Incan's Evaluation

Ok so this is gonna be sort of all over the place because I’m gonna be covering a lot of topics and updating over time as I collect further thoughts but I’m gonna make an attempt at keeping it concise…ish, 'ere we go:

Weapons

I’m pretty happy with where all the weapons have ended up for the most part but there are a few outliers that need looking into

  1. Elf 2h sword, whilst feeling much much better than pre-beta, feels very lacking on the heavy attacks still and the hitboxes are also rather painful to work with
  2. Repeater pistol, again feels much better now than pre-beta, but is still pretty rough to work with if you aren’t on bounty hunter and even then the left click is just kinda anemic in my opinion
  3. Tuskgor Spear, I made a thread covering my thoughts on that here

Careers
Ok so let’s start off with Bounty Hunter:
BH is in a better place now than before but that’s mostly due to his arsenal being buffed rather than the career itself. The playstyle the talents attempt to encourage (weaving in and out of melee to gain buffs for both ranged and melee dps) is something I really enjoy but I find that it’s typically too much hassle for too little reward compared to just playing as a standard sniper/ranged class. Part of the issue with this is his Ammo return on Elites killed is pretty irritating to work with at times since it gives back awkward amounts of ammo on weapon such as repeater pistol or doesn’t reload instantly on brace of pistols. This makes transitioning between melee and ranged to proc Last Hit Power very awkward and far far from seamless, which ruins the whole playstyle for me personally. In addition to this it can be hard to get ammo back at times if you get unlucky and don’t manage to land the killing blow on any elites during a horde. I feel that the talent should work on killing specials also.

Huntsman:
he’s in a better spot now than a patch ago, however one thing that really irks me about his current iteration is that he severely lacks ammo sustain without Waste Not, Want Not. He’s virtually tied down to taking conservative shooter to maintain ammunition now and/or forced into the 10% ammo return on special kills. I’d personally prefer Poacher’s Mark was removed and Waste Not, Want Not was returned in its place, or even just replace the ammo return on specials with WNWN so that way I have an option for consistent ammo generation and still being able to take hunter on my bow. Sure Shots also needs tweaking in regards to how it makes weapons interact with Maulers as it can result in a significant damage reduction on certain weapons. Also this is more a weapon thing but; please make the full zoom on Longbow a toggle similar to that of Waystalker

Talents
Ok this section is dedicated to more general talents.
The THP situation is something that’s been brought up a few times on the forums now and basically it boils down to the following: Cleave is universally the best THP talent available currently barring niche cases such as 1h axe and Dual Daggers or weapons that can exploit THP on stagger such as shields or fire sword. The imbalance here needs addressing:

  • Stagger is average to useless unless you’re playing a weapon with a slam mechanic which can drive the THP gains so high it becomes borderline exploitative. Not getting health back on a killing blow is also rather counter-intuitive and almost feels like a punishment for maximizing dps output/playing well
  • Crit/Headshot is just completely worthless currently and falls flat compared to cleave in 99% of cases even though it technically requires more precision to use than on cleave
  • THP on kill, when it’s good it’s really good, as soon as you get slave rats and clan rats, you regret every decision in life that led you up to this moment.
    The values here and the distribution of these talents needs looking into/tweaking.
    Heal share is just pointless and has no place taking up a talent slot, much less being on the same row as temp health generation.

Hellbord’s Tutelage and Smite: These talents are practically worthless outside a couple meme builds that exploit the mechanic, they’re also practically superfluous now with the addition of pseudo-random crit chance. They should be reworked/replaced.

Unbending Purpose and other “5% of something” talents: These talents are completely worthless, don’t compete with other talents on their respective rows at all (unless all the talents on that row are awful) and are beyond uninteresting; they need replacing.

STAGGER TALENTS:
Mainstay and Bulwark are dead to me; these talents are absolutely pointless. Enhanced Power is also pointless in 90% of builds and shouldn’t exist, ranged breakpoints are forgiving enough in Cata as is and I imagine it’s only further overkill below cata. Assassin and Smiter, these are the two best talents available on that row and the reason for that is because they allow us the least interaction with the stagger system possible. The fact that the best options on a talent row revolve around IGNORING the mechanics they relate to should be signal enough that this system needs a total overhaul. Any class that doesn’t get access to Smiter or Assassin becomes positively miserable in melee compared to their competitors who do. The 3 prime proofs of this are Unchained vs Pyromancer, Foot Knight vs any other kruber and Ranger vet vs the other bardins. This system needs an overhaul but in the meantime classes without smiter should just be given access to it as a bandaid solution.

11 Likes

Are you sure that cleave temp isn’t just too strong? Crit/headshot gives enough temp to be serviceable even without Boon on the careers that have it, and a temp talent shouldn’t give more than that.

He was very good before. Literally infinite ammo. Still has it. I dislike the new changes myself. Reworking the crit chance on headshot and reload speed talents to also proc from hitting two enemies would have done enough for Blunderbuss and Repeater synergy in my opinion. We need to think of a way to do that doesn’t let the Handgun and the Longbow get the bonuses just from cleaving enemies though. For the Blunderbuss, it could be something like hitting two enemies with one attack before cleave (since the spread is wide and it shoots multiple pellets, it’s reasonable to hit two enemies with different pellets) but that wouldn’t help the Repeater Handgun.

