Building a Better Ranger: Melee Character Optimization

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ehrgeix
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Building a Better Ranger: Melee Character Optimization

Post by ehrgeix » October 3rd, 2014, 4:08 am

This is the second of three articles I’m writing while putting together a party for a Supreme Jerk ironman (no-reload) run. The first covered weapon choices and party composition, this will cover optimal attribute point spends for melee characters, and the third optimal attribute point spends for ranged characters.

Part 1 (weapons) is available at: viewtopic.php?f=40&t=9765
Part 3 (ranged characters) is available at: /viewtopic.php?f=40&t=10065

Note: The two sections below (Derived Stats and CLASSIC Attributes) are quite complicated, and covered in both the melee and ranged section of this guide. There’s nothing different between the two, so if you read this stuff while reading about ranged characters, feel free to skip down to Ranged Builds.

Derived Stats

Before getting into melee-specific stuff, I’ll cover the derived stats we have to consider when making a character in WL2:

Combat Initiative: Combat initiative depends when in combat you act, and also how often you act. Combats are split into segments during which a 6 CI character will act 10 times and a 20 CI character will act 33 times.

Max CI character (20) = 33 turns
High CI character (15) = 25 turns
Average CI character (10) = 16 turns
Low CI character (6) = 10 turns

(Data from Mambus’s tests - thanks. Note that these are not break points - a CI12 character will act approximately 20 times per Segment. I have heard some people reference break points like, enemy melee tends to have 15 CI and ranged stuff tends to have 10 CI, so if you have 16/11 you'll act before them, but I'm not sure how consistent this is or whether it remains constant across difficulties.)

Action Points: Action points control what you can do when you act. Firing an M16 Assault Rifle costs 5 AP. Firing it in burst mode (3 shots, but with an accuracy penalty) costs 7 AP. Attacking with Dragon Claws, a Brawling weapon, costs 3 AP.

CI vs AP: CI and AP tend to balance one another out - if they’re roughly equal, 1 AP is worth 2 CI. If you had a weapon that cost 1 AP to fire, ideally you’d stick to a CI/AP balance that looked something like this:

10 CI 05 AP
12 CI 06 AP
14 CI 07 AP
16 CI 08 AP
18 CI 09 AP
20 CI 10 AP

The simplest way to explain why this is an optimal balance is that AP and CI both cost the same amount, so if you invest heavily in one you get a table that looks something like this (in concept):

5*5 = 25
5*6 = 30
5*7 = 35
5*8 = 40
5*9 = 45

Or, alternatively, if you balance the two, your table looks more like this (in concept):

5*5 = 25
5*6 = 30
6*6 = 36
6*7 = 42
7*7 = 49

In the real world, of course, you don’t have 1 AP weapons, so instead you tend to optimize AP around the cost of firing the weapon(s) you’re planning to use, and pump the rest of your points into CI to act as often as possible.

Damage: Damage controls how much damage you do when you attack. It’s primarily obtained by acquiring new weapons. If you’re melee, Strength increases the weapon min and max damage by 2% per point, rounding down. If you’re using Brawling, level increases min/max damage you do by 1 per level, but this is not modified by Strength.

Armor: If the Armor Penetration value on your weapon does not meet an enemy’s Armor value, your attack does substantially reduced damage: -20% for the first point of armor you do not penetrate, -10% each for the next two, then back to -20% per point. This means that if you're attacking an Armor 7 target with a Penetration 1 weapon, you will deal no damage.

Skill Points: Skill Points are used to train Skills. These include weapon Skills (your base hit/crit chance increases), and non-combat Skills (e.g., fixing computers, unlocking doors, etc). Some non-combat skills are essential to progress through the game (e.g., Perception, Demolitions, Lockpicking), and some are only used very rarely (e.g., Animal Whisperer).

Charisma: If we want to recruit certain NPCs, we have to meet specific total-party charisma threshholds. If we do this at all, we’ll dump a lot of charisma on a single character.

