Bosses, Melee damage and the "ranged meta"

With the current patch (which I am perfectly happy with), ranged and melee deal a bit less damage, which is fair enough I guess. But it resulted in something that was quite apparent before and now is blatantly obvious: melee weapons deal abysmally low damage against bosses. Now, yes, I know there are ways to boost your damage and some weapons are okay-ish against bosses and certainly, I don’t want to make boss killer concepts obsolete. They should be there, they should be powerful, they should be valid. I am not talking about that. I am talking about the fact that without ranged dps, killing bosses becomes unfeasable and incredibly tedious, especially consodering that 2 of em have very nasty ways to regen their health and very efficient ways to keep you from dealing out melee damage against them. Ranged weapons seem to deal more damage to bosses by default as it seems and you are at alot less risk. Melee attack a boss SHOULD be dangerous, it SHOULD require skill, but it should also be rewarding. Taking down a boss without ranged dps is long and boring, as they are almost all geared towards defending against melee attackers and are virtually defenseless against ranged. “Melee boss killers” are essentially unviable, even with +damage on monsters (apart from Shade, which has its own problems, being that bosses are faster than you and have VERY wonky hitboxes, especially chaos spawn).

FS keeps claiming they want this game to focus on melee, but you can’t deal with many of the challanges presented without steady ranged dps. Not saying you should nerf ranged, but damage against bosses seems to be a problem from where I’m standing.

(And again, it is nothing about difficulty. Hammering away on a boss for hours and miles isn’t really difficult, it is tedious and is a burden on the overall flow of the game. Make bosses dangerous, make them deal tons of damage, but please, let us hack them down a TAD bit easier with melee).

10 Likes

This is spot on. Large chunk of ranged dominance is the fact that they are very few (if any) enemies who counter ranged and even those that do, are twice as punishing to melee. The issue is most apparent on bosses (not only the random ones, but Chapter bosses as well). A decent ranged player can keep a safe distance from the boss almost indefinitely (for instance, by exploiting the get up/down animation) while damaging him continuously while he does it. On the other hand, a melee player needs to flawlessly dance around the boss while sneaking hits in, with a appropriate weapon, at every opportunity to maybe deal enough damage to make a dent. On misstep and it’s game over. This is talking from 1vs1 perspective, and in a team setup it’s obviously a lot easier, but a ranged focus team still has it way easier.

Few suggestions to keep it constructive:

  • Make bosses take increased melee damage from attacks to the back, but switch aggro more often. This would allow skilled melee players to juggle the boss between them to take it down faster. Also indirect buff to Shade.
  • Allow charged melee headshots to stagger the boss after certain attack chains (the triple slam for the Ogre for instance) akin to how career skills can do it on demand (Pyro, FK, BH). This stagger state comes with an increased melee damage debuff.
  • Weak spots on bosses for melee to exploit. Don’t know how feasible that is (weak spots on Chaos Spawn?) but it would be extremely cool if you could hamstring the Ogre by hacking away at it’s leg. Worst case scenario, you could at least mark the area on the boss that is more vulnerable to damage with something like profuse bleeding from that spot.

Just few things off the top of my head. I’m sure FS can do much better.

8 Likes

Some good ideas there!

The Stormfiend kinda does this now, as soon as you hit the little one on his back he turns around. So it would work for other bosses as well. Although, the stormfiend is a dumbass who wants to climb more than he fights.
But yeah, it’s a pain to try to manage to keep up with a boss as Shade and Slayer (even with jump+movement speed).

It would be interesting to see enemies who counter ranged but not destroy melee, there’s always a risk that if you add something that counters ranged, they would also counter melee (see Skaven Sniper Team as an example).

Also when it comes to ranged I can agree that it’s still very powerful, but that’s not really strange, it’s always better to stay away from enemies if you can. But sure, when you come to the score screen and most of the times, 90% of the enemies were killed at ranged I can see that there is still a problem.

Fatshark just needs to tweak certain melee weapons like 2h axes, etc, to do more damage vs bosses. Ranged is ok aside for certain exceptions, melee just needs more power vs monsters.

“Hammering away on a boss for hours and miles isn’t really difficult, it is tedious”, its called bulletsponging and yeah, it’s terrible design decision to rely difficulty only on bulletsponging.

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