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The State of Melee

Dregas's Avatar

02.11.2012 , 07:54 PM | #1
Hey there all, just wanted comment on here real quick to address a very important issue that has to deal with something that has been on my mind for years. You see it's not just this mmo but ALL recent mmos in the last couple of years have taken to the disturbing trend of gimping melee severely while completely overpowering casters. Now I have a few theories as to why this is, but that's for a different topic

For now though I would like you to take note of the mechanics that are currently stacked against melee classes.

1.Boss Aoes:

SWTOR seems to have taken a page right out of other MMOs and decided that it would be a great idea to give bosses and mobs a TON of aoe dmg that destroys melee. The biggest problem with this is that a melee toon has to stop any and all attacks in order to vacate the aoe and not die. There is no such mechanic that stops ranged classes to that effect. No matter what, unless there is some giant map wide stun (which does not exist) they can keep on dpsing/healing with little to no incident, while melee is busy running around doing nothing except losing health rapidly. It would be the equivalent of a Boss firing off an aoe that only affected casters, doing 1k points of dmg every time they tried to attack/cast and silenced them as well. I have yet to see such a spell exist. Frankly I hope I never do because it would be complete overkill. So why then must melee suffer similar effects on an almost daily basis?

2.Little to no self healing:

Another disturbing trend is the belief that giving melee classes (especially tanks) a way to recover health during a fight would lead to complete unbalance. So in response most developers have given said classes extremely weak/situational healing abilities or nothing at all. Now there would be no problem with this line of thinking if melee classes had such phenomenal defenses or dps that enemies dies quickly enough so no real heals are required save for being outnumbered or chaining more too many mobs. But sadly such balance does not exist. Often times the most high damaging attacks COMPLETELY ignore melee's armor and shreds the poor defender to pieces. In essence it turns melee classes into an armorless attacker with no sustainable/reliable way to mitigate damage.

3.Very small mitigation chances/ "Heavy Armor, High AC"

Now just like healing, since melee classes are perceived to be just too tough with their higher armor (that in reality doesn't stop the most common types of high dmg) developers have given melee character a very small percentage/proc based mitigation mechanic. This would be a great idea if the dmg that came through was mitigated properly. But sadly, such is not the case. Even the damage that makes it through the procs, often times are high enough to put serious dents in a would be melee character's health. So what you are left with is a character with "Heavy armor / AC" that doesn't stop most incoming dmg, with poor proc based mitigation that barely chisels down any of the unmolested incoming DPS.

4. Long cool downs:

Basically refer to points 2-4. For the same reasons developers have made CDs for melee classes entirely too long. CD's that should be on a one minute timer are on three. I'm looking at you Saber Ward

5.CC, CC,CC / Physical location (proximity of attack):

In a game filled with heavy ranged DPS, it is hard enough just REACHING your objective as melee and applying constant dmg, so the thing I find most infuriating is the constant slows and stuns. They are completely unnecessary and I would go as far to say that melee classes should be all but immune to them, except for the odd stun or two. The reason being is that stun locking/perma slowing melee is DOUBLE PUNISHMENT. Unlike ranged characters, melee has to actually get to its target and CONTINUE to stay on their target within a very short distance in order to do any kind of dmg. So they already start off with a major disadvantage. Making it so atrociously easy to just get out of a melee characters range or stop them cold while continuing to DPS them with high dmg. This inexcusable and bad game design, has been copied from mmo to mmo. Gap closers loose all their worth, when someone can just stun/kite you right after you use it, especially in a pvp environment.

Now take a look at everything I listed above. Ranged classes face no such obstacles. In most cases ranged classes have enough healing, dmg, cc, and mitigation to exotic dmg that their realistic armor class is MUCH higher than that of melee classes. Their perceived weakness of "light armor / light AC" is easily overcome with a few talents and base powers, creating dominating force with very few weaknesses and little risk vs. gain. I'd like to thank you all very much for taking the time to read this post, and wish you wonderful day.


Crunchyblack's Avatar

02.11.2012 , 10:19 PM | #2
I agree that melee does seem to get the short end...but most games are like this. Not sure of any recent mmorpgs that didnt give melee a cleave to deal with that range doesnt need to deal with (although thats a simple matter of positioning)

The most commonly run HM flashpoint provides a fair attack...being that the Jedi sucks in all the players before making them flee a slow charging one shot aoe, while all the players are slowed.

It wouldnt be such a big deal if more bosses had perhaps various types of artillery volleys or aoe that would be targeted to distant players.

