearbox has remembered this quirk of their own design and we aren’t about to find Iron Bear totally unbuffed for another month.
35:00 Friendbot pet damage? Sorry? Is he talking about the bugged com that doesn’t provide pet damage here.
35:10 If Skag Den actually provided good damage or benefited from TCP maybe I’d agree, but this is peanuts at M10.
This rounds out the major stand outs to me. What shocks me is that in 20 minutes of talking about changes that should be universally appealing they have shown a lack of awareness of what the community is managing. Their choices and approaches to balancing look to only be cementing the current choices in as the permanent go to’s.
A single point on its own here wouldn’t bother me, but its the accumulation of points and examples that don’t line up with the results achieved in game that boggles my mind. The last time I thought the player base and GBX were this out of touch was October last year. Yet here we are with a bunch of candied talk that comes straight out of dreamland.
Its funny the first time you see someone joke that the local math nerd understands the game better than Gearbox, it becomes less funny when that joke gets repeated endlessly. The joke dragged on for a month as Gearbox worked post M2.0 and on the night of this interview it became depressing when you realize it was never a joke and people are beginning to believe it.