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Want Rifle to be actually good? Improve Malice system for Rifle instead


Barzah.8019

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Lately i have seen many thread that want rifle to get better, it's good but confusing at same time since people didn't even talk about MALICE which is actually THE core mechanic for Deadeye itself. Just like staff and daredevil, rifle come with deadeye trait on one package and just like the staff relied on improved dodge & endurance, rifle is also heavily reliant on the malice system. On every field situation (PvE, PvP, WvWvW), anyone who properly use this weapon properly will understand that rifle user relied on patience instead of spending everything as early as possible. Sure you can do that with "Be quick or be killed" trait, but on some case like fighting elite or toughness gear player, most likely you will have to drag the fight long enough for you to gather enough malice and unleash those Death's Judgement in the end.

Right now, malice system main flaw is that the system gave huge reward for player that use fast weapon or just become plain aggressive, and Rifle definitely not going to fit into those category. In order to get enough malice to filled up relatively quick with rifle, you need to sacrifice a lot of effort and skill rotation and that's when the problem comes in. The second problem with this system is that gaining 3++ malice only give you ONE extra option A.K.A death judgement. In this case, either you burn lots of cooldown just to get to bloat the malice meter, or waiting long enough to get less than 7 second window to do something can be easily achieved by dagger or pistols in their early encounter. There are also other case where you want to spend your initiative for something else

SOLUTION

Improving malice system while using rifle will definitely improve the weapon itself by substantial amount, while giving "reward" for getting malice at certain amount is going to be huge payoff for people that patiently take their time to attack. Note that this change on the other hand will keep rifle as a weapon that require patience in order to build up your top momentum.

*Kneel / Sniper Cover (Without Trait)

  • 3 initiative
  • Stealth (3 Second)
  • Critical Chance Increase 20%
  • Standing near marked target will gain 1 malice every 4 second, share cooldown with Free Action stance malice gain (Range 1800)

    *Free Action

  • Remove Conditions
  • Standing near marked target will gain 1 malice every 4 second, share cooldown with Sniper Cover (Range 1500)

With this change, rifle could will full mark around 12 second while being full passive, assuming that you keep getting extra mark from cover/ free action skill, while it's even more faster if the user put more effort into it. This change will give benefit to both stance, since standing while firing while still doing less damage but you will be able to move freely while patiently gathering malice.

*Perfectionist (Minor Trait T3)

  • Gain 3 ammunition that give special property to rifle skill from 1 to 4:
  • Brutal Aim/ Deadly Aim = Gain 5% damage per malice stack
  • Cursed Shot = Gain 10% damage per malice stack (Also remove that 1 second cooldown @#$@&*#$)
  • Skirmisher Shot / Spotter Shot = Pierce (remove pierce property on spotter shot without ammunition)
  • Double Tap/ Triple Tap = Ricochet (each bounce reduce damage by 10%, max target: 5)
  • Death's Retreat / Death's Judgement = When the skill hit the target, Gain 2 Initiative

*Improved Sniper Cover / Well prepared (Major Trait T2)

  • Increase ammunition count by 2
  • Reduce Sniper cover initiative cost by 1

*Skill 1 to 3

  • Gain 2% damage per malice stack

These reward will give a more option for both defense and offense. Yes it look so powerful on paper, but the ammo count will limit those potential so it won't become another spec cancer. On the other side, skill like malice will have more use since some player want to refresh their mark as fast as possible in order to obtain ammo for their next burst. As for type of player who prefer to maintain their malice stack, that 5% damage per stack will give stable damage to their non DJ skill and that mean they don't have to relied on just 1 skill when reaching full malice. The whole setup itself will make trait like trait like "Revealed Malice" and "Sniper Cover" not a must trait for rifle user, since they are able to branch out to another trait without badly hurting themself.

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I have no issue that DE being a burst/pvp spec. Since we offer nothing to the group anyways, bringing a ranged dps vs a melee dps IMO makes no difference. If the roles are the same for pve as pure selfish dps, to me it don't matter if DE is improved for pve or not since it will make no difference one way or another.

My issue with DE though revolves around how terrible standing is, not necessarily the drawbacks of sniper mode. They wanted sniper mode to be a "thoughtful decision" so that you don't just always default to wanting to be in kneeling... however, the way it plays out... standing is so terrible and such an awful waste of initiative that if I am not in sniper mode, then I am either looking for a spot to get into sniper mode, or I weapon swap. Currently, kneeling is mandatory despite the drawbacks that comes with it and thats the biggest problem with the spec imo.