A perfect character would have very high AP, CI, and damage. This would mean it could take very long actions, and act very frequently during a segment. It would also have very high Skill Points and Charisma, so we could take all of the Skills we wanted to and recruit all the NPCs we were interested in.

Unfortunately, we have to be a little more selective when designing characters - Wasteland 2 uses a system in which 7 Attributes (CLASSIC) start at rank 1, and characters have 21 points to spend on improving them. They also gain a single Attribute point every 10 levels, meaning characters start the game with 28 Attribute points and tend to finish the game with 32 Attribute points.


CLASSIC Attributes:

[Note that characters start with 3 base AP, 5 base CI, and ? base Con + 3? Con/lvl]

As well as the benefits mentioned below, Strength, Speed, and Intelligence give 0.25 AP per point, combined. This means SSI (sum of Strength, Speed, and Intelligence) should be divisible by 4 to maximize AP gain.

Coordination (1% ranged hit and 0.5 AP per point) is one of the three primary combat attributes in WL2. As it starts at 1, all characters will take it to at least 2 for +1 AP.
Luck (1% crit and some meaningless stuff per point) is a bad investment for combat focused characters.
Awareness (1 CI and 0.5% Evasion per point) is one of the three primary combat attributes in WL2. Generally, SSI will result in an AP/CI balance skewed towards AP, and characters will invest more into Awareness than Coordination to balance it back out.
Strength (0.25 SSI-AP, 3? base Con OR +1 Con/lvl, 2% melee weapon damage, and 10% melee critical strike multiplier per point) is mediocre for ranged characters and excellent for melee characters.
Speed (0.25 SSI-AP, 0.1 Combat Speed, 1% Evasion, and 0.5 CI per point) is one of the three primary combat attributes in WL2. Thanks to the SSI mechanic, 4 Speed returns the same amount of CI/AP as 2 Coordination and 2 Awareness, as well as granting Evasion and Combat Speed. This makes it the best Attribute in the game.
Intelligence (0.25 SSI-AP per point, 2SP/level base, 3SP/level at 4, 4 SP/level at 8, 5 SP/level at 10) is used purely to gain more Skill Points. This is somewhat combat relevant because you have to invest Skill Points into weapon Skills to gain base hit/crit chance.
Charisma is not combat-relevant.

From here, basically we want to figure out how to convert the Attribute points we’re given into the most effective derived stats possible.


Melee Builds - Maximum Damage:

The melee build I’m using in my current game is:

C L A S S I C
2 1 4 9 S 1 1 [9 AP, 14 CI]

My future plan is to put points at level 10, 20, 30, and 40 into Awareness.

Figuring this out was mostly an intuitive process:
* I ignored Luck and Charisma, because they both do very little in combat.
* I decided to run 1 Intelligence and cover the skills required on the rest of my party. This is kind of sad, but melee characters gain a lot more damage from Attributes than ranged characters.
* This means the only stats we have left to figure out are Speed, Awareness, Coordination, and Strength.
* 1 -> 2 Coordination is too good to pass up on, 1 AP for 1 Attribute.
* Speed is incredible for melee - 10 points gives 5 CI and 2.5 AP, as well as some Combat Speed and Evasion, so I really want that. Basically 4 Speed is better than 2 Coordination 2 Awareness, because it gives the same derived AP/CI, AND Combat Speed/Evasion. We know we want CI and AP, so Speed is a great investment.
* So right now I have 11 points left to spend in Awareness and Strength. I could go for 5 total Strength (hitting 16 SSI), and then 8 total Awareness (hitting 18 CI), or 9 total strength (hitting 20 SSI), and 4 total awareness (hitting 14 CI). I actually opted for the latter and figured I’d dump all my extra Attribute points on level up into Awareness. This was partially because I wanted 9 AP for 3x 3 AP attacks.

