Balancing Burning Dregs

For the most part we got some welcome changes to Unchained which left her already strong nature from pre-BBB intact and added some more variation to her. For most part I am very content with the current iteration aside from two things:

  • I don’t understand the purpose of Chain Reaction
  • Burning Dregs as a talent is to strong

For the sake of discussion and my sanity we ignore the first point. The second point is topic of the thread though. So what are my issues with Burning Dregs? I “assume” that the initial design idea behind Burning Dregs is an increased defense capability to give another failsafe against exploding. However, the current Burning Dregs does more:

  • Adds an additional safety against overcharging (defense trait of the talent)
    • Allows for more active usage of Living Bomb
    • Allows more mindless melee spam and hit trading
  • Adds an additional damage output by purposefully overcharging
    • Allows usage of three (maybe more) overcharge bars to be spammed in short succession
    • Allows team healing in a minute tact without any negative effect
    • Allows increased damage output by level 30 talents in a minute tact

Granted you can’t use all level 30 talents at the same time. But to make it short, the talent gives a boost both to defense and offense. Swift Slaying should tell you a statistical story that this is never a good thing balance-wise as it will be a non-competitive choice. Overall, the defense nature of the talent is a welcome addition for those who want this additional net. But in my opinion, the talent shouldn’t be more than that: a defense talent. The intentional overcharge and magic spam can’t be avoided though without crippling the defense nature, so it has to stay.
However, the “synergy” between Burning Dregs and Living Bomb (the “active-skill-spam”, in short ASS) can be tackled:

  • Solution 1: Make Burning Dregs a level 30 talent in place of Bomb Balm

The synergy with the active skills will be removed if it is an active skill itself. Thematically, this is justified as Burning Dregs effectively is a cooldown reduction talent and influences the active skill behaviour. Problem with this solution is that we need a new Level 25 Talent. For discussion’s sake I’ll give a suggestion:
Burning Wounds: Upon being damaged Sienna will burst out AoE fire damage to nearby enemies propotional to the received damage

  • Solution 2: While being overcharged level 30 talents do not work anymore

Of course, this only applies if you have chosen Burning Dregs. Charmpoint of this solution is that it is easily implementable and does not need additional work (which is probably welcome for FS considering that the BBB draws closer to an end). Also, it would emphasize a more pro-active usage of Living Bomb as people should use it to get the level 30 talent benefits before it is to late.

  • Solution 3: Replace Bomb Balm with another talent

ASS is in either case of your level 30 choice a problem. However, the worst offender by far is Bomb Balm as it refunds you (partially) the needed HP for activating it and allows to be a better healer than Mercenary. So a “softer” solution would be to just change Bomb Balm for something else while leavin the rest intact. For discussion’s sake I’ll give a suggestion:
Spreading the Fire: For the next 15 seconds Sienna and every hit ally will deal Fire DoT with each attack. Fire DoTs do 50 % more damage (numbers have to be evaluated, maybe make it only melee attacks, maybe make DoTs not stackable)

  • Optional (for solution 2 and 3): Switch position of Burning Dregs and Chain Reaction. Currently, the Level 25 talent row is a choice between being a team player and an egoist (Bomb Balm spam aside). Even with a change in Burning Dregs, I fear the row to not be competitive. Switching it to level 10 row will change this as people have to decide between more offense, more defense or support. If people start to complain that they can’t chose Frenzied Flame and Burning Dregs at the same time, you know that you have reached the goal of making a competitive choice. And honestly, a stronger offense should come with a weaker defense, so the choice is a fair one.

All three solutions would solve the Living Bomb “synergy” issue so that people stop being ASSer. Solution 1 would stand for its own while solution 2,3 (+ optional) could also be applied at the same time.

  • Not worth consideration: Make Burning Dregs a passive
    Unchained is already easy enough to play without the talent. If someone really needs the addtional safety a talent is a good choice for this. But as a passive it would just be dumb and create Zealot 2.0. Get reward with no risk involved. Balance-wise a 100 % no-go.
3 Likes

I think burning dregs should be either a base passive or completely removed. It is obviously the best talent that unchained has, because it reduces the risk of dieing from
overheating.

Overheating is an issue on higher difficulties where you reach max overheat very quickly. So it provides an additional safety net allowing you to take some hits and be actually tanky. (Design choice 1 unchained is tanky)

The burning dregs are also a very important addition, because it makes her other ult talents viable. Without burning dregs Living Bomb is the mandatory choice, because you will usually use the ult when you about to explode and the additional thp is useful in general.

