It's time to fix Mellka's melee already

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.

Here are my proposed facts - all the numbers taken from the Battleborn Bible edit - see also my own calculations in this post further down:

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.

The problem:

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.

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Serious answer: @Jythri and @gRANT_ most likely.

I’d also like to see Mellka’s melee become useful again as well, even if it is mostly on envenomed enemies.

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Thanks! I won’t re-tag, as hopefully your tag will get their attention.

I should add, I’m fully conscious that other characters have awful secondary attacks and wasted helixes that go with them (Orendi, for example.) But it feels particularly wrong with Mellka, because the claw is such a huge part of her design, her backstory, and her attitude…

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@EdenSophia

Caldy has a shield?

EDIT: Also, great post!

The rechargeable type, not the OH GOD IT’S THAT DWARF AGAIN type. :wink:

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He is a Jennerit char, so yes he has a shield. its basically all that keeps him alive imo^^

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On Caldarius, the hit box in his secondary does have a significantly better hitbox as it is much wider. Just to clarify since you said you weren’t sure.

Also you missed two more points that make Caldarius better than Mellka:

  • Caldarius has the same helix to increase melee attack speed at level 2 instead of level 9 so it’s useful early on
  • Caldarius has chasing power with his melee since he can double jump and melee at the same time without sacrificing mobility.
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Actually, I would say it’s his ability to GTFO that keeps him alive. Those gravitic thrusters can take him from this planet to Mars in a heartbeat if he wants, never mind his escape ability which is not only faster but reaches farther than Mellka’s.

Anyway, I do agree that right now Mellka’s melee potential is wasted. Even her helix choices reflect that, as most of her helix options are always “upgrade Parting Gift and get Refined Canisters, anything not related to PG is meh.”

The reduction to venom also removed the rhythm associated with melee. One of the primary reasons to go melee, acknowledging that your basically handicapping yourself, is the bonus from Adrenaline Rush. But you either have to tag them from range with Refined Canisters/tag them with a reload and then get it in close, or get in close and use Spike, which launches you into the air and away from your target. All of that for a small bonus to regen that won’t, in most cases, make up for the damage you’re taking in it at close range.

A potential change that could encourage melee is changing Thrill of the Hunt into a helix that adds venom to her melee attacks. That would compete with Refined Canisters. On it’s own this still wouldn’t make meleeing with her a better option, since it wouldn’t change the lack of synergy between her skills and melee helixes nor her low health.

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I agree that her melee has limited use, but fear what too large of a boost may do. A good melka can already be a terror for enemy battleborn.

Question then, at what point do you feel an increase in melee damage would be worth the risk of close quarters with such a lightweight character?

Gavitic burst can also be aimed while in mid use allowing for better control. It can’t be aimed into the air however. Have to consider all the strengths and weaknesses when comparing two similar skills.

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I suggested something similar a while back on the Mellka subforum. Problem is, it really wouldn’t compete with Refined Canisters, because her ranged is far superior to her melee. So why add venom to her melee when you can add it to her ranged attack? For the movement speed? You won’t need movement speed when you can kill at a distance. :confused:

Does anyone really tremble in fear when the enemy team slides into view and there’s a Mellka in their ranks? (I guess maybe if they’ve run into me on a good day, haha…)

I didn’t want to propose suggestions with the original post; that seems to take this too far into speculative territory, when what I’m angling for right now is just some acknowledgment that Mellka’s claw isn’t performing. But I think, to improve the claw, ideally we would do more than just increase the damage but provide strategic incentives. For example, 1 second of Wound when an envenomed target is meleed; the application of Venom on the final (knockback) hit of her full melee combo; or maybe even an attack speed debuff specifically applied via melee, if the devs are working on reintroducing that effect.

