Beam staff LMB blast too strong vs armor (particularly uncharged)

Damage done at 600 power. Properties are +chaos/+monster on staves and charm, so not relevant for training dummies AFAIK. Comparisons are made with bolt staff, since both are “sniper” staves.

Uncharged body shots vs armored dummy:

  • Beam staff LMB blast: 1500
  • Bolt staff RMB: 475

Charged body shots vs armored dummy:

  • Beam staff LMB blast: 3475
  • Bolt staff RMB: 2325

Uncharged head shots vs armored dummy:

  • Beam staff LMB blast: 2525
  • Bolt staff RMB: 825

Fully charged head shots vs armored dummy:

  • Beam staff LMB blast: 5925
  • Bolt staff RMB: 4650

Bolt is a skillshot, beam is hitscan; beam staff should not be this strong vs armored targets. This is why beam is currently melting Stormvermin and armored specials like it’s nobody’s business, while bolt staff is garbage against them.

My personal suggestions:

  • Beam staff body shot should start off much lower (500, bit more than current bolt staff) and full charge maybe 3000.
  • Bolt staff body shot should start off higher (800 or even 1000) and when fully charged around 2500. (and give it a damn zoom already)
  • Beam staff uncharged headshot should start at 1000 and full charge is fine
  • Bolt staff uncharged headshot should start at 1500 and full charge is fine
  • Bolt staff damage ramp up seems to be non-linear. The difference between full charge and slightly before full charge seems to be near double damage. This should be linearized.

I propose that beam staff should be weaker than bolt staff in uncharged damage vs armor because:

  • It’s better vs hordes because of shotgun blast, so it should be a weaker sniper
  • It’s hitscan, so easier it’s to spam and easier to hit with

The fully charged beam staff should still be slightly stronger because in current state (1.0.6) the beam staff fully charged takes longer and uses more heat.

Asides:

  • Against unarmored targets numbers seem fine
  • Are there separate damage numbers against resistant enemies like in VT1? (packmaster?)
  • Fireball RMB uncharged impact dmg does about 1000 dmg vs the armored dummy rn (can’t remember properties on this staff), which is far better than uncharged bolt staff at the moment.

I have 250+ hrs on the game with Sienna as my most played right now, mostly play legend and occasionally champion. I don’t want beam staff to be unusable, I just want it to not be as completely broken as it is rn. In 1.0.6 it’s still the strongest by far, and I think the unreasonably high uncharged armor damage is one of the problems.

I would go so far as to say that even uncharged unarmored damage should start off slightly lower than it currently does, so that you actually do need to hold down the LMB instead of spamming uncharged attacks.

4 Likes

Note about beam staff vs Stormvermin in Legend difficulty in 1.0.6:

Uncharged beam staff LMB blast still 3-shots stormvermin with body shots, which is still too strong IMO considering the following:

  • it doesn’t use ammo
  • easily spammable
  • still fairly low heat cost
  • good knockback

OK so you’ve got some pretty poor arguments going. And your line of thinking and conclusions are based on bad premises.

First of all, to “charge” the Beam staff you actually have to have your laser beam on the enemy. While to charge the Bolt staff you do not have to have a straight line between you and the enemy. You can charge around a corner or while checking behind you and then turn around and shoot it with bolt but not beam. This is a big difference.

Second of all, the shotgun for Beam does not activate as quickly as the pew pew pews on the Bolt staff. Bolt staff pew pew is better for rapid fire situations when enemies are right on you, beam staff shotgun is better for when hordes are mostly not focused on you or are at a pretty safe midrange distance. FURTHERMORE, and this is very important: it is way easier to swap from Bolt staff pew pew to melee than from Beam to melee, because Bolt pew pew only uses one button click. With Beam you run more risk of controls spazzing out when you try to swap.

Third, in the right hands Bolt staff sniper to headshot is better against Chaos Warriors and e.g. Spinemanglr than Beam staff is.

