Beam Staff LESS effective when used for headshots due to flinching animation and mechanics

Dummy testing with the beam staff seems to show the primary (beam) fire starts by dealing rapid but tiny ticks of damage to enemies, with the ticks becoming much stronger and slightly slower with every consecutive hit on an enemy, resetting on any miss. This isn’t subtle either, the first tick of my staff does a measly 75 damage but builds to 975/tick if held on target. Clearly you are meant to hold the beam on targets instead of sweeping it about or whatnot. This also effects the beam-blast alt fire (right click during left click), the more consecutive ticks you hit an enemy with before triggering it the more damage it does to a major degree.

This causes problems with headshots, however, because essentially all non-boss enemies flinch when hit in the head. This flinching animation almost always moves the enemy’s head enough that at least one of your damage ticks misses, causing the damage buildup to reset back to zero. You can’t follow the flinch animation either, because it re-triggers every single time the staff deals damage with no “cooldown”, causing the enemy to spastically start and re-start their flinch animation over and over rapidly and keeping their head moving in an impossibly jerky manner. This is easily demonstrated on the target dummies as they flail about every time they are hit. Try to hold the beam on their head and you will find it impossible, the flinch animation makes you miss and resets your damage continuously.

Because of this, you deal more damage not aiming for the head with the beam staff against most enemies. No matter how i try i cannot get the staff to tick for more than 925 damage when targeting dummy heads because the consecutive-hit-counter keeps getting reset by the flinch. Remember it ticked up to 975 damage with consecutive body hits. I get the same results with the beam alt fire (not the shotgun), no matter how i aim i cannot get headshots with the alt fire to deal as much damage as body shots because i can’t build consecutive ticks on heads.

Given that the beam staff is labeled “sniper” and the game encourages headshots massively, this seems pretty wrong.

Good idea lets buff the beamstaff!

All kidding aside: All non boss enemies die to an instant headshot anyways on legend (Except Elite Axemen and Chaos Warriors). I mean look at him go he does not channel for long to onehit a stormvermin… and I dont have to aswell when I play her on legend.

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None of that is relevant to my post or the issue it describes. I never said a thing about the balance of the staff overall. Just said it didn’t make sense that sustained body fire does more damage than headshot fire with the standard beam mode against enemies that flinch, which is most of them. In my dummy testing full-buildup body shot crits with the alt-fire also reliably do more damage than headshot crits because i can’t build ticks on the head, which again seems backwards.

Regardless of how effective the staff is overall, hitting the body logically should not do more damage/dps than hitting the head.

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To better understand your problem - on which enemies does it occur?

It should if its in the weapons design. I still wonder why its more effective to blunderbuss a marauder with 2-3 shots hitting them instead of what should by all accounts be blow a hole through their chest.

Same old beamstaff. You should only burn bosses anyway.

I’ve never noticed the beam staff damage increasing over time like that. I have noticed that it seems to do faster but smaller damage ticks to the head for whatever reason. The flinching can be annoying, but it is a reliable source of ranged CC, which is probably more the intended role of the staff than being the one-shot sniper it tends to be used for.

Damage increases over time majorly and takes 5 ticks to reach full damage. For body hits the damage ticks from my staff (with hero power 492) go 75…250…500…725…975…975…975…
75 vs 975 is a pretty huge difference, so clearly you need to hold the beam on things to do meaningful/intended damage.
For head hits the ticks go 175…425…925…1275…1750…1750…1750…
However, due to the dummy’s flinch-spam jerking its head out of the beam and resetting the buildup continuously, in actual practice the head damage goes 175…425…175…425…175…425…175…425…, wayyy less damage than the 1750 i’d get if the no-cooldown-on-retriggering flinch animation wasn’t there, and also less than if i just held the beam on the dummy’s body and ignored the head.

Again, i’m not arguing that the beam staff needs “buffed” or made stronger overall, just that it being more effective to target the body than the head with the beam makes no sense, especially because it makes enemies flinching actually semi-advantageous to them.

