Some FL4K skills are getting a decent touch up with the upcoming patch. I’ll share some thoughts on them:
I don’t think this skill still has any reason to exist with the “confuse enemies” purpose, and I fail to see how it fits the actual theme of Master tree at all. However, in the spirit of “I’ll take what I can get”, this is a welcome change. It’s also indicative of the lack of thought behind it, because it has one big problem (at least currently): anti-synergy with Frenzy and He Bites.
Enemies attacking other enemies means they’re not attacking FL4K (which is cool) or their pet. The pet’s capabilities of stacking Frenzy on their own are questionable in the best of scenarios, and to use the ones that are half-decent at it you give up some damage (if going from Spiderant/Skag to Jabber) or a lot of damage (if going from Spiderant/Skag to Loader).
He Bites is an ok damage source and an extremely useful tool for Frenzy stacking. Hurting that skill synergy by grabbing the capstone in the same tree is a problem that I hopefully think doesn’t need further explanation.
This is an issue that would be solved by making dominated enemies count as a pet for Dominance’s duration, and it’s not something new: it has been suggested before, multiple times from different areas of the community. There’s also a chance that would make the converted enemy actually useful battlefield allies in the damage department. This way they could stack Frenzy and benefit from our pet skills.
The other issue is that you can still damage dominated enemies. While this can be both a blessing and a problem, in this case it’s leaning into the problematic side, since you will just end up inadvertently killing dominated enemies. In reality I’m not sure what would feel better in practice since I obviously can’t play with the skill currently. Being able to damage the enemies allows us to immediately kill them for a radiation nova now, which sounds good. But it all feels very counterintuitive.
The added Nova centered on the enemy just feels like some random effect tacked on so the skill does something else. It also has less base damage than the T1 Nova skill of the new tree. While the Nova + Taunt sounds like an interesting interaction, it would likely need a damage + radius adjustment to make it feel really powerful (with hopefully no self damage to either FL4K or pet, that would become a source of issues potentially worse than barrels).
Another thing is that it needs better visual indication of which enemy is dominated. It’s an absolute mess to sort it out in the middle of combat, especially on the takedowns.
2. Shared Spirit
This is a very nice change as long as damage converted still means it’s taking away from the damage received. Potentially, this could mean the skill is a true 50% reduction now, and the pet being healed from it avoids any rare case of you killing the pet by accident (unless using Gamma). However, If the skill doesn’t offer any effective damage reduction to FL4K anymore (which is a possibility), this would actually be a nerf for no reason other than some misguided attempts at solving inexistent pet survivability issues (or existing ones from a year ago).
The threshold for the skill to trigger still seems to be ~30% Health. This could easily be bumped up to 50%, which would make the skill really useful on a much wider variety of loadouts.
3. Hive Mind
The pet bonus damage is worded in a way that really makes it sound like it’s on its own in the formula, or that it works slightly differently. No idea of how it actually works, of course.
It’s a nice change, not much to say about it. The shared damage could go up a bit, since its final value ends at around 13% after applied to the formula. The skill of the same tier in green tree offers better damage reduction alongside a significant dps boost.
This could be the time to talk about some other skills too that could use some touching up.
Ambush Predator looks like a bad conditional joke with hoops compared to a T2 crit damage skill on a character’s new tree. Hunter’s Eye Crit vs. Humans still doesn’t work with Megavore, and is placed at a very bad spot in the formula considering the conditions it’s tied to, making it worse than normal crit skills. Rakk Attack as a whole is a QOL joke compared to MNTIS, that skill is a complete upgrade to it and has so many QOL changes that we’ve been asking for so long.