The State of Melee

worldnamer Member Posts: 26

It feels to me like melee is in a bad spot, on release.

Incinerators nearly make melee-only builds unviable. Add in the plasma sentinel's plasma cloud mod, claw traps, and corrosive cubes making fight spaces pretty much impossible to navigate, and melee looks exceptionally bad.

Also, the sword delays are incredibly long, especially the armor breaking sword. Hit-box registration is dodgy as heck. Input delay means you can die to an Enforcer's bolt that you actively parry. And the biggest counterplay that a sword user has, the Arc Barrier, turns off if you swing your sword.

Is there any indication that melee will get adjustments to make them more viable?


    SAWII Member Posts: 42

    I’ve yet to come across an outpost that couldn’t be beaten with two swords. Is it harder? Obviously. Impossible? Not in my opinion.

    Incinerators can be dealt with by grenades, flash barrier, and/or the grappling hook/sledge. If you deflect the plasma sentinels shots, the cloud will not appear. Spike drive can have you zoom past plasma, claws, and corrosive cubes before they can kill you.

    Double melee is absolutely viable. And sword/arc barrier is the optimal speed running load out.

    My two cents as a two swords main.

  • Darkyan
    Darkyan Member Posts: 122

    As a double melee user, my only gripes so far are ;

    The Extended Range flamethrowers mod in a hallway.

    The danger compass for cannonback and bomb traps being awfully wrong,

    The lunge on sledgesword teleporting me inside activated traps even if my intention is to hit the side of it with the wide swing, or even worst, the wide swing not registering a very clear hit on the trap even though it left a clean swipe decal on it.

    And the worst of all. Fake trigger registration which results in fake melee swings with no damage, essentially killing you instantly if you tried to time your hit on a guard before he shot.

    But the rest is do-able, hard, but do-able.

    Mind you, playing crossbow/shield is worst, and that's a choice you made with your available equipment.

  • worldnamer
    worldnamer Member Posts: 26

    The input glitching is the WORRRST. I have had it where I literally can't get it to fire/swing. Except with bow, that glitch means I have to retreat, and with sword that usually means I die.

    I guess my question is more about attempting to bring the melee effectiveness *on par* with ranged. Not so much saying that you can't do bases WITH melee, but that it feels like skating uphill, and since there's only two suits, it does make it feel like you can either pick the right one or the wrong one.

    I would hope they at least make it feel better. There's a dozen things I would fix - speeding up the sword swings for both sword types, replacing Frenzy with a skill that makes you immune to fire/acid for x amount of time per rank, and making it so you can melee but not shoot through arc barrier are my three starting suggestions.

  • MadMoeZel
    MadMoeZel Member Posts: 685
    edited May 9

    the game is a "bring the correct tools to the task to make your job easier" scenario. some things are suited for melee, guard fights for example. BAM BAM armor break, dead instant. or rushing halls, SWING SWING SWING SWING just spam lunging. but plasma and fire are a weak point. but since co-ops and solos play the same game and single/double fire traps only reset on TPK and co-ops have limitless revives, multi-fire traps like plasma and incinerators are currently meta to prevent outposts from being trivialized. it is your choice to take the hard route and refuse to use the free equipment swap offered at every respawn. it is also you choice to continue doing an outpost that your equipment is not well suited too. you can always back out of it and come back once you have more gear or practice. i've seen dual sword builds tear through some of my hardest content, i've seen it done with two guns, a gun and shield, a sword and shield. everything is possible. but dual sword was deffinately the HARDEST way to take it on, but still possible.

    perhaps the bad melee spot you feel is actually a desire to have melee be all around good when this is a pick the right tool for the task style game.

    the extended range can be rough to deal with i normally see it handled by sword users with either a grenade, or patiently timed grapples to take down piston blockades and then as it powers down they grapple it and lunge before it can activate.

    can you elaborate on the compass issue? sounds like you may have located a bug.

    for the lunge thing that has to do with where you target, look at the edge of the block next to it to prevent the lunge, but it's treating you as having "targeted" the trap for a lunge, so it goes to that.

    There have been lots of reports of input eating, on swords, shields, and guns, push button, might hear a sound or see the animation even, could even give it a cool down/reload, but won't actually go off.

  • worldnamer
    worldnamer Member Posts: 26

    First off, great post, I just wanted to respond to a piece, because it's been haunting me for a bit.

    "perhaps the bad melee spot you feel is actually a desire to have melee be all around good when this is a pick the right tool for the task style game."

    I have been wrestling with this question for like a week now, and what I've come to, is that I don't know any situation where sword is the right answer. For many cases, it's decidedly the wrong answer. I don't know cases where gun is the wrong answer. Let me unpack what I mean.

    The best performing situation for sword is arenas. Basically, rooms that have a number of guards set up for you to deal with who have different elevations and using both melee and ranged units. Sword has glitches that get you killed, a defensive secondary that doesn't work well with melee (the arc barrier), and match ups that are much harder than with the ranged approach. If I'm facing a room full of guards, I do not want a sword, I want a plasmabow. The bow will be much safer, have better results, allow you to pare down the opposition, and from relative safety. The thing you do get out of sword is to fly like a maniac through the room and if you don't get grappled, shot down by an overload of projectiles, or cornered to death by flamethrowers, then you get to win. Can you beat very hard arenas with a sword? Absolutely. Is it easier than using the ranged options? I feel like it's not.

