Unchained could use with some big help

I think unchained is in a bad spot right now. I’ve seen lots of posts claiming that she’s so bad that even pyromancer is a better melee class for Sienna than Unchained. While I don’t think it’s THAT bad, I certainly can’t help but feel she has some issues and that she needs some fine tuning to make her a solid pick, a bunch of them related to her talents.

For starters, I wanna mention that there is already a really good thread about this, made in much more detail by someone who knows his stuff better: Unchained's 2.0 Rework Requires More Work
And that I’m bummed it locked itself 'cause I’d be making noise there, instead.

Either way!
Notable issues:

  • She struggles to generate THP. She desperately needs THP on kill. THP on stagger is definitely more useful than THP on cleave, but even so both choices are currently extremely bad on Unchained as the only weapon that benefits from thp on stagger is the fire sword (which isn’t a good pick for unchained due to its melee damage) and there is no good melee weapon that does Cleave well in her arsnel, either. The flail COULD actually benefit from thp on stagger, if the explosion generated from its first heavy actually counted as stagger. As it stands, it staggers a ton, and gives no thp from stagger. I 100% believe that if there’s one change that could help her big time, it’d be changing her THP on cleave talent for a THP on kill talent.

  • Damage reduction does not reduce overcharge generated from an attack. This is particularly bad as there’s attacks that barely deal any damage but still fill up your overcharge massively, in some situations. Currently, our Overcharge bar can hold 40 points. Let’s say you have 40% damage reduction active from something, anything. Now let’s say you get hit by an attack that deals 80 damage. The current math means this is what happens: 40 of that damage is given to overcharge, 40 is given to you, damage reduction kicks in and you reduce 40% of that 40, making you take 24 damage instead of 40. But, woops, your overcharge bar is now full, you explode and you die, the end. It’d be so, so much better if damaged reductions were calculated BEFORE damage was halved and transferred to Overcharge! This would make the earlier scenario be treated like this: 80 damage attack comes in. Damage reduction kicks in, that damage is now 48. 48 gets split in half, 24 goes to Overcharge, 24 goes to your health. You now won’t instantly explode.

  • Her career skill is unimpactful. This, however, can be fixed by buffing up her level 30 talents save for Bomb Balm, but I still think it wouldn’t hurt to up the numbers of this ability a bit. As in, increase the damage a bit, and increase the DoT damage a bit. It’s an ability with an incredibly high cooldown, venting all your overcharge shouldn’t be the only useful thing it does, specially considering Pyromancer can do that with a talent on a much smaller cooldown, on TOP of one-shotting a chaos warrior, which is an actual useful thing to do.

  • Her talents are underwhelming save for, generally, 1 option in each row. This makes Unchained builds practically all the same. In the talent rows for level 10, 25 and 30, there is only 1 good option (Frenzied Flame, Natural Talent and Bomb Balm, respectively). The reason isn’t necessarily that the choices are too strong or OP, but that the alternatives are too weak to be useful, or even noticeable. The possible exception to this is Bomb Balm, level 30, which IS, in fact, a bit too strong imo but your mileage may vary. The only rows where she has a healthy selection of useful, varied talents is Level 15 and 20. There is no good level 5 talent. but THP on stagger is the least-bad one.

The following talents probably need a buff or a change of sorts.

