TL;DR, long time casual player whining
I've been playing fairly regularly since release. Casual player, so I'm up to around level 120. I can remember in early levels how unforgiving this game felt at times- ammo was scarce, sneak wasn't leveled high enough to avoid fights, everything I ran into near my level was a life-or-death fight. As I leveled up, though, I really started to enjoy the atmospheric and lonely feel of the pre-wastelanders game. My ranged sneak had gotten high enough that I could just crouch walk around, enjoy the world, and decide what I wanted to fight. I made it a game to see which camps I could clear without ever being detected- this would be a game design problem if I could do it in 10 seconds, but it felt fair at 15-20 minutes.
We all saw the other side of the coin at group/public events- high level bloodieds one-shotting everything they encountered, power armor tanks who seemed untouchable by anything. Nothing against these players, either, I know many of the high-level bloodieds themselves were even feeling that their builds were too stacked. But honestly it feels like by trying to level out these min/maxed builds Bethesda has made them the only viable option.
Unsurprisingly, I hit a significant damage nerf yesterday, and stealth seems way less effective. Went to play my little sneak clear game with a super mutant camp and was spotted almost instantly when at range with a hunting rifle, turned into an all-out firefight. Same deal with a few other camps, and obviously the unfortunate daily op roll made it a stimpak and bullet sponge simulator for a sneak ranged build. The whole game felt much faster-paced, much more resource-intensive, and the strategy was shifted from spatial (how to approach enemies, how to leverage choke points, etc), to optimizing builds for punching your way through firefights.
I get how that's fun for people, and I certainly get why Bethesda would want to push the game that way. But it's not the game I've been playing for 2 years. I already miss dicking around in the forest with a stupid gun that's just fun to use (looking at you western revolver). I miss the payoff of sneaking carefully around a camp and managing to never get detected (because headshotting a humanoid at close range with a fixer should absolutely be a one-hit kill). The game feels like it did when I was level 20, constantly running out of ammo and grinding so that the game would change. And it feels like the only way I can get the old game back is min/max myself into one of the builds Bethesda was trying to de-incentivize in the first place.
Sorry for the rant, just frustrated. Hope Bethesda can take the suggestions for base damage buffs to heart.
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