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The news keeps pouring out as we get closer and closer to the game's release, and we have some new info straight from gamescom! The Circles of Slaughter will be making a comeback from the first two games, this time hosted by Mr. Torgue and his amazing commentary/pecs! The new mode, Proving Grounds, is more of a timed dungeon-type thing, as you have 30 minutes to clear the zones and the boss at the end, with plenty of side-objectives and challenges that will award you with better loot - and you'll probably be clearing them much faster than that. It also has a Guardian as the master of ceremonies, and has you proving your worth to "the Masters", which might tie in to the Eridian guns that may or may not be present in the game. Considering "Guardian Ranks" are the new Badass Ranks (something like paragon points you get from completing challenges), the proving grounds Guardian probably ties in with those. While the Proving Grounds are aimed at endgame, they will also scale to your level, so you can hop in there at any time and level, and with the new co-op system, you can even jump in with friends of differing levels and get the same challenge as you'll each be facing enemies appropriate to your level!
These won't be the only endgame activities and both have multiple locations scattered around the planets. Here are two videos on the new Proving Grounds mode, the reveal dev commentary, as well as a full run-through of one of the grounds:
Proving Grounds and Circles of Slaughter (source)
If you're the type of Vault Hunter who loves a challenge, Borderlands 3 lets you test your skills to score some top-tier loot in the crucibles of the all-new Proving Grounds and the returning Circle of Slaughter arenas. Gearbox creative director Paul Sage announced these Borderlands 3 features in conversation with Geoff Keighley during Gamescom's Opening Night Live show in Cologne, Germany, revealing how these rewarding and highly replayable missions work.
Throughout Borderlands 3's journey across the solar system, you'll find Circle of Slaughter arenas sponsored by the combustion-obsessed weapons manufacturers at Torgue. Once you've signed up for a Circle of Slaughter, it's do or die; if you're downed and no one's around to revive you, your run is officially over and you can say goodbye to a big payout. You'll be up against an army of enemies who attack in droves across five rounds with multiple waves each, blasting everything that moves until no bandit, 'bot, or hostile beast is left standing. All the while, your delicate ears will be graced by the expletive-filled hollering of Mister Torgue himself, who provides some extremely colorful commentary and doesn't tolerate failure. If you're hoping to impress Mister Torgue and his impossibly massive pecs, you can show off some flair by completing bonus objectives like racking up kills via melee attacks, ground slams, or—if you really want to pander to your target audience—grenades. EXPLOSIONS!
Later in the campaign, you may be worthy of taking part in the Proving Grounds: themed gauntlets watched over by a Guardian known as the Overseer who wishes to test your mettle on behalf of the mysterious "Masters." Proving Grounds are races against the clock, tasking you with blitzing your way through three areas filled with baddies and beating a boss in 30 minutes or less. If you complete your chosen Trial quickly and efficiently you’ll earn better bounties, and for even greater rewards you can complete bonus objectives like beating the Proving Grounds without dying, completing it with a certain amount of time remaining, or managing to find and eliminate an elusive Fallen Guardian who roams the area. The chest that awaits at the end of the Proving Grounds always contains valuable loot, but you'll need to display true mastery if you want the best rewards.
If you're attending Gamescom in person, we've got a Borderlands 3 playable demo for you featuring FL4K the Beastmaster for the first time alongside Amara the Siren, Moze the Gunner, and Zane the Operative. When Borderlands 3 launches on September 13, the Proving Grounds and Circle of Slaughter challenges will be waiting if you believe you're worthy and want the premium loot to prove it.
Gearbox have been pumping out Vault Hunter-related content recently, with all 4 getting their own spotlight videos as well as "Ways to Play" articles covering everything you need to know about the BL3 classes. To top it all off we also get interactive skill trees for the foursome, so we can check out all the skills in detail and even playn a build or two, if you're that forward-thinking.
Let's start off with the newcomer, Fl4k the Beastmaster, with his many pets:
Fla4k Ways to Play (source)
Tune in to the official Borderlands Twitch channel at 7am PDT on Wednesday, August 14 to see FL4K in action! More info soon.
FL4K the Beastmaster is on a never-ending hunt in Borderlands 3, accompanied by loyal beasts who are eager to please them. This robotic leader of the pack has access to both an Action Skill and an autonomous Pet that fights by their side and obeys commands to pounce on specific targets. Here’s a look at FL4K’s Hunter, Master, and Stalker skill trees, which give them and their Pet the killer instincts they need to overcome whatever the galaxy throws at them.
Action Skill: Rakk Attack!
Pet: Spiderant Centurion
Hit your enemies precisely where it hurts with the Hunter skill tree. When FL4K deploys the Rakk Attack! Action Skill, which has multiple charges, Rakk will soar into the air and swoop down to divebomb nearby enemies. While your Rakk are doing work, FL4K can sic the Spiderant Pet onto their prey, which attacks with globs of acidic goo, spinning charge attacks, and strikes from their pincer and prosthetic drill arm. As an added bonus, FL4K constantly regenerates health while the Spiderant is out.
