Good feedback, and from my few hours of experience with the staff tonight, I agree it’s still a bit too strong. After the 1.0.6 patch, however, I would argue the problem with the staff no longer lies in its beam + shot combo. Some numbers, for reference:
Tick Damage: Infantry Armoured
( #1 > #2 > #3 > #4 > #5+) ( #1 > #2 > #3 > #4 > #5+)
(0.75 > 1.75 > 2.25 > 4.5 > 5.25) (0.50 > 0.75 > 1.00 > 1.50 > 1.75)
(0.75 > 2.00 > 2.50 > 5.0 > 5.75) (0.50 > 1.00 > 1.00 > 1.75 > 1.75)
Body Shot (1.0x) Head Shot (1.7x)
Unchained (+0%) Pyromancer (+10%) Unchained (+0%) Pyromancer (+10%)
(snipe / total) (snipe / total) (snipe / total) (snipe / total)
Damage vs. Infantry
0 tick: 17.00 / 17.00 (18.75 / 18.75) 28.75 / 28.75 (31.75 / 31.75)
1 tick: 17.00 / 17.75 (18.75 / 19.50) 28.75 / 29.50 (31.75 / 32.50)
2 tick: 17.00 / 19.50 (18.75 / 21.50) 28.75 / 31.25 (31.75 / 34.50)
3 tick: 23.50 / 28.25 (26.00 / 31.25) 40.00 / 44.75 (44.00 / 49.25)
4 tick: 31.50 / 40.75 (34.75 / 45.00) 53.75 / 63.00 (59.00 / 69.25)
5 tick: 39.50 / 54.00 (43.50 / 59.50) 67.25 / 81.75 (74.00 / 90.00)
Damage vs. Armoured
0 tick: 13.50 / 13.50 (15.00 / 15.00) 23.00 / 23.00 (25.50 / 25.50)
1 tick: 13.50 / 14.00 (15.00 / 15.50) 23.00 / 23.50 (25.50 / 26.00)
2 tick: 13.50 / 14.75 (15.00 / 16.50) 23.00 / 24.25 (25.50 / 27.00)
3 tick: 18.75 / 21.00 (20.75 / 23.25) 32.00 / 34.25 (35.25 / 37.75)
4 tick: 25.25 / 29.00 (27.75 / 32.00) 43.00 / 46.75 (47.25 / 51.50)
5 tick: 31.75 / 37.25 (34.75 / 40.75) 53.75 / 59.25 (59.25 / 65.25)
Ticks occur, to the best I can figure, every .00s > .25s > .25s > .25s > .5s > .7s > .7s > …
So, the fifth tick would occur at (.00 + .25 + .25 + .25 + .50) = 1.25s
and increased damage on the beam + shot combo wouldn’t kick in until at least .5s (the third tick).
You can find the complete damage sheet here, including comparisons to the damage numbers from 1.0.5 (pastebin).
Some important breakpoints (Legend difficulty only):
- ≤18 health: Slaverat, Clanrat, and Chaos Fanatic (Infantry)
36 health: Gutter Runner (Infantry), Ratling Gunner and Warpfire Thrower (Armoured)
39 health: Stormvermin (Armoured), Chaos Bulwark and Raider (Infantry)
60 health: Globadier, Leech and Blightstormer (Infantry)
90 health: Mauler, body shots only (Infantry)
In 1.0.5, the beam staff could quite easily kill a Stormvermin in 2 quick blasts, or after waiting 3-4 ticks (at least .5-.75 seconds). In 1.0.6, unless you add at least three damage modifiers vs. Skaven/Armoured, you’re going to need to hit a Stormvermin 3 times, and need the full 5 ticks (at least 1.25 seconds) to kill it in one. In order to kill in 2 blasts, you need to 2-3 ticks (at least .25 - .5 seconds), or a headshot on one of the attacks.
Accounting for human reaction time, and time between shots, it now takes ~1.5s to kill a Stormvermin, compared to the ~.75s it took in 1.0.5. That’s twice as long as before, and due to the increased heat from the patch and additional attacks needed, about twice the heat generated. I know being able to kill a Stormvermin in 1.5s seems quite powerful, but consider that Bounty Hunter, both Kerillian’s and Kruber’s Longbows, shotguns, and other high damage ranged weapons are also capable of doing this as well, and perhaps even quicker. Ranged oriented classes can usually manage without even needing to worry about ammo management, while after the change, doing this with the beam staff generates a not insignificant amount of heat.
My main defense of the current damage the beam does vs. armour, however, is it’s ability to kill the armoured Skaven specials. With a 20% bonus vs. Armour and/or Skaven, a Pyromancer or Battle Wizard is capable of doing exactly 36 damage in 2 quick shots, just enough to kill a Ratling Gunner or Warpfire Thrower, while still falling short of the threshold to kill a Stormvermin. On Legend, the ability to quickly deal with specials is critical, and I believe, despite the staff’s power, it should still be able to do so.
