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Forgrims Heavy Bolter Feedback

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Forj, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. Forgrim Forj Battle-Skald

    That is pretty much the play style I've gravitated towards, and it works best at mid to long range. There is, however, a threshold where I can no longer track fast enough to keep up with a moving target. Skill is certainly the major factor here, and i need to het better, but there are also some definite limits, especially once a stray shot reduces accuracy via flinch or reticle bloom. None of the this is inherently a bad thing that I'm complaining about, I'm just sharing my experience in the hope that it helps both the developers and other players.
  2. Forgrim Forj Battle-Skald

    Let's talk Counters. What counters a Heavy Bolter, and should it? These are my experiences so far...

    Soft Counters

    Bolters/Storm Bolters: These are dangerous, but I have tools to deal with them, and if I’m smart I’m usually ok. They’re at their most dangerous when encountered unexpectedly. What makes them counter me is their speed at medium to close range making them difficult to track, and their accuracy at medium to long range, sometimes even if being suppressed. I’ve exchanged fire with Bolters in much the same way as Stalker Bolters, they just take longer to kill me, so if I’m not being stubborn, I can usually get away. Feels strange to be naturally suppressed by the guy I’m shooting at though.

    Hard Counters

    Assaults: If they’re attacking me, I can’t track them fast enough if they maneuver, I can’t often kill them fast enough if they land and charge straight at me, even if I start firing in the right direction as soon as they land. If they’re attacking someone else, I can manage to track them enough for a kill about half the time, depending on range, though I’m often at risk of overheating. Tracking moving targets is something I need to get better at. This Hard Counter mostly seems right, except for not being able to down someone charging directly at me from mid range when I start firing at the first opportunity.

    Lascannon: I’m a nice stationary target when I’m braced. If I don’t spot them, I’m dead. I’ve even been shanked but one. If I do spot them, and they’re at long range (i.e. wall overlooking A from SM Spawn A to top of hill between A and SM Spawn B), I can shoot them to near overheating, but they can still maintain target enough to shoot me. Being countered by a sniper seems fair, but I’m not sure that standing out of cover and shooting back is the right way to go about it.

    Stalker Bolter: Same deal as the Lascannon, but they need more shots so I can often escape immediate death. The sneaky buggers like to hide behind corners where my shots can’t reach them. However, I have also exchanged fire with them at similar long ranges where they have not needed to take cover, and maintained accuracy during (presumably) being suppressed. Once again, being countered by a sniper seems fair, but I’m not sure that standing out of cover and shooting back is the right way to go about it.


    I wouldn’t want to change the Hard Counters much at all. These are things that should kill me if I'm unsupported. I’d like to see a direct exchange of fire go in favour of the Heavy Bolter more often, especially if the HB is in cover and the other is not. It would also be nice to be more effective against an Assault charging from mid-range (but that’s me speaking as a mid-level player, so could be just right).

    The soft counter, Bolters, are what I’d like to most see change, and only in the same way as the Stalker Bolter and Lascannon. Even more so, a Heavy Bolter should win a long range engagement with an imbalance in cover.
    Spud likes this.
  3. barricade barricade Subordinate

    In Space Marine i was also a Dev/Havoc player too. I just wish they'd give us a braced stance outside if cover similiar to SM.I'd be able to plant my feet and gain that boost to my accuracy and fire rate but slow turn speed and no movement (as well as quick time to kill in this game) would allow anything but whats in front of me to counter my set up. Still primarily supporty but still have killing potential.
    Spud and Irongroinpie like this.
  4. Ironrock Ironrock Preacher

    Bollocks!!!!! :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
    By the way, the guys in NZ are usually pretty good gamers! (Mostly from overcoming lag!)
  5. Iron Dragon ByeBye Well-Known Member

    Love the effort and thought you put into the thread. It's good to see someone wanting to focus on something and the HB is a good choice. As much as I do love reading what you are saying it is hard for me to relate. That has nothing to do with you or what you say, but more to the fact that our play styles are completely 180 degrees different from each other. Where as you feel like you are getting more accomplished by staking out an area, bracing and killing anything that comes across your path, and don't really enjoy being on the front lines in CQC. I thoroughly enjoy the CQC and feel board and useless bracing on a wall and hopping to take someone out. But that is the beauty of the game and the HB itself. We can both enjoy it in our own way.

