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I've seen good and bad ideas, and plenty of opinions about Walter's slingshot so I was thinking that maybe we should put them all together on a single thread.

In all my tests with Walter the only thing that always leaves a sour flavor in my mouth is the slingshot. The way I see it, the slingshot is the item that needs rebalance the most. Rebalance, that is, not complete rework, but fine changes and adjustment to some values (think of Woodie transformations when he was released)

Please feel free to suggest your balance thoughts, ideas and experiences with the slingshot in a creative way, if you want a specific change try to explain why, the pros and the cons, not just request a buff because "I don't like it".
I'm also very interested to read other players experiences on my take of the rebalance, and what things I got wrong, or didn't understand how to use properly.

Here's my analysis on the matter:
 

Spoiler

The slingshot currently trades DPS, damage and range over cheap, stackable ammo that has different purposes. up until that point it sounds great! 

The fundamental problem I find is that some of Walter's functions in fights and some types of Ammo (specially the higher tiers) don't seem to work well in the real usage.
 

  • About the general slingshot mechanics:

The slow shooting rate seems the most fair con the slingshot has, to prevent the weapon from becoming a machinegun (as stacking darts mostly is). The problem here is that it also has a pretty bad range, which also always puts you very close of the line of fire. I'd increase the range a bit to compensate for the overall low DPS and to keep Walter a bit further away from the damage, and also, when dealing with enemies solo, it would give him a bit more time to use the crowd control pellets on enemies.

Even when mounted over a fast Woby the range keeps you on a danger zone that does not seem to be worth keeping: Either we become ranged mounted "archers" or we just fight at close range with cane/dark sword, the usual style. His slingshot currently has the worst of both worlds (close range, and bad dps). Since the DPS I think needs to stay exactly as it is, then the most obvious change for improvement would be the range.

  • About the Ammos:

The Stone-Gold-Marble progression seems to be in a perfect spot, I have nothing to complain there. You get what you pay for, 10 ammo per craft, decent damage, each pellet aims at a different type of enemy. This is just perfect.

Poop Pellet: This is the first crowd control ammo you get, in theory and for smaller single enemies it works great, the problem is that many enemies in DST have a sort of "hivemind" and when one enemy of a certain type gets aggroed, every enemy of the same type within range shares that aggro. This makes the poop pellets highly inefficient against most of the enemies you'd want to use it for: bunnymen, spiders, beefalo in heat, etc. You can shoot them with the poop pellets and they will de-aggro, and then immediately re-aggro because of their friends, making the shooting a wasted time.
Suggestion: Make an affected enemy by the poop pellet to not re-aggro on Walter for at least 4 seconds, regardless of what its friends do . Poop pellets don't work on giants anyway, and 4 seconds is not enough time to finish off an enemy, but it could be a good combo to keep de-aggroing them as they get closer to you, and shooting them while on the move.

Freeze rounds: This is the most useful type of ammo at this point, albeit a bit expensive when compared with an ice staff, but it offers the possibility to keep 60 stronger shots in just one slot which is something the ice staff does not offer. Perhaps when shot on fires it should put them out: it makes sense from the point that ice staffs can do this already, and it makes sense from the point that Walter is a boy scout, so he'd have a unique weapon to combat forest fires.

Slow Down Rounds: This ammo seems to work as intended, but to my point of view it's too expensive to make for the short duration effect it gives. Unlike the poop pellet (which is super cheap) this is also supposed to be another crowd control thing but due to it's high price it can only be made in the late game, and even then it's not worth wasting the time shooting it for the low duration it has.
Suggestion: Make the effect last longer (15 seconds) and stack up to 30 seconds. This would mean that shooting 2 rounds would slow an enemy for 30 seconds. Bosses can get only 1/3 of the duration per shot, and can stack slowness up to 15 seconds only.

Cursed Rounds: From all my tests this was the ammo that performed the poorest. The idea behind it is awesome, a unique weapon you can craft at the ruins with endgame materials, but at real fights I found them very lacking. They deal the same damage as a marble pellet, and they have a 50% chance to spawn a shadow tentacle, which, as we know, only attack targets that don't move, and de-spawn quickly. In all my tests the amount of extra damage I could deal to plenty of targets (even stuck ones) was tiny, compared to what I would have made just shooting marble, which is incredibly cheaper to make. And this is considering that you set everything so the enemy is immobile, otherwise the damage dealt will be the same as with marble, always making me feel I was just wasting an expensive ammo.
Suggestion: Give cursed rounds a 100% chance to spawn a shadow tentacle per shot. It would still be an expensive and situational type of ammo, but at least it would boost the DPS greatly by creating a small tentacle field if you keep shooting. Currently the time between shots paired with the low chance to spawn a tentacle makes tentacle spawning not a good asset.

