What do you call the little square boxes

(Is this thing on?) #1

…that appear above the experience bar? I know they indicate active perks related to your skill tree, but I’m not always sure which is which. Is there a guide to those for all the characters somewhere?

(The Bonerfart) #2

I’m not sure that there is a guide to them, but each box that lights up has a small image in it that is the same as the small image next to the skill in your skill tree

(Is this thing on?) #3

D’oh! Only been playing this game since launch, so I haven’t had time to notice that…

(The Bonerfart) #4

Its the same as BL2 was, kill skills in gold underneath the XP bar and everything else is on top (cooldowns, shield skills, ect)

(Backdraft Guru) #5

The big white ones above your exp bar are active skills, or skills that trigger under certain conditions (stacks) etc. The yellow skills under your exp bar right are kill skills.

(Is this thing on?) #6

I knew what they represented, I just wasn’t sure what to call them. Does anyone know how the active skill ones are arranged above the XP bar? E.g. is it by first appearance in each tree, or ordered by appearance when reading across all trees l-r? Trying to figure out which one is which when I can’t always make out the icon on my screen…

(Creative Instinct) #7

I think you’re overthinking that far too much. Don’t try to memorize in which order those skill pictures are displayed so you know how your skill’s status are, you are diverting far too much brain power to that. Focus on hitting targets, jumping out of the way of bullets, activating your action skill, and if you need to make use of a skill and it doesn’t work, it’s either on cooldown or some requirements aren’t met.

The little icons above the exp bar are just a small indication what skill currently does something, and they are sometimes useless and sometimes not there when they should be (Krieg had only two of those boxes, but three skills [bloodlust stacks, elemental elation stacks, salt the wound stacks] and those would overlap, while in presequel, Nisha gets a notification when any player killed an enemy).

(Is this thing on?) #8

I’m just naturally curious about everything… You’re right though - I don’t pay too much attention when being swarmed by bandits!

(Creative Instinct) #9

Nothing wrong with that. Back to the original question, I don’t think those boxes have an official name. Unlike kill skill symbols they can’t easily be named “passive skill triggers” or whatever because everything is triggered by something and those skills aren’t passive :slight_smile:

A small question: is this thread about BL2 or TPS? Because Snag_Lord mentioned it being the same as BL2 and you said something about playing the game since launch…

(The Bonerfart) #10

Disregard me mentioning BL2, that’s me getting used to this forum and how the “new thread” feature can jump you around.

The skill icons have always been easily distinguishable I thought though, you can clearly see by the image what skill is active/ on cooldown and when

(Creative Instinct) #11

He said he couldn’t always make out the symbol on his screen, so he must be playing at a low resolution, on a bad or old screen, has bad eyesight or something along those lines … or he is so involved in the battles that he has no time to clearly see the icons. Otherwise, I agree with what you said.

(The Bonerfart) #12


Put simply, my way of knowing what is what in the middle of a big fight is just knowing who I’m using and how they work.

Like if you are playing Maya and have Scorn and Wreck, Scorn will only show up after using the melee override doing the cool down animation while Wreck will only show up while I have someone Phaselocked

(Creative Instinct) #13

I quite honstly don’t look for those symbols either, I just play like I always do with a character. Throw a turret to a certain position and watch its health, phaselock a certain enemy and wait what subsequence comes up with, become invisible as soon as the action skill is up then spam kunai, activate buzz axe rampage as soon as I’m out of buzz axe rampage because OP8, activate deathtrap never because screw gaige, activate gunzerking as soon as I spawn and never worry about anything ever again…

Presequel is no different. Enemies present? Call wolf and saint, then spam action skill button and focus fire for longer skill duration. Enemies are present and not even aggro’d? Shoot one bullet, reload, pop showdown, dance through the chunks of meat and splatters of blood littering the room. Action skill is up? Better activate dat ass-piss. Need health? carefully activate VaultHunter.exe and hope one shot wonder stays where it belongs. Are you Jack, level 25 or higher and invested into the greater good skilltree? Activate action skill and just run around because having dead Digijacks give kill skills was a brilliant idea (not even joking).

The only times that I am really watching those indicators is when playing any toon with stacks (a skill like Thunder Crackdown doesn’t work? Press the button harder. Or wait.). And even then there are exceptions. Watching Impatience stacks is not really necessary, but watching bloodlust or elemental elation, or even Anarchy stacks can prove to be crucial. You don’t want to activate buzz axe rampage with low stacks and therefore zero percent damage resistance, you want health gating to tank some damage and then your few seconds of invincibility to tank the rest. By then you’re reached your enemies and sliced them up, generating bloodlust stacks and therefore damage resistance. Also going into any kind of fight without anarchy is generally a bad idea (maybe except for level 6 gaiges). Utilizing the third degree stacks correctly makes the difference between a kill something less deadly, especially when one stack means up to 200% melee damage.

Of course, much of this knowledge and “blind dependence” on skills to work the way they should comes from playing the game. I don’t have to see the symbol for wreck activate to be assured of its results, I can see that very clearly and very nicely on screen five feet in front of my character.

Back on topic, the indicators are useful but sometimes used by less than fitting skills and for example on a level 72 Salvador become downright confusing because there are so many (two of them inform me when I hit an enemy, Get Some and Keep It Pipin Hot. but maybe without the symbol of the latter popping up, only very involved DPS testers would have found out that the first triggers the second).

I should write a guide some time, I seem to have enough words to fill one with. Sorry for the wall of text :grin:

(Is this thing on?) #14

[quote=“CreativeInstinct, post:11, topic:25637, full:true”]
He said he couldn’t always make out the symbol on his screen, so he must be playing at a low resolution, on a bad or old screen, has bad eyesight or something along those lines … or he is so involved in the battles that he has no time to clearly see the icons. Otherwise, I agree with what you said.[/quote]

All of the above! Mostly, I notice the icons either when I’m going from A-B (e.g. Gaige’s passive health regen, the slag thing, anarchy stacks) or after a big fight (kill skills). What made me ask was seeing one toggle on and off every time I moved while playing as Zer0. I could just make out that it was a whirlwind; some of the others are completely obscured on my screen, though.

(Creative Instinct) #15

And that’s what I meant with reading the skills’ descriptions to learn about their requirements. Zer0’s “Like the Wind” skill triggers as soon as you move, which is noted in the description.

You seem to have a major handicap if your screen is that unreadable. Congratulations for still playing the game and not giving up on it :stuck_out_tongue:

(Is this thing on?) #16

I sometimes get a little frustrated when I can’t tell if something is level 53 or 59, but I can usually figure that out from the magnitude of the numbers on the various item stats - just takes a little longer. For most of the game, you don’t need to see that level of details. For example, it’s kinds hard to miss the Warrior… :wink: