Borderlands 3 players disappointed in Zane’s endgame performance, don’t give up your main yet: The Operative is about to get a pretty nice buff.
On Friday, Borderlands 3 developer Gearbox Software released a hotfix update to the game with a wide-ranging set of buffs to general weapon performance and Zane’s abilities. If all runs as advertised when the hotfix is pushed live “on or before 3 p.m. PST,” Zane’s Digi-Clone and SNTNL Drone action skills will get huge damage boosts—38% for the Digi-Clone and 50% for the Drone. This fixes a big problem with Zane—while his barrier shield is useful in many contexts, his offensive skills always felt like pea shooters good for a few moments of distraction and little else, especially at high levels.
Of course, one big buff usually means an equally big nerf is inbound, and FL4K’s unstoppable critical hit machine build is being reined in a little bit. The Guerrillas in the Mist skill—which added a 50% critical damage boost for 8 seconds—is being reduced to a 25% boost for 6 seconds. FL4K mains will have to take it for a spin to be sure, but this nerf doesn’t seem like it kills FL4K’s crit builds, just thins the insane performance lead they have over every other option in the game.
A few of the less-appealing weapon types that have become a joke in the last two weeks are also getting a leg up. Maliwan weapons, for example, were widely derided for their trademark elemental stat boost hardly being worth their low damage and the charge time required to fire them. They’ll be getting a 25% damage boost, while their fire rate will be upped 20%.
The hotfix also comes on the heels of the first major Borderlands 3 patch, released yesterday. It was a more wide-ranging update, tweaking UI glitches, fixing optional boss Killavolt’s overpowered Shield Storm attack, and nerfing the popular Porcelain Pipe Bomb grenade mod.
Updates like these underscore that while Borderlands 3 feels very much like its predecessors, Gearbox is effectively treating Borderlands 3 like a live service game, balancing its characters, gear, and loot drop rates as needed—as well as fixing some weird problems that the game shipped with, like how often your character screams when suffering from elemental damage. (Thank God.)
Hopefully these updates and seasonal events like next month’s Halloween-themed Bloody Harvest event keep Borderlands 3 interesting and well-balanced for a good long time.