Critical hits are crucial to the Hunter skill tree, with plenty of passive skills that reward you for hitting your quarry’s weak points. You may get a chance to restore ammo to your magazine after a critical hit, or potentially reduce your Action Skill cooldown. Other options provide boosts to your Hunter Skills - a special type of skill found in all of FL4K’s skill trees. Here are some other helpful picks from the Hunter skill tree:
Ambush Predator is perfect for snipers who prefer to fight from afar: while there are no enemies nearby, FL4K’s weapon handling and critical hit damage are increased. The Most Dangerous Game is a Hunter Kill Skill that literally pays dividends if you go after tougher targets. Whenever FL4K kills a Badass or stronger enemy, they gain increased critical hit damage, gun damage, and handling for an extended period. Additionally, they receive a cash reward from the Intergalactic Bureau of Bounty Hunting, which clearly recognizes that FL4K deserves a tip for their hard work. Megavore is a game-changer, giving FL4K a chance to score a critical hit with weapons against any part of enemies. Even if you miss a headshot here and there, Megavore can make a bullet to the *filtered* just as lethal as one to the brain. Action Skill Augments in the Hunter skill tree give you more ways to wreak Rakk havoc, like adding extra Rakk to the pack or making them deal cryo damage. Meanwhile, you can evolve your Spiderant Pet to deal incendiary or corrosive damage and provide buffs on top of the baseline health regeneration. If you love to carefully line up your shots from a safe distance and execute your target with a few critical hits, the Hunter skill tree plays to your sniping prowess.
Action Skill: Gamma Burst
Pet: Guard Skag
Establish your dominance over the battlefield with the Master skill tree. Bend reality in your favor using the Gamma Burst Action Skill, which creates a rift that instantly teleports your Pet to a target location with a burst of radiation damage. In a pinch, you can also use Gamma Burst as a quick revive when FL4K’s Pet is downed or dead at the cost of increasing your Action Skill cooldown timer. Your Skag Pet buffs your damage and will ravage enemies with vicious bites and projectile vomit. Good boy!
The Master skill tree offers plenty of ways to increase your Pet’s damage output, like a passive skill that causes their first melee attack against an enemy to be an automatic critical hit. Beyond providing cover fire, FL4K can directly aid their Pet through skills like:
Who Rescued Who? strengthens the symbiotic bond between FL4K and their Pet. Whenever their Pet deals damage, FL4K regenerates some health, and whenever FL4K deals damage, their Pet will be healed for a portion of the damage dealt. Psycho Head on a Stick, which sounds like a fantastic chew toy, is a Hunter Kill Skill that buffs FL4K’s Pet with increased movement speed and damage for a few seconds whenever FL4K kills an enemy. Dominance emphasizes the ‘master’ in Beastmaster. This new melee attack lets FL4K convert an enemy to their side for a short time, with doubled duration if your dominated target is a beast. Dominance is also a means for dealing damage to your temporary ally: your target loses health until the effect ends or they die fighting for your cause. FL4K can improve the utility of their Gamma Burst by giving their Pet a radiation aura on activation or providing health regeneration whenever FL4K and their allies are near the rift. The Skag Pet evolutions can give FL4K increased gun damage or fire rate, along with teaching the Skag some destructive new tricks you won’t see at any dog show. Power up your Pet to the fullest with the Master skill tree, then fight alongside your beast as they dutifully do your bidding.
Action Skill: Fade Away
Pet: Jabber Sidekick
Evasion and resilience are the hallmarks of the Stalker skill tree. If FL4K is ever in a bind, using the Fade Away Action Skill will facilitate a quick getaway by instantly cloaking them and affording them increased movement speed and health regeneration. Once FL4K maneuvers into a better position, they can fire off three shots that are guaranteed critical hits, completely turning the tide in a tough fight. Your furry Jabber Pet provides bonus movement speed, and even has its own adorable little gun to fill your enemies with lead.
You’ll find plenty of ways to up your survivability in the Stalker skill tree; maybe you’ll opt to simply increase FL4K’s maximum health, or choose a passive skill that shares FL4K’s health regeneration with allies and doubles the bonus for their Pet. Staying healthy is a major part of maximizing your effectiveness with the Stalker skill tree, which includes such life-saving skill as:
Lick the Wounds lets your Pet attempt to revive you whenever you’re downed in the Fight For Your Life state. You’ll appreciate your Pet that much more after they pull off a clutch revive during a heated firefight, and it’s a great option for staying alive in solo play. The Fast and the Furryous gives FL4K increased gun damage and movement speed whenever they’re above half health. It sounds simple, but trying to preserve your health and maintain your buffs becomes a metagame in and of itself. The Power Inside makes FL4K and their Pet gain increased damage after FL4K activates an Action Skill—but if FL4K is at full health, that damage increase is doubled. Triggering that doubled bonus is easy to do before a fight, but good luck pulling it off once you’re in the thick of all the ensuing chaos. Increase your odds of survival even further with Action Skill Augments, like gaining damage reduction after Fade Away ends, or giving your Pet the ability to taunt enemies to grab their attention. Your choice of delightfully coiffed Jabber evolutions will change their gun of choice, along with adding maximum health or critical hit damage buffs on top of the increased movement speed. You’ll be damn difficult to take down when specializing in the Stalker skill tree, giving FL4K and their Pet plenty of ways to outlive their prey.