My solution is actually to make sniper mode abilities standard for the spec. This way I can have my burst available while moving and not feel like I am wasting my life away by not kneeling. And then they change sniper mode to provide other useful utilities - auto attacks pierce, range increases to be 100 more than ranger longbow (because a bow should not out range a sniper gun), abilities refund 1 initiative when they hit, and abilities have increase chance to add a stack of malice.

This way, there is a clear dps increase and reason to be sniper mode, but when I am not in sniper mode, I can still do my business with rifle, just less of it. Because right now, standing and moving with a rifle is just super gimped and I cannot believe people don't even talk about how bad standing is with a rifle.

And I know that they will not likely make such a drastic change at this point... at the very least what this spec needs is:

Increase auto attack damageAuto attacks pierce in sniper modeIncrease the chance to add malice when using rifleIncreased auto attack speed with rifle

If they at least implement these 4 more realistic changes, I think DE will at least be in a better spot.

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@tongpo.3184 said:I have no issue that DE being a burst/pvp spec.

Well a lot of people do! This is a PvE game for the most part. PvP is just a little side activity. The majority of players never even touch PvP. Making one of the new builds that people had to buy an expansion for not work in the majority of the game is down right ludicrous.

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Plus being able to use a rifle was the reason why I leveled up my Thief! I hate Engineer and Warrior, so this was my only option.

Of course I would have preferred giving Rifle to Necro or Ranger or Guardian or Revenant or better yet, giving Rifle to every class!

Torch and horns are such absurdly stupid weapon concepts that they never should have been implemented.

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@Ellisande.5218 said:Plus being able to use a rifle was the reason why I leveled up my Thief!

Seeing the Deadeye spec teased was the reason I, too, leveled my thief before PoF came out. (I main a berzerker warrior, though I have other alts...) And it was THE thing I was most excited about in PoF, as I'm most comfortable with ranged DPS.

And now - I don't use the rifle. Because, frankly, I hate it -- there is NEVER a good time to kneel and remain stationary in PVE, not solo, not meta, not bounty. I run dual pistols and I actually kill things, whereas trying to play rifle and kneel to use the best shots often gets me a quick trip to the waypoint to res. I WANTED to love rifle Deadeye SO MUCH, and it's just... so completely awful.

On the plus side, Deadeye really makes dual pistol/high crit/high boon play very valid for just about everything, which I am thankful for. :)

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@Cameryn.5310 said:

@Ellisande.5218 said:Plus being able to use a rifle was the reason why I leveled up my Thief!

Seeing the Deadeye spec teased was the reason I, too, leveled my thief before PoF came out. (I main a berzerker warrior, though I have other alts...) And it was THE thing I was most excited about in PoF, as I'm most comfortable with ranged DPS.

And now - I don't use the rifle. Because, frankly, I hate it -- there is NEVER a good time to kneel and remain stationary in PVE, not solo, not meta, not bounty. I run dual pistols and I actually kill things, whereas trying to play rifle and kneel to use the best shots often gets me a quick trip to the waypoint to res.

I started playing a few months before the expansion. I made and leveled a thief because of Deadeye and rifle and oh boy am I regretting it at the moment. The spec I purchased the expansion for being so bad in the main part of the game... wtf were they thinking?

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@Saraneth.6021 said:

I started playing a few months before the expansion. I made and leveled a thief because of Deadeye and rifle and oh boy am I regretting it at the moment. The spec I purchased the expansion for being so bad in the main part of the game... kitten were they thinking?

Well, as I said, you can keep the Deadeye spec and run dual pistols - maybe try that? I keep running into people doing the same. Deadeye gives you malice, which is the ranged steal, so you can still stay in 900 range. Using unload (skill 3) on dual pistols has a huge amount of damage when you go for a full crit/boon build; I run with critical strikes and deadly arts based on a build I saw posted here, and with my gear (all exotic) and sigils/runes nearly every shot from Unload is a crit, so one round can run 15k or more. I keep the rifle as my other weapon just in case I have the opportunity to do range 1500 damage or I need it for long shots.

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@tongpo.3184 said:I have no issue that DE being a burst/pvp spec. Since we offer nothing to the group anyways, bringing a ranged dps vs a melee dps IMO makes no difference. If the roles are the same for pve as pure selfish dps, to me it don't matter if DE is improved for pve or not since it will make no difference one way or another.Actually DE is one of the best Breakbar-Bursters with Shadow Gust (for melee) & Binding Shadow (all ranges).