  • Level 5:
    • Reckless Rampage: THP on cleave.
      Change: Swap for THP on kill. Keep the name, sounds cool.
  • Level 10:
    • Searing Grasp: Push attacks ignite enemies with a light damage over time effect.
      Changes: This is not a bad concept for a talent, but it needs some kind of extra oomph. I’d suggest making it so that the DoT applied lasts a while longer than what it currently does to make it more useful and impactful. Another alternative could be to make it more easily applied, like if heavy attacks also applied it, or even all attacks. If this last approach is taken, there is no need to buff its dot duration or damage.
    • Chain Reaction: Burning enemies have a small chance to explode on death.
      Changes: There’s several issues with this talent. Although it’s a good idea for a fun playstyle, its current implementation is either bugged or weak. The explosion deals no damage (but does stagger enemies), doesn’t set on fire afaik, and has a very small chance of triggering. Fix… all of that. All of that. Make it deal SOME damage, make it set nearby enemies on fire so it’s an actual chain reaction, AND/OR buff the chance of it happening so that it can be an impactful talent.
  • Level 25:
    • Enfeebling Flames: Burning enemies deal 30% less damage.
      Changes: This is actually a very cool, solid idea, hampered by the fact that DoTs simply last so very, very little. I’d propose making this talent also double (or even TRIPLE!) the length of all DoTs you apply, but also reduce the tickrate by half. In essence, damage stays the same, DPS is way lower, but you are debuffing enemies properly, for a good duration of time. This would also make it have synergy with Searing Grasp.
    • Burning Dregs: Dropping below 50% health vents all Overcharge. Can only trigger every 60 seconds.
      Changes: A good concept, or a good starting point at least. Can save you from getting overcharged by an overhead from a big tough guy, but that’s the only situation where it is useful. In most other situations, you dropped to 50% health by chip damage from a horde, and now your overcharge is gone and with it, your melee power. There are far too many situations where this being triggered is actually bad for you. I suggest changing this talent to: ‘Reduces damage taken by 70% when you’ve entered overcharge explosion for the duration of the explosion. Can only trigger once every 180 seconds.’ The exact number of damage reduction can be tweaked until it is balanced, as can the number of seconds, but essentially this would save you from most of the damage of going over the limit in overcharge once every 3 minutes. You’d still take damage equal to 30% of your max health, and you’d also take tons of damage if you are surrounded and keep getting hit while you are helplessly stuck in Overcharge animation, but this can actually help you and might save your hide in way more situations than the current burning dregs, since it is a universal save, instead of a situational one.
  • Level 30:
    • Flame Wave: Increases the radius of Living Bomb explosion by 50%.
      Changes: Make it also increase the stagger and damage of Living Bomb by 50%. Or even 100%, I mean, the current values of damage and stagger aren’t exactly impressive for a 2 minute cooldown skill.
    • Fuel for the Fire: Each enemy hit by Living Bomb increases power by 5% for 10 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times.
      Changes: So the problem with this talent is that if you’ve just used Living Bomb, you’ve also lost all overcharge. And with it, 60% melee power. This means that this power bonus is just sort of lost to the wind. And let’s not forget that Living Bomb has an enormous cooldown. There’s two ways to go about fixing this talent. One is to make it so each enemy hit also reduces living bomb’s cooldown by 5%, up to 5 enemies hit. This essentially makes it so you can more actively use your career ability and also helps you in your weak, limp-wristed state after casting Living Bomb. The other is to turn it into a ‘powerhouse’ talent. This choice would be something like this: ‘Living Bomb now only clears 10% overcharge. Each enemy hit by Living Bomb increases power and attack speed by 5% for 10 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times. Your overcharge cannot increase or decrease for 10 seconds.’ This would make the skill more dangerous, as you’d still be in extremely high overcharge after the buff is done, but it’d turn you into a melee beast for 10 seconds.

When considering the level 30 talents, please keep in mind how damn long the cooldown for that thing is, and the fact that these talents have to compete with Bomb Balm, which is an extremely solid talent simply by virtue of being a group-wide sustain talent in a game where such things are extremely valuable.

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I think I may be one of those people saying Pyro is better, I’ve said that several times on Steam. I made my own post just a couple hours before you did: Unchained Needs Love

You have some good ideas here, especially Enfeebling Flames.

Regarding Pyro being better at melee, it absolutely is. Pyro gets: 20% attack speed bonus, 50% crit chance bonus, and full uptime with no penalties (no chance of overload, no slowdown with Volans Doctrine). You never have to pull back on the heat to manage risk, just stay hot 100% of the time. Peak damage may be slightly lower (50% crit < 60% base damage), but uptime on the heat bonus is so much higher that Pyro easily exceeds UC damage totals by the end of a map. Also the benefits of a crit build (armor penetration on crits, Swift Slaying uptime) add up to negate whatever baseline numerical advantage UC has. Crunching the numbers says they are comparable, but in live gameplay Pyro is miles ahead.

PS, pls don’t nerf Pyro, it’s fine. It’s not OP or anything, in fact it’s still second fiddle to Battle Wizard. It’s UC that needs buffed. Pyro should be the baseline for the other two.

6 Likes

I miss pre-2.0 Unchained, it was my absolute favorite class and what drew me to playing this game. It was nowhere near comparable to one-man-armies like Shade and Zealot, but the playstyle could easily enter melee and stay there as desired, letting me enjoy my personal fantasy of being a heavily armored flaming melee monster. Now? That can still be sorta done, under the condition that you will always be reminded that anything you do now could be done better by either Pyro or BW. Lots of UC seem to be playing like pseudo-Battlewizards these days, openly shunning melee usage whenever possible in favor of unlimited castings.

I can still play the way I want in Legendary and Twitch Legendary, but I have to admit I am not good enough to make it work in Cataclysm. The loss of 25% more overcharge and 30% cooldown reduction really hurts and makes the class clunky and brittle if it ever tries to enjoy the highs of heated melee.

