Status Effects confuse me

…as to how their damage is calculated. I generally love DoTs as a game mechanic and pretty much all games I play see myself in a capacity where I throw ticking effects around me to watch the fun. I usually apply a DoT effect then hide or run away to watch enemies die off powerless and unable to kill me. Needless to say Amara is my favorite class in here but I started to take notice of weird things going on that make the simple concept confusing to me.

Every status effect weapon has a displayed ticking chance as well as how much damage per second it ticks for. Some builds enhance this chance and potency as do some items you can find.

I understand that some enemies may have resistance to a specific status due to their nature (simple MoB, elite, boss etc) but would expect to be notified when the status effect I m using has diminished strength against that enemy. And thats certainly true for the obvious representants of an enemy archtype. The burning skag or the heavies whos names indicate their effect resistence. Even then I m informed by a RESIST message on screen when my debuffs are diminished.

On my TVHM play-through I notice that I m getting wildly varying damage ticks from the same weapon without appareant cause. For example I m using a blue fire SMG with a displayed tick ratio of 500 damage per second yet enemies I set ablaze tick for 43, or 150, or 250 or the full 500

This is against the same enemy type. Skags for example and while I would expect the bigger ones to have higher resistances then the small scrabblers even among the same type of bigger skags I get different tick ratios.
Now Amara also has a skill that has a chance to randomly apply a status effect whenever she does. How strong are those effects because higher tiers of that skill only seem to affect the chance at which the random effect is applied.

What happens when I apply an ignite effect and continue to apply ignire effects against the same target? Is the first DoT overwritten? Is its duration enhanced? What happens when different people apply the same effect? World of Warcraft went to great effort to distinguish buffs and debuffs and make sure there was an understandable system in the open so people could understand and recreate what happened on the screen.

Borderlands 3 throws around a lot of numbers but most of them dont make any sense to me when I consider the weapons I m using. Most of the time I m getting LESS damage per tick then what the weapon states and I dont understand why.

  • are skill enhancing effects already calculated into the display? Because I hardly see ticks higher then what the weapon shows even tho Amara should have bonuses on those (and 20% more is noticable)
  • Is it possible that each and every MoB is generated randomly so 2 bandit rushers have different stats specifically resists?
  • what strength do the status effects from the skill CONFLUX have? Is it based on the weapon I m currently using or is it level dependant? How do I distinguish an ignite effect from my weapon from an ignite effect from Conflux?
  • can I apply several ignite effects on the same target all ticking simulatenously or is it always ONE ignite effect?
  • Do ignite effects from different players stack or is it only 1 ignite effect TOTAL per enemy? If thats the case which ignite effect is used? The strongest or the one who was applied last?

Basically I m wondering if my speccing into Conflux hinders my performance in case Conflux applies a weak effect overwriting my main DoT. Also I wonder how multiple players using status effects work together. Is it stacking or do they actually obstruct each other constantly overwriting the others dots.

Stuff dies…thats not the issue. In normal mode I wasnt event paying attention to the numbers because once an enemy got a dot, he was basically dead. In TVHM where enemies have a lot more health I started to take notice and I m unable to come up with answers.

Havent researched and released “documents” for BL3 so far. If anybody knows of a link that answers some of my questions please share.

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Just to answer some:

Dots stack, so you can have multiple ticking at the same time.

Dots are subject to elemental damage rules meaning e.g. shock does less damage against health but more against shields.

Also note that if you use Mayhem modifiers (check your map tab top right when running mayhem mode) are random and can affect elemental damage.

I think it is possible that multiple dots ticking at the same time will be added into 1 number (because that is what happens with all multihit weapons when multiple projectiles hit - so the same logic might apply to dots) but im not sure about that.


There are also relics that allow extra stacks of a specific element, if you’re interested in that type of build

Multiple stacks of a different kindyes. I make it a habit to switch to different elements once I apply one to have different dots ticking at the same time. You mean multiple effects of the same type on the same target?

I know about the elemental effects strengths and weaknesses. I made a little spreadsheet so I have the numbers availble at a moments notice. For example Fire is 50% more effective vs Flesh on normal and 75% more effective vs Flesh on TVHM but receives penalties versus armor and shields. But thanks anyway, better safe to mention the obvious.

No Mayhem modifiers yet tho this poses another question.

