Which character leaves the most to be desired?

Hard question.

Fl4k has a whole tree that’s useless, and super crappy survivability, and tones of bugged talent, but his com/skill balance and overall functionnality are the best. His dependance on crit is also annoying considering that crit are either super easy of completely impossible to land depending on enemies

Zane tree are weird, and is weirdly dependant of his seein dead COM. His design is crap, but it work for some reasons with the good mix of gear and build

Amara has the best talent tree design, and tones of skill but the vast majority are “meh” and/or bugged

Moze is little by little starting to make more sense as they rework her tree and we get more point to distribute between her trees. She’s a mix of great talent and talent that make no sense, all mixed together.

I’d say, to rank them :

1- Zane need a complete overhaul
2- Amara need a lot of rebalancing and rethinking of her scaling
3 - Fl4k need quite a few buff to some part of his talent/gameplay/survivability
4 - Moze is (finally) in a good place where everything somehow work. The next talent point increase will likely her make her build more fluid too.

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I would say for me, it goes:

Best - Moze
Then - Amara
Then - Zane
Then - Fl4k, bring up the worst.

But even then, I wholly admit that Moze has some significant problems (that someone addressed already).

Do you play in either of the takedowns? In the endgame content areas it is absolutely essential unless you want to spend about double the time completing that same content. Also every build I’ve ever made without it, is just better with it. The one exception was a stinger setup I used full red/green meaning I didn’t even take any kill skills. And also conductor adds damage to melee, so that was nice too. If you use blue tree in any capacity, seein dead makes your build at least twice as good, and 10x more efficient and smooth to play.

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This.

To each his own, but I prefer risk vs. reward gameplay…keeps me on my toes, forces me to play smart…& when it comes to that, the best to worst are:

  1. URad Fl4k
  2. Deathless Moze
  3. Melee Amara
  4. Zane. period. This guy…either let the clone do all the work for you, or have a shield protecting you at all times. It’s just boring/simple to me.
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People sometimes suggest moving the effect of Seein Dead into the Hitman tree as its new capstone but I think that would have the unwitting side effect of forcing Zane players to go down the blue tree and further limit his build diversity.

Instead, I would buff the rest of his mods so they all viable and provide a wide range of playstyles. In another thread I suggested the following:

Antifreeze: for fast moving builds. Buff all damage while moving, with an additional buff while airborne/sliding. Adjust the level of buffs to make it adequately rewarding. Skills stay the same.

Cold Warrior: for cryo builds. Frozen/slowed foes take additional damage from splash weapons, critical hits and melee attacks. Skills change to Brainfreeze, Calm, Cool, Collected and Trick of the Light.

Conductor: for infinite action skill builds. 50% shock damage per action skill and damage stacks for the amount of time your skills are active. Change Good Misfortune to Calm, Cool, Collected.

Executor: alternative kill skills builds. Perks and skills remain the same but it gains Seein Dead’s effect of being able to proc kill skills. Although the mods would be similar, Seein Dead would buff all kill skills while Executor would be more specific. Skills remain the same.

Infiltrator: Barrier mod. Change weapon damage to simply “damage” (better for Zane) and have the effect work based on how full his shield is, not how empty. Remove shield breaking effect. Skills change to Competent Competence, Ready for Action and Brainfreeze/Nerves of Steel.

Shockerator: Clone mod. I actually like the idea behind this mod, it has some nice synergy with clone and grenades. Still, no one uses it, probably partly due to Seein Dead and partly due to being weak. Give both novas Mayhem scaling and make the shock one happen on reloads rather than when melee-ed. Change Best Served Cold to Boom. Enhance.

Techspert: I would say this class mod needs a complete rework. It could be a mod to buff SNTL, or his gadgets in general but my preference would be to give him a mod which buffs grenades. For example:
Skills: Drone Delivery, Duct Tape Mod, Pocket Full of Grenades/Fractal Frags.
Effect: Zane gains significant increases to his grenade damage and splash damage (leave it up to Gearbox to figure out how much). Furthermore, he is immune to damage from his own grenades.

Some of these changes wouldn’t be too hard to make — they’re mostly minor changes using existing mechanics rather than complete overhauls — but I could imagine this expanding the Zane meta significantly and making for a far wider range of fun and viable builds.

Here’s the rest of my post in case anybody’s interested:

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Seeing people say different VH’s in every other post is a pretty good sign I guess. There doesn’t seem to be a clear worst design.

