YOUR BUILD SUCKS!...But It's not your fault

I think they were taken into consideration, but this was the plan, not an omission. UVHM gave us an opportunity to play at levels where some of these mechanics do break as part of the ultimate difficulty when we venture into levels where we “shouldn’t” be.


I’m honestly not convinced that one follows on from the other here. Yes, some skills suffer at the OP levels and especially at OP8 survival becomes more difficult so you feel it more. This isn’t just a question of scaling; OP8 demands certain survival skills more than others, and one of the reasons I don’t play up there much these days (I followed Ad and headed to OP3) is because health gating is such an emphasis.

But I’m not convinced that’s the reason people feel the need to rely on Moxxi. It’s just easier to do that. There’s nothing wrong with that, the Grog and its ilk are useful shortcuts, but OP8 is definitely manageable without them.

I find OP3 a lot more liberating because using the OP levels as a difficulty slider actually gets around the scaling problems that do develop from UVHM. But there’s still huge potential for diversification at OP8 beyond the ‘YouTube meta’ and I see great egs of that all the time around here.


@Adabiviak I see what you mean. The OP level do allow you to fight enemies that you “shouldn’t” be fighting simply because they are scaled well above your level. That does add a fair amount of difficulty to play at those levels. What I meant when I made the statement about survival skills not scaling well is that they don’t feel like they were created with OP levels in mind. I feel like the additional skill points added with the release of UVHM and the OP levels was an attempt to deal the increased difficulty with more options of what skills and build characters can use, not necessarily gear. Ultimately I believe if certain skills, especially survival ones were adjusted it would change fundamentally what a player can do and what gear they can use. Because you’d be hard pressed to find some who is playing OP8 with a Melee Zero or Krieg who ISN’T using Moxxi weapons. That’s why a purposed the challenges above. To help highlight the amount of reliance a lot of players may not know they have on what is ultimately a very small amount of gear, in a game with a massive loot system.

@Hattie Health gating being such an emphasis does make things more difficult in the higher OP levels. But I feel like emphasis on health gating wasn’t the intention of the higher OP levels, it’s just the work around that the community developed as a result of survival not properly scaling. I believe the same goes with Moxxi weapon usage as well. Now I do know people will still use Moxxi weapons for their healing concerns simply because it is easier, but I still think there is a general mentality that certain builds, (Melee Kreig and Melee Zero) specifically can’t function without Moxxi weapons, and I haven’t been able to find anyone who’s doing so otherwise, or even anyone playing at the OP levels without any Moxxi use. And I believe this is the result of survival being stunted on actual character skills and not just solely on people wanting to make things easier. I do appreciate your input though. I had forgotten about Health gating emphasis. I do have question though. What characters do you play as primarily and have the tried out the challenges above?

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My Krieg has been using a melee spec for … well, forever, and he hasn’t touched a Moxxi weapon since TVHM. He’s currently at OP6.
By the way, apart from a single donation (level 52 Hornet (Dahl grip and sight! Can’t remember which accessory, though) from a friend, when I repeatedly died to the tier 3 buzzard battle in the Forge) he did it all solo, too.
When Melee Krieg is really doing his assigned work, most of the time he’s holstered his guns in favor of the axe. In that case, it doesn’t matter if the gun has Moxxi’s signature on it or not. He survives on Release the Beast’s instant full heal (plus ~3 seconds of invulnerability, though he can’t attack during that time either due to the transformation animation) and his action skill’s standard full heal on melee kills. Some builds also add Thrill of the Kill into the mix, for healing off other kills (mostly through Bloodsplosion; it would work on out-of-rampage kills too, but those are pretty rare in my experience). Oh, and Elemental Elation from the Hellborn tree could be reached as well, though I’ve never put a point into that tree yet.


And that’s the reason Krieg is such a beast! Lol! He was created after UVHM was released and it shows in the utility in those skill across three different trees. Awesome you’re able to play him so well and without Moxxi guns. It sounds like you know your Krieg stuff. Thanks for clarifying. I do have a request though. Could you please post the specs of the build you use, and maybe some footage of you using it. Also really test your build’s strength with the challenge listed above. It will definitely help you fine tune it. Especially if you don’t use Moxxi weapons. Lastly do you know anyone that runs a Melee Zero build without Moxxi weapons?


This is an Innervate-only run ( not strictly melee though. Actually it’s even more badass as melee players can at least get additional healing from Resurgence & MMF )

This is an anomaly though - I don’t know anyone else ( except maybe @SomeRandomGuy11 ) who runs that way.


That’s a great term right there!

Crapload of people are playing builds that successful youtubers or streamers used. Granted, a lot of them are great and tested builds but it’s not like they are the only ones.

