(Phase 2 Feedback) FL4K is Broken - Mayhem Pet Scaling, Rakk Attack, and Bugs

So now that the hotfix has had a bit of time to settle in, it’s a better time than ever to ask the devs to address some core issues with FL4K.

This scaling update has made number of things incredibly apparent. Most of these issues have actually been problematic since the game’s release, but have exacerbated by the introduction of Mayhem 2.0 and this phase 2 patch. The issues are:

  1. HEADCOUNT

This skill has been bugged in some manner with Rakk Attack for the majority of the game’s life. Since Mayhem 2.0, the skill is completely non-functional with Rakk. Head Count is too much of a staple skill that has had its buggy interactions with Rakk Attack reported multiple times through all these months since Maliwan Takedown launched.

Rakk AI is still very, very weird/dumb. They can target the most random stuff like those elemental pipes, or just hit a solid object and do nothing in their path to something, wasting the cast. Rakks are also locked to 2 elements, both of which perform terribly vs. Shields.

We were given the tools to create a Rakk damage build, but we can’t do so to its full potential because of the limitations listed above. It doesn’t just effect the damage of the skill itself: Rakk builds get their survivability and gun damage by cycling Action skill end anointments. Not having Rakk available on demand to activate those buffs can be the difference between life and death. To truly capitalize on these new action skill changes and foster build diversity, we need to have this critical skill fixed once and for all.

  1. PET DAMAGE

I am so glad that pet damage was finally scaled in this patch, but the core issue behind pet damage remains the same: The general Pet damage is still bad . Like, really bad , even when completely invested for it.

Outside of one pet with one specific attack, the rest of the pets still don’t do satisfactory damage on Mayhem 10, even with a dedicated build with Gamma Burst or attack commands. Pets get nothing from Action Skill damage and most of their damage boosts are just all additive to each other, with a few exceptions that rarely consistently apply to the passive damage they do. Gamma Burst’s radiation that applies to pet damage doesn’t actually apply to a multitude of pet attacks (Scorcher’s pool, Jabber’s normal attacks, Gunslinger’s rocket salvo) which are all ironically the ONLY PET SKILLS THAT DO DAMAGE NOW, and nothing the pet does or gets during Gamma Burst gets affected by Action Skill damage. Augments like Atomic Aroma are severely underpowered even on the lower difficulties.

Attack commands have their best damage increase in the form of… Splash. This makes Splash anointments the best damage increase for them, which usually creates a weird situation between Gamma Burst and Rakk Attack.

  1. First off all, Gamma Burst functions as a bonus elemental splash for the pets and thus receives no splash damage boosts.
  2. The splash damage anoitment is on Action Skill End, so Gamma Burst has the worst uptime on this buff.
  3. Simply having Gamma Burst on the bar reduces the bonus splash damage and AOE rolls from your gear. In other words, just the act of having Gamma Burst equipped reduces your pet’s attack command damage.
  4. Gamma Burst forces pets to melee, yet the Jabbers, whose normal attacks with their guns massively outdamage their melee, are forced to put their guns away. This means that once again Gamma Burst dramatically lessens pet DPS.
  5. Even though Gamma Burst forces pets into melee, they don’t receive many many specific bonuses. Pet melee is not increased by cryo damage and they cannot activate the Groundbreaker Guardian rank perk. However, decreases to melee damage, such as the Holy Crit mayhem modifier, will still lower their damage.

This is especially distressing since this is the second time pet scaling has been increased. I don’t know where the disconnect is, but let me be clear: the damage that Scorcher is doing right now is by and large what players expect their fully invested pet builds to achieve! Yes, we expect our pets, when buffed by Gamma Burst and all of our skills, to make quick work of trash enemies. That we spend an entire action skill and many skill points on low support damage is one of the most frequently frustrating experiences playing FL4K. Please, make Gamma Burst and Attack commands more worthwhile.

Let me be crystal clear: FL4K players want to maintain the current level of power that the Scorcher spiderant possesses. However, we want that damage even distributed across more skills and to more pets. We also want that level of damage for our attack commands as well. Gamma Burst and Attack commands should provide the pets with enough damage to take on the toughest enemies.

Again, for clarity, the 2 million DPS that Scorcher can achieve is what we expect for pet damage builds. DO NOT “FIX” SCORCHER WITHOUT FIRST ADJUSTING THE OTHER PETS TO DO SIMILAR DAMAGE WITH A FULL BUILD.

  1. PET BEHAVIOR

The buff to pet health was a kind gesture, but it covers up a larger issue: pets are insanely stupid and we few ways to control them. On top of that, there are several boss and raid mechanics that instantly killed the pets. They have enough health to tank those hits now, but the underlying issue of their rapidity and our lack of means to mitigate means just sweeps the problem under the rug. We WANT to have more control over the pets, especially if we can improve our performance by doing so!

