Forums: Index > Watercooler > Why no love for Sal?

Srsly, tho, y?

This question has been burning in my mind since the creation of the Fave VH poll. Salvador has consistently been the bottom ranked VH. Now, I understand that there has to be a last place, but the margin is astonishing. As of this post, here are the standings in the poll:

1st: Krieg (398 votes)

2nd: Maya (377)

3rd: Axton (347)

4th: Zer0 (313)

5th: Gaige (303)

6th: Sal (184)

It amazes me that the margin between Sal and Gaige, adjacent in the rankings, is greater than that between Gaige and Krieg, almost opposite ends of the ranking, and that all VH's, save for poor ol Sal, have broken 300 votes. This means that less than 10% of voters like Salvador. Is he bad? Does Gunzerk suck as an Action Skill? Is he still pretty damn awesome, but whereas he's a 10, all the other VH's crank this bitch up to 11? I understand why people wouldn't like Gunzerk, because it's power is completely reliant on the guns you find. Gaige and Axton's skills are toss-and-forget, Zer0's can function as an escape button, Maya is used in almost every Raid Solo strategy I've seen, and Krieg is just batshit crazy fun.

However, the biggest strength of Gunzerk is something that can only be achieved through modding: combining special abilities on guns. You ever wanted to do piles of damage with a Grog Nozzle? You ever wanted insane amounts of healing from your DPUH? Well, put a Nozzle in one hand, a Harold in the other, and you, my friend, are on the threshold of immortality. Oh, and Sal has abilities specifically geared towards pistols and wielding the same weapon type in each hand. A match made in heaven, one might say! And don't give me that crap about, "Well, you have to get some awesome guns first herfderf!" Please. Some of the best guns in the game are just given to you. Moxxi guns are rewards for fairly simple missions, or given to you if you're a good tipper, you don't even have to complete a mission to get a Nozzle, and thanks to Torgue vending machines, a DPUH is a few refreshs away from being yours. And the only thing standing between you and a Sand Hawk is half of a sub-par DLC.

But here's the best part: you want to deal sick damage with the Sabre Turret? You want slag guns and missile pods? Skill points. You want slag and rockets with Sal? Go loot guns. Dying too much, Maya? Better put some points into Elated. Dying too much, Sal? Equip that Rubi that's 4 levels old, but you're not going to fire it, no. You're pairing that thing with that Maliwan SMG you just found. Set bitches on fire, get healing. Sal is the only VH whose skill can be strengthened and modified without spending a single skill point. But he still gets skill points, which makes him mountains of badass. The potential of Gunzerk is limited only by the amount of guns and gear in the game, and even though a Bazillion isn't a real number, it effectively describes just how versatile Sal can be.

TL;DR: Why do people not like Salvador?

Mech-Romance (talk) 00:37, September 30, 2013 (UTC)

First, let me say that i love Salvador. He was my first character in BL 2. That said, the reason he is liked less than other VH's, IMO, is the very reasons you have stated.  All the other characters action skills are powerful, pretty much from the get go. Thier action skills dont require good weapons, in fact, they almost completly overcome the lack of great weapons. 
Salvador is almost completely reliant on great weapons to make him great. He has no real Shield buffs. His health buffs are inadequit in UVHM. Finally, getting the weapons you mention still requires you to have good weapons to get to the points you must reach to aquire them. 
Yes, once you have the right load out, he is a beast. He is a great character and quite useful in the right settings. Veggienatersml 03:32, September 30, 2013 (UTC) 
Yeah, I noticed that even towards the end of TVHM Sal was dying quite a bit, even speced full tank, he had little survivability. Maybe it was because I love the Rough Rider/Inconceivable combo, free ammo FTW, and the lack of shield really hurt his survival chances. However, I think Sal is a late bloomer. He starts out weak, the weakest in the bunch probably, but late game, if you stick with it, get lucky with your loot, he becomes a pain hose that will decimate anything in your path. Sal will likely only appeal to those hardcore players who want a DPS generator and have the skill and patience to get Sal up to that level of destructive godhood. Mech-Romance (talk) 17:16, October 2, 2013 (UTC)

