Talent Rebalance Suggestion: Slayer

Slayer is not a weak character by any means, but his current talent tree is in dire need of attention.
This post aims to explain the problems at hand, as well as suggest possible solutions.

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.

LvL 10 Talents
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A Thousand Cuts/Skull-Splitter
Problem:
Currently, these talents are essentially one talent split in two and taking 2 talent slots. This extremely limits the build variety on Slayer, shoehorning players into specific playstyles, while also leaving very little room for using less popular weapons.
But on top of that, with the release of Chaos Wastes, this problem became even bigger, because these talents can appear as boons and just take a slot with 0 value, depending on Slayer’s weapon choice. This also discourages the usage of Random Boons, since you risk burning 200 coins for a dead weight. Even the detrimental boons like increased barrel damage or “dash forward when pushing the enemy” affect the game in some way and give opportunities to do SOMETHING, but having Skull-Splitter when you don’t have double two-handed weapons is just waste of money and effort.
Solution:
Combine A Thousand Cuts/Skull-Splitter into one talent. This will free an entire talent slot, which can be filled with something else, even as generic as “+15% max health”.
These talents CAN be combined and are NOT mutualy exclusive. I did that on a modded realm relatively easily despite having very limited knowledge. More to say, if I recall correctly, when these talents were put in the game, they WERE one talent and the only reason to split them was the size of the description it had (which can actually be solved by proper wording).

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Hack and Slash
Problem:
The talent is boring, feels uninspired and unimpactful, essentially being reserved as “take this if you try to play off-META”. The only reason to pick this talent is because the other two wouldn’t work with non-coresponding weapon combinations like 1h+2h and anything involving the throwing axes.
Solution:
Make Hack and Slash work like Helborg’s Tutelage on Mercenary and Smite on Zealot.
When combined with the fix for other talents, as suggested above, it will make this talent into an actually meaningful choice and open more possibilities to have fun with the unpopular weapons like Pickaxe.

LvL 25
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Barge
Problem:
Although a good talent in concept, it doesn’t feel like a very strong talent, especially when forced to compete with Grimnir’s Focus and the defensive capabilities it provides.
Solution:
Give Barge +15/20% dodge distance. It will buff it’s defensive utility and make it a much stronger competitor for Grimnir’s Focus without requiring massive overhauls.

Bonus
LvL 10
Suggestion:
Add a +15% Max HP talent similarly to Handmaiden.
Slayer has low HP pool and this is completely okay. Some people still remember the post-release days when slayer had +25% Max HP talent and Oblivious to Pain worked on ALL damage and not just elites and monsters granting near immortality (when the talent was fixed that is).
BUT
Now the times have changed and Slayer’s survivability is much more dependant on him actively doing something, rather than just being passive tankyness.
With the talent changes that were proposed above, there will be a slot for one new talent.
Making this talent grant Max Health would give choice for both unique (A Thousand Cuts/Skull-Splitter), offensive (Hack and Slash), and defensive (+ Max Health) talent options, complimenting different playstyles while not requiring too much coding (when modding, I just copied Handmaiden talent and called it a day)

Some afterthought
I do not claim to be “top of the line, balance expert”.
These suggestions are based on my personal experience while playing the game and ideas of what would have made the game more enjoyable without turning the character into another Sister of the Thorn.

8 Likes

For the level 10 talents your solution would somewhat help slayer in chaos wastes, since you can’t get the other talent as a boon once you have chosen 1h or 2h weapons. But Slayer would still be limited to upgrading his weapons on forges, if he dosn’t want to risk devaluating his chosen level 10 talent.

I remember a suggestion where the buffs would instead be linked to heavy and light attacks. In that way, more weapon combinations would be possible and buying a random weapon would be more attractive.

Your hack and slash suggestion would be a good pick for chaos wastes but it would not be that usefull compared to the other level 10 talents I suggested. A talent similar to “piston power” on OE would be a nice addition to help in monster fights and horde control while also beeing a good compliment to the “Dawi Drop” talent.

+1 for your Barge suggestion

2 Likes

This is one of the main reasons I feel it so important to combine A Thousand Cuts and Skull-Splitter into one talent. Since it would allow you to have 2 talents unrelated to weapon choices.
I am fine with the “weapon-locked” talent as a concept, since it offers power in exchange for limitations (at least if it was done properly!), so I am not sure about the buffs being based on ligh/heavy attacks. Sounds like a bit too much footwork for unpredictable result.
(As I already stated, I aim for a lazy simple and more or less “sure” solution.)
Though, I would still like to see your idea in action.

1 Like

I agree. Fuse them into one talent: One-handes weapons gain attack speed. two-handed weapons gain additional power, no matter if you equip two of the same. Allows for alot more build variety and frees up one additional talent slow. My suggestion would be something that reduced push-cost and/or stamina regen.

I agree, and I’m gonna make myself unpopular by saying: Move this to his passive abilities. Bardin is the only hero where none of his carreers gets a passive crit-chance bonus (Kruber has two, Sienna has one, Keri has one, Salty has one) and if the same reasoning for giving the existing carreers passive crit chance bonuses would be applied to any of Bardin’s carreers, Slayer would be the one. He is all about balls-to-the-walls offense, and if Shade gets away with it, Slayer should, too. Would, again, make more room for an additional talent and would also increase weapon-build variety.