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I don’t know. I haven’t played Sienna before 2.0 outside of some matches early on for leveling her to 30 (for achievement). But recently I started playing Unchained and have a lot of fun and success with her on Cataclysm. Outside of the Ironbreaker she is the hardest to down class outside of some overheat fails. And those only happen if you are to greedy like trying to cast a spell while in the red and surrounded by horde without your active skill up.

If she was stronger before in 1.6 then she was just ridiculous. The 2-hit safety match up make her extremely durable so that she can’t be down by chip damage that easily which is the biggest problem for most classes. If you chose the talent with reduced damage by overheating you can get back to orange overheat area very fast and always have a safe hit, even at low Hp.

She also has several possible builds either as mainly range, hybrid or support. That said, I don’t disagree with some of the changes although I would do them a bit differently.

Let’s skip over THP because people always get angry at cleave.

  • Level 10:
    – Searing Grasp: I don’t see much point if only pushes ignite enemies because the dot is very slow. But it may be usable for a defensive playstyle. If I had to change something, I would add an additional effect to the talent by also doubling ALL DoT effects from Sienna. It would increase its helpfulness for defensive play without being as overpowered as Battle Wizard. Also we can use this later on.
    – Chain Reaction: I tried this today and it is fun if stuff explodes but even with a Skaven Horde it happens rarely. And if it is true that it does no damage then there is actually no chain reaction to watch. Problem is also that it is not useful for Hordes since you need enough strength to actually kill them without the talent which makes it redundant. For change I would suggest that for the chance for an enemy to explode you don’t have to kill it but reduce its current HP by 80 %. And the explosion should do damage. As such you could hit horde breakpoints more easily and have a chance that a part explodes, ignites and damages neighbouring enemies actually causing a chain reaction. If necessary decrease the chance for the explosion to happen to avoid one conflag evaporating a complete Chaos horde. With this change it could serve as reliable horde minimizer.

  • Level 25:
    – Enfeebling Flames: Actually already very useful if you decide to go support and your team is amids a horde. Sure, you make it even more chaotic by throwing fire balls onto your team. But the average damage does decrease. I don’t think the talent per se needs a change. However, longer DoT effects would be helpful. Therefore this could be covered by a different talent like Searing Grasp which would cause a nice synergy and allowing for a supportive, defensive back row playstyle which could be very nice on Cataclysm and make Unchained very useful on higher Weaves. Hm, now that I read your text, our ideas are near identical just that we apply the increased DoT effect to different talents. Still think it is placed better a Searing Grasp as Enfeebling Flames is already useful on its own.

  • Burning Dregs: Don’t see the point here if you want to play melee hybrid. But it may have utility if you play a defensive range style further enabling different builds and synergy effects. Maybe I will think about possible changes later.

  • Level 30:
    – I think this is were I just disagree in general
    – Flame Wave: The active skill already kills nearly all horde enemy types and has an immense stagger. Every time i use it I have space for at least 2 seconds. The increased radius is more than enough here. Maybe slightly more damage. But don’t think it is necessary. Actually thinking about it. Why not make the explosion actually created a Flame Wave or better Flame Wall. The outer reach of the explosion will create a wall that keeps burning for 5 seconds, damaging every enemy walking through it (same damage as single click conflag).
    – Fuel to Fire: Is it just me or have completely ignored range in your considerations? I agree that with your melee power gone the 25 % power plus is useless. It is double useless as the explosion already took care of most stuff around you. However, the 25 % power increase also applies to your range weapons. 10 seconds is enough to cast two full conflag spells at then 125 %. With this you can reach (I think) ALL breakpoints for hordes. In its current form this is already a game changer when your team is overrun by the horde and even against Beastmen and Skaven Patrols. Add to this Enhanced Power, add to this weapon bonus, add to this a potentially improved Chain Reaction talent and you bring a literal inferno to the battle field. Fuel to Fire does not need any changes currently. Your second proposed change would the use of range actually more difficult and Im against that one.
    – Bomb Balm: Yea, this one is okay. Mainly used to avoid your team being angry for burning them. And to manage THP a bit better. Otherwise I would probably chose Fuel for the Fire.

Level 30 has in its current form already two solid talents with different uses (one being support/defensive, the other pure offensive blazing power). I agree that Flame Wave looks a bit meager in comparison.

Level 25 also has two solid talents already. Personally don’t see the use for Burning Dregs as it counters melee play. Then again, if you play Unchained as defensive range specialist it has its utility.

Level 10 is what needs some work I think. Searing Grasp could be upgrade to an all-around utility talent while Chain Reaction could actually be upgraded to something deserving its name. But therefore the explosions need to cause at least a bit damage and the explosion should trigger not on death but by high health reduction to enabling easier break points.