Check out the FL4K character page if you’d like to tinker with their skill trees, then share your favorite build for the robotic Beastmaster.
Remember, just because you choose a particular Action Skill it doesn’t mean that you’re locked into that skill tree; you’re free to mix and match to see what powerful combinations you can come up with. Be sure to check out the other Vault Hunters you can play as in Borderlands 3: Zane the Operative, Moze the Gunner, and Amara the Siren.
Next up is Moze the Gunner, with her impressive Iron bear mech action skill:
Moze Ways to Play (source)
Moze the Gunner always has backup in Borderlands 3 thanks to Iron Bear, her 15-ton bipedal mech that packs some heavy-duty firepower. This former Vladof soldier turned Vault Hunter offers a unique take on character builds: the multiple Action Skills that are part of Moze’s Shield of Retribution, Demolition Woman, and Bottomless Mags skill trees are actually weapons mounted onto each of Iron Bear’s arms, so you can mix and match Iron Bear’s loadout across multiple skill trees or even equip two of the same weapon if you’re all about symmetry. Here’s a breakdown of what Moze and Iron Bear are capable of when these inseparable BFFs spend their precious skill points.
Shield of Retribution
Action Skill: Railgun
Action Skill (Tier 2): Bear Fist
Make Moze and Iron Bear all but unbreakable with the Shield of Retribution skill tree. The Railgun is a great Action Skill weapon for sharpshooters, as Iron Bear fires off electrified, high-velocity projectiles that can easily vaporize your target if your aim is true. By investing a few skill points in Shield of Retribution, you can also access the Bear Fist Action Skill that lets Iron Bear pummel enemies into a pulp at close range.
Moze and Iron Bear already make a great pair, but you can be even more of a team player with some Shield of Retribution skills, like sacrificing some health to give you and your allies incendiary damage whenever you reload. You can also buff your shield’s capabilities by improving maximum capacity, recharge rate, and more. Here are some other helpful skills:
Full Can of Whoop-*filtered* causes Moze and her allies to immediately begin recharging their shields at an increased rate whenever Moze jumps into Iron Bear. Force Feedback adds serious staying power to your shield: Moze’s shields will immediately begin recharging any time she scores a critical kill. If you’re an ace at nailing headshots, you’ll be that much tougher to take down. Phalanx Doctrine is a passive ability that grants multiple stacks of a buff by the same name every time you kill an enemy. For every stack, Moze’s maximum shield and gun damage are increased—and the kicker is that there’s no stack limit, though each stack only lasts a limited time. Killing large groups of weak enemies simultaneously will make you ridiculously powerful if you can set it up properly. Action Skill Augments along the Shield of Retribution skill tree include improvements like making your Railgun shots chain out extra shock damage to nearby enemies and causing the Bear Fist to launch forward and yank enemies over to you. As if Moze and Iron Bear weren’t tough enough already, the Shield of Retribution skill tree will turn you into a true walking tank.
Action Skill: V-35 Grenade Launcher
Action Skill (Tier 2): Vanquisher Rocket Pod
You’ll have a blast again and again with the Demolition Woman skill tree. Your starting Action Skill attachment for Iron Bear is the V-35 Grenade Launcher, which fires off a steady stream of grenades that aren’t affected by Moze’s equipped grenade mod. Your enemies will have a hell of a time trying to stay clear of all the splash damage; more likely, they’ll be blown up into a chunky mixture of blood and guts.
Whether you’re firing off grenades with Iron Bear or throwing them by hand, the Demolition Woman skill tree helps you get the most destructive force possible packed into every explosion. You’ll find helpful passive skills that do things like give Moze’s grenades a chance to score a critical hit, or increase her grenade carrying capacity. Other Demolition Woman skills include:
Torgue Cross-Promotion gives all splash damage that Moze deals a chance to double in size. It’s a known fact that explosions are better when they’re bigger. Auto Bear lets Iron Bear fight on your behalf; once Moze jump outs, it will remain deployed in place for a short time. While it’s active, Iron Bear will attack nearby enemies, then charge at an enemy and self-destruct when its duration ends. That’s a true friend right there. Short Fuse lets your guns join the explosion party: whenever Moze deals gun damage, there’s a chance to trigger a secondary explosion centered on your target. Pair this ability with a high-rate-of-fire weapon to create some serious fireworks. Alternate Demolition Woman Action Skill weapons for the Iron Bear include the Vanquisher Rocket Pod that can rapid-fire rocket volleys, along with Action Skill Augments that make those rockets lock-on and more. If your idea of a good time involves copious explosions and scads of shrapnel, the Demolition Woman skill tree should satisfy your appetite for fiery destruction.
