SPOILERS: Concerns with FL4K's new skill tree-Pet Interactions

I’m sorry, but considering Trainer class mod exists I don’t feel comfortable sitting silently and waiting for this tree to come out before offering criticism. Sue me, but at least hear me out before you get angry in the replies.

There are 2 skills whose interactions I’ll be focusing on: Fuzzy Math and Take This. I’ll give a brief touch up on Keep Them Safe as well, but these two skills and their interactions with pet builds are my primary concern.

Take This gives pets a copy of FL4K’s shield. This can be be used to boost pet damage in 2 ways. For melee pets, you can give a roid shield, while gun pets like Jabbers and Loaders would use amp. This creates 2 separate gearing paths that have massive ramifications for FL4K’s survival and the purpose of the tree.

Gun pets can use amp shields, which grant their bonus when full. This means that you the things the Trapper tree buffs (recharge rate, delay, capacity) are all beneficial to the pet’s shield, and therefore its damage output. However, melee pets wouldn’t work like that. Roid shield give their bonus while depleted, so you would ideally want as low a capacity as you could get. On top of that, one melee shield gives massively higher damage than every other option, meaning you would essentially be locked to using a low level variant of 1 shield to keep your pet damage high.

On top of that, the use of roid shields directly contradicts several skills we’ve seen in this tree already. Fancy Math restores 30% of FL4K and their pet’s shield whenever either scores a critical hit. With Megavor, this skill would render roid shields impotent. Same goes for Keep Them Safe. If you want to build a melee pet for damage, you can’t spec down the latter half of this tree, but you are also incentivized to use a low level shield, which actually makes FL4K even squishier.

Compounding that is the issue of Gravity Trap itself and how it will end up working with pets. Gravity Trap could be used to alleviate the issues of low shield for melee pets by providing some much needed CC, but the action skill lifts enemies off the ground, meaning the melee pets would have to resort to ranged attacks to hit them. What this all results in is a likely scenario where melee pets will see absolutely no benefit from this new skill tree while gun totting pets, which are already much more powerful overall, will gain immense power from the new tree.

On to Keep Them Safe, I’ll just borrow this quote from @narfkeks

There are problems with this skill, but a simple one to address is the cool down. Attack command cool downs are 16 seconds with 3 points in Sic Em. This skill has a cool down of 12 seconds. That means we can’t spam the skill with ETI, but we also can’t use the skill before the 16 second cool down of the attack command is up. Why GB decided this skill should have a cool down is beyond me since this skill is just a far weaker version of the doppelganger’s Winning skill from TPS. That skill provided Jack with 25% shield per kill (with Leadership and Optimism it became 50% shield every 2 secs). Meanwhile, a min-maxed FL4K build can still only use this skill once every 16 seconds. What happens during the skill’s downtime? Your shield gets obliterated a second after it recharges and this skill does nothing for another 15 seconds. This continues an incredibly irritating inclination for actions requiring direct control over the pet being far less rewarding than those that don’t.

Those are my largest concerns for the tree at the moment. I’m especially concerned about the effectiveness of roid shields, since the most exciting aspect of this tree to me is being able to share my shield with my spiderant to give it more damage. Even using an on-level roid shield, you still wouldn’t be able to command your pet to melee attack enemies in the air, so the roid will be wasted. I sincerely hope there is some augment to keep enemies on the ground or some rework of the pet AI that will allow it to attack floating enemies.

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Thanks for using my reply and while we both know that the skill tree’s aren’t finished yet, it’s still important to voice our concerns.

Now, while I’m here, a few thoughts I’ve gathered over the last couple of days:

  1. My guess is that this skill tree is entirely focused on survival and the fact that AMP shields buff the pets damage output is basically just a neat side effect. It is entirely possible that the tree isn’t really intended to buff the DPS of our pets at all, or even our own as from what we’ve seen there were no damage boosts in the skill tree whatsoever.

  2. We have not yet seen all skills and right now I don’t know what skills we are missing, but if I remember correctly there was a tier 4 skill still to be shown. If we just get 1 major damage skill that works off our shield capacity, that could be enough. My idea would be a skill that grants Fl4k and their pet increased damage to all their sources, the more full their shields the higher the bonus. Something like up to +50% as multiplicative damage would be huge.

  3. If I remember correctly there were some skills that showed fang and teeth like images, so maybe there is something nice in there for our pet.

  4. You are correct about the imbalance between work and pay-off of our pets, which is why I absolutely hope that the Keep them Safe skill gets adjusted to both not have a cooldown and to ideally restore more shield. Or give it a slight damage bonus for Fl4k and their pet after an attack command has been issued. The way Fl4ks pets move already basically works like a slight cooldown between attack commands, so there is no need for that and especially not for 12 seconds of cooldown. The average mobbing encounter in the game can be ended in a minute, so having a fifth of that as waiting time is just unreasonable. I find it acceptable to have to spec into Eager to Impress as it’s easily accessible via class mods, but it’s still not great. Keep them Safe should probably have some sort of effect while the attack command is on cooldown, to compensate early builds. Doesn’t need to be massive, but how about lowering the shield recharge delay by 30% while we wait out the cooldown? That way the skill would at least grant noticeable survivability at all times.

