Two things made in the latest patch 1.0.6 caught my attention: Longbow ammo decrease and Beam Staff heat generation. These changes are directed towards reducing ranged spam, and are kinda effective in this (actually not). There is a problem, though: each character has more than one career! And while these changes address the ranged career for each character, they affect all other careers too. So in the end if similar changes will be done in the future, ranged careers might get balanced out, but the problem is that ranged combat for non-ranged careers will be completely destroyed.
And the main issue with ranged spam now is not the ammo capacity or heat per shot - the problem is talents and traits, that make ammo limitless and heat generation nonexistent. You can triple the heat generation on beam stuff, but as long as I have Critical Mass + Heat Sink + Blazing Equilibrium, I can vent all the heat in one hit (no pun intended). And I always have Exhaust as a backup, with its nonexistent cooldown, that I can recharge by killing 10 rats. Same goes for Kerillian: I will just switch from Isha’s Embrace to Vaul’s Quiver and live as if nothing happened. As for Hutsman, the change isn’t noticeable at all , thanks to the combination of Waste Not, Want Not and Taal’s Blessing.
That’s not just some kind of theory. I tried playing Pyromancer immediatly after the patch, and I felt no difference in heat generation. Yes, I had to vent a little bit more often, bur crits worked like charm as usual, and I could clear my heat with an F button almost any time I wanted. And then I tried the changes with Unchained, and god it felt horrible. It has always been hard to control heat with Unchained, often times you have no choice but to trade your HP for venting, and I find all this inconvenience to be a reasonable tradeoff for all the tankiness. But this slight change to heat generation made me trade about twice HP more than usual, which is a lot. Also I had to spend tangibly more time venting, which made avoiding hits in a fight a bit harder.
I also tested Huntsman, and as I said, I felt no difference.
So what needs to be done for starting:
Weapon Traits: Scrounger should either give 1 ammo or give ammo only once per projectile. Heat Sink should not have universal values, but individual values for eash staff, possibly even different values for charged and regular attacks.
Sienna: Blazing Equilibrium should be removed, Exhaust should either also be removed, or base cooldown of The Burning Head should be increased by 50%.
Kerillian: Vaul’s Quiver should be removed, a talent that allows regenerating up to 85% can be added instead. I am not sure if Kurnous’ Blessing needs a nerf.
Kruber: Taal’s Blessing should be removed.
Longbow ammo and heat generation changes should be reversed.
P.S. Also please fix Burning Head auto-aiming. Idc if the algorithm worsening was intentional, but if you wanna nerf The Burning Head - decrease its damage or increase its cooldown. It’s a live saving tool, and if it doesn’t work 50% of the time, it essentially becomes useless.
And thanks for the beam staff long awaited nerf.
Update #1 I am myself fine with the current state of ranged combat. Yes, it is strong, but idc if people abuse it or not. It is not gonna help bad players, and if people want to have fun - why not. But it seems that devs find ranged combat too strong and want to make it weaker. And I don’t see no reason to dissuade them from this, neither I can’t. I just wanna make sure that these nerfs won’t ruin ranged combat for melee careers.
As for me, I think that the best solution to this situation would be to limit ranged characters in party to 2. And also I think that Scrounger needs nerfing no matter what, as well as Heat Sink needs a rework.