I personally have the most problems with Amara’s and Zane’s designs. Dunno really what to say but while leveling everyone to M10 and playing around with them all a bit these 2 just felt the most dull. For both of them part of it is how brainlessly stupid lifesteal with mayhem scaling is.

For Amara I hate how melee plays in this game. More a problem of Facepuncher existing than the character herself. Then there’s the double dipping stuff and fake-grasping that I also gave a try to and it’s just making me put the game down. What’s the point of even playing if everything dies when you look at it? Meanwhile the enemies can’t get you down unless you’re reloading in the middle of a pack… If the scaling problems were finally fixed and maybe if extra melee damage was added to the blitz attack itself while toning down facepuncher a bit so that playing shotgun on a melee build wouldn’t be the vastly better choise, I might look at this character again.

Zane has been covered here plenty and as he is the VH I have the least hours in, so I’m not sure if I’m adding anything here. I would like the clone to be toned down a bit and I wouldn’t say no having a bit more oomph in the bottom of the barrier tree. Seein Red isn’t the greatest capstone even if you’re not using Seein Dead, and a lot of the legendary mods seem pretty lackluster. I honestly wouldn’t mind having the chance to proc kill skills on Seein Red; Seein Dead would still add power to your kill skills and improve that proc chance. You wouldn’t be pigeon holed into using it although it would make it a choise between the skill and the com pretty much. Would that even be such a horrible thing? Wouldn’t be the first vault hunter that wants to always reach the cap of a certain tree and in this case the change wouldn’t even mean you’d always do that. The old legendary coms do need a looking at either way IMO.

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Lmao the fact that you think FL4K’s blue tree is useless shows how little you actually know about the character. Frenzy, He Bites, Yawp, Pack Tactics, Great Horned Skag, and Gamma Builds are all the highlights in the tree. Megavore also completely invalidates your complaint about hard to hit crits/FL4K relying on crits.

I had the same thought, though I’m surprised to see anyone mention FL4K because honestly I see them as far and away the least disappointing. Sure, FL4K has some significant issues:

  • In my opinion the worst capstone in the entire game (Dominance, obviously).
  • A plethora of bugged skills and/or misleading skill descriptions (some progress has been made in this department fortunately).
  • The pet action command is routinely described as “awkward” or “clunky.” I actually think that’s a pretty forgiving description. Pointless and frustrating might be a bit more accurate. And I don’t mean “pointless” as in they should remove it, I just can’t help but see it as wasted potential or an unkept promise of sorts. I guess this kind of gets at the whole “FL4K isn’t a very good beastmaster” issue that’s been raised quite a bit and I certainly wouldn’t disagree.

That being said, FL4K has a lot going for them:

  • 3 completely distinct action skills which stand all on their own. This is what I expected from each playable character in Borderlands 3.
  • 3 pretty solid skill trees. Another poster here described FL4K’s blue tree as bad but I think each of their trees is solid in its own right. It’s not on par with their red tree but then again FL4K’s red tree is pretty insane. Obviously this is all up for debate but to me FL4K’s skill trees are all pretty satisfying, while I have some reservations about each of the other characters’ trees in some way.
  • Incredible versatility in terms of gear. By far the best variety with legendary class mods. Each of the good ones feels like it was made to fit a certain type of playstyle like a glove. Headcount means FL4K synergizes well with high pellet-count weapons and Two F4ng does the same for low pellet-count weapons. They can do great with all sorts of cool weapons.

FL4K isn’t perfect to me but I’m rarely left wanting when I play them. The other characters don’t quite reach that level of satisfaction for me.

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I see what you’re saying, there are many great skills in that tree, however the Master tree exists to buff your pets and currently it is extremely difficult to make our pets perform anywhere near where a red/green build takes us. If people are hoping to go down the Master tree and end up with powerful, satisfying pet builds they’re unlikely to get them.

Lmao, the fact you think that make me think you’ve never really hit M10.

For a character that massively rely on crit to do damage, 20% chance to crit, (sub level crits that won’t apply certains bonus) is a huge DPS drop. It’s still something, it patch up the bad design of enemies, but you still hit a massive DPS shortage on enemies you can’t crit

He bites is a TERRIBLE talent, damage reflect is completely and perfectly useless in a game where enemies HP scale massively with mayhem level but damage don’t

Frenzy is a basic damage talent that you can pick without even specing deep into the blue tree

Yawp is barely a good talent that’ll boost by 40% per point the tiny bonus of having said pet equiped, meaning you’ll get at most 20% gun damage and 10% global damage out of it while using great horned skag, for 5 point, that’s not great.

