Serious question: which GBX devs do I tag for this? Because this is a major design oversight, and my months of alluding to it in other topics hasn’t gotten any attention.
Mellka’s secondary attack is a melee combo. It does 88 DPS. It has a very short range, no AE spin, and the final hit of the combo knocks the target back (not a useful effect, given that this is what quick melee is for.)
Her primary ranged attack does 155 DPS, and upon reload fires a long-range 75+ damage canister that applies venom through a small splash effect. Venom is essential to Mellka’s overall damage output. The pistol has low accuracy, so is typically used in mid-to-close range, while the canister is very precise at all ranges.
Applying venom increases her secondary melee to 103 DPS. Since the July patch, however, venom is only four seconds. (A later hotfix also lowered Mellka to 982 base health.) This provides a very small window to take advantage of this very minor damage increase.
Mellka’s melee secondary, at best, deals 66% of the damage of her primary. At worst - without venom - it deals a jaw-dropping 56% of the damage of her primary. This seems completely back-to-front.
Not only does her melee do significantly less damage, it comes with all the disadvantages that might be expected of a melee attack:
- she has to enter melee range, which is incredibly dangerous for a low-health character who can plausibly be taken 100-0 in the two seconds of a stun
- her melee range is among the lowest, if not the lowest, of the melee cast, putting her at even greater disadvantage
- her health is among the very lowest of melee Battleborn; she did not receive health buffs with the other melee-focused Battleborn in this patch
- Mellka has no hard CC to make melee survival possible against dedicated melee assassins like Rath or brawlers like Shayne and Galilea
- conversely, Mellka has no reason to melee ranged characters, as she can engage them from a distance for greater damage; she only takes unnecessary damage attempting to close into melee range
- by meleeing, Mellka is neglecting to fire reload canisters and apply venom, thus further dropping her sustained DPS
- at level 8, Mellka can take Refined Canisters, which further increases her ranged DPS and applies venom on ranged hits - none of these benefits apply to her melee
Why does this matter?
Mellka has two helix options that assume she will melee:
Level 5, Adrenaline Rush, which is similar to Galilea’s pre-buff Last Light (+7 regen over 4 seconds for meleeing a venom target.) To put this into perspective, the devs have recently acknowledged Last Light was inadequate by increasing its effect by 425%.
Adrenaline Rush is actually liable to harm Mellka because of the increased damage she takes at melee range, which will more than overwhelm the tiny regen boost (and all for a DPS decrease.)
At level 9, Mellka can take Feral Strike, which gives her a 20% melee attack speed increase after a Claw Lunge. At this late stage, Battleborn damage output is far too high Mellka to engage at such range, and the damage is still lower than using her primary. Worse, Feral Strike comes a level after Refined Canisters, which makes melee even more obsolete than it already was.
Mellka’s lore legendary also assumes she will melee regularly - it reduces her reload time upon a melee hit. In practice, this is impossible to use effectively, as the decrease in performance from meleeing regularly completely overshadows the increase from faster reload.
Before I conclude, a quick comparison with Mellka’s nearest hybrid counterpart, Caldarius:
He deals 150 DPS with his gun and 129 DPS with his melee - 86% of his primary. He does not need to reload to apply damage or his key secondary effect (blind), he can add life-steal to his melee attacks, and his melee attack can strike multiple targets (I believe - welcome to be corrected.) He does not require a secondary effect to deal his fullest melee damage - he does not, for example, have to a blind a target first. He has a shield and 1136 health. By every measure, his melee potential is vastly superior to Mellka’s (even if arguably also inadequate.)
Yet it’s Mellka who is styled as the game’s ranged/melee character, with a mutant fist strapped to one arm and a pistol wielded in the other.
So, in closing:
Mellka’s melee secondary is presently not useful. If there is no intention to buff it, then it’s time to rework her lore legendaries and scrap Adrenaline Rush and Feral Strike for viable helixes. Otherwise, it’s time to increase her melee damage or provide some kind of secondary melee effect that makes it worthwhile.
She’s our lost little Eldrid, our companion through the story mode, our introduction to Battleborn. She deserves a scary monster claw that works.