Dumbing Down Characters

Same issue, different day. While I agree some nerfs to aggressively overturned abilities (looking at you elf) were needed, to help balance the playing field, consistently nerfing careers and making their talent systems more streamlined, passive, or just plain boring reduces the level of interest and complexity in characters. Once again im starting to feel that careers are blurring together.

Has there been recent talk of a balance pass I’ve missed? Perhaps you could be more specific what changes specifically you’re objecting to?

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Literally everything, most talents have been reduced to negligible or hardly noticeable flat % buffs that leave the cast feeling very samesie. Its boring, the community is too concerned over whats bad and whats good, that it cant find fun interesting gameplay inbetween, and its become “whack” simulator and my choice is limited to what gender and race I want to bonk on.

The core combat mechanics are still good, but mreh.

Genuinely don’t know, when was a talent ever reduced to a flat % buff? Is that something that has happened often?

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I could perhaps see argument that moonbow was “dumbed down” since it lost its AoE, hence its mechanics were simplified.

Struggling a little to see where that applies to any of the SotT rework. Heck blackvenom is kind of a new mechanic if anything, and so is Tanglegrasp. Perhaps you could point to what you consider egregious examples with the Sister/Shade reworks? I still feel like I’m not really following you.

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A vast majority of the talents are just damage buff on x for y seconds or something similar, which causes little variation in playstyle between careers. Sister right now is probably my biggest gripe since in her multiple iterations, went from A support class > to a damage career > whatever she is now, a poor mans mix of both perhaps? While blackvenom isnt objectively bad, it does have limited usefulness outside of modded realm, most everything but marked bosses dies quickly enough to limit the effectiveness of the damage buff, and the poison itself is problematic for the same reason, limited usefulness. Tanglegrasp is a least kind of meme worthy.

Regardless, it boils down to playstyles becoming somewhat limited and bland, for example despite talent differences (which again are fairly basic, X if Y for Z seconds, typically flat percentile buffs for limited time after an action) make a lot of careers mechanically function in the same way

While not super exciting i’ll use one of the remaining examples of interesting playstyle differences by citing the tag mechanic on Which Hunter. Its something you do actively, have to be aware of and can build around providing different options for your tagged targets which can alter weapon option, and your role in a group.

Shade for example has kind of lost its identity somewhat, with recent changes, especially when coupling nerfs i.e DD nerf > Active ability nerf > actively ability changes > talent streamline. Stuff like Cruelty is incredibly boring, Bloodfletcher given the addition of MB and Jav is basically a dead talent (it already sorta was). Enhanced power is boring and almost baseline for half the cast.

We´ve only had two iterations havent we? Release OP → Present.

While i do agree that there are a lot of boring talents, i similarly think that coming up with viable and not problematic replacements can be quite difficult too.

While the witch hunt passive requiring tagging to be effective is somewhat more interactive, i still have to note that the effect is quite the same as blackvenom. Its just more damage and as you noted, on targets where most will never feel the difference.

DD nerf? Wasnt this ages ago, the bleed-stacking nerf? The one that kept any elf career from just mashing light attacks into almost anything and start doing outrageous amounts of DPS effortlessly?

That´s not something that impacted shade´s identity really, and if anything her rework actually gave her an identity. The ability to reliably enter stealth and pick of targets by skillfully using parries, dodging and positioning has done more to give her a niche than anything else ever did.

Sure many did not like it because its more effort for less reward than the old really brainless cloak of mist build…but that´s a sacrifice i am willing to make.

As for enhanced power, well i do not use them on shade personally but i think the idea is that its good for weapons that do not headshot or crit reliably like the glaive or GS.

Alpha > Beta > Release > WoM > Current.

I agree. I just feel like the constant call for nerfs from primarily a small minority of players has urged FS to dumb down some admittedly broken but at least interesting talents, making them now fairly bland.

I suppose I should of stated more interactive talents, or something that requires some brainpower or thought to use beyond negligible passive effects. Also, yes it is somewhat similar, but they dont stack (to my knowledge, none of the damage multipliers have in the past, and admittedly I havent tested this one as of yet)

The big issue with DD nerf while it did do what you said although it was a high risk high reward weapon to some degree, also basically removed them from play, now people favor the SnD combo, but the 2nd charge is less reliable to get off and is essentially required for reasonable anti boss damage from infiltrate.

I mean her boss hunting capabilities have been reduced and are sub par in comparison to other damage dealers, and with her talent and weapon rebalances she struggles more with dense packs. She has just become a bit less enticing.

As for EHP I think its really only good for ranged careers that go in intending to spam.

Bruh.

You wrote as if you were talking about sister, not the game itself.

While i agree with you in principle here, if talking SoT specifically however, something really had to be done about her because her past state was not acceptable by any means. Nor was the old cloak of mist really for shade.

Its weird but some stack and some dont with no clear pattern, i think i heard that blackvenom stacks with everything though. It even stacks with itself if you pick that talent-

Well it was a bit too powerful with the potent and stacking bleeds, however i do agree that it did deserve at least some buffs if such major stuff was gona be removed from em. Alas, fatshark are not big on fine-tuning.

Isnt her cloak of pain build actually better for boss damage than it was before now though? Especially with the talent for added backstab damage?

oh nononno, it really is absolutely decent if you got a weapon that has at least alright cleave but low crit and you either cant or wont land headshots with it. Smiter is worse the more you cleave but on the other end, mainstay requires a fair lot of cleave but also stagger to use.

