Maybe it's not the end of the world

I was very unhappy about the wrestler and stun resistance nerfs. I did say I'd wait to see how they went, but I thought wrestler and possibly stun resistance would become auto-scrap traits, and melee would become useless.

I think it's not as bad as I feared. Could I have gone a little further in the challenge if those nerfs hadn't happened? I think so, but probably not a LOT further. Maybe another round.

Is wrestler an auto-scrap now? No, I don't think so, except maybe for bruiser and assault. I really think the way wrestler damage is calculated needs to be revised. It makes sense neither from a thematic nor a game-play perspective that wrestler damage is tied to ordinary attack damage. I don't have a specific proposal for an alternative, but even something like 100 damage multiplied by survivor level, with a bonus for rarity could work (and the damage could taper off per turn in struggle, fine). Say I have a scout that does 5000 damage and an assault that does 2500, both level 20. Instead of the scout doing twice the wrestler damage of the assault, they both do 2000 damage plus a bonus per star. This would eliminate the uneven effect of the nerf across classes.

Anyway, although I think a change to wrestler damage is necessary, I don't think the nerf totally ruined the trait. I actually did find wrestler save me from a loss now and then, so it was still useful and probably still a must-have for me on armor, again with the possible exception of low-damage classes (unless wrestler damage calculation can be evened out somehow).

What about stun resistance? Not an auto-scrap at all. I had a close, close loss on Sunday Traffic which came down to that final tank spawn stunning my survivor. I had upgraded an armor without stun resistance for her. So I went back to a lower level armor with stun resistance for the remainder of the challenge. Obviously it doesn't always work, but it was significantly helpful to have the chance.

What about melee imbalance? This is not perfect still, of course, but not as bad as I feared. Some missions in this challenge (and the last), I could only complete with melee at high levels, no chance with ranged. Sunday Traffic and Suburbia are good examples. Main Road I generally took ranged toward the end, but managed it on 29.2 (the farthest I got) with melee. Actually, the same was true with Parking Lot. After using ranged through 29.1, I finished 29.2 with melee.

There seems to be an interesting dynamic. Sometimes I can 3-star up to a point with ranged where melee would only 2-star, after which I can only 1-star with ranged but I can still 2-star with melee, and finally I come to a point where I can only 1-star with ranged and melee will fail. Or vice versa, where melee can still 3-star when my ranged are getting injured, but then ranged can still 2-star when melee are getting in struggles, etc.

I still think in general melee needs a buff. In addition to lots of other great suggestions players have made, I think if a simple damage calculation for wrestler is implemented like the one I suggested above, then melee deserve a bonus over ranged on wrestler damage. Thematically it fits, because they specialise in hand-to-hand. Game-play-wise it fits, too, since melee have to get close and have a greater risk of struggle. It would help even things out.

One thing I find mildly frustrating is that there is almost never any reason to use a balanced team, melee and ranged. The rare exceptions would be something like Back Alley, where a bruiser and two shooters is nice (until the bruiser starts body-shotting), and the occasional level where scout running is backed up by ranged survivors. But these scenarios are few and far between! Generally I either need threat reduction or range, and a blended team is a liability. A single ranged survivor can ruin threat reduction, or a melee can't contribute to the fight effectively while the ranged are shooting. I don't know if there's any realistic solution to this though.

Obviously this is just my experience, and players who get to much higher levels than I do might have a different perspective. But personally, I'm not as unhappy with the nerfs as I expected. I don't feel the need to scrap all my gear, so that's nice.
Bad Pig
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The Notorious P.I.G.
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