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Borderlands 3 hotfix adjusts gun balance, Vault Hunter skills

Gearbox takes a pass at various game balance issues in the wake of the first Borderlands 3 update.

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If you’ve been playing Borderlands 3 and have been avoiding certain weapons due to effectiveness, the development team at Gearbox feels your pain and are releasing at Hotfix Update today that aims to improve weapon balance across the various manufacturers, as well as implement skills changes to the Vault Hunter skill trees. Players who main Zane will be happy to hear that the Operative is receiving a slight buff. The changes are expected to go live later this afternoon.

While Borderlands 3 did receive its first major patch yesterday targeting optimization, bugfixes, and exploits, it would appear that Gearbox had more changes up its sleeve. Adjustments to Graveward have been made, allowing the fight to properly scale up for high-level Vault Hunters. Vending machines will now offer higher quality loot in the “Deal of the Day” slots and Legendary loot drops saw some attention to balance.

The biggest changes in today’s Hotfix Update are centered around the various gun manufacturers in Borderlands 3. Here is a list of alterations to the game’s various firearms:

Sniper Rifles

Sniper rifles deal high damage but felt a little cumbersome to use in certain scenarios. This change will increase their overall damage and increase usability in more combat engagements.

  • Critical Damage increased by 20%
  • Fire Rate increased by 15%
  • Time to Aim Down Sights (ADS) reduced by 15%
  • Time to Equip reduced by 20%

Pistols

Jakobs and Torgue Pistols were outperforming other manufacturers, dealing damage to groups of enemies at a much higher rate than other pistols. This change keeps their identity intact but reduces overall group control. TEDIORE, DAHL, and Children of the Vault Pistols have manufacturer penalties that affected their overall damage. Increasing their overall damage will overcome some of the penalties while retaining their unique gameplay style and feel.

  • Increased damage on all TEDIORE Pistols by 15%
  • Increased damage on all DAHL Pistols by 15%
  • Increased damage on all Children of the Vault Pistols by 20%
  • Reduced damage on Jakobs Pistols by 15%
  • Reduced damage on Torgue Pistols by 10%

Maliwan Manufacturer

Maliwan weapons had reduced overall damage because they applied elemental DoTs at a rate and damage greatly above other manufacturers. This effect was toned down before launch, but the overall damage was not sufficiently adjusted to compensate for the reduction in elemental DoTs. We’re adding back some of the overall damage and making the weapons faster so elemental builds can really take advantage of Maliwan weaponry.

  • All Maliwan Weapon Damage increased by 25%
  • All Maliwan Weapon Fire Rate increased by 20%

Atlas Manufacturer

Atlas weapons relied on a game loop that we felt gave players a greater advantage when used correctly. Turns out the loop is not used if the damage doesn’t compensate for the time to set up. So now damage on Atlas weapons should facilitate players using them in general on top of feeling badass when they take advantage of Atlas technology.

  • All Atlas Weapon Damage increased by 25%

Miscellaneous Adjustments

The Jakobs Assault Rifle change was to differentiate the Assault Rifle from the pistol as more of a mid to long range powerhouse. Since the Assault Rifles have low mag sizes compared to other Assault Rifles, they’re getting a slight increase to overall damage to compensate. DAHL SMGs had their Fire Rates adjusted down before launch but their damage was never sufficiently increased so they should feel more appropriate compared to other SMGs. And the Vladof Heavy Weapon damage has been increased to share in the full Heavy Weapon treatment.

  • Jakobs Assault Rifles Damage increased by 20%
  • DAHL SMG Damage increased by 10%
  • Vladof Heavy Weapon Damage increased by 25%
  • E-Tech TEDIORE Shotgun Damage increased by 50%

Legendary Modifications

We’re going to be making a larger, comprehensive Legendary gear pass but we have included the following changes. King’s and Queen’s Call were modified to lower the fire rate. The weapon has a limited burst shot count so overall feel of the gun isn’t dramatically affected.

  • King’s and Queen’s Call Fire Rate reduced by 50%
  • Firestorm and Storm base Charge Times were reduced to 1 second (down from 2)

For a full list of all the changes in today’s update, refer to the blog post from the official Borderlands 3 website. The changes to the game are expected to be live for all players by 6:00 PM ET (3:00 PM PT).

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

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