Balance Discussion - Everything Sienna

Yea, horrible thread title, I know. Also, this will be a lot of text. Well, we won’t get a summer BBB. Doesn’t stop us from discussing balance and doesn’t stop me from making unpopular suggestions. Topic today, balance concerning Sienna and her different classes. In total there are three classes: Battle Wizard (among the strongest meta choices in the game), Pyromancer (missing build variety but still having one extremely strong build), Unchained (having the most versatile talent tree of all Sienna careers but a bit to stacked on the passive side).

I know that there are a few other discussions out at the moment and especially the Pyromancer talk would have been placed better in the respective topic, but I wanted all information in one thread.

Unchained:

Let’s start with Unchained because in my opinion she is pretty close to being balanced and having good build diversity. As said before, I think her passives are a bit to stacked. I will refrain for now changing anything on Abandon despite not liking the existence of that talent at all. Abandon could simply be removed from the game as it is not necessary at all and doesn’t need a compensation. Worst balance decision concerning Unchained that Fatshark could ever make is Abandon being a passive. In this regard, I will keep potential changes to Unchained minimal.

  • Chain Reaction: Remove the increase of stagger power with overcharge from the passive list. It is simply to much and allows silly stuff with close to no investment. Add the increase of stagger power to Chain Reaction and make it the “stagger” talent in that row (which would pair well with Coruscation Staff for example). This would make this row very competitive with three excellent talents each supporting a different playstyle.
  • Bomb Balm: We should reduce the group THP talents and thematically several people have considered Bomb Balm kinda strange. As such, remove Bomb Balm and replace it with another “support” talent, the Flaming Sword of Rhuin. The talent will give each player in the explosion radius a fire dot on all their attacks for the next 6-10 seconds with a slightly increased fire dot damage.
    *Potentially Natural Talent: Natural cooldown of overcharge increased by 15 %.

Battle Wizard:

Battle Wizard has it all, high stagger, high damage and excellent defense and survivability tools. It is simply to much. Usually if attacks in the game have high cleave and high damage, they have close to zero stagger and vice versa. However, BW’s career skill and some talent combinations completely ignore this. As such I want to make some talent changes which force Battle Wizard to chose between damage OR control.

  • Volcanic Force: Fully charging a spell increases its power and heat cost by 50 %. This is to remove a bit of her burst power. Outside of Cataclysm this will be hardly noticed due to her career passive.
  • Famished Flames: Burning damage over time is increased by 150 %. All burn-causing attacks power is decreased by 30 %. This will keep all her weapons viable instead of shoe-horning her into Fire Sword. Fire Sword is still an excellent choice for damage but the heavy spamming does not give the safety and THP as before anymore.
  • Kaboom: Fire Walk’s explosion radius and burn damage increased, Fire walk no longer stagger elites and monsters. More damage, less control.
  • Burnout: Fire Walk can be activated a second time within 10 seconds, Fire walk damage (direct and burn) is reduced by 75 %. It is the counterpart to Kaboom giving high mobility and control but effectively not useable for killing enemies.

With Burnout and Kaboom being placed more in niches, the choice becomes more interesting. Also makes Volan’s quickening more interesting as choice as it effectively becomes the middle way. It could also be discussed vice versa by removing stagger from Burnout and making it the mobility talent.

Pyromancer:

As noted before, there is a whole thread dedicated already to Pyromancer. Pyromancer probably needs the most work, rework and rearrangement of talents. There is even the discussion if her core principle should be changed away from critical hits which would even need more work. Despite me not liking critical hits and thinking this will be terrible to balance, I will keep it as core of the system. I will also keep the overcharge mechanic identical to Battle Wizard because it is an excellent – and even more important interesting and fun – balance tool which absolutely needs to stay with Pyromancer. As such Volans Doctrine will vanish, at least the unconditioned version which is a design failure. Staying at high overcharge should be made more attractive in return. As mentioned before, Crit Careers are hard to balance and the suggestion here would need heavy playtesting. So be prepared that the rework I describe may potentially be completely busted.

