Survey Says: Up Close & Personal with Melee Weapons

Greetings Contestants!

Thank you for joining us once again. In case you missed our latest Developer Video Diary, The Culling: Origins is shaping up nicely and we’re in the final stages of development for the game’s latest update.

At this stage, we anticipate that The Culling; Origins will release in the next 2-4 weeks on PC, with the Xbox version to follow closely afterwards.

As close as we are to release, there is still a lot of important work to do and decisions to make. Your feedback on this topic has been invaluable and allowed us to make significant strides forward.

We’re confident that these changes will help move The Culling’s moment-to-moment gameplay to a better place. At the same time, we’re aware of an ongoing concern that the Cripple wound provided a counter against bow-kiting that is going to be missed in the new system, no matter how beneficial our agreed changes may be.

We agree that you’ve illustrated a key issue that should be resolved. Bow kiting may seem simple on the surface, but there are several factors at play that need to be examined. We do agree with you that in its current form, bow-kiting represents a fundamental issue and as such we believe the solution lies in the mechanics of bow combat, not in wounds, perks, or items.

At this particular time, we don’t have a definite answer. But, we’re currently working hard on resolving this issue. You can expect to hear more specific information in the near future.In the meantime, we are able to share the full plan for melee weapons.

For the sake of keeping this diary relatively brief, we’ll forgo detailing all of the individual changes that were made. Instead, we’ll share our philosophy and the resulting plan.

Here are some conclusions we drew that informed the plan:

  • The melee weapons introduced post-Day 1 should remain in the mix, along with class/tier assignment changes (i.e. Cleaver became an Axe) that rounded out the roster in each tier.

  • We’re moving away from having different wound strengths within a tier. Bleed DPS will scale to be more powerful in higher tiers, but the other wounds will be a flat, constant value (at 15%). This works because Weakness and Expose scale based on weapon damage, which already scales across tiers.

    • Note that we like 15% because it matches the strength of Stims. If you’re fighting someone who has MuscleMan Milk applied, the Weakness wound you apply to him will effectively negate their Stim.

      Going into the 20%-30% range on wounds risks making wound strength more important than base damage, which is counter to the goal that Wounds should provide a layer of flavor and opportunities to strategize with Perk selection, but should not be the deciding factor in most fights.

  • Bleed DPS per tier has been adjusted to apply roughly equivalent value vs. Weakness and Expose (which are inherently balanced against one-another). Now that those wounds are set at 15% this means that Bleed DPS comes down slightly.

  • Weapon Speed affects damage in the following ways:

    • If a weapon is slow, it loses 1 point of jab damage and gains 1 point of charged damage

    • If a weapon is fast, it gains 1 point of jab damage and loses 1 point of charged damage

    • With these rules, we get plenty of variety within tiers but also ensure that weapons do not appear to cross tiers in terms of base damage output as they did in the past.

  • The plan is to retain the individual identities weapons had in Day 1 (i.e. Machete is a slow, heavy-hitting blade) as much as possible, but we’ve prioritized parity and variety across the overall arsenal vs. staying as rigidly close as possible to Day 1.

  • Thrown damage values will match a weapon’s melee stats, rather than being boosted or damped to artificially identify certain weapons as superior for throwing.

The resulting plan is something that is structured to provide maximum variety in terms of individual stats and weapon feel, while also following a consistent rule-set that ensures fair balance.

Check out the plan below and weigh in with your thoughts in our new survey.