EDIT: 25.07.2020 - The OP will be rather lengthy now but I think it makes sense to leave the old part for reading as well, as most of this still counts. I just want to adjust some minor things.
I’ve read recently a lot of very weird suggestions for Unchained. Realistically, there will nothing happen on them for three reasons. First, they need a lot of effort to be invested. We know this will not happen. Second, parts of them want to make Unchained a very boring brawler like Zealot or Slayer. This would take away all her unique points and identity, if people want to play Slayer they can pick slayer. And many suggestions seem to be based more on the rule of cool instead of actual balance and interesting, unique and fun gameplay. Third, there is no need to:
Unchained is probably one of the, if not the most unique career in the whole game with unprecended tankiness, an own defense mechanic and high flexibility. She is
- a Vanguard/frontliner always right in the middle of the fight
- her fighting style is a continuous mix between melee and range
- a very flexible choice of her specific role
Unchained has an unique and defined identity, so to drastic changes would ruin this identity which can never be a good thing. Unchained is a career that focus on magically enhanced combat which can channel the winds of Aqshy to provide both an armour of flame that protects her and a mighty spell of fiery destruction. Or to paraphrase it, she can decide the tone of her flames. This is her thing, her gimmick, the one point (among others) which makes her unique, give her an identity and elevate her from Bright Wizard or Unchained. By nature, fire is destructive. However, Unchained’s talents allow her to modify the fire to her wishes to access different roles. Unchained has:
- Offensive Flame: Increasing her destruction potential by choosing talents like Frenzied Flame or Fuel to the Fire
- Defensive Flame: Increasing her already high defense capability by choosing talents like Burning Dregs or Enfeebling Flames. In the latter case it even brings a bonus to the whole team by near constantly providing an indirect 30 % damage reduction to nearby enemies. Only other careers which can do this are Mercenary (but he has to wait for the active skill while Unchained can do it constantly) and Foot Knight (but he is limited to short range while Unchained can also use the effect by casting magic to places away, helpful for protecting downed teammates).
- Spreading Flame: Spreading her fire on the battlefield by choosing talents like Searing Grasp, Chain Reaction (IF it would actually do something …), or Bomb Balm by spreading the energy of her flame to her teammates providing health
So all in all the current Unchained (and partially in live version too) is strong, extremely unique with a very clear and defined identity. This said, there are still some things which could be adjusted. Most of these appear more often in the later some #20 posts and I have them mentioned before. I would like to add one more change on that today. With this in mind, these are the changes I would do if I could decide (summarized in the image and written out below):
- First change will be to switch the talent position of Burning Dregs and Chain Reaction. Reason is simple that Chain Reaction is not competitive in this row and never will be. Burning Dregs is competitive and the row more or less determines the fundament of Unchained by talents with a direct feelable impact defining her role as offensive, supportive or defensive. Additional benefits are to create a new synergy between Burning Dregs and Natural Talent as well as easing the accessibility for new players by making Burning Dregs available earlier. This way that have some kind of helping wheels until they get a better hang for Unchained. However, currently Burning Dregs still has a to-effective synergy with Bomb Balm which can be removed by making Burning Dregs not providing the level 30 talents benefits. This change is not necessary if Bomb Balm is removed, however personally I would recommand the change in any way as Burning Dregs primarily should be a defense tool to allow more slipping up and not some kind of power multiplier. Even after the change you could still easily dish out three overcharge bars. This playstlye will not be lost, but its effectiveness will be lessened.
- Second change will be in talent row 25 with Chain Reaction. And personally, I think Chain Reaction needs another change. Because I don’t see its purpose. Last tests didn’t show the talent causing damage. There is no actual chain reaction here. But I think there should be. Two choices are available: direct damage or dot. My choice would be DoT. Upon burning to death an enemy has a 50 % to explode causing a fire dot for surrounding enemies. This way the fire actually has a chance to create a chain reaction (values may have to be adjusted) and it would fit well in the category of Spreading Flame.
- Third change will be in talent row 30, the active skills. Aside from the overly effective synergy between Bomb Balm and Burning Dregs, I don’t think there is a need to change anything her. Currently, the talent row is near perfectly balanced with three uniquely different active skills each adressing one type of the previously mentioned flames (Flame Wave/Fire Aura - Defensive Flame, Fuel for the Fire - Offensive Flame, Spreading the Flame - Spreading Flame on teammates). There has to be some discussion from different viewpoints which should be adressed.
