Unchained has major core issues with her design

BW with fire sword and famished flames is indeed both tankier and more damaging than unchained, to the point where you don’t even need to use her staff except against specials. People mention UC has 50% DR, well, 30% DR via soot shield with essentially no downsides is much easier to play with. You combine all of this with her ridiculously useful ultimate and it should be no surprise why UC is an unpopular pick.

Alright, there are definitely some oversights here -back to the drawing board on a handful of these, thanks for letting me know that there are some uses her I missed-, but I’m still a bit curious with some of these abilities. Sure, all of Sienna’s classes are hybrids, and almost every class is with the exception of Slayer and Grail Knight. However, compared to her other careers, Unchained has virtually no boosts to ranged damage aside from heat management. I just feel like if I wanted a hybrid build, I’d go Battle Wizard for the massive boost to charge speed and max charge damage letting me continue one shotting elites on Cata, or Pyro for the massively increased crit chance on ranged attacks. Battle Wizard for Elites, Specials, and hordes, Pyromancer for bosses. If I want to protect my team, Battle Wizard ccs or kills everything. And, well, Battle Wizard for bosses too.

Basically, I love Unchained, but I feel like there’s little reason to pick her outside of liking her theme. I get that Unchained’s niche is combining a little bit of everything, but with Unstable Strength, I don’t think it’s fair to call her entirely a hybrid; that’s the largest raw melee power boost in the game. There’s a clear focus there, furthered in her design. Still a hybrid, sure, but with a favor towards one end. She’s, well, unchained. Up close, personal, and over the edge. I mean, just look at her in the hero selection screen; her stance is nearly identical to that of Slayer’s. And Zealot. Granted, that’s art direction, not something to deal with her actual kit, but she has that feeling to her, almost like a frother.

With Searing Grasp, that’s a much better radius than I expected, but I’m still not sold on it’s viability. The majority of Sienna’s melees already have strong horde clear/stagger. Dagger, Mace, Sword, Fire Sword, and Flail are all perfectly fine on that front, especially with Unstable Strength active, with the Crowbill being the only one I can see needing that extra push. That being said, the damage from Searing Grasp still seems extremely low, to the point that just using a stave makes more sense, although I can see Searing Grasp being an easier, more safe choice, especially given the Crowbill’s fast charged attack. It just seems extremely niche to me where most of Sienna’s weapons already excel at horde clearing specifically, I don’t really find my self wanting that in most cases. But good to know that there are players who look for that, so fair is fair, I don’t need to like every single talent. Any weapons you suggest trying to get a feel for its uses?

I can see Dissipate as a safe choice, offering a way to vent while being overhwelmed, but I really feel like if someone is in a situation where Dissipate is actually being useful, they’re probably too far gone. If you’re surrounded, low on stamina, and heavily overheated, you’re already so far out of position that you’re currently lucky to be alive. It could make a window for a teammate to save you, but it just seems too little too late; blocking is something I rarely see someone relying on unless players are desperate, just because of how quickly enemies break block, and how quickly they stack up if you aren’t actively chopping them down. I don’t really see the use case for Numb to Pain over Conduit even with the recent changes, but I suppose it’s there for anyone searching for a more active and defensive option. It is the only talent in that row that gives raw damage resistance, and coupled with the heat reduction, that could make for a tanky build combined with Enfeebling Flames and Barkskin. But it’s just another scenario of why? Why am I building to take damage?

Burning Dregs definitely seems to work the way you described, enabling much heavier use of Living Bomb, especially with the massive health reserves Unchained has to pull from. However, if you’re using it just to spam spells, why not use Conduit? It’ll have less down time between venting, take less health in the process, and opens you up to taking Enfeebling Flames or Natural Talent if that’s what you’d rather do. It strikes me as more of a safety net, especially with how it activates. That, and I just don’t see Unchained’s ult really being the type of thing worth using multiple times in short succession. Bomb Balm could be good but is already pretty eh. Fire Aura doesn’t have any stacking effect. Fuel for the Fire could be refreshed for a ranged boost, but if you’re going for ranged damage, why play Unchained? It comes back to “If I was building for this, I wouldn’t play this career”. Back to Unchained being a hybrid, but her other careers being better at being a hybrid than she can. And you mentioned that that level of burst damage is unique to Unchained, but is it? Burning Dregs opens Unchained up for more extensive use of Living Bomb to spam spells, but Pyroamancer and Battle Wizard both do significantly more damage with both their spells and their ultimates. And it’s not like Living Bomb is the burst damage you’re talking about, the thing does about 10 damage.

