There are a lot of threads out there in response to the changes brought by content update 1.3. In particular they have been about the balance of melee and ranged. And a lot of them are created by @Njord-Halfhand , who has good ideas, although I think he will agree with me that he is at least slightly biased, as are we all, including me. That said, where I in his shoes I would undoubtedly feel the same. I am at opposite end of the spectrum as him and figured I might as well get my opinion out there as well and am going to preface this that I think we are closer to balance than we have ever been, but there are a few tweaks that should happen. As for my ethos so that you have an idea of where I am coming from, like Njord I have been around for a while. I have seen the ups and downs of both parties and participated in the weapon of mass destruction known as the storm bolter during the alpha (before headshot multipliers were removed from it and later added back in near release) and seen JPAs with powerfists one shot groups of people with the ground pound. I enjoy playing both melee and ranged, but definitely play more Tactical than anything else. This started due to a lack of tacs for a guild I used to be in and I became the “token tactical”. Those days are clearly over. When I say that the game feels more balanced to me than ever I am mostly referring to the ability of melee classes to get into melee. In my opinion, a melee character should not be able to run in a straight line for any sizable distance and expect to get into melee vs a ranged character, or even against a melee character who uses his pistol. Content update 1.3 has made this so. A melee character now has to be as strategic and tactical as a ranged character in how they move around the map. They need to pick paths that favor them. I am hoping that the days of charging blindly across fields and hallways are over for EC. Invincible JPA shenanigans are also over as of this patch. They no longer have the health to back them up should they choose a poor engagement. I feel this is fine, although I have heard rumors of a health buff incoming. A JPA should have to sacrifice something for extreme mobility and that something is durability. If played correctly, a JPA should always have the drop and the initiative. That is the benefit of mobility. If combined with the same durability as other classes, then we again have an issue of too many pros with little to no cons. A mistake for this type of high risk high reward unit should be extremely punishing, or we are back to the situation where there is no reason to pick a ground assault over a JPA. In my opinion, if someone sees a JPA and is aware of the JPA’s location (not just that it is around, but also its actual location) before the JPA is in or close to melee range, that jpa has done something wrong and lost the initiative that gives the JPA an advantage. Where this iteration of the game is not balanced is partially centered around the D-bash. D-bash is broken in many ways, some attached to latency issues. D-Bash into shoot to kill is a bull shit feature that has appeared due to attempts to balance melee and has resulted in extreme penalties for being D-bashed. I don’t think anyone disagrees with this. There are several methods of fixing this including: Lower stun duration (my favorite) Lengthen time until able to shoot after performing a D-bash The other issues with D-bash includes last second dodges after clanging, sometimes happening after being hit by the kick/shoulder and the indicator appearing that they are stunned (this must be latency) and durability damage from light attacks from a higher tier weapon. These last two seem to be less of an issue this patch due to melee fights not lasting as long. The only redeeming factor about responding to D-bash this patch is that you have two responses of favorable outcomes, heavy attack and dodge, with only one unfavorable response (keep spamming light attacks after the first). Due to the long animation of D-bash, it is fairly easy to avoid and if the opponent is not using lock-on, to punish. The other issue with ranged vs melee is constant bolter, shoota, and catapult buffs combined with toughness/penetration value changes. These guns are extremely good and versatile right now and this is partly due to the hip fire buff a few patches ago that I regard as unwarranted. You should have to ADS to have good accuracy. The game right now promotes hip fire due to accuracy and mobility it gives, which puts melee, especially ground assaults, in a difficult position to actually engage due to the shooter back pedaling with accurate fire. I think this buff should be at least be partially reverted. The other issue that has appeared with recent changes is magazine size combined with the new TTK (thanks for bring this to my attention @Dreadspectre, who has made his own post here). Kills are now 1 - 3 bullets less for boltguns (which is a significant amount when it comes to TTK) and mag sizes have stayed the same. A tactical marine can fire a bolter with a drum mag for 10.8 seconds! To put this in comparison it takes approximately 1.7 seconds to kill someone with only body shots (other than eldar, JPAs, and supports). That is a long time of continuous firing and that is a bit over 6 kills with body shots and no missed shots. Clearly that never happens, but that is not the point. The point is that each magazine is incredibly efficient and allows for small down times of vulnerability and an absurdly low penalty for missing shots (there should be some leeway, but that much? I think not). These guns allow for too much leeway in actually taking time to place your shots and promote spray and prey. Drum and Box/extended mags should be reduced, possibly standard as well. A side note: if mag sizes are reduced, I think these classes could use a method of dealing shields other than peppering them until it breaks. Either charged plasma shots should stun them again or kraks stuck to the shield should kill them. Both of these methods take planning and execution and reward skilled play. I have a suggestion that I would like to see tried out. I know it is unlikely and is a total revamp of the melee system, but it would solve many of these issues. I propose trying to remove all stuns from melee engagements and instead just have damage taken in won clangs (same attack still results in higher tier weapon dealing impact damage or equal tier weapons both receiving impact damage). Replace D-bash with a riposte that simply blocks the light attack and stabs/whacks the dude (this has been suggested time and time again by many different players). Removing control from the player will always be frustrating and D-bash in its current state is frequently frustrating for both parties involved. I also propose the removal of lock-on to allow for skilled positioning to be rewarded and disengagement through juking. I understand that this is just building on THQ’s Space Marine and god knows if it would work, but I would like to see it tried (although I know it won’t be). A final argument that I would like to attempt to dispel is the comparison of ranged and melee kill counts. I feel that ranged will almost always outkill a melee unit. A ranged unit’s zone of engagement is orders of magnitude greater than a melee’s. That straight up gives a ranged unit more potential in kills. It is also easy for ranged units to “jack” kills from melee engagements/duels due to the opponent not being able to easily disengage and seek cover or force the ranged unit into a melee duel. I would argue that this is teamwork, but it definitely favors the ranged unit’s kill count. One solution for the exp discrepancy would be to give assists or even critical assets for clangs. Right now you don’t even get an assist for armor damage, so if you got that first hit in, but then clanged with the guy and your buddy shoots him, no assist for you. Now that I have written a damn book, I will go back into my hole and leave you all alone.