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Here with a Poll: How do you feel about Flat Dmg Bonus Skills IE Hollow Point Rounds?

Nova!

Member
Feb 23, 2013
434
4
18
https://www.strawpoll.me/18169062

Hey! Back after a month or so with another poll about the game's balance - this time, specifically skill branches that are pure damage boosts, and nothing else.

Some important notes:
  • This is NOT about skills like Rack 'Em Up that provide damage boosts under certain circumstances. In my opinion, especially in REU's case, the difference between a skill that just flat out gives you more damage, and a skill that gives you more damage if you complete certain requirements and isn't permanent, isn't a difference that should be taken lightly.
  • About REU specifically, I think if you're specifically talking about Gunslinger's 15 skills - REU and Bone Breaker - there's a fair balance struck there, where both provide bonus damage under certain circumstances. However, Sharpie's REU is a different story - it's in a branch where it's either a flat damage boost or a boost in reload speed. I think that's not nearly as unbalanced as HPR et c, but I do think that's a more significant issue that needs to be addressed purely because, in certain situations, it's free damage over not free damage.
  • My personal opinion can be summed up as the first option - I think they're an active detriment and skill-gate for the perks, and removing them would be better than keeping them in. When you factor in the ~1% damage boost per level perks already get, Demo, Supp, Commando, and Field Medic feel useless to play on higher difficulties without the bonuses, and feel sluggish at best, like a Level 1 survivalist at worst on Hard and Sui.
  • The issue with the skills are twofold - one, it level-gates certain perks, and two, they actively do the opposite of what TWI intended for the trees to do - provide variety in gameplay and playstyle. The difference between taking the skills and not taking the skills is literally just numbers, and that makes the game a lot less fun in my opinion. As I said, cases like REU are special - you have to complete certain conditions to boost your damage, and it feels like gameplay is changed in at least a more meaningful way. I'd still prefer them changed as well, but they aren't as nearly that big of a problem as HPR/Salvo, et c.
 
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Coffee009

Active member
Feb 6, 2012
399
40
28
Ohio
I hate them, I feel alot of players flat out ignore the other skill choice if one of the options is flat damage. (or confusingly for commando, damage AND recoil reduction while the other is just magazine, I think eat lead should get less recoil considering by most game standards, more damage = more recoil)
 
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imnrk

Active member
Jul 9, 2015
696
92
28
The game's skill trees are in dire need of a rebalance, if not a fullrework. I have thus far been dissapointed with the "QoL changes requested by the community" so far this year - they are underwhelming at best, and pr lies at worst.

That aside, damage increase vs not damage increase is a non-choice, since more damage is always going to win out for damage vs medium and big zeds (especially in solo). They need to be removed/reworked, even if it takes some major balancing of weapons and perks to do so.
 
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Nova!

Member
Feb 23, 2013
434
4
18
I'm kind of fascinated by the results so far - especially before I posted this poll to the TWI forum, it seemed that a majority of people that voted that they were okay with the skills never really commented. I guess they shouldn't feel forced to do so, but I'm more interested in their reasonings as to why they think the skills are okay.

I do wanna make clear though that this is purely just passing interest, and like everybody else, I'm eagerly awaiting for the update where HPR/Salvo/etc are removed.
 

NokiaSE

Active member
Although I would like to say "What's the point, they aren't going to change it.", here are some (hopefully fun) facts I've gathered:
  • REU works on the first stack, meaning all your hits pack at least 10% more damage, making the competing skill even less competitive.
  • Having more damage SIMPLY means Zeds die faster, which means they won't (have the time) to deal as much damage, which means each require less resource/time/ammo/effort, which means odds improvement - versus - having 100% more ammo per mag ALSO means one could waste 100% more ammo and consume ammo 100% faster, which means lots of bad things just like faster RoF also means tougher recoil and air killing.
  • The way the gameplay of this game is driven and dominated by efficiency slash cost-performance makes the gameplay experience on the long term dull and unexciting - as the margin determined by the upper difficulty levels is so tight that the gameplay would be all about chasing the best numeric odds and the best - if not the only - practical way to do so is bumping up your damage.