With burning dregs I can use the other ult talents without having to worry that after using ult I might just die within next 10 sec from unseen strikes.

This is IMO the first design path making unchained a tankier character with lower risk reward play. The other design path I see possible is to increase the reward for playing on high overheat.

What bothered me most before BBB on unchained was the risk-reward ratio. Playing unchained on max risk means you will have to constantly watchout to not get 1 tapped by some sandcorn in your shoe. The reward was mostly a constant 60% power on melee, which didn’t reflect very well in game. It requires a lot of micromanaging and there are so many better options to perform similar and safer while not having the absurd micromanaging of keeping overcharge high.

Design related: Regardless whether a career can survive very well or not. The identity i saw in Unchained was play her if you are asking to die. On casual play the overheat is annoying to watch over. On concentrated play the micromanaging doesnt pay off enough.

Conclusion?: I am not asking to make her more accessible, but I don’t see a point having a career where playing feels like handicapping yourself. Surely I can outperform other players and there are alot of players that are looking for a challenge in this game. But in general I am wondering what this career is supposed to be.

Just by looking at her visual design and base stats Unchained is either a tankier class with explosion risk or just an complete high risk reward character. Therefore (imo)

Lower cooldown -> Low risk and tankier
or
Same cooldown -> But then the reward should need some increase.

tl;dr:
Burning Dregs must be either base passive or completely removed because it is too good
1.) if base passive then living bomb needs change
2.) if completely removed then higher reward for risk

3 Likes

How about we replace the other talents in Burning Dregs’ row with competitive talents, that shine in the hands of a skilled player?
That way we have Burning Dregs be the safe option, while the other options stay risky, but have a higher ceiling?

2 Likes

You don’t solve the issue of a broken talent by adding more broken talents. Currently Burning Dregs is not the safe option. It is the safe option+dps option+support option (if chosing Bomb Balm) in union. You don’t get this solved without a miniscule change the Burning Dregs.

I don’t want the talent removed for those people who really Need it. But it should be reduced in its offense capabilities.

2 Likes

Which she currently is, without the usage of Burning Dregs.

This is factual wrong. You have a large overcharge buffer. You need to be hit twice in a 2-3 s timeframe to explode. As such you have a 60 % power bonus for a low risk while playing Unchained while being able to tank overhead if that is your thing (it shouldn’t be).

Burning Dregs should stay for people who want to faceblock for all I care but the offense part needs to be toned down. She already is super-tanky without Burning Dregs and has a high reward for a low risk. She doesn’t need to have a broken build.

A lot of players disliked or didn’t play Unchained because her risk to reward wasn’t worth it.

Burning dregs solves this but no matter where it is in the tree, it will most likely be a top pick just because Blood Magic is a double edged sword. The idea of making Burning Dregs a passive has been tossed around and it’s understandable why. If it is added as a passive, removing Bomb Balm could balance it out.


This makes her tanky against one time hits, regardless of damage. She is extremely susceptible to tick damage, monks and savages or just getting hit twice in quick succession.
It’s a false sense of tankiness, she is tanky against the easiest to avoid attacks.


Right now she does play a lot like Battle Wizard; Firesword heavy spam for cooldown and thp + ult spam. Repeat. Maybe some fireball spam mixed in there.
I’m not fond of it, I would like more focus on melee brawl rather than ranged spam :+1:

4 Likes

I’m mean here. Sounds like a Player issue to me. And the reason for this is

A few people are coming from Slayer and Zealot, bot careers which do not care for good play where you can just trade hits like no tomorrow. As such they want her to have the same spamming style of fighting. I am against this melee focus if it means getting another mindless career.

I understand the reason. But if Burning Dregs is broken as talent, it will be broken as passive. And it is not needed so another reason against it being a passive. Making it a passive does not break one talent, it breaks the career because it boosts far to much. Just removing Bomb Balm doesn’t change anything if it becomes a passive. It is already just a soft solution for the current issues.

Yea, and I am okay with it being a solution for the overcharge problem in exchange for a talent. However, I am not okay with it being a super offense talent at the same time. I want to keep the defense properties completely intact (aside from Bomb Balm as it enhances the offense properties). I also will guarantee that if you enable solution 2 & 3, together with the optional part, the level 10 talent row will be competitive.

