Unchained's 2.0 Rework Requires More Work

This is a part of these criticisms:

But this is focused on Unchained and why her rework has partly failed not in design coherency or definition, but in implementation.

Unchained is Sienna’s melee powerhouse whose existence brings a durable melee career to Sienna’s repertoire. WoM’s 2.0 brought her a lovely variety of talents and a new weapon, but several of these things have glaring issues.

Her active does moderate/weak damage with moderate/weak stagger, while also clearing her overcharge. Clearing overcharge is certainly useful, but that combined with the other poor effects makes the 120 second cooldown questionable.

Unchained active’s damage:

Unchained active’s stagger:

Sienna received a new flail that has an explosion on the first heavy, but it hasn’t done damage and also has been known since before release:

Flaming flail explosion does no damage but still staggers:

  • Tier 5 - THP/Healing

    • Reckless Rampage(Cleave THP) is bad, but that’s associated with the Cleave THP talent in general and not solely Unchained.
  • Tier 10 - Frenzied Flame/Searing Grasp/Chain Reaction

    • Frenzied Flame grants 15% attack speed while at or above high overcharge. She needs to be at 50% overcharge or higher to obtain this. Good overall talent and design.

    • Searing Grasp

      • Applies a burn to enemies you push and push attacks. The push will burn for 1 tick. The push attack for 2-3 ticks. The push can’t stack burns. The push attack can stack burns. The push burn can stack with the push attack burns.

      • Unchained has no mechanism for generating faster stamina to push more frequently, so she gets questionable use out of this as push attacks are going to be something she’d likely use with light frequency. It also has no synergy with her Unstable Strength(increased melee power based on overcharge) and will not gain damage on higher overcharge.

      • This also only has any real effectiveness on hordes. The reason this isn’t good is not because it’d be primarily used for hordes, but because it’d compete with Chain Reaction on the same tier which would essentially do the same thing. The lack of damage synergy with Unstable Strength would also mean Frenzied Flame is just better overall between the two.

    • Chain Reaction would potentially be great if it ever worked right. Currently a rather useless talent. Like Handmaiden’s Asrai Grace, this also has not worked properly since release and has been known since release.

  • Tier 15 - Stagger Talents

    • Overall acceptable options for Unchained.
  • Tier 20 - Dissipate/Conduit/Numb to Pain

    • Good options overall and designed well.

      • Dissipate (Block cost reduced by 50% when overcharged and blocking attacks vents overcharge) offers a more passive/defensive venting choice.

      • Conduit (Increases rate of venting overcharge by 30% and reduces damage taken from venting by 50%) offers a more aggressive/active venting option.

      • Numb to Pain (Reduces damage taken by 5% for 15 seconds after taking damage from venting overcharge. Stacks up to 3 times) is good because it’s not difficult for a player to do, the duration is long enough to be useful and not tedious, and it synergizes well with her overall design. She can become even tankier and it also reduces the overcharge gained from taking a hit. It also synergizes with other damage/overcharge reduction options.

Video shows full stack Numb to Pain, then no stacks, then Numb to Pain + Barkskin + Natural Talent:

  • Tier 25 - Enfeebling Flames/Burning Dregs/Natural Talent

    • Enfeebling Flames is designed poorly for one major reason: Enemies deal 30% less damage when burning. Burns are inherently very short and every one of her burn applicators will stun horde enemies and depending on the applicator, a number of other enemies too. This means that by the time enemies recover from the burn applicator that hit them, the burn will have dissipated along with Enfeebling Flames. This devalues the talent immensely.

      The obvious solution is to give enemies applied with a burn Enfeebling Flames for X seconds instead. This would give consistency and value to the talent, especially since enemies will often keep their burning VFX long after the burn damage has stopped.

Video showing Enfeebling Flames isn’t broken and does work:

Video showing Enfeebling Flames is too short to be useful:

  • Burning Dregs (Dropping below 50% health vents all overcharge. Can only trigger every 60 seconds)

    It is a little questionable because a player can drop below 50% health at any overcharge level. Sienna could have no overcharge, 51% health, and then friendly fire lowers her to 49% health and Burning Dregs activates.