I don’t expect fatshark to change the flinch animations, though they could maybe put a repeat delay on them so that enemies don’t spam the animation 5x per second.

If i were to try and “fix” this, i would do it by making the damage-buildup only reset after multiple consecutive missed ticks of damage, instead of just one, giving the player a cushion such that one missed tick because the enemy flinched won’t completely reset their damage. I don’t know the internal tick frequency on hit checking of course, but i would start with needing 2 consecutive missed ticks to reset and then adjust as needed from there.

Also, the buildup resets when you switch from hitting head to body or vice versa on the same enemy, even though you never “missed”. This means a flinch animation that moves the enemy such that your beam hits their body for 1 tick instead of their head resets your damage too, and further discourages the player from aiming for the head compared to just holding on the body because if their hits keep switching between head and body they will never build beyond minimal damage with either. As such I might suggest making damage buildup not be reset when the player switches between hitting head/body on the same target as well.

You’re looking at it wrong. The benefit of headshotting with the beamstaff IS that it staggers enemies like crazy. You can stagger entire chaos hordes with sweeps and permastagger shieldvermin if you hold it down. You only do sustained lmb against hordes and bosses anyways, both of which are EASY to headshot consecutively. Everything else you 1 shot with burst, so whats the issue even?

Further experimentation reveals an actual bug.
The alt fire damage seems to scale with a similar consecutive hit counter to the beam. For full alt fire damage you have to build a few consecutive ticks on your target with the beam before using the alt.

However, the accumulated damage level of the alt fire does not actually reset when you fire the alt fire. It only resets when the primary fire beam does a tick, either damaging a target or a miss. So, if you fire the alt fire without allowing the normal beam enough time to fully activate and tick, you can repeatedly re-use the alt fire with the previous level of damage buildup against any target instantly.

To reproduce: hold the beam on a target until damage fully builds, then fire the alt fire. This will do full alt fire damage and shut off the beam. Now, aim at any target, and hit it with the alt fire without letting the beam activation sequence complete. This can be reliably done by hitting left click to get the beam attack winding up, but then also pressing and holding right click before it finishes. This will cause the alt fire to trigger before the beam truly does, and your alt fire shot will deal instant maximum damage like it did to the previous target you built up on.

Numbers wise with my lvl, no buildup alt fire does 3025/7275 damage regular/crit. Full buildup alt fire does 6075/14550 damage regular/crit, about twice as much.
Thus this mechanic exploit allows one to deal double the damage intended with alt fire instant shots.

So how exactly are you getting the headshot damage numbers with the sustained beam if the dummy flinches too much to allow it? Whenever I do it, it does not appear that I’m missing any ticks yet the damage does not go up like you indicate.

Experimenting with angles i found that when hit from the side the dummy uses a different side to side flinch animation, and that if i aim in exactly the right place from the side i can get continuous head hits despite the flinch spam. That’s how i got the numbers.

You should be able to observe the way the damage builds with consecutive hits (in general) just by aiming at the body.

In what way does your damage not go up specifically? The damage per hit should start quite tiny and then go up majorly over the course of the first 5 consecutive hits before maxing out and staying constant. If it keeps redoing the tiny hits then it’s being reset by misses or body hits.

Also, the buildup hits tick more rapidly than the max-strength ones. If you are getting all headshots the hit sound should sound like chinkchinkchink-chink–chink… chink… chink… chink…
The first few hits being a faster burst and then slowing down to keep coming steadily.
If instead you keep hearing pairs or bursts of rapid chinks that never slow down and become steady, you are missing and the buildup is resetting.

I’ll have to play around with that a bit. Just confused by the fact that body ticks are never that fast, and there’s no indication in game that I’m missing the head at all since the damage ticks are at a constant speed and don’t skip at all. I have noticed the damage increasing on the body but haven’t seen any indication that it affects the blast damage.

Well I did manage to make it work. Looks like they fixed the beam incorrectly retaining charge on the shotgun blast in the 1.05 patch.