With the final row in particular, I still don’t see what’s good about Fuel for the Fire right now in the current BBB. Fuel for the Fire boosts strength by up to 25% if you have enough enemies close. That’s great! Except you give up 60% power strength bonus to do so. Sure, you boost ranged power by 25%, but Battle Wizard and Pyromancer both have 10% power as a passive in their kit combined with far more significant buffs. The combo with the new health to cooldown skill certainly sounds interesting though, so I’ll have to give that a shot, but I’m still iffy on it. I can see the use for the stagger boost, but it also seems like the only good option right now. Good to know we’re on agreement with Burn Balm though; it’s an idea I like, but a questionable execution on Living Bomb of all career skills. Fire Aura still seems cool, especially with Enfeebling Flames, but also seems pretty eh? At the level of play we’re talking about, taking damage is rare – too rare to rely on a 2 minute cooldown ult to mitigate damage. It does combo well with using it as a revive tool, but I don’t see that 30% reduction doing anything to help a freshly revived player on Cata. It’s a shame because it’s such a cool concept, but with so little real impact I can see. I suppose I just dislike that all the ult augments keep Living Bomb as such a reactive ability.

I’ll say now, I can’t agree with Unchained being impossible to balance around having bonkers Melee. Her other two careers already do similar things. Battle Wizard has bonkers burn procs, ranged boosts, and crowd control, while Pyromancer has insane crit chance that turns every weapon into an armor shredder alongside a handful of utilities ranging from chaining crit ultimates and heatless spellcasting to literally just being Unchained but with more damage. The reason I want Unchained to be melee centric is because her other careers beat her miserably at ranged damage, but also melee damage too. I can’t really be afraid of Unchained being impossible to balance when she’s leagues behind the alternatives.

At the end of the day, I wish they’d go more into Unchained as a hybrid like you mention. The core idea I had fed into this – a change to Blood Magic that disables it for any attacks that would overheat Unchained. It forces a more careful approach; maintain low heat and be tanky, or high heat for damage. A back and forth, between offense and defense. Right now she doesn’t feel like a hybrid, at least to me, just like a tank (Again, opinions, why do they make everything so complicated). I’d love for her talents to let players diversify her kit as they see fit; some options boosting ranged with heat management, some making a support tank through blocking, agro, and thorns fire damage, some focusing on raw melee damage. It just kinda bothers me that Unchained seems to be left out in terms of damage boosting talents. I did underestimate Searing Grasp, but even with that she has two, in one talent row. I especially want more offensive options with the changes to other similar careers, opening them up into multiple playstyles, with Ironbreaker and Footknight being great examples of damage resistance tanks slowly getting more options through talents. Build for party-wide power boosts, or attack speed and movement speed, or be a raw block cost reduction tank with a taunt. Right now, it feels like most of what Unchained has still just doesn’t contribute much towards diversifying her playstyle, or making her competitive with Sienna’s other careers. It feels like she’s being left behind. Even with her strong niche in cc and clutching, I feel like Battle Wizard pulls it off better, while having stronger damage output at the same time.

Thanks for the insight though. Currently trying out some combos with Searing Grasp, Enfeebling Flames, and Fire Aura for clutch revives, I’d interested in seeing how this works.

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I remember unchained, when this game was released. Yes she was very difficult to play since assasins and co. almost instantly made you explode. Than they made it that if you got caught by a special you don’t get overheat from damage which was good.
But the change that you can cancel your explosion with your ult was really bad in my opinion. I wish fatshark would make her even stronger maybe almost op at hight heat. But with the great risk of expoding through damage. You know like a career which needs a great amount of skill to play.

Sure not everybody would like this, but there are 14 other careers to choose. And at the moment unchained feels to simmilar to melee pyro for my taste

UC already is a hybrid, and as a result is probably the most debated and misunderstood character.

What she is all about is a risk/reward curve. Keep heat low, be tanky AF, and thus low risk. Or keep heat high, become almost a 1-hit-kill, but get a massive melee boost. The true joy of playing the class is in the process of moving up and down that curve, which involves weaving Staff and Melee back and forth constantly to keep your heat just right for the situation you are in at the time.

The only real problem is the risk/reward curve is out of tune at the high risk end, since they removed the 25% more overcharge talent, you now have to become more squishy then Kerillian in order to get less melee boost then Pyro. Either the boost needs to be a lot higher or that talent needs to come back.

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If you do not have more damage than your teammates (when playing cata) if you play as unchained then you are doing something wrong, the AOE of the fireball staff and the flail will destroy everything, this together with the supermega venting talent makes the unchained a powerhouse. Constantly shooting charged fireballs and venting, pick up some fast and easy temp hp, rinse repeat.

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You can do the same thing with a pyro, and with thp on ult you don’t need to go into melee to top up either. This is before even getting into her higher ranged damage output. It’s more a product of fireball being very strong than unchained being particularly efficient with it or anything.

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Unchained lacks a clear identity.
And therefore it causes issues on what role she will take in your team. Hybrid and Tanky are only good stats. She’s more than capable (it’s not a balance issue). She just need the little push that makes her do something really unique compared to all her counterparts (and the others similar careers).
When a player sees Unchained, he doesn’t think “Hey, it’s the semi-melee oriented tanky brawler but not exactly, that can also have access to Sienna’s ranged weapon and be nearly good at it, and can ventilate better than others Sienna but have 2 health gauge to manage”.
No he thinks “I’LL EXPLODE”.
And that base ult, needs some help to confirm that identity.