So, let’s see how my decisions look on a spreadsheet:

At level 10, with 7 Brawling and the CLASSIC attributes above (+1 Awareness at L10):

Image

At level 20, with 10 Brawling and the CLASSIC attributes above (+2 Awareness):

Image

At level 35, with 10 Brawling and the CLASSIC attributes above (+3 Awareness):

Image

To explain these columns:

* Damage per AP should be obvious.
* Damage per AP adjusted by accuracy is just damage adjusted by average miss chance.
* Armor doesn’t currently do anything in my spreadsheet, so let’s ignore that and assume we’re hitting a target with Armor equal or below our Armor Penetration.
* Attacks per activation and Damage per activation respect AP costs. So Rebar Knuckles “waste” 1 AP per activation here. The 3 AP weapons look pretty great, because we have 9 AP per activation.
* Damage per Segment is where we start to account for CI. In a segment, a 6 CI character attacks 10 times. A 20 CI character attacks 33 times.
* I also added a hypothetical column - damage per segment by AP only. This is like, “What if we could attack 2.25 times with Rebar Knuckles per activation, instead of just 2 times and wasting 1 AP”. I think this is quite relevant for melee, as they often have to move and actually won’t be able to optimize AP usage as well as ranged characters can.

Anyway, we can see that damage here looks pretty respectable. But what about with some other statlines?

I thought about starting with something like:

C L A S S I C
2 1 8 5 S 1 1 [8 AP, 18 CI]

But the problem with this is that when we hit level 30, we only have kind of awkward Attribute point spends available - we’d be getting Strength without hitting SSI threshholds, or we’d get 0.5 AP from coordination which does nothing. So what about:

C L A S S I C
4 1 6 5 S 1 1 [9 AP, 16 CI]

This gives us 9 AP 16 CI, but we drop some crit damage/weapon damage from strength. It also lets us finish with 20 CI at level 40. Basically this is trading damage from Strength for higher CI, and keeping our AP at 9 using Coordination.

At level 10, with 7 Brawling and the CLASSIC attributes above (+1 Awareness at L10):

Image

At level 20, with 10 Brawling and the CLASSIC attributes above (+2 Awareness):

Image

At level 35, with 10 Brawling and the CLASSIC attributes above (+3 Awareness):

Image

So okay, this is a pretty noticeable damage loss. I think the main problem is we lose 1 AP from 4-SSI (Strength), and have to replace that with Coordination before we can start boosting Strength. I also experimented with trading 4 Strength for 4 Awareness, but obviously the results are similar to trading 4 Strength for 2 Coordination and 2 Awareness.

So… what’s left to look at? We now know that losing Strength or Speed for Coordination or Awareness is a damage loss. But what if we could trade out Speed for Strength? Based on the numbers above losing 2 Speed for 2 Strength would probably be a damage gain - we’d keep the same amount of AP, but trade 1 CI for 2 points of Strength resulting in extra damage. But uh, we already have 9 Strength 10 Speed, so there’s no space to do that.

This means that at this point I'm very confident in saying that if you're running a melee character with 1 int, the best attribute spend for raw damage is:

C L A S S I C
2 1 4 9 S 1 1 [9 AP, 14 CI]


This left me with just progression to investigate - with Strength-damage seeming so powerful, should I really be dumping all 4 extra points into Awareness, or is it worth putting an extra point in Strength even without the SSI-based AP gain?

I run some quick tests (didn't really want to screenshot everything since it's just one number changing), and it turns out that Awareness is more damage at level 10, 20, 30, and 40.

Melee Builds - Increased Utility:

With that figured out, I’m going to take a look at what happens if you want 4 Intelligence on your Brawler. We know Strength and Speed are both great stats, so the first statline I’m going to look at is:

Level 20:

C L A S S I C
2 1 6 8 8 4 1 [9 AP, 15 CI]

I feel like level 20 is a reasonable place to start - I’ll only bother checking out level 10 or 35 here if it turns out we have stat values that are super close.

Image

From here, we could drop 4 Awareness for 2 Strength 2 Speed. This would leave us with 10 AP 12 CI, and certainly be a damage loss both theoretically and in practise, since most Brawling weapons are 3-4 AP.

