Nerfing/Buffing/Balancing Doppelganger Jack's Skills

Bolster (buff)

Bonus (Max Health): +3% PL --> +5% PL

Integrity (nerf)

Bonus (Damage): +8% PL --> +7% PL

Synergy (nerf)

Bonuses (Critical, Damage): +6 PL --> +5% PL

teamwork (nerf)

Bonus (Healing): +.5% Per Second --> +.4% Per Second

Accountability (buff)

Accountability stack reduction upon taking damage: 50% --> 25%

High-Frequency Trading

Becomes a 4-point skill
Weapon swap time: -15% PL --> -20%

Incentive (buff)

Stack duration: 10 seconds --> 15 seconds
Max stacks: 4 --> 6

Money is Power (nerf)

Max stacks: 999 --> 400

Absolute Advantage (nerf)

Free ammo bonus: +8% --> +6%

Supply and Demand (buff)

Your allies receive 50% of this bonus instead of 20%.

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Not a buff at all. Absolutely not. That would kill the pet build, and make the skill worthless (it would be like that AR skill Krieg had that nobody used).

Any reason why you feel these need to be toned down, especially since it’s by 1% across the board?

Buff doesn’t matter when the stack decay is still crap. It doesn’t change the value of the skill since it’s already a one point wonder for most builds anyway.[quote=“King_Tadpole, post:1, topic:1552558”]
Accountability (buff)

Accountability stack reduction upon taking damage: 50% --> 25%

I’m down with that![quote=“King_Tadpole, post:1, topic:1552558”]
High Frequency trading (buff)

Becomes a 1-point skill with the effect of “Weapon swap time is reduced by 50%”

That’s kind of boring for a 1 point skill.

That’s really excessive. That would nerf it from 250% at max stacks to 10% damage. That’s a X25 nerf. There is absolutely no reason to do that to any skill in this game. And even for 1 point, 10% damage that has to be stacked is utterly pointless.[quote=“King_Tadpole, post:1, topic:1552558”]
Company Man (nerf)

Accuracy bonus: +1.5% --> 1%Critical bonus: +2% --> 1.5%

Absolute Advantage (nerf)

Free ammo bonus: +8% --> +6%

Any reason for this? Do you feel these skills are unbalanced somehow?

It would be nice to have a semi-viable nurse Jack, though 40% of 11%health at best still isn’t that great since the regen is based on how low your health is.

I fixed most of what you addressed. Money Is Power nerf was a typo. I cut out some nerfs overall that felt unnecessary but I also feel like you have to have nerfs too because you don’t want the game to be too easy.

But you also can’t nerf for the sake of nerfing. Some of the changes you’ve proposed are like those COMs in BL2 that just had slightly lower percentages than other COMs by 1 or 2% for no reason.

TPS was designed from the outset to be easier than BL2. The mutator arena is there for those who want more of a challenge. To change skills for the sake of making the game more difficult goes against what the devs had in mind for this game.

It’s about balancing and keeping the difficulty the same. Buffing weak skills makes the game little easier, so nerfing strong skills a little bit balances it out.

Not exactly. Even the most novice player will gravitate toward “good” skills over the obviously mediocre ones. “Balancing” in the way you’re describing has the effect of making the game harder.

This isn’t to say that nerfing isn’t something you should ever do – but it should be reserved for the extreme outliers that are such a foregone conclusion that every build revolves around them. But even these can have a positive effect on gameplay. Let me give an example.

Leadership is Jack’s most powerful capstone (and I would argue the most powerful capstone in Borderlands history), but I’d actually be very reluctant to change anything about it. It redefine him and turns his active skill from a reasonably potent pet skill to something you use to generate kill skills.

The obvious effect is that almost every Jack build gets it – but this is actually better than the alternative, since Jack is more interesting and unique by having it than by lacking it. No other character gets to do what Jack does with kill skills, and (I suspect) the developers want us to use Leadership to differentiate his gameplay.

Obviously, nerfing is sometimes a necessity. But Jack is widely considered to be one of the most flexible and well-balanced characters in Borderlands history. If you’re looking for something to redesign, I’d point you towards Salvador instead. (It’s telling that most players consider Money Shot to be more important than its own tree’s capstone.)

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I wish I could email this to every dev in the world. There are so many cases where devs nerf something that changes gameplay simply because it isn’t what they intended, rather than looking at the effect it has on gameplay. Even unintended bugs can lead to positive outcomes.

Let’s look at Jack’s Expendable Assets for an example. There is a bug that has been in the game since launch that allows the digi-Jacks to benefit from roid damage on certain skills. For the normal Jacks this isn’t such a big deal, but for the Badass Jacks from Promote the Ranks, it multiplies their damage by 20 times.

This may not have been intended on GB’s part, however the effect it has on gameplay is positive. Without this bug, badass Jacks would hit for maybe 500k if you managed to keep them out for a really long time with bolster. Considering that Optimism and Potential both hit for that amount, it would basically make Digi-life builds strictly inferior to digi-death builds, as you can pop the Jacks for novas far faster than they fire missiles, and you could add your own damage on top, and get 24/7 kill skills to boot, and still have the aggro draw without needing to use a roid shield. It wouldn’t be like using a thoughtlock Maya vs a phaselock Maya, or a brawn Sal vs a conventional Sal, where there are pros and cons to each spec. The Jacks would barely contribute any damage for bosses, and would have lower DPS for mobbing as well. The spec would be slow with absolutely nothing going for it besides cool looking pets. And while cool looking pets are nice, cool looking pets that can be useful in every aspect of the game are infinitely better.

In other words, this one glitch enables a build to be viable. Because of the damage from this glitch, digi-Jacks can offer something that other specs can’t. No other spec in the game that I know of can 1 shot denial subroutine, or take out 3/4 of eclipse’s health bar in one hit. And even with this glitch in the game, digi-death builds are still far more popular (if youtube video views and forum inquiries are a reasonable standard of proof). So even when bugs exist that make the game easier, that ease can enable hings that wouldn’t normally work to be usable.