I like them, but stuff like Black Friday and Valentine's Day is crap. Christmas and the 4th are my favorites. They're only a chore if you make them one. It's all perspective.
I can confidently say there is no other game I've ever been so excited for and disappointed to the extent I was. It is a good game, yes, but I'll never like it because of a million different reasons. Here, I'll summarize because I don't have the energy to type an entire novel about it. I probably could, too. I should also preface this by saying I played the original since day 1, likely have surpassed 15k total hours on it over the years, and know it from the inside out.
They marketed it as having more loot, but implemented a completely watered-down weapon generation and rarity system compared to the first. The guns are trash and the variety sucks.
Took the crude humor so obnoxiously far the game became dull and annoying.
End-game bosses are monotonous. They turned it into raid boss style garbage from MMOs.
The characters suck compared to the first, and they destroyed said original characters' personalities in their involvement with the sequel.
They screwed up the story in a lot of ways.
Viable builds are too similar and aren't fun.
Randy Pitchford and Gearbox as a whole are grade-a trash.
Mass marketed the Hell out of the game and mainstreamed everything about it to appeal to everyone and their mother.
The fans and community turned to **** after its release.
The company got arrogant and greedy because of its success and suddenly tried to act relevant.
**** Gearbox and everything after Borderlands 1. They destroyed Duke Nukem and Aliens as well. I'm glad Battleborn crashed and burned.
I thought I'd like it and I tried to for a long time, but it'll never happen.
I see more people playing Rhino and Phantom just to dick around and troll than I do people playing Thunder seriously. So yeah, you're not the only who feels that way. Some mercs are borderline extinct and others just don't stand out in memory. Kira doesn't stand out to me at all. Maybe it's because the whole Japanese cliché, nerdy and cutesy personalities bore me. Over used and generic. Another one that goes pretty unnoticed is Aura. She's there, and she's a force, but I seem to forget about it by the time I'm in the next lobby. Probably just too much exposure. I've seen so much of her that I overlook her when thinking of mercs lol.
^ Amazing post. The only disagreement I have is with placing Sparks above Phoenix, but aside from that everything you've listed is spot on in my experience.
Edit: And not real big on the idea of Proxy being S tier either; I missed that on my first read. I think the potential is there, yes, much like Sparks, but I see them being far too situational and dependent on the user to be considered a great standalone merc. Good, but not great.
I forgot to vote for the best merc overall. This was hard, but my answer is Arty. I believe the current state of bursts will eventually be tweaked again and even without them he is still a viable merc.
Strong loadouts and versatility. Great ability with a short cooldown that can stop the EV, blow up generators from otherwise inaccessible areas, and kill enemies all day long. Sustained ammo, moderate health and speed, and effective at longer ranges. There are very few, if any, circumstances where an Arty on your team isn't ideal for everyone. I can't confidently say that about any other merc and thus he'll get my vote.