I also try changing Strength to 10 and Speed to 6. This increases our theoretical damage output from 9694 to 9714. We also pick up more Con, but we lose Combat Speed and Evasion. I don’t think the Combat Speed loss is worth taking, since it will often translate into directly lost AP and lower damage output.

We also know that losing 4 Strength for Coordination/Awareness would be a damage loss from our prior tests, and losing 4 Speed for Coordination/Awareness would be a utility (Combat Speed, Evasion) loss for no gain.

At this point, the only viable thing left that I haven’t tried is losing 2 Strength for 2 Speed, but it turns out this reduces our theoretical Dragon Claw damage by about 250~. So I’m pretty happy to recommend:

C L A S S I C
2 1 4 8 8 4 1 [9 AP, 13 CI]

As a starting Attribute spend for a Brawler with 3SP/Level.


edit:

A few other posters raised this point and I agree:

C L A S S I C
2 1 4 6 S 4 1 [9 AP, 14 CI]


Loses about 2.5-5% damage, but gains 0.2 Combat Speed and some Evasion. This makes it at least worth mentioning. Perhaps the 0.2 Combat Speed earns back the damage lost through AP saved by paying less to move. I'm not sure.

In terms of future progression, +4 Awareness is basically the only viable option for all of these builds. Going for 3SP/Level (4 instead of 1 int) costs us about 10% of our character’s damage.

Cheers,

Phil

P.S - (If you’re interested in how I ended up with these numbers, the spreadsheet is available at https://www.dropbox.com/s/afat65wmix774d5/WL2.xlsx but it’s nothing particularly complex, just summing sources of hit/crit, multiplying likely crits by the modified weapon crit multiplier, etc).
Last edited by ehrgeix on October 7th, 2014, 12:41 pm, edited 9 times in total.

Azmodael
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Re: Building a Better Ranger: Melee Stat Optimization

Post by Azmodael » October 3rd, 2014, 5:02 am

I was thorn myself between
C L A S S I C
2 1 4 6 10 4 1
and
C L A S S I C
2 1 4 8 8 4 1

I'd say they are quite similar. The extra 1CI from speed 10 slightly compensates the damage loss from losing 2 Str and can sometimes help you in combat where you might act just before your enemy. On the other hand you go get extra hit points and carry weight from 8 Str. In the end what you recommend is better, but not by a large margin.

I am curious how much is the damage loss between 1Int and 4Int?

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Re: Building a Better Ranger: Melee Stat Optimization

Post by laszlolaszlo » October 3rd, 2014, 5:10 am

Good read, it's just to bad blunt weapons isn't viable, yet. I think they should implement something like a capstone for maxing STR, as it is now everyone seems to go for 9 STR, with no intention of raising it.

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Re: Building a Better Ranger: Melee Stat Optimization

Post by willingcat » October 3rd, 2014, 5:26 am

C L A S S I C
2 1 4 9 S 1 1

Actually, I didn't think about this STR 9 SPD 10 INT 1. INT 1 is quite brilliant idea. This may seem too radical, but if you have experience with STR+SPD Brawler, you won't think it again. It gives you chance to focus on STR/SPD, and with STR9, you can make STR+SPD+INT = 20. Perfect combination. Especially with melee, just 1~2 more squares of SPD make much difference. So I fully agree with SPD 10. Bruiser is Bruiser. Don't need other skills. He'll smash everything. You could make him Brawler + self medic. I think these 2 skills would be enough for him.

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Re: Building a Better Ranger: Melee Stat Optimization

Post by ehrgeix » October 3rd, 2014, 5:41 am

Azmodael wrote:I was thorn myself between
C L A S S I C
2 1 4 6 10 4 1
and
C L A S S I C
2 1 4 8 8 4 1

I'd say they are quite similar. The extra 1CI from speed 10 slightly compensates the damage loss from losing 2 Str and can sometimes help you in combat where you might act just before your enemy. On the other hand you go get extra hit points and carry weight from 8 Str. In the end what you recommend is better, but not by a large margin.