I’m not the one being asked but I’d bet the level 50 frameworks would look something like this. It doesn’t leave you a whole lot of wiggle room if you want to insert it into your UBA challenge. This reminds me that I never checked out Khimerakillers videos in that thread and I should do so.

Saying it like this kind of bothers me. If it’s changed to a level 50 version then some tools will be missed by every character and it’s not the same build anymore. It’s a different build specifically for the challenge.

I think the problem is people’s egos. Everyone wants to play at the baddest difficulty possible so it became the standard. That nicely coined “youtube meta” comes into play here too.


I mean I didn’t and don’t use Moxxi weapon on my melee runs, and i think the vast majority of melee Kriegs don’t use Moxxi weapons after they get the Law & Order.


Melee Krieg only needs a Slag weapon. He don’t need a Moxxi, a Maya is what he wants. :rofl::rofl:


I’m sure none of the skills were created with the OP levels in mind.

It would, but what survival skills are you talking about specifically (and what would you change)?

I do, but your experience may vary; he’s a Vladof allegiance:

  • He’s got Moxxi weapons in his arsenal, but when he’s in melee mode, he’s using the Rapier (arguably the opposite of a Moxxi gun, given the curse). He’s got a Kitten and a Hail at his disposal, but only uses them for healing during gun-based combat.
  • I don’t use Roid shields and have Grim on deck keeping my health bar intact, so few things hit my health bar before I’m switching to defense.
  • I’m using the UCP, in which the healing from Innervate and Resurgence are buffed a little.
  • I play at OP3, not OP8.

I believe boreshot has a dp no-moxxie melee run. I remember being suprised by how much hp regain you actually get from resurgence. I think it was boreshot.

There really isn’t. There’s thousands of droogs, but a droog is a droog is a droog, it’s the same exact gun with maybe a 15% variance of stats, and lyuda is strictly the best. There aren’t all that many truly unique guns in bl2, and that number is greatly increased by the guns with special properties, which incidentally are the guns that would be irreplaceable in supposedly not good builds.

To me, a ‘build’ includes gear, without it it’s just stat point allocation. If the entire loadout is replaceable it’s just a ‘build that shoots’, it doesn’t do anything interesting with gear-to-gear and gear-to-stats synergy. I haven’t been watching the scene all that much in recent years, but the latest ‘new cool thing’ I saw was bew’s slowhand/fastball hybrid zero thing. What skillpoints he specced is not the interesting part of it and is pretty standard, it’s how the gear works together and how that informs and enables the playstyle that’s unique. That’s a great build. I’d say it’s the special properties of irreplaceable gear that makes building in bl2 interesting to begin with.

If you want to increase build variety, go for the spear-point of a skillbuild, the com. At least for zero, there’s so many useless, redundant and nonsensical coms. Create interesting combinations of skills that people can ~double the efficiency of. I’ve posted this before, so I’ll just reuse that:

(I haven’t followed the UCP development so I don’t know what has been done with this)

Also, I side with the people saying OP is broken by design. It takes the properties of enemies you weren’t meant to approach in the basegame and lets you say ‘I want that, on everything’. Consequently, balancing around OP8 is misguided, balance around 72. While it has the strange quirk of ‘beating harder difficulties to unlock easier ones’, people can ‘retune’ for ‘inferior gear’ or ‘less efficient builds’ by lowering OP again. Must say it’s rather ingenious the ratio of added endgame playtime for development cost gearbox pulled off with it.

Maybe. Like I said in my linked post, if you buff the innervate healing by a lot, it could let some people drop the grog. But buff it too much, and you make resurgence redundant. Resurgence requires you to go on the offensive for health back, that is way more interesting than just going into deception behind a bush to heal.

Another consideration is that moxxies are a tradeoff, remove their impact and they’ll just be replaced with yet another effective damage dealer. So instead of making a gear concession to pad weaknesses, a top tier damage dealer is just slotted in. That’s less interesting, not more. I don’t see people going ‘I’m more survivable now, so I’ll replace my lyuda with this wonky parted green droog’.

So, instead of buffing innervate healing for all builds, you could remodel a com to give points in innervate, and thus get better innervate healing for some tradeoff (lower damage, longer cooldown), and people have an actual choice to make. Create interesting sidegrades, don’t just buff survivability and hope people won’t pick the best as a result. The best place to do this is with the COMs IMO.


I agree with this 100%.

And while using higher-OP gear at lower OP levels (or vice versa) as a balancing technique isn’t something I’ve seriously tried yet, it is a cool thing whether it was an actual intent on Gearbox’s part or not. There are more than a few weapons (hi Bearcat!) that could use a little buff (say, having OP2-level stats at level 72. Just a little nudge.)