+1^ Having two guns is very strong. Regen health and ammo on top. Sal was my first character as well and I had expectations of tanking like a Brick. I think I got to around level 34 and my friend was living much better than Sal was capable of at the time. He also had crap weapons. He is much better if you have guns already to give him or know where to find them. On the combinations: Very intriguing. When I stopped playing Sal, I always imagine the power of the combinations of guns I found on other characters. I will definitely go back to Sal in the future with those combinations to experiment with. On skill points: The very "weakness" you describe in other characters by sinking skill points for survivability or damage output is the very strength you are missing about other characters. They are less dependent on gear and more dependent on skills. Every so often, every character goes through a low point in the game (no matter what the level). These low points are either when the gear is just not up to par for the missions or when the skill points are not enough or both. Characters that buff their talents with skills can level a few times and things just start working again. If you dont find a good sniper for 10 levels, your character can really suck if that is your playstyle. The skill changes and playstyle changes make a character more versatile, not less. The versatility of weapons is extreme and profound, and so is not having the weapon level you need at the time. I get what your saying, but I see points on both sides of the coin. Final signature 07:52, September 30, 2013 (UTC)

I see what you're getting at, Robot. Difficulty humps in the game can mostly be overcome with a quick respec or a little grinding, but Sal requires ludicrous amounts of luck with loot drops to stay good. But I think Gearbox purposfully designed Sal this way. He was the first character revealed, so they hoped that more people would play Sal as their first VH. When the player realized that his AS is reliant on loot drops, it forces the player to loot more guns, thus forcing the player to explore the new gun generation system and see what loot BL2 has to offer. Sal is still a good character, but looking at him from this perspective makes him more of a way for Gearbox to say "Look what we did with the guns! Cool, huh?" Unfortunately, the damage curve on the guns is too steep and forces the player to loot new gear far too often. In BL1, I was still using a lvl 30 AR around lvl 42 simply because I hadn't found anything better, and it was still pretty damn effective. In BL2, that isn't the case. Guns are good only for about 4-6 levels before you have to upgrade. Yeah, it forces players to explore the main draw of the Borderlands franchise, the loot, but it's a hell of a way to do it. Mech-Romance (talk) 17:16, October 2, 2013 (UTC)

Good point about the skill points IATBR. Also, Salvador seems like he should be the tank of the group, able to take tons of damage while using Zerk, but that is just not the case. Maybe I'm just playing him wrong, but he is just not putting out the damage nor does he have the survivability of some of the other characters in UVHM.--Veggienatersml 13:16, September 30, 2013 (UTC)

First, not entirely sure what IATBR stands for. Is that a captial i or a lowercase L? IlIlIlIlIl See? Can't tell the difference. But I digress. Sal at the beginning of UVHM is probably the weakest VH next to Krieg. Everyone else's Action Skill can remove the player from combat for a while, whether it be tossing something out to draw fire (Turret, Deathtrap, Deception Decoy) or removing an enemy from combat with Phaselock, which, if you have a point in Converge, messes with everyone else for a few seconds. Sal and Krieg's skills REQUIRE that you come out from behind cover and charge at the enemy, Krieg's more so. So survivability in the early stages of UVHM for these two is extremely limited. Especially since UVHM is a fake difficulty setting which just turns enemies into overinflated sacks of meat with health regen. No mods to enemy AI, no new enemy types that bolster the powers of other enemies like the Witch Doctors in Big Game Hunt (my fave enemy type), just meatbags. Hell, these meatbags have totally nerfed my Melee build Zer0, and that sucks. Yeah, Sal sucks at tanking but it could be because people are tanking him wrong. Tanking with Sal is less surviving everything and more surviving long enough to kill the other guy, then falling back to recover. Which isn't what tanking is about. So I can see that side of the argument. Mech-Romance (talk) 17:16, October 2, 2013 (UTC)

It's been proven mathematically that Sal is capable of producing the highest and most consistent DPS of all the Vault Hunters. I presume one major reason people do not like him as much as the other characters is that he's actually pretty boring to play as. Once you have the right gear, he's basically a point, click, die machine. It just isn't fun to me. New sig 03:15, October 1, 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, because we don't want to kill stuff as quickly as possible in an FPS. Sorry, but in UVHM, you WANT a point-click-die machine, otherwise you die to quickly to really enjoy the game. And in a shooter, I personally love being able to point my guns at something and melt it down in a sea of hot lead. But, to each his own, I'm not here to require people to like Sal, I'm just want to understand why people don't. Mech-Romance (talk) 17:16, October 2, 2013 (UTC)
There's no need to be so defensive. My personal experience, which I know from the forums is shared by many others, is that strategy and engaing gameplay is typically more fun than looking around and holding down both the trigger buttons with a DPUH and Grog Nozzle equipped. I could watch a youtube video of someone doing that and it would be as much fun and less work. Seriously, it's just mindless. Spec into the Gunlust tree and make sure to max out moneyshot, get the right gear, and never have to think again. Whoopee.New sig 00:29, October 5, 2013 (UTC) 