And against chip damage and attrition. Ratling Gunners or Warpfire Throwers are kinda weakness, the rest is just a matter of players. With a mediocre positioning awareness, they are not an issue.

And yet, I (and several other people on Cataclysm) are neither using Firesword, nor Bomb Balm, nor Fireball staff. If other people do not use her versatility, then it is again an user issue. Unchained has one of the strongest support talents in the whole game.

1 Like

You’ve jumped to some assumptions and implications.
I’m not advocating for another Slayer, Zealot or “Bot career”, I’m merely suggesting she should be of the melee archetype, she gains up to 60% melee power after all. Currently UC can be played as a very ranged heavy career.

As for the firesword build, that’s the main build I’ve seen people abuse or take into DWONS.
Even without firesword, burning dregs + bomb balm can still be abused which is why I personally don’t want to see the current iteration as a passive but rather a defensive safety net passive.

For example: Any attack that would blow Unchained up, is instead vented at the cost of 20% of her total hp. (36 at 180hp, 30 at 150hp)

Purely defensive, no cooldown and still encourages players to avoid blowing up. It lowers the skill floor slightly without making her braindead.

3 Likes

Didn’t say that “you” are advocating for it. I say that there are a few players who want this to be the case. Also, why does your UC play as ranged heavy career? A good 60-70 % of my kills are in melee. So this is an issue of Approach in my opinion.

And this abuse is exactly one of the reasons I post solutions up there. All of which stop this abuse and adjust the talent, keeping it defense properties intact.

As a rework for Burning Dregs I would give this some consideration as it could work. As a passive not.

I didn’t say mine :’( I really like mace UC and 1h sword UC, flail is growing on me a little.
I’ve typically only used ranged attacks for cooldown utility (pre ranged cooldown nerf) or barrage stack maintenance.


Why not as a passive? It solves the player bases big UC gripe without being OP/Cheesy or providing offense. It’s still rather punishing to take consecutive hits. It still might be a coaxed pick as a talent.

My mistake, sorry.

Because I don’t see the need for it, not even on a slightly below-average player skill level. With very few exceptions like close-by gunners (or Aqshy Weaves as I had to learn) consecutive hits can be easily avoided. And in rare case it does happen anyway, you have your active skill most of the time up. If it would be more difficult, I would have an easier time to accept this handholding. But not with the huge overcharge buffer and the low timeframe you have to take consecutive hits to actually explode. If people want this additional safety net, it is fair to ask them to pay a price in form of a talent choice for it. The player gripe is satisfied this way as well. It just asks them to make some (hopefully tough) choice.

There is one thing i don’t like about unchained, and that is mostly that i cannot ult. even when i’m playing great, my positioning is top notch, i’m sniping flamers before they can see me, i’m still holding onto my ultimate for that ‘what if’ moment. I don’t like it. That why the new talent is such a must pick for me. Yes i can play more reckless, i can trade hits, but the biggest one for me is that i can finally use my ultimate like other careers.

I do agree that the talent is too strong currently, there has to be a middleground or an entirly new thing which allows you to use your ultimate but not keep it as a panic button. Maybe even rework that side, add something different which can make you have a ‘safety net’ and keep ult seperate?
Imagine a zealot having to ult to not die when reaching zero hp, nobody would dash around. A solution a la zealot would not work on uc i feel as it it’s pretty mindless.
Maybe they could add something to unchained like a passive that builds up with melee kills, or a passive that let’s you survive one hit, like @James suggested, so it doesn’t vent your overcharge (cannot be abused by ranged). Ofcourse all with a cooldown, so you cannot eat multiple hits or get alot of 2nd chances if you can kill alot.
I also generally agree with james, unchained has acces to the strong ranged options sienna has, 60% melee power doesn’t equal being able to use fireball staff freely. So she should get more ‘melee heavy’ (she already is kinda). Like what’s happening currently: uc can ult more, gets more temphp, what does the uc player do? Use ranged, cuz stronger.

Edit: to clarfiy my ‘passive’ idea. I don’t want her to have a free death passive every 2 minutes. Even having 1 or 2 passives would help alleviate the fact that i cannot ult. So players could play reckless at the start, once their passive get’s procced you have to play more carrefull.

