The Mechromancer, Borderlands 2's fifth character class, has been waiting in the wings for a few weeks now, polishing her pet robot Deathtrap in anticipation of the day she'll finally be allowed to play with her other classmates. Well, that day is today - Gaige is crashing down on Pandora early, ahead of her previously scheduled October 16th debut. To celebrate her arrival, Gearbox have released another of their lovely interactive skill trees (opens in new tab) , giving the the perfectionists among us a chance to map out her character development in advance.
Having played around with the skill tree a fair bit, we get the impression that the Mechromancer is acting as a sort of unofficial easy mode, providing you choose the right upgrades. For people who can't shoot straight, the Close Enough skill will cause bullets to ricochet off walls and into nearby enemies, albeit with a notable damage reduction. Cooking Up Trouble, meanwhile, grants regenerative health, providing your magazine is full. Neither skills are likely to turn the game into a cakewalk, but they might make it easier going in the beginning, particularly for solo players. Both skills reside in the health and shield-focused Best Friends Forever tree. The others - Little Big Trouble and Ordered Chaos - are a little more esoteric, but they essentially revolve around the elements and causing chaos, respectively.
Gaige's real value, however, lies in her giant robo-chum Deathtrap, who can be summoned to the battlefield at the touch of a button. As with Axton and his Sabre Turret, you're essentially getting a two-for-one deal with the Mechromancer class, meaning they should make a pretty useful addition to any vault-hunting group. We'll know for certain when the DLC lands later today, for the low, low price of free to anyone who pre-ordered Borderlands 2. The rest of us will have to fork over £7.99 for the privilege.