Love Thumper: This is how it works!

The Love Thumper (often abbreviated as LT) is a unique roid shield. Its special effect is an extremely high recharge delay and a explosive nova which occurs when a melee attack hits a hostile target. Furthermore it provides the second highest roid damage of all roid shields in BL2.

A few months ago I found out that not only an increase of explosive damage but also grenade damage bonuses can boost the shields novas. Every character can boost grenade damage by raising the Badass-Rank. But Axton additionally offers skills and a class mod which can increase grenade damage.

Since Krieg, the sixth Vault Hunter, will be out in the near future and he also has skills which increase grenade and explosive damage I made some tests with the LT on Axton.

(If you’re interested in further information about the LT on Axton and Krieg check out my guides in the character sub-forums. They are linked in my signature.)

This is what I used for the tests:

Test #1: How is the base nova damage calculated?

That’s pretty simple. For this test I equipped both versions of the shield and compared the nova damage in combat. I have tested this with and without grenade/explosive damage bonuses. The results were equal. Therefore I only show the results without bonuses.

Test results:

  • Shield #1 with 39304 roid damage did 15722 nova damage
  • Shield #2 with 28487 roid damage did 11395 nova damage


  • roid damage x factor/mulitplier = nova damage
  • 39304 x 0,4 = 15722
  • 28487 x 0,4 = 11395

So, the nova damage is equal to 40% of the roid damage.

Test #2: How do grenade and explosive damage bonuses affect the nova?

For this test I used all the above mentioned gear (the 39k LT) and this skill setup:

These are the results:

So, this calculation is also pretty simple. The grenade damage bonus gets directly added to the nova base damage. The increase in explosive damage gets added separately, after everything else.


  • (nova base damage x (1 + grenade damage bonus)) x (1 + explosive damage bonus) = final nova damage
  • (15722 x (1 + 114,1% or 1,141)) x (1 + 30% or 0,3) = 43755

Conclusion / TL;DR

  • the nova damage is equal to 40% of the roid damage
  • grenade damage bonuses increase the base nova damage without diminishing returns
  • if you combine grenade damage bonuses and an explosive relic the relic will increase the nova damage for more than 30% of the nova base damage.

Once spoilers are added you could put all this into one megathread :stuck_out_tongue:
Looks great so far; keep up the good work & analysis, it helps alot.

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What do you mean by that?

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I mean, once spoilers are added (sections which can be hidden) you can move all of your ‘How x works’ threads into one.

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I see. Thanks for clarification. There are just two of them in the Loot and Weapons section. I don’t think it’s worth it to merge them.

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Eventually once there are lots of them it may be worth it, just a suggestion.

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I see where you’re coming from. I made the analyses for the Love Thumper and Avenger about two years ago in the old forums. I won’t create new ones since I don’t play BL2 anymore. Thanks for your feedback, though.

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