Why pearlescent weapons needs a buff

Pearlescent weapons should be the best weapons in BL2. They are really hard to get and each one have got unique special effect. But over half of them are just weak. It is strange when a PEARLESCENT God finger is weaker than purple Muckamuck, or when Unforgiven and Wanderlust can not kill single enemy on op8. Pearlescent weapons would be really good and enjoyable if gearbox will buff them to make them stronger than casual weapons. Players will be satisfied about getting them from though enemies

EDIT: So. When i was writing this post few months ago i was doing some research about pearlescent weapons. I haven’t got even a single pearl back then and everything i have found about them was that they are worthless and useless. Now I achieve OP8 and i have got 7 of them and i think they are really enjoyable and fun to use.
I have finally understood that the stats of weapon isn’t everything about it and the most important thing is its special effect like special projectiles. I am also really embarrassed with this post right now and I understand if anyone is annoyed by me. But anyway, I want to thanks to all of you guys because you let me understood a lot of important things about pearlescent weapons.

[quote=“szymonmcpig, post:1, topic:1556331”]Unforgiven and Wanderlust can not kill single enemy on op8.[/quote]I do not agree with these, but wouldn’t say no to a buff to some of the pearlescent gear for other reasons.


While I cannot say anything in regards to the Wanderlust I know without a shadow of a doubt you are wrong about the Unforgiven, as it is my main weapon whenever I hop on Maya. It might take a bullet or two more–or several against tougher baddies–but it does kill enemies. Is it the most efficient weapon? No, it is not, but being that it is a pocket sniper it should be accepted as such.

At close range yes, because the bullets that the Godfinger spawns are not taken into count. At max range the Godfinger is the most powerful non-elemental sniper rifle in the game. The amount of times where the Godfinger can be used to full effect however are not common and the weapon is negatively affected by any skill that boosts bullet speed.

That being said if Gearbox wants to buff my lovely little hand-cannon I will not complain, but calling it useless leaves me a bit miffed.

I cannot speak about the other pearlescents besides the Tunguska which is capable of blowing up everyone and their brother down the street if you are not careful.


I agree with the general sentiment of the OP. The gimmicks on the pearls could have been more thought out.

For example, the rex is far closer to the BL1 Unforgiven in its one shot capacities. If they gave the Unforgiven the Rex’s damage, it would have been far more usable. It’s OK as it is now, but it’s overbalanced for what it does.

Same with the Storm. If GB left the splash on the bullet, and all of the tethers did 10% of the base damage and splash instead of just the splash, it would make the storm better. Still not the most powerful weapon, but far more usable than it is now on anyone not Gaige.

Godfinger is plenty powerful, but unlike the Pimp or Lyuda, there are so few naturally occurring situations where you can actually use its gimmick that it makes it feel much worse than it is. It’s powerful when you can, but it is such a massive pain in the ass for no real reason. If a Godfinger drops, you have to spend time considering which maps you can actually use the thing on lol.

I don’t think I need to go on. Pearls aren’t terrible, but they overbalanced the gimmicks. When you have uniques like the ladyfist, pimp, and sandhawk, pearls start to look a bit lackluster in comparison. They don’t all need a buff, but just changes to the functionality of their gimmicks would go a long way.

And sorry if this post is sloppy. Trying to type this and an essay at the same time.


Outside of damage the Rex is inferior to the Unforgiven in every other category. Lower fire rate, accuracy, reload speed, magazine size, and higher recoil. It is a theme of Hammerlock weaponry to have very high damage at the cost of something else or many things.

I will not argue against the Unforgiven not needing a buff as I have wanted one for it since I got my hands on one and started using it, but the Rex is not that much better than the Unforgiven. If anything they are equals when all things considered.

Pearlescents in BL2 equals sadness with just as rare exceptions. So rare, and half of them are just shiny things to stare at disappointingly. Sometimes I do pick them up, but only to drop them/sell them later and never use anyway.

Most of them are indeed not worth picking up with the exceptions being the Butcher, Unforgiven (if playing as Maya or Zer0), Tunguska, Bekah, Godfinger (eh), and a few others that I may have missed.

That being said Pearlescents isn’t the only category in need of love. Seraph weaponry has its share of disappointing firearms in the form of the Patriot and Hawk Eye.

At least with Seraphs, you simply save up and buy them - or not ; but to grind tubbies or WEP midgets in search of a Bekah only to get a Storm - that’s just unfair.

What does that matter? All I said was that the Rex was closer to the BL1 Unforgiven, which had massive 1 shot potential. The BL2 unforgiven having better non-damage stats doesn’t detract from that at all.

How many times can you 1 shot an enemy when comparing the two, or how much health does one take off compared to the other? Considering they are both based on a gun that could kill a raid boss in 10 shots (and the more obvious point that both are clearly balanced around massive single shot damage), the one that does more damage per shot would better encapsulate what the gun is supposed to do.