Final Thought: I'd like to see more types of crowd control pellets eventually, but with the changes listed above I think we'd have a lot to do and practice anyway.


 

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Make the slingshot require aiming and right click, like forge abilities. if you use ctrl f, left click, or any other variant, you will use the slingshot as a melee and deal 15 damage or something.

That's all I got.

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I would like it if the slingshot animation could be cancelled for more freedom, cause right now, if you accidentally try to attack something that's barreling towards you, you're gonna take a nasty blow to both heart and mind while you remain glued to the ground.

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I don't really have much to add because I agree with everything you said, so to just parrot what I think is most important, that being: 

  • Increase the range, most mobs will close any sort of range gap you get by the time your pellets fire off, making the whole idea of "ranged combat" feel kinda pointless. To compensate for that they would probably need to increase projectile speed but not directly proportional to distance, so it would become easier to miss a moving target at the new max range, but easier to hit them at the current one.
  • Ice pellets being able to freeze/ stop structures from burning, enough said.
  • Poop pellets to function a little better, groups of mobs are gonna be the enemies your gonna want to make de-aggro the most, and I really like the idea it giving mobs an aggro grace period too!
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I definitely agree that the range should be extended a bit, and the slow effect should be more prominent; often times enemies will close the distance between you very quickly when you shoot them, that it would almost be better to simply run in there and fight melee with them.

I would like to make a suggestion for Walter's Cursed Rounds if I may, and I am of course open to feedback. What if, instead of dealing damage and spawning tentacles, you could instead shoot your own allies to give them a temporary shield not unlike from the Thulecite Crown. This would be a purely supportive type of ammunition that would apply a few seconds of shielding for them. Costly enough to not do every 3 seconds, but useful enough to be worth crafting to potentially save your ally from death and to not fight for the #1 most damaging pellet spot with marble in my opinion.

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2 minutes ago, Owlrus98 said:

I would like to make a suggestion for Walter's Cursed Rounds if I may, and I am of course open to feedback. What if, instead of dealing damage and spawning tentacles, you could instead shoot your own allies to give them a temporary shield not unlike from the Thulecite Crown. This would be a purely supportive type of ammunition that would apply a few seconds of shielding for them. Costly enough to not do every 3 seconds, but useful enough to be worth crafting to potentially save your ally from death and to not fight for the #1 most damaging pellet spot with marble in my opinion.

That's a a great idea. It could work both ways, I'm not sure how complicated that would be to program, but if you shoot an enemy it will deal damage/tentacle, and if you shoot an ally it will give him/her a brief temporary defense (which doesn't have to be 100%, it could be like 40% extra defense over 10 seconds or something)

11 minutes ago, Bellium said:

<Snip>

You summed it up much better than me. And if I had to choose just one, I'd choose the range as the most important thing.

 

16 minutes ago, Lumberlocke said:

I would like it if the slingshot animation could be cancelled for more freedom

 

31 minutes ago, Canis said:

Make the slingshot require aiming and right click, like forge abilities.

These 2 things sound much better suited for the type of action combat it's meant to be used, I completely agree.

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Had an interesting idea just now. 

As Walter attacks contiuosly with his slingshot, the attack speed (or maybe damage per shot) increases gradually over the first 6-7 shots to a point where he is doing slightly more dps than a Wigfrid with a darksword. If Walter moves or stops attacking for any reason, this is reset.

This would allow Walter to provide great damage, but only if he has another player or mob tanking for him, and only if the target he is attacking has a health pool large enough for him to build his tempo up in the first place. He would also be left vulnerable as he must act as a turret to take advantage of this.

Just a random idea with very little actual thought put in. I just want to see Walter's slingshot become a viable, if situational, source of damage that isn't outshined by the good ole' hambat/darksword we all know so well

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I would like to suggest that there should  an ingame item that directly buff walter’s slingshot, not just outright buff to walter. In this way there’s some sort of late game viability and progression feels for the character. Maybe you could upgrade walter’s slingshot from boss drops like, 

Goose feather upgrade of slingshot gives 2x attack speed, like one hit shoots out 2 pellets. This could be useful when using the ice pellet and nightmare pellets.

