Ranged vs Melee. The same old story

Ranged weapons feel too powerful and too spamable. It turns melee weapons into trash clearing tools.
Veterans with sniper weapons can delete carapace armored Crushers nearly instantly. Ogryns with super spam grenade launchers that won’t use their melee weapons or class ability for 90% of a mission.

It feels a bit like Vermintide 2 in the early days. Killing an armored crusher with a melee weapon takes way more effort and involves more risk, even with the better weapons for the job, and takes longer too. Melee weapons also have distinct strengths and weaknesses, but weapons like boltgun or ogryn grenade launcher just seemingly kill everything without much issues at all. Of course players that rely only on super strong ranged weapons use up a lot of ammo, but that doesn’t make the experience any less frustrating for teammates, that are left clearing some trash mobs. In fact it makes it worse.
This game obviously tends a bit more towards ranged combat than the Vermintide games, but with 2 out of 4 classes geared towards melee combat, melee combat should not be an afterthought during gameplay, but a big part of it.

My suggestion is to define the strengths and weaknesses of ranged weapons, by reducing the damage against certain types of enemies, like carapace armored enemies. For the ogryn grenade thrower it could have lower capacity or reduced damage on the main target.
Some melee weapons could also be buffed to enhance their strength of shredding armor. Give us a good reason to use melee weapons for certain specials, that can’t be overcome easily with ranged brute force.

Ranged weapons already have gaps in their strengths, different enemies have different resistances to various guns. Mutants and Rangers are commonly resistant to most Vet weapons (not all) Hounds are easier to deal with in melee too imo.

As someone who mains Vet, this problem can go both ways. The right melee weapons in a tight environment and the melee can slaughter everything while I hunt for priority targets worth shooting and then whoops, they’re dead too. It all depends on the situation and the gear people bring to the fight.

I think a big problem this game has is people focus too much on getting kills and not supporting the squads ability to get kills, as a unit. Not sure anything will changes peoples attitude there.


I really like that I can just keep my ranged weapon out most of the time, but I do agree that it can really suck the fun out of it for people who want to primarily melee. It isn’t strictly a ranged issue though. Having someone suck the fun out by doing everything before you can contribute is a melee thing as well (Looking at you, Zealot).

Maybe there should be weapon level and feat level caps for different difficulties or something? One horde-type game I sunk a bunch of time into (Earth Defense Force 5) allows capping in missions and it really helps to keep things challenging.

That might not be the answer, but something is needed to stop people from bringing their high-level, fully kitted out operative to lower-level runs and solo clearing everything before the appropriately-leveled players can even get to it.

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What class do you play? @CannonballBardin

Vermintide 2 had a max hero power score per difficulty so even if you had higher end gear and you went to play with friends new to the game on lower difficulties your hits would scale to the challenge. I don’t think that would work too well with how the difficulty is done in Darktide though.

Man really said the Boltgun has no downside, go pick one up lol


Ogryn main here, range has not felt overpowered at all, in terms of my own damage and team mates. There are too many people that refuse to switch to melee during hordes but they’re certainly not killing everything.

I’ve had a lot of games so far with situations where the team was ducked into a corner and trying to shoot their way out.
But if there are a bunch of gunners and more than a dozen normal shooty dudes it’s hard to break through.

Usually I charge in with the ogryn to break the resistance so everyone else can follow and force enemies into melee combat.
It’s just a shame that sometimes they just don’t do that.
They just stay where they are and watch me get slaughtered. XO

Melee combat doesn’t seem to be the driving force anymore.
The purpose of melee combat is forcing enemies into a less dangerous fighting style.
But with melee you can also take out hordes rather easily.

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We don’t need nerfs god dammit, we need buffs. If you wanna kill specials then go charge them with an armor piercing weapon or something.

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I am playing all classes and i have played all classes in VT games. Boltgun has no real downside. Compare it to the pumpaction shotgun, if you want. Boltgun deals about the same damage close range, but has longer range. It has a bigger magazine, faster reload, and even more ammo than the shotgun. It doesn’t have an ammo stat, but it still has as much ammo as the shotgun in lategame. Boltgun also is Armorpiercing. The slightly slower swapspeed really doesn’t matter at all, if you never swap to your melee weapon in the first place.
Talking about people not swapping to their melee weapon for hordes also underlines what i already wrote. Melee weapons shouldn’t be exclusively used to clear easy trash. They should have strenghts and weaknesses, just like all weapons. It might come as a surprise to some of you that the balance in the beta isn’t perfect and if we don’t give good feedback now, we will be stuck using the same few weapons, which gets boring real quick.

I play mainly ogryn, and I don’t think melee feels weak at all. Melee basically invalidates all non-elite enemies, and psykers/vets clean up elites. Hordes are not “easy trash”, more people die from hordes than from elites. I rarely ever see anyone dying from any elites besides sniper. When is the last time you saw someone getting killed by a bomber/gunner/shotgunner/mauler or even the ogryn elites? It’s always getting mobbed that kills people. Elites only pose a threat when they are backed up by a horde. Melee can also stun lock elites.

