Future Mellka rework hinted at in AMA

@gRANT alluded in the AMA today to a coming rework of Mellka’s playstyle. First, Neb asked The Mellka Question, and at long last, there was an an answer:

The responses, gathered over time:

Okay so! As I was planning on making video guides after the Winter Update, and posting the next phase of my written Mellka guide, this is pretty big news. (I am consequently putting those plans on ice, btw.)

Breaking it down:

Her playstyle is getting looked at - so, change is on the drawing board, but not necessarily confirmed.

They want to preserve some of her existing playstyle. Not most, or the essence, but some. I’m not going to read too much into it, but it sounds to me like they aren’t satisfied with how she plays now.

They want to make sure they have “defined roles” and don’t “step on other character’s roles.” The obvious implication here is that they believe that Mellka, like Galilea, presently performs in too many roles. They want to focus on the “mobile harasser” with an emphasis on “venom.”

Okay, so, some speculation and analysis…

I think a lot of people will balk at seeing Mellka and Galilea mentioned in the same breath, but to give the devs the benefit of the doubt, let’s say they’re purely talking about roles and not about their relative power in the meta.

So what roles exist in the game, and how many of them does Mellka perform well in? This list is pretty arbitrary and isn’t a definitive “role list” or anything, but so feel free to chime in.

Wave clear
Mellka is very strong here, although she’s also a risky wave-clear: she has to enter melee range and dive into lane to do it. This makes her less desirable in Meltdown at times (she has to make it to the grinder to catch those minions about to leap in), and she doesn’t come close to the top tier of wave clear (Orendi, Ernest). But she’s still in a top ten of WC, definitely.

Tanking
Mellka can’t do this. Even health stacking, she doesn’t have the DR, the shield, or the HP shield to pull it off.

Pushing
Mellka can bully less-experienced opponents into panicking and falling back, because she’s hard to kill and she deals relentless damage. Mellka will never secure a push against a good enemy team, though.

Diving
Mellka is better than most at diving deep, confirming a kill or destroying a turret, and getting out. The catch is that she uses Lunge to get out, so she relies on sliding and bunny-hopping, plus Air Stall jinking, to get in.

Assassinating/Single Target Damage
Mellka is decent burst damage, though she’s certainly not top tier (not in a game with Benedict, Phoebe, and Orendi) and she’s competitive, not superior, to direct counterparts like Caldarius and Whiskey. Blade Launcher is key to her burst damage potential, and this limits how often she can reliably secure kills compared to those who can do good burst with their low-timer skills.

Despite this, a good Mellka still enjoys a high kill count and goes overwhelmingly positive because she rarely dies.

Area of Effect Damage
Not Mellka’s thing. Spike, Parting Gift, and canister splashes don’t offer any real AE damage potential. She is a focus-fire character, and the more she spreads her damage, the more ineffectual she is.

CC/Disruption
Mellka’s got nothing, really. Spike slow is just your average slow. Her wound is good, but now Beatrix is here, the standards for wound just went way up.

Support
Nothing out of the box. Mell is a selfish character.

Harassment
This is what the devs want her to be… but what is harassment, really? Tossing canisters, spreading venom, and softening waves has never been particularly useful in a game where Benedict can 100-0 targets by himself, Ernest can chase everyone out of lane with a few shells, and Kleese can just lay down rifts and make waves melt.

Basically, one of the reasons that Mellka isn’t played exclusively as mobile harassment is that the role kinda sucks. I figure that insofar as it’s a thing, it’s a way to win pushes without actually being the key pusher… except pushes tend to happen on the back of CC-initiated team wipes or an overwhelming advance from a pocketed Gali, Bolur, or the like. It’s never because a Mellka dropped an extra 35 DPS of venom on everyone.

Venom’s nerf some months back also really compromised the usefulness of venom. It took a 100% duration decrease for only a 50% damage boost, so it’s pretty unimpressive now, and her useless alt melee means she can’t take advantage of the damage amp benefit it provides either.

Okay, so.

The reality is that the devs want her to be more harassment and less something else. My guess is that she’s going to have her wave clear nerfed (which will unfortunately seriously hit her ability to level up at a good rate - one of her strengths atm), but will possibly see some buffs to her venom.

Perhaps venom will provide a damage amp to more skills than just melee ones: I wouldn’t be surprised to see venom increase the damage of Spike and/or Blade Launcher, or perhaps even skill damage from other players. This kind of amp-combo support would be a cool route to take Mellka down, assuming she keeps all her fun “slippery squishy” mobility tricks she has now, and I’d be all for it.