    From 100% health, she will also likely overcharge and enter exploding state from hits before reaching 49% health or lower. While she can get hit during the exploding state (lowering health below 50%) to activate Burning Dregs, she takes enormous damage between hits and the exploding state’s damage ticks. The talent would be better if it was more useful and reliable at preventing her from exploding or entering the exploding state, rather than being seemingly random.

Video showing Burning Dregs won’t activate before reaching 49% health or lower from hits:

  • Natural Talent simply reduces overcharge generated by 10%. It’s all around a moderately useful talent that reduces overcharge from hits and also staves. Good design.

  • Tier 30 - Flame Wave/Fuel for the Fire/Bomb Balm

    • Flame Wave gives 50% larger radius of Living Bomb(Unchained’s active). The active has light stagger and light damage, with a decent baseline radius. The talent doesn’t have much value because it’s just widening a mediocre active with an already acceptable area of effect. This could synergize with Enfeebling Flames, but Enfeebling Flames in its current state would give almost no value anyways and the existing area of effect radius is acceptable.

    • Fuel for the Fire gives 5% power for 10 seconds for each enemy hit, stacking up to 5 times. The 25% power on its own is fine, but it only lasts for 10 seconds on an active with a 120 second cooldown. Incentivizing using your active with an enormous cooldown just for some moderate power with a moderate duration isn’t good design, when that active could also save you from exploding. Even if you just took the power as a “bonus” for clearing overcharge/staggering/damaging, it’s still a bit short for the massive cooldown.

    • Bomb Balm is a decent talent that gives 30 THP to allies it hits. It still burns allies for a tiny amount of damage, which can be good or bad. Good in activating things like Barkskin, but bad in that it disables things like Handmaiden’s Focused Spirit or Ironbreaker’s Gromril Armour.

Unchained has a lot of the design groundwork already laid out in plain view. Things just need to work right and some minor adjustments need to be made. When all is said and done, the result should be an incredible career that’s polished and well designed.


Yeah the devs really screwed up the UC, at least the old UC was decently viable, but the new UC is a bit wonky to say the least.

Regarding her ult talents, i think Fuel for the Fire and flamewave should be combined into one talent since they’d sorta complement each other e.g hitting max stacks would be easier due to the increased range. The old “tick, tick tick…” talent should be brought back as a replacement. Lastly the ult itself should deal more damage and stagger, i’d recommend increasing both of these values by at least 50%. It makes sense that a big explosion would knock enemies over and deal lots of damage, i mean if the WHC and Merc can knock people over from yelling why can’t a literal explosion do the same.

The old talent that increased the heat meter by 25% should be brought back as a in-built perk, so she doesn’t blow up as often, additionally the heat generation from being damaged should be reduced a bit, say by 30%, because currently i almost never use the UC ult due to fear of blowing up from a stray hit from from an enemy that gets stuck inside me or a surprise assassin etc, etc.

Lastly she needs HP on Kill, cleaves literally useless to me, since i always use the crowbill, so i just end up taking the group heal talent instead.

Enfeebling Flame should just be a solid 10 seconds of damage reducing, this would make it both consistent and viable.


I did a very detailed post on UC during the beta. Nothing has changed since then, so anyone with access to the blocked forum can just go look it up.

I used to main as UC, but she did not transfer well into 2.0. The increase in enemy aggressiveness and random timing of their attacks, plus dodge nerf, plus the loss of 20% more overcharge talent, means that UC overheats very fast and very often. The heat dance of risk (more heat) vs reward (more damage) is broken because you simply can’t afford to run around with more then 1-2 stacks of heat anymore.

See Also

I’m going to complain slightly about this, because it’s a common misconception that UC is a melee focused character. She’s very much a hybrid, since accessing her melee power boost requires smart and frequent staff usage. UC is about seamlessly blending the two, not focusing on one at the loss of the other.

[quote=“OenKrad, post:1, topic:36645”]
Burning Dregs (Dropping below 50% health vents all overcharge. Can only trigger every 60 seconds)

It is a little questionable

It’s not just questionable, it’s actively bad. As in, shoot self in foot kind of bad. UC is all about heat management, and all this does is take your carefully cultivated heat bar and ruin it. Instead of being tied to critical heat level, it’s tied to an arbitrary health amount. The result is that it never activaes when it’s needed, and almost always activates when it isn’t. It actively undermines the core gameplay of the class. It’s basically a land mine talent that punishes you for taking it.