Dragonscale(i cant think of a good boss drop) upgrade of slingshot could give heavy attacks dealing some sort of damage multiplier, like x2 damage. Useful for marble pellets

Maybe you could even use antlion’s orb as a pellet late game to deal something like 100 aoe damage. Late game you’ll have lots of trinkets from raiding the ruins which you can trade for heavy bullets to antlion later on. 

I do agree however that walter’s range of slingshot should be buff and you should be able to cancel his attacks like most of you suggested. 

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3 hours ago, zepplin12 said:

I would like to suggest that there should  an ingame item that directly buff walter’s slingshot, not just outright buff to walter. In this way there’s some sort of late game viability and progression feels for the character. Maybe you could upgrade walter’s slingshot from boss drops like, 

Goose feather upgrade of slingshot gives 2x attack speed, like one hit shoots out 2 pellets. This could be useful when using the ice pellet and nightmare pellets.

Dragonscale(i cant think of a good boss drop) upgrade of slingshot could give heavy attacks dealing some sort of damage multiplier, like x2 damage. Useful for marble pellets

Maybe you could even use antlion’s orb as a pellet late game to deal something like 100 aoe damage. Late game you’ll have lots of trinkets from raiding the ruins which you can trade for heavy bullets to antlion later on. 

I do agree however that walter’s range of slingshot should be buff and you should be able to cancel his attacks like most of you suggested. 

The strident trident looks like a nice slingshot :D. It probably won't work with it, but i like the idea here. I also totally agree with the range buff.

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Honestly I feel like the poop pellet should be different that the rest. Perhaps being an aoe attack ,like if you got 1 poop pellet from 1 manure but it could deaggro enemies in a certain range, I would like that
I also think personally that he should have like slingshot upgrades that have actual durability. A slingshot that fires 0.5x times faster, a slingshot that deals 0.5x more damage and maybe a slingshot that deals half damage but has an aoe effect. This would grant the character a sense of variaty and progression imo.

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How about different ammo types? Instead of freezing enemies with non magic copy of ice staff maybe use ewecus slime to stun them in place just like she does? Player will be able to deal some free hits on mob unlike on frozen one whe he became unfrozen after first hit?

Or maybe some explosive pellets with aoe damage from snurtle slime? Slingshot is really sloppy when you fight a group of enemies, even with low health like group of bees or spiders.

Poop pellets should maybe affect lesser mobs in different way - not deagro them but make them run away for a little distance - like bunnyman when they get hurt enough. And in pvp mode they can deal sanity dmg to players just like cave monkeys projectiles.

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Im ok with most of the pellets (purple are weak and tentacles are as useless as always) and dps is correct when you are dealing damage without danger. I would only add more kind of pellets and canceling the animation to cancel the damage but making me able to kite

 

I think is one of the most balanced things that klei has release in a new character 

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I dunno.. I was kind of expecting a little more then just (Auto Targets Closest object, Press X to Fire)

I wanted (& he needed..) Depth. Something along the lines of aiming at and pulling back to fire- The longer you charge the shot the further it’ll go and more damage it deals.

No Idea how that would Translate well to my XBOX Controller but.... it’s something that he needs because otherwise- it’s a little “Too Easy” to Target and 1 shot kill butterflies, Rabbits, Birds, Moleworm etc..

Of course if they made that change I would want them to also overhaul Walters Hunger Meter.. the dude starves to death in a swear about 8-10 minutes.. currently all you have to do is put gold pellet into slingshot and press X to kill food source, but if I actually had to aim and fire at it... maybe less harsh hunger? 

If I could Aim the slingshot I also want to be able to load water balloons into it to fire at smoldering base structures if I happen to NOT have a Icefling.. or simply just to make other players wet and insane in PVP.. an Easier to craft early access version of his Freeze Pellet.

Idk just some ideas!

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I dont want to make this long, but to be honest, i expected more variety in terms of crowd control (i mean slow and freeze are kind of the same)

Also the slow pellets use "magic" gems, so a cheap slow for a purple gem seems way off to me. Poop pellets feel wanky since some mobs react to it but some dont.

What i was thinking was adding different effects to the pellets:

Poop pellets: Mobs have a chance to de-aggro and run aimlessly for a short period of time (similar to fire staff)

Purple pellets: Non boss mobs have a small chance to miss the attack (works for minibosses) effect has some cooldown so they are not "permanently blinded"

These are my ideas for some more item related pellets... might be op, maybe its not.. but thats my approach and how i feel about Walter since i consider him to be a more dps oriented support character.

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