I would be thrilled for her to lose her alt melee altogether and have the trigger be used for more venom-related mechanics: a range of canisters with different debuffs. One for pure damage, one with a damage amp, that sort of thing. That would give her a unique support harassment niche and take care of the alt melee problem in one fell swoop.

Or maybe the rework will be super-minor and they’ll just nerf Parting Gift and give her back her old venom duration. We’ll see!

8 Likes

I honestly can see her wave clear get nerfed, but u REALLY want the old venom back, though I would rather they keep the melee, don’t want “the fist” to be just for abilities

As for harassment, shayne and aurox are harassers, to me the role is really fun as it means you make certain targets have to deal with hell the entire time and be a nuisance so they can’t do their job, which mellka can be

Thing is, Shayne & Aurox are ultra tanky and have a pull/stun that can get you killed in a heartbeat if they hit you with it and follow up with team support, so you can’t ignore them. They’re not a nuisance, but a real and imminent threat.

One thing Mellka does well is getting up to sniper perches and backlines and basically making it impossible for Marquis to do his job - Toby, too, unless he lands the stun mine, in which case it can backfire pretty badly. The problem at the moment is that an enemy Benedict can shut that right down. She’s also great at hassling Ernest, except again, he’s usually bunkered down.

2 Likes

I just figured this out today in a bot match :stuck_out_tongue:. Been playing her hyper harasser for months

No mention of her inspiring sexiness?

I was thinking a very fast moving small dart-type needle shoots out and inflicts venom. Now that she has no ranged attacks, giving her an emergency poke like Pendles’ but much better and quicker could be interesting, while keeping in style with the character (launching up and landing a perfect needle dart crit on a fleeing target. Mmmm)

That’d be really cool. She doesn’t stand out too much now that she’s a Caldy without the biggest debuff in the game that isn’t five

It honestly doesn’t work as well against iron clad defenses that are meta rn

I worded that bad with nuisance, I just met that you just make it known that when your there that one guy will be dealing with you whether they like it or not, and with shayne and aurox and mellka, it’s incredibly hard for them and their teammates to effectively stop it

On benedict, you are correct, though personally to me I’d rather have benedict destroy a wave and have mellka deal with a sniper as once that Hawkeye is on cooldown, he is roast turkey for snipers

What I really don’t understand, is that mellka does just fine at harassing, I geuss it should be considered that she will get more tools to do so

Really, honestly she works great for an ambra and ernest, but kleese I agree, as his bonus to shield is big

I don’t want to give them any ideas about nerfing that :cry:

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Patch notes 2/23/17:
Replaces Mellka’s model with Attikus.
We felt she was too difficult to hit, so we gave her a fix that will make her fairer to play against. We want the game to be fun, not frustrating

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Dude… dude… just dude. :broken_heart:

brb, finding a corner to rock back and forth in

3 Likes

Patch notes 4/12/17:
We noticed complaints of Mellka’s kit not really fitting her model anymore. The best option was to replace her kit with Attikus’. We will be doing further work on whatever the hell gender this abominable Thrall elf child now is

Patch notes 7/9/17:
For our final update, we chose to revisit one of our most beloved characters. We heard your complaints of Mellka being too similar to Attikus, so we renamed Mellka “Madikus”. She also has adopted his lore and will now use all of his voice lines. We are very excited about this development and know it will be a crazy or “mad” time with one of our favorite characters to work on

8 Likes

Patch Notes 14/9/17: In memory of beloved forum member @epicender584, whose recent mysterious accident has saddened us all, Gearbox is hosting a special Double XP event. Be sure to log in tomorrow and bring the fight to the Varelsi!

6 Likes

S&A used to be more harrasser/ assassins pre-half-Damage-Too-Sheilds because they where large enough to die to others. Now, not so much.

I had some cool Ideas on the Time to fix mellkas melee already, and will be pasting them here. Brb

Perhaps this means her venom will be applied through secondary melee and not range in future? If so the function of venom would need to be changed accordingly. Food for thought.

Patch notes 4/12/17:
We noticed complaints of Mellka’s kit not really fitting her model anymore. The best option was to replace her kit with Attikus’. We will be doing further work on whatever the hell gender this abominable Thrall elf child now is

Patch notes 7/9/17:
For our final update, we chose to revisit one of our most beloved characters. We heard your complaints of Mellka being too similar to Attikus, so we renamed Mellka “Madikus”. She also has adopted his lore and will now use all of his voice lines. We are very excited about this development and know it will be a crazy or “mad” time with one of our favorite characters to work on

Hehe nice but you’re doing it wrong (whisper montana whisper).