I see the main weakness in the use of projectiles (well duh...sniper), as I need to constantly reposition myself due to the terrain (at least this supports the fantasy), but also have to fear that my shots get blocked by skill-made barriers or even deflected, which makes me switch to S/P very often and go melee. I can live with my damage, but I would propose, that shots fired while kneeling at the marked target penetrate all blocks and deflects (of course not invincible states), so that the damage is at least consistent.

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Update: Even with all those annoying rifle bug (obstructed, blank shot, etc) i could held against competent player on PvP while taking far objective, even when they call a backup...and i that for almost the entire match duration without changing weapon and dying (and got several kill ofc). The combination between shadow art + deadeye + sniper cover give me near immunity to AOE and condition type of attack. Adding 1 or more break stun ability will make you able to escape every single dire situation out there. On PvE situation it's pretty much the same where you can wipe out the entire colony using stealth hit and run tactic (although it take time since rifle somewhat lack AOE properties).

Then again, the main problem with this spec is window time or time for you to actually do anything useful. Current low malice on rifle gain tend to lead to slow build up that make properly utilizing this weapon very frustrating. Many times i have to wait for almost twice the amount than normal just to prepare everything since i need a total of 9 initiative...9!! to be able to deal considerable damage to opponent.

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I personally dont even like the idea of the malice mechanic at all, but have refrain from suggesting changes to it because it seems to be something the designers want in the class. One of the reasons why I dont like it is that it runs contrary to how thief typically operates and thats using the element of surprise to delivery a swift kill before the battle drags on. Having initiative means sustained dmg might go downwards overtime and that is not adequately offset by the meagre gains to damage from malice (only maxing out when the fight has gone on for 10s so maybe you get half the benefit of it from a typical fight) which most of the time would not have time to refil. That is PvP. I dont play PvP much.

At the moment where rifle deadeye is lacking most is in sustained damage. I wouldnt mind any changes that improved that tbh. Maybe how malice could operate is when malice is full you gain increased initiative regeneration (even try 2 per second) for 15s or so and quickness increases rate of regen too. This would make it so players can dish out more sustained damage when the malice buff is highest.

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@eldrjth.7384 said:I personally dont even like the idea of the malice mechanic at all, but have refrain from suggesting changes to it because it seems to be something the designers want in the class. One of the reasons why I dont like it is that it runs contrary to how thief typically operates and thats using the element of surprise to delivery a swift kill before the battle drags on. Having initiative means sustained dmg might go downwards overtime and that is not adequately offset by the meagre gains to damage from malice (only maxing out when the fight has gone on for 10s so maybe you get half the benefit of it from a typical fight) which most of the time would not have time to refil. That is PvP. I dont play PvP much.

At the moment where rifle deadeye is lacking most is in sustained damage. I wouldnt mind any changes that improved that tbh. Maybe how malice could operate is when malice is full you gain increased initiative regeneration (even try 2 per second) for 15s or so and quickness increases rate of regen too. This would make it so players can dish out more sustained damage when the malice buff is highest.

Well the "swift kill" can be easily achieved by using "be quick or be killed" T3. The main problem is that talent give less benefit to rifle, since that weapon relied on building malice. Not only that, this "build up" tactic also taken a toll on overall rifle perfomance since Deadeye Rifle are heavily relied on "window" between mark duration & current malice level.

Simply put it like this, mark last for 25 second and the fastest way to gain full stack malice (with revealed malice + Cover + Seven) is around 8 second. This method will give you 17 second window at the cost of most your initiative and burning sniper cover hence make those 17 second relatively short because you only got 1 (2 if you are able to pop cover when mark duration almost end) chance to unload everything before you are being forced to move to another safe location and lose your window since your cover most likely still on cooldown.

The average time of getting full malice (with full trait as well) is around 15 second, this time you only have 10 second to do which also very frustrating since we have to work extra hard just to achieve a proper window that has less duration compared to our effort.

The last one is full passive when you cannot find a good window to attack and it took 20 second....that's 5 second window for you to do anything useful with rifle. At this point, you need to be a frigging lucky or just pure Macgyver to do something useful in that 5 second.

In the end, the mark duration + malice gain is actually the main factor that crippling the rifle potential. I believe that rifle perfomance can be significantly improved when dev able to find a way to generate malice faster while using rifle as their main weapon.

