I'm thinking about a set of builds designed with teamwork in mind. It'll eventually be an article, but as I haven't taken all the character all the way to the end of a playthrough (heck, I haven't even taken brick to the point where he can have a tier-4 skill), my ideas there will be pure theory. Having said all that:
Brick is really suited for two roles, melee DPS and TANK. A build dedicated to these ends can meet both.
None of Brick's skills directly benefit his teammates, but he can do a lot of good for the group by tanking. In other words: load up on the tank tree skills and be ready to soak up a lot of pain. But it's all good: Pain is fleeting, chicks dig scars, and glory lasts forever!
He can also do some controlling with Bash (% to daze from melee attacks).
Several of Brick's class mods can help out directly (I'll leave of the word "team" here, duh... and the numbers listed are maximums from the current wiki pages):
- Centurion: max health (56%), and can have team health regen (+10) or team clip size (+39%).
- Skirmisher: melee damage (56%), and can have max health (+39%) or melee damage resistance (-52%).
- Warmonger: team damage (30%), and can have grenade damage (+39%) or melee damage (+36%)
Lilith can fill two MMO roles... crowd control (with Mind Games) or Vast melee Damage (with Phase Strike).
Only one of Lilith's skills directly benefit her teammates, Intuition, which grants an XP bonus "for a few seconds" after Lilith kills something. Not terribly exciting, but not bad either. Meh.
Ongoing corrosive damage reduces an enemies armor, so Venom can help. Sometimes. Again, meh.
None of Lilith's class mods boost Phase Strike? Larceny! The only one that boosts Mind Games also boosts Venom (eh...). Admittedly, Mind Games is pretty awesome in a team environment. In other words: despite it's lack of "+team X", consider a Plaguebearer.
- Catalyst: cool down reduction (+28%), with either shield regeneration (+1... ooh) or find rare items (+2)
- Defender: shield capacity (+42%), with either corrosive resistance (33%) or ignite resistance (36%)
- Tormentor: elemental effect chance (+42%), elemental effect damage (+39%) or damage (+13%)
He can do several things for a team. First and foremost, he's a cannon. His sniping can be vastly better than anyone else's. He can also spew loot. Swipe and Ransack can both ensure that your team will never be short on cash or health booster thingies.
Smirk is marginally useful to the team, granting everyone an XP bonus when YOU make a kill with a critical.
Ransack is nice. Who doesn't want more loot? Nothing amazing, but certainly not bad.
- Ranger: Accuracy (+56%) plus Critical Hit Damage (+78%) or Accuracy Recovery (+78%). This mod also boosts Bird of Prey.
- Scavenger: Scavenge Extra Items (+3) plus Find Rare Items (+2) or Health Regeneration (+10)
- Survivor: Health Regeneration (+15) plus Reload Speed (+63%) or Damage (+31%)
Roland is the only player with the ability to heal his teammates directly (though Mordecai's Swipe can certainly help in that regard) with Cauterize and Stat. His turret can heal, revive, and provide ammo regeneration (plus that whole "shot the bad guys" thing).
Lots of 'em.
Stockpile provides ammo regeneration for anyone near his turret. Nice.
Supply Drop provides GOBS of ammo regeneration for anyone near his turret. Very Nice. Having both seems redundant. No class mods boost this skill. Boo hiss.
Aid Station gives any friendlies near his turret health regeneration.
Cauterize: Help your friends by shooting them. The Anti-team-killer. No class mods boost cauterize either? Sad Face.
Revive can save wounded teammates when he deploys his turret near them. Once again, no class mods help here.
Stat grants health regeneration to Roland and anyone nearby when he gets a kill.
Most of these are based around his turret, so anything that helps keep it up or reduces its cool down is also Quite Handy.
- Leader Extra Experience (27%) plus Recharge Delay (26%) or Recoil Reduction (20%)
- Support Gunner Ammo Regeneration (20) plus Magazine Size (30%) or Accuracy (52%)
- Tactician Shield Regeneration (1) plus Health Regeneration (3) or Shield Capacity (18%)
I'll lump team bonuses into three categories, "offensive combat bonuses", "defensive combat bonuses", and "other".