  1. BUGGED SKILLS

The last thing I’m here to say is that FL4K is [pretty much] broken. And I mean this in the buggy way. We’ve been giving week 1 buggy Zane a run for his money for 9 months now, but maybe it could be time for this to end. I won’t sugarcoat this: there are so many day 1 bugs on FL4K that have gone unaddressed even after 3 level cap increases, 2 takedowns, 3 DLCs, and 2 Mayhem revamps. Interplanetary Stalker STILL doesn’t scale with Big Game. The Friendbot pet damage STILL DOESN’T WORK, even though it was mentioned on the Bordercast as being a great COM to use after phase 2. Gearbox scaled pet health to Mayhem modes, but Rage and Recover is still not regenerating pet health. I already mentioned Headcount before, but this is 2ND TIME it has been broken in the 10 months this game has been out.

Here’s some other things that are bugged/still suffer from bugs/are unresolved:

  1. Hunter’s Eye Human Crit not working on Megavore;
  2. Half of COV enemies are not actually human;
  3. Some beast enemies are not beasts;
  4. Interplanetary Stalker’s Main Damage gets nothing from Hunt Power;
  5. Pet Damage that was hotfixed on hunt skills gets nothing from Hunt Power;
  6. Hunt Power on the Cosmic Stalker Class Mod also doesn’t boost the last 2 cases;
  7. Rage And Recover is bugged and much worse than what it says on the card;
  8. Fade Away Targeting Issues;
  9. Until You Are Dead can cause Fade Away’s Mov/Regen boosts to end mid-Fade when cycled;
  10. St4ckbot still resets from pet DoTs, Hollow Point and Non-Critical Splash;
  11. Dominance seems to have some weird spaghetti to Glamour, also doesn’t trigger even after multiple hits;

And all other stuff mentioned before and potentially undiscovered stuff…

We’ve been through support numerous times. We’ve been tracking bugs in this thread since October. We’ve been vocal in numerous threads about the these issues (1, 2, 3). I understand that asking the devs to hold off on content to focus on bug fixes is a pipe dream, but what I will ask for is something simple:

Release some bug fixes to FL4K’s skills with the next patch. Unless a dev specifically comes into this thread and gives us a valid reason why a class mod bonus has been non-functional, or why a skill that is designed to scale Hunter skills doesn’t work with all of them, or what is so difficult about Headcount that it was broken again, I refuse to believe that there is actually a technical difficulty involved here. Going by what was said in the Bordercast, it seems that, despite our efforts, the devs aren’t aware of the multitude of nearly year old bugs.

Let me end this by saying that I in no way hate the game. I love it to death and only want the best for it. There wouldn’t be so many of us wasting our time testing these skills, writing up essays, and making videos on this game if we didn’t. It is a tremendously fun game.

However, this last patch is concerning because it didn’t address any of the issues we had prior to it. Our pet damage is being propped up by a bug more than likely, and one of our most important skills has been bugged going on two months. This patch has added tons of possibly unintended interactions all around that may cause this newfound build diversity to come crashing down. At some point, we aren’t going to just keep sitting quietly by and waiting for Gearbox to get around to fixing things. I genuinely don’t think they are aware. Heck, I don’t know if much of the community is aware. So please, do not become complacent because we got a placebo. FL4K is still miles off from the character they were designed to be.

For further context, testing on pet scaling, and a list of other issues, please read this post by @Ratore https://www.reddit.com/r/Borderlands/comments/hham7h/fl4ks_mayhem_pet_scaling_rakk_attack_and_bugs/

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Great work this is exactly how I feel about flak to.

Thank you boom for this, couldnt have said it better than myself.

Great write up the problem is extremely deep and I hope gbx does more then just a damage buff to fix this. I doubt we would see any real changes anytime soon maybe hopefully before next dlc but, until that happens Fl4k the beastmaster should change their name to Zer0 the assassin 2.0.

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I don’t have anything to add here, awesome write up @boombumr.

We got a tease of pet damage with the Gunslinger AC aand Scorcher pool. We want the real thing.

Funny thing is Scorcher at her top end massively outdamages even Gunslinger AC. I’ve heard people getting up to 7mil ticks while Gunslinger can only get up to 10mil per rocket at max. So at full buffs it only take 3 ticks of lava pool for Scorcher to outdamage Gunslinger, who is being powered by the Deadeye class mod and splash anointments.

Heck, even at the more conservative 4mil ticks people get pretty frequently, it would only take 2.5 seconds to outdamage Gunslinger. It’s ■■■■■■■■ in all honestly. Splash commands should be doing at least 15mil fully buffed, putting Gunslinger at 45mil. Considering the 16 second cool down, tiny AOE, and that you need to aim the attack on an enemy and hold down the action skill button for a second or two, they should be doing damage somewhat comparably to Hammberdown Protocal which has a 4th of the cool down for more damage than present Gunslinger and way bigger AOE completely passively.

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3M is the most I have seen on Scorcher pools so far. But that wasnt with 200 splash or Deadeye bonus.