New passive: 50 % more critical hit damage at critical overcharge levels (90 % or higher)
Level 5 row: Stays as it is, not the focus of the discussion
Level 10 row: yet to add

  • Talent 1: Killing an elite grants you 20 % damage reduction for the next damage you receive (includes venting and friendly fire), team killing a monster makes one of the two stacks permanent
  • Talent 2: Venting can be done while having equipped your melee weapon
  • Talent 3: Killing an enemy through burning grants 20 % increased dodge for the next dodge, stacks up to three times

Level 15 row: Stays as it is, not the focus of the discussion

Level 20 row:

  • Talent 1: Increased Attack Speed by 2 % per overcharge stack
  • Talent 2: Increased Movement Speed by 2.5 % per overcharge stack, moving cools overcharge down faster
  • Talent 3: Increased Power by 2.5 % per overcharge stack

Level 25 row:

  • Talent 1: Killing an elite in melee removes overcharge penalties for 10 seconds, overcharge can for the duration not decrease (neither by talent effects, nor venting, nor naturally)
  • Talent 2: Killing a special in ranged combat stops you from overheating for the next 10 seconds (you still generate heat, you just don’t spasm out as long as the effect is in place)
  • Talent 3: Adds an additional stack at 90 % overcharge where all active properties are doubled (Charm, Trinket, Necklace, Weapon in usage) EDIT: I just noticed that this set-up would allow shenigans like “120 % BCR” :stuck_out_tongue: I will ignore it for the moment as it is temporary only

Level 30 row:

  • Talent 1: Burning Head counts both as melee and ranged hit
  • Talent 2: Removes all overcharge and adds 4 “overcharge” stacks for 10 seconds
  • Talent 3: Burning Head is replaced by a small ranged projectile with no cleave which explodes (small AoE damage) at first enemy contact, counts as ranged hit, reduces career skill cooldown to 15 seconds

There is still a lot of optimization to be done. I am not to happy with the texting of Level 10 talents and some talents at other places are not as interesting. Some core ideas should synergize pretty well though. So what I consider as “should stay” are: 15-2, 25-1, 25-2, 25-3, 30-1 and 30-2. As mentioned some talents may be close to borderline broken alone already. With existing synergies it is probably to much. But this may be adjustable with some number rolling.

Coruscation Staff:

I will single out Coruscation Staff as it is the new one and the weapon i used most in the last weeks. And it is to notice that the higher the density the more overpowered it becomes due to the high damage and unlimited cleave the weapon has as well as the low heat cost for the LMB. Therefore, I will suggest some simple changes will hardly be noticed on Legend or below but make it a tad more interesting and balanced and Cataclysm+.

  • Increase Fire Cone duration by 25 %, reduce damage by 20 %. Allow two Fire Cones max at time (new casting removes old cones without application of the ending fire dot), slightly increase LMB heat costs.

As all new ranged weapons in the last 12 months, the staff is simply to strong and spammy.

4 Likes

I do not play Sienna enough to be sure about anything else but i really like the suggestions for kaboom and burnout!

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Chain Reaction is entirely defunct really. It’s a bit gimmicky and doesn’t seem to do much at all. The suggestion of making the passive stagger into something that is part of Chain Reactions is a pretty good one. Unchained with the Flail and it’s excessive stagger should be something you build for.

Bomb Balm needs to go completely I think as it is the definition of a panic button - there just to stop a bomb going off. While it does make Unchained more accessible I suppose I think it should be replaced with something more… wild… in keeping with unchained. Maybe something like 20% crit power, 50% damage, Increased attack speed and increased crit chance… oh wait… That would be idiotic to include something like that. /sarcasm.

In truth I’d like something that forced Unchained into melee, or gave an incentive for Unchained to “pile in” and windmill around walloping stuff with impunity.