Action Skill: Minigun
Action Skill (Tier 2): Salamander
Guns don’t do much without ammo, but yours will rarely run dry with the Bottomless Mags skill tree. Give Iron Bear that classic mech aesthetic with the Minigun Action Skill weapon that spews out a steady stream of hot lead. The Bottomless Mags skill tree is also where you’ll find the Salamander Action Skill weapon, a humongous flamethrower that can fry nearby enemies to a crisp.
You’ll find a good number of straightforward passive skills in the Bottomless Mags skill tree, like increases to Moze’s magazine size and more incendiary damage for both Moze and Iron Bear. But there are also some nifty skills that you can plan your entire build around, focusing on the boosts provided by skills like:
Matched Set is an awesome reward for brand loyalty, giving Moze’s currently equipped weapon a stacking bonus to magazine size and decreased heat per shot for every piece of equipped gear that has a matching manufacturer. Specialist Bear encourages you to equip two of the same Action Skill weapon on Iron Bear, increasing their damage by a flat amount. Nothing wrong with a little uniformity, right? Forge is every gunner’s dream, and it’s beautiful in its simplicity: Moze constantly regenerates ammo for her currently equipped weapon. When paired with the unlimited magazine of a COV gun and a bit of prudent shooting, Moze can theoretically fire off rounds until the end of time. You can improve your Minigun with Action Skill Augments that let you do things like deal increased damage as your gun heats up or fire explosive rounds. The Salamander has some equally fun Action Skill Augments, like dealing corrosive damage by dousing enemies in acid instead of flames. Anyone who loves hoarding ammo and firing off rounds in equal measure will appreciate the bullet bounty inherent to the Bottomless Mags skill tree.
Check out the Moze character page if you’d like to experiment with her skill tree for yourself; you can also share your build for the dynamic duo of Moze and Iron Bear.
Remember, just because you choose a particular Action Skill it doesn’t mean that you’re locked into that skill tree; you’re free to mix and match to see what powerful combinations you can come up with. Be sure to check out the other Vault Hunters you can play as in Borderlands 3: Zane the Operative, Amara the Siren, and FL4K the Beastmaster.
Then we're on to Amara the Siren, with several varieties of action skill, from old favorite phaselock to some more punchy melee options:
Amara Ways to Play (source)
Amara the Siren is a well-renowned hero to the people, but Borderlands 3 is her chance to shine as a badass Vault Hunter. Using her supernatural Siren abilities, Amara pulverizes her enemies with astral projections, pounding them into a bloody pulp with fists formed from pure energy. We’re taking a top-level look at Amara’s three distinct skill trees—Fist of the Elements, Mystical Assault, and Brawl—to help you decide which build best suits your preferred playstyle. But no matter which way you go, Amara will absolutely bring the beatdowns.
Fist of the Elements
Action Skill: Phasegrasp
Make Amara a maven of elemental damage with the Fist of the Elements skill tree. Using the Phasegrasp Action Skill you can lock an unfortunate enemy in place, crushing them in the grip of a giant astral fist. While they’re helplessly squirming to break free, you have the perfect opportunity to fill them full of lead, lasers, electricity, or whatever method you favor for ending their miserable life.
You’ll find plenty of ways to amplify your elemental damage output as you progress through the Fist of the Elements skill tree, from flat bonuses like increased magazine size with elemental weapons, to impressive passive abilities like ricocheting bullets. Here are some other elements-focused skills:
Wildfire adds a percentage chance that Status Effects applied to an enemy can spread to other enemies. With a little luck, you’ll cause a chain reaction that sets entire groups of baddies ablaze. Catharsis makes it so that any time you trigger an elemental effect on an enemy, they’ll explode on death, dealing Amara’s element damage and any other element currently inflicted upon them to enemies in the blast radius. Conflux gives you a chance to randomly electrocute, ignite, or melt an enemy any time you apply a status effect to them. Whatever the outcome, they’re going to die a very painful death. Within the Fist of the Elements skill tree, you can access souped-up Action Skills that amplify Phasegrasp, like summoning an additional arm that smashes anything near a grasped enemy. If regular ammo isn’t lethal enough for you, harness the destructive forces of nature with the Fist of the Elements skill tree.
Action Skill: Phasecast
Relentless, sustained attacks are a hallmark of the Mystical Assault skill tree. Kick off your skirmishes with a Phasecast, an astral projection that bombards everything in its path with a flurry of fists. Then tear your way through the softened-up enemies to score stacks of Rush, a bonus provided by starter skills in the Mystical Assault skill tree that activate buffs whenever you consume stacks by using an Action Skill.