    As a rather mid player myself I do relate to you on that aspect and would like to give you some advice that may help if you find you want to explore, or due to the map are forced to, CQC fighting again. These are things that I have been working on, and seem to help, since I was let into the Alpha as a Captain. Some of them maybe things that you have or are trying and our terminology differs so I didn't pick up on it so forgive me if you have tried them.

    1) And I do know you said you did this and it didn't seem to do much, but it's where I start. When entering a building or close quarters area make sure you are with your team, but do lag behind them a bit. Let the Tacs and Assaults rush in using their grenades and guns to help you locate the enemy. Once the shooting starts use the corners and cover to move and shoot at the largest group of them. It will help your team get in closer for the kill and smart players (those on your team hopefully)will stay to your left and right so that they do not get suppressed by you.
    2) Always and I do mean always use the Aim/Zoom/Standing Brace mode when you enter a potential combat area. If you think their might be an enemy near by us that aim to prep yourself to fire and slowly strafe around the corners to see if anyone is around. This not only allows you to fire faster, but has the added bonus of making sure you don't show up on the radar until you start firing. Also if you are running into a building with other members of your faction and you enter the aim mode you will automatically slow down so that will help with point 1.
    3) When you come across a single enemy the only movement you should be doing is panning your gun to track them. Try not moving your character as you well know by now it destroys your accuracy. If you are facing more than 1 opponent keep moving do not stop until you get to cover. Sure your accuracy will suck and you may not get a kill, but you will be able to suppress them all and that will keep you alive.
    4) Do not be afraid of the recoil on your weapon. Use the barrel climb to your advantage. If you start out aiming at the center mass of your target the barrel climb will take your shots straight to the head, and with a little downward compensation you will score a headshot kill more often then not (or at least that is my experience, I seem to get more headshots than regular kills and I definitely don't take the time to aim for them).
    5) This one is risky. If you notice that your team has run into a rats nest of enemies (a group of enemies that are bunched up in a tight area that is easily defended) and are having a hard time routing them out, go for a long run. Yes by that I mean find a way to flank them from behind. That is one of the reasons this is dangerous. As you have experienced being on your own in the open is tough, that is why I said run. Funny enough you can outrun Assaults as a Heavy. Sure it seems un-marine like, but again it keeps you alive and if you know that they are following you you can lead them to your team where they will promptly be shot. Another reason that this is dangerous is that most paths that you can take to a flanking position take you right through the middle of an enemy spawn. So you run the risk of as you are entering aim and slowly approaching the enemy someone spawns in behind you for the easy kill. Its a risk, but hey what in game isn't, besides the SB right now. Now once you start firing on the enemy from the rear you will become the object of pretty much all their affection (pretty much everyone will turn and fire at you if they don't have team chat going) and you won't have much cover to use, but take heart even if you die they have just spent valuable resources killing you and you have just given your team the opening they need to clear them out. Oh and if you can manage to lob that grenade, without it exploding in your hand, before you die then you have really scattered them and your team should have no problem mopping them up.
    6) Watch that radar it is your lifeline. As your team spots enemies or they start jumping or firing they pop up and you will have a good idea where you are needed. Also not sure if you know it or not, it can be hard to see at times, but you can tell if the enemy is on the same level as you by looking at the radar. If it is bright solid red then they are on the same level as you, and if it is a pale dull red then they are on a different level. This is especially helpful to be aware of before entering a building like B. If you are on a hillside and the radar is giving you a solid red marker then you can be sure the enemy is on the second floor and you can prep to hit them before they know you are there.
    7) Don't lay off that trigger until the enemy is either dead or you are in cover and out of their line of sight. I know it seem counter intuitive what with the massive recoil and all, but if you are compensating for it then you should be able to keep them on target and suppressed until you reach safety. And once there you can take a second to let your gun cool down.
    8) Use your angles. I have gone toe to toe with a Pred and because of the angle I was at in the building they couldn't aim the cannon to hit me and the shots he was firing were far enough away that I wasn't even shaken by the explosion. And I wasn't even really standing in cover. It was just hard for him to get an angle through the window that wasn't hitting the wall, boxes I was standing next to, or the pillar on the other side. Also large boxes and pillars make it hard for the average player to tag you with a grenade. If you are taking refuge behind one and you see that grenade warning flash in front of you, just hug that cover, don't try to dodge, and you will come out of the blast without a scratch 80% of the time.
    9) Last but not least, and this goes for either play style of the HB, keep your head on a swivel. If you have a second between firing on someone, stop and look around. It's hard to do when braced so yeah what you said about them adding a way to look to the side without leaving brace was an excellent suggestion (also that's one of the main reasons I never use brace, I got tired of people sneaking up on me and one shoting me with their melee weapons). Even if you think you have teammates around to help watch your back, take the time to look around yourself. You will be amazed at how often they are to focused on the same area your covering, or worst yet they wander off and leave you hanging in the wind. Nothing sucks more then thinking you have a friend near by only to be shot or stabbed in the back, and when you look around in your downed state there's not a friendly in sight.