Both of his level 25 talents are weak when compared with Grimnir’s Focus, and again, it is increadibly shoehorning. Not only is Slayer not a 150 health carreer (which, again, is baffling considering the two other melee-only carreers are 150 health carreers, though I am not per se arguing for 150 health Slayer, as his offensive capabilities are alot higher than that of WP and while his Boss-damage is nothing to write home about, his utility is alot more evenly spread across different scenarios than GK), his access to any sort of DR heavily favours 2h weapons that have their CC-sweaps on charget attacks. It feels unnecessarily clumsy and awkward to be force to throw in charged attacks using dual weapons (less a problem with dual hammers, more of a problem with dual axes) just to get damage reduction in the situation where Slayer needs it the most.
Same reason by Obvlivious to Pain is not really a valid choice. 50% DR against elite attacks is nice and all, but Slayer’s bane is chip damage from hordes, not eating overheads from SV or CW. The talent also loses alot of utility the higher the difficulty, and on Cataclysm, the situations where it might save your from being downed are so slim that it does not warrant dropping Grimnir’s Focus in it’s favour. Eating heavy attacks from elites is something that can be counteracted by skillful play.

I would also suggest some changes.

Barge: Extra dodge-distance would be a no brainer, I agree. I would like to see it do something in addition, so it wouldn’t be so boring, maybe something akin to Handmaiden’s attack speed talent, like: Dodging increases damage reduction by 5%, stacks up to three times. After all, we have seen carreers getting smaller versions of other carreers’ passive abilities in the past (GK essentially gets access to trophy hunter, albeit on kill, not on hit, but with the same damaging effect, BW gets access to paced strikes, but needs to hit 4 instead of 3 and gets 15% attack speed, WP gets access to what is essentially an aura like FK has, but without the AoE limitations, etc.).

Oblivious to pain

I would be in favour to make this talent into a “reverse gromril” armour, as in: Bardin takes damage, becomes immune to alle damage for the next 3 seconds. This would help with horde-chip and would allow you to find your rhythm back quickly when getting hit, while not protecting you from heavy hits and certainly not making you invulnerable. It would still require you to pay attention, but allows Slayer easier reset/repositioning when getting hit in a disadvantageous position. Would also help against troll bile and Stormfiend fire. Considering the kits the new DLC carreers get and what powerful abilities they have access to talent-wise, I don’t think this would be too powerful, especially considering that the most comparable carreers (Zealot and GK) have access to amazingly well synergized and varied kits.

As for level 35, pretty much everything here needs to be reworked. Slayer needs mobility, so the movement speed bonus should be always there when he uses his carreer skill (yeah, yeah, power-creep and all, but Slayer just needs the mobility). Crunch isn’t worth it. The effect is surprisingly strong, but Slayer has enough CC in his overall kit and setup as it is, and the small stagger that is already on his ability is usually enough to create openings.
Dawri Drop is a joke. I know about the bomb thing, which is nothing but a gimmick, and that you can one-shot CW with a pickaxe this ways, but honestly, GK eats CW for breakfast with his ability and it doesn’t nearly involve as much timing and skill as it does with this talent.

I am not sure what to replace these talents with. I would still love to see some kind of death-blow ability on Slayer with revive mechanics, but oh well, one can dream :wink:

2 Likes

That’s a good idea. My thought was have each talent provide its effect per weapon, ie one 1H weapon = 5% AS, two = 10% and change Hack and Slash to provide 10% crit if using two different weapon types, but tying it to light and heavy attacks would be much more universal.

Converting Hack and Slash to Helborg’s Tutelage/Smite would be really neat with parts of Bardin’s melee arsenal, I’d support that change.

Oblivious to Pain is a fair point but +25% max HP was added to a base pool of 100 not 125 like it is now (the worst was the initial while when we lost the HP talent and stayed at 100 base HP lol), so all FS did as far as his green HP goes was make a trait most players anyway took over the alternatives into part of the class, imo a good change. Either way 150 HP was always the maximum you could get on Slayer (not counting Chaos Wastes).

I personally find the level 25 tier (Oblivious to Pain and Barge do need to be more appealing) and his ult sufficient damage reduction, level 10 should probably stay offense focused with different talents to suit different playstyles - so combine Karnickolos suggestion with your Hack and Slash suggestion.

I honestly find Crunch amazing, especially on weapons that lack stagger and/or cleave but not only. Otherwise agreed.

Actually, I meant a bit of a different thing.
The way these talent work is: when you pick them, they apply a buff, which is only active while your character has 2 one handed/ two handed weapons equipped.
While modding, I found out that you can just put both buffs in one talent, making it “adapt” depending on your weapons. Though the downside of the talent stay the same - equipping “wrong weapons” means you get not buff.

I think it is a rather bold statemet. It would certainly be unpopular, because, from my own experience, Slayer is STRONG. His talents need tweaks, but the core is as solid as dwarfen masonry. Adding more passives to his base kit would require a lot of unnecessary rebalancing. And as the saying goes “don’t try to fix what ain’t broken”. Otherwise we risk going to on-release SotT territory of busted.

Yeah, I agree. But I was unable to think of a simple enough way to make Oblivious to Pain work without bringing back the old God Slayer, who could facetank the horde and only be stopped with instakill mechanics (believe me, I played him back then and as fun as it was, I agree that now he is better off without it).

I am not sure about your suggestions. As I said in one of my other posts - not every talent needs to be a scientific thesis.
I try to keep it simple and relatively tame.

1 Like
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