My reasons: One, Salvador does not have the fastest reload speed in the game. After all, the longer it take you to load a gun, the more likely you will die. Axton on the other hand has the fastest reload speed in the game. Two, Salvador does not get much benefits from shields, especially the Bee. Although there are builds that can give him an edge in battle that doesn't require the Bee shield, the Bee shield is A MUST for UVHM. If you don't have that, or any skills that maximize the shield benefits, you will die, A LOT. Three, Savlador does not gain any increase in overall damage done. Although there are ways to increase those ways, they are very inconsistant and you must be wielding a pistol. Seriously, a pistol? What about the other weapons? They don't get the benefits. Axton on the other hand can dish out large and consistant damange without having to be in any situation and can get the extra damage from any gun, not just pistols. These are my reasons why I don't really like Savlador. He just doesn't suit me in those ways. Light Buster (talk) 11:27, October 2, 2013 (UTC)

I would like to point some things out that are...not very true, Light Buster.  Firstly, Axton, statistically, does not have the fastest reload speed in the game.  That crown would go to Zer0, or would if Krieg didn't pop into the scene.  Ignoring all Gun Specific, Health, and Universal related requirements/bonuses, Kreig has the highest reload speed of all.  Zer0 has the secondmost.  All the Assassin needs is a Blue Rarity The Professional COM, and 5 points into Fast Hands and Killer, and then there you go.  All of that (given, that your COM is Level 61) will make your reload speed about 221%.  The highest possible for the Commando is 194%.  The Psycho, however, requires a Good Barbarian COM, with 5 points into Nervous Blood and Fire Fiend, which (again, assuming the COM is at Level 61) will equal out to 272%.  This is the highest possible in the game, discounting Badass Rank.  Salvador, while he can't reload as fast as the others, can still go fast enough to deal decent damage.  If he has a Legendary Gunzerker COM with 5 points into Keep Firing..., All in the Reflexes, and Incite, it will equal out to 125%.  Now, about the shield part.  He most likely doesn't benefit from the Bee if multi-pellet weapons are used (excluding weapons that spawn projectiles).  If your Bee Shield isn't charging then try strafing, using cover for a moment and then unloading when your shield is charged and your foe is vulnerable.  For the third part...I would like to differ.  While he does not have many outright damage additives, he has two abilities that tip the ice berg: No Kill Like Overkill and Money Shot.  The amount of damage thrown in by those two (and more from Money Shot if you get multiple shots from Inconceivable and 5 Shots or 6) makes him absurdly powerful with the right guns.  A pistol may be powerful in the same way a sniper can be weak.  The Unkempt Harold would supplement well with I'm Your Huckleberry.  It is true that other weapons will not benefit from this, but other bonuses or pistols are available.  Salvador can leave an avalanche of destruction with the right build.  You just need to find the right gear.  Varesse (talk) 17:59, October 8, 2013 (UTC)

IATBR stands for me (I am the best robot). What the hell is everyone talking about? I played through with Krieg and without a Bee shield. UVHM was actually not hard at all. Sure there are dificult parts to it like some bosses but I found the hype about UVHM was not that bad. I suppose it is because I used Krieg. With the right build and the halfway decent equipment, Krieg rules. His power is unbalanced... Sure he has a bit of trouble with flyers and such but the counter weight of survivability is HEAVY. Anyway, it was good to see CJ again. Final signature 06:00, October 3, 2013 (UTC)

I hated the Gunzerker initially, mainly because (way back when) I had invested primarily in the Brawn tree. A buddy of mine suggested refocusing my build on offense and ol' Sal quickly became my most efficient and fun character. He's grown on me as a character as well. It's rather enjoyable to rip a badass apart with one trigger squeeze, watch him explode in a shower of gore, and Sal laughs that laugh of his that just tells you how much he loves his job. (Brilliant voice acting.) I was somewhat disappointed when I found out that this design I thought I'd made myself was actually considered the standard on the internet, but hey, what can you do. The good thing is all the gear he needs to operate is very easily accessible. I didn't get a single piece of new gear between level 61 and 72, and once he hit 72 I refitted everything within an hour and he only became more funfair. And I suppose I've also always been a sucker for dual revolvers. The Unforgiven III (talk) 11:25, October 3, 2013 (UTC)