She wasn’t stronger so much as she worked properly. It was a constant balance between heating up for damage, and cooling down for safety. With the changes, you have to heat up farther to get the bonus, and it’s thus much riskier. Also, Living Bomb went from 2 mins to 3 mins because of a talent loss (30% cooldown) so you have that safety valve much less often. All of this just for a measly 20-30% melee damage (if you heat up enough for the full 60%, you are in 1 hit kill territory).

Because she literally takes 50% less damage then other classes, ALL damage for her is chip damage. Big knockout hits can be safely soaked then vented, or even soaked on purpose to build heat without changing weapons. It’s the small rapid hits that spike her over into meltdown territory, and that is far less forgiving then it used to be due to faster enemies, more enemies, and nerfed dodge in 2.0. It’s very easy to take 3 or 4 hits simultaneously from stacked of slave rats, which is a small amount of health but overheats you in less time then your ping. If you don’t have Living Bomb up, you’re dead then and there.

Basically, her risk/reward gameplay style is broken. It’s not so much about strength of the character, rather it is that the career mechanics just don’t work well in the current combat environment and need to be re-tuned to match it.

Personally, I don’t ignore it, but I rule it out as being useful because LB is too essential to waste on a few seconds of buffed range damage. It’s basically just a consolation prize for almost dying, and 35THP to the whole party is many times better in that role.

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If you’re playing her as mainly ranged, you’re already doing something wrong. This is Sienna’s weakest ranged class, it has intense focus on its melee prowess. The most ranged you should be is a hybrid, because if you wanted to be mainly ranged you’d play Battle Wizard or Pyromancer. It just doesn’t make sense.
That aside, Unchained has the potential to be a melee monster, or a tanky/support type, or a melee/ranged hybrid. As in, with some work, perhaps she can be this. But currently, no, she can only be a melee/ranged/support hybrid (and I only even mention support in because bomb balm is a thing), and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Sienna build in legend/cataclysm that doesn’t have: Soul Quench, Frenzied Flame, Dissipate or Conduit, Natural Talent and Bomb Balm. Practically the only variety lies in Dissipate vs Conduit, as Conduit lets you do a bunch more ranged and has your properties be more generic, while Dissipate has you focusing more on melee combat and has you building for block cost reduction.

Except it doesn’t kill any horde enemies. It, in fact, if you check the thread I linked at the beginning of the post (which I recommend, that guy did a tremendous job at analyzing the issues in unchained down to the deep numbers), you’ll find this video:


Where you’ll see that the career skill does so little damage, skaven slaves can survive it. 4 damage is just enough for skaven slaves for survive, and more than enough for clanrats, chaos dudes, beastmen, etc.
The stagger, however, is sufficiently good. It knocks away all the trash mobs and gives a slight pushback to elite enemies. However, a talent that focuses entirely on the explosion of Living Bomb should be doing a whole lot more than increasing the radius. 50% extra radius is nothing to scoff at, but even if Living Bomb’s damage is increased -overall- as it should be, it’d still be quite a pitiful explosion. Increasing the stagger and damage by a 50% along with the radius would give that explosion that extra oomph, that extra meat that it’d need to get you and possibly the whole group to get you out of a really sticky situation, which is exactly the kind of quality you want when dealing with a talent dedicated to the explosion part of a 3 minute cooldown career ability.

Again, consider that it’d be competing with Bomb Balm, which gives group-wide sustain, which is so absurdly invaluable in Vermintide right now. And, hopefully, it’d have to compete with whatever Fuel to Fire becomes.

RandomLurker already answered this pretty much, but I wanna add that Ranged firepower is… let’s call it a sidearm, to Unchained. It is supposed to be a tool. A tool to deal with enemies who are too far away, a tool to easily deal with large groups of enemies maybe, a tool to increase your overcharge and heat up your melee to be in prime headcracking condition. It is never the main weapon of Unchained, because that’s what Pyromancer and Battle Wizard are for. It’d be ridiculous to focus on being a mainly ranged Unchained because what is even the point of that? Not only do the others do it better because of talents, passives, career skills and extra ranged power, but because you’re just going to die of overcharge explosion after casting your spells and getting ganked by a lone skavenslave in the butt.
Now, by no means ranged firepower is a joke on Unchained, on the contrary. She’s built to be a melee/ranged hybrid that can do pretty much everything, swapping between her ranged and melee weapon on the fly even in the midst of combat to accomplish many goals. But 25% ranged power on a 2 or 3 minute cooldown i forget, is absolutely worthless. Compared to Bomb Balm, compared to what Flame Wave should be.