Offensive Combat bonuses
Damage. More is better. This shouldn't come as a surprise. There are several flavors however. There's "all damage", "melee damage", "weapon damage", and "grenade damage". "All damage" bonuses are smaller than the specific ones, but no less valuable.
Critical Hit damage. Again, more -> better, though not quite as useful as straight damage because you're not always critting. Heck some folks will rarely crit (Brick in melee? Players who just suck... )
Elemental Effect chance/Elemental Effect Damage. More of the same. People toting Hellfires and Pele's won't care about the effect chance, but effect damage is another matter entirely. This is of no help to weapons without elemental effects to begin with.
Accuracy. While you definitely reach a point of diminishing returns on the high end, at the low end you can make otherwise questionable weapons Quite Viable. Heck, you might even make that scope on your Double Anarchy useful.
Recoil reduction. Great for high-RoF weapons that otherwise become inaccurate with sustained fire (the Double Anarchy again). Another one that's hard to calculate in terms of DPS impact. A Gunslinger-toting Mordecai can really use the help, particularly if you throw in Hair Trigger and Relentless.
Clip size/reload speed. The size of your clip and your reload speed directly impact your DPS. It's difficult to calculate that impact without knowing how long it takes to empty the clip and how long it takes to reload. YMMV. Still nice.
Interestingly, no mod boosts "team rate of fire".
Defensive Combat Bonuses
"Team Shield Regeneration"? It's listed in two mods (Catalyst and Tactician), and both are "+1". Is this actually useful?
Max shield and max health are Rather Direct.
Health Regeneration is always nice, though I don't believe it scales with your max health.
Melee Damage resistance. Eh. Really depends on who you're fighting at the time. Might be of little or no help (Crimson Lance, bandits), might be Really Handy (most creatures, Principle Guardians, psychos).
Early game, extra XP is handy. Once you hit 50? Not so much.
Ditto on cash. Money wasn't an issue by level 30 for me. YMMV. Swipe is still good for the extra healing gizmos though.
"Find Rare Items" is always handy. I suspect that each "plus" is the equivalent of having another player connected to your group... so Mordecai or Lilith with a +2 with one other player would give the same loot quality as having a full team of 4 with no such bonus. Of course if both Mordecai AND Lilith took their "find rare items" boosters, you should see some Really Good Shit. Perfect for grinding for gear.
"Team Ammo Regen" is great for folks with ammo-hogging weapons, and not just SMGs or combat rifles either. Mordecai can burn through sniper, pistol, or revolver ammo Really Fast, you can never have enough launcher ammo, and a bulldog shotgun with a decent rate of fire can make your shotgun ammo practically evaporate.
"Team Cooldown Reduction". Keep those abilities popping. Mordecai and Lilith can both lower cooldown (52 and 28 respectively). Note that 100% cooldown reduction halves the cooldown time. "Diminishing returns" again.
How does each player's ability contribute to the team?
Berserk improves Brick's ability to "tank". Damage reduction, health regeneration, and crazy melee damage. With Prize Fighter and a lot of jabs, Brick can spew money. Not a big deal late game, but handy when you can initially get it and respec's are cheap. Stupidly cheap.
Phasewalk is pretty self-centered. It does make for a good initial attack when coupled with Phase Strike, Striking, Silent Resolve, and Dramatic Entrance. Drop or daze that one big baddy and daze other nearby enemies, then everyone else wades in.
Bloodwing (Bird of Prey is a must for him to be really useful) can spew cash/health with Swipe, daze with Aerial Impact, and dish out quite a bit of pain.
Late game the cash isn't needed, but health and daze never go out of style.
The Scorpio Turret is (with the proper skill selection) a great asset to a team. Health and ammo regeneration, reviving fallen teammate, drawing fire, and providing (some) cover. Oh, and all that "shoot the bad guys" stuff is nice too. The long cool down time is a deterrent, but skills can compensate for that.
Playing with some examples
Lets see now...
Phat Lewt Squad
The first two bring no offense or defense to the team, just lots of lewt (which is the point). We'll go with offensive and defensive mods for Brick & Roland.
- Lilith with Catalyst. +2 rare item drop, +cooldown time, with phoenix, girl power, and intuition. Meh to those for the team.