With Beam staff you are going to be more exposed in general than with Bolt staff. Bolt is probably better for Unchained if you want to do more meleeing and use the staff for ranged headshots. Beam is good for pyro versatility, but its exposure is going to mean that your performance is tied to how good your team is at watching your back; the time that you as Sienna are checking your butt for stabbybois is time you aren’t keeping that laser beam on an enemy, and if your team is bad at watching your back and you get too focused on keeping that lazer on the enemy then you’re going t o take more hits with Beam than you probably would with Bolt, since with Bolt you can charge it while looking around then face enemy and fire whereas with Beam you have to target enemy while charging.

I hope you grasp the difference here that led you down your erroneous line of thinking. You started from the assumption that you can compare charged/uncharged beam/bolt shots and that the two should be more equivalent for some reason related to “skill shots”. But the charging functions of the two staves in fact operated differently. And their relative performance should reflect this. Beam requires you to keep the staff pointed at the enemy while charging, Bolt doesn’t require that.

If you put any time into actually playing real maps with these different staves on Sienna instead of doing some abstract analysis based on Training dummies then you’d already know how bizarre your argument is.

The real problem here is that because stagger scaling didn’t work for a month on Champ/Legend until 1.05, Beam staff staggered everything like crazy and was very versatile and so people cemented it in their minds that beam is undoubtedly the best. But now the Beam staff doesn’t do much against a few Stormvermin and Chaos Warriors running to your face, yet even so the ‘conventional wisdom’ that’s been established is that the other staves are all weak, so ya Fatshark will probably have to buff the other staves a bit to psychologically motivate players to actually test them out, otherwise we will be stuck in this mode we are currently in, where people test the different staves out on training dummies and compare numbers and decide right there that a stave is trash without ever actually taking it to a map and getting a feel for it in real combat and with different classes and builds.

2 Likes

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+)
Unchained (+0%):   
(0.75 > 1.75 > 2.25 > 4.5 > 5.25)   (0.50 > 0.75 > 1.00 > 1.50 > 1.75)
Pyromancer (+10%):  
(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.

I appreciate the effort you put into your response, though I have gripes about the assumptions you made about my experience with the game. I have played many, many hours in Legend difficulty as Sienna. My staff usage time is approximately this: beam = bolt > fireball > conflagration (never used flamestorm in legend). I’m quite aware of how the staves play out in real games as opposed to dummies.

As it stands in 1.0.6, beam is still pretty much without drawback with the exception of fully armored enemies. I disagree that bolt LMB is a better option vs hordes nearby; beam shotgun is much, much better even when they’re right in your face from my experience. Also beam staff can still stun lock a huge portion of an entire storm vermin patrol in legend, which I have tested out several times in 1.0.6.

You brought up the point that beam staff makes you very vulnerable while charging, and it rightly should. The problem is that even with the uncharged damage nerf in 1.0.6, I still think the beam staff has too much uncharged damage vs armor, meaning you still don’t need to go into that vulnerable state for much time at all against the majority of enemies you would be using the LMB blast on.

As far as I can tell, the stagger on quick beam blast is still sufficient to interrupt ratling gunners and warpfire throwers. So the proposed way to deal with them is: quick stun - > deal with crap around you or charge to kill. The current way is: 2-3 uncharged blasts. Blech.

Perhaps lowering uncharged to start at 5 may be a bit low, but I’d say it does need to be lowered from what it currently is. With a combination of decreasing uncharged vs armor damage and weakening the shotgun blast slightly, I’d be happy with the state of beam staff. It would still have long range damage potential, but no longer trivial to use, and the RMB would probably still better than melee weapons.

On the note of fully armored enemies, it’s good that beam is mediocre/bad against them. Use the damn melee weapon, or deal with the adds instead. I believe bolt staff is the only ranged weapon right now that can do damage on a fully armored body shot without a crit, which arguably it shouldn’t be able to do, but that’s a separate issue.

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