General BBB feel and direction of changes (mostly whine)

First off I want to say that I’m happy that the devs decided to do some balancing. Always nice to keep the game fresh and makes new/old builds shine. I liked most of the changes but I can’t say all of the changes were necessary or relevant to the actual game. All of the things I will talk about in this topic assume playing on Cataclysm. Also a reminder that Twitch Mode is a thing and playing there is a big difference from standard missions. Also keep in mind that a lot of people on this forum feel that when something is performing as intended it means it is OP and “overperforms”. Let’s start with this one:

  • Headshots and Critical Strikes no longer automatically apply a light stagger to enemies.

Not a single comment on to why this was needed? The crit/headshot stagger is really good with some weapons that don’t have much innate stagger, and these weapons could compensate with headshots for better horde survivability/elite control. A good example of this is a Shade with Daggers - a skillful use of pushes and headshots allow her to manage the horde quite decently. Now you only rely on teammates and or pushes for crowd control. One handed axes (and their increased crit chance) also have a good use for headshot/crit stagger against elites. This change should be reverted imho, it adds nothing to the game and just kills a play-style some people are used to. (It also kinda makes sense logically - when you hit someone in the head they will flinch.)

  • Tuskgor Spear, Executioner Sword, WoM weapons in general and Mercenary talents

You guys release the WoM DLC with Cataclysm difficulty and one new weapon for each class which was balanced around the new difficulty. Tuskgor Spear was one of them and it was one of the most balanced weapons of this whole DLC. Good attack pattern, good block efficiency, good cleave and non zero damage (unlike shields+x weapon) so you actually can help with killing some stuff and also be able to support teammates in critical situations. Best balance between a pure support weapon and an all around tool for survival. The only thing I agree is that these weapons didn’t need infinite dodges. Everything else made to the spear in this beta is pointless. It’s not even used that often by people, and certainly was nowhere near “OP”.

Executioner Sword - same story as Tuskgor Spear. The factor that makes a weapon good is - what range of targets does it cover. Exec Sword covers them all, you can kill efficiently every enemy in the game. Good horde clear and good armor/elite damage is all you need to make a weapon feel and play good. Exec Sword is exactly that and nerfing attack speed does nothing. It still kills everything, it will be just more frustrating to use with lees attack speed. If you wanted a reasonable nerf, chose one of the abilities you want to focus on with this weapon - either make it the ultimate hordeclear weapon with medium armor damage, or a armor “penetrator” that destroys elites like Chaos Wariors.

Walk it Off - DMG reduction to 25% is too much of a nerf. Absolutely no sense in using it anymore, the cooldown talent with no downsides is just better since the 25% make 0 difference in context of Cataclysm. 25% will not save a class with 120HP from an unlucky overhead or something similar. It really should be back at 40% with maybe a little reduced duration - say 7-8 seconds instead of 10.

Ready for Action - Should be a pure stagger talent. It would be cool if it would no longer heal THP but Kruber could use his shout twice within a 10 Seconds window. Would be used and would find a place in some builds.

On Yer Feet Mates - Make the people who get revived by the shout have a 1 or 2 second invulnerability so that they don’t get instakilled upon getting up and have a chance when revived in the middle of battle .

  • Billhok and BH Talent Changes

Let’s start with Billhok. And again same mistake (read first paragraph about Kruber). Increased dodge range and a limited amount of them is fine and quite welcome. However the Special Attack is what made this weapon stand out and be a good utility for surviving. The stamina cost is just not needed. Previously you needed to have at least half stamina shield to use the Special Attack anyway and it was fine, since you never know when a Berserker/Plague Monk/Patrol will run towards you. The only Victor career that can somewhat compensate for stamina is Zealot with his talent that restores stamina upon tacking damage. A Bounty Hunter for example has nothing to restore stamina (aside from trinket). Special Attack was something you might do in between push attacks (while fighting horde) to pick off the elites mixing in there. The stamina cost on this attack just makes the weapon clunky to use when fighting Patrols where you need to both use the Special Attack to control the huge amount of elites and sometimes dodge while blocking. It also kind of locks you into using stamina regen on trinket which is suboptimal for most of Victor builds (Since both WHC and BH rely on crits and crit chance)

Bounty Hunter’s new talents are nice but feel still underwhelming when compared to talents in the same row. Love the idea behind Bounty Hunting, but the problem with it is that it becomes good only after like 20 stacks (which is luck dependent and you might not even get that many). It often asks for enemies that are not even close to being around (A berserker or Chaos Warrior in a skaven only mission). Also has no icon to display how many stacks you currently have which is weird.

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The stamina cost on special attack on billhook didn’t change anything on whc and zealot. Whc has insane stamina regen that you barely or even not notice the stam cost, zealot has his stamina talent, like you mentioned. The only career suffering from this is bh.

The alt attack did need changes to it’s alt attack to make it unable to permastagger elites or keep multiple elites staggered. I still think a delay is the optimal choice, as it wouldn’t be ‘bypassable’ with whc/zealot stam regen + it won’t be able to be abused by zealot’s melee attack speed.

It wouldnt be as bad if FS would not have soft nerfed that already by changing how stacking DR gets applied. Uping that to 30% might make people take it over the reinstated CDR Talent.

This was the Idea of another user in changing the executioners. A way to actually make it less good in clearing mixed waves while retaining the ability to kill armored targets quickly. It also would have added a nice third combo to use, which is gonna be situationally more useful than just left clicking.