I mean, we have to be honest here. A semi-auto gun with a .5 fire rate and one with a 2.0 fire rate are hardly winning any DPS races. If they are both equal, and both are passed over for Irons, then that says something doesn’t it?

It makes no sense for GB to nerf the damage on a pearlescent whose design was clearly based on the intent of killing enemies in a single shot. Even with the increased crit, nerfing the base damage was a bad move. The unforgiven should have the Rex’s damage, because it should beat the rex in everything since it’s a pearl that was based on the BL1 unforgiven. But the Rex has higher damage, and they both fire super slowly, and Irons exist, so there is a problem somewhere.

Oh god. One of these threads again.

No, just no.

There are a bunch of reasons, but the most pressing is that making them the pinnacle of power would make it so that anyone using them is more powerful than anyone not using them. Making casual and online play completely hopeless. All online play would benefit those who have the time to farm, get very lucky, or decide to cheat. Skill would become less a factor, just who has the rarest weapons. As is cheaters can still ruin games by setting their BAR high.

It has been shown in multiple threads, that the pearls ARE useful, and generally are pretty powerful if you can adapt to the gimmicks.

White-Purple are you standard equipment. The ENTIRE game can be played without losing any content with this equipment. In these tiers power generally scales up with rarity.

Orange+ are bonus material, there for amusement and fun. Rarity has NO BEARING ON POWER OR USEFULNESS. There is no reason to use them, if they don’t work for you and your playstyle, don’t use them.


I kinda have to agree with @kgk4569 Pearlescent shouldn’t be the pinnacle and “buffing” everything won’t make the game more enjoyable.
With that said. I think that yes some, if not many, were… poorly designed. With the “gimmick” downside making them less useful than their standard counterpart. Does it really bother me? No. Could the next iteration of Borderlands benefit from “special/unusual” gears slightly better “tweaked”. Probably.
I think there’s enough overpower gear as is. The best ones should remains hidden behind strong foes. Even if that mean I probably won’t get them! :wink:

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Depends on what version of the BL1 Unforgiven you’re talking about. The most powerful hand cannon in the first game is a masher Unforgiven with a two round cylinder. The only guns that come close to that power, if not surpass it, in BL2 are the Bekah, Pimpernal, and possibly a few other over-the-top weapons.

But than again you can blow away Crawmerax with a white masher revolver in the first game, so there is that.

In OP8 the damage numbers are similar and the kill speed is fairly close. The Rex does more but only slightly while the Unforgiven fires faster and has an easier time in follow up shots. The biggest difference between the two is body shots. I prefer the Unforgiven over the Rex due to the stats. I don’t care how hard a gun hits if I have a hard time using it I am not going to use probably not going to use it.

Outside of a few setups which milk the system there are no means of killing raid bosses in under ten shots anymore. If we are going to argue damage why isn’t the Elephant Gun used by everyone despite it being one of the most powerful non-elemental sniper rifles in Borderlands 2? I hardly read of anyone using the Hydra despite it being a powerhouse up close and personal, why is that? Rustler’s Orphan Maker does an absurd amount of damage too and outside of two builds (one being my own) I don’t see anyone else using it all the time. The Flakker is a fairly nasty weapon when used properly yet people hate it despite the ridiculous damage it is capable of doing.

It says that people prefer weapons that one shot baddies or just hose them down in under a few seconds, but that leaves the vast majority of firearms in Borderlands 2 in the dust, not just the Rex and Unforgiven.

I don’t recall reading any articles on the pearlescents being nerfed by Gearbox, mind linking me the article or patch notes on that?

In regards to your argument about how it should be stronger than the Rex on all fronts there are quite of a few legendary items, seraphs, and pearlescents that are in the same ballpark as the Unforgiven. Is it fair? Not really, but they exist.

As for Irons, they are bullet hoses, while the Rex and Unforgiven are pocket sniper rifles. Two different types of animals you are comparing.

As for your argument of “they exist” that can be applied to just about everything. The Maggie exists, why use any other revolver at all? The Pimpernal exists so every other sniper rifle is obsolete correct? The Bekah exists so does that make every assault rifle in the game obsolete?

I am not against the Unforgiven getting a buff or buffs but I don’t like seeing it getting stomped on. It has its flaws like every other firearm and while it is not the apex predator it once was I am not striking the proverbial dead horse with a baseball bat. That bat has been broken for a couple years.

[quote=“kgk4569, post:10, topic:1556331, full:true”]
…but the most pressing is that making them the pinnacle of power would make it so that anyone using them is more powerful than anyone not using them. Making casual and online play completely hopeless. All online play would benefit those who have the time to farm, get very lucky, or decide to cheat. Skill would become less a factor, just who has the rarest weapons. As is cheaters can still ruin games by setting their BAR high.[/quote]
Em, what? BL2 is not PvP, which is why it can afford to not shy away from having all of those crazy guns. That line of logic that guns should be more balanced for multiplayer makes no sense in my book whatsoever. Isn’t this Borderlands where we have all of those crazy guns?

