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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
    -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

    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.

    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.

    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.
    Orkan likes this.
  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.
    Orkan likes this.
  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.
  4. Arleniel Arphenior Steam Early Access

    Most accusations criticize Howling Banshees, regarding them weaker, than Striking Scorpions, which are considered fine. Actually, there are only two genuine differences between them. The first one is loadout points:

    Loadout with standard wargear
    • Banshee has 20 less points of Armour
    • Banshee's sword deals one more unity of damage by Strong Melee Attack
    • Banshee's sword has 20 more points of Penetration
    Banshees have less armour, but deal more damage in melee, and two these factors would have compensate each other just with one distinction: Scorpion has more chances to survive, while Banshee has more chances to kill the enemy. It affects the battle tactic and makes them more different from each other. However, this compensation system is not correct, as Howling Banshees spent 100 additional points of loadout on a Power Sword, while Striking Scorpions do not use loadout points for their additional Armour. In Warhammer lore balance between Howling Banshees and Striking Scorpions is equilibrated by additional swiftness of Banshees due to lightweight Armour, while there are no difference between their movements and speed in Eternal Crusade (Except that fact, that Scorpion rolls, and Banshee perform acrobatic jumps). I find this issue curable, by increasing speed of Banshee animations (Climbing, rolling, clashing, attacking and landing), so Howling Banshees will become more agile in combats, allowing them to engage with the enemy more fleetly and suprisingly (Accelerated climbing animations and accelerated preparation after the jump from a height), inflict significantly more strikes, than their opponents, wreaking confusion (Faster attacks), and avoid strikes more effectively (Accelerated clashing animation after the same attacks as the enemy's ones and accelerated rolling).

    The second differense is their abilities. Though their main goal is to increase damage, they have divers techniques of applying and impact:

    Howling Banshee's Wail
    • Active ability, controlled by a player
    • Depends on the charge
    • Applies to target(s)
    • Can be applied from distance
    • Can be used to help the allies in combat
    • Additionally obstruct vision
    Striking Scorpion's Disguise
    • Passive ability, activates automatically
    • Depends on the movement
    • Applies to player's inflicted damage
    • Can be applied in melee combat
    • Useful only for utilizer
    • Disguise an utilizer
    Scorpion's strike usually can not be avoided but it also affects only one target, while Banshee scream is more useful for teamwork, and it can be applied to a group of enemies at the same time from a distantion. In this situation the abilities would have been considered equal, but additional effect of obstructing vision can not be valued the same as additional disguising effect (I listed it as additional, to base comparison on a damage-increasing abilities). It is a straight technical difference, which goes to make players choose Scorpion instead of Banshee.

    By changing two these othernesses, we can raise Howling Banshees to the Scorpions level. But for better or for worse, not depending if and how Banshees are underpowered, the most deciting factor is a player's skill. Skilled Banshee can overcome any unskilled Mon'Keigh.
    Orkan likes this.
  5. Not tanky enough, in a game dominated by 'muh bolter' you need something to get you to your target,

    LSM have Bro shields

    JPA/Raptor/ Stormboy have jump packs

    Chaos have;
    Slaanesh speed / Agility + facetank
    Nurgle facetank
    Khorne facetank
    (while the ginger haired step child Tzeentch sits on the shelf gathering dust)​

    Orks have;
    Hand-me down Bro Shields
    and the worlds crappiest stealth​

    Eldar have;
    Scorpions have stealth + Eldar speed / Agility
    Banshee have nothing but Eldar speed / Agility and REALLY well thought out flanking to use as a gap closer.​

    Gonna keep it real simple here, Banshees need a gap closer. I reckon scream should increase sprint speed and give iframes, (a bit like the warrior charge in WoW)
    Orkan likes this.
  6. Arleniel Arphenior Steam Early Access

    The most vexed problem now is not abscense of ideas, how to correct current situation, insomuch as they are actively suggested, but that we can not receive answers directly from the developer. I mean not forthright answers to suggested ideas about their establishment, but at least answers, which can confirm, that the known problem has reached the developers.
    We can shape multiple ideas, plans, projects, but they all will fade, if are not heared. We can create a special thread, miscellany of all problematical issues with differenе solutions, which are attainable in the current state and endorsed by forum community, still further, players can choose the best ideas by polls and discussions, but even this fully organized project will need to be at least looked through by implementator, who can revise game mechanics.
    Orkan likes this.
  7. LucianNostra Well-Known Member

    I think this is one of the major points, the melee system and the melee/ranged meta are just.. bad

    Could you imagine a RPS style shooting system? fire big shot to deflect rapid fire shots!

    As I've come back and been playing CSM it's just so much damn easier to blast an enemy in melee than let your own melee deal with them, the animations lock them in place and they have very little ability to quickly kill the target they are engaging with iframes, clangs and general speed of melee attacks.

    This kicks the Banshee hard a hell because even AFTER a JPA gets into melee you still have jet pack to get back OUT of melee, even if the banshee got a sprint speed increase during shout JPAs are still gonna be worlds better based on that alone.
    Orkan likes this.
  8. Orkan Orkan Arkhona Vanguard

    The way I see it Banshee does need improvement to make it balanced and to raise it to be a viable competetive class. The class is definitively underpowered.