With that said, Fuel to the Fire WOULD be the more ranged-friendly talent, both in its current iteration and in my proposed changes. Which is why this baffles me.

How would it make the use of range more difficult? For 10 seconds you have 25% more power, 25% more attack speed and generate no overcharge. If you’re going for a melee focus, that means going absolutely bonkers for 10 seconds with no worry about exploding from getting hit, your health and the 10 seconds being your only limit. If you’re going for a range focus (or a hybrid focus but feel like using ranged right now) you can endlessly spam your ranged weapon at 25% higher speed, without generating any extra overcharge, for 10 seconds. And when the 10 seconds are over, just vent.

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Well, let’s answer this from the back. It seems I overlooked the part where you said that overheat will not change for the seconds after active skill usage (yes, I managed this despite it being marked in bold). Like this, yes you could range. Then again no, you can’t upgrade the skill that much. It is to say it politely unbalanced or in a more roundabout way ridiculously overpowered. What people mention repeatedly is that the active skill is mostly used for overheat management. We can call this a design flaw if you want. But the truth is that currently the active skill is a pinch server if you screwed up and rarely used as strategic element.

Why is this important? Because if you change Fuel to the Fire as proposed by you, nobody will ever pick something else. All choice will be immediately shattered. Sure it is nice that Bomb Balm gives THP to teammates and yourself, but again, it is mainly used as pinch server and not because you or a teammate are on low Health. Low Health is rarely the reason for Unchained to be downed. And if you use it, it is most likely because of overheat because at least a part of your team has ditched you (either by death or being downed or by dashing into a Horde or else). So your teammates rarely benefit from Bomb Salm. And in comparison you have a talent which empowers you for 25 % and gives you an absolute safety net that you can’t overheat while STILL having all benefits of her passive (reduced damage) and unlimited casting (for 10 seconds though). So you have a talent which is useful all the time versus a Talent with limited usage when you are on low health. Yup, hard choice.

Fuel to the Fire is fine as it is. Saying that Unchained is a hybrid character does not mean that all talents have to adress her melee aspect. If someone wants to play her mainly range (despite other classes doing it better) because they like her defensive stability then they should and can do so. This is exactly what people want. To have multiple playstyles per class with no need to change. And it still uses her class characteristics. It is not wrong. It is a viable option (Chain reaction, active venting and Fuel to the Fire are all talents which synergize well with a ranged focused playstyle) which is provided by the game. The same can be said about a support built which is emphasized by talents like Bulwark, Enfeebling Flames and Bomb Balm. No other Sienna class can deliver this kind of support (although Enfeebling Flames would benefit from longer DoT effects. These builds are there and viable. Choice is a good thing. Don’t reduce her to melee monster which is one of her emphasis too. But she is more than that. It is a matter of Interpretation. You could say the goal is to bring her to 4-5 stacks to get her melee potential or you could say the stacks and power are a safety net if you get engaged in melee, so you can kill them fast and get back to casting spells. Both options are logical. People should not Limit their thinking. This is how meta is created which ruined 1.6.

A 25 % power boost to all ranged attacks is incredibly powerful and serves very well as pinch server to bring an inferno to your surroundings. And if you are surrounded by enemies the talent helps you much better than the comparable Pyromancer active skill. Because Burning skull may kill one or two elites reliable, it may even kill four or five slave rats. But you are still being surrounded and you have no time to cast larger spells. For Battle Wizard you have the knockback and space and time to cast but no reduction of the overheat. So Fuel to the Fire does cover a Situation which the other two classes currently can’t (ignoring the Lingering Flames effect which helps equally but differently). So again, no. Fire to Fuel is already a very viable alternative to Bomb Balm and in most situations more advantageous if people have a bit more trust into their health management.

For Flame Wave: Either they get knocked so far away that I haven’t noticed or they were already wounded or the explosion has a damage drop for the outer area (so you get more damage if you are closer to the center). But if that is not the case, I say increase the damage for the Flame Wave talent so that it can kill all horde enemies (by DoT, not already by the explosion alone).

I think most of this discussion is by people wanting to press Unchained into this one specific role while her talents obviously showcase different options. Unchained has some nice choices to be made (although I would prefer two small buffs to make the range and support builds clearer). That said, again, I don’t disagree with some changes as I have depicted in my previous post. Many talents are situational and we all use the situation which benefits our points the most. I dont know her to well before 2.0. But for me the risk/reward as melee fighter feels completely fine too. There is only Ironbreaker where I feel safer with.