Pyro, I think needs a massive rework. Damage Reduction needs a little bump somewhere to make her a little less squishy without being over the top. Problem with big reworks is that there’s so much changed it’s hard to see what’s actually any good.

If unchained is best all rounder, and BW is best AoE/DoT/Ranged then Pyro should lean more into melee with massively powerful bursts of ranged. Dunno how though, but she’s arguably the best Melee of Sienna’s classes so maybe talents need to be more melee focused? As you say though, there’s a whole thread about it.

Battle Wizard suffers a bit from Elf Syndrome, in that she’s a bit too good at everything. Kaboom could even have the same effect as the SoTT high damage wall that ejector-seats things into the air. Your suggestions for Kaboom and Burnout are pretty good tbh and a tiny tweak to give pyro a bit more of an identity is to reduce BW melee a little bit.

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I’m surprised to not see any mention of Unchained’s talent Abandon.

I appreciate that both Abandon and Bomb Balm were designed to address player’s complaints about UC post WoM, but gotta say it didn’t just address community complaints as much as it made a talent combo that overpowers the rest of her. Whether together or separate, both talents account for how much more challenging UC is to play in higher difficulty content with the side-effect of actively rewarding reckless play.

She shouldn’t have a 2 minute cooldown on her ult and team wide healing is more like a bandaid to her design that keeps her from being looked down on as much as Huntsman (that’s not a personal opinion of Huntsman, that’s just how it is).

This is my go-to bot because she’s guaranteed to keep the team topped up on health more than a human playing Mercenary.

Is she a worse offender than BW? No. Not really. It’s just frustrating because we said, “Hey, UC be blowing up to much because of beastmen, archers, invisible gas, friendly fire, ect. Please lower her cooldown.” And then they gave us a cooldown lowering talent and it’s the thing you choose. I just never see Enfeebling Flames builds and I’ve never heard of a build using Natural Talent, I can’t imagine what that’s even for except to be part of some weird ranged spammy build.


I don’t think Battle Wizard’s Volcanic Force is hurting the game nearly as much as the forums have been making it out to be, recently.

Fire Walk killing things is not a problem, either, and the people saying that are all in the C3DWONS crowd. Sienna’s AOE abilities doing what they should is a mod realm problem, exclusively so. I don’t even get what Mod people have against Fire Walk’s damage.

I understand it’s not just you saying BW is too good at everything, but I noticed a common theme of not addressing the parts that make her unkilly and the universal hate of flamesword. I say delete Soot Shield and replace THP on stagger with THP on crit/headshot, you’ll never see flamesword in the game ever again.

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I dunno, it feels pretty silly good even on Legend and Cata. I am not a modded realm player but even without soot shield fire walk has a pretty incredible combination of escape potential, control, mobility and damage all rolled into a low cooldown Ult. I don’t think it really gets silly until you add burnout to the equation, so I’m in favour of @Adelion’s suggested burnout changes. Kaboom is probably fine though since it was already nerfed pretty heavily in the damage department, to the point I’m not sure anybody even runs it anymore. Removing its boss stagger would probably be fine but removing the elite stagger is too far IMO.

Only thing I’d add regarding the Ult row is I’d prefer a more interesting effect for Volans. I’ve floated the idea before that Volan’s resets tranquility. This would lead to a nice synergy with Rechannel builds, essentially giving you two quick full charge spells if you Ult in between. It also might make Centred more desirable, I don’t think that one gets run much currently. I’m not sure whether or not it would be appropriate for it to still get the CDR. In the current state of her Ult talents I’d say it would need to keep the cooldown to be competitive. With the suggested changes in this thread to the other options though it might be competitive with just the tranquility resetting effect.

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What I’m about to suggest would be kind of a nerf I’m not sure people would be ok with but here goes. What if your heat level boosted only the stagger power of the chain reaction explosions? If you wanted to be wild it could affect their radius too (probably too much). Then chain reaction was either given a higher proc chance or the conditions were widened (extended to also proc on burning enemies killed by team mates - this is my preferred option). I think that would make it a much more impactful and interactive talent. UC doesn’t really need the bonus stagger on her melee attacks from her passive anyway, it was kind of a silly recent addition.