  • if a Mayhem modifier puts a penalty on SMGs and I m using a fire SMG, does this affect the weapons dot as well? Or just the stated direct damage from the bullet?

Havent seen any so far. What I noticed are relics that increase my chance to apply an effect but most of the effect enhancers apply to melee attacks or slide or slam. Thanks for the heads-up, I ll keep looking ^^

just to throw out a few more numbers against flesh targets…

my beloved Hellshock Pistol has a 41% chance to apply a 536 damage/sec ignite.

I constantly see enemies ticking for 533 damage, some tick for 643 (which would be 536 base + 20% from Anima). I guess the 3 missing damage I see might be rounding errors or the enemies initial resist to fire (but I dont know).

When the ignite is spread to other enemies (Wildfire skill) most of the time the numbers stated are different, ranging from 43 to 127 up to 835. Especially the numbers LOWER then my stated weapon effect bewilder me. Because if its a Conflux DoT it should be riding on the back of an initial weapons ignite so it should be more then my stated weapon DoT. Or Conflux is overwriting my own ignite in which case I should get rid of that skill as quickly as possible.

Now occasionally some of the flesh enemies feature a shield on top. Using the same weapon and effect for consistency my weapon ignite should deal 50% LESS damage against the shield. I m expecting a 238 damage/sec tick yet I see 123 instead. here comes the really weird part.

I am watching a zealot burn with full shields. The shield tick is 123, then 125, then 121, then 124, 122 etc…aka its not consistent but varies constantly between 121 and 125. The same Ignite. Once the shield is down the tick jumps up to 564. Again LESS then it should be (643 is expected).

I just dont get the math behind all this to be honest. And it drives me crazy.

  • what effects do level variations have exactly. Say an enmy is 1 level above or below me. Are there meta data on how performance varies in that case?

It won’t effect DoT but it will effect the elemental damage from the impact, including damage done with Infusion.

About the numbers, the game ins’t the most reliable. Last week my Queen’s call said on the card it did 887 damage, now it says 947.

Play with stuff, respec a few times and get a Phazeserker class mod, then you’ll find something to have fun with.

The Phazeserker class mod allows you to easily get up to high numbers with Violent Tapestry setting your Effect chance throuh the roof. It can multiply your effect chance by up to 4X, 41% becomes 164%.

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Stupid question: What does DoTs stand for?

Damage over time

Damage Over Time, not a stupid question because you’ve learned something


Regarding OP’s first bullet. Displayed gun stats are static. Changing equipment or living a skill doesn’t change the numbers.

From 2K support I got the following:

Final Damage = (Base + Skills + Guardian Rank + Class Mod + Relic) * (Gun Base) * (Elemental multiplier)

However, I still have questions about status effects. Does the elemental coefficient help status effect damage? What is the base time duration of a status effect?

For the siren skill conflux:
When I inflict a status, there is a chance I inflict an additional status but what does that do? Will it only happen if I use fire, shock, or acid guns (the types listed in the skill)? Can I get a burning status effect from a gun to cause conflux to give an electrocution effect too? If the conflux effect also does damage, does the elemental coefficient from above also help? Or does this status only daze the opponent?
Some of my confusion for this skill is because they use different yellow text terms making me think it’s a different status.

And if someone could clarify the forceful expression skill for me, I would love that.
It gives bonus elemental damage: 18% of damage dealt (based on action skill).
Does that mean every bullet I shoot gets 18% of the action skill damage added on top? Where I’m going with this is the action skill downfall. I dont have enough skill points yet but at lvl 29 it does 1150 damage and I want to know if forceful expression would simply add 207 damage to every shot.

When you check out a weapon in your inventory you have several tabs you can cycle through. One of them lists all the components including the elemental type which states the duration for each type (they vary)

As for Conflux, you can use a fire gun on an armored target and whenever your ignite effect triggers you have a chance to add an addition effect which can be ignore, melt or electrocute (randomly determined). With a high enough proc chance you can pretty much keep all 3 status effects up at all times without switching weapons. I m not sure how the damage for the Conflux proc is calculated tho.

I would ve expected a calculation path like his. Sadly as mentioned I come across many numbers I simply cannot reproduce and as such am at a loss whats really happening.


Amara can easily stack 3 elements at once.

