Melee FL4K math - Hidden Machine is weird

Trick has been…interesting. Like. I purposely picked one of my clone augments to be the “enemies target the clone on swap” and I switch places allll the time (hahahaha, you know this) just to keep it up, but occasionally an enemy won’t show shock damage. Or Tyreen will take Shock Damage when I was sure she was targeting me. Or Graveward was just never targeting me at all. That’s the weird one. When is it “targeting”.


I always suspected Hidden Machine and targeting mechanics were buggy as hell in this game. I only ever spec 2 points in it just to get to Unblinking Eye. Now I might consider dropping it entirely and putting my points elsewhere…


Yeah. It seems like this skill is just not going to be activating most of the time even in Fade Away because of weird targeting mechanics. This sucks. The skill is way less useful than it should be.

I’m going to keep testing this because I’m pretty sure it’s a multiplicative damage boost and Zer0’s Ambush was SO GOOD. Wondering if it activates more in co-op if there is another player for enemies to target, or if there is any way to get enemies to target the pet and not FL4K. It was so weird that even when enemies seemed to be focused on shooting my pet, I wasn’t getting Hidden Machine. I need to test this with Not My Circus to see if that skill actually draws enemy attention to the pet and off of FL4K. Will test when I have time.


Apparently my weekend will now consist of buttplugs and nerf guns! Test times!

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what is the highest melee damage you inflict?

I actually have no idea what my highest melee damage is yet! :smiley: I’m gonna keep messing around with this and will post when I have more numbers.

I just did some testing of Hidden Machine in co-op with Sammantix and the results were interesting.

It’s a lot more useful in co-op, like I was getting it to proc consistently on enemies who were targeting them instead of me. It’s definitely worth picking up if you play co-op.

I’ve also had more luck getting it to proc in solo play now that I know what the deal is. Before, I was activating FA after running into the middle of a bunch of enemies because I assumed I was disappearing and that it was activating. Now I know to activate it before I aggro the enemies, so I can get it at the start of a fight, at least.

Another really weird thing is it seems to be always on when dueling. Other players aren’t AIs and don’t have a targeting mechanic so they don’t count as targeting me even if they’re looking right at me and Hidden Machine always procs, I guess??

Also I think Hidden Machine is multiplicative. I’ll post my math and more video stuff in a bit.


Demonite’s version

I run somewhat the same build with a few points here and there. and i use a level 1 cryo resist ward plus a cryo hex to strip it and freeze enemies as well.


Ooh! That’s awesome. Yeah, I’ve been doing some pretty similar stuff and it’s kinda awesome to see I’ve been on the right track. Main difference is I haven’t been going pure melee so my build has Head Count for action skill cooldown so I can stay in Fade Away as much as possible.

Hoping to get more time this weekend to work on my build and get some video. Have not had enough free time to play lately.


Melee fl4k

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That is awesome. :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: Just posted my build here [Build] 4SS4SS4SSIN – Melee FL4K! I finally have some time to play this weekend, gonna keep working on my build and try to get some video.

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Hope it’s ok to resurrect this thread… I just did more testing on Hidden Machine after the latest patches and yep, it’s still weird.

Being in Fade Away does not automatically proc the skill, if you’ve already aggroed the enemies they still count as targeting you even if they’re not attacking you, and the way to consistently proc the skill is to activate Fade Away before you aggro enemies at all.

It gets weirder though. I just did more testing with a pet around, and I’d tested this a bit before and already knew that it usually doesn’t proc even if enemies are clearly shooting my pet instead of me. But… it sometimes procs? I’m still trying to figure this out.

Lots of fail at the beginning. :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s just very inconsistent about when it procs and doesn’t proc and I still don’t totally understand it. Is it proccing when enemies are aggroed only by my spiderant and were never aggroed by me? Is it proccing when enemies are actively in the middle of a direct attack on my spiderant and not busy reloading or hiding or anything? Might be that. I’m still trying to figure it out. If anything, this shows how often Hidden Machine just doesn’t proc if you’re in combat in the middle of a bunch of enemies and playing solo, even if you’re using Fade Away. But it’s weird and when it does proc it’s a great damage boost, and there’s at least one point in this video where it unexpectedly procs when I run up and stab an enemy in the face while they’re attacking my spiderant, so there’s that.