This thread honestly feels like “I want my giant, aoe dreg one-shotting tool to also one shot elites. I should not need teammates.”

Also, there is no “melee class.” Every class has a ranged weapon. Vets have to pull out their melee weapons in certain situations, zealots and ogryns should pull out their ranged weapons in certain situations. I have never once seen a single game played where nobody was using melee. Ranged doesn’t invalidate melee.

You probably did not play the Vermintide games, if you think people die to trash and not specials. On higher difficulty there will always be trash mobs surrounding the group and you just have to move through them. It will always be the special spawns that mess up a single person with crowdcontrol. You are correct in the sense that it is the continuous mixed pressure of dealing with constant trashmobs and the elites on top, though.

Please don’t try to put words in my mouth.
I don’t want any op melee weapons, quite the opposite. I want balanced weapons. I am tired of using the Boltgun, but it is the best ranged weapon by far, even for zealot. This is the one weapon that does it all.

There are 2 classes that gain melee attackspeed, melee damage, have a gapcloser and multiple melee talents, while 2 other classes focus on ranged weapons. That is the definition of a melee and ranged specialization.

So you acknowledge that a giant part of the game is clearing dregs, and that elites only really pose a threat when backed up by hordes, but you deny that melee, by far the best tool for dealing with hordes, is as important as ranged?

There seems to be a distinct delineation between the purpose of melee, which is AoE clear, and ranged, which is more single target and oriented towards quickly taking down single threats, with a few subverted cases such as the flamer, the axes, etc. You are asking for a nerf to ranged weapons against single threats, and a buff to melee weapons vs. single threats, so that melee does both things, and ranged does… what exactly? Kills some elites, and does okay against hordes, but less effectively than melee and at the expense of ammo? Please clarify your point, if it is not this.

There are 2 classes which specialize in melee, both with ranged options with a variety of use cases, and 2 classes which specialize in ranged, with useful melee weapons. If you are playing zealot or ogryn and believing that you should never have to pull out your ranged weapon, or playing psyker or vet and believing that you should never have to pull out your melee weapon, you are misunderstanding the classes considerably.

Finally, this is not Vermintide, and if you want Vermintide, you should play Vermintide, which came out with a DLC at the same time as the release for this game. Vermintide is much more melee oriented, and if you want to play a melee oriented left 4 dead clone, you have 2 of those, made by the same company. This is not Vermintide 3.

Melee damage bleeding through toughness and the recent dodge changes have not helped this.
That said, ranged also has its fair share of problems, such as the jarring weapon swap animations.

The solution is to make both range and melee fun to play, not gimping one and trying to make the game exactly 50/50. People are going to do what they find fun.

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You are trying to make this all about melee vs ranged, which is my fault i guess. The title of my original post may be misleading, but i explained that it is about more than that and also mention that this game is more focused on gunplay than melee, which is fine.

Melee is useful for clearing hordes, yes. Most melee weapons can deal with that. But there is also the flamers and maybe if you want the ogryn grenade launcher.
For ranged the situation is slightly different. There are quite some weapons that have high damage dropoff and can’t quickly deal with a sniper for example. There are quite some weapons that can’t deal with carapace armored enemies. Then there are some melee weapons that are decent, but obviously require to get into meleerange, which involves more risk and sometimes is nearly impossible when the special is behind other enemies.
Then there is the boltgun. The boltgun is one of the best weapons to deal with snipers and carapace armored enemies. It even has enough penetration to just shoot through hordes into specials.

My complaint is more about the balance of certain weapons than melee vs ranged. The pumpaction shotgun for example is the polar opposite of the boltgun. It has less ammo, the reload is just as long or longer, it has heavy damage dropoff and nearly no penetration. There is a good reason why you barely see anyone using it. It is objectively weaker than other ranged weapons.
The same applies to melee weapons. One of my favourites at the moment is the chainaxe. It can deal with most enemies and is one of the few melee weapons actually good at dealing with carapace armor. Then there are a lot of low damage crowd control weapons that need up to 4 swings to kill a basic trashmob. The crowdcontrol does not make up for the lack of damage in my opinion.

Another point i was trying to make is the difference in melee specials and ranged specials. This game is very different from Vermintide games, you are right. Vermintide did not have ranged trash mobs. This game does and the easiest way of dealing with them are ranged weapons. Melee can work, but again requires more effort. Now for the ranged specials, the answer is obviously to use mostly ranged weapons, but for melee specials like crushers, the obvious answer should not be ranged weapons. Often times when i am using the boltgun, it is though. Killing them before i could even engage in melee combat. Even though the chainaxe is decent for the job, i still use the boltgun, because it is way too convenient and easy.
I could make similar points about the ogryn grenade launcher, which can deal with hordes and specials, but it really isn’t as bad as the boltgun, although it still outperforms most other ranged weapons in most situations.
I am also focusing on those 2 ranged weapons, because for melee there aren’t any weapons as dominant. Although, as mentioned, a lot of the high cleave weapons feel lackluster damage-wise and aren’t the top choice for dealing with hordes, which should be their strength.