Thoughts on the new Rage Burst, Mark for Death, & 'Onslaught'

So I’m about 3/4 through my first play through of the new Cthulu update, on normal difficulty.

Overall, I’m liking the new balances, for the most part. I like how Dash has been nerfed, and also how Pandoran upgrades are announced - it explains the subtleties of each type we were perhaps missing, as they all look so similar - but that’s for a different thread. I like how I still haven’t bumped into any mortar Kierans, sorry, Chirons, yet - it’s all making a lot more sense. Most of the points in the change list I’m all for, so good work, Snapshot.

The Scylla now represents more of a challenge, which is great. On my first (and as yet only, in this build) encounter, my A-team were under-equipped, and I had to have a do-over to get through without anyone dying (save scummer that I am - it’s for testing - that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). It did represent a sudden upturn in difficulty, and I kind of like that. But, at the same time, many of my dudes had higher level perks, such as Rage Burst, Mark for Death, and the newly renamed ‘Onslaught’. It all felt a bit like playing snooker with a piece of rope.

I get it - it’s kind of supposed to feel like that when up against a Scylla, but I can’t help feeling these three perks have been a bit over-nerfed.

  • Rage Burst now feels more like Impotent Rage Burst. My standard anti-Scylla tactic was to dash an assault/heavy in with a Hel II cannon, and Rage Burst it into next week. Not anymore. Good, I like a challenge, but not when the perk that is supposed to literally burst rage spreads that rage so thinly, that you need to be at point blank for it to have any effect. The armour on the Scylla is now so tough on its legs that it’s pointless going for them. Rage Burst will now inevitably hit some legs, so it all feels rather like throwing a Tic-Tac at a whale, or chucking a sausage up an alley - it hardly tickles the sides. Against normal sized opponents, again, unless you’re absolutely up close and personal, like adjacent, at least one burst is guaranteed to miss. I think the cone needs to be narrowed, even just a bit.

  • Mark for Death. This one has gone from being ‘Ok, Pandoran, you’re number is now up’, to ‘I’m going to tickle you, but there’s no rush with this - carry on as if I’m not here’. An extra 10 damage per bullet is sort of negligible when you’re dealing with an enemy with HP in the thousands. For the WP it costs (when up against a Scylla), it’s just not worth it - not while you’re constantly running away from mist to preserve WP.

  • ‘Onslaught’. What to say about this? Inspire was majorly OP, I agree. But this is another over-nerfing. To imbue one other teammate who happens to be in range with a meagre 2 AP hardly conjures the image of an onslaught. The instigating soldier even has to spend 1 AP to give someone else 2 AP, so the 1 AP garnered overall is about as close to an onslaught as in real life, saying to a fellow soldier in a life or death situation ‘Come on now, mate - lift a finger. Can’t be arsed? Ok, never mind, forget I said anything’.

I’m being a bit harsh, I know. Overall, I think the work done on this update is great, just these three perks seem to have swung wildly in the other direction.

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I’m not sure I understand the new Rage Burst or Mark for Death… no comment yet on Onslaught.

  • Rage Bursts change from what I understand was meant to make it more used by the HMG for shooting in an arc. It used to be usable by, and valuable to any build, but now only has one ideal use which is rarely useful to begin with? (if ever? personally just seems like a waste of ammo to me) I haven’t used it yet, and I’m nervous to spend so many points on something that seems incredibly useless when I can cross class to a sniper and take Quick Aim instead.

  • Mark for Death was powerful for all weapons and now is almost exclusively useful for Assault Rifles, PDWs, HMG, and Shotguns it would appear. I’m supposing this change is to make those weapons more useful against the monstrous Scylla while NOT making the Cannon and Virophage sniper more powerful since they are already pretty useful. I’d only ever used it once on the (pre-buffed, because Rage Burst was good enough) Scylla and used to use it frequently on Sirens (still useful I guess) or any target I wanted to snipe dead with one shot but that use is no longer viable. Kind of wish it still had some application for a sniper rifle, like +70 damage with a sniper rifle, +10 for everything else.