    Hope some of these are helpful and sorry for returning the wall of text to you, but if I can help another player improve in their weapon of choice and help them to have more fun in the game then that is what I want to do. Best of luck in your future testing of the HB. Who knows maybe someday I will bump into you on the battlefield and be able to watch your back as you mow down the enemy with hails of rapid fire death.
    Spud and Lax like this.
  6. Forgrim Forj Battle-Skald

    An excellent point. Both aspects of HB use need to be viable, not just to accommodate different playstyles, but because both situations will be encountered regularly by HB users.
    Yes, these are things that I've learned too, but the advice and reminder is appreciated. Some things I need to get better at doing. It's also nice to have these things confirmed for me as sensible things to be doing. You haven't seen me mention them much since I've focused this thread on describing my experience and raising what I think the issues are.
    Oh, how I hate this. Happens all the time, and really emphasises how dependant on your team you are.
    ByeBye likes this.
  7. barricade barricade Subordinate

    Its funny that as a support class i rely on the other classes more tosupport me thenthe other way around
  8. Forgrim Forj Battle-Skald

    This is not always the case, thankfully, but there are quite a number of times where if I weren't there, they'd be fine, but if they weren't there, I'd be dead.
  9. Forgrim Forj Battle-Skald

    A few more thoughts have occurred to me. I thought I was done until the next patch, but nope! Sorry, not done yet!

    Unpreventable Deaths

    What feels like unpreventable deaths make up about a third to half of my deaths. Unpreventable because I’m in what seems to be a safe situation: moving to meet up with team so no mates, nothing on the radar, battle is elsewhere. Thus I’m not paranoid about corners, though I do make sure to stay out of the open. This means I’m not ready to fire when someone comes around the corner, or starts shooting at me from the side or behind. It’s really annoying when I get shot from behind like 6 steps away from spawning, even after I checked around me for enemies. A specific example is spawning at B in the Refinery, doing a quick surroundings check, and then starting to run up one of the internal ramps. Get shot from behind and die before I’m halfway up. I don’t begrudge the kill at all, that’s the ideal situation for him, but it feels like a lot of my deaths are like this. It does not make me feel in control of my situation.

    Stalker Bolter feels more effective

    My last match of night, I decided to mix it up and see what it felt like on the other end of a Stalker Bolter. I wasn’t very good, and I kept moving like a Devastator: not taking cover, not enough rolling etc. However, my K/D ration was similar to what I expect with a HB, and my score was higher. I generally felt more effective at any range, and with a higher survival rate. Sure, I’m not suppressing like a HB, but I’d choose my enemy not Suppressed-and-Dead over Suppressed-and-Alive.