Keep in mind that in order not to kill a Stormvermin in 3 shots, the damage of the initial blast would have to be lowered to about 9 (from the current 13.5) in order to be difficult to reach the required 13 damage per shot with bonuses. That’s a removal of a further 1/3rd it’s current damage vs. armour. After the recent changes to charge time, it would take her .5s before that number would even start increasing. Considering Sienna has very few strong melee weapons vs. armour, this would cause a significant dip in her effectiveness to the team. Most staves do have some way of dealing with armour at the moment, even if they’re a bit subpar. I’d rather see their dps vs. armour brought up (see: bolt staff), than the beam’s further reduced.
Just an aside on damage vs. infantry; with a small buff to vs. Infantry, the staff becomes just barely capable of killing horde enemies (slaverats and fanatics) as well as clanrats in 1 shot, ambient Chaos enemies in 2, Globadiers/Chaos Sorcerers in 3, and Chaos Maulers in 5. Personally, I think this is a good spot for the staff. Going wild blasting most ambient enemies (including Stormvermin, on Legend) quickly generates heat, and doesn’t give enough temporary health to compensate for the vent cost, while the staff remains effective against most specials.
As a final note on the beam + shot combo, while the changed damage values may not significantly increase the time to kill most enemies from 1.0.5 with the proper damage vs. x bonuses, 1.0.6 lowers the staff’s damage values to be very near the bottom of the thresholds needed to kill things this quickly. One significant side effect of this I noticed was damage falloff on the staff became a significant issue. Without the staff doing massive amounts of overkill, more time and heat was needed to kill things at long range. It also made it more difficult to deal with large enemies and specials during hordes, where you don’t have the luxury of holding your beam on them for a second before firing the shot.
- Yes. Monster (Packmaster/Bosses), Berserker, and the Chaos “Super Armour” are all different armour types. Unfortunately, there are no dummies to test damage against these on. Packmasters, of course, do take quite a few shots for almost any weapon to kill, including the beam staff.
I believe, instead of further neutering the charge + shot, the staff’s crowd control capabilities should be looked at in order to bring the staff back in line with the rest of the weapons on the game. You can unfortunately still wave your beam across a horde to infinitely stagger the entire thing in place and (despite the patch notes saying “Ignore first contact tick on beam for on-hit procs”) have heat sink proc while doing it, quickly dumping your heat down to 0. The damage from the wide blast was not touched, and is capable of killing horde enemies in ~1-2 hits. While the stagger was reduced, and heat consumption increased, it still slightly staggers Stormvermin and Maulers, allowing you to keep an entire patrol temporarily at bay.
As others have mentioned in other threads, the staff is not only a jack of all trades, it’s extremely good at those “trades” to boot. Either it needs to retain it’s crowd control, with further reductions to the damage of the beam and beam + shot damage as suggested by this thread, or it needs to lose some of it’s utility vs. hordes. It either must fit some specific role, or simply be decent, but not amazing, at multiple. A true generalist.
I suggest significantly reducing the damage of wide area blast (but not the stagger or cleave) so that it isn’t capable of the same degree of slaughter vs. a horde that it currently is. By keeping hordes stunned and more slowly damaging them, it will force Sienna to rely more on her team in order to control and clear one. It will also give her less temporary health during hordes, which has the double benefit of forcing stricter heat management, and allowing the rest of her team to take some of that temporary health for themselves.
I also suggest removing the instant stun upon waving the beam over an enemy. White a neat trick, it’s just gimmicky. While it doesn’t do much damage, it allows the staff to stagger large groups of enemies in place for almost no heat penalty (and with heat sink, it’s still an effective way to dump heat). Have enemies stagger on the second tick instead. it’s only .25 seconds, which shouldn’t even be noticeable when shooting at a single target, but should prevent this kind of horde stagger. I would also make heat sink not proc on the first tick. It seemed like the patch notes indicated it no longer should, though, so perhaps it’s simply not working as intended at the moment.
As a final suggestion, it may be worth looking at heat sink at a trait. It doesn’t work on charge attacks from the Conflag and apparently the Fireball staff (which apparently can’t crit), but is extraordinarily useful on the others, especially when used with Pyromancer’s passive. Pyro and heat sink have a fun synergy, but it may be too effective. It effectively allows the bolt and flamestorm staff to fire endlessly into a horde with very little care for heat, and can remove an entire bar of overcharge from a single wide beam blast vs. a horde. If Pyromancer in general needs a nerf, it might be worth looking at lowering the heat removed on crit from 4 to 3, or potentially even 2.
Since you brought up the bolt staff in your post, I’d also like to say that I agree with your sentiment. The bolt staff could use some quality of life improvements; specifically, a zoom on the 2nd or 3rd charge levels, more audible sound queues for when a new charge level is reached, and better visual indicators as to which charge level you’re currently on. I have limited experience with the staff, so I’m hesitant to make any suggestions, but I will admit the charge attack feels very underwhelming. For how long it takes to charge, and the amount of heat it generates, It should feel comparable in damage to Kruber’s Empire Longbow (i.e. properly built it can 1 shot a Stormvermin to the body on a level 3 charge). I’d say either reduce the charge time, or increase the damage, but again, I don’t have enough experience with the staff to really have an expert opinion.