Rebalance Suggestion: Equipment Traits

Currently, the equipment situation in the game is very depressing. Despite having a huge variety of weapon traits available, the players feel forced to use only a select few with no way to experiment.
This post aims to address the problems at hand and propose some ways to fix them.

Main goals for the solutions are: simplicity and ease of implementation. The simplier the solution, the less of a balancing headache it is. The easier it to implement, the less time Fatshark needs to add it in.

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Heroic Intervention
Problem:
This trait is just unbleievably bad. It’s effect is so hard to trigger, you mgiht play an entire day without doing it just once! Even if the bonus itself is massively powerful, it is a completely useless waste of a trait slot, because you can’t reliably trigger it even if you try to.
Solution:
Instead of trying to reward players for playing bad (allowing allies to get grabbed by a disabler or approached by an enemy willing to backstab, and then proceeding to push the threat instead of killing it), make this trait encourage players to be pro-active.
For example “staggering enemies makes them deal 20% less damage for 5 seconds”.
This will encourage the use of high-stagger weapons and reward them for doing crowd control by providing more room for error after the enemy had recovered and tries to attack again. And it would also be a very good team-oriented trait because the alies would take less damage from a debuffed enemy.
Although a bit more complex than shifting numbers, I managed to make this solution work in a mod.

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Inspirational Shot
Problem:
The effect of the trait is so patheticly weak, it doesn’t provide any substantial bonus outside of some very niche and weird circumstances. Restoring HALF of a stamina shield for a headshot is unimaginably bad for 90% of the weapons in the game.
Solution:
Due to the fact that some weapons are able to land easy constant headshots (beam staff, for example), buffing the effect of this trait risks affecting different weight categories differently. Because of that, the effect itself needs to be changed to something like “Headshots grant nearby allies 20% stamina recovery for 10 seconds”.
Long duration and moderate power of the bonus would make it feel more impactful on weapons that require more effort to headshot, while not allowing Beamstaff to just keep the team at full stamina by just holding left mouse button at Chaos Warrior’s head.

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Off Balance
Problem:
Currently, this trait promotes a passive AND suboptimal playstyle. To get the value out of the trait, the player has to wait for the enemy to hit them while blocking, so they can get 20% bonus, but during that time, the player could have already attacked, dealing much more damage than the bonus the trait provides. Add on top of that the fact that damage bonus does not stack with similar effects (like Witch Hunt, Make 'Em Bleed, Open Wounds and Shrapnel), which limits it’s use even further.
Solution:
This suggestion will be controversial and there are both pros and cons to it.
Instead of making the player rely on blocking for a bonus, move this bonus to straggering enemies (to go along with the trait’s name). If need be, change the effect from damage vulnerability on enemies to 10% attack speed for the player (which would help combat the overprevalence of Swift Slaying by the way). This trait needs to either reward player for doing something meaningful, or give a semi-passive bonus to be viable or interesting.
I personally went with +10% attack speed on stagger route, while modding, but agree that there could be other options.

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Swift Slaying
Problem:
The effect of the trait is so powerful, many people feel obligated to use it in order to make their weapons work. More to say, testing shows, that attack speed is directly responsible for how “good” the weapon feels. Slow weapons are sluggish and harder to make use out of, while fast weapons grant a lot of survivability by just being able to kill things faser than they hit you. But this effect works even better with fast weapons, allowing already strong weapons to be even stronger (only limited by your fingers and carpal tunnel).
Solution:
A possible solution to this problem might be two-fold. First, there needs to be more ways to get enough attack speed to make weapons not feel clumsy and unusable or reliant on Quickswap canceling. For this purpose, read my proposition for Off Balance in the section above.
Second, the Swift Slaying itself needs to be nerfed, at least slightly. Even just to 15% from 20% attack speed. This will make it less of a “must have” option.
Yes, this might not be enough in the long run, but it would at least try to adress the problem people had been talking about for a while. And it is probably better to undernerf rather to overnerf in this case, simply because of how integral the attack speed is to the combat of this game.