I am curious how much is the damage loss between 1Int and 4Int?
Fwiw:

C L A S S I C
2 1 6 8 8 4 1 (l20):

Image

C L A S S I C
2 1 6 6 S 4 1 (l20):

Image

C L A S S I C
2 1 6 9 S 1 1 (l20):
Image

The damage loss from going Intelligence (or Speed, if you do go 4 Intelligence) over Strength gets a little higher as you level up, because the base damage from level increases and strength multiplies that. 15604 -> 13966 in a hypothetical Dragon Claw segment at level 35. Tables above are all level 20. So like 10%~.

Also, lower than 10 speed might result in lost attacks. Hard to argue much regarding that in theory re: 6/S vs 8/8. Maybe 6/S is better.

Edit: Fixed - had linked wrong table. Thanks willingcat.
Last edited by ehrgeix on October 3rd, 2014, 7:04 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Building a Better Ranger: Melee Stat Optimization

Post by Shining Hector » October 3rd, 2014, 6:35 am

10 AP might be more optimal than you think. I seem to get 2 tile steps with 1 AP at 10 SPD, and it's pretty rare for a brawler to be able to stand motionless for over a turn and pound out 3 attacks. With a free 2 tiles of movement every round, and even better 2 AP of movement every other round should you be able to stay motionless a round and carry the AP forward, I think a 10 AP character would actually get significantly more 3 attack rounds, while a 9 AP one would almost always have to settle for 2 attacks per round. That would be very difficult to model, though.

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Re: Building a Better Ranger: Melee Stat Optimization

Post by willingcat » October 3rd, 2014, 6:36 am

I think there's some wrong with these three charts. It says
2 1 6 8 8 4 1 (l20): Dragon Claw 43.45
2 1 6 6 S 4 1 (l20): Dragon Claw 39.783
2 1 6 9 S 1 1 (l20): Dragon Claw 38

It seems you misplaced them. Or am I wrong?
Last edited by willingcat on October 3rd, 2014, 6:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Building a Better Ranger: Melee Stat Optimization

Post by willingcat » October 3rd, 2014, 6:47 am

Shining Hector wrote:10 AP might be more optimal than you think. I seem to get 2 tile steps with 1 AP at 10 SPD, and it's pretty rare for a brawler to be able to stand motionless for over a turn and pound out 3 attacks. With a free 2 tiles of movement every round, and even better 2 AP of movement every other round should you be able to stay motionless a round and carry the AP forward, I think a 10 AP character would actually get significantly more 3 attack rounds, while a 9 AP one would almost always have to settle for 2 attacks per round. That would be very difficult to model, though.
I agree. AP+1 makes huge difference on Brawler. It's matter of [+1 attack] or [not] in many times. Actually I'm thinking this for my brawler. I think this trinket is made for melee.
SagaDC wrote: Anarchy Patch (-5% to Hit, +1 to Action Points!; Toaster Quest reward in Hollywood)

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Re: Building a Better Ranger: Melee Stat Optimization

Post by ehrgeix » October 3rd, 2014, 7:05 am

willingcat wrote:I think there's some wrong with these three charts. It says
2 1 6 8 8 4 1 (l20): Dragon Claw 43.45
2 1 6 6 S 4 1 (l20): Dragon Claw 39.783
2 1 6 9 S 1 1 (l20): Dragon Claw 38

It seems you misplaced them. Or am I wrong?
Oops - fixed. Thanks.

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Re: Building a Better Ranger: Melee Stat Optimization

Post by ehrgeix » October 3rd, 2014, 7:08 am

Shining Hector wrote:10 AP might be more optimal than you think. I seem to get 2 tile steps with 1 AP at 10 SPD, and it's pretty rare for a brawler to be able to stand motionless for over a turn and pound out 3 attacks. With a free 2 tiles of movement every round, and even better 2 AP of movement every other round should you be able to stay motionless a round and carry the AP forward, I think a 10 AP character would actually get significantly more 3 attack rounds, while a 9 AP one would almost always have to settle for 2 attacks per round. That would be very difficult to model, though.
You're right that this would be very difficult to model, and the trinket suggested by willingcat would be pretty good. I find I pretty often get a full round of attacks with my brawler vs high health stuff though? (Also: pretty often have to move more than 1AP). Not sure. You would have to put a real simulator together. Picking up +2 Coordination instead of +2 Awareness is very doable if you decide it's necessary.

