Mark for death not working as intended

I have played the game back in the Dec’19, when mark for death buffed your damage by 50%, and it was borderline broken. After a year-long hiatus I came back to playing the game, and was pleased to see the skill changed to a more sensible +10 damage per bullet… only to find out, that it actually still boosts your damage by 50%. Is that consistent with others’ experience? If that’s not the case, I shall report it. Can attach screenshots later today.

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It was modified again in Polaris/YOE but the description wasn’t changed. Now it adds 50% damage after armor (so not as bad as on release and before 1.6 Chtuhlu).

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Ok, I see. Was targeting an armorless enemy when encountered it, so failed to see the difference. I quess it is fair then, still slightly stronger that I’d like it to be, but fine.

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Well, with the previous +10 damage per attack there was some complaining that it was too weak and that it was useless to sniper. Personally I liked it because it worked well for burst weapons, and I thought of it as a support skill.

This new version we only just confirmed a couple of days ago that it’s not a bug, so the jury is still out I guess.

I didn’t realise they’d done that - much happier to hear.

It’s the final skill for the sniper and it does nothing for the sniper, +10 damage for 4WP? that is significantly worse than using quick aim on the pistol, which is a very early skill.

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Mark for death buffing damage to 50% is ok for me. +10 per bullet is unbalanced, as is pretty weak making the ability pretty useless, and favors some weapons over others.

The problem as it is, is that the ability should not stack, and it does, so you can inflict thousands of damage per shot if you exploit it.

Also in-game description needs to be updated.

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I have to disagree, Marked for Death in the current state is OP with burst weapons,
Scorcher AT , 990 damage per burst is too much, or Deceptor MG

that is my experience

+50% damage is not op, none of the weapons of your soldiers in the game do more than 200ish damage, minus the armor. Most weapons are much less powerful than that. Which means you cannot one shot reliably with MoD any regular enemy of the game.

If you think the AT is OP, thats a separate topic. Using a scenario not representative of the game, and a gun not representative of the guns in the game to support the claim of MoD being OP is dishonest.

I remind you that a much cheaper low tier hability, quick aim, will get you +100% of damage with most weapons of the game. +50% for a final tier hability, very expensive to use and very situational is not OP.

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… without any additional damage buff.

The problem is that you can stack the different damage buffs pretty easy and I don’t mean stacking MoD by it self.

Best example is Sneak Attack + MoD = (damage * 2 - armor) * 1.5, from my experience this is enough to one shot many of the enemies with shotguns, heavy weapons, melee weapons or sniper rifles. Even the otherwise pretty weak assault rifles turn into kill weapons with this summarized buff.

Besides that, do you find it necessary or even desirable that you can kill opponents with one shot?
Seen from both sides, of course.

Yes, it is called tactics. And I dont think removing the hability to use those will benefit the game.
A shotgun being able to one shot a regular enemy Marked for death with a sneak attack at close range is pretty much something that should happen imho.

Also many anemy attacks can one shot you down or disable you already. MoD is not an enemy hability, so yes, i think it is desirable and pretty much needed if you can use your habilities in a smart way to be able to inflict the same damage.

Fair enough and what is with sniper rifles from safety and far away?

For instance Raven = 130 * 2 * 1.5 = 390 damage, armor is no problem because of its 50 piercing. Can kill many of the foes with one shot and that two times per turn thanks to Quick Aim, of course would cost some WP. Sniper / Infiltrator is not a really abstract build, I would say it is pretty common.

With the Gungnir or the ancient Skorpion SR it only goes up and away …

OK so far, but would it be lesser tactical when both sides cannot one shot their opponents?

I personally think not, it would be more of a fight of attrition and could be more interesting that this “how to find a way to one shot the opponent first so that he can’t one shot me afterwards”.

I’m not absolutely against the 50% damage buff or think it is OP on its own. I my opinion currently it is somehow necessary. But sometimes I think it would be better when both sides would go down with all the damage that they can deal … only some thoughts :wink:

Not disagreeing with you here.

The fact is however, that only the combination of some pretty specific tactics allow you to put a one shot kill. MoD with any base class I would argue is not OP at all. When you shoot a Marked for death enemy with a Pythagoras VII you will make 180 damage minus armor, using a Hel II Cannon will give you 300 damage minus armor. Pretty much you will not be able to stop any enemy with a direct hit in most situations even with MoD.

Also, you need to take into account that the enemy is far more numerous than you are, is not only about killing the enemies before they can act. Is about positioning, target priorities, smart use of your abilities, using weak spots and dealing with range, armor and enemy abilities, to win, includding removing the biggest treats as fast as posible. I may agree that balance can be done better, but making enemies even more bullet sponges or able to resist even more of your attacks will hurt the game. If only I think the game would be better if your soldiers were more resilient and you had more strong options at your disposal to deal with them by using different combinations of tactics.