As you invest more points into Mystical Assault, you’ll unlock even more bonuses that trigger every time you use your Action Skill. Check out these other powerful Mystical Assault skills that reward you for using your Action Skill early and often:
Transcend grants increased accuracy and critical hit bonus after activating an Action Skill. Laid Bare makes enemies take increased damage from all sources after they get hit by your Action Skill—perfect for melting a boss’ health bar. Avatar lets you activate your Action Skill while it’s still cooling down once per cooldown, effectively doubling your Action Skill output. It also increases your max Rush stacks, so you can trigger even bigger payoffs every time you cash in your accrued Rush with an Action Skill. Additional Action Skills available further down the Mystical Assault skill tree improve the astral projection of Phasecast, like increasing its damage for every enemy it hits or exploding on contact. Building up Rush stacks then reaping the benefits by using your Action Skill is the name of the game with the Mystical Assault skill tree.
Action Skill: Phaseslam
Take the title of Pandora’s prize pugilist with the Brawl skill tree. It’s a great option for melee specialists who love wading into the middle of a fight and punching everything in sight, which is the perfect opportunity to drop a well-timed Phaseslam that knocks nearby enemies into the air with an earthshaking ground slam. If anyone’s somehow still standing after you came in like a wrecking ball, you can put them out of their misery with a few bullets.
Early on in the Brawl skill tree, you’ll find passive abilities that up your survivability, so you can tank a few hits as you close the distance for some hand-to-face melee. Beyond skills that increase your maximum health and give you some damage resistance, you’ll find skills like:
Find Your Center ups your melee damage, with the added bonus of granting increased melee range after you use an Action Skill. Guardian Angel makes you even tougher to take down: when you enter the Fight For Your Life downed state, you’ll immediately gain a Second Wind that restores health and creates an elemental nova that knocks back nearby enemies. It’s incredibly powerful but balanced by a lengthy cooldown. Blitz puts the force of Amara’s Siren abilities into a powerful strike, delivering an amped-up melee attack that dashes a short distance and deals elemental melee damage. Best of all, Blitz’s cooldown instantly resets if you kill an enemy with it, so you can combo them together when slugging your way through large groups. You’ll find some alternate Action Skills along the Brawl skill tree, like the ability to fire an elemental beam from the air before slamming down on your laser-fried foes. If you fancy yourself a melee fanatic, the Brawl skill tree will help you barrel your way into scuffles and punch your way to victory.
Check out the Amara character page if you’d like to experiment with her skill tree for yourself; you can also share your take on the latest Siren joining the Vault Hunter lineage.
Remember, just because you choose a particular Action Skill it doesn’t mean that you’re locked into that skill tree; you’re free to mix and match to see what powerful combinations you can come up with. Be sure to check out the other Vault Hunters you can play as in Borderlands 3: Zane the Operative, Moze the Gunner, and FL4K the Beastmaster.
And finally it's Zane the Operative, with his unique ability to actually have two action skills equipped at the cost of his grenade, with several options from his drone to a personal barrier and more:
Zane Ways to Play (source)
Zane the Operative is Borderlands 3’s resident tech expert, with an ingenious gadget at the ready for any life-or-death situation. Zane can equip two Action Skills at once, though choosing to do so will replace his ability to toss grenades. To help you decide if Zane is the right Vault Hunter for you, here’s a brief overview of his three skill trees: Doubled Agent, Hitman, and Under Cover. Will your Zane build be worthy of the Flynt family name?
Action Skill: Digi-Clone
Become a master of misdirection with the Doubled Agent skill tree. Whenever Zane’s Digi-Clone is active and drawing enemies’ fire, he can trade places with it on a short cooldown. By learning skills in the Doubled Agent skill tree, you can amplify your Digi-Clone for some truly tricky setups that’ll leave your target’s head spinning before you blast it into a bloody explosion.
As you progress further into the Doubled Agent skill tree, you’ll find plenty of clever ways to improve your Digi-Clone, along with some bonuses that reward Zane for having two Action Skills active at the same time. Here are just a few of the helpful skills you can unlock:
Quick Breather lets Zane immediately start recharging his shield whenever he swaps places with his Digi-Clone, which provides a huge boost to survivability. Enhance causes your Digi-Clone to consume up to 3 grenades when you summon it, giving the Digi-Clone amped-up stats for every grenade consumed. Double Barrel ups your DPS by giving your Digi-Clone a copy of Zane’s current weapon - and swapping places triggers increased gun damage for you and your Digi-Clone. The Action Skill Augments on the Doubled Agent skill tree give your Digi-Clone even more utility, like giving you the ability to detonate it for an explosion of fire damage or having it soak up some of your damage. With enough points invested into Doubled Agent, your Digi-Clone gets an upgrade from ‘handsome distraction’ to ‘meaningful source of damage’ that’s always got your back.
Action Skill: SNTNL
Embrace the ‘kill or be killed’ mentality with the Hitman skill tree. You get substantial bonuses whenever you kill an enemy, and that includes any enemies who run afoul of your SNTNL—a hovering drone that peppers targets with machine gun fire. Specializing in Hitman skills is a means for stoking your bloodlust: scoring kills makes you stronger, which makes killing easier, and the cycle repeats until nothing but bodies and loot lie in your wake.