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I think one of the biggest questions is what she’s meant to be. A mid range harasser? Great! Give us less melee! A mid to close range off assassin harasser? Cool, buff her melee! An assassin like prebeta? Cool as well, just give us stealth and a new CC and stuff. Something completely different? Idk. But we don’t know what she’s supposed to be. And that would help a lot. We know they have visions for each character, such as Ghalt being the shotgunner, but we need info to help them in return. Tbh, my deepest wish and wildest dream is that yall could release a general list for your visions of each and every character, but that would be a bit extreme and ruin how you want us to interpret your characters

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That’s a big n.o. on that. But I’ve been proven wrong on that theory by several melkas who more than knew what they were doing. I tend to take what a character is capable of doing into consideration before what I’ve seen them do. In that regard I see the potential of a venom/charge/melee/spike finisher combo that would rival the best assassins in the game. With a machine pistol on top of it. I’m not saying that would happen, but I see the potential. That’s why I brought it up.

I’d much rather see what you mentioned. Some kind of debuff effect to make melee viable or just to give melka some of her own flavor. Something she is rather short on at the moment.

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I can’t remember the last time I fought a Mellka player that contributed much to her team. She really is just an annoyance on the battlefield. She’s supposed to be an assassin but she doesn’t have a ton of burst damage or CC which is what defines and assassin.

Well, when I said compete I meant strictly that they would share the same helix. Like I (and you) said, even with a venom-on-melee upgrade it wouldn’t change the fact that her ranged game is far better and has much greater synergy than her melee.

All we really have to go by now is the two hotfixes they made to reduce her health and gun accuracy, which confused people at the time by appearing contradictory (they want her to get closer to her target, but they also want her to have less health?)

Oh yeah, believe me, I know the potential. Mellka still holds the record for my highest killstreak (28) in a fair game, and I’ve carried Meltdown matches with her before. But I only have to jump on Ambra or Galilea and it’s like I’m playing a different game.

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To strengthen your case, you can add that Caldy also has a 2 second perma wound on his Melee by default.

I know you are the Mellka master, but in my very limited experience I thought the melee finisher did a non-silence type knock up. Which it’s a long combo and she’s slow, but it prevents the enemy from running way for a split second which is nice.

Is there anyway my memory is correct? Or did you ever control test it?

It’s funny, I’ve always seen you comment non-stop in regards to Melka, so the other day I finally caved in to your campaigning and decided to give her a try and put in some serious effort… and I had some of the most fun I’ve ever had in Battleborn, definitely one of the most delightful characters to play and now one of my personal favorite hero’s to play.

That being said, I must agree that there was several features that felt kind of underwhelming… but the most distinctive aspect of her kit that seemed to be underperforming was her secondary attack.
I was constantly trying to find some way to encorporate it, but I kept feeling as if I was just hindering my d.p.s and risking my mutant hide by even attempting to use my melee.

Her melee (secondary attack) just seems to fall short of the mark. I would like to see something more unique than just a damage buff. Maybe a small aoe Burts of venom on every third hit of the melee combo or something. I dunno… just spit balling…

BUT, I’m definitely going to be playing a ton of Melka now. I’ll probably be playing her as my main for quite some time. I’m really enjoying using a health regen build while playing her. I’ve found that having almost 30 regen and a little damage reduction really compliments (and compensates for) her small health pool.

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It used to be that way. Back when venom dealt no damage, applied on bullets form level 1, just buffed her melee and claw lunge, and she had stealth at level 2. She went through drastic changes before beta. And her claw looked completely different. There’s a thread about it in the Mellka section, and it’s quite startling.

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30 regen is my build exactly. Rare flawed regen, Vyn’s Quiver, and although I use flawed white attack speed I’ve heard from Eden that attack damage is more beneficial, so I will most likely trade out for epic damage and attack speed, or flawed damage and health.
@EdenSophia
Yep. Incredibly confusing. That seems to me like she should be mid range, but still odd. Realistically, the decrease in accuracy makes sense as filling a gun with essentially acid probably doesn’t help, but still