  5. I fear that the Gravity Snare will make our melee pets miss their attacks, but I hope that the augments cover that. Would be easy enough, just make it pin the enemies down instead of letting them float.

Either way there is already something to discuss about the skill tree and while I hope that what we saw wasn’t representative of the final product, I will still keep on giving feedback if I see the need.

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The question I have is would roid/amp shields really effect pets? I mean pets don’t get the melee bonus from attacking frozen enemies so I don’t think they do the kinda damage that would get effected by a roid shield. I think you said they do splash damage or something like that.

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Yeah, I’m concerned that they won’t get roid. Gunslinger gets amp through Distributed Denial on his rockets, so I’m not too concerned about gun pets. Melee has a ton of weird interactions though, so I’m far more worried about that, especially since it seems like it will be incredibly difficult to pull of such a build anyway.

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I’m not a Fl4k main so correct me if I’m wrong about any particular details. I have three main concerns about the Trapper tree in comparison to the original skill trees.

First of all, it’s very concerning when the skills that have already been revealed are either so bad or unconvincing at a glance, that you can already see which path you would take going down the tree by going for other skills that are completely unknown. The only tier 1 skill we saw was basically a radiation version of Zane’s Best Served Cold which is worth 5 skill points, and the only tier 2 skill (for 3 skill points) shown was Fl4k’s version of Behind the Iron Curtain which is a skill that pretty much every knowledgeable Moze main ignores even if they do invest enough in the SoR tree.

Then consider the design choices behind the tier 3 skill Lethal Force Authorized which is only worth 1 skill point. For starters, it only works with pet Loaders by turning them into EXP Loaders. Does that mean Fl4k can’t revive them at all if this skill is taken? If that’s the case, once your pet Loader goes down, you’re forced into spending 30 seconds without a pet which I can see being more detrimental than beneficial.

Those 3 skills combined amount to 9 skill points and in the total first half of the Trapper tree, you can max out all the skills in the first 3 tiers with 24 points. The other tier 3 skill is just one point (the one that gives Fl4k’s pet a copy of their shield) but apart from that, I would rather spend the other 14 skill points on the skills that we know nothing about.

The second thing that concerns me is that there’s so much emphasis on improving effectiveness with shields that it’s asking a lot for Fl4k to take away investment in any of the other skill trees which are generous for DPS. The thing about Fuzzy Math is that it’s supposed to open up your options in terms of your choice of shield, but with the sacrifices in DPS you have to make to invest that far down the Trapper tree, I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t use anything else other than an amp shield to make up for the DPS deficit.

I have a melee build for Moze where you can use the Face-puncher boosted by an amp shield because there’s Bloodletter (with +2 Thin Red Line) so that you can get to 1hp while using a Knife Drain White Elephant to refill your amp shield to max with every single shot. If you’re going Fuzzy Math, you may as well rock an amp shield all the time.

And lastly, I have concerns about the pet Loaders. We’ve seen with the Jabbers that they are terrible candidates for Gamma Burst because they refuse to use their guns, so would we just see Loaders running in and swinging their robotic arms?

Also, notice how they completely rip up the script as far as pet bonuses go. There’s no single pet bonus that all Loaders share; they all have one unique pet bonus from each other. ION Loader gives 30% elemental resistance which is a good bonus, but it would grant diminishing returns if boosted by Barbaric Yawp. BUL Loader boosts shield capacity which as a Moze main, I can say is somewhat irrelevant as a pet bonus. And WAR Loader only gives 12% fire rate which is not bad but as far as pet bonuses go, that alone wouldn’t convince me to go that far down a tree like the Spiderant Scorcher or Great Horned Skag.

Overall, I see the Trapper tree and I feel bad for Fl4k mains because us Moze mains have gone through similar issues with her Shield of Retribution skill tree and the really awkward and bizarre design choices that Gearbox deemed fit to implement. It’s her one skill tree that is lacking compared to the others, and there’s something that seems really off about repackaging it and forwarding it to Fl4k as paid content. When Fl4k’s new shield-themed capstone objectively seems redundant and looks worse than Moze’s Tenacious Defense, that speaks volumes.

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我之前一直在关注你的帖子,agree with your views greatly, i hope fl4k’s pet can take more damage!!! 现在宠物的伤害虽然经过了两次加强 但是还是不值得成为一个真正的兽王,依靠宠物进行输出,作为宠物爱好者很羡慕zane的digi ,我希望新的技能树能够让宠物大放异彩,并且让攻击指令more effective

I could not agree more!
I really, really hope that this tree was shown in an early version that needs feedback and a hefty review.
It’s not lacking feedback and suggestions in these forums which are being watched by the devs.

Besides the fact there’s no damage to be seen anywhere (currently), I’m also concerned by the possibility that they might have forgot to add Hunter Skills entirely. I hope at least 1 or 2 of those skills at the top are a Hunter Skill. If there isn’t even a single one, that will be just a sad testament to how problematic the tree is.

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That’s also true. If they did it would manifest the red tree even more as the must have tree. But if they didn’t it would just mean no synergies with Fl4ks other trees.
They really need to rework the already revealed skills and put in some synergy thoughts into the rest.