Throughout the Hitman skill tree, you’ll find plenty of perks called Kill Skills that activate every time you end an enemy’s life, like faster firing rates or the chance to shoot additional projectiles. You’ll also find some crucial skills such as:
Salvation gives your damage a bit of life steal after you score a kill, so you can shoot your way back to health if your life bar starts dwindling during battle. Death Follows Close improves the effectiveness and duration of your Kill Skills, letting you tear through large groups of enemies with ease. Seein’ Red sets off all of Zane's Kill Skills any time he activates an Action Skill. If you stagger your Action Skills properly, your overall damage output will be through the roof. The Action Skill Augments on the Hitman skill tree focus on enhancing the SNTNL’s arsenal, including cryo damage upgrades to its weaponry, a radiation beam that weakens enemies while buffing Zane, and the ability to paint targets for a missile barrage. If you live for the thrill of the kill, the Hitman skill tree gives you all the help you need to rack up a ridiculous body count.
Action Skill: Barrier
Keep your entire team safe and buff their damage output with the Under Cover skill tree. The Barrier Action Skill deploys a shield that blocks all enemy fire and gives you and your allies increased gun damage whenever you shoot through it. You can even pick up an active Barrier to turn Zane into a mobile bulwark, though this decreases its size and damage bonuses.
Investing points in the Under Cover skill tree can give your Barrier some clear improvements, like increased maximum shield capacity and decreased recharge rate. Go deeper still, and elemental damage becomes a dominant theme, whether you’re dishing it out more effectively or improving how much you can take. Here’s a sampling of some key Under Cover skills:
Confident Competence buffs Zane’s gun damage and accuracy whenever his shields are active, with better bonuses for stronger shield percentages. Calm, Cool, Collected rewards Zane for using cryo weapons; any time you freeze an enemy you’ll regenerate shields, health, or Action Skills in that order, depending on what’s currently full. Distributed Denial is a big one, giving your Barrier the effects of your currently equipped Shield Mod, which also applies to any allies near the Barrier (with reduced bonuses for Zane himself). It’ll feel like everyone’s getting together for a big buff party any time you drop a Barrier. The Action Skill Augments along the Under Cover skill tree make the Barrier even more effective at saving (or ending) lives, giving it properties like increased movement speed and fire rates for any Vault Hunter who touches it, a dome shape that protects you on all sides, and a Deterrence Field that shocks and staggers any enemy who gets too close. You and your allies will feel unbreakable with the combined powers of the Barrier and the Under Cover skill tree, while your enemies will be frozen from fear and cryo damage before you shatter them into a million pieces.
Check out the Zane character page if you’d like to experiment with his skill tree for yourself; you can even share your build once you’ve crafted your vision of a perfect Zane.
Remember, just because you choose a particular Action Skill it doesn’t mean that you’re locked into that skill tree; you’re free to mix and match to see what powerful combinations you can come up with. Be sure to check out the other Vault Hunters you can play as in Borderlands 3: Moze the Gunner, Amara the Siren, and FL4K the Beastmaster.
And so we now know pretty much everything there is to know about the Vault Hunters, aside from the way they really play, but we don't have long to wait for that either, as there's only 25 more days until Borderlands 3 launches!
Which Hunter will you be starting off as?
The third season of the Vault Insider Program is here and it's the best one yet! Aside from even more opportunities to acquire points we actually get to buy some Borderlands 3 weapons this time!
We also get 2 new skins, this time for Fl4k the Beastmaster, with the usual head and body customizations for 4 and 3k points, with the jacket looking particularly snazzy. The three BL3 guns are are locked to a maximum level of 10 and they're epic quality and will also cost 4,000 points and will count towards your 8 guns required for the Maliwan Legendary. We also get another free spin at the weaponizer this season, with the new BL3 guns on there as well!
But that's not all, as you can also earn 4,000 points by simply playing Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition this weekend (with it also being a free weekend on PS4)!
And finally, here's a whole bunch of new VIP codes to get you on your way to getting those new rewards (and remember to check the Activities page in the Insider panel for even more points, but be sure to have your adblockers disabled or you won't see anything):
Vault Code: LOOTSPLOSION 500 Points [07/27]
Vault Code: MAYHEMPRIDE Vault Code: HALVERHAHN 250 Points:
Email Code: ONTHEHUNT Vault Code: MAYHEM Creator Code: GREGORONKH Vault Code: BONERFART Email Code: MYMAIN Vault Code: TINKABOUTIT Vault Code: THESEPRETZELSSUCK Vault Code: PWR2PLYRS Vault Code: BRINGMEABUCKET 100 Points [07/23]
Vault Code: 3DJUEGOSVIP
VIP Season 3 (source)
A new season of Vault Insider Program rewards is upon us! You can now spend your points on Borderlands 3 weapons, customization options for Borderlands 3's FL4K the Beastmaster, and other great rewards.
