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The Malice and rifle changes make Deadeye rifle combat loop feel really clunky


DanteZero.9736

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Having logged on after a long hiatus, I can't help but feel like these changes are incredibly clunky and don't feel thematically appropriate. For one thing, Malice now acts as a built up resource similar to adrenaline which is used to power up a special attack against your marked target. I'm not saying it's precisely like adrenaline, but the concept is similar (especially with attacks gaining bonuses the more resources you spend).

As a player, I expect to be able to stealth as soon as my Malice maxes out so I can "spend" it on a stealth skill. This concept is demonstrated perfectly on dagger/dagger because thematically and functionally, it's an "assassin's" attack. The Deadeye is about being a sniper, yet on the rifle, whose sole purpose is high single target ranged damage, the concept is demonstrated poorly.

The problem is that the changes to the rifle's skills in addition to the Malice change makes the rifle skill set feel clunky and doesn't feel like a proper single target high damage weapon. Right now, the rifle's stealth Malice skill is basically a ranged version of the dagger/dagger Backstab stealth skill. That's fine and dandy, but there's one major difference: dagger/dagger gives users access to on-demand stealth at the push of a button. Then you can perform the stealth skill Backstab. All of this from one single weapon skill. No need to waste a dodge or utility skill slot, elite slot, or trait.

However, to perform Death's Judgement, you either have to dodge (spend endurance), perform a smoke field+leap combo, or use a non-weapon skill to gain stealth and then perform Death's Judgement. The big problem I'm having is that the Deadeye rifle doesn't have any way to gain on-demand access to stealth via weapon skills in as little as 1 or 2 button presses.

As it stands, with only rifle skills, you'd have to:

  1. Kneel (1 button press)
  2. Use Sniper's Cover behind you (1 button press + 1 mouse movement)
  3. Stop kneeling (1 button press)
  4. Reposition to face away from the smoke field (1 or 2 button presses)
  5. Use Death's Retreat (1 button press)

That's a total of 5-6 button presses including a mouse movement to get stealth! This makes the rifle incredibly user-unfriendly and unintuitive to use.

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This might be a bug - or intended (I can't tell) but I've found the following:

Once you use Snipers Cover followed by Deaths Retreat , you are stealthed regardless of the position of the smoke field.

To put this another way - I was able to (consistently) use Snipers Cover to place the "smoke wall" in front of my kneeling character, then cancel kneel, and Deaths Retreat backwards - which would result in stealth every time..If someone can verify if this is intended play (I'm not a thief main so limited testing).

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@"MarshallLaw.9260" said:This might be a bug - or intended (I can't tell) but I've found the following:

Once you use Snipers Cover followed by Deaths Retreat , you are stealthed regardless of the position of the smoke field.

To put this another way - I was able to (consistently) use Snipers Cover to place the "smoke wall" in front of my kneeling character, then cancel kneel, and Deaths Retreat backwards - which would result in stealth every time..If someone can verify if this is intended play (I'm not a thief main so limited testing).

the combo field is larger then the wall and if your first DR is in it you can use as many DR as you want as long as the wall is up even use shadowstep to port further back in between and still make a combo.

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@MUDse.7623 said:

@"MarshallLaw.9260" said:This might be a bug - or intended (I can't tell) but I've found the following:

Once you use
Snipers Cover
followed by
Deaths Retreat
, you are stealthed regardless of the position of the smoke field.

To put this another way - I was able to (consistently) use
Snipers Cover
to place the "smoke wall" in front of my kneeling character, then cancel kneel, and
Deaths Retreat
backwards
- which would result in stealth every time..If someone can verify if this is intended play (I'm not a thief main so limited testing).

the combo field is larger then the wall and if your first DR is in it you can use as many DR as you want as long as the wall is up even use shadowstep to port further back in between and still make a combo.

That's what I thought - thanks for clarifying.Still feels a little clunky to kneel->scover->un-kneel->DR, but it's probably a matter of practice but certainly good that regardless of where you place the cover, you can get the stealth out of it.

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@Specialka.7290 said:What about D/P? You need to combo to get access to stealth, or use utility skills to do so, and I never heard anyone, at least recently, whine about it.

I think the main issue is the fluidity that is needed. In d/p there is such fluidity with the combo - on rifle, not so much. In regards to this fluidity, it is more a hindrance to be using it when tried on a rifle [assuming no silent scope].

