When Gaige the mecromancer
was first announced as Borderlands 2
's brand new character class the one thing that got the most attention was that someone at Gearbox referred to one of her skill tree as the "girlfriend" tree since it's so beginner-friendly.
Well, now that I've spent some time with Gaige, I can tell you that those fears were greatly overstated - that is, unless her "friends with benefits" tree was changed to seem less casual oriented. As it stands now, there is no part of that tree that reduces the difficulty a drastic amount or offers buffs that aren't all ready in line with I'd expect in a Borderlands game. The only two that come close are the skill that gives your bullets a change to ricochet into an enemy with reduced damage (50% reduction to start), and the skill that ties your shield recharge rate to your remaining health. In other words, the lower your health, the faster you shield recharges.
Other than that, the "friends with benefits" tree is mainly focused on the interaction between Gaige and her action skill robot ally named Deathtrap that's in many ways completely different from the other characters and their action skills. Her other two trees are concerned with elemental damage and a stackable buff called Anarchy (which is awesome, by the way) that boosts damage every time you kill an enemy or reload in combat.
So aside from new skills, what do you get with Gaige? Well, nothing except the option to use a brand new character and hear some new call-outs. However, in my opinion she's the best looking of the new vault hunters. Frankly, as time goes on I find myself more and more bored by the way the other four look. Factually speaking, her action skill might seem like a variation on the turrets that Roland and Axton can deploy but Deathtrap can actively hunt enemies, attack them with melee slashes (and later a laser and the elemental attack of your choosing) while dishing out bolts of electricity to deal with flying enemies (burn in Hell you ************* rakks).
Overall, I think she is a worthwhile addition to the ranks and if you were worried that she might be obnoxious like Tiny Tina, you can stop 'cause she's not. She's maybe a tad expensive for those of you that didn't pre-order Borderlands 2
and have to pay $9.99, but since she's a permanent addition you can essentially get infinite playtime with her. She didn't even delete my Badass rank.
The mecromancer DLC
is available for download right now.