Borderlands 3 is less than a month away from its September 13 launch, and the new batch of VIP Season 3 rewards will have you feeling your absolute best before the big debut. For the first time ever, we're offering Borderlands 3 weapons to Vault Insiders, so you can get a head-start on your in-game arsenal before the game's even out. We've also got the Conventional Reppin' skin and CAMOUFL4GE head customizations available for Borderlands 3's robotic Vault Hunter FL4K the Beastmaster, so you can convincingly disguise yourself as your prey on day one. Yes, that is FL4K masquerading as a Psycho; those bandits will never suspect that behind the iconic mask is metal, not flesh!
In addition to fan-favorite items from Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, there are now three weapons available for Borderlands 3! These purple-rarity BL3 weapons have been locked at level 10, whether you choose to redeem them now or when Borderlands 3 is live. You should get a lot of mileage out of them in the game's early hours, which wouldn't be the case if they scaled like other reward weapons and you redeemed them at level 1. The VIP Season 3 reward items are all available to redeem with points and have the same 1-in-11 chance of dropping when you use your free spin on the VIP Season 3 Weaponizer. Here's a list of the items that are waiting to be claimed from this season's Weaponizer:
Dahl Relentless Puma Tediore Premium Poison Fastblast + Jakobs Daisy Marshal
Tediore Baby Maker Tediore Fastball Torgue Unkempt Harold Torgue Ogre
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
Jakobs Skullmasher Hyperion Prismatic Bulwark Tediore Shooterang Torgue Flakker A special Legendary Maliwan gun for Borderlands 3 is also available as a VIP reward. To unlock it you need to claim at least eight other VIP reward weapons (grenade and shield mods count toward this total); these can include any combination of those that you redeem points for, those that you receive from Weaponizers, and even the special Children of the Vault Borderlands 3 gun that's included in the Early Adopter Pack. For more information, check the VIP Rewards page.
The prices for the new VIP rewards are as follows:
Desktop: 500 points Mobile: 500 points Borderlands 3
Vault Hunter Skin: 3000 points Vault Hunter Head: 4000 points Weapon: 4000 points Borderlands 2 / Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
Weapon: 4000 points If you need some more points to afford your most-wanted reward, be sure to check the VIP Activities page for opportunities to earn more. You might also be interested to know that you can earn up to 4,000 VIP points for playing Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition this weekend.
Cosmetic Borderlands 3 rewards for Amara the Siren, Moze the Gunner, and Zane the Operative from VIP Seasons 1 and 2 are still available, so be sure to give those a look as well if you're not planning to play as FL4K on day one.
While just another trailer may seem a little underwhelming as far as new reveals go, this one is actually pretty awesome and very trippy, definitely well worth the watch. The trailer also has a huge hint for a new feature of the game, but let's take a look at it first and then discuss.
Aside from how great it is in general, the dancing sections make me think of the new emote system that's being implemented and seeing as how most similar games have dances (Destiny 2, Fortnite and the rest), this may have actually been a tease for these types of emotes (and more specifically, maybe even two-player emotes). We've already seen limited dancing in previous trailers, but to have it animated to this extent solely for the purposes of a trailer seems unlikely, so dancing emotes here we come!
We recently saw the third Vault Hunter at E3 where Gearbox showed off the Gunner, Moze and her lovely friend the Iron Bear mech! She's possibly the most interesting of the Vault Hunter's we've seen so far (and possibly more than Flak, who we haven't), due to the nature of her action skill, the summoned Iron Bear mech. We're going to be taking a look at all of her skill trees, action skills and more in detail in this preview. So far it seems Moze is the most group-centered of the classes, with many skills that affect the party and her mech even being able to carry another player!
Let's just start with some TLDR highlights of the class, with various interesting features taken from all the skill trees:
Summon mech and immediately jump in, selecting 2 of 6 different weapons Railguns, miniguns, flamethrowers, rocket launchers, grenade launchers, powered fists, each with their own set of augments Mech punch pulls enemies to you, punches as long as you hold down the mouse Mech stays out after you exit, attacking and eventually suicide charging enemies and exploding Manable turret for co-op partners Grenade focus for Moze, crits with grenades, grenades in fight for your life mode, higher capacity, regeneration Ammo regeneration Sprint and shoot at the same time Party buffs Stepping aside from Moze for a second, we also had a pretty awesome new trailer for the game showcased at E3, so let's take a look:
As already mentioned, Moze's action skill is summoning the Iron Bear mech which she immediately hops into. The entire class is based around the mech and her three skill trees revolve around different weapons for it. The mech also has fuel that is consumed when moving and firing weapons and it's duration ends when you spend all the fuel (although you can end it before that to get some cooldown back). Each tree has various buffs for moze herself but the main focus is the mech's two "hardpoints" aka his two arms where you can mount different weapons. Each tree has two weapons you can place there, and you can double up on them too - each tree gives you access to two of these weapons: railgun + bear fist, minigun + flamethrower, grenade launcher + rocket launcher. The other new feature in BL3 is augments to actions skills and in Moze's case that comes in the form of modifiers to her mech's weapons, giving them more fuel efficiency or changing the elemental damage type of the weapon and a lot more.
