First off, this is a discussion thread. If you’re just here to complain without contributing anything constructive then please don’t bother commenting, there are plenty of threads for that and I don’t want this to devolve into another one of those. I’d like to try to avoid repetitious arguing, so let’s keep this thread toxicity free please.
Now, the Flakker. We all know it took a big hit, so let’s analyse and discuss these changes:
33% damage reduction: This is quite a large value, especially when you consider the damage output of the pre-nerf Flakker. The card on a non-elemental one read ~1500x3. A 33% damage reduction brings it down to ~1000x3. ~3000 down from ~4500. This is a big decrease, due to how high the damage was, and that is exactly why it was nerfed. I’m as guilty of using and abusing the Flakker as many players who got their hands on one did at least once. Hell, my old Amara build used one.
The tradeoffs for this output are a slow rate of fire, high ammo consumption of five per shot, large spread and awkwardly specific range. This was supposed to be the balancing factor, but it was so overtuned that you could use it to kill bosses, clear entire mobs, and even wipe out clusters of badasses. This was aided by splash damage radiuses being much larger in BL3 than they were in BL2, and this incarnation of the Flakker having a rather short reload time. Those two factors are what made the BL2 version difficult to use. This gun was already outperforming most launchers, and with the +125% splash damage anointment it could one-shot multiple triple life bar badasses in one shot. The thing is, it still can even after the nerf, it’s just less consistent now.
I think the damage reduction was justified. The Flakker vastly outperformed most other shotguns and even many launchers. This never should’ve been the case
Magazine size reduced to 1: At first I was skeptical of this change. The Flakker now has to be reloaded after every shot and draws additional ammo from your backpack. This looked to me to be a glaring problem, at first I thought one of these changes sounded good but nit both at the same time. Rip Flakker. But that’s actually not the case at all.
The Flakker has a low fire rate, but a short reload speed, and most characters have reload speed increases in their skill trees. Then there are the bonuses on COMs and artefacts, which can be reload speed increases. In most cases, you can reload a Flakker before you’re able to fire it again. The only real downside to this is the animation, which prevents you from switching weapons, throwing grenades, or meleeing, until the reload is complete. Meleeing is a word now.
For Moze, who has ammo regeneration skills and splash damage increases, she can still output atrocious damage with this gun and regenerate the mag without the need to reload. The only downside is that ammo is now drawn from the pack, meaning eventually she will run out of shotgun ammo but can keep regenerating the magazine anyway.
My initial thought was that on paper this looked awful, but in practice it’s okay. An overtuned weapon was knocked down to be more in line with other shotguns, but still outperforms most of them anyway. The mag size reduction is negligible, it’s just aesthetically displeasing.
How I as a player would rebalance the Flakker: Personally, I think the damage decrease was fine. 33% sounded a little high, but it still performs very well. The mag decrease was silly, for aesthetic and utility purposes let’s revert that one but decrease the reload speed instead. The thing that make this gun so potent is the splash radius, which completely offsets the large projectile spread and in fact compliments it. So long as you’re at roughly the right range, you can fire blind and get kills. If an enemy rushes you, stagger them with melee then back up and BOOM! I don’t see a lot of people talking about using melee as a utility, just because it doesn’t deal high damage (unless your name is Amara) doesn’t mean it’s not useful. The Flakker was, and still is, simply too easy to use. Again, unless your name is Amara, or maybe FL4K, there was little reason to use any other shotgun. Anyway, reduce the splash radius and tighten the spread, if you did that you could probably even bring the damage back to what it was.
Typical complaints and counterarguments
The Flakker is ruined, it’s useless, nerfed into oblivion, Moze is unplayable now: These are massive exaggerations. These posts were all over the hotfix thread within seconds, and new topics were being created within minutes. Stop. Play the game, use the Flakker. If you’re posting before you turned the game on and actually tried it out, you’re simply overreacting. Even with the Flakker and Hex nerfs, Moze is still playable and viable. There were other ways to play her before, and you can still play her the same way now. Every character can still use both, they can’t just go AFK and win by mashing one button anymore. Well, Moze still can. Boohoo.
Stop nerfing in a PvE game it’s not FUN; if you don’t like then don’t use it: These are moot points because this isn’t just a PvE game, online co-op is a big draw to the Borderlands franchise. If you read other forum posts before creating the same “new” topic, you’ll find that there are players who avoid using certain things that are believed to be either overtuned or have what seem to be unintended interactions with other gear/skills. We don’t use the things we don’t like, so stop with this parroting rhetoric, please. But that’s not the core issue here, the core issue is online co-op. Fun is subjective, and I for one don’t think that idling around while three Moze players mash one button and kill everything before I even see it is very fun. What you do solo is on you, you do you boo, but to pull this in public lobbies is just arrogant and inconsiderate. You know that what you’re doing is absurdly overpowered, so stop telling me not to do it if I don’t like it then go doing it in online lobbies. That ruins the gaming experience. Playing BL2 online with Pimphab Salvadors, modded “Shock” Storm Fronts and infinite BAR stat players was not fun. This is no different.
Let’s talk about the term “overpowered” for a hot minute. If something is overpowered, it is more powerful than everything else or at least most of the other content, hence the term. Thus, it is breaking the gameplay, probably due to a mathematical miscalculation (Flakker damage, Moze in general) or an unintended consequence of bad synergies that work together too well (Moze with the Flakker, Moze in general). This term is thrown around a lot though, way too often in gaming communities. “I killed this thing with that thing, OMG SO OP!”
To summarise, if something is OP, by definition it should be nerfed. It really is that simple.
Finally, before I get called a GBX sympathiser, or apologist, or socialist liberal or whatever, I do not personally agree with or support every decision GBX makes and has made with this game. What I do do (LOL do do) is try to approach every hotfix objectively and test everything before I start posting about nerfs. My least favourite thing about the recent hotfix is the buff to the Devil’s Foursum, because it was already an outrageously powerful hand cannon. I love the gun, I just don’t understand why it was buffed, but I’ll take it! I’m also sad about the Firestorm nerf, but I still use it and it still performs really well and outperforms most other grenades. My favourite is the Westergun buff. Seriously, go get one, it’s a 100% drop from Private Beans! It’s now competitive with the Crossroad and Cutsman. GO! GET ONE! DO IT! Seriously.
Try out the nerfed gear before you write it off and stop watching clickbait videos. TL;DR formulate your own opinions and stop parroting. Try out the newly buffed guns too instead of getting upset over the fewer nerfed ones. Change your build if it’s been “ruined” and made “unplayable” or keep using the same gear instead of getting mad about it. It’s not that hard to test things yourself and adapt accordingly, that’s how we got through the first month of BL3 and seven years of BL2. Now here’s an irrelevant gif!
To paraphrase William Wallace: THEY MAY TAKE OUR FLAKKER, BUT THEY CAN NEVER TAKE OUR EXPLOSIONS!