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Re: Building a Better Ranger: Melee Stat Optimization

Post by PizzaSHARK » October 3rd, 2014, 8:14 am

Are you sure Strength increases the actual damage of the weapon and not just the crit multiplier? That makes Strength a much better stat than I'd previously given it credit for, but the tooltips don't reflect those increases... just the critical damage modifier and the other effects.

Seems like it'd be hard to balance a dullard with 1 INT on the team, but you've clearly done the math here.

What makes you pick Brawling over Bladed and Blunt, though?

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Re: Building a Better Ranger: Melee Stat Optimization

Post by ehrgeix » October 3rd, 2014, 8:23 am

Yes (try equipping some random blunt or bladed weapon on a 9 str guy or 1 str guy), but it does not increase the extra damage brawling gains per level.

Basically brawling is better because it does more damage. This is because:

a) It scales up to 100% crit, which is great both because the actual brawling weapons have good crit multipliers, and because it scales very well with strength.
b) It gains +1 min/max weapon damage per character level.

These things very much outweigh downsides like not being able to mod brawling weapons. You can check out the damage charts/spreadsheet I made in the first post of this thread if you're interested in playing with the numbers: viewtopic.php?f=40&t=9765

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Re: Building a Better Ranger: Melee Stat Optimization

Post by PizzaSHARK » October 3rd, 2014, 8:33 am

Wait, all Brawling weapons get the +1-1 per level, not just unarmed? That has to be a bug, that makes Brawling ridiculously overpowered if it's not.

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Re: Building a Better Ranger: Melee Stat Optimization

Post by frozyx » October 3rd, 2014, 8:44 am

Nice post once again!

I am also confident about 9 STR being overall better than 10 STR -1AW. YOu show that the damage loss is only 5%, while the gain from +1 CI is around 10%. You ofc still get more HP (and carry weight), but i doubt it really matters (its 39 HP on lvl 40).

However, i would also prefer a 6 STR / 10 SPD built for the 4 INT-Brawler over an 8/8 one. SPD and mobility is just so important, and it adds 1 more CI. With the aforementioned calculation - 1 STR = 5% and 1 CI = 10% - it evens out when just comparing damage and frequency of turns. But then the mobility comes in ...

There is also a solid point about 10 AP. The Anarchy trinket seems great ofc, but i cant see me dropping AW and thus CI by 2 for an extra AP. You can also get around the 'i miss just 1 AP' situation _sometimes_ by using the lowe tier weapon in the secondary slot. That works for tier 2 with 1 and for 5 with 4 at least.

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Re: Building a Better Ranger: Melee Stat Optimization

Post by Tyraforce » October 3rd, 2014, 11:22 am

Another day, another great guide, ehrgeix. Thanks a lot. 2 questions:

1] When calculating dmg/AP in the first guide, did you count with the -1AP grips that you'll use on blunt and bladed the whole game?

2] Which melee weapon would deliver the most damage per 9 AP at lvl 40 to a low armor target if you count in mods?

Thx.

-Tyraforce

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Re: Building a Better Ranger: Melee Stat Optimization

Post by ehrgeix » October 3rd, 2014, 2:18 pm

Tyraforce wrote:Another day, another great guide, ehrgeix. Thanks a lot. 2 questions:

1] When calculating dmg/AP in the first guide, did you count with the -1AP grips that you'll use on blunt and bladed the whole game?

2] Which melee weapon would deliver the most damage per 9 AP at lvl 40 to a low armor target if you count in mods?

Thx.

