Let's DISCUSS the Flakker nerf

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!

mrt

To paraphrase William Wallace: THEY MAY TAKE OUR FLAKKER, BUT THEY CAN NEVER TAKE OUR EXPLOSIONS!

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this post makes sense, therefore it won’t get any traction, because people who think like this do not come here to blow off steam. All i can see is couple angry afk moze players spamming a little and leaving.

gj op.

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Most players don´t even have all that gear. This forum is something of a petri dish of the games whole community. I´d say you can find people without OP gear without any difficulty, if you do not have any likeminded coop-partners.
So your argument is moot in my point of view. Other peoples fun need not be destroyd to give some the “right” Borderlands experience. There is room for both playstiles, and really no need to call for the nerf-police.
I do like your Wallace/Torgue quote though.

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Flakker’s always been insanely synergistic with FL4K and honestly one of the best weapons for them out there and the nerf hasn’t changed that.

You assume that anyone who uses Flakker is with Moze, which is not the case.
Just an example, I play Fl4k Pet radiation dmg with Flakker and other weapons. Now I can no longer use that weapon for ammo nerf (I don’t care about the damage)
So what is the point of balance here? None, they only give blind sticks.

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“To summarise, if something is OP, by definition it should be nerfed. It really is that simple.”

This is absolutely not true. Nerfing should be the last resort when all other avenues of rebalancing have been exhausted. That was not the case with these nerfs. The issue with some of the weapons/grenades overperforming was class specific, not game-wide. Have you played Zane in M3 TVHM? I suspect you haven’t, because the Flakker was absolutely not OP in his hands. It was powerful, yes, but hardly OP on the Operative. To me, the fundamental issue with balance in this game is class mechanics, not the guns. If Gearbox addressed that and something like the Flakker was still overperforming, then a nerf might be warranted. But in my 25+ years of video gaming, every nerf I’ve ever seen has always led to a vicious cycle of more nerfs, and in the end, players are left disenfranchised with the game regardless of how much balance is actually achieved.

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No I don’t, you are the one making assumptions.

While I don’t disagree with everything else you said, this was not the case in BL2. The Bee got nerfed pretty early on, but not a lot else happened until the big update in late 2015. There was no vicious cycle of nerfing in BL2.

No, I haven’t even started Zane. Not because he’s the more underpowered character or whatever, I just have no interest in him. There were a few posts claiming that the Flakker was his best or only viable gun or something like that, but I don’t know him well enough to speculate and didn’t read further. Regardless, the Flakker still overperformed in the hands of the other three and still performs very well even now. Yes, on some classes better than others, and I’m not saying that those classes/skills don’t need addressing, just discussing what we’re being faced with today. Tweaking individual character skills is a whole other kettle of fish.

The main point I’m trying to make here is that the Flakker is still good, just a little less so now.

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They bring back the sweet spot on the flakker. It is still godly on someone who master that sweet spot or garbage weapon on others who don’t. Just like in borderlands 2.

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Actually, it’s not still good on Zane unless you’re not playing in Mayhem mode. For the Operative at least, there are better, harder hitting choices now than the Flakker, which was the point of using it. That’s the point you’re overlooking. You might be right about Moze, but I know for a fact that there’s a Gunner build (with the right combination of shield/class mod/artifact) that allows you to do up to 3m damage and one-shot nearly any mob in the game even after these gun nerfs. I play with a friend who currently runs that build. For him, every gun could be considered OP, not just the Flakker. The problem therefore isn’t the gun, it’s the class mechanics. If you’re not seeing that, then I challenge you to play an Operative in Mayhem mode so that your opinion is more informed.

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If every enemy in the entire map died as soon as I loaded in, I might for a moment consider the possibility that I’m overpowered. Before that point I’m just powerful and loving it.

That said, none of the nerfs thus far have me wailing and gnashing my teeth or metaphorically rending my clothes in a biblical tantrum. I’m principally opposed to player nerfs in general, but in the scope of things we’ve only had a relative handful; and there have been plenty of general buffs and a decent QoL improvement along with them.