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You don’t need to outright remove the stagger power increase with overcharge. Just nerf the flail’s intrinsic stagger power lightly since it’s the only weapon (at least to my knowledge) that completely blows off the charts in terms of scaling. For Chain Reaction to actually compete with Frenzied Flame it would have to work as its name suggests, namely to spread some meaningful effect from burning enemies onto others. Outburst is a sub-par talent as well currently. Increasing the dot would be a good start, but it could also be reworked in other ways.

I used to hold the same opinion for a while, but then I learned that the lore of fire does contain primitive healing spells, so the talent being there isn’t that far fetched. In any case, in my own ideal world I’d remove all group healing talents across all careers (including SotT’s buff; everyone gets to run barkskin+boon of shallya these days lol), together with converting healshare to a necklace trait and giving 3 personal healing options to each career. I think that would solve plenty of Verm2’s problems across the board. Buffing everyone with fire damage would be cool though on UC’s explosion.

There’s no point in nerfing VF imo. It’s already a niche talent that’s only really impactful on bolt staff. Even then, there’s hardly ever a “real” use for it in the official realm. It scales really well in modded stuff, but from my perspective that should remain a “who cares?” territory as far as balancing is concerned.

Famished Flames and Lingering Flames are both a mess. The former is too strong on flamesword, the latter is completely useless outside of recruit or whatever. The fundamental problem however is the limited choice of weapons that are viable for thp generation, and this would be fixed through the thp changes suggested above. Open the other weapons for use and then you can come up with new things for these two talents.

Nobody really uses Burnout to kill enemies. Even if you removed the damage component entirely it would still remain the absolute best pick on that line. Unless you give her the damage to wipe a patrol at the press of an F, which probably isn’t advisable, being able to call firewalk twice per use is always going to give you the best output.

It’s difficult to say what would work best here. You need to look at her kit as a whole, then look at the other careers and whatever you have in mind for their own identity, and also keep in mind that there’s a fourth career in the works. BW does everything right now due to a multitude of reasons, some of them being outside of the character herself (see the thp problem). I don’t think you can really address the issue by looking at a handful of individual talents.

This kind of absurd conditioning is the fundamental problem of pyro. It feels very clunky, clumsy and unfun to try and stay at high heat/health on a squishy career in order to get some effect, and the other choices are simply boring or not impactful. Staying on high heat as pyro usually means your brain cells get burned on finger gymnastics rather than the game’s mechanics as a whole. The one exception to this being given by game-breaking gimmicks like guaranteed crit combos in expeditions, at which point you can just put your butt to a wall and spam burning head for the whole run. In a possible redesign, I would outright change all talents that demand very high heat or very high health, or killing specific enemies in specific ways for a tangible effect to something else. Overly restrictive stuff just ends up limiting your gameplay for not much benefit usually.

I think you are missing the design philosophy of talent trees here. Level 10 is always the “offensive” tier, related directly to getting more out of your hits when you swing or shoot one way or another. More damage, more stagger, more attack speed or stuff like that. It’s the level 25 talents that deal with defense and utility, but even then these choices don’t really make much sense, to me at least.

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I do have strong opinions about boss stagger. There’s too much and no intermediate levels. Way, way too many classes capable of throwing bosses off cliffs.

