Nobody is talking about full HP runs as a standard. In any serious VT2 community discussion the premise is almost exclusively a 2-Grim/3-Tome run, and therefore difficulty level is irrelevant to the issue at hand. The term “easymode” refers to the discrepancies between MOST of the weapons, talents, traits the game offers, which can be considered balanced, and the SMALL NUMBER of very specific weapons, talents, and traits that are almost exclusively popular.
Just as a single example; Siennas using Conflag, Bolt, Flame, Fireball staves don’t get to just laser-pointer their attacks as if they’re doing a Powerpoint presentation on stage, and they certainly don’t get to dish out attacks ad infinitum without worries of overheating. All of them require a certain degree of skill to properly target and launch, have different effective range limitations, and also require clever heat management.
Beam staff requires none of those. It is LITERALLY “easy-mode” in every aspect possible, and despite not being very high in damage theoretically, the instant aim-correction and hit-scan nature makes its time-on-target massively higher than any other weapon in the game.
These series of facts is undeniable, and being the sole irregularity in comparison to the majority of weapons in existence, it makes them by definition overpowered.
As mentioned, try gather up a team NOT using any of such similarly overpowered weapons, talents, traits in use and then see how they perform in Champ/Legend 2G/3T runs. People accustomed to above mentioned OP conveniences will immediately feel a surge in general difficulty and will often meet situations that usually do not turn up in their “normal” games.
That feeling of increased difficulty, the frustration of not being able to laser-pointer-click every single enemy in screen, or not being able to just point your flaming “cursor” to the boss head and getting headshots after headshots – that is the NORMAL difficulty which most of the weapons, traits, talents are at.
It’s at that point where the “ranged is too powerful” misconception comes in.
In comparison, does anyone think RV Bardin is OP in terms of ranged combat? Can the RV whittle down massive number of mobs on screen non-stop at speeds like WS Kerillians or PM Siennas? Can he land pot-shots like HM Kruber or BH Saltz? Can he replenish something like 10~15 ammo per single pop of his smokebomb? Does he get a guaranteed crit skill to exploit the scrounger trait for +2 ammo everytime he shoots? No, of not.
Good RV Bardins can do very admirable level of ranged combat, but he doesn’t have the luxury of easy-mode aiming, nor abnormally strong pot-shots, nor infinite supply of ammo. He’s got limited number of shots which must be used carefully, because the 1~2 ammo resupply from his talent isn’t going to just dump ammo like WS Kerillian can. THIS is the normal limitations of a ranged class. Nobody thinkgs RV Bardin’s ranged combat is simply so overpowering as to trivialize melee combat.
I’m not saying every other ranged classes need to face all of those limitations like the RV Bardin faces, but I am saying that there are far too little limitations in terms of balance when certain weapons, traits, talents are used in combination. There’s always that specific career, weapon, property and trait, talent combination that is strongly recommended when new players ask about how to play a Sienna, Kerillian, or Saltz. This tendency is so much prevalent over other possible weapons/build choices, that some people even DEMAND their Siennas, Kerillians, Saltz use those settings, or sometimes go even further as to IMMEDIATELY KICK PEOPLE OFF THE TEAM when different settings are used.
Those settings, are what’s behind ranged trivializing melee.