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Howling Banshee 1: The Problem

Discussion in 'Eldar' started by Rheeva, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. Lady Rheeva Steam Early Access

    This thread is to serve for the purpose of discussing whether or not the Howling Banshee is underpowered, how much and why.
    This is primarely to keep said debate outside of the second thread I will put up to try and actually find a fix to the class once and for all.

    So, if you want to debate the subject of the classes', current place in the meta, do it here. If you want to debate the future state, direct your attention to the other thread.
    I will start the discussion of with a few facts and opinions to refer to later:

    Stats and builds:
    The Howling Banshee runs 150 Health, 80 Armor, 100 Toughness base. Going with the typical build might end up with 186 Health, 80 Armor, 100 Toughness, 30% Lifesteal and 39% faster stamina-regeneration (266 EHP)
    There are other, viable builds, but this one has generally proven to be the most effective.
    The class equips a Power-Sword by default, has the 15% speed boost innate to Eldar and a Scream that causes light suppression, visual noise and causes targets to take increased melee-damage.

    Direct comparison Life-Steal-build to Khorne Traitor-Assault:

    -160 EHP less
    -Necrotic Chainsword vs Banshee-Scream
    -15% faster
    -Khorne-debuff
    -Worse Pistol

    Direct comparison Armour-build to LSM Ground-Assault (No Shield):
    -129 EHP less
    -Banshee Scream
    -15% faster
    -15% better stamina-regen
    -Worse Pistol

    Direct comparison Flexible build to Stormboy:
    -Banshee Scream vs Burny Choppa
    -Worse Pistol
    -No headshot mod
    -15% faster vs Jetpack
    -11% worse Stamina-reg
    -69 EHP less

    Direct Comparison Flexible Build to Striking Scorpion
    -Lashsword+Stealth vs Banshee Scream+Powersword
    -53 EHP less

    Concept:
    Initially, the Howling Banshee was a half Jump-Assault. The JPA-class got split into Banshees and Hawks for Eldar, as far as combat-roles go.
    Hawks are meant to be able to do harassment and assassination, which limits their field of application compared to other Jump-classes, but they also excel at it.
    Banshees are meant to do disruption and line-breaking, the more brute-force part of the JPA, and also excel at this function.
    What this means is that, hypothetically, a Banshee is supposed to be able to charge a line and wreak havoc, perhaps not killing targets on her own but dealing significant damage and causing destruction so the rest of the team can come in and help.
    There are 3, major obstacles in fullfilling this role:
    -Lack of mobility to even make it to the enemy alive
    -Lack of sustainability to keep open a breach or distract the enemy
    -Too easy to stall to be a threat to anyone
    All, three of these issues are normally solved by skilled use of the Jump-pack.
    All further considerations must be based on the role the Banshee is supposed to have, but also on her performance in melee on her own.

    The melee-system
    One of the core problems is that the current melee-system was written for brutish Space Marines to clang their heavy weapons together. Frankly, it doesn't do a good job at that either, but it certainly only allows for very limited finesse and does not suit an agile, elusive fighting style.
    Ideally, a Banshee making no mistakes would be next to untouchable to her opponents and the first mistake would mean death.
    This is not the reality however. Well, the second part is.
    The problems here are:
    -The melee system has tight soft- and hardcaps in terms of skill. It is highly luck-based and simply does not allow for high-end gameplay.
    -The melee-system does not support 'fragile and quick' very well. You will take hits eventually and you better be able to tank them.
    All melee is low-risk, low-reward. Banshees, in particular are high-risk, low-reward.

    I-frames
    You would think that evades work for the Banshee, right? Wrong. I-frames are a difficult issue for melee in general. On one hand, closing a gap without them would often be next to impossible. On the other hand, once engaged in melee, they work heavily against us, allowing ranged players to use their rifles or stall for time.

    Ranged meta
    This is a problem that Banshees suffer no more or less from than any melee-class: The ranged/melee balance is abysmal, in both directions. Fighting melee as ranged is a pain in the ass and so is fighting ranged as melee. This means that, lest we make her overpowered, Banshees will never be able to truly compete in the ranged meta. The interesting part is making how she performs compared to other melee classes, Jetpacks in particular.

    K/D
    The official statistics show us that Banshees aren't highly unsuccessful. Kill-rates are fairly average for melee-archetypes.
    If we compensate for all noise and bias, we'd probably end up around 50% on low-level and 30% on high-level, but that I can not prove.
  2. Belphegor LordSloth Preacher

    I would like to double down on both of these points. If you spend (most of) your Iframes reaching combat alive you put yourself already at a disadvantage when you are in finally in close combat and your opponent has more rolls, especially if this whole rollex playstyle doesnt get fixed.
    The K/D ratio of the banshee is probably completely inflated due to the small sample size and the composion of the playerbase who stick to the class despite all it's weaknesses. People who are able to compensate the shortcomings by their own skill or knowledge as the main users will draw a far too positive picture of the real state of the class since most new players and first time users quickly ditch it not polluting the dataset.
  3. Lady Rheeva Steam Early Access

    I agree with the K/D. Most Banshee-players are fanatics who just love the class and never play anything else.
    What I believe also makes a big impact is that the class is great to farm kills on bad players. The kind of people who don't turn around when you scream at them.
    Around the time of F2P-launch, I had a blast with the Banshee, cutting through entire groups of enemies like a blade through flesh. It didn't matter that I wasn't very good myself, all it took was for the enemy to panic and stop fighting back.

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