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I think i will make multiple answer posts even when it will cause the system to complain -_-

I did mentione Abandon. And I am gritting my teeth here because there are several potential changes I could see for it. First off, having it as a talent is still better than having it as a passive as that would be a horrible balance decision. Second, I could live very well with the utter removal of Abandon. Other than that, I would be open for a switch in talent tree position between Chain Reaction and Abandon. Then people would feel more pressure in chosing. Other than that, I have preaching in the BBB that overheating explosion while under the influence of Abandon simply shouldn’t grant the career skill talents.
Other than that both Abandon and Enfeebling Flames are hard to notice if run by teammates. All I can say to you is that I run Enfeebling Flames 100 % of the time and that the Enfeebling Flames Cataclysm build is also part of the new Ranalds.Gift so it is a stable other people run as well. Also, the two minute cooldown for Unchained is fine as it is. Abandon could just be toned down a bit. But I wanted to keep the changes to her minimal before people start an Abandon discussion again how it is “necessary” to play Unchained (It is not) and should be a passive (It absolutely should not).

Concerning Natural Talent, I kinda agree but I wanted to keep the focus on the removal of the stagger power from the passive list. An idea I toyed with but wrote not down is to change Natural Talent to increase the natural cooldown rate of her overcharge (maybe 10-20 %). It would decrease her ranged burst damage potential (shouldnt be to much of a problem), sustained damage would stay about the same (disregarding exploiting the overcharge buffer), would make it slightly harder to maintain high overcharge levels BUT would also increase her defense as the “downtime” between “allowed” hits would cool down faster. So instead of avoiding damage after reaching max overcharge it would not take 2-3 seconds but only 1.6 to 2.4 seconds (depending on value). But again, my focus was on the passive stagger :stuck_out_tongue: (and Pyromancer)

I don’t think THP in crit/headshot fits her at all. It is also not an universal hate on Flamesword. It is the super-synergy between Famished Flames, THP on stagger and Flame Sword that is the problem. It gives her a lot of damage while having a superb defense with stagger, health and even increased defense. I could decided to adress the defense proportion of this with the suggested change which would result in slightly less THP and also less stagger overall. It would still be a damage talent which is fine. But the change for Famished Flames was considering her whole kit as it also helps making other weapons more viable for the Famished Flames build. It certain regards it works as a buff.

I am not sure if just adressing the power of the explosions would help as long as the explosions themselves don’t damage the enemies. But I am open for discussions. The main focus for the Unchained suggestions is to remove the stagger power from the passive list. Because as you said, it was just added later and it is silly. It is a good compromise to change it to a talent.

don’t think that’d be enough to make the talent good tbh; everything about how chain reaction works is just so gimmicky currently. Big agree on replacing bomb balm, makes no sense for the unstable walking bomb to be healing people lmao

You have to look at Sienna and her careers and talents in a larger picture, otherwise you will reach narrow-minded conclusions. I have not removing the stagger power, I am transferring it to a talent. It is silly on all her weapons with varying degree with the Flail just being the most prominent example. Also, adjusting Flail would cause issues on her other careers. That is why the changes to the stagger power are the better idea. Having it as a talent is a good compromise and will increase the utilty of Chain Reaction. Frenzied Flame and Outburst are already on equal level. Outburst outdamage Frenzied Flames on high density (on par on Legend, better on Cataclysm) and with Enfeebling Flames is also the better team support option while Frenzied Flame is the more egoistical and better self-support option. But I am open to adjusting Frenzied Flame to 10 %. Outburst definetely does not need any change.

Huh, didn’t know that one. My gripe here in general is with team THP options. But I think we are on the same line in that regard.

It is not really a nerf as outside of Cataclysm it does change much. In does maybe in modded but as you said “Who cares?”. So if we make a talent change which makes a talent or career bad in modded content it can be disregarded. It is mainly to adress the identities of the different careers with making Pyromancer the burst career. Battle Wizard can still have it but has to pay a certain price. But again, it is hardly a nerf for Cataclysm. It is more about identity.

Lingering I have not touch, not sure how to adress that one. Current problem is that everything shoehorns into Flame Sword surrounding Famished Flames and THP. As desribed above, the suggested changes on Famished Flames would already open up more options for weapons on Battle Wizard. For most weapons it is an outright improvement concerning weapon choice which is something people usual aim for.