Even with all the inconsistency I will say I do like Hidden Machine - It’s great when it procs, I usually play co-op and it does work when enemies target co-op buddies, and it can be consistently procced at the start of fights if you use Fade Away before aggroing enemies. I do wish it would always be on when using Fade Away though because… it seems like that would just make sense.

I should test next with Red Fang and Gamma Burst, see if the pet taunt gets it to work more consistently.


No offense intended by my comments here - but I am genuinely curious as to why folks seem focused on Hidden Machine and its mechanics.

I have never really played too much with Hidden Machine, partially because I have read here on these forums that it is bugged, but moreso because the skill just kind of - sucks. I mean, at 5/5 it is 30% damage, and even boosted it could be a maximum of 60%, and even then, the damage bonus is conditional. Fl4k has better skills to utilize, even for melee, doesn’t he?

This skill has never seemed that great to me. Am I missing something?

The damage from hidden machine is probably better than you think because of the way it fits into FL4K’s damage formula. FL4K has two separate damage multipliers, which we call V1 and V2 after demonite’s video on the topic. Your final damage is basically (card damage) * (gun damage) * (V1 damage boosts) * (V2 damage boosts).

V1 is Frenzy, Empathetic Rage, Pack Tactics, Pet Skag passive, interplanetary stalker, and the power inside.

V2 is Hidden Machine, rakk attack anointment, deadeye class mod, and the robot bonus on hunter’s eye.

So in practice for the most situations, Hidden Machine and the Rakk attack anointment will be multiplicative to everything else you have going on.

Also, I run a pretty standard base fade away build, and I’m not really sure where else I would put those points. I have 26 in Hunter to reach megavore, and the other points in Stalker. I could move the 5 from Hidden Machine into health, cooldown, or fire rate, but I don’t really need more of those things over more damage. Even if the damage is inconsistent.


Well, to sum it up quickly, the person who made this thread and I play a Melee Fl4k and Shotgun Zane. They both have a conditional multiplicative skill based on not being targeted. We both keep eachother untargeted a lot so we both spec into these skills because they’re consistently active for us. And a big part of how our damage works.

But then we have to figure out how they work solo.


I’m curious if Not My Circus helps with hidden machine, and whether frozen enemies automatically count as not targeting you for Hidden Machine / Trick of the Light. Have you looked into either of those? The frozen thing I have been meaning to figure out but it sounds like a pain to test…

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Thanks so much for the explanation. I watched Demonite’s video at some point, but it was before I was playing Fl4k, so I am not sure I understood it all. I will have to go back and take another look.

This is why I love these forums LOL. All of us nerding out about this game.

From other people’s experience, frozen enemies seem to target you still. I always get three points into TotL if I’m going double barrel, and just accept that it happens when it happens, and I just play as if it works properly. I’ll trade with my clone and shoot.

The day before it became cryo, I was farming KV and saw Immune soooo many times. So, I know it works a lot. But idk for sure when.


I’m personally really interested in Hidden Machine because I mained Zer0 in BL2 and they have a really similar skill Ambush that’s a seriously amazing skill and essential to melee builds. Ambush is just 20% extra damage at 5/5 points, which looks like a small boost, but it’s multiplicative and the way it works with the math it can end up being a huge boost. So when I saw a similar skill on FL4K I was like… oooooh. Seeing that skill is one of the main reasons I started trying to play melee FL4K, and it’s a weird build but it ended up being my favorite build in BL3.

But Zer0’s Ambush skill is a lot easier to activate and is always on when invisible. FL4K’s hidden machine is… weird. And I’m just kinda nerding out trying to figure out what the deal is with it and what causes it to activate or not.


Here are my findings regarding Hidden Mashine (with shooting attacks):

Agreed. I played some melee Zero (not great at it, but could pretty much do OK with it until the OP levels), so I get why you liked that skill on Fl4k.

My biggest problem with Hidden Machine is the Fade Away mechanic in general. Fade Away simply does not work like Deception. You are almost always targeted even while in Fade Away, at least in my playing experience. That is not the way the mechanic appears to be intended to work.