There’s a skill called “infusion” in the red skill tree that makes her elemental powers from her skill apply as damage to enemies. This can be a double edged sword though cause it “converts” already existing damage into elemental by a % base on level.

For example if your using corrosive, and your action skill is corrosive this does nothing. If your using fire and your skill is set for corrosive you do fire and that % in “infusion” as corrosive damage. The good part of this skill is though is two things:
#1 it can apply DoT effects so you can burn & shock an enemy at once using only one elemental gun.
#2 if you are using the Green/Red skill tree you have all 3 main enemy weknesses at your disposal (shock is her stater, and corrosive & fire are in those trees after 5 skill points invested)

Now you also have “Conflux” which can apply random effect fire, acid, or shock whenever your DoTs effect.

This would be a good time to STOP using Fire, Corrosive, Shock weapons and use weapon with Irradiation and Freeze instead. This is because you can apply freeze & radiation more easily then the 3 basic elements and trigger the status effects more PLUS if you have Infusion you can garuntee you’ll apply a weakness you need for the enemies your fighting.

Between Infusion and Conflux you can run an Irradiation weapon and pretty much always be dealing 2 elements and Conflux will stack on more if able. It’s a costly way to play skillpoint wise, but it can let you utterly annihilate bosses and get through areas easy where you can apply status effects and take cover. Add in “Indiscriminate” and a rapid fire Radiation gun you can focus on a Badass and pretty much kill everything next time him with ricochete and status damage alone.


Thank you

If you’re trying to stack lots of status dots then, yes. However, for the best dps it still may be better to stick with the elemental gun of target weakness. The elemental bonus for damage occurs with every shoot regardless of status effects.

Depending on the situation, switching guns between different boss health bars may be better. Unfortunately, the d-pad no longer makes that as easy as it was.

I understand some of the very small damage variation doesn’t make sense unless there are some rounding things going on and some bigger variations may be due to multiple status procs ticking together/independently. I feel like a crit makes a bigger dot. Although, that might just be the crit damage more that the status. But if the dot damage is in part connected to the bullet damage (pull a low lvl gun from your bank and see if the dot changes) could limb shot take less damage and make a smaller dot. When I play, I don’t have the finesse to test something like that, however, you may already have.

We clearly need a damage equation for status like the gun damage one I got from 2K support. They stopped replying to me and told me to go to the 2K fourms. Those are completely dead, however

Well i say stop using the 3 mains in a full/partial conflux & infusion build because Conflux on gives one of those three at random If your using a fire weapon, with corrosive infusion, your really only rolling the dice for shock which is not worth the skill points. Where as using Irradiation or Freeze the skill points are more justified to use.

Your not wrong full corrosive vs robots would be better then just using infusion, but the point of Infusion + Conflux is to let you do MORE with status effects such as slowing them down or radiation hurting enemies near the ones your targeting. It lets you be more flexible.

Honestly I didnt even mean to go down this tree like i have, I came into red for melee damage and got a class mod that gave infusion and conflux and even though that mod is gone I worked my way into the skills lol. Hit em with as much status effects as you can, then run in with a shotgun and 1 shot/punch everything in your way :100::boom:

There’s a “Classic” controller layout option in the Options where you can forego switching missions, etc for easy gun swapping. It does make changing firing modes a bit weird though.

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You are correct. I overlooked those bonuses when I read your post.

Thats why I always love playing a siren. Spreading damage all over the place and crowd control. I love seeing the effluence of damage numbers

Looking at it on paper it didnt seem too good to me at first too but once I tired it I got hooked, when you get her ricochet skill up you just see all different kinds of damages in color popping up. I’m sure there is better ways to build the Siren but I wanted to punch stuff and this gives me the best punching power with elements as I could get that doesnt force me to carry 4 different elemental weapons, especially since I prefer Jakobs weapons for the most part so I can be aggressive and when it gets to dangerous I just pop out my Irradiation Gun and just phaselock the biggest guy i can find and hose him down and let the elements do their work

a little off topic but I have always wondered if the +damage etc in the weapons stats included in the base number

I’m not sure how the dot damage displayed in weapon tooltips is calculated, but it is often grossly inaccurate.
Dot damage is based on the damage instance that created it, so hard hitting weapons will create much bigger dots than fast-firing weapons that don’t hit as hard. And there does seem to be an issue with new dots replacing older dots, which sometimes causes strong dots to be replaced with weaker ones.