I agree that another heat safety valve is needed to free up Living Bomb for offensive use, but this isn’t it. My suggestion is to make it automatically vent heat (like Living Bomb does) when you start to melt down, but at the cost of 30% of base health done as damage. This takes the pressure off Living Bomb, but still comes with tradeoffs, since that 30% is too costly to be reckless with and may still result in going down.

If you keep the heat, you get 60% bonus melee damage. If you dump the heat, you get 25% bonus to all damage. NOT a worthy trade! This is nothing but a consolation prize for when you have to vent, and Bomb Balm is actually better in that role. It either needs to be much longer, offer much more power (we’re giving up 60% to get it!), or apply to the whole group to even be worth considering.

It could possibly have a niche role as fueling a burst of staff-based damage, but heating up with the staff is the last thing you want to do when Living Bomb is on cooldown, so this niche use is no value either. Maybe if the staff generated 50% less heat during the 10s or something, or if Burning Dregs wasn’t terrible.


“As Unchained, Sienna’s focus now lays in magically enhanced melee combat. She can channel the winds of Aqshy to provide both an armour of flame that protects her and a mighty spell of fiery destruction, detonating around herself.”

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I’d like to contest flame flail only applying a DoT to one target. It actually applies to infinite targets hit directly by the swing.

Burning effects without a DoT is something (almost) every fire attack does, so I’m not sure why fire flail is singled out for this.

Doesn’t change the fact that fire flail C1 has weird mechanics, where it will proc the AoE on corpses, even counting them as enemies for BW ‘hit 4 targets’ talent.


I think whoever was in charge of redesigning Saltzpyre’s ults needs to share his notes around the office. All of his talents change how his ult functions and when you use them (talking about every career), and Sienna desperately needs that kind of attention.

Flame Wave needs to have increased damage, DoT strength, and stagger enough to chunk Stormvermin if you ever want players to even consider not taking Bomb Balm.

Fuel for the Fire needs a complete overhaul if you have any dreams of players not taking Bomb Balm. 33% lower cooldown time + the 5% stackable power increase + removing overcharge venting functionality with pausing overcharge build/decay for 10 seconds. And maybe someone will consider not taking Bomb Balm in Cataclysm.

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I’ve come to love melee Pyro. I use 223322 with %10 atk speed and crit on gear. That gives me %45 atk speed and %40 crit almost all the time, and with the fire flail I can stun the world.

Which is especially nice with surprise patrols…

Of course it’s not as tanky as UC, but the thp skull makes her very sustainable.

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All that shows is that the devs (surprise) can’t get their game mechanics to match their intent. UC is actually weaker in melee then Pyro, and in 2.0 she doesn’t even have her tankiness either.

I’ve replaced my UC play with a very similar Pyro build. It just offers more of everything and doesn’t have the glaring weakness of overheating at random.

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It’s funny you say that because I remember reading Bounty Hunter’s description and was like “Oh so he’s going to be tougher with this career”, because it reads:

“As the Bounty Hunter, Victor dons heavy armour and favours ranged weapons, the better to keep their tainted and decaying flesh (and all associated aromas) at a safe distance.”

But for heavy armor, he’s no more durable than Huntsman or Sienna in some robes.


These threads are great. I hope we end up getting Careers where every Talent is a viable and useful option.

Being able to make builds that can fit most roles as most Careers with different levels of success is really fun. Even though I also want more unique Careers at the same time. I guess more viable Talent choices offers both.


If I remember correctly from the beta, it was dropped somewhere that - - - ONE- - - person did the talent redesign to ALL 15 careers.
So I think that person just got the design documentation and started over from scratch, whether he/she played all 15 careers extensively or not, doesn’t matter.
This is why we lost good talents and received bad ones.
This is why we have this bipolar state where some careers have good talents and synergy - probably the played ones -, and other are miserable - probably the least/unplayed ones.
This is unacceptable and will take so much more time to balance them, just like prior 2.0. I don1t think we will have anything before the end of S3 or maybe even S4…


I agree, she needs a buff/rework.