I just checked, Unchained’s career ability is on a 2 minute cooldown.
For reference, Ironbreaker has a 2 minute cooldown, Mercenary Kruber has a 1 minute 30 seconds cooldown, Witch Hunter Captain has 1 minute 30 seconds.
For further reference, here’s what those people can do with their career abilities:

  • Bardin gains a total 80% damage reduction, gains infinite blocking and draws all enemies in the area toward him. There’s almost no career ability as impactful as his Impenetrable, where he becomes unkillable but also draws all attention towards him, saving the entire team with the press of a button. This is without mentioning talents! He can make that last 15 seconds instead of 10, he can make it so his entire team gets 20% extra power for the duration (which helps them clear out whatever emergency caused the iron breaker to bust out the ‘Get out of jail free’ card), or he can tank a boss.
  • Mercenary can heal the entire team (similar to bomb balm, though at a much bigger radius) and staggers/knockbacks literally anything around him, including any amount of chaos warriors, stormvermin or bosses, creating space. When we get into talents, he can get the entire team up with the press of a button (won’t ever get that bad in most cases, but it IS very often that someone dies while surrounded by trash and while you’re surrounded by trash, this saves him) or give everyone 40% damage reduction for a very solid amount of time (This damage reduction is so good both because it is so high, and because it is on-demand. Zealot can actually get to 100% damage reduction thanks to this)
  • Witch Hunter Captain, similar to Mercenary, knocks everything back. He also increases the DPS of everyone by increasing their crit chance. An underrated buff, but let’s underrate it anyway. If we look into his talents he can either make all of his attacks guaranteed critical hits for the duration, turning him into an absolute monster, or he can make every single enemy around him take 20 or 25% more damage (which, on top of the extra DPS from crit chance, means you’ll be cleaning up house easily), or he can refund 40% of his cooldown, turning his 90 second cooldown into a 54 second cooldown where it just can’t even be compared with Living Bomb anymore.

When compared to these, Living Bomb is just bad, and Bomb Balm is the only option because it at least makes it similar to Mercenary’s Morale Boost.
It venting overcharge is an emergency button to help you deal with the inherent weakness of the class. It’s a useful feature, but how valuable should it be considered when it is mostly there to help prevent a problem caused by simply being Unchained? It needs a bit more. Compared to Ironbreaker’s, which is actually on the same cooldown, there’s no contest. That’s the most impactful career skill in the game, and it deserves that by being on the longest cooldown in the game. Living Bomb is on the same cooldown, but it’s a skill that you NEED to use much more frequently, instead of in extreme emergencies only, and has nowhere near the same level of impact.
If you compare it to Mercenary’s, there’s another issue because not only is Morale Boost better, but it’s both on a shorter cooldown AND, there’s this:
Merc, 90 second cd, 0.5 seconds removed each time he hits an enemy, 0.5 for each point of damage taken(edited)
Unchained, 120 second cd, 0.25 seconds removed each time she hits an enemy, 0.5 for each point of damage taken.

@Adelion
Back onto my proposed Fuel to the Fire change, the specific numbers (like how much it gets buffed, or the max stacks, or even the duration) can always be tweaked if it’s too much, I’m not married to the change but I still don’t think the talent as is is strong enough. Still, it’s essentially nerfing the skill (your overcharge is still dangerously in the red, once the buff is over if you take any sort of chip damage you’re going to explode, and you’re guaranteed to not have your career ability to save you in this case) in exchange for turning you into a monster for 10 seconds (thinking on it, however, perhaps ‘your overcharge cannot exceed 95% of your maximum, and cannot be reduced by any means’ is better than it not changing at all? details, tweaks and fine tuning). If we compare this to Witch Hunter Captain’s talent, he just GETS TURNED into a monster for 10 seconds with the downside that he no longer buffs the crit chance of everyone else. He still knocks everything back, and it’s still on a shorter cooldown than Unchained’s.
Even so, specific numbers can be tweaked, the point is that Living Bomb be sufficiently impactful for a two minute cooldown career skill.
As a last note, I wanna compare it to Pyromancer. With a talent, Pyromancer can stop generating overcharge for 10 seconds after killing a special. That’s a level 20 talent. It’s on a ranged-focused class. It’s easily triggered. It’s easy to retrigger. She can also take a level 30 talent to get rid of all overcharge every time she uses her ult. Her ult which is on a 1 minute cooldown and is much more impactful than Unchained’s, which means that with 1 level 30 talent, Pyromancer’s ult does a better job at clearing overcharge than Living Bomb, on a shorter cooldown, while also helping more and being more impactful by killing all the trash around you, or a couple of elites, or a single chaos warrior, or dealing heavy damage to a monster while giving him knockback.