    I found the Stalker Bolter better at long range due to the stability and higher zoom. I found it better at mid -close range due to ROF and Time on Target. Using single fire and rapid clicking, the ROF felt the same or greater than the HB. I was able to track a moving target way easier, without losing accuracy, thus landing more shots. This combination completely outshone the HB when engaging inside A and B, even along the hallway of A. Several times I had a situation that matched one I’d encountered as a HB Devastator and lost: someone rushes into the room, rolling and firing. With the Stalker, I tracked them, rolled to avoid fire, then killed them. Ability to track a rolling target with stable fire confirms my thoughts on the importance of Time on Target over actual ROF and bullet damage.

    I also didn’t feel any more fragile than the Devastator, with it’s supposedly greater health+armour (that's an assumption on my part, based on some comments as I remember them). In fact, I was more survivable due to being faster and the ability to dodge-roll. Once again, I found myself in situations where I would have died as a Devastor yet I survived as a Tactical due to faster speed and rolling. As a generality, this balance seems right, but the case where someone comes running into my fire arc with bullets already flying doesn’t seem quite so right.

    The different perspective confirmed to me that the Stalker Bolter is a hard counter because I’m stationary and they have a better, more stable zoom. This seems quite reasonable, but I’d still like them to need to peer around cover to do so effectively.

    Reticle Twitch

    I’ve noticed an odd reticle bloom twitch sometimes when stationary and not under fire. I’m guessing the game is reading me as moving slightly due to uneven ground or something like that. Has anyone else noticed this?

    Match Score Reward

    I feel that it is important to reward players, and Match Score and K/D/E is a good way of doing so for people whose job it is to kill other people. Not quite the same for support classes. Match Score goes some to addressing that, handing out points for things other than just Kills and Executes. I know that this is going to be tweaked at some point, adding in Assists. I’m also going to assume that Healing Done will be added at some point between now and whenever (if not, consider this as a suggestion). It would be a nice to have if Devastators got a Suppression Score as well, giving a score to how much they supported their team. I know I’m not there for kills, and whenever sensible I don’t try for them in favour of giving supporting fire and suppression for my team. But it would be nice to have all the times I’ve prevented a flanking move etc recognised somehow. To give an extreme example, I could be a contributing member of the team with zero kills - although I wouldn’t expect to also see low assists if this were the case.
    Warriant, ByeBye and Zaeryn like this.
  10. barricade barricade Subordinate

    Thats what I mean.In SM once my feet were planted anything that was in front of me was dead, unless I got flanked which is totally fine. I didnt need to look for brace pointsor cover cause i was every other classes portable turret/cover and could soak a few hits so they wouldnt have to and could flank. While this games HB in its current form gets the job done I hope they take some ideas from SM too cause it felt Emperor like using it in that game. Though I just had a thought, what if they have a talent tree built to mimic SM's HB? I mean you have an over heat mechanic if you choose a belt fed HB and a magazine dependant doesnt overheat but limited rounds. If i use the Dev/Hav class enough and go down a certain tree (call it the come ate me bro tree if you like). I woukd get the ability to plant anywhere but lose all mobility and a little turn speed but gain a bit of defense (like 10% as an example) while another tree would be more like the current one. More mobile but no damage mitigation and you can onlybrace on waist high cover. Plant anywhere tree loses supression(enemy screen blurs and such but they dont lose accuracy so if they are lucky they can put a few shots towards you but risk death) but accuracy is increased and mobile tree increases supression effect but nowhere near as accurate. It would give you an option on how you could play the same class in different ways. Do you opt for the far less mobile yet a little tankier bullet hose? Or do you opt for a more mobile HB setup meant to move around the field and while not quite as accurate your bullets cause the current spression effects and debuff your enemies into not moving.

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