The State of Melee in the Game

Bill_ZRTBill_ZRT Member Posts: 1,421
I think it’s fair to say that there is a general consensus among players and even NG that there is a significant imbalance between melee and ranged survivors and that something should be done to lessen or eliminate that imbalance. Melee is already at an inherent disadvantage as they have to be within the walker’s reach in order to attack and damage them while ranged can be far away, unleashing high damage attacks.

This thread is to discuss ideas about how to improve melee so that there is a better balance between ranged and melee survivors. Let’s also discuss how we feel this shouldn’t be addressed. For example, don’t ‘balance’ melee by nerfing ranged damage!

So what can/should melee excel at? These are the categories and solutions that come to mind for me:

Damage mitigation
  1. Let bruisers be a true ‘tank’ class. Allow bruisers to have a third health bar that represents armor. Damage to this health bar does not result in a bruise, injury, etc. Once this ‘armor’ health bar is depleted, the normal green health bar is used. This represents that bruisers are tougher than normal survivors and can take more abuse before being hurt. This also sets up some potential synergy with armor traits. This could apply to all melee classes, but certainly it makes sense for bruisers.
  2. Better/higher dodge chance for melee classes. Melee should be better at dodging as melee combat inherently suggests that you’re both attacking and actively defending yourself. It’s a lot easier to defend an incoming attack with a bat or a spear than it is with a pistol.
  3. Defender: Armor or weapon trait: When on overwatch, the survivor focuses on defense, not on attacking. Instead of attacking on overwatch, all of the survivors defensive bonuses are increased by a % (dodge, bullet dodge, Iron Skin, Defensive Stance, Stun Resist, etc)

  1. ‘Kneecap’: Weapon trait which slows a walker’s movement for x rounds.
  2. ‘Taunt’/’Distract’: Trait which give a % chance for the target walker to focus on the taunting survivor instead of the closest survivor. This ability would have to have a limited range so you couldn’t taunt from across the screen. This would be an armor trait because I’m very hesitant to suggest a survivor trait for reasons I’ll discuss below.
  3. Improved interrupt for melee; interrupt should be twice as effective for melee as it currently is. Make interrupt on overwatch somewhat viable at higher levels. If the interrupt fails, hopefully one of the damage mitigation options will help.
  4. Grapple: Armor trait. With grapple, let a survivor initiate a struggle or struggle like state. The walker deals damage to the survivor every round, and the survivor deals damage to the walker every round. Since the survivor initiates the grapple, they enter the grapple with their full health bar, meaning it’s not automatically a 1-star result on a challenge. The grapple lasts until either the survivor or the walker has been killed. I see great synergy with this and the new ‘armor’ health bar.

  1. ‘Keen’ weapon trait: This is the melee equivalent of piercing and is much needed!
  2. ‘Flanking’ damage bonus - when multiple melee survivors are adjacent to an enemy, have their damage and/or defensive traits get a bonus. It’s easier to attack and defend yourself when it’s 2 on 1.

Please, Please, Please don’t do any of the following

For the love of Judith, please don’t ‘balance’ melee by nerfing ranged. No one is complaining about ranged survivors. Each ranged class is useful and reasonably interesting. We just want the same to be true of melee - no one wants ranged nerfed to make melee seem better.

Don’t introduce new survivor traits UNLESS you also introduce a mechanism to introduce these new traits to existing survivors. While a new survivor trait might seem good in theory, you have to think of the time, effort and money that people spent building their current teams - especially their elite ‘pink star’ survivors. Introducing useful and interesting new survivor traits without allowing existing survivors some form of ‘retraining’ to get these traits would be a tremendous mistake.

Jerry’s Final Thought (no, not THAT Jerry)

Some of these suggestions are my own and some have certainly been suggested in the past by others. Implementing all of these suggestions would be too much, but I think implementing some of them and understanding how some of these can work off of each other would allow melee to be viable again across all RSLs. I have no doubt other players will have additional awesome ideas.

Let’s keep this thread constructive and not take a crap on anyone’s ideas, even the terrible ones. Be good to yourselves. And each other.
Everyone’s got two wolves inside them. One is anger, envy, pride. The other…truth, kindness. Every day they tear each other apart.
But it’s not the better wolf that wins. It’s the one you feed.

Contact [email protected] or send @Bill_ZRT a message to join DTP today!



  • KratosKratos Member Posts: 405
    I love these ideas. While I have never been a big melee user I was starting to use them more to see if I could figure out better tactics just in case. But with the release of 2.8 and the talk here I might as well give up on learning more about them and stick to my ranged. Hopefully NG will listen and fix this issue.
    Part of the MAVERICKS Guild Family
  • PR0DJPR0DJ Member Posts: 834
    How about simple one: melee start to bodyshot one level higher?
    Basically 6star melee would be equal to 7star ranged.

    I know pink stars ruined this game, but we probably can't do anything about that, so..
  • Andy_bAndy_b Member Posts: 107
    Awesome ideas let’s hope ng listens to the majority of the players regarding the state of melee
  • R2runfastR2runfast Member Posts: 332
    All I ask is dont do the NG thing and NERF our ranged surivors just to "balance" the melee classes.
    And dont act like I'm off my rocker cuz we all know Nerfing is the NG way.
  • paintbeastpaintbeast Member Posts: 1,188
    Great thread @Bill_ZRT
  • TroublemakerTroublemaker Member Posts: 1,470
    Awesome post @Bill_ZRT

    Will catch up later!
  • 淡水地鼠淡水地鼠 Member Posts: 278
    State of melee

    Love it
  • sbfsbf Member Posts: 466
    edited October 2017
    Gonna paste in some of the ideas from other threads to have the discussion for rebalancing melee all in one place. Not saying that I'm for or against any of the ideas, just trying to get them all in one place. [edited to include this sentence] I won't copy and paste every post on this topic if the ideas have already been expressed since there's a lot to discuss here--so don't take it negatively if I didn't copy and paste your comment, and please feel free to add to the discussion. :)
    Shut_Up said:

    Next update needs more bug squashing for one and the melee class needs to be addressed immediately too.

