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[Education] How Bad Melee Builds are now vs Ranged (Harvester vs Special Forces)

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Many of the Veterans here probably remember patch 3.2. It's the patch where Epic adjusted the stats of various perks, the most significant of which 'nerfed' critical hit chance (this was reverted in the next patch due to outcry). You can read some of the Epic feedback regarding those patches

  • Patch 3.2 Post Mortem
  • Patch 3.2 Follow Up

 

Epic told us (in relation to those changes and why they made the nerfs)

One of the most underpowered perks was Critical Damage, but when we buffed it up to be more competitive with the baseline, the combination of multiple Critical Damage and Critical Chance perks began to outperform all other perk combinations. As a result the numbers on Critical Chance were brought down.

 

For obvious reasons it is fair to believe that Epic are fully aware of how hero and perk combinations interact with each other.

 

The following 3 paragraphs are found in the Patch 3.2 Post Mortem, in sequence, with no paraphrasing

One of the most underpowered perks was Critical Damage, but when we buffed it up to be more competitive with the baseline, the combination of multiple Critical Damage and Critical Chance perks began to outperform all other perk combinations. As a result the numbers on Critical Chance were brought down.

However, players have been honing their collections of weapons towards damage and Critical Chance over months of play, so even though the majority of the weapons in the game got a buff, the reduction to critical chance ended up affecting the weapons that you had invested into the most.

In this specific case, we should have waited until we shipped the perk re-roll system to touch any perks on a large scale, to allow you to adjust for when we make significant balance changes. The change should have also included a grant of evolution materials and XP to refund what players had already invested in the weapons containing Critical Chance. We’ve decided that is a good philosophy going forward. If we ever adjust schematic you have invested into when we make a significant balance change we will grant you back the investment or allow you to make the decision yourself when possible. For those of you who have upgraded schematics with Critical Chance we’re looking into the best way to provide you the invested resources and will have an update for you on Monday.

 

It should be fairly clear that Epic don't want players to feel like their time and effort has been wasted, especially when it was due to a significant balance change.


Patch 4.2 introduced sweeping balance changes (the most significant of which was crit rating) and completely undermines the message given previously

  • Heroes that depended on critical hit have been crippled (Heroes focused on melee weapons, Raider, Ranger)
  • Weapons with passive-energy type (many of which were best in slot weapons pre 4.2) are now the worst possible weapons

 

Even if players can have 'legacy weapons' the heroes themselves have been altered. Many of us invested in schematics to suit the heroes.

 

Harvester Sarah is a scythe dependent hero

  • There are only 3 scythes in the game
  • 2 of the 3 are energy passive scythes (and thus effectively worthless in a patch 4.2 world)
  • The only scythe that has any value now is the 'Elegant Scythe', which is a schematic people wouldn't invest into previously because it was a far inferior version of the Reaper Scythe
  • If you're attacking an elemental husk, you deal rougly 50% more dps with an Elegant Scythe than you would with the Neon or Reaper Scythes (and it's hard to argue that 50% more dps is insignificant)

Prior to Patch 4.2, using 'best in slot' combinations of heroes and weapons actually had melee loadouts being competitive with ranged loadouts for single-target-damage (equal, or exceeding). That's no longer the case in a post 4.2 world assuming we use the new weapon schematic system (where we can upgrade perks).

 

We can do a simulation as follows

Загрузка...
  • Melee: Harvester + 18 Crit Rating + Elegant Scythe (which is the best in slot)
  • Ranged: Special Forces + 24% Assault Rifle Damage + Siegebreaker (which may or may not be best in slot, but most people would deem this a good combination)
  • 100% Accuracy (no missed attacks)
  • 15% debilitating shots with 100% up-time (since this is what the Special Forces can apply)
  • 100% conditional status uptime
  • Weapons are of 'crystal' type

 

Results

HeroDPSHeadshot %Avg Dmg/AttackAttacks/SecondCritical Hit ChanceBest in Slot Perks (in addition to Element: Physical)
Harvester684.679N/A665.9791.02846.5(1x) 45% Dmg to Conditional, (2x) 135% Crit Dmg
Special Forces991.05133.51110.838(1x) 45% Dmg to Conditional, (1x) 30 Crit Rating, (1x) 135% Crit Dmg
Special Forces1063.79325143.31110.838(1x) 45% Dmg to Conditional, (1x) 30 Crit Rating, (1x) 135% Crit Dmg
Special Forces1168.69350125.43615.33610(1x) 45% Dmg to Conditional, (1x) 40% Headshot, (1x) 42% Attack Speed
Special Forces1369.56275146.99615.33610(1x) 45% Dmg to Conditional, (1x) 40% Headshot, (1x) 42% Attack Speed
Special Forces1570.431100168.55515.33610(1x) 45% Dmg to Conditional, (1x) 40% Headshot, (1x) 42% Attack Speed

The kick in the nuts

In-case this isn't obviously clear

  • Without even trying to get headshots, Special Forces is going to put out about 45% more DPS than the Harvester will
  • If the Special Forces tried to get at least 50% headshots, they'd put out 70% more dps than the Harvester will
  • If the Special Forces was some sort of aimbotting god with 100% headshots, they'd put out about 130% more dps than the Harvester will

 

Harvester is (more or less) the best sustainable single target damage dealing melee hero in the game right now. Even if a person wanted to argue semantics around the differences between melee and ranged combat it makes no rational sense that the ranged damage dealer should be putting out 40% more dps without them really trying to. 0% headshots is a very very low lying target, it's just more or less firing into the body of a Smasher (and it's pretty hard to miss a Smasher even if you're not giving it 100%). Every other melee focused hero is in an even worse state (and god forbid we do a comparsion between melee vs UAH).


/u/Epic_Jason, /u/PoppinFreshDoze, /u/Magyst, /u/EPIC_Clintonious, /u/MrPopoTFS

 

Can someone please explain why melee is now in such a sorry state post 4.2. Given that you have the tools to run the simulations (hence, the original patch 3.2 changes) it is hard to believe that this is anything other than intentional, especially since ranged weapons were explicitly given 5% more critical hit chance and melee weapons were not,


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