Now, I do like how BBB bring her tools, even if not balanced enough.

  • Causing enemies to explode is ridiculously weak at the moment.
  • Fire Aura is clearly a good part of the Unchained identity, and I think part of it should be a part of the base ult. (which would open many possibilities and many builds)
  • Temp HP Ult can be an issue with the small cooldown linked to it (as you can manage to charge it faster by actually taking hits or overcharging). And does not really makes sense with “THE UNCHAINED” character. But it’s actually also a fun part of her. So I don’t really know.
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UC only lacks identity because it was stolen in WOM.

Check my post history for some detailed discussions of UC, it’s a really great gameplay concept I just wish they’d stop tinkering with it and put it back to what it was.

This is not only WoM. I mean, she clearly had her “melee” side “stolen” by pyro. But even without this. When you compare her to others “brawlers”. She still lack something unique (apart from being able to “use siennas weapons”) linked to the career itself.

Imagine having 150 base hp, 50% damage reduction, up to 60% melee strength, an almost innate 15% attack speed buff and then not being even considered as a melee career.

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This is not what I said. I did say that she’s overshadowed by all others “brawlers” and unfortunately by others sienna as well. Overshadowed does not mean bad. Or does not mean I don’t consider her as a melee career. I would say the same about Ranger Veteran if he was not shitting ammo. It’s a matter of creating a unique identity to her.

She’s a hybrid. A role changer. At any time, she can become extremely tanky (at cost of damage) or extremely deadly (at cost of tankiness). It meshes perfectly with Sienna’s natural Ranged/Melee hybridism. She just needs balanced so that the tradeoffs on both ends are balanced with each other, and currently they are not. At high heat she gets too squishy (2 hits of any kind, even two slave rat love taps) for less melee boost then Pyro. She either needs more boost at the top end, or the 25% overcharge back so she’s not as squishy. Either would be fine.

This isn’t a “holy trinity” MMO, there’s no need to be locked into certain group roles, or see a class as bad because it doesn’t match one. If it’s at least reasonably competitive and it’s fun, it’s good to go. An UC is fun as heck. It only needs a small tweak to balance to make it competitive with the other 2 careers.

Hybrid is not a role. Nether I ask for an holy trinity, you can still get specializations without being a tank a healer or a dps. (But here, it’s a brawler)
Case in point, ranger veteran does bring ammo to the team. That’s a clear identity.

Why not?

Because it’s a characteristic. As having “a lot of HP” (characteristic) doesn’t necessarily means you’re a tank (role) or a ammo bringer support (role)

I have no problem playing her. She is great. Try flail or fire swords to juggle the elites. Don’t hang on to living bomb. Heal aggressively. Maybe consider that unchained is not supposed to ceiling in damage but play a support role that makes the whole game easier without having to sing anyone’s beards. You could even try using proxy with her and turn full heal tank.

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I also have no problem playing her. It’s just that she doesn’t really do something that others brawlers can’t do. And that she kinda lack a clear gimmick around its identity (around Unchained identity because in Warhammer, an Unchained would literally do anything but “healing support”). At the moment, she have a “generic” role of melee brawler. Without any small “plus”.

IMO putting characters into roles is a mistake in V2. Everybody absolutely must be a jack of all trades, at least to a certain minimum level.

Anyone that can’t DPS hordes will get off and die at some point. Ditto for sniping specials, armor damage, etc and so forth. The game is just not built in a way that you can rely on your team 100% of the time. I mean, you can specialize in one area or the other, but never to the degree that you become unable to do the others (see: 1h Axe).

So what’s left is not roles, but flavor. Either playstyle, or just plain style. And in that, UC excells. She has a gameplay mechanic no one else does. She has style for days. She’s a great character.

There’s no need for “role” to even be considered, except as a way to add flavor. UC has plenty of flavor due to it’s unique mechanic so just get it balanced and be happy.

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The biggest design issue is that UC is too good at everything? Excellent melee and excellent ranged, HP for days, cheat ULT to get you out of bad play. Insane venting that can be abused to produce insane damage output, you will be able to constantly shoot throughout the entire map if you just walk into melee for some fast temp hp once in a while.

Other melee brawlers are not capable of matching the UC damage output

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You have asymetry. You can’t be “a jack of all trades” perfectly and having something unique that makes you a worthwhile character in a team at the same time. You have to be really good at something and kinda “normal” at the others things.
I don’t ask for a bounty hunter to not be able to clean hordes AT ALL. I ask for the unchained to have some sort of “a thing” that can be useful when combined with her strength.

Case in point, Ranger Veteran is probably not the best at something, but he’s providing ammo for his whole team, that’s something that’s not a single other career does, and is “known” due to mostly that. That’s a part of his core identity.

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