There must be something I just don’t get about Sal. I see almost everyone else (most recently, @TheRAbbi) facerolling everything with obsolete gear and marveling at how easy and overpowered he is. Yet my Sal has been struggling badly from level 40ish, and currently (44) takes a knee in almost every single encounter in Opportunity, usually dying when faced with a constructor and not infrequently dying to random mobs as well.
As far as I’m aware, Sal’s guns are as good as they can possibly be at this level:
In order, that’s a level 44 Striker, level 42 slag Rubi, level 42 NE Hyperion pistol, level 44 slag Topneaa.
The shield is highlighted because that’s the one gear slot where I don’t have anything especially good. Grenade is a perfect level 44 longbow slag transfusion, COM is a +4 Leg. Berserker, relic is Deputy’s Badge.
Swap options are level 43 Chinook, 44 Hulk, 43 Gatling Gun, 43 DP Hand Cannon (the Hyperion pistol in the backpack is a 45 corrosive, can’t use yet). Sheriff’s badge is there in case I need to fight at medium range for a while (useful for the second constructor, if he can get there without dying). The other COM is a Berserker, +4 LL +3 YKY. I think 20 points in decent skills plus much better passives outweighs those seven points in great skills. There’s also a green 43 longbow corrosive cloud grenade for constructor fights.
No Inconceivable because I rarely use guns where continuous fire is either possible or appropriate, so it just results in annoying delayed manual reloads.
The usual pattern in combat is that Sal kills a guy, starts shooting the next guy, enters FFYL, gets a quick second wind, oh look he’s not gunzerking and even with Get Some will take quite a while to get it back, drops to FFYL again, repeat until either there are no enemies left or no FFYL timer left. I do my best to use the Leg. Berserker’s speed to help dodge, and when possible I use cover, but a shotgun-user generally can’t have cover and be close enough to hit anything. And for the first constructor, there is no cover from which one can fire, either you’re cowering from the nonstop rocket stream and have no LOS to the constructor, or you’re in the open.
Is the problem that shotgun Sal simply doesn’t work unless one has a separate source of continuous damage for the Rubi to regen from? The relatively infrequent (but highly damaging) shots from this setup obviously don’t come close to keeping up with enemy damage, even with 9/5 HtK, 1/5 AGTTB, and the base gunzerking regen on top. The transfusions help - occasionally, and only if the health packets arrive before he drops. So it’s not terribly reliable.
Experimenting with using the pistol as weapon #1, that seemed to work a bit better (aside from the fact that I prefer using a shotgun). He only drops to FFYL once or twice per major combat, which reduces deaths a fair amount. On the other hand, Maya never took a knee so often in TVHM, nor did Krieg except when he fought constructors or UBA loaders which are dangerous to melee. I’d expect Mr. “Easy & Overpowered” to do at least as well… And in particular others report face-tanking BA constructors with Sal at the same level I’m at, without any Brawn skills.
Reminder: level 44. Advice to go get a Harold, or a Storm Front, Slow Hand, whatever, is wrong because those items do not exist at this level (barring world drops). A Harold would be level 35ish, Storm Front would be 39, anything from a DLC would take many levels to even get to and would screw up Sal’s entry into UVHM (if he ever gets there…). The only thing I can think of for gear at this point would be a detour to the snowman looking for a better shield. And I don’t think that would make a very big difference anyway.