Do you remember your first hours playing this game? Where you haven't figure out the game and every threat feels real because you don't know its capability but is manageable because the difficulty level is low? And exactly because of this margin you're granted lots of freedom to consider and choose a diverse array of options even the option to make mistakes and from here undergo some back-and-forth moments?

It's gone, and we don't even have the ability to scale down our levels to keep the game at least a bit spicy when playing with new comers.
 
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J1ha7

FNG / Fresh Meat
Apr 22, 2015
56
4
0
well i really think that you should be given like x5 options , each perk choice for each 4 choices so you can build around your weapons and crossperk desire :)
also hollow point is great for me because i suck with commando and i dont waste ammo , but there should be some changes
 

Coffee009

Active member
Feb 6, 2012
399
40
28
Ohio
NokiaSE;n2332979 said:
[*]Having more damage SIMPLY means Zeds die faster, which means they won't (have the time) to deal as much damage, which means each require less resource/time/ammo/effort, which means odds improvement - versus - having 100% more ammo per mag ALSO means one could waste 100% more ammo and consume ammo 100% faster, which means lots of bad things just like faster RoF also means tougher recoil and air killing.
[/LIST]
  • The way the gameplay of this game is driven and dominated by efficiency slash cost-performance makes the gameplay experience on the long term dull and unexciting - as the margin determined by the upper difficulty levels is so tight that the gameplay would be all about chasing the best numeric odds and the best - if not the only - practical way to do so is bumping up your damage.

Do you remember your first hours playing this game? Where you haven't figure out the game and every threat feels real because you don't know its capability but is manageable because the difficulty level is low? And exactly because of this margin you're granted lots of freedom to consider and choose a diverse array of options even the option to make mistakes and from here undergo some back-and-forth moments?

It's gone, and we don't even have the ability to scale down our levels to keep the game at least a bit spicy when playing with new comers.
But how is it on paper vs practice? Most of the commando weapons oneshot trash already and having +100% mag means I can just guarantee those zed time extensions even more without being interrupted by needing to reload or be precise all the time. Reloading less means more damage is being pumped out, right? (Like on the AK12, damage per mag is 1560 for HP vs 2400 on EL, 6p scrakes have 1584 head HP) I'm sure hollow-point rounds is way more tempting on paper but I find commando way more... fun... with eat lead hands down. Because all your guns become LMGs and paired with the faster switching skill, you can get out of more crap situations IMO.

And on firebae, +100% mags is amazing on the flamethrowers/MWG because your main damage output already is groundfire. (and more time and leniency to use the MWG push on raged FPs and SCs so they cause NO damage). The single spitfire becomes a nerfed duel spitfires and only weights 2kg, which means you have a cheap n reliable trash killer with TONS of ammo. AND A HELIOS LMG :D

And the game can still be spicy, why not try the less 'meta' skills/loadouts and try to make them work? Putting yourself at a disadvantage and succeeding is way more rewarding and euphoric IMO than using the best loadout everytime. I've won HoE games with fortitude support.
 
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Aleflippy

Grizzled Veteran
Sep 18, 2012
2,323
112
63
Belgium
It's not very creative, but it certainly gets the job done...For better or for worse.

I often pick them, mostly for the demo, but I can't say I'm hugely fond of them.
 

imnrk

Active member
Jul 9, 2015
696
92
28
Coffee009;n2333284 said:
But how is it on paper vs practice? Most of the commando weapons oneshot trash already and having +100% mag means I can just guarantee those zed time extensions even more without being interrupted by needing to reload or be precise all the time. Reloading less means more damage is being pumped out, right? (Like on the AK12, damage per mag is 1560 for HP vs 2400 on EL, 6p scrakes have 1584 head HP) I'm sure hollow-point rounds is way more tempting on paper but I find commando way more... fun... with eat lead hands down. Because all your guns become LMGs and paired with the faster switching skill, you can get out of more crap situations IMO.

