Small annoyance concerning the usage of inaccurate "Length of Time" related terms

Long title aside, it’s just that; Why are there terms like “after a few seconds”, " after a short time", “For a few seconds” etc instead of telling us exactly how long that time is? The annoyance comes from there being some skills that tell you how long a buff/stack lasts while in other cases there’s vague descriptions. If you’re able to say “Duration: x Seconds” etc for some skills, why not all?

That is all.


Agreed completely.

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Agreed. I also hate that they use Damage Reduction and Damage Resistance. What’s the difference?

They need to work on how they communicate these things because stats and abilities are essential for players to understand what they’re actually investing in.


That’s why I would give the player the option to look through a glossary. Also, on the topic of damage resistance vs damage reduction: Damage resistance is the numerical value your damage reduction gets calculated with. Damage reduction is hereby the true amount. In past games the formula worked like this:

f: Incoming damage/(1+ decimal of the damage resistance) = damage received

So, if you had 100 incoming damage and 100% damage resistance it would go like this:
100/(1+1,00) = 50

This means that you have 50% damage reduction right now, as you only eat half of the incoming damage.


Because the time might change during development and even after launch? The less you have to remember to update when you make changes, the easier it is to change everything your need to!


Well, if the text is not updated dynamically. At least there should be an official source for the latest state of that information.

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That would be no excuse for not updating them before release, though. Consistency and clarity is important. Using the same wording for different things or different wording for the same thing is just confusing. Throwing various terms around without telling players what they mean can be incredibly frustrating.

Some abilities give straight damage reduction though, but if I understand you correctly, 20% damage resistance would be equal to 10% damage reduction. I’ve heard that resistance would only have an impact on elemental status effects, but I suppose this is wrong then.

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No, its a bit different from what you might think. Damage resistance is really just what you insert into the formula, so each skill that has damage reduction has a different value of damage resistance inserted into the formula. It just isn’t always represented by the skill descriptor. Also, it isn’t a 2 to 1 ratio, you really need to insert the damage resistance into the formula to see what you get out of it in damage reduction. My example was just the easiest on the math side.

Now if you insert 500% damage reduction into the formula (with 100 incoming damage)…

100/(1+5) = 16,67 (or 83,33% damage reduction)

You get a result that differs heavily from the 1 to 2 ratio. Basically, the more damage resistance you get, the less effective it gets, but it still is a bonus. This phenomenon is called deminishing returns. This is because in this formula the incoming damage gets divided, which means that you can’t reach 0 damage received.

Edit: But yeah, these formulas are one of the biggest reasons why I think that the game could use some in-game tool for explanations. Sure, the average gamer won’t need it to enjoy the game, but some will just appreciate the knowledge.

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I understand diminishing returns as many games use these formulas. I’m sorry to bother you more but I’m quite useless mathematically so hopefully you could spare a couple more minutes. What damage would I receive if I’m hit for 100 damage and:

  • I have 20 damage resistance?

  • I have 20 damage reduction?

  • I have 20 damage resistance and 20 damage reduction?

I’m just trying to figure out if one is more valuable than the other.


Well, you could see damage reduction as the result of damage resistance piling on. I keep the base damage at 100 for the simplicity.

20% damage resistance equals 100/(1+0,2) = 83,33 damage (so 16,67% actual reduction)

20% damage reduction is actually just 20% less damage, so you receive 80 damage

The last one is potentially tricky, but I just assume that it gets calculated together, which would make it 66,66 damage. Or a third less damage.

Overall, wether it is called damage resistance or damage reduction, taking less damage is always a good thing. If the description says damage reduction however, you can basically just assume that it reduces the damage by that percentage.

Look no further as to Amara’s “Helping Hand(s)” skill. At 5 skill points you get 40% damage reduction out of it, which means from 100 points of incoming damage, Amara receives just 60. Damage reduction is much more straightforward and the “honest” way to describe taking less damage (the numbers behind the scenes aren’t important for us gamers, so the term “damage resistance” shouldn’t even need to exist in the game, as it isn’t a clear indicator of anything if you don’t know the math behind it).

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It is annoying, but I’ve analyzed several of those skills in gameplay footage, and it seems like the skills that say something like “a few seconds” seem to be set at 3 seconds in game.

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I’m not sure in the current skill trees that they are using “damage resistance” and “damage reduction” any differently. For one thing the official skill calculator uses both terms interchangeably in Amara’s skill One with Nature. For another, both damage resistance and reduction damage skills have diminishing returns as you keep pointing points into them. All of Amara’s “damage reduction” skills are 12%, 21%, 28%, 35%, 40%, as you spec toward 5/5. But Moze’s Vladof Ingenuity gives “Shock Damage Resistance,” and also has diminishing returns - 15%, 26%, 35%, 42%, 47%. So I think the game is just using 1/(1+x) for both of these, and Gearbox is telling us the final, experienced damage reduction. Rather than telling us the value for x they’re increasing under the hood. They seem to like the phrase “damage resistance” when describing elemental damage


Even if this is true, I’m talking about vagueness in general in skills/weapons/item descriptions. Descriptive terms such as the ones in the OP are really annoying. I want to know the numbers and exactly how they’ll change due to x and/or y.

tltr; Vagueness BAD. Clear/Concise GOOD.

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There are skills that say “a few seconds” that last for 5 seconds as well as 20 seconds. Same wording, huge difference.

But at least durations are usually listed in the skill trees. Maybe I missed some where they aren’t. I’m just dreading finding equipment with these terms without any attached numbers.

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I haven’t checked the BL3 trees yet (I know…) but that’s certainly the case for the BL2 and TPS ones - especially where the number of points in the skill changes the actual stat. (In that case, it makes total sense that the description text wouldn’t include a number, since it has to be calculated based off skill points and potentially any buffs from other skills or gear.)

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I am more concern on what are additive and what are multiplicative in the damage formulas.

Seconded. I’d love to have this in game so that I can figure out how to build a character properly by reading through the skill effects instead of having to alt tab to a browser to find that a skill isn’t what it seems.


In what way concerned? What skills are additive or where additive and multiplicative bonuses come into play in the formula?

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yes. that’s why builds right now are pointless since we do not know what are gamechanger skills.

Generally speaking anything that says bonus damage is multiplicative I believe, while anything else is additive I think. So for instance on Moze, if you have Selfless Vengeance, Desperate Measures, and Armored Infantry:

Hypothetical Base Weapon Damage: 55 kinectic (non-elemental) damage per shot

55 + 8.25 (Armored Infantry +15% weapon damage) + 27.5 (Desperate Measures +50% weapon damage) = 90.75 kinectic damage per shot

90.75 x 15% (selfless vengeance 15% bonus fire damage) = 13.6 fire damage

90.75 kinetic damage + 13.6 fire damage = 104.35 damage to enemies that take baseline fire and baseline kinectic damage and 111.15 damage to enemies that are weak to fire damage on a normal mode playthrough

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