How to improve the melee "perk"
This is a topic that several other Raptor runners and I have been discussing in Zone Chat for some time now, since it was announced Pre Milestone patch. Love the idea, but the functionality needs a good tweak. A summary of the ideas we have come up with thus far, is summarized below. Sorry for the long read folks!
When I first heard about the Energy Shaping (the SIN Blade) for the Raptor, I was excited, since as one of my main frames, I have found myself in a number of situations where I needed something to get bugs/grunts/assorted nasties that get in your face off of me. In theory, the idea is wonderful, but in practice, it needs serious work. First off, melee, in and of itself, shouldn't be a "perk", it should be a regular ability like a secondary weapon. Hand to hand combat/rifle butt to the head, etc. if/when you run out of ammo, or they are just too danged close to shoot(back against the wall no matter what frame you're on). Other frames have a nice ability like repulse, tremors, etc. that helps with such an issue, but not all. Even a basic melee would be a good built in that would push them back some (out of melee damage range) and stun them a bit so you can get a shot off. That goes for ALL frames.
The time between uses with the "melee perk", also make it kind of useless. In reality, think about it, who in the hell waits 3-4 seconds between punches in a fight? something a bit more realistic, say .75 to .5 seconds between strikes, would be much more useful. Maybe have a base strike time of .75 seconds without perks?
The perks themselves, should enhance the melee, both damage-wise, and speed-wise. The first perk giving us perhaps .65 seconds "cool down" between strikes, and the second existing perk, down to .5 seconds, with corresponding increased damage (not sure how much the base perk gives us, what is it, like 300 points damage?0Give us that on the melee enable, then increase damage with thee first perk to say, 450, then the second, up to 650, and finally the SIN Blade -based on what I have been getting in the times I have been able to use it- 800 or so).
Melee itself shouldn't have to be "aimed" so much either, basically if it is in front of you (say a 90 degree wedge, 45 degrees from center on either side for as tall as your toon is), you should be able to hit it. The only "scaler", would be which enemy is closest for basic melee, for the punch/kick/rifle butt stroke. Now, here is where the SIN Blade comes in from Energy Shaping. Being a blade, it extends the range of melee in and of itself. It also does a beautiful job of hitting more than one target in a swing. This is a good thing, and should NOT change. Again, reality based. If anything, the blade should widen the damage arc, to 120 degrees in front of us. Think of standing before a number of enemies with a sword, and they are all within blade range, you do a horizontal cut across their chests/mid sections, chances are you are going to do significant (if not lethal) damage to most of them. This, coupled with the .5 second cool down versus 3-4 seconds as it is now, would benefit most frames not so equipped as the dreadnaughts or other frames with similar close-in abilities (such as the Bio classes, recluse especially) to "cut their way out" of a tight situation.
The only "visual" enhancements I might suggest for melee, would be having more than one basic animation that would be played on attack, be it alternating between punch/kick/gun butt-stroke for those without the SIN blade perk, and perhaps three blade-strikes, a right to left, left to right, and a rising diagonal strike from right hip to left shoulder in its arc. The visuals/animations wouldn't be necessary, but would be nice. (could totally see a dreadnaught class stomp-kicking a Chosen in the chest, or squashing an arhana under your foot with a similar kick form other classes! :D Sure, at the basic melee level it might take 2-3 "stomps" but would be funny to watch, like trying to step on an over-sized cockroach! On the aforementioned note of basic melee, as it reminded me of that, this would also be handy for when rushing Chosen, and they are already close to dying, to conserve ammo for an optional coup-de-gras, similar to the same coup-de-gras in PVP outside Sunken Harbor by choosing "E", but instead, simply utilizing the melee key.
Questions? Comments? Thank you for reading my post regarding this!
Why are we not funding this? (Unfortunately I have no votes left right now...)
I think 1-1.5 sec cooldown would be acceptable on a base suit that isn't upped with a perk or anything. But I definitely agree that anybody should be able to do a melee strike, and like the cone effect in a game paced like this. However, perhaps the default melee is less damage than the perked one currently is, like 200 (maybe a small knock or stun effect, maybe, and small) instead of the three-hundred, then make the existing perk that currently gives you the ability amp speed by 50% to 0.75 sec, the damage one doubles the damage to 400, and the SIN blade doubles damage (400 without other perk, 800 with), extends range and arc of cone, and reduces speed by 1/3 (so down to 1 sec without speed perk, 0.5 with perk, so a fully melee-perked suit could attack 2/sec). Melee without Sin Blade effective range of 1m, with sin blade, 2-3m depending on how nutso you (devs) want the blade to be. 2m is a 6 foot arc, and plenty of killing range for a 'melee' attack, but 3m would be anime levels of arc-death.