And on firebae, +100% mags is amazing on the flamethrowers/MWG because your main damage output already is groundfire. (and more time and leniency to use the MWG push on raged FPs and SCs so they cause NO damage). The single spitfire becomes a nerfed duel spitfires and only weights 2kg, which means you have a cheap n reliable trash killer with TONS of ammo. AND A HELIOS LMG :D

And the game can still be spicy, why not try the less 'meta' skills/loadouts and try to make them work? Putting yourself at a disadvantage and succeeding is way more rewarding and euphoric IMO than using the best loadout everytime. I've won HoE games with fortitude support.
On multiplayer games, one gets a lot more leeway on how to choose their builds - a commando is still a commando, and a firebug is stiill a firebug no matter how much damage they do. However, we have to consider solo, where the only way to survive is to kill things as fast as possible. Sure, it is entirely possible to focus down a scrake at the end of the wave with your 40-50 mag scar, but fleshpounds are a different story. You need to eliminate them right away with the insta-rage, and there will always be crawlers or sirens behind you applying pressure.

Note that I'm a strong advocate of using non-meta loadouts in any game, and want to like the non-damage skills. But as someone who mainly plays solo, there is simply no reason I can ever justify not choosing more damage over magazine or health increases. (I do prefer faster reload for demo though, as slow reloading is one of the biggest drawbacks to the perk).

As for the "putting yourself at a disadvantage" part, I would agree, except that doesn't change the fact that one skill is objectively worse than the other. It's like how people in Vermintide would equip themselves with starter gear on the highest difficulty and win - that doesn't make the starter gear balanced with the higher-level gear in any way.
 

NokiaSE

Active member
Coffee009;n2333284 said:
But how is it on paper vs practice? Most of the commando weapons oneshot trash already and having +100% mag means I can just guarantee those zed time extensions even more without being interrupted by needing to reload or be precise all the time.
The key difference between these two is that HPR grant damage boost plus recoil reduction while EL simply provide capacity increase.

Surely, we all miss the shot here and there no matter what, but in case of HPR that would at least be alleviated somewhat.



Coffee009;n2333284 said:
Reloading less means more damage is being pumped out, right?
Not exactly, having more firepower on tap means your output could last longer slash reach deeper, which is indeed an increase whenever it allows you to down more targets - or down a durable target that's otherwise unkillable with just 1 mag of firepower, but said increment doesn't translate to faster time-to-kill slash greater stopping power, or better per bullet efficiency.

We don't have infinite ammo - and in this game we're on a race of efficiency, which is why a direct increase to per bullet damage is very important: it means a large Zed can be killed with less resource - let it be bullet, effort, or time.
 
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CVid09

FNG / Fresh Meat
Jul 12, 2019
1
0
0
I really couldn't imagine playing Commando without Hollow Point Rounds, not only for the damage bonus but especially the recoil reduction. Doubling the mag size isn't worth it since you're either reloading quickly anyway or have the 50% magazine bonus and so aren't in dire need of more rounds anyway. Getting two big benefits vs one doesn't make for a hard choice. If Eat Lead gave you twice the rounds in your magazine, plus the recoil reduction or perhaps an increased fire rate instead, then it would be a much better option.
 

Breadsticks_

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 5, 2018
13
3
3
19
As of writing this, they are a bit too good to be true, they reward you for nothing. I think these flat damage perks would be good, if the alternative was an opportunity to either
a) introduce a new damage type (poison/headshot)
b) the flat damage had a drawback (increase recoil rather than reduce)
c) have the player put in more risk for a greater reward than the flat damage perk.

At the moment, I prefer the third choice, as an example (commando in this regard) instead of or aswell as eat lead, you could either increase the fire rate of perk weapons when you reload an empty weapon, increase the damage of perk weapons when shooting from the hip or receive a percentage of used ammo upon killing a zed. This sat at level 20 alongside hollow point rounds actually makes the hollow point less of a reliability, rather a personal preference.

Things like this could reward players for more challenging perks, similar to the sharpshooter, though not a balanced or exciting perk, it asks the player to put themselves at total risk to receive a maximum of 175% extra headshot damage, and the alternative is to be more versatile; sacrificing damage output for survivability