Vault Hunter Review Series: Giving a Beastmaster the Pets They Deserve

Part 2 in the series, today I want to talk about a huge issue with one of fl4k’s pets and my idea for improving pet/fl4k synergy.

Let’s start.
Fl4k’s Scorcher ant should be immune to fire damage, it is constantly on fire.

Replace the capstone skill dominance with the ability to select an additional pet/variant.
With no limitations on which pet, this would also allow to stack pet bonuses, even if you had 2 of the same pet variant.
(I shopped the idea around on reddit and about 98% of those that saw it agreed with it)

My next idea is a “revenge damage” build that make he bites and Hive Mind interact the way many imo expected they would. While also making he bites useful for something other than just procing frenzy.

The basic idea is to allow hive mind to interact with he bites to allow for reflection of damage taken by fl4k, as if the pet was actually biting back against threats to its master. In addition to the pet reflecting its own taken damage.

A simple concept at first but a bit difficult when keeping in mind the percentages needed for this to do good but not too much damage. As well as interactions with any other skills. Plus the large gap in m4 between the damage enemies deal and their far increased health etc.
The percentages used below were based on info I’ve heard that damage from m4 enemies is scaled to our health, meaning 1/4 of the damage received would in no way translate to anything resembling a 4th of the enemies health/shield/armor.

Also the simplest way to make this work correctly (programming wise) is to remove the differentiation between pet kills and fl4k kills, for psycho head on a stick, and interplanetary stalker.

Here’s what I came up with.
The current percentages or both skills are too low to make this type of interaction worthwhile.

If he bites is at 15% and hivemind is at 30% then less than a 20th of my damage taken would be reflected.

*(also when I say reflect damage taken by fl4k, I mean all damage even shield damage. If we had to wait around till our shield breaks for this to work it would be useless.)

{I also understand this implies having hive mind share all damage taken with the pet but by my calculations that should be fine as the pets actually have far higher health than fl4k. (either that or damage is scaled differently for them.)

In the video above I have 2 points in he bites, and you can see my pet reflecting around 4 hits before it died, each around 4k multiply that damage by 10 for the 10% reflection and you get around 160k health.}

To make it work best hivemind 's bonus would have to start @ 25% and with diminishing returns max it at 67%. While he bite ’s should use flat increases but have the new starting point return around a 5th of damage dealt; here I’d say 23% is best.

Next add an extra element to he bites, if you added that the pet also reflected damage done to its master back to the enemy at 2/3 the percentage pet damage is reflected it would be perfect.

At this point your pet would reflect 23% of their damage, and then fl4k gets 2/3 of that for thier damage so 15.3%.

Next you can link hive mind with he bites for some nice marginal damage boosts.
The portion of shared damage from hivemind should use the pet’s damage reflection percentage.

For this to work correctly the calculation/operation for “ Hivemind ” damage sharing should have a lower priority than he bites .

That way the full damage is being used to calculate the 15.3% fl4k reflection,

Then have hive mind ’s operation come in after and share its portion of the damage with “ he bites ” but using the 23% pet reflection rates.

Now let’s look at the current effects.
In a situation where only fl4k is taking damage,
having one point in each skill gives a 5.75% increase to their 15% reflection damage.

So, roughly 20.75% of fl4k’s full damage taken is reflected back to the enemy while the pet takes 25% of the damage to their health.

Combine those mechanics with who rescued who? and you have an awesome symbiotic relationship.

Other Interactions of note:
If someone’s using Shared Spirit it should work in the same way as hive mind so in low health emergencies shared spirit would kick in and add to the percentage of damage being transferred over and reflected.

But should mutated defense kick in the damage reduction should take 1st priority and reduce all damage being transferred into the reflection equation.

Same for any other damage reduction skills or effects.

In summary, this will give those who want a pet focused play-style some real options.

*edit since enemy damage doesn’t increase with mayhem levels this play style would also be obsolete at higher mayhem. edit 2: unless there was a large scaling for pet damage to keep it relatively proportional.