What are your benchmarks for identifying a 'good build' or a 'bad build'?

The topic title is fairly straightforward. Do you play test? If so, how, where, and in which types of play?

I don’t have an opinion about what is ‘wrong’ or ‘right’, or any agenda other than curiosity.

For me, I just play test it. I’ll just go on one giant mobbing expedition killing everything (mob and boss) I can in every map along the way. I judge a build based on;

  1. How well I felt playing with it- I have a different way of doing things than you, just like you don’t do the the same things as other people. Even if the damage and survivability is there, if it doesn’t feel like a good fit for me, I won’t play it.

  2. How long does the WOW factor last- if I find myself laughing at my build while playing my character every time I log in, I know I have a good build.

  3. Survivability and damage- how often did I go down? How long did it take me to kill badasses? I really like tanking and saying f**k you to enemy damage, so if I die a lot with a build, I’ll either add some survivability through transfusions and moxxi, or scrap it if it’s too much trouble for the payoff.

  4. Do I have to change loadouts often- I don’t like changing entire loadouts for different scenarios. Changing one thing is fine if it doesn’t mess with the feel of a build, but I’m not going to take out my Moonface to kill Zarpedon if I’m using a deputy build. If I have trouble killing certain things with a build, I’ll either avoid that content, or scrap that build.

Beyond that, whatever I find myself playing the most is the best build for me, even though the numbers might not be there to support it. In BL2, that build was melee Sal, and in TPS it’s a badass pet Jack.

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Is it fun? Good build.
Is it boring? Bad build.

I play test by bringing it to the field during my normal plays. I will go to specific places to test guns, but if a build is only fit for a place or two, it’s not for me. I play everything except raid bosses (which I will pursue once in a blue moon if I think I have some way of pulling it off “normally”, as in, with the same gear/build I use for regular play).

Usually deviations from my standard builds are to focus on using a particular skill that I usually shun.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. A lot of those things connect with me. Among other things, I’m strongly of the opinion that fun is priority number 1. Since it’s subjective, I won’t ever argue with a person who pulls that card.

I also try to keep in mind that each of us have quirks which cause us to lean certain ways. A couple of mine are a draw to certain reload animations, and a bias toward ammunition economy. Consequently, I use Pimpernels a lot and favor Hard Harold > DPUH, etc.

I also tend to build around the idea of flexibility. I like specs that work anywhere, and which accommodate COM and shield swaps seemlessly.

Fun is what makes a build good. But a bad build (the degree varies) is when you pick skills that are never activated, or completely mismatch your guns and equipment. Like if you use Plasma casters with Maya while having points in Chain reaction. Or specing in skills that improve your shield when you use the Rough Rider. Things like that.

Off Topic

I’m curious. Why do you think Plasma Casters are bad with Chain Reaction?

I may be wrong but I think plasma casters are more splash damage than bullet damage- essentially they shoot balls of energy, right? As for the topic I really don’t try out new builds in any particular place- I just try them as I play the game. If I like them (as I do the Deputy Sal and Last Man Standing builds I’m using for Sal and Axton respectively), I’ll use them pretty much as is (except for maybe a minor tweak to a skill I really like). If I’m not really overwhelmed with it (like the Thoughtlock build I’m using with Maya), I’ll still try it in different areas but chances are that I’ll go back to another build- at this point in the game I’m more about trying different builds for gear that I normally passed up when leveling to OP8…

My two are: does it work and is it fun? If a build doesn’t meet both of those requirements I won’t use it. As far as play testing goes, I don’t go to any particular area, I just go where my group does and if it doesn’t meet my requirements, I’ll pick something else or tweak it.

All but Bandit PCs shoot bullets that are 100% card damage and they have 50% splash damage. But even if it was the other way around it would still be good with Chain Reaction, anything that shoots bullets is good with CR.

Things that don’t work w/ CR are guns like the Slow Hand, Darts, Spikers, launchers, ect…

:blush: Seems like I stepped in it there… I was under the impression that all E-tech weapons didn’t proc CR.

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