So, when I chose Fl4k for my first playthrough, I chose him for probably the same reason a lot of people did.
But… much to our disappointment, we found them to be generally useless. I myself specced into the Master tree my first playthrough, but went into the crit build right before my first fight with Troy. So, instead of paying attention during the safety meeting at work, I decided to come up with some ways to make Fl4k TRULY a master of beasts, as his name implies.
Increase pet damage by 200%
Now, I know that sounds like a lot, but I’ve run some numbers. Using the tier 4 jabber, his SMG does roughly 300 damage per hit. His attack command, a launcher that launches three times at an enemy, does between 5k~5.5k per hit, with no points into Ferocity. Capping out Ferocity brought it to around 500 per hit, with the attack command doing 7k per hit. Seems nice, but in the later difficulties, especially the Mayhem modes, we hardly notice the damage being dealt at all. Increasing the pet damage by this much will not only scale better for survivability later on, but scale better all around.
ATTACK COMMAND BUFFS AND CHANGES-
-Attack command key hold-down time reduced by 50%
-Attack commands have 100% accuracy.
-Spiderant Countess attack command changed to launch a web at a target, freezing it in place for six seconds
-Beefcake Jabber attack command changed to hurl **** at an enemy, enemies hit by this attack command will receive increased damage by 25% for 4 seconds.
So, not much passive stuff here. But one thing most Fl4k players would probably agree on is that attack commands are completely useless. For me, it’s for one major reason. I’ve timed it and it takes a solid 2 to 2.5 seconds to issue an attack command onto a target. And what’s worse is unlike Zane’s drone, attack commands will not be used by our pets if we don’t issue them. On top of that, most of them are generally useless, and can miss (here’s looking at you Meat-thief). Cutting the hold down time to issue commands will greatly increase not only our use of them, but our desire to utilize our pets in battle in general.
SKILL AND AUGMENTATION BUFFS-
-Ferocity caps out to increase pet damage by 100%, not 50%.
-Radiation damage dealt by Atomic Aroma increased by 50%, but decrease action skill time by 10%
-Pets receive health regeneration from Burst Aid at a reduction of 25%
These buffs will not only help improve build diversity in increasing the damage dealt by pets by investing in the Master tree, but will greatly improve pet survivability in late game.
-Burst Aid moved from their 5 augmentation to tier 4, replace Endurance augmentation with “Release the Hounds!”
-“Release the Hounds!”: Activating Gamma Burst will also summon a random pet Fl4k has unlocked for the duration of the skill. This pet will offer 50% normal pet bonuses, totally random upon skill activation, and have damage decreased by 25%. Action skill cooldown increased by 25%.
So, the “Release the Hounds!” augmentation (I just really want to hear Fl4k say that :3), is what will make Fl4k TRULY a MASTER OF BEASTS! To keep balance, the random summoned pet should deal decreased damage, offer halved bonuses for the duration of Gamma Burst, and the action skill cooldown should be increased. Endurance is generally useless because of the cap it has built-in after five kills.
-Dominance replaced with “No More Leash”
-“No More Leash”: Allows Fl4k’s pets to attack with their specific attack command without Fl4k having to issue them. Pets will only issue their attack command once on a target. Attack command power increased by 50%, Attack command cooldown increased by 25%.
I think it’s safe to assume that most Borderlands players will agree when I say that melee override skills are generally useless, and skills that bring enemy targets to temporarily fight for you are even more useless. The “No More Leash” skill, the capstone of this new Master tree is what will make pets shine, in and of themselves. This one point wonder skill will allow pets to do their attack command without Fl4k issuing one. We’ve trained and raised our pets since level one. After this long, they should be able to take on a bit more responsibility, right?
These changes to Fl4k’s master tree will not only encourage even more build diversity, but will greatly improve a generally lack-luster feature of the game that drew many of us to the game in the first place.
I posted this on reddit, but hoping posing it here will yield better results with Gearbox.