Splash doesn’t effect the pool, only pet damage does. I don’t know how some people are getting these numbers, but I don’t want them to go :sweat_smile:.

It’s great to finally have something close to what we’ve been looking for since launch. The only issue is that it is only one attack. If we got this or more total DPS with a combination of Atomic Aroma, the pool, and melee, then things would be much better.

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Why does Ties That Bind, Remnant, and Indiscriminate gain action skill scaling but Atomic Aroma doesn’t? They might have done s ok mething with Remnant and Indiscriminate, but last I knew anything definitive they did.

Probably because Atomic Aroma is considered pet damage and falls under that scaling. However, considering that grim harvest and IPS both boost pet damage and action skill damage and it already scales with splash (still find it super weird that Gamma nukes splash for pets but a Gamma augment scales off of it anyway), it’d be much better if it just scaled like an action skill. It doesn’t even stack frenzy for crying out loud!

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Pets seem so unnecessarily complicated some things they do are considered splash,action, and pet damage? Feels like an entire revamp is in order I wonder how moze’s IB and zane’s clones damages are calculated, is everything they do considered action skills or is their more to it?

Yeah, I never really thought it before but pets deal

  • pet damage (all the damage they deal falls under this umbrella)
  • splash damage
  • melee damage
  • crit damage (although like Fade Away this isn’t a real crit)
  • elemental damage

And all of these different damage types interact weirdly with each other. Pets deal melee damage, but don’t get cryo damage bonuses. They CAN deal crits, but they will not get increased crit damage from Holy Crit while their non-crit damage is reduced (which is every bit of damage aside from the first melee attack) but at the same time they will deal reduced crit damage with Not the Face? None of the DOTs they deal scale with Mayhem from what I’ve seen so far.

And that doesn’t account for Gamma Burst weirdness. Gamma only increases melee damage, as does Go for the Eyes, but GB only randomly boosts pet damage boosted by the Go for the Eyes. Most of the time it will still scale off the pet’s base damage even if the attack procs Go for the Eyes.
It’s all pretty weird.

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Wouldn’t the entire pet scaling issue have been simpler to throw them in as an Action Skill? I’m no coding wiz(by a profound amount), but I feel like that would have helped a little further. Especially with adding Action Skill damage rolls on COM’s.

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I can see why they didn’t, since they are a distinct entity with their own scaling and action skills scale with the VH more directly.

Of course, there is also the issue that scaling can’t fix crappy base damage. Rakk is in a much better spot than pets, but compared to the other buffed action skills, it requires full investment with splash rolls and action skill damage everywhere. There isn’t anything wrong with that, it’s how GB envisioned this working, but considering that Rakk scale off a bunch of FL4K’s skills it’s just weird that they need so much work.

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Their vision is blurry at best blind at worst considering their history when it comes to balance.

The pets still have too many types of scaling that feels like the biggest problem currently for pets to me. They should only have 2 types of scaling pet damage and action skill damage(when Gamma bursted). I believe simplifying it can make it easier to control in case it under or over performs since they lack any kind of testing. Also adding or Replacing anoinments that people never use like fade away anoint for more pet centric anoints like 200% pet damage instead of using some arbitrary sh*t like splash damage as a way to boost pets damage. Lets be honest no normal player would be able to figure that out I mean if it wasn’t for you I would never know that cuz that just makes no damn sense maybe if it was melee maybe but splash is just dumb. Hell maybe thats why friend bot doesn’t work its trying to boost pet damage little does it know pets are doing splash.

I can see an argument for that. Right now the only 2 anoints that increase pet damage are the lvl 50 locked Halloween gear and splash, and since the former works in the same way as Gamma Burst they end up working against each other. It does make things interesting in the sense that it adds differentiation: splash command builds are a totally different thing from Gamma builds even though both are centered around pet damage. I love that dichotomy.

I do agree that the way things work presently is incredibly unintuitive though. I guess splash is one of those universal bonuses that applies to all damage connected to you, but it still doesn’t make much sense that it increases the pet’s damage while melee doesn’t. I mean (granted, there were all of maybe 3 people testing pet damage for a pretty long time) I only figured out the thing with splash 2 or 3 months ago. To my knowledge, the game was out for 6 months at that point, and just within the last 3 months have we really been able to put together builds and see how it performs. Meanwhile, people had IB completely figured out by November :rofl:

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I would actually prefer they perform better autonomously. The attack command is already more direct involvement than I’d like.

But I imagine you would at least like to tell them to stay in a certain area, or prevent them from attack enemies that will insta kill them, no?

Not really. Too much micromanagement for my taste. There might be a middle ground where the Attack Command was changed to switching between Aggressive/Defensive/Passive.

That would still entail more control of the pet though. After all, pt AI isn’t smart enough to know not to run into Wotan’s shield. Dogs also don’t seem to understand that it’s a bad idea to chase trucks, so it makes more sense for the owner to hold their pet back than expect them to just suddenly get smarter :wink:.

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