I agree with a lot of the things stated about melee suffering from designed to be fair mechanics that range classes seem to skirt, but as far as the endgame pve goes...melee is always harder in terms of dealing with more positioning and boss aoe...its always like that.

As far as pvp balancing, i would love to see an extremely short duration stun used in melee range, having smash briefly stuff everyone, for instance, would make a world of diffrence. Perhaps give the juggy a shield proc for 100% shield chance and marauder an added effect on cloak of pain that would make them immune to CC. Something small like that would go a long way. Personally i wish melee got some type of "force wave" a cone aoe thant knocked down everyone in front of them...which seems logical given im a damn sith.

As a marauder i feel im best played in pvp hanging in the back looking for oppertune moments to charge a stray player or pick off a fleeing half dead player...i feel like a melee sniper, since charging into the pack is...nothing but aoe mayhem and cc after cc. I know we get the short end on aoe (not that ours when specced right isnt deadly) being that we cant aoe from a safe location and a lot of time it just turns into a death from above artillery fight.

Truth told id rather them make a few of the other classes a bit more complex to faceroll with instead of making marauder easier.

Vember's Avatar

02.12.2012 , 10:01 AM | #3
Add to that the fact that even when you do get into melee range, the ranged classes are still hitting you harder than you're hitting them.

Feels to me like melee are more shafted in this game than in most.

Omophorus's Avatar

02.12.2012 , 10:22 AM | #4
With no combat logs, it's hard to say for sure who's getting shafted. I would tend to agree that it's melees, but the root cause of why that is will remain ambiguous until we know the actual numbers. From a "butt dyno" perspective, I don't "feel" like a stronger DPS than a Sniper or Sorc, but part of that is due to the difference between front-loaded burst damage and more sustained DPS.

That said, in the early stages of any MMO endgame, there tends to be a bias towards ranged DPS regardless of which class ultimately min/maxes the best. If the ranged DPS classes are strongest in addition to being ranged, it tends to get balanced over time.

I would agree that some tweaking is in order to ensure that the most effective (not to be confused with easiest!) tactic is NOT to stack all ranged classes.

I kind of get BioWare's intention behind making sure the DPS specs of all classes are created more or less equal, but the flipside to that is ensuring that those with an inherent disadvantage (melees, DPS-only classes with starkly limited utility) have some counterbalance to keep them on even footing.

Dregas's Avatar

02.12.2012 , 12:11 PM | #5
Tank you guys for the responses. Vember you make a very good point. If I as a melee class have so much trouble getting to you through all your ranged cc, there is no absolutely no excuse for you to put out more dmg than I do in melee range. Especially when you can kite me in the middle of an attack sequence.

Seurot's Avatar

02.12.2012 , 12:13 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Vember View Post
Add to that the fact that even when you do get into melee range, the ranged classes are still hitting you harder than you're hitting them.

Feels to me like melee are more shafted in this game than in most.
Not sure about getting hit harder, but its clear that when ranged attacks melee at ranged, only ranged can really dps you. Melee can't dps them.

When melee get in in melee range of a ranged dps, both classes can still dps each other, esp with all the autofacing in the game, and no lockout of school when interrupting.

Even WoW allowed melee to run through a ranged player to interrupt him. Ranged shouldn't be fighting in melee range and should get interrupted that way. Ranged argue that it shouldn't allow it, but its the same as melee getting attacked at ranged. The melee can't do anything.

Dregas's Avatar

02.12.2012 , 12:45 PM | #7
Exactly right! Look if you want to give ranged classes an absurd of amount of control vs melee characters, fine. BUT if somehow that melee character makes it to you, you should be completely shut down from casting as long as he is connecting. Not some silly push back that is easily gotten around.

surak's Avatar

02.13.2012 , 06:08 PM | #8
I would just be happy for a CC like the other classes. I have skipped quests because I get to a point and Bioware puts 2 strongs, or 2 strong healers and then its impossible to get past.

Actua's Avatar

02.13.2012 , 07:34 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Vember View Post
Add to that the fact that even when you do get into melee range, the ranged classes are still hitting you harder than you're hitting them.

Feels to me like melee are more shafted in this game than in most.
This is false. Up your game brotha, because I know no sorc or merc who is not on the run when I get in their face.

Sgt_Skipjack's Avatar

02.17.2012 , 09:20 AM | #10
Well an idea that might help the boss aoe is to have his AoE hit everyone of a small amount of damage, or have to LOS it around pillars. That way everyone has to stop DPS for a few seconds.

I realise that ranged would stand next to a pillar (sorry i suck at spelling) but who is to say the tank cant tank next to one too so that you can DPS next to one as well.