    As much as I hate to say this I am not in favour of using Banshee's or Scorpions in my main Warhost pushing Squad configurations at MYST. They are useful for flanking and even then only by those players who are dedicated to them. I still regard them as a liability. I played Banshee a lot before the armour changes a long time ago now and even though I dabble every now and then in the Banshee it is more to have fun. The Autarch, now it has been released is a much more competent 'Banshee-a-like' and is extremely effective in that role. It is of course an elite so not directly comparable but it is much better than a Veteran Banshee.

    So how do we fix the problem?

    My solution is to keep to lore and be true to its light aspect armour and not touch its EHP but rather survivability and ability to get to target should be increased via agility and or speed.

    Knowing the lack of resources EC presently suffers from we cannot hope to get a solution which involves animation or code adjustments. Therefore the most likely solution is to simply tweak the sprint speed in its unit statistics table. Hopefully it willl mean that existings animations will not be out of sync.

    I have long been a proponent of Eldar speed in general being 'the wrong way round' and believe ALL units should get 35% sprint speed and 15% movement speed advantage over other factions to counter their lower EHP. The Banshee of all units deserves this.

    Whilst I certainly would also like a Banshee speed boost of say 50% activating alongside scream for a limited duration coding that may prove more problematic than a simple movement and sprint speed stat increase on its unit table so I think the simplest solution is to simply make the Banshee faster at sprinting.

    I'd like to see 50% sprint speed advantage over other factions tested on UAT.
  9. Sindri Myr AnotherAlpharius Steam Early Access

    How about increasing melee power attack jump range, like, twice or thrice normal?
    It'll make Banshee something like JPA, but without flying. Shouldn't be a problem in real fight, but will also allow to quickly disengage.
  10. Catnium Catnium Well-Known Member

    HB is basically a wingless JPA
    You can tell this by looking at their stats and the fact that eldars JPA's are ranged and not melee. and elder mysteriously have an additional class as well.. they are wingless JPA's by design.
    Both JPA's and HB's are unique in having access to both fuel/stamina charges and their respective regen stat in one build.
    HB also performs a similar role to the JPA in being a class cannon assassin. since this job cannot be done by the elders version of jump pack troops because those are actually flying tacticools.

    We all accept JPA's having low ehp because they have more "mobility" especially Of the vertical variety which tends to throw off more people's aim i guess..
    But we don't for HB .. why tho
    I think a lot of random thoughts about this whole matter..
    Thoughts like:
    • HB's in contrast to JPA are limited to only horizontal I framing which tends to expose one more to random enemy fire.
    • You can't spend stamina to break out of combat as easily as a JPA can.. they can just fly away if thing go bad for them.
    • For being a mobile assassin their ability sure contradicts this because in order to use it you need to to be walking and not running .. using tit while running just results in taunting the peoples around you.
    • Using it forces you to physically slowdown . almost come to a stop , totally breaking your flow.
    • Scorpion poison sword totally > ebon blade. altho the concept of ebon blade makes sense in a way .. you get more stamina and more stamina regen and more durability for more clanging .. this should in theory extend your life in an actual melee only fight.. sadly firearms are a reality as well and overall it's almost identical to having a MC p sword equipped.
    • The way the game actually plays out most of the time you can get similar results playing a Striking Scorpion if all you really do is runaround and flank like a normal ground assault and you can do all this while enjoying the invisibility when you have to go pee pee and go afk and get to use a more slender version of the NCS to boot.
    • You don't have enough health to make use of the Lifesteal ... or the life steal just isnt big enough for the wargear..lets not forget that the Khorna axe got a LL buff to keep the weapon viable..well with HB is the same case just with a WG slot item.
    • Hb used to have a slightly longer HA range than it currently has which allowed you to make interesting combat maneuvers such as but not limited to rolling back and Jumping back in or HA's into a target that's running away from you.. most of these maneuvers currently make you hit nothing but air while head butting return fire from enemy's.
    • The range change also made it impossible to use banshee scream and HA to engage a moving target .. since using the scream forces you to cancel the run .. than go through the scream animation.. than by the time you launch forward in your "glorious" HA animation the target has already moved out of range .

    just thinking about HB actually makes my head hurt.. so many things that make no sense to me while making sense ..
    On paper the class has everything it needs... you'd think..
    • Stamina charges
    • Stamina regen
    • Acces to lifesteal or armor regen
    • Access to better weapon durability for clanging and stalling.
    • An ability to increase burst damage.
    But in reality HB feels more like playing a Challenge Token GA with 30% stamina regen WG than a highly mobile combat assassin armed with a miasma of whatever the heck that screaming is.

    At the end of the day.. it all boils down to this:
    If I want to ( and I do) I can just equip regen on any other melee class of any faction ( and I do).
    And with that I can I- frame all day every day just like a HB can ( and I do).. cept with slightly less initial stamina charges.. but it regens the same nonetheless.
    And have A LOT more EHP while doing so.

    At least JPA still have a little bit of an advantage here over the Banshee, because their fuel regens while running ..and stamina does not.

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