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When an enemy takes either enough damage in a single hit or else any critical hit, it briefly enters a Stunned state. Running enemies will stop running, staggering back for a step, while attacking enemies will pause their attack. If the attacking enemy was charging an energy weapon, such as an energy beam or elemental breath, stunning them will abort the charging sequence, forcing them to start anew.
The stunned state period varies remarkably, some enemies are stunned for less than a second, some stunned for in excess of 3. The duration depends on the species and level of enemy in relation to the player. Upon recovering from the stun, the enemy will resume its charge or attack.
Stunning can sometimes also be caused by a successful Shock elemental attack, though the effect is brief, and difficult to observe through the shower of blue sparks. Weapon knockback will also stun an opponent.
Repeated critical hits to already stunned enemies can maintain those enemies in a state of perpetual stun, helpless to flee or otherwise defend themselves. This is called "stun-locking."
Heavily armored foes
While heavily armored opponents such as mature Spiderants and Lance Defenders take little damage from most attacks, the concussion of those attacks against their armor eventually exacts a toll. Upon accumulating enough total armor damage, these near-impervious enemies will enter a Stunned state similar to that of softer targets. They will stop charging or attacking, and furthermore will temporarily make themselves more vulnerable: Spiderants will pivot ninety degrees while staggering, exposing their unarmored abdomen to their attacker, while Lance Defenders will briefly lower their impervious shields. A spiral visual indicator will swirl around the stunned opponent for the duration of the stun.
Upon recovering from the stun, the armored enemy will resume its usual defensive stance, along with any previous aggressive behavior.
The Badass Tankenstein can stun the Vault Hunter with a thrown explosive barrel or charge attack, as can the Loot Goon with its shock ball. Movement speed slows for 2 seconds, and the player sees the swirling stun visual indicator.
Three of the four Vault Hunters have skills that can Daze an opponent. Dazed enemies behave normally, but suffer greatly slowed movement speed and reduced accuracy. The effect further extends to any weapons used by the Dazed foe, reducing the rate of fire of even fully automatic weapons, and slowing projectile velocity.
- Lilith can daze enemies with melee strikes, her action skill, or gunfire.
- Brick can daze enemies with melee strikes.
- Mordecai can daze enemies with his action skill.
- Roland has no skills that cause Daze.
More ranks in a skill increases the probability that a Daze attempt will succeed. Enemies of a higher level than the Vault Hunter are less likely to succumb to Daze, while enemies of a lower level are more likely.
A Dazed enemy is surrounded by a visible golden aura that persists for the duration of the daze, 6 seconds. The aura remains visible even if the enemy burrows out of sight, as a Larva Crab Worm may do. Should an enemy die while Dazed, the aura persists around the fallen body for a while.
Dazed opponents will attempt normal aggressive or defensive behavior. Their slow speed, however, makes them easy targets for critical hits, and prevents escape or effective retaliation. Furthermore, the slowing extends to the speed with which the Dazed foe can pivot. Vault hunters at close range can circle-dance away from counterattacks, and by circling can more easily reach critical hit zones that are usually inaccessible, such as the abdomen of a Spiderant, or the back of Sledge's head. Their reduced rate of fire and projectile velocity makes them even less dangerous in combat. Weapons such as rocket launchers and Eridian particle cannons are particularly profoundly slowed, making sluggish shots that are easily dodged by an alert player.
A Dazed opponent can be stunned with a particularly powerful or critical hit, just like a non-Dazed opponent. Dazed opponents are particularly vulnerable when stunned, since the entire stunning or flinching animation plays more slowly. This expedites stun-locking, since there is more time in which to land another stunning blow, and the slower-moving opponent is generally easier to target.
Heavily armored foes
Heavy armor provides no protection against Daze.
Pumpkinhead can Daze the Vault Hunter with a thrown pumpkin bomb. The player will find themselves with slowed movement, much as if they were stunned. Furthermore, player projectile velocity is decreased. The effect has a brief duration.
An area-of-effect spit attack from a Defiler, if successful, will leave its target spattered in sticky bile, slowing its movement for 7 seconds.
If the Vault Hunter is slimed, his or her vision is obscured, with much of the player's view showing only green and brown patches of vomit. The view remains obscured until the Slimed effect subsides.
Attacks from lower-level enemies are less likely to slow the Vault Hunter, though they will still obscure the player's view.
Elemental Damage Over Time
Attacks from three of the four elements can potentially leave the target with elemental damage over time, or DOT. The target will be visibly ignited, electrified, or corroded by acid, and will continue to accrue elemental damage for as long as the state persists. The damage inflicted by this effect is proportional to that of the initial attack that triggered the effect. Over the afflicted target, the player will see a stream of numbers in the appropriate elemental color, e.g., a series of red numbers for an ignited enemy.
Multiple elemental attacks can potentially stack elemental DOT multiple times, increasing the total damage suffered. The elements stacked need not be the same: it is entirely possible for a target simultaneously to be aflame, corroding, and electrocuted.
Many forms of elemental DOT are contagious. They can spread to cover multiple parts of a target, with each afflicted area accruing damage to the target, or else can spread to afflict another enemy in sufficiently close proximity. If ignited enemies remain together, they may continue to re-ignite one another, potentially stacking DOT multiple times. Should the effect spread to a critical hit area, the resulting damage will include a critical hit bonus.
Note that Explosive attacks never inflict DOT.
Incendiary attacks may leave the target ablaze, periodically afflicting it with additional incendiary damage. Any incendiary weapon attack that procs has a chance to do this, as does a hit from a flaming enemy such as a Burning Psycho, the fireball from an incendiary grenade or rocket launcher, or Lilith's Phoenix effect.
Burning Psychos perpetually have the Ignited state, though they take no damage from it themselves.
Incendiary DOT is contagious, with a chance of spreading to afflict adjoining targets. Like any incendiary attack, it is weak against shielded targets, eroding their shields only slowly; however, once the shields fall, the target will burn quickly.
All enemies resistant to Incendiary damage will take no damage from Incendiary DOT.
Corrosive attacks may leave the target dripping with acid, periodically afflicting it with additional corrosive damage. Any corrosive weapon attack that procs has a chance to do this, as does the acid splash from a corrosive grenade or rocket launcher, or a melee strike from Lilith with the Venom skill.
Attacks against corroding enemies receive a 15% bonus to inflicted damage, reflecting their weakened state.
Corrosive DOT is contagious, with a chance of spreading to afflict adjoining targets. Like any corrosive attack, it is not strong against fleshy enemies, nor against armored enemies with standing shields; however, once an armored target's shields fall, it will corrode very quickly.
All enemies resistant to Corrosive damage will take no damage from Corrosive DOT.
Shock attacks may leave sparks coursing up and down the target's body, periodically afflicting it with additional shock damage. Any shock weapon attack that procs has a chance to do this, as does the ball of lightning from a shock grenade or rocket launcher, or Lilith's Radiance effect.
Shocked victims will also briefly be Stunned (q.v.).
Shock DOT is not contagious, with the exception of the effects of Radiance. While it usually persists for only a brief duration (again, Radiance is the exception), it will do great damage to any shields on the target in that time.
All enemies resistant to Shock damage will take no damage from Shock DOT.
While the Vault Hunters can succumb to elemental DOT, they do not suffer contagion. The player will see a brief red flash at the edges of the screen as the damage accrues.
All DOT on Vault Hunters is of brief duration.
- Main article: Crippled
When enemies' health falls to zero, they die. When the Vault Hunters' health falls to zero, they instead become Crippled.
- ↑ Like most BL effects, this originally lasted for 7 seconds, but was nerfed in patch 1.3.0