Medic’s Misthoughts on Melee 2.999 Recurring

I’ve been meaning to mention the melee changes that came with the Old Blood update for a while, especially since it made up at least a quarter of the Old Blood, aside from the Liches, the Ember and Vauban reworks and the vast amounts of other changes they made. Essentially all melee weapons got reworked, with new animations and new buffs and stat changes and all sorts.

So, uh, how is it?

I, uh, am not completely sure.

I want to say that Melee 2.999 is great, especially since Melee 2.998 was a bit all over the place and unfinished. But the melee system in general is all over the place, mostly because we’ve had so many mini melee system changes overall.

Overall? Most weapons are better. A lot of weapons got buffs to their base stats, and with the buff to Critical Chance mods, so many weapons have become more viable. The Orthos Prime used to be Baby’s First Prime Melee Weapon, but now it absolutely kicks ass, slicing through enemies just as well as newer weapons like the Guandao and Cassowar.

Trinity with Archwing in a vague Mercy look.
Trinity with Archwing in a vague Mercy look.

A lot of mods have been changed dramatically too. The star of the mod changes is the mod Quickening, a rare mod that gives attack speed and a chance to increase your combo count, making it better than default Fury and Gladiator Vice when it comes to attack speed mods. The critical chance mod True Steel has also been buffed hugely, with the normal version giving a massive 120% critical chance. Channeling mods though are all but dead, replaced with things tied to Heavy Attacks and Combo Chance. While I feel like most weapons are better to use now and you have more variety on what weapons are great, the way you build them is still mostly the same.

We also now have a combo counter that is much easier to build up and use. The combo duration can be seen clearly draining while in use and the new scaling means that you get to a X3 combo counter not at 120-something, but at about 20 melee hits. Heavy attacks have been changed to use the combo counter to deal more damage, but honestly, with the melee mod buffs, you kinda don’t mean it. The introduction of this new combo counter though has caused some issues, since thrown weapons and weapons with special attacks use the Heavy Attack to do so. This has essentially killed the Zenistar, as its spinning fire disc duration is now based on the combo counter rather than being a flat 45 seconds – while I expected a nerf to the Zenistar, this goes a little too far. Glaives are in a similar situation as well, due to how their damage is calculated and their ‘explosions’ ignored.

But we are still missing a lot of things. We were supposed to get double weapon goodness in the form of one-handed pistols and one-handed melee weapons, but so far we only have pistols and glaives that work together. I’ve been waiting patiently for single pistols and swords so I can use the Pyrana Prime and my custom Zaw, the Fang of the Whenvern, together and it’s just not happening. There was also supposed to be some sort of ‘rage meter’ based on melee attacks done, but right now we just have the combo counter and heavy attacks.

For me personally? There’s two things I’m missing: the first is aim-gliding while using a melee weapon. It’s basically impossible to do so any more, since weapon switching between melee and guns is right click.

The Dex Dakra, as stylish as ever.
The Dex Dakra, as stylish as ever. This is now impossible to do though.

The second thing… is my main Ash build. The biggest victim of the Melee 2.999* rework wasn’t the Zenistar or an incoming nerf to Zaw rivens or anything like that. The mod Covert Lethality has been absolutely murdered, stripped of the one niche it had. Covert Lethality now only gives a boost to finishing moves, which utterly destroys the Fatal Teleport/Covert Lethality Ash build I used to use for things like the Index.

Rest in peace, Covert Lethality. Guess everyone will just have to use Octavia for marathon survivals now…


Medic, also known as Phovos (or occasionally Dr Retvik Von Scribblesalot), writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF since she doesn't have anything better to do. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Phovos has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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