Edit: With THAT said, I’d still rather not argue about the specific implementation of a possible new talent that most likely won’t ever get done, but at the issues that Unchained has. Among others highlighted in the bullet points at the beginning and in the thread made by OenKrad, that her career ability is just not useful enough for being on the longest cooldown in the game.

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Offtopic: which is the name of the mod for generate enemies?

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1395132559

1 Like

thank you!

I agree that Unchained could use some love.
And I would add she currently lacks a clear focus :

  • she’s a tank without any control.
  • she’s melee oriented, but does less damage than its ranged pyromancer counterpart on melee
  • she have a meh ultimate, on a rather long cooldown

I do like however some of the choices that have been added like Giving temp hp on ult to nearby teammates which could turn her into a support tank. But she still lacks to many options to be one effectively.
She’s playable because Sienna’s weapons are playable, but she’s not that interesting to play at the moment.

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I don’t have much to comment on the opening post here; I pretty much agree with the assessment of the Talents and the propositions sound pretty reasonable. But there’s another thing that occurred to me.

Tweaking Living Bomb is pretty tricky, in all honesty, and the balance there (both as is and with Talents) is pretty precarious. Because of the safety valve function (for most, its primary one, though that can be argued) you want to keep its cooldown relatively long, to not have it available every time it might be needed. Giving it significant CDR easily makes it available too often (which is about half of the reason why that Talent was the only real option before 2.0). So if a CDR Talent is again wanted, it needs to be balanced somehow.

But simply reducing the primary effect isn’t good for that. If you reduce the primary effect to venting only a percentage of the current heat, you still retain the life-saving aspect but also leave a lot of offense stacks on the UC - which is often what the player is attempting to do anyway. If it reduces heat by a static amount, the same problem is retained on high heat - and on low, it’s irrelevant (and why use it on low heat?).

Also, Living Bomb’s primary effect is such that it stays the same pretty much always, even if some numbers of it are tweaked. Even if it vents only part of heat, it still prevents you from blowing up and gives you a moment of safety. Unless something about that part is changed, the only real option for Talents is to tack on an extra effect or two that can at best add another potential use for the Skill. Of course, those need to be balanced with each other, and at the moment, they aren’t.

Flame Wave just doesn’t do enough to change anything. It’s a small buff to the normal behavior of Living Bomb, and doesn’t add or change enough to shift the Skill’s use any. Living Bomb has some limited offensive capability, but it’s not enough that a range increase would help. Compare to Bomb Balm, which adds a significant effect that normally isn’t there, that can be used by itself to help the team. Even that is usually just a nice addition, but it adds enough that it can occasionally warrant using Living Bomb even if you’re not about to explode - or at least to use it, rather than sit on it in case you start to blow.

Fuel for the Fire is better, and way closer to Bomb Balm in level. It does feel a lot like it’s there pretty much to give you a momentary damage crutch after losing your heat stacks, though, to help you get through the aftermath and to help you gather more stacks. It seems to be geared a bit more towards ranged weapon use, but that’s not a problem to me. What is a bit more problematic is that your overheating (and thus, using your Skill) is usually a result of taking a couple too many hits in a short time - at which point Bomb Balm again helps significantly (and boosts your friends too), especially if you didn’t manage to react with Living Bomb immediately and ate some extra damage due to that.

In all honesty, though, I’d love to see a Talent that’d change the basic use of Living Bomb as a safety valve completely, probably to replace Flame Wave. It’d likely need another Talent or two to support it, as it’d turn playing UC into a very dangerous game otherwise (though certainly some would like that) and as such, because you can choose Talents freely, would also be quite hard to balance, but it would be interesting. It’s not unheard of, as there are already a couple of such Talents in the game - on Waystalker, Shade and Merc at least (though their effectiveness and popularity varies).

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Flame wave should be replaced by a talent that gives a stagger effect on ult, to make it offensive and a cometition to bomb balm.
A huge *ss explosion should push everyone away from the centre of the blast just like IRL. Maybe slap on a DoT effect to at least kill off skavenslaves/fanatics/clanrats.
This was you have offensive use, defensive use and a personal use just like the other shout ults.
Or if someone doesn’t want a 4th ult that works like the other 3, then create a completely diferent ult for UC, but a explosion should work like a explosion.

You are wrong.
Unchained is amazing, not a single one of her talent is bad.

The main thing that makes pyro melee so much better than UC is that siennas best melee weapon (crow bill) actually performs better with crit than it does with power. For example, a light attack on a CW does like 5 damage and a crit does like 25 damage. So a crit gives you 500% damage while UC buff gives you 60% damage. There are various other scenarios like that. Not to mention the stagger crit provides and the attack speed. Pyro on C3 can stunlock a CW. All that to say, UC sucks. Competing with BH for worst career in the game. Also, crow bill needs ok kill to gen temp.