3 Likes

Which is your choice and okay to do so. However, you don’t need to hold onto your active skill. All her level 30 talents are pretty strong and can change the flow of battle if you just use them. Burning Dregs is just not needed.

Which is exactly what the suggested change would result in. You can use your active skill more freely as you still have your safety net if you chose Burning Dregs. But you have to sacrifice some other bonus for it.

One hit? You mean like an overcharge buffer which allows you to tank a Chaos Warrior overhead even when being already in the red overcharge area which cools down in 2 seconds? The mechanic is already in the game. If you add more safety mechanics people are either keeping asking for more or you make it so easy that even the ****est player can do it.

1 Like

I have no problem using Unchained’s active when it’s warranted. Granted I toyed around with the flaming aura and enfeebling flames, so sometimes I do it preemptively to mitigate some damage.
Before the Beta I would often run Fuel for the Fire, use it, then quickly build more Overchage on top with Beam Staff’s shotgun.

I think it’s the intended design, your ultimate IS your safety net. If you want to use it offensively, you can. That’s the whole point of the character, throwing all caution to the winds (of magic?) and going all in.

Haven’t touched Burning Dregs, but I’ve been following the discussion on it, which is partly why I avoid it.
I personally like the way character is implemented without Burning Dregs, whether it’s enough reward for the risk - that’s another topic. But from what I gather Burning Dregs provides so much that it’s either should be removed or embraced into the core.

If people want more leeway with Unchained, something I don’t have my own stake in, would it be feasible to just reduce the self-explosion damage?
I don’t know how exactly it works, but with some DR buffs like Mercenary, it’s possible to explode and not go down. Also, much like Zealot getting extra health for an extra stack, you could game the system by getting extra health to withstand one explosion.
So, instead of a Burning Dregs passive, a passive that allows you to act during Critical Overchange, letting you drink a Healing Draught or maybe even farm enough THP and explode without going down, is a more softcore solution.

Yea i would like that. Just explode but don’t go down, and it takes something like 120hp, doesn’t give any ultimate advantages (like more power, temphp), and for me it would even be great if it wouldn’t work with temp hp, so it cannot be bypassed. Just allow for 1 mistake or 2 if you heal yourself with green hp.

Should just make the entire tier of talents the “heat management” tier.

Conduit: As Is
Burning Dregs: As Is
Form Of The Fire Wind: (return from pre-WOM) 25% more overcharge pool.

This would legit make it a hard choice. Conduit is essential to spamming staff skills without exploding for those that play hybrid, FOTFW lets you run at full heat stacks without becoming squishy for those that play full melee, and Burning Dregs does what it does. These are all great choices for different play startegies.

Dregs would probably still ahve the highest pick rate because it’s easiest but the others are strong and would certainly have builds that use them.

If this suggestion makes it live I’m going to hate myself because I can’t take Conduit + FOTFW like in the old days… but it would be good for balance.

1 Like

Yes i know i don’t have to hold onto it, just psychology which makes the class not fun for me personally. I’m not against minmaxing as i tryhard pyro and stay at red overcharge all the time, so that’s not the issue.

Yes i know, i wasn’t against your suggestions, just commenting my reasons why i think uc feels weird to me. I would be fine with all your suggestions. I would also be fine with an even more nerfed version of burning dregs.

I mean, how many times do you actually die to an overhead or singular hit as unchained? The reason you die is if you take hits in quick succession. 2 hits and i’m dead, and that mistake is easily made, no matter how good you are. If you timed your offensive ult usage wrong, you are dead. Which is insane in my eyes, 2 hits, no matter what, from slave rat to elite.
Yes you could say i don’t have to be at 4-5 stacks, or i should of seen it coming. This isn’t a hardcore mode, it’s not even skill based, this game is so buggy sometimes i don’t see a reason not to have 1 life saving passive which can only proc once a game or something like that.

Almost feels like playing s1 oneshot weaves sometimes.

I don’t wanna make the career super accesible, like they did before with Huntsman. But 1 safety net which eats alot of your hp or can only be procced once a game, doesn’t do that (well technically yes). Even only taking green hp would he a good option for me, i wouldn’t mind at all.

Also i do agree the current synergies that exist are too strong and are making the career too accessible.