Personally i think glaive, GS and even the elven spear are all good with EP.

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Most of this references Kerillian, since I main her.

In general, I think being careful about nerfing the uniqueness out of something is a problem. But as an example, Shade/SoTT being able to both delete Bosses, and clear the majority of everything else is an issue.

Another point I would make is that FS don’t seem to utilize all of their own mechanics as much as they could, e.g. Talents for Dodge Distance rather than DMGR, which has a tangible feeling in the match.

I mean, something like Waystalker getting some nerfs, but also getting made more mobile and changing her last 2 Talent rows to be more active in mobility than Passive damage increases, is something that would improve the feel of the Career and game.

For SoTT, the active builds are still available and viable:

  • BH-style Morag-Hai’s Doomsight can be remade with Briar’s Malice and Lingering Blackvenom
  • It’s just CC and Support instead of 1 shotting half of the map from 100 yards
  • Works extremely well with Zealot/Slayer who play out of position and Sienna, due to AoE damage increase

https://www.ranalds.gift/build/Zg6lIzj44dfncyFA1vaI/view

  • Repel build

https://www.ranalds.gift/build/YNoNwNAYxTIcdYRxQzrx/view

  • Daggers build

https://www.ranalds.gift/build/BQqHXYPfUwz2Nm8vpHZy/view

The only inactive build is Recursive Toxin + Bleed, which you could argue, you’re supposed to spread damage increase and Bleed rather than fighting like normal, which people don’t seem to do. Most people will just play like normal and put way more stacks on enemies than they need to.

Wall is interactive and requires teamwork. Old Blackvenom actually required more teamwork, and I think it’s kind of a shame it got removed.

So other than her damage being reduced and basically given to other people, nothing really changed in terms of being active. She even became more unique, because old SoTT was basically BH on warpstone.

On Shade:
I main Kerillian and I find Shade boring af, I won’t lie. It’s extremely good, but the majority of Talents are Passive and all go towards spam dodging and spamming Lights with SnD. When the game came out, I thought she would be my main, but Handmaiden is a more fun version with more steps and actions before becoming OP (Pushing, building Crit stacks, procing Hunter). There’s a difference between that and landing ‘x’ headshots, which is just passive gameplay, once you’ve learned that the headshot angle for SnD is slightly below the crosshair on both left and right sides of it.

Shade is finally at a point, since the game came out, where I don’t mind playing it, my friends playing it (we all avoid her/BW/MasterworkRV/etc because they make the game boring), or seeing one join, as she can no longer solo the entire match for no reason. She is still top tier though.

Handmaiden actually got made more active, and given a more unique playstyle, where you utilize Push-Attacks and Pushes for Heavys offensively too.

So, I don’t think it’s fair to generally say things have gotten more Passive for SoTT, as her playstyles still exist, or HM (I know you didn’t say HM, but you did say generally and she is part of that), Shade I agree to an extent, even though the old Cloak of Pain was Passive AF.

I just think SoTT proves that you can use utility to make a Career interesting, rather than just one-shotting things or stacking more Power/AS than is necessary.

Not sure if you was asking me. I’ve not enjoyed Shade since before the changes. It does take more skill now, but my opinion has nothing to do with the changes.

I am enjoying a 1H Sword 10% Move Speed build for backstabs though.

Sorry if you was asking OP and not me.

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I mean everyone, I was just using the elves for examples because they got some of the biggest changes recently, that moved towards more boring talent tiers

Its kind of the entire issue, Im not really complaining about anything being good or bad persay, just that there are still a lot of dead or boring talents, and careers are losing some of the stuff that made them interesting, even if that stuff was in most circumstances broken or OP and needed adjustments.

Shade needs more skill for closely same result now. Why ist that boring?

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Making characters worse with the justification that now it “requires more skill” is such a bad take. Most of the player population can barely pub legend.

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While I agree with what you just said, I haven’t really seen an example of dumbing down classes by making them ‘less’ dynamic.

I’ve seen shade go from crit-berserk on cloak of mists to getting backstab feedback and having more mechanics based on stealth. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but it I think it’s an improvement.

I’ve seen SotT go from a being an S+ tier DPS meme machine to rival Bloodshot Waystalker builds to becoming more of a support/DPS class. Again, not perfect, but it’s definitely an improvement.

I’d say talents that do nothing besides offer a passive buff are few, and it’s not necessary that every talent require some skillful application, but I’ve never seen an update that replaced a dynamic talent that required the application of skill dumbed down to a passive bonus.

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It can just be a question of subjective fun ya know : P

Kitten seems to feel that the present iteration is better but would not pick shade for enjoyment over the other elf classes overall. I confess to sitting in a similar boat where i despite all this time still tend to play longbow waystalker elf more than any other.

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I think i get what youre meaning. If classes get too difficult to be effective, it takes fun away. And we want it rather easy than too complicated… Maybe FS went too far with the shade changes. But I wouldnt say its “boring”.

I dont agree, I loved old HS, were it required headshots to even be viable, but it filled a niche role, the balance pass for him just made his career more accessible but also a bit more boring.

I think Kruber is a big perpetrator of this “blurring together” that you speak of. 3/4 of his careers are pure frontliners with a 4th (Huntsman) being a strong contender because of his strong defensive skill

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Tough Hide
Being such a readily available and easily recharged skill of his. But it’s not such a big issue for since I live for Kruber playstyle. Still I can understand the burnout of playing the same style of characters and skills over and over.