Would buffing Mainstay by 20% and Bulwark by 10% work? Perhaps they could make Mainstay combo based rather than stagger based, so that your x strike (maybe third?) always gets the 60% (or potentially 80% if it’s buffed) damage boost.
Otherwise I do agree. They’re quite sad talents right now.

That’s why it’s on WHC and Shade, and not Zealot and Handmaiden. Waystalker and BH both still do fine enough with it too. Saltz only has the Axe for crit chance now, so it’s mostly an elf imbalance with weapons. Temp talents should work more effectively on some weapons than others. E.g. On kill for the 1h Axe vs Cleave.

It’s really meant for the Rapier and Dual Daggers, but on Kill and Cleave average out too easily for it to be competitive which is silly.

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ehhh I dislike the way crit/headshot works at a baseline tbh, it only works on the first target hit and it’s obviously gonna provide more value for classes and weapons that can stack higher crit values, skewing balance.

On huntsman: yeah idk what the best fix for his weapon synergy problems are right now

As for the best solution for the stagger system I honestly don’t know.

I wish I had more to offer in the way of solutions but it’s something that I’m still collecting my thoughts on

Ok Bulwark is pretty universally useless. Mainstay mostly sucks but I really think FK makes excellent use of it, and I’d hate to see it go on him. It’s one of the things that I think actually does make him pretty competitive with the other Krubers against some targets.

If you Ult a CW then kill him before he gets up (pretty easy to do on Cata with a number of weapons) you’ve basically just had a straight 60% damage increase for that entire interaction. I think a lot of the time with FK you are hitting things you’ve already put into Stagger 2, so the synergy there is quite strong.

Of course it’s pretty indefensible on literally everyone else with the possible exception of shield weapons generally.

TL;DR If FK had mainstay and smiter for his stagger talent options I think he’d be very close to perfect RN.

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Stagger system needs some slight overhaul. That is right. But giving everyone a +20 % power bonus (or higher) is not the right solution. The talents have never been adjusted for the decreased health after WoM Beta 1.

As such, both Smiter and Assassin, have to be toned down in power, even at the cost of a part of the community dissolving itself in its tears.

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What do you think about the following?

  1. Unchained’s Health to CDR is by far the best talent in the row and possibly should just be a passive.
  2. Ranger Veteran is still in a bad spot, and Share And Share Alike doesn’t work that well.
  3. Weapons: Swift Bow and Volley Crossbow - Swift Bow is now a Longbow-lite with bad horde clear, Volley Crossbow remains a worse Crossbow with bad horde clear.

Regarding Bounty Hunter:
His power level is just not high enough. The only really useful thing he does is delete Monsters, but without that he’s a pretty lackluster Ranger.

Regarding Huntsman:
I agree with what you wrote, but I also think there are a bunch more wonky things with him which I detailed in a Huntsman post.

3 Likes

You don’t make something a passive because it is the best talent. You will only break the career that way. You adjust the talent/talent tree so that it still keeps its purpose/identity but does not more than it actually should.

Making Burning Dregs a passive is balance-wise an absolute no-go. We don’t need a second Zealot or worse.

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How should they be toned down? I wouldn’t lower the actual damage bonus on the first target hit. That would make breakpoint builds that don’t revolve around stagger very bad, e.g. WHC Rapier + Templar’s Knowledge + 20% Chaos/10% Armour and Deathknell to one shot full charge both Bestigors and Stormvermin when tagged, wouldn’t be possible anymore.

Smiter was fine before they buffed it to make it not take away the default stagger bonus on targets after the first. Assassin just shouldn’t work on bodyshot crits and shouldn’t get any bonus from stagger.

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The breakpoints is actually what I am partially after (or at least they should come with some drawback). There are to many easily reachable one-hit breakpoints. On Legend this might be hardly okay, on Cataclysm it isn’t.

The issue with Mainstay is not that it is bad. The issue is that enemies are dead by the time the full bonus would go into effect because their low health coupled with the high damage bonus of Smiter and Assassin.

I’m still trying to get together some numbers and ideas. I have a simple framework but I think it isn’t 100 % where I want to have it at (depends on mood and day).

But I know that my general idea would be unpopular and face backslash. So I have doubts that posting it would bring anything.

main issue I can foresee is low stagger weapons being severely punished

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Yea, that is an issue definetely. However, I think it can balanced out. High single target damages should have some drawbacks. It would help in weapon and career specialization.

I am toying with the idea to add the flinch effect to the talent I have in mind as kind of compensation. It feels weird though, after discussing against it so much -_-

So or so, we won’t see any changes to the system anyway. Maybe, just maybe for the next BBB end of year.

If Assassin didn’t get any stagger bonus at all, and Smiter was exclusive to the first target hit, then the horde dps of these stagger talents would go down a fair bit. Removing the crit interaction with Assassin would also make it require more precision. This would give the talents an actual drawback.