The reason no one talks about it is because hardly anyone understands stagger. I certainly could to this day not tell if a target is in stagger 1, or 2.

What I really missed in this beta was a bigger audience for Stagger Talents as a whole. Assassin, Smiter and Enhanced power are just that more valuable than some elusive percent you might get when a target is staggered for some time. Especially Bulwark is hot garbage since 10% more damage to staggered targets hardly achieves anything compared to the massive boost Assassin hands you.

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Its like the balance devs want us to go back to fpstide from 2 years ago?

I cant begin to express how disappointed i am in the balance devs. All that melee focused combat progress the game has made just to be turned back into a first person shooter game with full party ranged comps again…

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I agree with your opinion on merc ult. They are really struggling to not just make one talent leagues better than the other two. 40% DR with a lower duration would be a good idea becuase you’d have to decide if you want to use it to generate THP or mitigate burst damage. 10 seconds was just a bit too long and a lower duration makes it require a bit more skill to use and have less value from just spamming it constantly.

They just straight up reverted the super op cooldown talent and even buffed it a little bit, I just don’t get it sometimes lol

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Only thing I don’t understand is the stagger on headshots

It changes the dynamic from wanting to use fast weapons for heashots, to slow weapons with lots of stagger

Doesn’t really change the problem, and just moves it from one end to the other

I can understand the removal from crits, that makes sense. Headshots should still retain the effect

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You are wise. Most don’t see how elites are still trivialised by stagger. Headshots should be rewarded visually as well as with dps. The skill aspect is important. Headshots may not be the most difficult thing in the world, but they are more difficult than bodyshots and should be rewarded as such.

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Thing is there’s way too much stagger in the game currently. Do I think this was the best way of addressing it? No, I don’t. However, cataclysm in particular struggles a lot as a difficulty in the live game since it’s so easy to just bully everything with staggers.

For you, me and the top % of players that’s true. Most players, even on Cata, aren’t pulling out 400+ headshots per game. The modded realm, higher content on Official, and Deeds on Cata or Twitch mode is for us.

Besides, we still failed that FoW game didn’t we? It can still be difficult.

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TRUE

Although I think there is a way to make stagger a bit less obnoxious whilst still rewarding headshots appropriately…that would require a ton of tweaking and testing though

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How about all of these:

  • Elites are only flinched if they are the first enemy hit, otherwise the elite’s stagger resistance comes into play.
  • Crit pushes still stagger elites but only if they headshot at least one elite.
  • Flinched elites do not lose stagger resistance.
  • Elites have a flinch cooldown and can only be flinched three times within a three second period.
  • Bodyshot crits do not flinch elites at all.

yeah something along those lines would be fine by me

I think it should probably vary between weapons too

That’s an interesting idea. Do you have further thoughts on the matter?

I know I haven’t given you a chance to reply yet, but it’s a thought provoking idea. Would a weapon like the Rapier or Dual Daggers rely more on crits for stagger, whereas a weapon like the Billhook or the Spear rely straight-up on headshots?

well I mean more concussive weapons should bring more stagger to a headshot

1h mace, for example, should be better causing flinching than a dagger

things like daggers, rapier etc. which are very light and nimble weapons should require a crit headshot to produce flinching on a light attack (or something like that)

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It definitely makes a lot of sense for a Mace to hit skulls harder than other weapons.

Again I’m very anti removing flinching, so I wouldn’t support the Rapier requiring crits (might be reasonable for DD though). Perhaps a lighter, quicker stagger that elites recover from more quickly could work instead without making the weapons feel off against elites?

Perhaps. It’d require a lot of tweaking, testing and feedback :sweat_smile:

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I have to agree that the change made regarding headshots and critical strikes no longer apply stagger is a poor one for several reasons.

Headshots should have impact and feel rewarding other than just dealing more damage. Furthermore, it visually looks ‘off’ that you can slap something in the head with a weapon (albeit a light one) and an elite basically has zero response to it. In saying that, a change is needed, but this was way too heavy and drastic. I believe the stagger time should be lowered and a limit to how many times an elite can be staggered in a timeframe with a light headshot/crit headshot. Chaos Warriors should remain immune to light weapon stagger, however, and tbh they’re so lumbering that it’s less important against them anyway.

The idea behind these sorts of changes should be that it opens up more styles of play or balances them, not outright closes some off. This will simply result in a shift in what weapons and styles are played more.

Some of the other opinions I’ve read across on reddit and other threads here on the side of keeping this change seem to only reflect those that are at the very top of the game or are frequently in premade groups with those at the very top of the game. Perhaps they are also already primarily play weapons/playstyles centered around higher stagger which remain unaffected by the change. Neither of which should be a deciding voice for the majority of the playerbase and playstyles.

TLDR; Revert the change if it isn’t properly revised.

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That’s something that could be looked at in terms of stagger power of weapons, stagger resistance of elites and the boost that headshots/crits give to stagger power. Previously, with finesse hits/pushes staggering elites regardless of stagger resistance, that wasn’t something you could fine-tune.

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Would that mean buffing the light headshot stagger of light weapons? Wouldn’t that basically have the same effect as flinching does on live?

You could vary the effects a lot more, separating effects by headshots/crits/weapons/elites.
It’s a lot cruder on live in that boosting stagger resistance of elites doesn’t really have an effect when you have a mechanic that overrides that and the same goes for stagger power, when crit pushes regardless of weapon stagger CWs out of side swings, it’s not easy to fine-tune.

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