- Mordecai with Scavenger, +2 rare item drop, +3 scavenge extra items, along with swipe, ransack, and out for blood. Bonus cash. Could be nice.
- Brick: How about Warmonger. Team damage, with the rest as gravy (grenade or melee damage, plus some brick-only damage & health)
- Roland: Err... how about support gunner? Ammo regen + accuracy, with extra stockpile and barrage to beef up his turret.
Damage, Damage, and More Damage
Just how much extra damage can you pile on?
- Brick's Warmonger. 30% overall damage, plus grenade/melee damage
- Lilith's Tormentor, elemental effect chance & elemental effect damage (or team overall damage?)
- Roland's Support Gunner for the ammo regen and accuracy.
- Mordecai's Survivor. Health regen (this team's only defensive mod bonus), +31 overall damage.
+61% (or 74%) to all damage
+some gren-or-melee on top of that
Elemental effects are more common and (might, depending on Lilith's Tormentor mod) cause an additional 39% damage (and elemental damage is based on bullet damage, so this stacks with the "all damage" bonus nicely)
All that, plus health and ammo regeneration, and improved accuracy.
Lets say you fire a burst of 10 rounds that do 100 damage each, at a target that you would normally miss half the time. This weapon has a 25% elemental effect that is x2 (200 additional elemental damage).
You used to do about 500 + 200 elemental damage (on average, 1 bullet will "proc").
Now your bullets all do 161 damage, you miss less often (call it hitting 75% of the time), your elemental effects are more common (%42 more often), and does 39% more damage.
Lets say 7 bullets hit (x 161) = 1127. More than doubled. And 4 (or 5) of those bullets will proc for (161 x 2 x 1.36 = 200 + 122 = 322 * 1.39) 447-ish per bullet. 4x447 = 1790. So a total of 2917 damage instead of 700 damage. DAMN. More than 4 times more damage, breaking down into around x2 the original bullet damage, and x8.75 the original elemental damage (which is just crazy)!
Bitches gonna DIE.
Issues with the above math:
- The accuracy is pure guesswork.
- It ignores crits, armor, elemental resistance, and fire & shock vs meat & shields
- The 25% elemental effect chance is also guesswork... AKA "rectal extraction". These are brown numbers we're dealing with here. The way elemental effect chance improvement works might not be linear (like accuracy), in which case the new effect chance would be less than 67%
- The elemental damage bonus might go from x2 to x2.36, meaning you'd see the most change-as-a-ratio from x1 elemental weapons. Dunno.
If the example were to change to a Hellfire (100% proc already, x4) that normally hit for 100 per bullet and the elemental damage goes to x4.36, and the accuracy goes from 80% to 90%, the numbers work out Like This:
Before: 100 x 8 x 5(1 for bullet, 4 for elemental fire) = 4000. Yes, hellfire's rock. After: 161 x 9 x 5.39 = 7810.11
That's an improvement of almost x2. 12.5% for the accuracy, 61% for the damage, and a tad from the elemental damage bonus.
OTOH, if you go with the Tormentor's overall damage bonus (13%) instead of the elemental damage bonus... you get:
After: 174 x 9 x 5 = 7830.
A marginal improvement, and one you'll see in weapons that don't have elemental effects at all.
See, if the elemental effect damage bonus is only applied to the base (bullet) damage, you only get it once (at 39%), but if you add to the bullet damage, the elemental multiplier picks that up too (so 52% of bullet from an x4 elemental damage weapon). An x3 weapon ties at 39%, and x2 and x1 weapons flat out lose.
Cash, XP, loot.
- Brick's... not much help. Just work to keep Berserk going so you can Prize-fighter yourself into a new mansion. How about Skirmisher? Short Fuse (cooldown reduction), Bash (chance to daze with melee), plus team melee damage and team max health.
- Lilith... meh. Catalyst again to keep the other folks' abilities coming.
- Soldier: Leader. XP & recharge delay, which will stack with Catalyst (with diminishing returns).
- Mordecai's Scavenger? More & better drops (to sell or keep), plus more Swipe for cash. Or Ranger, for Bird of Prey (more attacks means more swipe procs), and the team accuracy & crit/recoil is a nice bonus to an otherwise offense-poor team.