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I have been trying out Deadeye, both in PvE and in WvW, and I must say the rifle makes me frustrated. My main gripes with the rifle is, as many of you pointed out:

Only one skill that pierces. This makes group damage almost non-existent, limiting any advantage WvW fights can have of a rifle DE. As was suggested before, the auto attack at least would be welcoming to be piercing.

Too slow projectiles (even when traited with Sniper's Cover) and short range. When I am firing towards the maximum range (1500), the projectiles seem to very often miss their target, either by side movements or the target moving out of the range. Rifle DE, being so dependent on Death's Judgement, feels like it is wasting so much time not hitting its intended marked target. Longer range would also benefit the rifle DE, as by all logic a sniper rifle's range should trump longbows in range. Which takes me to my following points...

Too short of a window to use Death's Judgement. Playing in WvW as a passive rifle DE, waiting for the stacks to go up in stealth, the amount of time you have with maximum Malice is 6-7 seconds. This punishes rifle play immensely in WvW because:-you end up dead in seconds if you are visible, which pushes you to wait in stealth and not get quicker Malice-you only have time to fire 1-2 shots, making the timing of that Max Malice even more crucial.

Make Death's Judjement unblockable. Nowadays, almost every class can block or reflect projectiles in some way. Which is what everyone is also doing in WvW. On top of all the other troubles rifle DE has, we have to find a perfect moment when the target is not protected by these shields. Sure, we can use Basilisk Venom, but that makes the whole stealth rifle DE idea silly since we are not using Shadow Meld. It could have a clause that it becomes unblockable if you have maximum Malice stacks for example.

I'm very curious to see if the developers will attempt to make the Rifle Deadeye a viable long range burst in WvW. I have been waiting for a thief rifle since the start of the game, but now that I have tired this version, I feel very strongly that changes need to be made for it to work in WvW. I have not even tried it in sPVP yet, but I can imagine that being in stealth doesn't help capturing points :D.

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@anonthefelon.8951 said:I'm wondering if Malice should operate in reverse. You start with full stacks, and it diminishes.

It will make building up pretty much pointless for every weapon especially rifle, hence it will turn rifle into another pistol unload...and we already got pistol unload. Bad idea

@Scarlet.1742 said:I have been trying out Deadeye, both in PvE and in WvW, and I must say the rifle makes me frustrated. My main gripes with the rifle is, as many of you pointed out:

Only one skill that pierces. This makes group damage almost non-existent, limiting any advantage WvW fights can have of a rifle DE. As was suggested before, the auto attack at least would be welcoming to be piercing.

Too slow projectiles (even when traited with Sniper's Cover) and short range. When I am firing towards the maximum range (1500), the projectiles seem to very often miss their target, either by side movements or the target moving out of the range. Rifle DE, being so dependent on Death's Judgement, feels like it is wasting so much time not hitting its intended marked target. Longer range would also benefit the rifle DE, as by all logic a sniper rifle's range should trump longbows in range. Which takes me to my following points...

Too short of a window to use Death's Judgement. Playing in WvW as a passive rifle DE, waiting for the stacks to go up in stealth, the amount of time you have with maximum Malice is 6-7 seconds. This punishes rifle play immensely in WvW because:-you end up dead in seconds if you are visible, which pushes you to wait in stealth and not get quicker Malice-you only have time to fire 1-2 shots, making the timing of that Max Malice even more crucial.

Make Death's Judjement unblockable. Nowadays, almost every class can block or reflect projectiles in some way. Which is what everyone is also doing in WvW. On top of all the other troubles rifle DE has, we have to find a perfect moment when the target is not protected by these shields. Sure, we can use Basilisk Venom, but that makes the whole stealth rifle DE idea silly since we are not using Shadow Meld. It could have a clause that it becomes unblockable if you have maximum Malice stacks for example.

I'm very curious to see if the developers will attempt to make the Rifle Deadeye a viable long range burst in WvW. I have been waiting for a thief rifle since the start of the game, but now that I have tired this version, I feel very strongly that changes need to be made for it to work in WvW. I have not even tried it in sPVP yet, but I can imagine that being in stealth doesn't help capturing points :D.

There we go, looks like plenty ammount people already knew that deadeye has super short window time when it comes to fighting chaotic situation (aside from the projectile problem which also annoying). Also, both effort and malice cost are the main reason why it's not worth to use DJ at 1/2 at this point since most likely you won't have enough intiative before you got another chance to use DJ at full stack.

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