First is the suggestion to add the Fire Aura effect as default to Living Bomb. This is a bad idea from two perspectives. Looking at it from balance side, we have first to check how strong the fire aura is. For this I made a little test:
In the video you can see that Fire Aura can kill all horde enemies (albeit at a slow pace). For comparison reasons I will show another video of Kaboom+Famished Flames with the same properties:
Yes, damage-wise Fire Aura is slightly stronger then Kaboom PLUS talent with Kaboom being much faster. Now imagine adding Fire Aura to Bomb Balm and you get a high damage active skill which also heals the team AND potentially protects it with Enfeebling Flames. Yes, it is as busted as it sounds. Now imagine adding Fire Aura to Fuel to the Fire with the increased explosion damage and increased DoT by the 25 % power boost. Basically, you have an active skill which does the same damage as Kaboom PLUS the damage of Kaboom with Famished Flames. And yes, here too with the potential protection effect of Enfeebling Flames. This too sounds as broken and busted as it is. And no, not even the increased active skill cooldown does justify this bonkerness. It is simply broken beyond repair and your first talent the old Fire Aura is completely worthless now and would need a complete rework. The whole balanced of the active skills would be ruined. It is a no-go.
But wait, why not adjust the damage down for the other talents so we can still have the cool fire aura effect. Yes, we can balance this like this, however lets take a look from the second perspective: Identity. Currently, each active skill adresses one type of Unchaineds three types of flame. While Fire Aura DOES a lot of damage it is only in the vicinity of her, enemies have to come to her in difference to Kaboom which brings the fire to the enemy. Additionally, to the stronger stagger effect, the first second they will be pushed out of the zone. Fire Walk despite its damage is primarly still a defense talent with a great synergy with Enfeebling Flames. Fuel to the Fire is the offense Flame, it is self-explanatory. Bomb Balm is spreading the explosion energy over the teammates in form of THP. From an identity perspective, these talents are also balanced. So a change with the fire aura would ruin the active skills and is a bad idea.
With this said, why do I still propose a change to Bomb Balm? Two reasons: First is the previously mentioned synergy of Bomb Balm and Burning Dregs. If Fatshark doesnt want to change the effect of Burning Dregs as suggested under point 1, it can still adress this problem (and yes, it is a problem leading to a very meta build) by changing Bomb Balm. Second reason is balance in a larger picture. THP in high availability is a problem as it allows to many slip-ups and sloppy play. It takes challenge out of the game. We already have Mercenary and Ranger Veteran providing THP (and I wouldnt mind both getting rid of the effect), so Unchained doesnt need it. And I would rather keep Enfeebling Flame here as supportive factor. So what would I suggest as alternative? Following Unchained’s identity and themes I would have to replace a Spreading Flame talent with a Spreading Flame talent. So let’s take this by the word:
Spreading the Flame: Upon explosion teammates hit by Living Bomb will get a part of Sienna’s power. For 20 seconds all attacks deal Fire DoT. Fire Dot does twice the damage (only after explosion). Values may need to be adjusted.
So this is it. Three simple changes to make her from very good with slight elements of overpowered into very good and balanced with all talents fitting into her unique playstyle and identity.
Also, don’t touch the cooldown for Living Bomb. Her active skill is already one of the strongest in the game and she already plays with good reward vs extremely low risk, especially if you chose Burning Dregs. No reason to make it even simpler.
This is the old part, left for historic reasons.
Okay, so I did some first tests and there are some interesting things and some differently interesting things.
First off, I very recently did a feedback thread concerning Unchained (Career Discussion - Unchained) and I am glad to see that two of the changes I had in my mind, also crossed the mind of the developers. As it was literally yesterday I don’t think you took inspiration from there.
So let me start with discussing the changed talents:
As I said, very similar to what I had in my mind. Damage wise the DoT change does not much as it only comes at second 2 and 4 and most horde enemies are dead by that time. However, the increase burn time does synergize well with Enfeebling Flames which is the change I wanted to see. Also wanted to see an increase in pushing angle. I suggested 30 °, we got 80 % which is huge and has a light effect on dps. It has an activation trigger by doing one charged attack which is fine. I do find it odd though that the proc stays for all eternity until you actually push. Is that intended? Don’t think it is much of a problem, but it is … odd. Make it five seconds or ten and it would still be more than enough time.
Not tested yet, though I have to ask. Does it damage actually? Last patch it didn’t. And for all I care enemies can explode as much as they want, as long as they only stagger it is hardly worth the talent. But I have to look deeper into it. There might be something which I may have missed.
