I think by now most players would agree that possible bonus pools for anointments, artifacts and class mods are way overboard making finding anything build-specific, useful or enjoyable caught in the confines between a tedious chore and outright impossibility. I’d like to propose thinning them out, which would definitely put the farmability effort/reward ratio to acceptable and enjoyable levels.
Here are my propositions for bonuses that should be removed for each section of the items:
- All the manufacturer specific bonuses.
I’m sure some people have found some that by pure chance fit into the arsenal they use, but let’s face it - in most cases it’s next to impossible to match those and it’s pretty much at the end of every players priority list to do so when looking for a specific class mod. The gun specific bonuses are more than enough.
- Elemental Resistance.
The Damage Reduction bonus is sufficient. This is a fast action driven FPS, most people will look for offensive bonuses. On top of that, each character has some defensive skills they can invest in. Elemental resistances are just unnecessary and since there is a total of five different elemental resistances it muddles the bonus pool quite severely. When you roll two good stats and Damage Reduction then you say to yourself “could have been better but it’s a useful thing to have” because it has a universal effect. When you roll a single elemental resistance when you know 90% of the time you’re being shot at with 6 different types of damage then you’re only disappointed by “what could have been” instead. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that I’m certain most players feel the same about this.
- Splash Damage Radius.
I can understand that a small margin of players might find that desirable in conjunction with a specific gun build, but again let’s face it - it’s the last thing you’re gonna look for in a class mod in majority of cases. If you want to play around with emphasis on splash you just play as Moze and she has enough trouble as is with killing herself because of excessive splash radius and damage.
FFYL Downed Time and FFYL Movement Speed.
Nobody wants this on their artifact. Having this stat only makes you angry that you could have rolled something useful for that bonus slot instead. The bonuses for FFYL you get from Guardian Ranks and Perks are more than sufficient. Every player focuses on a combination of damage and survivability, part of which comes from DPS and the ability to clear the map at a rate preventing taking overwhelming fire. These priorities will always come first, way before anybody thinks about boosting their “last resort” options. The name of the game is to build and farm to a state where you don’t get downed often instead of investing in what happens when you do. All this of course, without even getting into how redundant this is because of how easy the game itself is.
All the elemental resistances.
Pretty much the same thing as in the case of Class Mods - it’s unnecessary and given that artifacts can roll two of the same resistance stat for a combined bonus just these alone increase the possible stat pool to beyond national lottery level.
I’m going to be less specific here because it’s probably a much more contentious topic than the other two. With this in mind however, I still can’t understand what certain anointments are still doing in the game apart from making everybody tear their hair out while farming. Let’s start with something obvious:
- “While an Action Skill is Active, constantly trigger novas that deal XXXX damage”
Can somebody please explain to me why is this in the game ? I’m not being passive-aggressive I’m actually asking if somebody can enlighten me because I can’t come up with a reason. There were shields in BL2 that did the same thing and they were UNIVERSALLY hated. Not only do the novas annoy you with their sounds every few seconds making you feel like you’re undergoing some advanced form of psycho-interrogation at the hands of KGB but they don’t have a radius big enough to hit anything, let alone time advantageously BUT they make damn sure you trigger every single barrel you go past to explode and down you. How is this enhancing the game in any way ?
“While an Action Skill is Active, Deal 75% more Weapon Damage to Badass, Named, and Boss enemies”
“While under 50% health, deal 150% bonus radiation damage”
“While enemies are below 25% health, gain 50% increased Weapon Damage”
“On action skill end - Next two magazines have 50% bonus elemental damage”
“On action skill end - 125% increased damage against Badass, Named, and Boss enemies”
“On action skill end - 75% increased weapon status effect chance and damage”
Pretty simple - please come up with one good reason you’d rather have any of these rather than any other +%%% damage class specific one or other damage boosting anointments like the bugged but still more useful +200% weapon damage ? What are these anointments still doing in the game ? The status effect one is downright laughable - status effect damage, which is mostly DoT doesn’t contribute to your DPS in any meaningful way and the standard effect chance is more than enough even on slower firing weapons.
“Consecutive Hits increase weapon damage by 1% per hit, misses remove all bonuses”
“Killing an enemy grants 5% Weapon Damage and Reload Speed for 25 seconds, this effect stacks”
Why would any player prefer this over guaranteed damage bonuses ? Stacking based on hits is tedious, the risk of losing them - very high. In no way are those bonuses reliable enough, even with higher damage ceiling than the guaranteed ones, to invest in them. All this is aside from there being no indicators for stacking or any other kind of item bonuses for that matter, to let you track your stacks/bonuses to actually test and see if it’s worth it for your character/build to use during normal play environment. The “on kill” one just builds up way to slowly to contest with set +%dmg ASA and ASE options. You literally have to kill 10 things to get on the +200% dmg level let alone contest something like STNL +100% Cryo on Zane.
I think Gearbox has done a really poor job with implementing those. It seems to me they just had a “creative” meeting where people were just throwing ideas out there rather than thinking “Why would a player use X over Y.” which is the most efficient way of weeding out useless clutter masked as "more options. More isn’t necessarily better if, like in many cases in this game all it does is make the gaming experience frustrating rather than enriching the build/play style diversity. Getting rid of the things I’ve mentioned in this post would, in my humble opinion not only make the late game farming (which is all this game is about after such a long time post-release) a much better and enjoyable experience while simultaneously leaving space to add more interesting and hopefully better thought out anointments in the future.
I haven’t touched on the class specific anointments because I only play Zane, but if I can find problems there I’m sure it’s similar for other classes as well. An example of this would be Zane’s:
- “After swapping places with Digi-Clone gain 130% increased weapon damage.”
- “After swapping places with Digi-Clone your weapon is reloaded.”
Both of those have no chance contesting with STNL +100% Cryo, the multiclass +200% weapon damage or even the nerfed 300/90. But if you’d roll them together into:
- “After swapping places with Digi-Clone your weapon is reloaded and you gain +200% weapon damage for a short time”
You might then have an interesting anointment to consider for a chaotic and dynamic play style. Damagewise it could contend with +200% weapon damage and STNL +100% Cryo but it would be conditioned by a timer. To balance that out instead, you’d get a free reload on top. How hard is it to figure something creative out ?
I would love for someone from GB to actually read this because it’s pretty apparent that they have a lot of trouble understanding their own game’s late game mechanics and how to enhance the player experience with meaningful implementations rather than the “more is better” approach. It’s also a rather somber fact that the game is, despite all the content, in a pretty sad state when it comes to overall enjoyability.