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Hand of Shallya
Problem:
The trait is very situational and does not provide a bonus that would compete with other options. It requires a very specific limited resouce (firs aid kits) to be used in a very specific way (healing another player to heal yourself), while it’s only redeeming quality (getting rid of grey screen on 2 people at once) was made baseline long time ago.
Solution:
There are two possible solutions to this issue.
â„–1 (Easier one):
Move the functionality of healing nearby allies while healing yourself away from the lvl 5 talents and put it into Hand of Shallya, healing nearby allies for 20% max health eaxh time the player heals themself. It is relatively easy to implement and woudl only require replacement temporary health talents to be put in place for each career.
A task that was already done by much more qualified people in this thread:
https://forums.fatsharkgames.com/t/thp-stagger-talent-rebalance/46203
â„–2 (Very complicated one):
Make Hand of Shallya give some kind of very unique effect.
My suggestion is - giving player the ability to carry 2 healing items, similarly to Outcast Engineer carrying 3 different bombs.
I honestly tried to make this work and even had a kind person in the modding community MAKE this idea almost work, but there are many issues and it would require actual Fatshark devs to turn this idea to reality.
Regardless of which solution is chosen, it would be much better than what we have at the moment.

Afterthought
I do not claim to be “top of the line, balance expert”.
I am completely aware that my suggestions in this post would not land for everyone in the same way. Traits had been due for overhaul since, basically, day one (Natural Bond had to be changed, Barkskin only granted it’s bonus after HEALING, Scrounger and Conservative Shooter triggered multiple times per shot and gave nearly inlimited ammo during hordes, Heatsink recovered 5.0 overcharge instead of whatevere the attack had cost). My suggestion comes from personal experience of a person who genuinely tried to look for a SIMPLE ENOUGH solution to an inherently problematic stystem with multiple flaws.

4 Likes

Honestly I could be wrong but to me it feels like the problem with Swift Slaying isn’t Swift Slaying itself, it’s the fact there are almost no other aggressive traits available. Heroic Intervention as it is now is defensive and unreliable, Off Balance is defensive, Parry is defensive (imo parry is good but without the parry indicator mod it’s impossible to be 100% sure it’s up when you need it), Resourceful Combatant is RNG and not useful on all careers (I believe Swift Slaying gets you more CD back on many careers anyway). Opportunist is great, you can really bully enemies with it and become incredibly safe from damage.

I think just buffing alternatives and providing more aggressive ones might be enough to counteract Swift Slaying’s popularity, as it is now it’s the most straightforward aggressive trait. Opportunist partly relies on knowing stagger breakpoints for maximum efficiency, which most players don’t seem to unless they look outside the game for it (spreadsheets, armoury, guides etc).

I like your Heroic Intervention and Hand of Shallya (both) suggestions. Off Balance could may use a more unique effect than AS but I think it’s good you took it in a more aggressive direction.

I like the Inspirational Shot improvement, 20% Stamina Recovery for 10s is way more useful than some flat stamina, but at the same time as you can’t see other players’ stamina the trait still suffers that problem. This would make it more useful in situations like mass elites when you see your teammate’s block is broken to speed up recovery at least, or just providing utility to frontliners on heavy ranged careers. Not really sure how it will fit into balance, it has the potential to be very underpowered or overpowered depending on team.

2 Likes

Yeah, I completely agree.
I wish there was more options to pick from. This is one of the reasons I am uncertain on where to take Off Balance, as making it apply a damage bonus in some aggressive way would have made it a great Swift Slaying competitor, but at the same time it risks becoming a must pick, since permanent +20% damage is massive when you get it via active means, rather than passive.

1 Like

On the other hand, 20% only matters if and when it provides meaningful breakpoints, but I guess that’s another potential argument against as it forces more spreadsheet reading etc.

AS is probably better but I’m sure there’s a more creative bonus that could work as an alternative.

1 Like
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