Why are melee bonus additive?

I mean, every single part of this game work with multiplicative formula, or at least mostly multiplicative, only the melee damage work additively.

It’s … clanky.

I equip a mod that raise my melee damage by 100%, cool, except if I already had talent and blade attachement that did the same then it only raise it by ~30%

It’s not very enjoyable, and it also vastly screw with end game possible build based on melee since stacking up everything that raise melee damage will only do so much in the end, at some point adding more will barely make a difference.

1 Like

I’m pretty sure that ALL bonus that add up to five Amara her final melee damage aren’t additive, that just wouldn’t be feasible. However, I can’t speak with authority as I haven’t done the testing and such like I did with BL2.

If anyone on these forums has had time to test a complete formula it would be @DankRafft and @Slif_One

1 Like

I don’t know who told you that but it’s not correct. Basic gun buffs (+ gun, + gun type, + manufacturer, etc) are all additive too whether they’re in your skill tree or on gear.

Melee isn’t any different than anything else in that respect.


I don’t think it’s the only aspect of the game that’s additive, but you’re right to be concerned. Melee damage didn’t scale well in b2 either. That’s why Salvador’s melee skill was a joke, it’s one of the reasons why deathtrap was god awful, and you had to rely on slag kunai to make zero’s melee build viable at higher levels. Krieg’s melee build was ok but his character had a lot of annoying gimmicks. Melee is just annoying in borderlands games.


Typically within the entire damage equation there are “groupings” of certain buffs. These are additive with one another but multiplicative toward the entire equation. All games do this. It’s how math works. It’s the reason why there is a thing called diminishing returns. This can affect damage, mitigation, cool down, anything really. It’s just basic math.

1 Like

It’s true that most (not all) melee damage bonuses are additive while most (not all) e.g. for gun damage are multiplicative. But the numbers are also very different. Melee damage bonuses are often in the 75%-100% range, they can even be +200% with anointed gear, you won’t find a lot of gun damage bonuses in that ballpark.

And if you’re really going for a melee build you’ll play Amara, and she’s got some multiplicative bonuses as well. You’ll have Find Your Center (+100% add.), Blitz (+100% add., element mult. and hidden mult. extra bonus), and probably Illuminated Fist (+75% add. & element) and Soulfire (fire element).

At level 50 the hidden Blitz multiplier is x1.5, and in TVHM the elemental multiplier is e.g. x1.75 fire against flesh. That’s (1 + 100% + 100% + 75%) x 1.5 x 1.75 = 984% melee damage already–without gear. Add another +300% from gear and it’s 1772%. I honestly think that’s not too little.

“only raises it by ~30%”? That’s still a pretty good increase from a single piece of gear imo. Multiplicative bonuses for other stats simply don’t come with such numbers.

1 Like

Athenas melee was legit

1 Like

I’m pretty sure Melee Zer0 was one of the strongest builds in BL2, but hey, you do you.


Sure, if you slag him, strip your shields, and hit him in the back lol.

Like I said melee does not scale well at all.

So if you play Zero correctly?

I mean, I’m not gonna say melee couldn’t be a tad bit better, but melee Zero was one of the strongest builds in BL2 for mobbing.

To OP, majority of gun damage boosts are additive too. Only crit, element, splash, and specific skills in the character trees are multiplicative. Zero had a bunch of melee multipliers, but still needed a roid shield to really pump up the damage.

The introduction of roid shields in BL2 changed a lot of the way melee was designed. You could kind of do melee builds in BL1 (Brick was OK, Mordy and Lilith were gimmicky but effective), but roid was what enable 4 out of 6 characters in BL2 have serviceable melee builds (melee Sal def worked up to 72 from what I remember, Gaige I’m not sure how her melee build scaled in OP levels).

1 Like

i have melee builds for all in 2 (at least at 72). I am currently building now a melee Fl4k with fade away (still looking if i will combine it with cryo rakks or radiation pet), there is already an unkillable melee moze out there.

1 Like

That was kind of the point. Having to take several actions before you can actually do damage (when other characters can just do damage) is not ideal. I understand some people prefer that style of gameplay. I found it to be tedious (especially on higher levels when a lot of enemies require that sequence of actions).

Yeah, I had a look at the same math online.

It would be way more logicial to me to have more different category of bonus on melee, making more of them multiplicative. I’m especially looking at annointed gear by example. This short lived effect should be multiplicative (and the value should hence be lower).

It would make each gear less effective if you use them separately, but it would give melee an actual niche for end game content, instead of being a glorified gap closer. (The +75% lifesteal artifact bonus on melee is a band aid over a badly developped concept)

1 Like

so playing the character correctly allows you to be effective with him? wow never thought of that

I was really hoping for a melee weapon slot for each vault hunter. It’s long overdue at this point IMO.

From what little I played of Battleborn, I thought maybe GBX was experimenting with first person melee combat for BL3.

1 Like

I know right! Just think of all the possibilities
COV: Buzz Axes, just like kriegs
Maliwan: Lightsaber-type weapons (I think one of the dahl soldiers has one)
Torgue: Chainsaws
Tediore: Some type of throwable javalin

Lol ok I did run out of ideas, but I think coming up with 4 off the top of my head is enough evidence of the fun design spaces they could have had

1 Like

I didn’t think people wanted to take extra steps before they could do damage, but here we are.

I threw a patchwork amara build with the face puncher and the ball of doom. Needless to say even if the damage is just additive it still melts literally everything in a second and None of the gear is min maxed and I have like 1 annoint that helps Melee. Honestly the ball and Melee could use a bit of a nerf, but it could just be the amara ball that needs a nerf in the form of way less mayhem scaling tbh. Your concerns of it being additive make sense for any other character, but if they became multiplicative amara would need a nerf asap XD.

What in my comment, explaining additive and multiplicative factors, demanded a dumb response like that?

They responded to the wrong comment. They meant to reply to Jc but tagged you instead.