Unchained was an “high risk, high reward” tank. You had to pay attention to overheat, but you played a tank with a great damage. Currently she’s just “high risk”. With Cataclysm, faster and more dangerous enemies, dodge system nerfed, etc etc… she’s simply too squishy. And if I must play a squishy career, I can play BW to do more damage.

Another thing: with the new stagger system, Sienna has no more weapons thought around a tank (apart maybe Flail).

Good post!

When looking at scenarios like this, I think a good example might be looking at it as a recipe. The goal is to acquire a higher quality product in the end that’s really enjoyable. What blend of things works well together to accomplish that satisfying goal?

It’s awesome that Fatshark kicked things up another notch and really brought things like talents to a new and better standard. There are still problems, clearly, so it’s a matter of rectifying those problems.

I think one of the interesting things about this game is that it isn’t completely cookie-cutter. Each character doesn’t have simply ranged dps/melee dps/tank as careers. For example, Ranger Veteran is a hybrid of ranged and support. Unchained is a beefy melee career, but not a tank like Foot Knight/Ironbreaker.

She’s more akin to a melee dps/tank hybrid where she has a lot of melee damage options but also Enfeebling Flames could reduce enemy’s damage which helps the team and also if the flail applied burn on the explosion, could spread it that way while staggering enemies. She has Bulwark, so the flail’s exploding first heavy would work really well with that, delivering a super satisfying blend of synergy and effectiveness. Staves like the conflag could also apply these effects. If Chain Reaction applied a burn and staggered, that’d be another form of control and spreading Enfeebling Flames. She has some options for a bit of control, but you can just go tons of damage too. It’s not a conventional setup, which makes it interesting. There are a lot of potentially killer opportunities here, but it’s just a matter of where do the devs want to go with it.


Unchained has been my main for pretty much the entire game. I’ve always loved the risk/reward style of it. And I definitely agree that a lot of the talent changes, while interesting, didn’t do her a lot of favors.

THP on cleave is not in a great spot, but as was mentioned by the OP, it’s not so much a fault of Unchained as it is the new system. Especially since most of her weapons aren’t great at doing big staggers.

I never thought I’d miss Feuerbach’s Fury so much. But especially with the focus on stagger, the loss of that is certainly notable. Searing Grasp doesn’t feel particularly useful, and the gamble of Chain Reaction doesn’t seem to do a lot to help what she has going. Frenzied Flame is excellent, and seeing that compete with something like Feurerbach’s Fury would be an interesting row.

I don’t have much of an opinion on the stagger talents. None of them stand out for any reason.

Her venting talents are decent. Dissipate harkens back to her early class feature, which is a solid go-to, especially for the block cost reduction. Though riding that fire high does make wanting to vent questionable at best.

Most of her Tier 25 talents aren’t really good, as OP mentioned. Natural Talent tends to be my go-to, but even then that’s in part because Form of the Fire Wind doesn’t exist anymore. Burning Gregs in particular feels like the antithesis of the Unchained’s design.

Her ult talents feel lackluster. Fuel for the Fire is a decent bump to her already panic-button-like ult. You’re forced to vent, but you don’t lose out on all of your melee potential. But that doesn’t help her ult feel like less of an ability that needs to be saved for emergency use when you’re in the process of blowing up. Bomb Balm helps mitigate the friendly fire, and gives her more support utility. But with the limited range, limited stagger, and limited damage, most of these don’t offer a lot, and Flame Wave isn’t enough incentive to even consider. Especially with that huge cooldown, which just makes me miss Tick, Tick, Tick… being available.

It sucks that she got hit like this. Not that she’s the only one, of course; a lot of the talent changes felt hit or miss. We got some interesting ideas brought in, but we also got things that people once again never seem to use. Hopefully we’ll see some of these kinks worked out in the near future.

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Nowadays BHs run around with 30% armor. The “1% armor per elite/special killed” turns him into a quite damn tanky career, that can safely obliterate hordes in melee while quick-shotting elites and specials with ult and x-bow. So the gameplay matches the description, but only if you take that 1 specific talent .

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