Cheaters? Why would you want good guns to not be more powerful because of cheaters? Are cheaters priority or something?

Who has more time and is more lucky? That’s the point, the pearls are so rare that they MUST to be at least very powerful, so there is more value to spending all of that time to farm them. Instead it’s currectly pretty bad, for people have to farm pearls for so terrible payoff, for half of pearls are underpowered and most of other half are useless for character they’re playing with.

Pearls should at very least be on line amongst best weapons in game. Like they are in BL1. Pearls have status of ultimate equipment in BL1, clear cut best weapons in their respective categories. BL2 pearls? Mehh… Why must they be so bad, I don’t understant. They’re even worse than uniques, whose for some reason are amongst the most powerful weapons in game.

Have you played online EVER?

If you have, have you played with someone significantly more powerful than you?

The game becomes a boring peice of ■■■■ that takes little to no effort. You don’t need PvP to ruin online gaming.

The initial Pearlescent weapons in BL1 were Gearbox making a joke about their own bug, as they are wont to do. The issue introduced by the inclusion of pearl weapons, was that there became no reason to play without them. Once you had one around your level there was no reason to try new weapons or refine your playstyle. Damn near every character had an ideal loadout, if you weren’t using it you were weak compared to everone else.

Associating rarity and power is a complete misconception. Orange+ equipment is good, or at least on par with Purple equipment, IF you can figure out how to use the gimmicks to your advantage. If you can’t, then it really isn’t Gearbox’s fault that you don’t have the skills needed. @Adabiviak and a few others have done EXTENSIVE playtesting, and has greatly illustrated the deadly potential of almost every weapon in the game. His findings completely disprove anything you can and will say about the equipment being useless. You just haven’t put in the effort or developed the skills to use it.

Just because it took you a lot of time to get it doesn’t mean it is the pinnacle of power, or that you have the ability to use it.

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Sorry, but to me this sounds like nonsense. Aren’t just making this up? I’ve found all pearls and they don’t make all other items pointless.

What’s “an ideal” loadout anyway? What does it look like? I keep switching my weapons after I get bored of using something.

You’re looking at it the wrong way. The point is if a rare weapon isn’t proportionally more powerful to difficulty of finding it then it’s just pointless to be in game, since by time a player finds it he almost certainly have better items on him already and hence have no reason to pick it up.

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After you get bored, keyword BORED. Not because you found you were struggling to survive, or needed the right equipment for one situation.

No, that is pretty much 100% correct with ANY weapon. There is no reason to pick anything up unless:

  1. You are selling it
  2. You like to impusively collect things
  3. You are curious
  4. It is genuinely better

Every orange+ fulfills 3/4.

Additionally, to further disprove the point, the rarest weapons in the game ARE among the most powerful.

These are the items listed as Unique. Only available as quest items, quest rewards, or drop from 1 or 2 really really tough fights.

Some of these are:
Lady Fist
All the Terra items

Some of them could definitely be better. I’ll never forget the first time I found a Wanderlust; it was one of the last ones I needed for my OP8 collection.

Unbelievably bad gun.

Edit: somehow I ended up with a piece of cake next to my name?

Double edit: Ohhhh, I made my account two years ago today. It’s my ‘new’ GBX boards birthday.

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Your point is?

I don’t think that (most) Pearls are useless, I just find that their roles are filled by their lower rarity counterparts which are much easier to acquire.


  • The Nukem and The Tunguska are both high-powered launchers with a massive AoE. The issue is that The Nukem is easier to acquire.

  • The Stinger and The Stalker are both rapid-fire pistols with bouncing bullets. The issue is that The Stinger is easier to acquire.

  • The SWORDSPLOSION and The Carnage are both explosive shotguns with a large AoE. The issue is that The SWORDSPLOSION is easier to acquire.

You probably get the point now.

Why should I waste my time searching for those Pearlescent weapons when their lower rarity counterparts are easier to acquire and in many cases, actually outperform them? It makes the entire Pearlescent tier of rarity pointless and redundant, in my opinion.

And then there is the The Butcher which is only great with a certain prefix and near-useless without it. Considering how rare Pearls are in the first place, it is highly unlikely that anyone will receive that specific gun with that specific prefix. It is even more hopeless if you are trying to get a good Butcher with a matching grip and/or a specific element.

The only Pearls that are actually worth their rarity (IMO) are The Sawbar, The Avenger and The Bekah. Others have their roles performed by easier-to-acquire counterparts or are only effective with really gimmicky builds.

So, yes, I do believe that most Pearls need a buff because they are either redundant or feature gimmicks which most builds can’t make effective use of.