I haven’t either , but in early days any suggestions that anything should get nerfed was poorly received. I lost interest at that point.

However, there are a few - like bew - who’ve done some cool and creative things with the patch, so that’s nice to see.


…for certain values of unique. On one end of this spectrum are the bazillion different weapons the game mentions, where the difference can be as slight as having a Bandit stock vs a Tediore stock on an otherwise identical Dahl rifle. On the other end of this spectrum are the players who find/make their own one-hit-kill weapon, and never put it down. Whether or not the weapon differences are enough for a player to consider a thousand different ones, a hundred, or a dozen is really the player’s opinion. I am curious where the peak of the frequency curve for this is though.

I did both! :+1:
The Innervate buff lets it do more than just tickle my health bar, but isn’t enough to tank any serious damage. When my Jakobs Assassin is wearing the Rough Rider and gets healthgated, Innervate for a full duration will fill the health bar to just below the halfway mark (so I’m not out of trouble, but will be if I get to cover before taking more damage). If I put on the custom Survivor COM (+5 Innervate but a deeper health bar), a full Decepti0n count will get me past the halfway mark, but not to full. This has allowed Zer0 to use the Rough Rider in UVHM without cowering in fear whenever someone shoots at him, but he sort of has to keep Decepti0n on the bank for healing. Now I can take two shots instead of one before I’m healthgated :laughing:
Seriously though, this balance is about perfect for my combat style. If I really want to be tanky, I’ll add a Blood of the Seraphs relic, but this just means my turnaround time after getting hit and taking cover is quicker (and between the COM and the relic, I’m sacrificing a lot of combat potential).

For me it’s more, “I didn’t choose the Jakobs life; the Jakobs life chose me, now pick up that Judge, get to Sawtooth Cauldron, and don’t get yourself killed.” :laughing:


Not really. Regardless of how one prefers to count ‘unique’, if the set of ‘overused gear’ contains ‘30-40’, and the set of ‘underused gear’ contains ‘literally thousands’, these are not being counted in the same way. Making a comparison without doing so is misguided at best. That’s even before conflating ‘generic bullet hose from manufacturer A’ with ‘generic bullet hose from manufacturer B’, as I personally certainly will.

There’s over 500 different grogs, but counting unique that way doesn’t really address OPs concern at all, it doesn’t ‘improve build variety’ in any practical sense, it only arbitrarily blows up a number. If you find everything in this game equally unique and exciting, great, but OP is trying to address that most people don’t. Stating ‘I don’t see the problem’ isn’t offering a solution.

Sounds like you’re having fun building around highly specific gear with very unique properties. Curious, do you think requiring specific gear makes it a not good build?

If you’ve been making custom coms, why not share some with OP and deliberate on the unique builds these support?


@dotanuki Wow! Where were you when I was doing build testing and the challenge. Lol. Thank you for enlightening me. You’ve provided some awesome info on Zero (melee Zero especially) and it has opened my eyes to the true potential of that character. Between you and Lammas I feel like I’ve received a master class in how to play Zero at this point, because I admittedly don’t really play a lot of him. As far a builds go. As far as gear variety goes that might be another conversation for another thread, because there’s so much to go into with that. What my objective was with this particular thread was to showcase and identify better build, and your explanation of what a build is, is definitely a solid one. What I’m trying to establish with the help of the vast and amazing community is a decent base line of how character play at their core and build “builds” around that. That’s why I don’t want to include specific gear when I’m creating builds at this point . I feel like skill points and skills in general is what makes these character, and even this game so unique. Anyone can shoot a gun or melee, but it’s their skills that make certain weapons great. Also I completely agree with you in your COM statement! As a Gaige player I totally understand where you’re coming from with that. You’ve been an invaluable source of info and I appreciate your input. Quick question though have you tried the challenge above?


Oh sorry I forgot to specify. Ultimate Badass Vault Hunter Challenge uses those last 22 points, but not certain gear and opens OP levels. You are correct certain tools will be missed by every character, but that doesn’t necessarily change the build. What I’ve discovered from working with you and others within this challenge is that most of these build were possible before DLC and they just got better with the inclusion of those extra 22 skill points.

I’m so sorry everyone I’ve messed up! :grimacing:

I didn’t mean Melee Krieg there I meant Hellborn Krieg. Lol. My bad.

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In retirement :P. I haven’t played this game for years, but since I was mentioned in the thread I got notified, so I read it through.

I also have never played pure melee zero ‘in public’ as far as I can remember, so you might be thinking of someone else, hehe.