This might sound crazy, but also true.  The reason why people also may not like the Gunzerker is because they are unable to differentiate rarities due to levels.  They might have a level 50 Unkempt Harold, but assume a green rarity level 54 Tediore (or Jakobs) would be a better choice because the listed damage would be higher than the latter, and don't know of it's full potential.  They will assume their garbage gun is the best they can get, and will even neglect higher rarities for the same rubbish they keep their paws on.  If you want an example, just look up theRadBrad's playthrough on Borderlands 2.  I've seen him ignore quite a lot of good gear when it was dropped/offered.  I am pretty sure he even (unintentionally) shunned a CC, which at that time was really good along with The Bee.  In addition, I think some of the weapons in the game are...nerfed beyond hell.  Bone Shredder is the ultimatum of trash, even white rarities fare better then this excuse for a weapon.  The recoil, accuracy (or lack there of.) and increased ammo consumption make it more crap than every E-Tech weapon made (Except Launchers).  Using a Bone Shredder with any class, let alone the Gunzerker, would be like trying to use a German Grenade.  Either way you'll just die.  Hell, the bloody Lascaux is more useful and that's a Blue rarity.  A lot of the Legendary weapons have features that are either redundent (Sledge's Shotgun), stupid (Flakker) or just insanely useless (Both of the aforementioned weapons).  It's as if the weapons were balanced on a broken see-saw.  On the overpowered side is the Unkempt Harold, the Norfleet, the Sand Hawk, and that's pretty much it.  ALL of the other weapons are on the other side, even those DLC1 Seraph weapons that were super garbage (and most of them still are.)  What makes things worse is online co-op, or at least for the console I play on (PS3 by the by.)  Playing online is like trying to turn Call of Duty into a functioning, non-corrupt government.  Impossible.  Yeah, more than one Vault Hunter can make things easier, but in this case it is quite the opposite.  And it isn't even their fault...95% of the time.  I literally can NOT use my usual build, as the game will usually crash from the sheer amount of explosive gyro-jets that are flying around.  Oh, but it gets better!  (not really)  If I join someone else's will progressively get laggier, buggier and glitchier as I play.  It gets to the point where enemies go INVISIBLE and loot is impossible to grab, despite being able to see the colored markers that identified them so.  I've even had a glitch where a fellow Gunzerker had stopped animating.  He was sliding all over the place, his LEFT ARM completely gone as gyro-jets magically appeared from his chest.  Loot.  Unable to obtain.  Enemies invisible and undetectable.  Yeah, I'd play multiplayer, but the sheer lag and amount of bugs is rather disheartening.  This is why I play solo so much.  The thing that annoys me further is that weapons are balanced for co-op towards later in the game.  This REALLY dampens how powerful Salvador, making him seem like a bad choice, and it's just annoying in general.  I really wish they would buff a lot of the guns that are incredibly horrible, at least make them niche weapons that are still usable all around.  Varesse, Ultimate Gunzerker (talk) 20:03, October 31, 2013 (UTC)

</Rename:Why no love for Guns and Co-op?> Final signature 01:31, November 1, 2013 (UTC)

Well the main reason why the Gunzerker is viewed as bad is because of the poor balancing of weapons, and the constant focus of co-op that also causes these weapons to be ultimately nerfed EVEN further, and explicitly for the specific game mode.  If his focus is guns than these two aspects really put the hammer on him, pretty much land-locking him to a very limited weapon set.  And co-op for PS3 is about as stable as a North Korean nuclear missile; It.  Doesn't.  Work.  Plus, add many, MANY of the glitches and other such that actually hamper damage, either directly or indirectly (such as the Hellfire's/Volcano's 1 DoT's, and the Storm's massively reduced damage, list goes on) are just intolerable and inexcusable.  I am pretty sure a Purple Rarity Bandit LMG at OP level 8 would still do next to nothing towards enemies that are level 72 and below.  And online is just so broken that it could compete with SR3 with how buggy everything is.  I really wish they would make a fine line between co-op and single player, maybe make two save types.  With offline, your guns do some more damage, and it should be the same (for now) for online saves.  Varesse, Ultimate Gunzerker (talk) 22:42, November 1, 2013 (UTC)