    Has NG thought about letting melee survivors strike a walker on overwatch with a tile in between? You can do that with the spear and pitchfork for the scouts but you should just do this anyway for all melee weapons. That would give them a half strength attack before they put themselves in danger. That's kind of fair because ranged survivors can usually get in 2 full strength attacks before being in danger. It would also make power strike and vigilant relevant again. Don't let melee strike from one tile away with full strength attacks unless it's a special weapon and you won't have made this feature overpowered.

  • enigma12enigma12 Member Posts: 250
    @Kratos I don’t use melee either but sbf, who has posted a response comment here, excels with melee people and is our top star getter. He prefers melee over ranged so don’t give up. There are techniqnes for using scout and warrior but I haven’t mastered them yet, but it’s possible.
  • sbfsbf Member Posts: 466
    Muzz said:

    All three melee classes are now pretty much redundant I think. I'm a Jesus warrior, TR scout player. That's my favourite set up and favoured tactic. I honestly can't think how melee can be buffed to be useful again. Maybe removing the +5 level cap on dodge? What I don't want is new traits and having to start all over again looking for more survivors and binning my current roster for tokens.

  • sbfsbf Member Posts: 466
    Muzz said:

    Agreed. All three melee classes are now pretty much redundant I think. I'm a Jesus warrior, TR scout player. That's my favourite set up and favoured tactic. I honestly can't think how melee can be buffed to be useful again. Maybe removing the +5 level cap on dodge? What I don't want is new traits and having to start all over again looking for more survivors and binning my current roster for tokens.

    rfg1982 said:

    Muzz said:


    I've read the FAQ post and here are my thoughts. I think you lot must be completely mad. You say the team aren't happy with the new melee balance, which as I've stated in previous posts all three classes are now completely useless at high levels. Before the update and the wrestler nerf the classes were very well balanced! In our guild, the two top scorers had vastly different playing styles. One was all about ranged and the other used melee. Each and every week the scores were very similar, possibly depending on which class had a good buff that week. The wrestle trait was the key thing that balanced it! Now as things stand every single melee token I've spent, melee bundle I've bought, has been a waste.

    Both the ideas you floated in your post reference melee buffs were terrible. No one wants new traits as it makes our existing survivors redundant, and all those tokens and pink stars are wasted. Improving melee hero traits again is a waste of time. I'm not claiming to be elite, but I would say I am a "top player" in a highly competitive guild. There are currently 23 heroes. I use 4 of them. The rest are just ignored. Abe, Sasha, Jesus and once in a blue moon Gabriel. I don't know any other "top player" who does anything different.

    You've taken a game system that was very well balanced and properly knacked it!!! I can only imagine the wrestle nerf was to put an end to low level scouts winning the distance! Again I don't know a single top player who cares about the distance. Everyone I know has a quick look to see if any of the previously mentioned useful hero tokens are up for grabs, plays it to get them, then ignores it! Why on earth would I struggle and strive to "beat the distance" for a couple of epic badges and 20 sodding jseless Negan tokens?!

    Agree with many things you say, except for "Struggle" being responsible for all. But not entering into this.

    I've been long know within my guild and friends as a Melee player and it saddens me that the unbalance is so incredible. You get no advantage for being face to face with the walker. A bodyshot from 6 squares away does the same damage as a knife blow straight to the head. A katana swing does less damage than a Assault "loose" bullet. And a full bat to head not stunning? This is just unreal. I have a Shooter that tanks better than a Bruiser... C'mon!

    This discussion has been going on for too much time. Needs urgent attention.
  • GhastlyPleasuresGhastlyPleasures Member Posts: 26
    Bravo to the OP and the other contributed ideas in this thread. Implementing at least some of these ideas would make me want to play my melee characters more. NG can easily get an idea of where to start by looking at their own analytics of how much each survivor class isn't used, especially during specific class bonus periods. Nerfing ranged definitely isn't the answer.
  • zeoweruszeowerus Member Posts: 138
    one of the greatest post I've ever read on this forum @Bill_ZRT .
  • jrodrf2jrodrf2 Member Posts: 335
    That is a GREAT idea. NG should definitely consider this idea.
    Although, I feel like (please don't hate me...) a survivor trait more than an armor trait
  • WeekOneWeekOne Member Posts: 1,195
    Yes..... I’m extremely happy to see this thread. Good job @Bill_ZRT and thank you.

    With a nice request like that... how can NG not look into it? <3
  • pjalmeidapjalmeida Member Posts: 22
    Amazing ...i subscribe this post.
    May the gods of loot be with you.
  • bumshoebumshoe Member Posts: 322
    Male character do need help in relation to zombies. I rarely use them as they often run up and don't kill the target. The same level ranged does pretty much all the time and if they fail I often have turns before I am actually in trouble.
    When soft cap comes I quit the game.
Sign In or Register to comment.