    On the other side, you get to break traps without worrying about ammo, so that's nice, but when is sword actually better than bow for that? You have to be very near a trap to hit it with a sword, and that exposes you to any additional traps targeting that cube. It's very easy to end up in a spot where you died because you smashed the wrong trap. That just doesn't happen with a bow. Yes, the arc barrier makes up for a lot of those situations, but I'm not sure why arc barrier and volt lancer would be worse there.

    It's possible that I just don't understand the circumstances swords shine in very well. But I primarily run double gun right now and it feels like the only challenges I can't tackle with that are ones where I need an arc barrier, not a sword. And if sword is never the answer, then the original point about this being a right-tool-for-the-job game doesn't seem like it holds up.

    Annnyway, respect, your post has lots of good points. Just chewing on this specific issue because I don't have a good answer there.

  • MadMoeZel
    MadMoeZel Member Posts: 685
    edited May 9

    no worries. i myself don't like any weapon that can't break traps and i'm not big on getting into close combat unless forced. most of my time is spent avoiding a trap or enemy. i go into outposts as a rogue, my goal is to get the treasure and get out while causing the least ammount of disturbance and in as little time as possible. in some cases the sword is the right answer for a playstyle like that because of the lunge and speed increases, but because of my aversion to being in close i stick to my 3 shot bow. i am also prone to making mistakes in my wild grappling around, or getting pinned by a warmonger's shoulder, so i run shield. but there are times when i've had to pull out the plasma bow because it's a 20 guard map and going to get that ammo from the 3 shot gun is a pain. there are plenty of tradeoffs to each weaponset. as for when it's not great to have a gun, tight corners with warmongers are immensely dangerous for ranged users, anywhere a good ammo eater or corpse collector is built is also detrimental to the ranged user. it forces us to get close into a situation that isn't our best. we also have the ability to miss and lose a shot to a room, or a pit, or some contraption. that isn't something the sword user worries about.

    as a gun player i have to constantly manage my ammo and hunt it back down in the middle of a room just to continue my combat, where as a melee user has the ability to seemlessly move from one combat to another at any pace they can manage/choose. i have seen sword players make plays that i would have thought weren't doable. and it's really opened my eyes to their potential. once the rank reset comes in in june i plan to swap build and practice sword and shield through the ladder.

    edit - the main thing i'm trying to say is that forcing a ranged player into melee causes them to enter chaos mode, i know i don't want a plasmabow against 7 armored warmongers in a narrow hall.. a melee user just doesn't care and starts slashing. not many bases currently utilize guards in a way that they ambush you in close quarters from all sides, so often you can kite and bow. that gap in builder skill will go away over time and the sword will become more viable. also as there are new augments and AI improvements. but on the "pick the right tool for the job topic" i just don't think there are many JOBS right now that have been created for swords.

  • Darkyan
    Darkyan Member Posts: 122

    Touching on the lunge and compass issues ;

    Compass ; there are 3, Danger compass appearing from previously detonated bombs, so you walk in on an empty space and there's a danger mark warning you even though there's nothing.

    Yellow warnings killing you, there's not exactly a good visual distance ratio, I apparently carried a chaos bomb ejector shuffling it near my feets over 15 blocks in distance, always yellow even though it was under my feets. (That was the longest bomb shuffle of my life I swear to god.)

    And there's also a lot of times when a red bomb indicator, with the bomb visually exploding 0.2 blocks from my face, ending up not killing me.

    As for the lunge in the corner swipe ( without looking directly at the trap ) I've found that it's extremely inconsistent, with more than 40% rates of failure if you're walking forward as you swipe. Had a lot of raids where I just swipe my way in only to later realize I missed like 4 or 5 traps, even though there's a huge Gray swipe line on all of the traps.

    Backward walking on the swing seems to work just fine, sideway walking is so/so mostly smashing the wall instead of the trap.

    So I end up accidentally looking at the trap trying to guarantee a kill, and I get teleported straight in the middle of a working flamethrower

  • Seraphor
    Seraphor Member Posts: 8,139

    So I end up accidentally looking at the trap trying to guarantee a kill, and I get teleported straight in the middle of a working flamethrower

    I'm in the habit of immediately jumping backwards after every melee attack because of this. Just play into it, expect the lunge will happen.

  • CotePathos
    CotePathos Member Posts: 31

    There is never a situation where ranged is worse than melee for destruction, because the good ranged weapon functions in melee range without issue and even the current max lunge range is too small to matter outside of niche scenarios.

  • 5P4RK4
    5P4RK4 Alpha Surveyor Posts: 1

    Maybe its the arc barrier being OP but damn katana and shield is so strong. With both fully upgraded, there is very little you can't handle and its extremely rare that I will switch out for the harpoon.

    The trick to incinerators is that you have to trust in the shield and not attack until the fire is done. It also completely trivializes hook traps.

    The boosts in the melee suit are the thing that make it shine. Being able to maintain the speed boost, use the barrier to get through the jams, and use the katana to get 'extra chances' with the deflect is ///extremely/// powerful. The addition of grenades to take over where you would want a ranged option is great too.

  • worldnamer
    worldnamer Member Posts: 26

    How do you handle killboxes? It feels like incinerators, iron claws, and plasma sentinels all ruin this, but maybe I'm just not good enough?