My list however would take into account casual easiness and also perhaps lack of specific relied upon rare gear. Which is why I put Maya on top always, and call her the easy-mode character. I think she does well with simply a blue smg tbh and cat mod (which you should find one or two decent ones along quest). My own Maya is almost 72 now and I’ve been breezing through anywhere even with the the +10% exp relic equipped, I went through rounds 1 - 4 hyperion slaughter really quickly I may upload videos.
As far as I can tell, Kriegs melee has never been nerfed. I’m pretty sure it’s been the same all this time. His troubles, at least for me, come more from the amount of super tanky BAs and their formations there. Melee Krieg isn’t quite suited to take on Dukino’s Mom, 2 Saturns, 3 Mercy’s at the same time, multiple Assassins at the same time etc because he needs to actually kill someone every once in a while to get his kill buffs going and action skill full heal is tied to that as well. His gun builds can get kinda ridiculous but something like peak doesn’t always support stuff like setting yourself on fire either because losing a run like that after 20 minutes is soulcrushing.
General equipment can see Zero through “just fine” but you still need kinda specific kinds of general equipment as well as a skill build to back it up if you wanna go that way.
Melee is basically worthless for all VH’s except Zer0 and Krieg all around. I mean even on NVHM the quest for bullymong hairs, one of the first quests in the game mind you, you can notice that melee is pretty minor to start with. You can get the occasional slash here and there but it’s generally better to just shoot them. Melee in general is not nerfed on UVHM or OP levels at all. As a matter of fact, it’s the only thing outside your gear that has damage scaling into OP levels.
And when it comes to just having a use for the button for Maya her override is super useful and Sal’s is fine. No idea about Gaige but I think hers is pretty bad. Krieg override is horrid but his melee bonuses get great use outside that.
(Focused for Success in a Distracting World)
Krieg’s melee damage can easily punch into the 10’s of millions at OP8 without roid or Rapier. I’m not sure his upper damage cap (without Bloodsplosion) - the damage calculator isn’t working properly - but it’s substantial. Obviously he needs to be built properly for this (Leg Sickle, RtB and 10/5 in StV, etc.).
Zer0’s melee damage at OP8 can get into the billion range - enough to one-shot Scorch and have damage to spare - of course you’ll only ever see damage cap numbers.
Maya, Sal and Gaige can all hold their own with melee - even at OP8. Axton less so - but can do wonders with a Love Thumper.
At a certain point it’s not the characters that are good with melee, it’s the gear they have equipped is good for melee. The game allows for that and it makes characters with minimal melee perks viable, but it doesn’t accommodate it as easily as it does for characters specifically designed for it. Someone good with optimizing their gear load out, key skills, and the game play loop can make it work, but can a novice just pick up the game with no exposure and play that way? I’d say no. Call it a skills gap if anything. The difference between viable, optimal, & pleasurable vary with the audience.
I may be the only one who considers this but…
Have you ever considered UVHM to be an addition to the game that the characters weren’t balanced for, as if it was a late decision? In the base game, with Level 50 as the cap, is Melee Zer0 viable? Moreso than any other base character at least.
Kunia/ Deathblossom is no comparison to having an exploding Buzzaxe with no melee override cool down & having your default melee weapon double as unlimited projectiles, with the option of them functioning as unlimited grenades.
Krieg is what Melee looks like when a character is designed with UVHM in mind from the start, inclusive of his differing weight to help with push-back. As a funny aside, you can use the Best Friends tree plus other skills to turn De4th Tp into a Melee Krieg/ AOE Maya Hybrid at Level 72. It’s just another example of what having more development time can yield as far as game play enhancements for a character.
(Focused for Success in a Distracting World)
Certainly is - one just has to forgo Death Blossom. For example.
However, he still needs a roid shield to reliably one-shot and therefore maintain MMF.
Any other variation (other than the points in Resurgence and Innervate) turns him back into a hybrid which I think we’d agree is not true melee.
One-shotting enemies is great and all, but Bad Ass enemies aren’t really meant to be one-shotted. Deception has a fast cool down and not being able chain MMF ad infinitum is ok. Patience is a valuable skill for an assassin.
Very very true. But when talking about the level 50 cap in vanilla, the number of Bad Ass or Ultimate Bad Ass enemies that act as speed bumps on a chain seem like a reasonable concession to making BL2 more than a flash mini-game of lining up MMF chains like it were a game of Time Crisis. A little sweat ain’t bad.