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You covered a part of what I wanted to say already. In my opinion the risk/reward is fine currently for Cataclysm. If it was easier before 2.0 it wasn’t high risk/high reward but average risk/high reward which would explain why she was popular then. For this reason it is not possible to reduce the time on Living Bomb as it would again make the acive skill to available and reducing the risk significantly while still providing the high reward.

This said Living Bomb could live with some tweaks to improve although on the paper it isnt that bad. If we just take the active skills listed above without the Enhancement then we have:

  • Ironbreaker: 2 effects - endless stamina and taunting enemies
  • Mercenary: 2 effects - stagger and team THP
  • WHC: 2 effects - stagger and increased team crit
  • Unchained: 3 effects - stagger, damage and overheat reset (equal to ammo replenish)

So Unchained has more effects than other active skills. It is just that beside the overheat management the other two effects are rather weak. Especially the damage is a bit meager. So this is the point where it could be changed a bit.

As for the level 30 talents. I still stand to the point that Fuel to the Fire is fine. I tested it the whole evening and it boosted my damage numbers quite a bit. Living Bomb is up in 2 minutes. This means it is basically available at every horde. However, you need to be a bit more pro-active and maybe trigger the active skill before you overheated. Which means the risk is rising again and you are actually playing on a knife’s edge. Still it works pretty well. In it is current form Fuel to the Fire is an equally viable alternative to Bomb Balm. The extra THP from Bomb Balm is not needed if you manage health a bit better and your team is often spread out so that team mates rarely benefit from it anyone. It is like a consolation prize nobody gets.

This said, it is strange that Sienna’s melee class has no active skill enhancement which emphasizes this aspect. But if we have to change one skill no matter what why not take the one noone likes anyway: Flame Weave. Remove and replace it with something like Burn Out or Implosion where you get an insane damage buff in melee and attack speed but you burn down health and you cant neither block nor cast spells during its duration. There are different possibility how to do this exactly to avoid it being to strong. No point in going details right now.

All in all, Unchained is in a good place and has different interesting choices and builts. There are like about three talents which would have to be adressed: Searing Grasp (my suggestion: Increase all DoT effects in time), Chain Reaction (my suggestion: damaging for more than 80 % of total health can cause explosion and explosions damage nearby enemies) and Flame Wave (just replace it with something else). Enfeebling Flames might be adressed if nothing is done with Searing Grasp. Living Bomb is boring but it is an utility skill and with Fuel to the Fire it has a real game changer enhancement. Still replacing Flame Wave with a melee orientated enhancement might be more interesting.

Interesting way to buff some level 30 talents and encourage active career skill use would be to have additional effect to give significant cooldown reduction if the skill is used before going over the limit.

I would definitely at least try out UC with Flame Wave if it also dropped the cooldown to something like 30 seconds if used before going over the limit.

And 50% extra damage reduction, for a total of 80%.

That is an extremely low cooldown. No, living bomb would be too busted if it even went down to 1 minute 30 seconds like Mercenary’s or Witch Hunter Captain’s, because then its main use of quickly saving you from overcharge would be too easily accessible, too good for Unchained, taking away most of the risk. It just needs to do -more-.
Flame Wave should boost the damage and stagger of Living Bomb on top of its current use of boosting the radius.

I really appreciate someone making a post of such high quality. It can’t be stressed enough how good these suggestions are, and yet, I’ll add one or two cents of mine to the table while I’m at it:

  • How about making Flame Wave base damage/stagger scale with Unstable Strength’s provided melee boost? I mean, making the talent a good all-rounder is alright if things go south, but I feel like, even for an ult with 120s CD, this would essentially 'splode half a horde if done correctly with no effort whatsoever.

(BUT HEY, BW does that every minute with Kaboom)

  • Surprisingly I saw no suggestion about Numb to Pain being written, and I feel like it’s really lacking when compared to Dissipate and Conduit, since UC does a good job soaking damage via Blood Magic anyway, so stacking damage resist isn’t exactly worth it for a price of essentially venting away HP, especially since it doesn’t affect the overcharge damage she takes.

You mentioned how UC struggles with received overcharge damage as it’s not reduced by any damage reduction, which is a problem, true, but making it a part of Numb to Pain would actually make that talent somewhat competetive. The other, purely optional addition could be making it increase UC’s overcharge meter to 50, like her old Lv5 talent used to provide.

That’s all from me. Great effort - I hope this gets noticed by FS.

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