I have to wonder why the first two talents for all the basic classes seem incredibly more useful than the final talents, and the costs so disproportionate. Dash, Return Fire, Quick Aim… -1overwatchcostability, War Cry, Brawler? are all pretty godly abilities usable by anyone. Free Reload, Rage Burst, Boom Blast, Mark for Death all incredibly niche. Was this intended? I often just want to save the points and never get those late talents and instead buy more speed/strength/WP to use the earlier 10cost abilities more.

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This post reminds me of the system I work for… something doesn’t work exactly how we want it, so let’s do a 180 and do the complete opposite. Haven’t gotten the new marked for death yet, but guess I’m not wasting the points for it. Haven’t seen rage burst either. Did they nerf the aim even more? SMH! Onslaught??? Not wasting the points. I didn’t use rally the troops very much but now it seems very situational. Hard Pass!

So I’m kind of torn on PP. I’m glad I didn’t get PP on launch. Game was disaster. Still is a hot mess to a small extent. The constant large changes to game play tell me that the vision of what this game should be has been lost. On the flip side. It seems snapshot is still sticking it out with PP. They are making progress but can’t help but feel we are still playing beta versions of a better game.

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Yeah, I’d figured that the thing with Rage Burst was to upscale weaker weapons (and cap stronger ones), but the resultant logic is that when it comes to the Scylla, it has some serious non-Newtonian shizzle going on; the harder you hit it, the less damage you do.

The logical conclusion of this is that you should be able to walk up to it, fart in its general direction, and see it off with one shot.

Or shart.

Edit: I’ve since changed my opinion.

I just got the new “Onslaught” ability and it’s a serious “WTF?”

I have 0 clue how I’m ever going to use this and it seems like it was an absolute waste of SP.

Onslaught: An ally within 10 tiles recovers 2 Action Points.
Cost: 4 Willpower and 2 Action Points.

What?! I thought the cost was merely 4 Willpower. But now not only do I exchange one soldiers AP to give to another, but it also costs him 4 Willpower? … and only within 10 tiles? One of the only possible uses I can imagine it for would be to help a soldier move out of harms way when he otherwise wouldn’t have the ability to do so on his own (Edit: lol ironically the one thing that convinced me that it actually was pretty decent once it happened)… but with the 10 tile limit… that really limits that use to almost never as well. The other use would be if I get a soldier with garbage bonus talents (no reckless or +dmg on anything) and he happens to be an assault. In which case I might as well just load him with WP and turn him into an assist-bot that would only ever be used in that extremely rare situation (probably never) where he happens to be one of the remaining soldiers available to take on a mission for some reason.

Wish there was a refund SP mod already. Actually you know what, I’m reloading an old save.

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I use it often, sometimes an other soldier simply has a better LOS on a target or a better weapon or he must run out of trouble or … what ever else. It isn’t a nobrainer skill like the old one but for me it has its usages and is worth the SP to spend.

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I completely agree with the previous speaker. I will add from myself that sometimes it makes sense to pull a comrade out of the fire using this skill. As for rage burst and mark of death, I never seriously used these skills, so I did not notice the loss of their uniqueness

Oh good that there are people who gives clues to the others, as they cannot see something that is still overpowered. :smiley:

I’d still have to see someone make use of it. I’ve never been in a situation where even the original one felt useful (though it was obviously better), but this gives someone with a assault rifle or a shotgun the ability to shoot again, pdw/pistol to shoot twice (or quick aim for more) or run away. 10 tiles is pretty limited and I’d have to keep everyone close to one another, which I rarely do so in my situations I’d be able to use it on maybe one or two soldiers max and that would mean most of the time 25sp aren’t doing anything.

In my current Legend play through, I’m finding Heavy Armors and Assault rifles to reign supreme. I try to equip soldiers with their corresponding weapon to the bonus talent (Strongman with a Cannon for example) and let those talents offset the heavy armor penalties. I then cross-class everyone into Snipers so they can get the Marksman and Quick Aim talents. Now everyone is sniping everything dead in their turn and then the enemies like to miss/do no damage to the Scarab since the heavy armor deters enemies from focusing on my soldiers.

I’m sure this will change up later in the game, but it’s making for a pretty funny/easy early game. Maybe there will be a use for Onslaught later on. Feel like I’ve got a Warhammer Space Marine squad just roflstomping everything, or the Brotherhood from Fallout.