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All I need to know is that some 6-packed wasteland angel gifted me a Flakker today and it’s mega fun to use. Doing TVHM/MM2 and it regularly oneshots enemies in the sweet spot or significantly damages mobs.

I like the slow rhythm/cadence it provides, the delayed gratification that comes after a wall of EXPLOSIONS!!!

Also, I have an amp shield that drops the instant shield fill boosters so by the time Flakker reloads it has the bonus ready to go again, savage.

Also also (lol), I think people are just seeing the numbers on the weapon card and kneejerk complaining. Once you factor in whatever funky build/damage bonuses you have going on, and you use them appropriately, I find that most of the weapons are satisfactory.

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I said I agree with you for the most part, so why are you repeating yourself and implying that I don’t understand your point? I don’t care for your “challenge” or your insinuation that I’m uninformed on the subject of a general nerf because I don’t play one character. This topic isn’t “Let’s discuss Zane’s top gear and how the Flakker nerf affected him.”

@Slif_One

It wasn’t an insinuation. It was self-evident from your novella where you made the generalization that the Flakker nerf was not only justified, but it is also “still good”. That’s simply not true for every class in the game. What would have been more appropriate is for you to title the topic, “Let’s discuss the Flakker nerf regarding the Gunner.” But even then, as I substantiated in my response, the Gunner has one of the most OP builds in the game that is absolutely not impacted by any gun nerf. While you may not be using that build, others do, which puts a great deal more context around the argument that the Flakker was overperforming and required a 33% damage reduction. I am merely offering that additional perspective for the benefit of the discussion.

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IMO, the best way to deal with all this whining is to simply drop it.

They will scream and shout for a short while, claim how the game is dead now and how they quit it 55th time, just like they did in another dozen or two posts and in the end this will all blow over.

No point poking the nest with these threads.

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This is not specifically about Moze, or Zane, it’s about the Flakker. How is it difficult to comprehend that Flakker =/= Moze?

I was hoping to open up a dialogue and have an actual objective discussion, but I see that’s no longer possible on these forums. This may as well just be another subreddit now.

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Not sure what did you expect, this place is in full “Oh, my powers! Boo-hoo!” mode.

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In this thread I did not spot any boo-hoo. Or are you referring to people with different opinions as “whiners”?

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The extra ammo expended is a bug. The developers mentioned in a follow up podcast or whatever young people called it these days.

So it will be a 1 round per shot after fix which isn’t as bad as the ammo consumption of the Flakker is pretty high. & can run out during circle of slaughter if not careful.

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I think it’s not just about Flakker. It’s worth to say Dev team have made their notions about granades spam in almost every hotfix. It’s about balancing AoE in overall.

AoE in games comes with less dmg, slow spd, low ammunition or whatever to regulate the output. This game is no different. Heavy weaponry is an example.

When broken things like Flakker and Hex being overused rampant in Youtube, it creates a bad picture that BL3 endgame is all about Diablo 2 style AoE farmfest. A lot of folks detest it.

It was actually happening, so I guess that’s why they had to put it down quick.

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I was sort of sceptical of the nerf originally but I have found that my Flakker still performs fairly well. I think it’s worth noting two things:
1: Using an absorb shield, particularily the Transformer, is advised if your character can boost the rate of fire. You have a very good chance of just getting 1 ammo back immediately and being able to to shoot again without having to reload.
2: Try manually reloading after every shot. For some reason, the automatic reload from not having any ammo left in the magazine is always delayed by a second or two, so those manual reloads make a considerable difference when it comes to dps.

Overall opinion: The Flakker is certainly not as powerful as it used to be but it is still usable. I would however like to see Gearbox reduce the ammo consumption a little to compensate for the damage nerf, 5 ammo per shot is a lot considering how limited the shotgun ammo pool is as well as the fact you are now most likely gonna need at least one additional shot to finish off many of the slightly tankier enemies.