What if synergistic parts rewarded the grind?

I was just watching Joltzdude139 farming for a 94% bee when I realized, whats the point? You farm for a perfect sham with 94%, but its still just a crappy vladov shield with buffed absorb chance. The absorb chance only making it a good shield for certain builds and enemies.

Now, the above paragraph is just some hyperbole, only partly true. Farming isn’t as clear cut as getting the thing for your character, and the sham is a pretty good shield on its own. However, legendaries generally have little variance. The main difference between every sham is 18% or so absorb chance, and capacity/recharge ranging from nightmare to usable. But what if that wasn’t the case, and the best sham you could hope to farm was a marked improvement from even the second best?

I’m talking about synergistic parts as a way to reward the grind. If you’ve ever played borderlands 1, you might remember how much more varied the legendaries were. Thats because they used more or less the entire parts pool that differentiated common trash weapons from the highest quality. That means that you could get an ogre assault rifle that has the trash stats of a common white would have, or the best purple could. This was better in the sense that it rewarded the player for getting the best version of a legendary in a very obvious way.

Synergistic parts would do this in a different way, lets say you match the capacitor/battery or whatever to get the highest absorb chance on a sham. The right combo would trigger a synergistic affect that would also, say, raise the capacity to just a hair less than a purple vladov shield. Or getting a maliwan grip on the hellfire, and the fire rate accessory would boost the fire rate a bit more.

This doesn’t have to just be for legendaries either. You cloud do the same with the matching manufacturer barrels. You can also do different synergies depending on what attributes you bring out of the gun by matching certain parts. Vladov grips/barrels give a bit of fire rate synergy, and so on.

What do you guys think? I just thought it would be a good way to give a little extra layer of accomplishment for farming the perfect gun/shield.

1 Like

That’s basically how the BL2 and TPS parts system already works: there are bonuses for matching grip, barrel, capacitor… If you take a look at either the shield or weapons parts guides, they’ll give you a pretty good idea of the most synergistic parts for a specific item type manufacturer.

The difference with legendaries (and unique weapons in general) is that they can have locked parts, limiting the range of possible outcomes. I’m not sure if that applies to all of them though. The other thing that I don;t think I’ve ever seen discussed is whether there are synergistic effects between the variable parts of unique gear and the unique effect itself (ie what the red text alludes to).


I guess what Im saying is that the synergies this game already has are sorely lacking. Lets take SMG’s for example. Other than getting more burst count on dahl, you just get a modest damage bonus for a matching mnaufacturer barrel, and a slight reload/magazine bonus for matching grips. In borderlands 1, when you match an innacurate barrel with the double accesory, you get a dobule anarchy. Night and day.

All Im saying is that I wish synergistic bonuses were less cookie cutter. Lets say you get a vladov pistol with a vladov barrrel, and the fire rate accesory. That could trigger a separate and unique bonus to magazine size.

Im really just trying to convey that when a gun rolls the perfect parts, you should get a little something extra that makes it notably distinct from the 10 other ones in your backpack that you farmed. Like, there should be just as much difference between the best possible gun, and 2nd best possible gun than the 2nd best possible, and the worst possible. Especially considering how similar legendaries in borderlands 2 are.

I can safely say that for those of us who do a lot of testing and digging : we do NOT want BL2 to be MORE complicated!
Seriously, I’ve been involved in multiple threads where we were pulling our hair out. In fact, we’ve got one going right now.

But you go ahead and wish :wink:

1 Like

The variability in the effect parts could have in BL1 was actually identified as a major drawback by its creator, Paul Hellquist, which is why he changed it as he did for BL2. I agree with you that a little more range, or maybe some secondary effect that kicks in like an all parts manufacturer bonus or something.

But if it becomes too extreme, then you can run into the same situation you had in BL1 where rarity very often doesn not mean better quality (especially for regular players who don’t farm.). Balancing more complex systems across all the possible levels of the game becomes much harder in turn.

It will be interesting to see what tweaks are made for BL3: it would definitely be nice to have something new in the mix, but not to the point that it throws the meaning of “legendary” back out the window!


I’m with jefe on this, i haven’t done as much testing as him, but the part system has enough detail as is

1 Like

Isnt he the guy who thought it would be a good idea to crank up the scaling so you have to use a new gun like every 3 levels? He might be the creator of the loot system, but thats still just his opinion. I do agree with you though, some of the effects based on top of random stats like accuracy and weapon title/prefix were unnecessarily chaotic. They should really just mainly stick to parts, unique/legendary status, and brand.

My main contention is just the fact that I never really liked the manufacturer part system that much. It just seemed to spawn from the whole “balance” philosophy that went into borderlands 2. There are very few examples where certain parts are objectively better than others. The need for every manufacturer to have their own unique parts just led to a sea of so-so parts, only ever useful for the aforementioned modest manufacturer bonuses. The parts just felt more significant in borderlands 1 because there were less of them, but you had objectively better ones to shoot for.

Listen, I know how complex borderlands can be. Among other things, Ive spent countless hours finding the highest/lowest levels possible to get missions/items during playthroughs, and teasing out that the only thing that changes DOT damage on non-uniques is maliwan material, and maliwan barrel. Literally a rocket launcher has the same base DOT damage as an SMG.

But its not my fault that gearbox has never heard of the words “transparency” or “manual”.

Are there “objectively better” parts? It seems to me that the concept of better is kind of subjective. You can quantify fire rate, damage, or any stat, but you can’t necessarily say one is better without opening the door for disagreement/argument. What works better for me may be detrimental for someone else. I can see that some things in the parts systems may be better or worse implemented in the different iterations of Borderlands, and I can understand if someone prefers the original over the second, but complex isn’t always better and there can be elegance in simplicity. I would have liked to have seen bonuses for “pure” weapons, ie all Maliwan parts on a Maliwan piece granting improved elemental damage and chance, but missed opportunities now create chances for improvement down the road.


To clarify. By further down the road I mean future releases. I think they’re done tinkering with BL2, it’s as good (or bad, depending on how you see it) as it’s going to get. But BL3 will have the benefit of these experiences and discussions at its disposal and may deliver improvements over what we have now. All we can do is wait to find out.

Disparaging Gearbox staff (including impugning their motives) is a no-no. Please read the FORUM RULES