(Another note: I almost never use ANU Tech/soldiers. It’s just one of my personal restrictions to make the game more interesting for me. I either go all Anu, which was once, or Syn/NJ… I can now see there being a use on boosting an amped up Berserker/Assault

… also I don’t own Blood and Titanium if that matters)

One situation is definitely viable where you have soldier in front of the fight, you have used his actions, he is wounded and you either want him retreat (because he failed to kill enemy and he has too low armor) or you want him to heal (and your medic is too far and targeted soldier still has medkit). Then you go somewhere nearby with your assault and you cast Onslaught. I don’t know how often players use it in this way, but it happened for me few times. Maybe it is not skill which I abuse but I definitely find it handy sometimes.

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I’ve been using Onslaught very actively in my playthroughs. I used it a few times to pull a soldier out of LOS. I’ve used it to add two more AP’s to someone with the Rapid Clearance ability active but who did not quite kill his last target. I’ve used it to give a Heavy two more AP’s to launch one more grenade when they had Boom Blast active. I’ve also used it on an engineer so they could close the distance to heal another injured character, as well as pull a mind fragger off a soldier who got MC’d the enemy turn before.

It’s been nerfed, sure, but still very useful for a “command” type character.

The only problem I’m finding with it is that sometimes it appears to target the wrong character (happened twice now, the first time I thought it was my error. The second time I made sure to target the character in question, but still ended up targeting the wrong person). Unfortunately in the second sample, I killed the last enemy on the map before I could send a bug report (I was in a hurry to finish the combat so I could grab some food). Next time it happens I’ll be sure to send a bug report.

For the other two skills, Rage Burst and Mark for Death, I rarely use them now. I used to use them all the time to kill targets, with the latest patch I rarely option it for a soldier. Mark for Death is promising, but requires several characters to target the same baddie in order to improve the damage; Rage burst just misses too often, imho.

Currently Onslaught can be used on the same soldier by several soldiers (so you can have, say, 3 assaults “cheering” a Heavy). Has anybody being using it like this and what are their thoughts on it? Should Onslaught continue to work like that, or become a status effect (so that a soldier can only receive it once)? Tbh, I wonder especially what more casual players think about it.

It’s a great concept, but I agree that it needs some work. IMO, the aiming cone isn’t very useful for… well, aiming - it just doesn’t offer a good enough of a prediction as to the damage that the target will receive/how many times it will be hit. (the devs are aware of this, btw, so hopefully we will see it improve in time).

It’s still very fun to use though with different weapons, imo.

I wasn’t using Rally the Troops in previous campaigns, but Onslaught I do now, I like the concept,
transfering AP to other soldier in range, as @Yokes posted helping others in troubles or wounded,

but also if you have 3 assault LV6 you can create a synergy, reaching areas faster or chaining shots inside a building with another class, assault soldiers in the outside but in range feeding AP without the need of RC

I used it also saving Mr. Spark, that civilian starts in a bad place, too close to the enemies, I chained transfer of AP with Assault: dash+onslaught, he was safe and sound in two turns

As I become more casual player, because of my family I opt for status and single use on single character. :smiley:

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that would limit seriously Onslaught ability

1 time AP transfer was already a strong ability in XCom Wotc as relationship to other soldier. Why PP must have always even more powerful skills to exploit?

Well, 1AP is fine , at least you can “save” soldiers in troubles

Well, 1AP in XCom is 2AP in PP
So Onslaught as now is for me not OP but has a potential to exploit.

Lets try to think of real balance:

Inspire-Onslaught: It was too much when it inspired whole squad returning 1-2 APs per soldier, its too little when it inspires nearby fellow. Some limited range for all soldiers in range - hmmm … would make you keep squad tight which makes them in higher risk of one bullet multiple shots?

Marked for death: Synderion Assault rifle with 3 bullets does fine show here. However, its not more of snipers thing. What was before? Some percentage bonus, as 10% more damage inflicted instead of 10 per bullet?. Helps only with larger squads as it is now?.

Update is great and balancing takes time and thinking :slight_smile: - testing the effect.

I don’t have the new Onslaught, because the system apparently kept Rally when I transferred over my test build.

But Rally giving +1AP on a 10-tile radius works pretty well. The radius seriously limits the previous ‘fuel something stupid anywhere on the map’ effect.