In any case, ‘Melee Zero’ is a build, not a character. Melee zero runs on synergy between skills and gear and must be played in a certain way to be effective. Go watch Striker fight Vora, even if you buff innervate to the point that you would get full health just popping deception, you won’t be replacing the grog, you won’t replace the facetanking or the dpuh-grog swaps. Melee Zero also has even ‘less replaceable’ gear than the grog, like the rapier or a shield stripper.

No. At a glance though, the only thing I’d need to remove from pimpslapper would be the bone(s). Would just replace them with the proficiency relic. The result would be less pimp elemental damage, so it would play the exact same way, just less effective. That could just be me getting lucky with my highly specific gear skirting your restrictions, but I have played much less effective variants of it.


For what difference it makes Legendary Ninja would need to change for a blue/purple Ninja too. The challenge doesn’t allow second gen legendary COMs.

Oh, right. My bad actually. Since we were doing the ‘don’t use last 22 skill points’ variant I forgot totally that they were allowed. And no need to apologize. It would’ve been fine either way.

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I don’t think it’s a bad build, but I don’t think it’s good either… it’s utilitarian? I set the point allocation up so a) it doesn’t have the same two capstones as my Vladof Assassin, and b) it enhances the Jakobs-focused combat strategies I enjoy using. I choose the loadout to match the upcoming combat and work within the confines of the skill point allocation to make it work. With some loadouts, the build is very powerful, but with others, much less so. Given that I play with BAR on, UCP enhancements, OP enhancements, weapon allegiance, am not min/maxing nor raiding, it often feels like I’m really playing a different game than what I see in videos and read on the forums, so I haven’t thought about my build as good or bad in that context.

Is the OP looking for a custom COM, or are you talking about the build challenge? For the build challenge, my builds are seriously just these utilitarian things. Given the variables in which I play, they’re not something that I’d write home about (and the weapon restrictions in the challenges the OP mentioned take combat variety away, which is the opposite of my goal in the game). My gear “restrictions” are really rules that “force” me to use as wide a variety of gear as possible. While any given character only has access to a fixed set of gear, all my characters have access to every piece of gear, and must actually use them.

The difficulty in those challenges is based around limiting combat strategies, which is not something I’m interested in (and as my builds are nothing special, I have less incentive to test them in that environment).

The OP’s question about which skills are working and which aren’t depends on the player in my opinion. I think the skills are all working as intended. I expect these skill/mechanic breakdowns at this level (if they made a third UVHM pack, I’d expect even more). If I did the challenge, I still wouldn’t say any skills need help; I’d say they’re broken as intended. If other players think these skills shouldn’t fade in effectiveness at higher difficulty levels, I think it’s more a function of their expectation than whether or not they can make a build work with those constraints.

If I made a number of builds (good or bad) work in UVHM with those challenge constraints, what would it prove? That the skills are actually fine as they are? That I have a high tolerance for lousy damage output? That the UCP isn’t necessary?

The UCP is customizable, and people have different expectations/desires for how skills should behave in UVHM. Why wouldn’t they just customize the UCP as they see fit? If you’re trying to generalize some tweak considerations for them (as some may not be interested in rolling their own), you should get some feedback soon, but you might want some more specific feedback, like per-skill questions? For example, consider this:

How hard should Blight Phoenix hit if I have +11 points in it at OP8 with no BAR?
Assume no buffs are active.

  • No damage at all: this skill should be useless in UVHM
  • A little damage, but only if there’s no shield (shield should be impervious) and the enemy is sensitive to fire or corrosive damage.
  • Moderate damage: should dent a shield and scorch matched health bars
  • Real damage: should wear a shield down and eat into matched health bars
  • High damage: shields should only resist a little, and matched health bars should be decimated
  • Severe damage: ignores shields and regularly kills enemies
  • Insane: should insta-kill anything that touches it up to Ultimate Badass Enemies

0 voters


Not trying to influence the vote so here’s my first ever use of a spoiler tag with my reasoning:

I said moderate. It’s a kill skill which, even though it has a distance limitation, starts killing things around you automatically for 7 seconds. FFYL doesn’t end kill skills and I don’t think the skill should be so powerful that it would basically be a valid mobbing style in and of itself. Also if it does moderate damage then it means it’s doing pretty high damage pre-OP levels and if it “scorches matched health bars” on OP8 then it’s doing it’s job pretty well.

I’ve never actually tried Blight Phoenix at anything past 5/5 and even that was ages ago so I’ve no idea how it actually handles at OP8 now outside of always putting 1 point in it because it’s cool. Didn’t that too get a small buff in 2015 at the same time GBX turned Cloudkill from the worst possible point to spend into one of the best and most coveted 1 point skills?

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