EDIT the 2nd:
I retract my previous call for changing this talent. After the last week I feel it actually does make a difference with appropriate benefits and drawbacks - for the Drakegun at least. It’s not a super meta pick, or even the best talent in the row, but it’s not a wasted talent spot and it allows you to mix things up at least. In any case, there are a lot of classes and talents that need changes before IB and Under Pressure.
I’ve been trying some things with this talent on Cata on quickplay / duo with bots (shoutout @OrsonMaxwell ) since making this post, and I ended up finding a way to make this talent work pretty well (and assumably as it was intended) with the Drakegun.
Basically I took a Drakegun (with the Barrage trait), and tried to keep my heat-gauge at about 1/3 - 1/2 of max (which gave me more damage than normal at an acceptable speed penalty), unless I was taking a risk on moments where I was gambling I was sort of safe and / or needed high damage output for a while. This playstyle involves a lot of venting, which added up on my damage taken stat significantly (on avergage being about double what it was normally), had me lacking for reserve firing capacity a bunch of times, and it definitely did make me overall a little more vulnerable than normal (especially against Flamerats / Gunners and my unhampered ability to left click puff things like SV down, or to cause a quick stagger here and there, was sorely missed a few times), but the effectivenes of my flaming overall was pretty good in return - or at least it felt like it was.
Those runs realy felt like the talent made a difference in gameplay. Normally I vented before reaching orange overcharge and was all about sustained fire when using the Drakegun, but the talent added a layer of gameplay / decision making over how I normally played, including totally new considerations like tactically charging the Drakegun just-enough-but-not-too-much before a fight started. It felt like this talent changed the function of my Drakegun in a significant way (more damage at the cost of less control). I must admit it was pretty fun, actually.
So just maybe there is more to this talent than I first managed to get out of it? Maybe it doesn’t need a fundamental change after all? I’ll expiriment some more, in any case…
(I’ll leave my original post unchanged below:)
The last few weeks I’ve been playing (both) Drakefire weapons on IB a lot, and as a result I’ve experimented with the “Under Pressure” talent a lot as well. I keep coming to the conclusion, however, that my effectiveness with these weapons without this talent is just consistently higher. At first I figured it was just a case of me not having figured out the knack with this talent, or that I just needed more practice. But, even after extensively expirimenting and trying, the result stays the same: The talent hampers my effectiveness consistently more than it helps.
This, I think, is caused mostly by the component that messes with the handling (including weapon swap times) depending on overcharge. It just feels really wonky. Not - as I assume is intended - in a “game debuff” kind of sense, but also in a “feels super glitchy” kind of way. A “my key input is bugged and it doesn’t respond and in a very inconsistent way” kind of way. Also, this talent has basically two downsides - a damage debuff at low overcharge & a super wonky handling penalty, which make your weapon very unreliable and this is just not worth the tradeoff for a damage buff to weapons that kill just fine without it anyways. This talent basically makes your weapon perform worse at low and high overcharge, with only a small sweet spot in the middle where its effect is net beneficial, but staying in this sweet spot is just a lot more trouble than it’s worth for the amount of benefit it gives, and it makes you really vulnerable when you’re not in that sweet spot as well.
I’m assuming here, but I get the sense that the idea behind this talent isn’t just to buff Drakefire weapons, but to change their handling into a more “high risk, high reward, adds a new layer of game mechanics and tactical consideration” way. As it is now this talent does pretty much do this, but I think it doesn’t do that in a way that works really well in practice.
As I was playing with this talent, my musings resulted in some suggestions I came up with to improve the talent:
Instead of the handling speed increase / decrease: "Venting costs more health; The higher the overcharge the more health it costs."
This way the talent incentivises staying on higher overcharge in order to avoid the damage debuff / get the damage buff, but you still can’t stay on high overcharge or spam your weapon as much without a downside.
No damage debuff or speed buff at low overcharge; Just only a gradually increasing damage buff and speed debuff based on overcharge instead.
This way there is still a risk / reward component, but your weapons are more reliable and you get a little more control over the mechanics.
Change the talent to give another buff than a damage buff with no or fewer downsides as a tradeoff.
- A stagger / penetration buff?
- No friendly fire?
- Venting without health cost?
- A damage debuff or vulnerability debuff to enemies hit?
- Less direct damage but a longer lasting burn effect (which adds up to overall more damage, but reduces killing speed)?
- Faster passive and / or active venting speed?
Handling speed effect is removed altogether. The damage debuff is changed to have its peak effectiveness somewhere at the upper part of medium overcharge instead, after which it decreases again. This way you still need to micromanage your overcharge and there is still a penalty to your spamming capability, but the handling wonkyness is removed at least, which is the worst part of this talent. (Probably should remove the immunity to slowdown on red overcharge as well.)
Reverting to the X% damage buff at tradeoff for X% overcharge structure the talent used to have.
Bit boring, but should be relatively easy to implement, at least.
Just reducing the handling penalty, maybe for the tradeoff of less damage buff and / or the removal of the immunity to slowdown at high overcharge.
This would not have my preference because I fear the problem with this talent’s effect might be fundamental, but number tweaking is probably easier than reworking altogether at least.
Stays as is, but the weapon swap speed is not affected by the handling penalty anymore.
No idea if this is even possible in a programming sense, and it might introduce issues with QQ swapping shenenigans, but maybe if you could get out of “input wonkyness hell” easier this talent might not be so horrible anymore?
I’m sure there are creative minds in FS and on this forum that could come up with better suggestions, even.
I know this talent is probably low on the priority list of things that need changing, and IB as a class probably doesn’t need much attention anyways, but this is just something that drew my attention the last few weeks. I’d be happy to hear other people’s thoughts, in any case. Anybody share my experience? Am I just doing something wrong and this talent is actually awesome? Other creative suggestions?