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@Specialka.7290 said:What about D/P? You need to combo to get access to stealth, or use utility skills to do so, and I never heard anyone, at least recently, whine about it.

Is D/P meant to thematically be a weapon type where you deal a huge amount of burst damage where a large portion of it can come from one single move, or is D/P meant to be a hybrid skirmishing theme?

Look at skill 3 on D/P: it's meant to focus on attacking an enemy and closing the distance. I would assume based on the mechanics of skill 3, combined with the individual skills 1 and 2, which focus on melee attack damage, and skills 4 and 5, which focus on disrupting attacks through CC and blinds, that the devs intended D/P to fit that hybrid theme.

The rifle and D/D, fit a particular theme of being two sides of the same coin: high single target damage. However, D/D has a far more easier approach to being a burst damage weapon set compared to the rifle: it doesn't require traits, elites, or utilities to utilize it's big burst attack (Backstab). Can the same be said about rifle?

Edit: One last thing, how many button presses does it take to enter stealth on D/P as opposed to an un-traited rifle? On D/P, the combo is skill 5 -> 2. On rifle, it's skill 5 -> 4 -> 5 ->4. This isn't including the time it takes to activate each skill.

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@DanteZero.9736 said:

The rifle and D/D, fit a particular theme of being two sides of the same coin: high single target damage. However, D/D has a far more easier approach to being a burst damage weapon set compared to the rifle: it doesn't require traits, elites, or utilities to utilize it's big burst attack (Backstab). Can the same be said about rifle?

Yes. Absolutely the same can be said about rifle, because your arguments about not requiring traits, elites, or utilities is moot. Have you tried closing gaps as D/D to actually land that backstab? Yeah, you have one chance using your irrelevant rules. Lets put traits, elites, and utilities back into the equation, because nobody is playing without any of those. Now which one has a far more easier approach to being a burst damage weapon set? Correct, the Rifle.

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@Turk.5460 said:

The rifle and D/D, fit a particular theme of being two sides of the same coin: high single target damage. However, D/D has a far more easier approach to being a burst damage weapon set compared to the rifle: it doesn't require traits, elites, or utilities to utilize it's big burst attack (Backstab). Can the same be said about rifle?

Yes. Absolutely the same can be said about rifle, because your arguments about not requiring traits, elites, or utilities is moot. Have you tried closing gaps as D/D to actually land that backstab? Yeah, you have
one chance
using your irrelevant rules. Lets put traits, elites, and utilities back into the equation, because nobody is playing without any of those. Now which one has a far more easier approach to being a burst damage weapon set? Correct, the Rifle.

Landing the D/D combo is just about the easiest thing in the world..

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@Turk.5460 said:

The rifle and D/D, fit a particular theme of being two sides of the same coin: high single target damage. However, D/D has a far more easier approach to being a burst damage weapon set compared to the rifle: it doesn't require traits, elites, or utilities to utilize it's big burst attack (Backstab). Can the same be said about rifle?

Yes. Absolutely the same can be said about rifle, because your arguments about not requiring traits, elites, or utilities is moot. Have you tried closing gaps as D/D to actually land that backstab? Yeah, you have
one chance
using your irrelevant rules. Lets put traits, elites, and utilities back into the equation, because nobody is playing without any of those. Now which one has a far more easier approach to being a burst damage weapon set? Correct, the Rifle.

Perhaps I wasn't being clear about my explanation and I apologize for it. D/D and rifle are burst damage weapon sets. One is melee and one is ranged. That should be their biggest differentiator, not fluidity of stealth access.

I would argue D/D being easier through Cloak and Dagger -> Backstab for burst damage. If we include traits, elites, and utilities, I'd have access to Shadowsteps and even more stealth for Backstabs. As for closing gaps on D/D, that's not a big deal with Heartseeker. I just run forward and sidestep ground AoEs, press 2, then do the typical Cloak and Dagger -> Backstab combo until the conditions are right for spamming Heartseeker.

So if I was far away, do I have a one button equivalent on rifle? How about a two button equivalent as on D/P (Black Powder -> Heartseeker -> Backstab)? I would argue that using a rifle to land the stealth attack just isn't as fluid compared to its melee counterpart because of the huge amount of setup needed.

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