EDIT: So I tested the talent now. Aaaandd, I don’t get it, like … I don’t get it. What is the goal of this talent? The explosion does not cause damage it only staggers. And even the trigger itself is to rare. To cause an explosion, the enemies have to die by burning (not burning enemies have to die, difference). So even with 40 % probability you don’t see much explosions. I found only two weapons where it worked a bit - Firesword in melee and Conflagration in range. Which brings me back to the question? What is the goal? In range the stagger does not bring anything unless you like to make enemies dance. It slows down the horde a bit, but that can’t be it. In melee it is an additional stagger source but Firesword has plenty of stagger already, so it is kinda pointless. Maybe it is build-up for Enfeebling Flames. But once again, it is not needed in range and in melee you can have a better and more reliable result with Searing Grasp. I’m creative, you know? But … I don’t get it.
As I said in the patch note thread. I don’t think it will change much although the effect is huge with 50 % less overcharge generated. On Cataclysm the effect is mostly negligible unless we are talking about chip damage. So it is something the community asked for and will give people who want it and additional safety net. Overall, an ok change.
EDIT: To keep it a bit more clean, I will restructure the whole paragraph. The baseline discussion for this talent can be seen below. With this talent you exchange health for cooldown reduction. However, in it current form the exchange is to favourable and you can overcharge up to four times in one minute without real consequences. Overcharging - even with this talent - still should be punishing. I really would like to see the exchange rate increase to something like 5-6 % of her health for 10 % cooldown. However, there are other ways which should be priorized which could lead to a less start increase. As such I propose the following suggestions for this talent:
- Exchange positions of Burning Dregs and Chain Reaction - This change would really really help so much. Currently you have the choice between being egoistic or being a teamplayer for the level 25 talents. Such choices have always been poor. By placing Burning Dregs in the level 10 row, players will have to make a more painful decision (as it should be) - giving up offense capability or defense capability. Also Burning Dregs becomes available earlier for new players. Thematically, it could be argued as well by level 10 being the primarly melee focused talent row and level 25 being the magic/fire focused talent row. Also Level 10 basically dictates the direction of your build - Offense, Defense or Support. It fits thematically.
- After reaching full active skill bar Living Bomb will trigger automatically, however without the benefits chosen for the level 30 talents: This is an also very close to a “have-to change”. Currently Burning Dregs synergizes to well with Bomb Balm, you don’t feel punished for overcharging. The talent should be a safety-net, nothing more.
- Even after this I would STILL increase the exchange rate. 6 % might be to much in this case. I consider 5 % health still a fair compromise. But under the assumption that both change 1 and 2 are implemented an exchange rate of 4 % health for 10 % cooldown might be enough. Would have to be tested.
Again developers had similar thoughts to me. The talent needs more stagger. BUT this is a very odd kind of stagger. The good thing, I can stagger monster bosses (and maybe even Lords). The odd thing, I can’t stagger Chaos Warrior Overhead attacks as I could with the same setup with the old Fuel to the Fire. And frankly, without that the talent is useless as monsters are only there one or twice per run. Give the talent additional stagger power so that it can stagger Chaos Warriors. Otherwise, the talent will not picked once again. I have to test if it can free people from disablers. That would be another plus but even then, I would like to have the change proposed below.
I still haven’t made up my mind here. I do like the visuals and I do like the fabulous synergy with Enfeebling Flames once again and that this seems to be the talent for the melee build. However, the damage is not really higher as before, so the only thing it got was a slightly better synergy with Enfeebling Flames which makes it an offense and defense talent at the same time. You might consider slightly increasing the damage though. However, …
The active talent reworks seem odd to me. You sacrificed Fuel to the Fire and gave us two talents which are both a slight DOWNGRADE of that talent. If I would go by gameplay changes I would have to think that you considered the old Fuel to the Fire as to strong! If that is the case, okay then let it be like it is. If you wanted better alternatives though, I will make the same suggestion as in my own thread:
- Give me back the old Fuel to the Fire
- ADD the Fire Ring to Flame Wave
Like this you have three choices.
- THP Gain/Light Damage/Light Stagger
- Strong Stagger against Elites/Good Damage by skill/Temporary power increase
- Strong Stagger against Monster/Good Damage by skill/Temporary Defense increase if chosen Enfeebling Flames
Overall, I like that you increased the synergy with Enfeebling Flames which makes her defense and support characteristics so much better. This increased her survivability already by far. You also added additional safety nets which is what the community requested. Numb to Pain is an okay change, however the exchange rate for Burning Dregs should be reconsidered. The reworks to the active skill while thematically separated are lacking both though as the stagger does not stagger what is most important and the damage for the new Fuel to the Fire is not an upgrade to the old one. I would really like for you to consider the changes I mentioned. And if you haven’t done yet, read the thread i linked above. I think we are on the same page on how she should perform and what her role is.
EDIT: Random Site Note - I really like the “Inferno Reif” cosmetic. Has it been added with last Lohner’s Emporium Patch?