6 Likes

Which is the weird thing. Because I have read the same from several people. This seems widely accepted. Just the conclusion varies widely. And I can’t wrap my head around it why we should have yet another autmatic safety net. So far we have:

  • Overcharge buffer so that you need to get hit twice in about three seconds (default)
  • Active skill which can be used every 90 - 120 seconds if you mess up (default)
  • Burning Dregs which works as cool down reduction (talent choice)

This is already two safety nets by default plus another one of choice. Three safety nets against explosion. This is more than enough, especially considering that we started with one at release. The more you give the more the community takes. And why I am so against yet another passive.
I will also repeat as often as necessary. To strong of a passive breaks careers or ruins builds/decreases variety. Do you know a single person/Have you seen a single person who plays Zealot defense build with Armor of Faith? It just isn’t necessary because Heart of Iron plus insane healing is so strong that you will never need the talent.

Removing the “synergy” with the active skills (and switching position) is more than enough to make it competitive. It leaves the ranged heavy build intact which helps build diversity. But it is slightly weakened in efficiency.

Having 80 % overcharge or 50 % overcharge makes with very few exceptions no difference on Cataclysm. Therefore, one can always play in red overcharge.

How is that different from half of the classes in the game? Just with the difference that Unchained has to take them in a few seconds timeframe and Unchained can tank two Stormvermin overheads and still be standing if the active skill is up.
Do I die by overcharge? Yes, but it usually happens in situations where I would have been dead with each other career in the game already (minus Ironbreaker). Situations where my block gets broken or where I get to greedy and block to late.

I mean, I am below of average. There are like three careers which I feel comfortable with on Cataclysm and Unchained is one of them (although I probably should play more Foot Knight, then it would be four). She isn’t that hard to play even without Burning Dregs.

Eh, okay. If it something which takes like 80+ % of green health (NOT THP), I guess that would be okay. It would rarely trigger anyway and would only avoid exploding because you got tickled at high health by weak enemies. Still feel not comfortable with it.

Anyway, I look at this from a practical standpoint. BBB is ending soon. I don’t like the idea of Burning Dregs going live as it is. So some change would be welcome. Due to ressource and time constraint, the solution will most likely be one which can be programmed fast. This means solution 2 (plus maybe the optional part) is the most realistic. While I would welcome a replacement of Bomb Balm with a more interesting talent I am not hung up on that, 2+o is more important to me.
Solution 1, 3 and passive all need new (or old) talents which is less likely.

I think you are missunderstanding my reasoning. I want unchained to have a real safety net, not something which changes the intention of the career, which burning dregs is currently.

I understand you are against lowering the skill floor of a career you love, i would be the same, that’s fine. But i don’t understand how you are against my suggestions, even tho it’s more ‘nerfed’ then your suggestions? Solution 1: agree ; solution 2: agree ; solution 3: agree; combine all of those and nerf burning dregs even more, is what i want.
I know you would prefer the talent to be removed, and i appreciate you trying to find middlegrounds, and i agree with you on those middlegrounds, i just would like a choice for a real safety net, which doesn’t gimp my usage of a career (me holding onto my ult.

I don’t agree with that. The situations i’m talking about is things like: take a hit from 1 slave rat, boom one slave rat behind; you’re charging a spell with flamestorm and get hit (or hit just after you shot a spell); monks/zerkers suprise you from around a corner and you can only block after you already took 2 hits (this one would also probably kill other careers); get hit by 1 little thing + ff; … There is just alot, i literally “feel” more tanky on my bonded flame pyromancer then unchained, ok currently unchained is too strong, but talking before bbb.

If you take a look at single hits, yes unchained is very tanky, she can tank overheads, which is super strong indeed. That’s also why i never (or rarely) died to overheads. I would rather be oneshotted by 1 overhead then dying to 2 quick small hits, but that’s personal preference i guess.

Personally, maybe very extreme, i would make unchained even leqs capable of using her ranged. As it’s a fine line between ‘build diversity’ and ‘just range cuz better’. If she gets strong melee + strong support/tankyness and has access to the strong sienna ranged weapons, that is very very good. On live i still see fireball unchained which probably outdmg’s a melee heavy unchained, purely because sienna’s range is super effective even without ranged boosting talents. Removing Bomb balm would already be a step in that direction, but i would go even further than that.

Didnt read all.
Just wanted to comment on chain reaction. While this talent is quite useless in standard situations due to the low desinity when it happens a mate of me tried it out in twins recently and there it actually did quite some work.

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