-Tyraforce
Yes, and Dragon Claws. (I think in the first guide I have a little bit about the base stuff I used - it was all the normal Arizona mods + 5% leadership).
PizzaSHARK wrote:Wait, all Brawling weapons get the +1-1 per level, not just unarmed? That has to be a bug, that makes Brawling ridiculously overpowered if it's not.
I think it has to be intentional? Maybe not. I hope it is though, Brawling is fun and the only good SJ melee build.

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Re: Building a Better Ranger: Melee Stat Optimization

Post by PizzaSHARK » October 3rd, 2014, 8:16 pm

ehrgeix wrote:I think it has to be intentional? Maybe not. I hope it is though, Brawling is fun and the only good SJ melee build.
Yes, and that's a massive balance problem. You should want bladed weapons to tear unarmored enemies to shreds. You should want blunt weapons to deal with heavily armored enemies and for the potential to dole out massive criticals. Brawling should be somewhere between the two.

Instead, Brawling is unquestionably superior because of that fucking retarded +1-1 damage bonus per Ranger level being applied to all weapons instead of just pure unarmed.

Actually, that +1-1 damage needs to go away entirely, because it makes no sense. Why would a computer nerd ranger who barely knows the butt of a rifle from the muzzle somehow become stronger and better at unarmed hand-to-hand combat just because they got a promotion?

Roll the damage you'd get from leveling up into the existing Brawling weapons if necessary, but get rid of that idiotic bonus so that Brawling isn't head and shoulders above any other possible option. I mean, look at the fucking stats on your spreadsheet above - at level 10 Dragon Claws are already vastly superior to the best bladed and blunt weapons, and that difference only grows as the ranger levels further.

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Re: Building a Better Ranger: Melee Stat Optimization

Post by Tyraforce » October 4th, 2014, 3:40 am

Melee has to be buffed, not nerfed.
It's use on SJ is already questionable mainly due to tanking not being viable and cover system being too strong.

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Re: Building a Better Ranger: Melee Stat Optimization

Post by PizzaSHARK » October 4th, 2014, 9:25 am

Melee is already strong enough; if it needs buffs, reduce the AP required for swings with some weapons, keeping Grip Tape mod in mind. 5 AP to swing a bat for 10 damage is probably a little too high, but 3 AP would be too low (2 AP with Grip Tape.) Or just remove Grip Tape and assume every weapon has it, which might be a better choice.

Then again, you could remove a lot of weapon mods like that since very few of them are anything but boring stat buffs that exist primarily to remove "because fuck you!" RNG (sturdy mag to remove chance of jamming, flashlight to reduce chance to miss, etc.) I'd rather weapon mods be more like Short Barrel (increased chance to hit but reduced maximum and effective range) or Open Choke (wider cone of fire, reduced maximum range), something you want to think about before slapping on a weapon.

If melee as a whole needs any kind of help, it's probably got to do with the low chance to hit. It's not an issue later in the game, but early on running up to someone and swinging with a 40% chance to miss (before evasion!) is extremely risky. Bladed and Blunt weapons can utilize cover due to their reach, but Brawling generally can't. Then again, Brawling has higher base accuracy and crit than they do.

Tanking should probably never be viable. It makes absolutely no sense for someone to be standing in the open soaking up bullets like a sponge and is completely immersion-breaking. I don't care if you're wearing combat armor or not, getting shot with an assault rifle is going to fucking hurt.

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Re: Building a Better Ranger: Melee Stat Optimization

Post by Tyraforce » October 4th, 2014, 11:17 am

What I mean is:
-melee characters are hard to build (they need both speed and str)
-and hard to use well (you can't just camp in the same cove whole fight)
-they don't outdamage assault rifles even if they beat a stationary enemy for several turns so it's kinda easier to sit back and kill stuff from cover
-by tanking I don't mean going in like Rambo in power armor. What I mean is enemies don't focus the nearest target and sprint up to 5465413213 squares to stand next to the guy in the back.
-they ofc take more damage as they can't stay in cover as much and risk friendly fire

So ya, I think they need a buff. Knockback, stun, more dmg, special charge attack instead of burst, AEO attack..?

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