I’m more concerned with it being easy to one shot enemies without support (from a mechanical perspective, rather than it being possible), and with enemies being incapable of avoiding damage (I miss the Ungor dodge). Assassin and Smiter just have too much multi-target dps.

I’m definitely open to ideas, and it would be great if enemies didn’t die immediately. I’d personally rather see their defense come from mechanics instead of health, but I do see how lowering the damage bonus of these talents could work as well.

I always feel like it is the heavy attacks for elf 2h swords that needs a buff, not the light attacks. I think the 20% base crit on lights are way too much and it becomes a sick horde cleaning weapon on shade (due to 50% crit damage talent and assassin). On the other hand, the heavy attacks are slow, the hitbox feels weird and the damage output is bad. Sometimes I feel like I can do more armor damage by spamming lights from critical hits.

Meanwhile dual daggers lost 10% base crit chance on L1 and L2, which is a big loss for shade since half of her talents are about crits.

If the heavies were to be buffed, I think the heavy sweep after H1 should be given armour sliding and Tank. H1 should not be capable of one shotting SV on Cata with a headshot, as that crosses over into the Glaive’s purpose too much.

  • Give the lights a headshot boost (hard to hit headshots, skill weapon)
  • Remove the grotesque crit chance
  • Add armour sliding and Tank to the light after H1
  • Small increase to the headshot damage of H1 (no SV oneshot though)

Perhaps it could be capable of 2 shotting an SV if both the H1 + the heavy sweep headshot with a stat investment.

Bear in mind that this is a two handed weapon that has 6 dodges, so I’m hesitant even with the above alterations.

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Seriously, I congratulate you for being open-minded. That is a rarity. Maybe I will make a thread. I think I have found an iteration which works at least as starting point. Worst that can happen is, it being widely ignored.

But I think some streamlining and reduction to three talents makes sense where each talent plays out differently.

As for defense mechanics …. you are rather limited in that regard:

  • You can give enemies the ability to block => similar to shields and you can imagine what happens to pace and the resulting community reaction
  • You can give enemies the ability to dodge => ho boi, that worked out wonderfully for the Ungors, community certainly didnt melt down
  • You can make them attack faster to force the player into defense => which ruins again the pace and results in more cheap shots.

There are probably more sophisticated solutions but these would be the basic ones. Also not discussed is how range plays into this which gets stronger relatively viewed (unless it can be blocked too).

2 Likes

I like these ideas. Some parts of the player base are going to react pretty negatively regardless. They would get used to it eventually.

It would also be pretty neat if some enemies had block frames during some attack animations (of course this would have to be visible, which I don’t know if Fatshark wants to put the time and resources into changes like these, even if they would be great).

This would be okay for Chaos Warriors (that or they should at least do more damage than all of the other elites) and Maulers. I think the attack frequency of most enemies needs to be increased primarily now.

With each enemy having enough mechanical complexity individually to be a threat, and hordes being hard to protect yourself from, we may finally be able to let go of enemies being capable of doing running attacks through each other (I don’t know if that’s why this ‘feature’ is still here, but it’s currently the main way players get hit by hordes at Legend and up).

More sneaky backstabs, more enemies flanking and more pressure on unsupported range careers would help here I think. That way range has great dps but requires support.

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A solution would be to nerf ranged and make careers less ranged only, but more hybrid, where you have to switch to melee.

Edit: or this could work aswell

Every solution to make melee harder will just be dismissed by ranged careers if they continue to have such strong options.
For example: they could higher density, melee will struggle more, but sienna’s staves don’t care about it.
Or making sv’s have special moves, that change from time to time, making every encounter unique > nvm just crit bodyshot it from the keep.

3 Likes

I’ve always felt that Sienna’s staffs have too much cleave.

Range has always been problematic. High damage supposedly balanced by ammo limitations, but ammo sustain is too easy in general for even melee careers, and range careers can just nonstop spam.

We can always just lower the ammo sustain and dps of range weapons/range careers. Most of them are pretty strong. Throw in quicker ambushes, make enemies better at surrounding players etc. and then they’ll suffer appropriately.

We can also increase friendly fire damage.

Edit: Cleave drop off for range weapons could also be added (like the damage decrease for melee weapons on 2nd and subsequent targets in a cleaving strike). A weapon like the Handgun could have no damage decrease on cleave and have the reload speed buff reverted (better contrast with other range weapons).

2 Likes

Yes exactly, ammo or heat isn’t even a big limitation. An example i think is good, is huntsman ammo back on headshot passive, but they remove that instead of a broken 9000 ammo back on waystalker ultimate. I love pyro and it’s my most played career, but being able to just spam ranged is insane, this is mostly due to temp hp on ult which negates the ‘downside’ of venting.

Another example of how i think a ranged career should be is bounty hunter repeater alt fire. Where you melee, switch >alt fire, switch. This the kind of ranged i wanna see.

2 Likes

BH has less build variety than before.
The ‘weaving in and out of melee and range’ already was a thing, with crit reset (and hunter with RP), giving you not only better damage, but also better breakpoints.

Now we are back to the crossbow being stupid strong, relative to his other options again. Thanks, I hate it.

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