Pack tactics is a very decent talent

You still end up with an extremely ■■■■■■ ultimate while you could have the power inside talent or something in that category.

There’s so much wrong information in this post (and the other one) that i’ll actually take a night’s sleep to digest it before pointing it all out

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As someone who plays Gamma Burst Flak exclusively, and has taken the build through the highest possible difficulty events and takedowns since Maliwan Takedown’s release. I will say there’s a bit of misunderstanding here about the strength of blue tree.

My main gripe with this comment is the ignorance towards the strength of He-Bites, and Barbaric Yawp. Only second comes the downplay of the other skills within the tree.

First to the point about He-Bites and Barbaric Yawp’s power.

He-Bites is rather weak on its own without the knowledge of the main synergy it has with Frenzy. As you know, Frenzy gives 4% increased damage per stack stacking up to 10 times, but what I’m assuming you didn’t know is that He-Bites’ reflected projectiles stack this. In layman’s terms, every time your pet is shot you get another stack of Frenzy which refreshes the duration of the skill. By simply adding 1 point to this “TERRIBLE talent”, as you put it, you now have permanent 40% damage buff.

Now onto Barbaric Yawp. Yawp is a weird skill to evaluate I will say. It completely depends on the strength of the pet you’re using. The most used pet of every type is the following. Gun Jabber, Spiderant Scorcher, and Great Horned Skag. This means Yawp gives either +10% crit damage and movement speed, +20% elemental damage and +2% max hp/s, and +20% damage and +10% gun damage.

So take those numbers as you will, but if you’re using my preference of, Spiderant Scorcher this is now a 30% increase to all elemental damage. Which for the current meta of ASE looping and 50% elemental ASE’s, will most times just net a 1.3x damage multiplier to all your elemental damage. If you dont take yawp this is only a 1.1x damage multiplier to all elemental damage. Simply put Yawp is only as strong as the pet you’re using it with.

Now onto the other skills I feel you’ve downplayed a bit. First off I do agree some of the skills in this tree are a complete miss. Namely Go for the Eyes, Mutated defenses, and Dominance. But besides that I’ll try to keep reasons brief as to not make this much longer.

  • Persistence Hunter: We see this in some Fade Away builds for the extra action skill duration, +45% and gun damage, +12%.

  • Who Rescued Who?: % of Flak’s damage is healed to the pet, basically pet lifesteal. 1-2 points is all that’s needed to keep pet alive in most builds which want their pet alive for damage, but more points don’t hurt.

  • Hive Mind: Up to ~13% effective damage reduction. Nothing too special, but it does make you that much tankier.

  • Shared Spirit: 33.3% effective damage reduction when below 30% hp, which does stack with Hive Mind for 39.4% effective damage reduction. Note: Only really useful if playing a deathless build.

Blue tree is honestly fine how it is, if not slightly niche. It just takes an understanding and a certain play style to fully make benefit of everything the tree has to offer. It’s there as an option. No one is requiring you or anyone else to go down one specific tree, but it does have benefits, which rival the other trees.

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I personally use blue tree and always have done and I’d say there’s a lot of great things once you got to know it. A few things I’d change:

  • The pet damage formula could do with looking at so more things are multiplicative and less things additive. Give them more punch.
  • Make Atomic Aroma capable of stacking Frenzy.
  • Dominance capstone. After a year it remains the weakest capstone (except maybe Distributed Denial? Tenacious Defence?). It needs a rework in order to draw the whole tree together. My personal choice would be to make the capstone make whatever pet you’ve chosen into a Badass pet with significant increases to its base health, damage, movement speed and attack command damage stats. It would become a meaningful capstone and deal with my first point.

I very much agree with your points on Atomic Aroma and Dominance here.

Ever since I’ve even seen that augment, Atomic Aroma, I wish it stacked Frenzy and, did more in general. The small Rad damage aura does nothing more outside of looking neat.

Dominance has been something most Flak players I feel have had very negative feelings about. Simply put it’s a good idea but bad execution in a game where it’s simply counter productive to what you actually want to do. Either way I do think Dominance alone makes people want more from blue tree for Flak.