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I hope random gives you nothing but Miko for the rest of your life, real talk

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@EdenSophia Maybe we keep her melee and make it usefull by adding some perks to it.(like you suggested) Kind of like when used on enemies it switches what venom does, but also has other mutation effects. Maybe the useless mutations could add more variants of venom to be switched to?

Also would like to add that the claw has the power to be used by mind in lore, makes sense for these ideas(above and below.)

My old post which I still think is great is right… here:

To fix her melee, we make her DPS output on the claw something like 125-160 dps(at base damage) with bleed being applied automatically. This would be enough to hurt, but not broken for an alt fire. Also, nowhere near any other melee assassins, who output 150-250 throughout the start of the game. If you think it will be to powerfull at close range, please note, she can do better damage far away from you, and is squishier than Pendals, with 1157ish health, and no sheilds (like all eldrid.)
Thus, almost anyone can outDPS her at melee range, so this buff won’t break her.

Also replace some of the useless helix options (such as: Lift off, spike vault, tactical withdrawel, venom contagion, second wind, and thrill of the hunt. Will list reasons in post below:))So that you can add bonuses to damage or just utility. I’m all ears for suggestions, this is what I currently have: A stealth after combo that lasts 2-3 seconds, slow, Bleed applied per hit to target, at end of combo (6 hits) apply a -50% Area parting gift, wound, or others. Again open for suggestions.
If you have suggestions, let me know.
(I’m looking at you, @EdenSophia )
TL;DR

  • Changing DPS output won’t push Mellka over the top, mainly due to Pendals level HP, and having to be a melee range.
  • Making her altfire DPS to 110-120, and posibly appling Bleed on hit with melee automatically. Else see below.
  • Replace unused helix options with ones that add Slow, Stealth at end of combo for 2-3 Seconds, Venom applied per hit to target, at end of combo (6 hits) apply a -50% Area parting gift, wound, or others.
  • Make alt Fire change how venom reacts to target, maybe adds slow, or other effects
  • If you have any suggestions, Please reply.

You can re-select character post winter patch, so it won’t matter anymore :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve heard Mell used to have a stealth, but I’m kinda glad she doesn’t… although it would let her break Hawkeye, now that I think about it.

There are three main things I don’t want to see:

Claw Lunge becoming a primary damage skill / losing its vertical escape

This is a pretty selfish one: on red bar, movement-based offensive skills don’t seem to function at all nine times out of ten - even on a stationary target, the hitbox doesn’t connect. I know this is lag related because I can get Claw Lunge crits and kills just fine on my rare green bar games, but on red bar I can’t do a damn thing with it.

Right now, though, Lunge is definitely busted. It hasn’t got especially good damage, and unlike say Burst Dash you can’t really do anything to make it effective. But as an escape move, damage tacked on is a total waste, and none of the helixes seem to recognize that it’s an escape move - so it’s in this weird limbo of being a great skill that has to be used in a totally counter-intuitive way.

Anything happening to Air Stall

This is my favorite Mellka skill and I would be shell-shocked if it were moved or, god forbid, removed. If anything, I want to see this reduced to 2 seconds to be like Thorn’s.

But after seeing the Thorn/Orendi/Caldy/Monty reworks, I know that nothing is sacred. So I beg you dev team: if you must, you may take my Parting Gift, you may even take my Refined Canisters, but please please don’t ever take my Air Stall.

Melee damage becoming Mell’s primary source of damage

This is a little related to my red bar issues, but also comes down to the fact that Mell’s distinctive mobility playstyle is tied in with her being a ranged attacker. Melee plants you flat on the ground. Everything about her kit that’s fun to use - Spike, Lunge, Air Stall - moves her away from her target, or sends her target away from her. Mellka can happily stick to targets for short bursts, but ultimately she wants to get away.

This is one reason I’d be happy to give up her alt melee altogether: the game just doesn’t have an opening for a hyper-squishy, hard-CC-less, mobility-skill melee character. I don’t care what buffs are given to venom, there would be zero reason to take Mellka over, say, Rath. Absolutely zero.