Now, you can have any combination of these weapons, including two miniguns, but using weapons from different trees will make you less efficient. You can always invest in non-mech skills so you don't lose out though, but that seems like a bit of a waste. Very early on it won't really matter which weapons you use on the mech as you won't have that many augments and skills that enhance them, so you'll be able to experiment, but in the mid to late game you'll want to pick a tree so you can get the full benefits of your chosen tree. We don't really know how many skillpoints we'll have at the end (there are 50 levels total, but we don't know if there will be additional skillpoints to be gained elsewhere - probably not), so it's possible that endgame builds will be combining trees and weapons/augments from those trees as well.
But let's get into the actual skill trees themselves, shall we (we won't be covering ALL the skills, or very specific numbers, just the more interesting and thematic ones - if you want a complete overview of absolutely everything, head to the bottom of the article).
Shield of Retribution
Shield related skills for Moze and mech, party buffs, railgun and bear fist on mech
Both the mech and Moze get skills that add or interact with shields in some way.
Moze: remove health to increase shields for Moze; 40% shields back the first time it's depleted after a full recharge; shield regeneration on critical kills; increased gun damage and reduced incoming dmg while shields are up; increased shield capacity and reduced shock dmg; reduced recharge delay + increased rate; stacking extra shield on kill (and gun damage).
Mech: gets a 20% shield that regenerates normally; activating the mech starts regening everyone's shields at an increased rate.
Then we have some party buffs: when Moze reloads she takes a little damage and gives fire damage to her and party members; when killing an enemy Moze's fire rate is reduced, but gun damage is increased for her and allies.
And finally there's the weapon augments, which you can have one of for each weapon slot/hardpoint.
Augments, railgun: deals fire damage and uses more fuel; chains damage to additional enemies; has reduced fuel drain, extra magazine size and shots explode after a short time.
Augments, bear fist: deals splash elemental damage; pulls enemies to mech; has rapid fire, punches as long as you hold + reduced fuel drain.
Co-op player turret, ammo regen, fuel efficiency, minigun and flamethrower on mech
The minigun has an overheat gauge which causes it to cease functioning if it overheats and the flamethrower has infinite ammo but consumes additional fuel. This one has the turret on the mech that another player can hop on to for safety and for some bullet spraying action as well! It also has the most interesting skill so far, in terms of systems at least, with one that increases magazine size for Moze and reduces heat for the minigun for each piece of gear Moze has equipped from the same manufacturer. So if you're sporting 4 Jakobs guns and an Anshin grenade mod and shield, you'll be getting a lot of bonuses there.
Moze: both Moze and the mech can have bullets that don't spend ammo and deal additional fire damage; ammo regeneration after each crit; sprint and shoot at the same time; infinite ammo for 5 secs after exiting mech (remember you can exit the mech before it's run out, not sure if it works with rocket launchers); more gun damage as the magazine is lower; constant ammo regeneration for currently equipped weapon.
Mech: adds a manned turret to the back of the mech (for co-op players); increased damage when equipping two of the same weapon.
Augments, minigun: more damage as it fires longer, can be fired longer; cryo damage, reduced damage, fuel and heat consumption; explosive rounds with splash damage, reduced fire rate.
Augments, flamethrower: less fuel consumption, increased move speed after damaging enemy; corrosive damage, "Melt" damage increased (not sure what that is); fires 3 shot burst, first shot leaves fire puddle.
Splash damage, grenades, longer lasting and faster CD for mech, grenade and rocket launcher on mech
The rocket launcher is pretty random by default, with it's missiles just flying around all over the place before it gets augmented, so it's a weird one, but very visually impressive.
Moze: chance to double size of splash damage; splash damage can return ammo and grenades; critical hits for grenades; increased grenade carry capacity; restore health for every enemy hit with a grenade; splash damage reduces mech cooldown; whenever Moze deals gun damage there's a chance of an additional explosion with splash damage.
Mech: less fuel consumption for weapons + fuel regen when killing enemy; reduce mech cooldown when killing enemy; more mech health and fuel; grenades in fight for your life mode, if you revive you get a grenade back.
Augments, grenade launcher: direct hits deal more damage; every 7th grenade is a singularity grenade (pulls everyone to it); 5 round burst and increased reload speed.
Augments, rocket launcher: 6 homing rockets with increased reload speed; reduced damage and 6 rocket spread, but debuffs enemy to receive more damage from every source; fires 1 big nuke dealing increased radiation damage.
For a much more detailed look into ALL of Moze's skills, check out this video that goes over all of them:
And there you have it, Moze is the third revealed Vault Hunter, with Zane and Amara before her and Flak coming a bit later. I hope this overview was helpful, but do let me know how to improve the format in the future and especially if I missed something about Moze that's interesting. Obviously if you're not familiar with the Borderlands games this preview may have been a bit too in-depth, but we'll have a full summary of all of Borderlands 3's new features soon(ish), as it's taking a bit longer to cover and new info is constantly released.
We take a look at possibly the most interesting class in BL3, with plenty of group potential.