I am open to increasing the damage for Kaboom if it does not stagger much anymore. Another option would be to remove the stagger from Burnout and making that the mobility talent while leaving boss stagger to Kaboom only. I would just like to have more interesting choices instead of damage/stagger vs damage/stagger. There are different options which can be discussed.

It is not clunky. It is dynamic. That is why the Overheat Slowdown is one of the best balance mechanisms in the whole game. Her whole kit increases with the overcharge up to the point where the disadvantage overtakes the usage. Extremely dynamic and well done. But if people insist on playing on the highest overcharge, I simply adressed the issue with giving them a reason to get there despite the drawbacks. They still have to invest some skill or talents to stay there but they have now a good reason for it. A with the changed level 25 talent row there is nothing restrictive on the suggested talent tree. It is not like staying at high health is complicate or hard to manage.

I don’t think we should stay overly focused on the design of talent trees as there are level 10 talents which either work primarly as defensive talents like Staggering Force or Chain Reaction or need some kind of defense action like Riposte or Rune-Etched Shield. Anyway, IF this should really be an issue I am also open for simply switching the suggested talent rows.

As said before, I am also open for Switching Abandon and the modified Chain Reaction. I think Abandon vs Frenzied Flame vs Outburst and Natural Talent vs Modified Chain Reaction vs Enfeebling Flames are more equal choices. I mainly want to get the stagger power out of the passive list. It wasnt there for the longest time and it did not cause any issues. If people still want to have it they can pick the talent for it.

Yeah, and BW would just become a super super passive boring class to play, as she doesn’t have any real boosts to melee damage for kill, or to crit chance for crit thp. You’d still run her because she can put out obscene dps and has solid control, but your current corus/fire sword builds would just lean even further into the “Put down your geysers and basically go afk with a heavy 1 macro until you can put more down” playstyle.

I don’t think a suggestion that’s just “ruin the ability for the class to gen thp” is a very good one. We should be moving away from thp talents deciding which classes are allowed to be good or not, not further into that trend.

I do agree abandon is silly though, and it’s absolutely a bandaid talent. Should really just be a passive, instead of her just having a dead talent row.

3 Likes

If you delete THP on stagger from Sienna you will never ever see weapons exept Flail
And i mean never.

My bad, I looked over it. Yeah, Abandon being a passive would be lazy and make encouraging bad Zealot-esque gameplay even worse. It should be removed, Bomb Balm should be anything else (I’ve nothing against self-THP boost but it isn’t important on a beast like UC, either), and the total ult time should be less than 120 seconds.

I know. I wanted to be hyperbolic, but I don’t think it really worked.

From my point of view, most of the talk I’ve seen about Battle Wizard (and I really do mean that in the broadest term, not just this thread or specifically you) has mainly been to make her clunky in some ways or reign in her damage. But everyone also points out the THP on stagger + Soot Shield and flamesword without really discussing if BW should even be so tanky.

You mean people can do that even more :0

I swore we are at peak flamesword heavy 1 gameplay already!

What about Siennas weapons?

Flail - is top 1\2 weapon for her.
And it is the same as Victors flail. And his flail is not even close to meta for him. It shows how actually bad her melee weapons are.

Ah, I did an edit at later point, giving some more opinion on Abandon. Before it was just a half-sentence which could easily be overlooked. Sorry.

Don’t worry. It is a forum and we should feel free to make suggestions even if we get backlash. I roll my eyes sometimes as well if we have people like “I have beaten every challenge in the game. Let’s keep buffing everything into the stars.” Anyway, going for her defense attributes is a good idea I think. I am doing the same but people are kinda iffy if you nuke there failsafes. But the Flamesword synergies are an issue currently. I think most agree that BW and that weapon synergize better than most other things in the game. What to do with that, opinions differ.

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Sienna’s flail is literally not the same as Victor’s.

Flame sword and flaming flail are both solid weapons that could find a home in other careers, if they were available.

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Sure. Imagine Elf with flail. What a joke.

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