The problem imho appears when some specific strategies are far more useful or effective than every other approach. Stacking MoD is currently one of the things that should be removed. In the same way I think overwatch mechanics should be improved, AT guns should be made AI controlled again, and Rage burst made more useful (After the last nerf, in my last gameplay, it did not help me any single time). Disabling heads should reduce the accuracy (stealth triton snipers are the most annoying enemy for me, and cannot be countered effectively as it is), the umbra should have reduced health, and armor upgrades should be added to make disabling your units less frequent, the acid bomb artillery should be less dangerous… etc. I don’t know if the Infiltrator is an OP class, I did opt for getting priests in my gameplay, and I definitely found them underwhelming to say the least, as Mind control resulted far less reliable and useful than expected.

I think the last thing the game needs is more nerfing, most complains of the community come from the game being too punishing already. That would be my aproach.

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I think you mostly describe what many players think about the game, so I can’t completely disagree here with you.

Still there are some overpowered combinations that should be tuned down.
Infiltrators Sneak Attack is one of them, IMO +50% like MoD should be enough. Rapid Clearance is also OP if combined with specific assets like the Vengeance Torso bionic augmentation (1 AP melee attacks) and Sneak Attack (+100% melee damage for 1 AP and get 2 AP refunded: I’m able to clear some of the missions with only one such combined Assault / Infiltrator + additional Priest for Frenzy to speed him up).

MoD, I personally think, is not in that league and on its own pretty OK as long anything is as it currently is.

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Now that you mention it, Rapid Clearance + Vengeance Torso + Sneak Attack, is obviously a superstrong combination. I did not even think about it. Is so specific that is very understandable that the devs did not think about it either. I understand that one fun of the game is finding combinations like this, but I agree with you in being too much.

As I told you, I have no idea how strong Infiltrators are, stealth is one of the things I was not able to grasp in my gameplay at all. I would like it to be more clearly explained and more useful since I felt in every mission the enemies pretty much were aware of me almost inmediatly. But again I did not have any stealth focussed soldier. I like the idea of sneak attacks, but definitely I think stealth triton snipers were the most unbalanced enemies in the game. So definitely, the game should have some tools against stealth. And I completely trust you when you say sneak attack + MoD may be too powerful.

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I disagree, PX soldiers are OP enough, mounted weapons, turrets, Marked for Death, perks, make them more OP. Of couse stacking MfD is a bug.

Another silly example:

I had one Scylla jumping and destroying one turret, and two Umbra spawning, this playing Legend, not a challenge

I just need a sniper with LV 7 ability and one Scorcher AT/technician to deal with any number of enemies, and regular single class squad, that without using Viral or paralysis or Granade launcher or blast radius mounted weapons.

So, is that really necessary +50% ?

Only real problem is ability to stack Mark Of Death on a single target more then combining different abilities (even they may be deadly, that is tactics, not cheating)

I would keep the high number. It might happen in some situations you have just one MOD level sniper, it cannot be a real game changer knowing WP is finite resource.

nobody said cheating, just OP ability

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As I commented before, you need to take into account that AT guns have a potential damage of 600 (without any buff such as MoD) this implies they are as powerful as two direct hits of a Hell 2 heavy cannon buffed with MoD, and a Hel II cannon is a very unreliable inaccurate weapon.

What you are describing in my opinion is a problem of Scorcher AT being too strong, not a problem with MoD itself.

A +50% effect in MoD is pretty much needed to be useful with most guns of the game. Otherwise, it will be objectively weaker than quick aim. In summary, Scorcher AT + MoD being too powerful, does not imply MoD being OP. I would argue the problem is with AT guns itself, as MoD + any other gun in the game is not OP at all.

Also we can all agre in that MoD should not be able to stack.

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And the problem is Sneak Attack and the problem is Harrower and… Deceptor …

it is not only one weapon, and few combos and perks

I can agree with you here. As we all know there are a number of combinations that are unbalanced in the game. But again that is not a problem with the ability itself.

Regarding the Deceptor, we are talking at a potential damage of 420 without piercing and little shred, with not that much damage per bullet (35), far less OP than an AT gun. specially if you consider that that 50% is after armor. So the Deceptor gun will almost never make more than 200 damage in one shot. Even with MoD.

The Harrower is even less of a problem, we are talking at a potential damage of 320, for a short range shotgun with no piercing with also not a lot of damage per bullet (40). I dont see anything wrong here. A shogun in the face against a target marked for death should be devastating, I dont see this OP at all.

Remember that a medium armored enemy late game has 30+ armor, so we would be talking about actual damage numbers of 90 and 360, for a marked for death enemy. With a burst riffle and a short range shotgun, not enough to kill anything in one shot with the Deceptor hitting 100% of the rounds (maybe a good chance of disabling a limb), and good but not that good chance for the Harrower of a kill, which again should be devastating imo.