I really think Mellka is in a good place right now, just that the meta isn’t. I think she needs tweaks to make her feel less unfinished, but buffs aren’t what Mellka needs. And any major reworks will hopefully not make her any stronger than she is. I do not ever want to find myself playing the next Benedict or pre-nerf Kid Ultra…

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Ok, For the ways to fix Mellka’s Melee, I said that Lift off, spike vault, tactical withdrawel, venom contagion, second wind, and thrill of the hunt where useless helix choices. They all add to Mellka’s kit things that aren’t that great, and if replaced might give the other helix choice a run for its money. Here are my proposed changes:

Eldrid Bio-Gauntlet: Now reads can switch between variations of Venom if Used (held down) for 2 Seconds.
Immunity is a perk that allows enemies to be immune to venoms effects for a designated amount of time.
Lv. 2

Lift Off —> Leave me Alone
Lift off currently increases Mells spike jump height, and while not the worst helix, compared to Parting gift, its pure sh*t.
Instead, we make it deploy a parting gift at 50% - 25% of the size of the regular parting gift, which is increased by spike burst like parting gift. It does same damage, and is deployed at end of combo if last hit connects to enemy.

Spike Vault —> I am tired of your crap!
Spike vault is also a contender of Parting gift, and moves Mell forward after activating spike. Actually in compitition for Worst Augment Ever.
Instead:
New Variation of venom which silences enemies afflicted by it for .5 seconds after hit. Reduces time of venom to instant effect. Enemies effected with this variation of Venom recive Immunity* for 3 seconds.
** Please note, this is a switchable form of Venom.

Lv. 4
Tactical Withdrawel --> Get me out of Here!
Tactical Withdrawel Curently bumps mell back if she hits a target with claw lunge. Absolute Garbage.

Get me out of here!
After combo is completed, the Bio Gauntlet now makes you invisable for 2.5 seconds.
Better synergy, more usefull.
Or…
After Combo is completed, Knocks Mellka and Target backwards.

Lv. 5
Venom Contagion --> Venom Contagion
Venon Contagion currently does this: Enemies killed while affected by venom will explode dealing damage and spreading venom to nearby targets.
However, the aoe is small and damage is minimal.

The new Venom Contagion Does this:
Meleeing venomed enemies with your Bio-Guantlet will spread venom to other enemies nearby, and will cause bleed effect.

Adrenaline Rush Buff
Currently: Meleeing enemies afflicted with Venom increases Mellka’s regeneration rate for a short time. +7 Health regeneration rate for 4 seconds.
New Adrenaline Rush: Killing Enemies afficted with Venom increases Mellka’s regeneration rate for a short time. +14 health regeneration rate for 6 seconds
*DOES NOT STACK
Possibly add:
•Killing Enemies Effected by Venom with Melee Will lunge Mellka forward. Enemies hit by this take 10% more damage for 2 seconds from Mellka.(one Mike naplam diameter. )

  • This might make it a contestor for Eldrid rythem, as it is much stronger. Might change rate depending on power.
    Lv. 7
    Second Wind --> The ground calls
    Second wind is a mutation that refunds/ decreases spike cooldown depending on remaining health. The lower it is, the more refund happens. However, it is useless since it affects spike, not claw lunge.

The Ground Calls
Alternate Venom which slows and Wounds Enemies for 1.5 seconds. Instant use on canister hit. Provides Venom imunity for 3.5 seconds after hit (prevent bonkers lv. 8 kills.)

Lv. 8

*Refined Canisters Now reduces Adrenaline Rush by -7 Health per second.

  • Obvious For Balencing.

Thrill of the Hunt —> Vengance Is Sweet

Thrill of the hunt does… I can’t remember, and thats why its gone.
On a serius note it did this:
hen a new target is afflicted with venom, Mellka’s Movement speed is increased for a short time. +30% Movement Speed for 5 Seconds

Pretty useless. Instead, we have Vengence is sweet:
All skills have reduced kills after a melee kill.

Simple, to the point, and not to powerfull. If used correctly, can offer a quick escape.

Thats my proposed ideas.
@EdenSophia , as for this becoming a primary source of damage, don’t be fooled. It can, but would cost helix mutations, and will only allow some more ways to play mell without her going to gali levels of power.

Edt history:
1: Fixed Naming of Vengence is sweet.
2: Added Immunity and increased times.
3: Buffed Adrenaline Rush and Changed Refined Canisters Slightly.
4: Added ability to be Knocked Back and Lunge forward.

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Or pre-buff S&A. Argggggg.

Oh, and @EdenSophia please note I am 1 of the 10 Melka mains currently (on PS4). I agree in the part where I don’t want her becoming Benedict, which is why I added mutations which still require a bit of her old playstyle. But I also WANT to use my lettuce leaf of a claw at least 1/4 of the time I play with her. So thats why I changed it like I did.