Rakk, those bat-like things that serve pain from above, seem to have attacks that are impossible to avoid. Even if I jump at the last second, they still end up somehow scoring a hit on me. Is there a way to dodge their attacks?
You are playing Borderlands 2, not Hitman: Absolution, last I checked. Nothing in Borderlands 2 should scream STEALTH, rather, it should scream, SHOOT!
Shotguns work great against rakk, as the spread of the pellets allows for almost insta-kills at close range. Trying to use weapons that have higher spreads should allow you to shred through rakk quickly. Avoid using snipers or rocket launchers; rakk move fast, and can easily dodge your attacks.
That said, if you really want to dodge a rakk attack, try strafing to the side and jumping. That usually makes them miss.
Rakk always attack in a straight line. Pay attention to the mini-map to see where they are in relation to you, then rotate to face their attack. Any rapid-firing weapon should be sufficient to take them down. I've successfully used shotguns, assault rifles, and pistols (both repeaters and revolvers). A well-timed melee attack will also take them down.
If none of these work, you can always equip a shield that provides elemental damage (such as a Maliwan Spike shield). When the rakk hits you, it takes damage, and usually enough to kill it.
Presuming you actually want to avoid them...
In general order of priority...
- Some rakk flocks are just hanging around, especially early on. If you don't shoot at them, they won't attack. (Later-game flocks seem to be a lot more aggressive though.)
And that's roughly the limit of how to not poke the bear, so to speak. Next up is "how not to get hit while killing them".
if you can get to somewhere with overhead cover, that will often prevent them from getting an attack run in.
Less effective but still useful is to get against a wall - not only does it prevent the attacks from that side, the rakks tend to get hung up on the wall trying to finish their swoop, which makes them easy targets.
If you're in open space, getting a vehicle makes life easier (both because you have infinite ammo and a bigger stack of health). I'd recommend the machine gun turret.
In all those cases (and the worst-case "stuck in the open with no vehicle"), you want a shotgun, SMG, or assault rifle, watch your minimap to see where they're coming from, and pour fire downrange. Rakks attack straight-line and don't have huge health bars, so it's fairly easy to drop one.
The strategy that works best for me is to run backwards while aiming to the entire flock. They tend to fly in a line so you'll have a good angle to shoot one after another as they fall.
Some rapid fire weapon (i.e. any good Vladof gun) should dispose of them easily. If they get close, switch to a shotgun. Rather than dodging, don't give them the chance to approach you.
This is quite class-agnostic. There might be a better option based on your character class AND skills.