Smoke grenades are still entirely underwhelming. It’s competing against two others, one of which can delete an entire horde and create a great deal of breathing room, and the other which can delete anything short of a monstrosity - which it will also chunk down significantly and stagger.
Smoke also has a massive drawback, in that it can blind the players themselves.
Whilst the stun and extra duration buffs with the latest patch help a tiny bit, it still doesn’t compete.
Some suggestions to make it more compelling:
Make it Impact-detonated. This makes it more immediately useful - currently, by the time the smoke deploys, you’ll otherwise have already dealt with some of the threats it’s meant to protect you against
Make the smoke actually block enemies’ LOS instead of only hiding players inside it. While there are few scenarios where it’d make much of a difference, you really feel it when enemies can shoot at you from the other side of smoke that you can’t see through yourself.
Add some kind of debuff to enemies who are inside smoke - longer melee attack delays, slower movement, something to that effect.
Highlight enemies (maybe only specials/elites) inside the smoke
Give it some extra utility in being able to extinguish flames from flamers, scab bombers and barrels. I’ve no doubt this’d come in clutch many a time on auric missions.
It kind of does. enemies will not start shooting if there is smoke between them and your team. Gunners that have already started a barrage will keep going though, which is bullsh1t.
It turns off enemy ranged attacks, allowing for players to fully focus on melee enemies in a hybrid combat game. That is already good enough IMO. Also the smoke grenades stagger as of patch #14 which can be used against hordes for a brief moment of crowd control.
The devs don’t even let us ping multiple enemies. I like the idea, but it’s probably never happening.
I think if Fatshark tried to code that, then the servers would somehow implode.
The best feedback I can give is that it is so unattractive, that I have never felt a desire to pick it. blocking line of sight to ‘some’ ranged enemies? Not helpful. You need a straight up ‘can’t target’ clause. Or make all allies who stand in the smoke straight up stealthed. Enemies inside suppressed so the grenade interacts with talents that deal more damage to supressed targets. Ranged enemies coming out of cover to bayonet charge the cloud, and so fort.
It needs more time in the design oven to compete with ‘blow up horde’ and ‘blow up boss and carapace’
Jokes aside, from someone who studied gameplay programming and particles, this does not seem difficult to achieve nor heavy to process considering that Ogryn’s frag bomb deleting an entire horde had no issues as far as I can tell.
Smoke grenades do need a lot of help still, they absolutely need visual changes to be less disruptive for the team regardless of whatever happens. They could still use either a higher count or more duration/radius outside of other talents. But perhaps even having their own +2 from extra grenades talent, extra 10% chance to get one on elite kill, and 45s per grenade for the grenade regen talents would be more interesting. Similar to how grenade tinkerer has unique effects per grenade, why not the other grenade talents?
My idea to add more utility and make the grenades do something nothing else really does(except very technically Smite/Stun grenades but not nearly as controlling) Is a massive stagger reduction debuff that also applies to the current initial stagger explosion effect, allowing smoke grenades to interrupt rager chain attacks and mauler/crusher overheads while making those enemies easier to interrupt (and possibly giving a bonus to stagger strength too) as long as they are in the smoke. Sort of like its ‘blinding them’ and making them more vulnerable. Imo its pretty thematic and something thats very useful with the new stagger thresholds, but doesn’t step on the feet of any other classes abilities too hard since you’d still have to interact with the enemies to benefit past the initial poof.
Then make the secondary low toss(or both) faster and cause the smoke to instantly detonate upon hitting something, this way you can use it reactively to make a sudden bad situation more controllable vs both shooters and melee enemies. With all those changes they will have a consistent and unique effect in missions where shooters aren’t a problem without being the exclusive reason why you take them, while still doing their anti-shooter job more consistently throughout a mission.
The idea where it extinguishes fire is a really cool idea, it would then do something similar to the psykers shield where it can stop space control specials from messing up the team. I worry there might be too much overlap with psyker shield with that, or might make them a must take for auric and require reducing their amount or at least not allow for the other buffs like duration/radius/talent changes I have suggested which I do think they still need.
Lacking a extinguish effect it should at least more generally limit ranged specials sight though, especially bombers and snipers which it currently has zero effect versus.
I will say they do block shooter LOS well regardless of deployment style, currently you just usually need to throw two or more to cover a area and gunners/reapers will still blindly fire through the smoke often, but wont track you. The main issues currently are rarely having enough radius/can get enough smoke out in time to have a dramatic effect when deploying them on or inbetween shooters. Which can be solved with more of them or a larger radius, and faster throwing.
More smokes, longer duration, impact detonation and maybe some kind of team buff to encourage people to not walk away from them. Or worse, when a psyker comes up and just throws the bullet shield in the smoke.
They do have some pretty interesting interactions, but mostly they’re just too limited. For an inoffensive support function they should be more spammable. Make them the Veteran grenade that either refreshes automatically or can be obtained from pick ups with another grenade added to the supply. They should last 20 seconds by default, with tinkerer 30s and 33% larger clouds. Make a UI icon for when you are covered by smoke’s effects because the visual range is kinda weird. Have the trashy talent that can double drop nades proc 100% of the time with smokes.
But right now they actually are pretty good for fighting elites, because no melee enemy can running attack track a player in smoke. The dog, trapper and flamers can’t either, they walk right into melee range before doing anything. These interactions are more useful than the bullet disruption imo.
Smoke grenades MUST be largely invisible to players to have any place in the game. Currently, they benefit enemies about as much as players - you step out of cloud (or you’re initially outside) and suddenly there’s a wall of smoke where you can’t see a thing, including potential maulers/crushers running out of it any moment and getting you fast & quick game over.
A badly placed smoke literally prohibits your team from shooting and seeing enemies properly.
That’s why I think they should make it into a visual AoE like the fire grenade has, it might be counter to the idea of smoke but for gameplay purposes it would convey its buff area to players without obstructing visuals above. All I want are the tiny buffs for being in smoke anyway, that is what is cool about them.