Maybe not useless, but let’s be honnest, it’s still does less than other tree and come without a worthy capstone

Fade Away with Not My Circus is plenty of survival while not eliminating risks completely. Gamma Burst with Red Fang is one of the best survivability options in this game and has absurd effectiveness on the hardest endgame raid available. Rage And Recover is an excellent survivability skill after its fix. Rakk Attack lags behind a bit in actual survivability, but then the player has choices on whether or not that is even a problem, since FFYL is pretty much meaningless. Then there’s always the gear options offered by the game to help with it.
FFYL is largely pointless at the current game state for FL4K: going down means essentially nothing, the timer is absurdly long and they always have the damage to get back up.
Sure, none of this survival (except maybe for Red Fang in a way) reaches the power of putting one point into a lifesteal skill that will heal you to full on a single damage instance. But that’s a positive point torwards their good character design in my opinion.

This makes no sense. Are you aware that some of the best FL4K weapons do not rely on hitting a crit spot/can’t consistently hit it at all? Reflux and Plaguebearer should come to mind. Megavore acts as an absurd DPS increase for most weaponry, and it perfectly allows the usage of all crit-related skill synergies on any enemy that ends up not having a visible crit spot. Think about Reflux again, or a Monarch/Light Show. Even grenades can do it, one being perfect for it. This is a non-issue in gameplay, simply because there is no “crit dependency” in the way you’re putting it, but synergies and knowing how to use them. Also, FL4K still has some of the highest bodyshot damage multipliers in the game before Megavore is even taken into account.

Megavore is a DPS up in the exact situations you are trying to exemplify as a DPS drop. I’m not sure what you mean by sub level crits, but Megavore is a true crit and the only thing that doesn’t apply to it is the Hunter’s Eye human bonus due to a bug.

It has 1 utility point for Frenzy stacking, and further points currently have a good application vs. enemies because it is pet damage and receives mayhem scaling. 6/3 He Bites with Red Fang is a legitimate way of getting the pet to contribute to combat, and the enemies with mayhem scaled guns actually kill themselves quickly even on True Takedown. It only really falls off vs. Guardian Takedown mobs, but then it has a different great use there: 1 point and Gamma Burst are enough to cause Anathema to end her own phases instantly due to the reflected damage.

It’s still in the Blue Tree. The one you called useless. It’s also the same type of damage as The Power Inside, formula-wise, and can exceed it when using Big Game and/or other forms of Hunt Power increase.

While Yawp is not as strong as it deserves to be in my opinion, it does boost the pet with the best damage multiplier available for most of FL4K’s builds: Spiderant Scorcher. Scorcher outpaces any other pet with its elemental damage bonus, and it’s a very significant damage increase. In terms of comparison, you could say grabbing Yawp + Ant is Blue Tree’s Hidden Machine, except it’s always on.

It’s pretty much an always on, slightly better Victory Rush with added benefits. It also shares its damage type with Frenzy and Power Inside.

For non-Fade Away builds/whenever Hidden Machine is off, Blue Tree builds have had a significant damage up on Green. Pearl being the main and best damage choice for most FL4K builds means the Gun Damage you grab on Green Tree up to Power Inside is not as impactful as it could once be, while the general + elemental damage boosts you get from Blue Tree end up growing in value. Gun Damage was one of the weaker (in quantity) modifiers available on a Red + Blue combination, which also makes Pearl very impactful for it.

Blue Tree is also the actual best for builds that rely on non-gun sources of damage, like Stinger novas.

Dominance is flawed and useless, and the tree has other problems too. But as far as the tree itself being useless goes, that’s just false.

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I see you got your beauty sleep in lmao

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Something about Amara just doesn’t click with me. I find her boring and Idk why. Her action skills are… honestly kinda unexciting. Phasegrasp is a holdover from bl2 and I don’t much like Phasecast or Phaseslam. When I use either of those in mayhem mode they still feel kinda weak even with AS damage on artifact and mod. Melee Amara was a big disappointment to me and even with the melee scaling in mayhem I just do not enjoy it. Somehow just feels nowhere near as cool as Zer0 or Kreig. Melee Amara is even clunkier and just not something I keep coming back to.

I don’t hate her I just don’t have any builds I’ve tried that really speak to me or inspire that unique Borderlands spark. She’s the only character I really got bored with and that’s a shame. I don’t really have specific complaints about her design or anything I just haven’t taken to her like all the others. I’ll probably look for some unique Amara builds later and see if any seem cool because I’d like to enjoy her… right now I just don’t.

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I prefer Zane to all the rest with the seeing dead mod of course and the lucky shield from the casino dlc , tried the siren - useless in long range combat , the other 2 just don’t grab me at all

Personally I’d like to play as the old bl1 /2 characters , especially the sirens , lilith and or maya - devastating