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Kabam never learns [Hawkeye Buff]

Colonaut123Colonaut123 Posts: 3,018 ★★★★★
Kabam has released the spotlight of the Hawkeye buff. If you haven't seen it, check it out here.

Before we get to the critical part of this discussion, I wish to repeat: the developers did a good job with Hawkeye. I wouldn't call it a nerf overall, like we had with Guillotine or The Hood. That would be dishonest and disrespectful for the work that has been done by Kabam.

By now, it should be a golden rule: do not fix or change what isn't broken. If for some reason the changes that have to be made to the champion are overpowered within the new kit, tune down those changes before touching the old kit. If they can't do anything else, this change should be motivated extensively, so we can understand why it was done.

Kabam violated that golden rule, again. They did it with Guillotine's healing and SP3, and they did it with The Hood's fate seal.

The nerf of Hawkeye's power control

Pre-buff Hawkeye had one very good thing: a powerful, consistent, reliable power drain of 40% of max. Power with the SP1. This is the equivalent of 120% of a bar of Power. He was a one-trick kind of guy, but the player base enjoyed it because of it. Let me repeat: powerful, consistent, reliable.

Post-buff Hawkeye power drains for only 75% of a bar of Power with the SP1, a reduction of 45% of a bar of Power, or in relative terms, -37,5% less power drain. In a fight, that stacks a lot. If pre-buff Hawkeye would have used 5 SP1's, he would have drained 600% of a bar of Power, or the equivalent of six SP1, three SP2 or two SP3. Post-buff Hawkeye will have drained 375% of a bar of Power, or 225% of a bar of Power less. That's two extra SP1 or one extra SP2 you have to bait and dex more than before!

As gods, Kabam gives and takes away. With a Perfect Release, there is a 100% chance to inflict a Suppression Debuff, reducing the Opponent’s Combat Power Rate by 50% for 8 seconds. How to get that Perfect Release? During Special Attacks, press the Block after the first hit Input to slow down time. Releasing the Block Input precisely when Hawkeye releases the arrow grants this Perfect Release bonus.

As Hawkeye hasn't been released yet, we don't know what this Perfect Release thing looks like. But we do know one thing: a powerful, consistent, reliable power drain has been replaced by a less powerful, but same consistent, reliable power drain and a less powerful, less consistent, less reliable Suppression Debuff. A Debuff that can be shrugged off, can fail due to an immunity and requires you to attack the opponent and giving it power, but to a lesser degree. A Debuff that won't even be inflicted if you fail to do a Perfect Release.

In any match-up where power drain matters (Hyperion, Power Focus, Energize,...), you'll notice that post-buff Hawkeye performs worse than pre-buff Hawkeye. Also the synergy with Hercules changes: as it requires passing the threshold of a bar of Power to gain a Fury Buff, it is more difficult to do with post-buff Hawkeye than pre-buff Hawkeye.

In my personal opinion, the balance of this change is tipping over towards a nerf rather than a buff.

The ambiguous changes in bleed damage

Pre-buff Hawkeye has a fairly potent bleed on the SP1 and SP2. A R5 5* deals 5,780.36 bleed damage over 5 seconds with the SP1, or 578.04 per tick. A R5 5* deals 6,088.33 bleed damage over 6 seconds with the SP2, or 507.36 per tick.

Let me remind you that Deep Wounds work best with short but potent bleeds. Max. Deep Wounds increases bleed debuffs with 5 ticks. With the SP1, that would amount to a total of 8,670.54 bleed damage over 7.5 seconds. With the SP2, that would amount to a total of 8,625.13 bleed damage over 8.5 seconds.

Post-buff Hawkeye has a 100% chance to inflict a Bleed Debuff dealing 2369 bleed damage over 10 seconds. Each bar of Power spent beyond 1 grants +1 bleed and +5 seconds duration.

For the SP1, this means the bleed debuff only ticks for 118.45 bleed damage, that's a reduction in bleed damage of 80%! The SP2 deals 236.9 bleed damage over 2 bleed debuffs, but this is over 15 seconds, which amounts to a total of 7,107 bleed damage. The SP2 improves, but at the cost of the SP1.

Deep Wounds become less effective. 5 extra ticks yields a total of 2,961.25 bleed damage for the SP1, and a total of 8,291.5 bleed damage for the SP2.

This is a clear nerf, right? Things are more complicated.

Basic attacks pause all Bleed Debuffs on the opponent for 1 second(s). So while being aggressive, you can prolong the bleed debuffs. As 1 second equates to 2 ticks, it can easily be calculated how long the bleed debuffs be paused to have the same potency as pre-buff.

With max. Deep Wounds, the difference between pre-buff Hawkeye and post-buff Hawkeye is 5,709.29 bleed damage, or 48.2 extra ticks. 48 ticks is equal to 24 seconds. So you need to attack the opponent 24 times before the post-buff bleed debuff of the SP1 deals the same damage as pre-buff bleed debuff.

But Kabam complicated things further.

Activating a Perfect Release bonus grants a Dialed In Passive increasing duration of Debuffs inflicted by Special Attacks by 10%. All Dialed In stacks are removed when failing to activate a Perfect Release Bonus. Max 5.

So with max. stack of Dialed In, the SP1 can increase the base bleed duration from 10 seconds to 15 seconds. With max. Deep Wounds, the base bleed duration is 12.5 seconds and this increases to 18.75 seconds (but the last 0.25 seconds do not count as it isn't a full tick). So 37 ticks of 118.45 bleed damage gives 4,382.65 bleed damage.

The gap between pre-buff and post-buff shrinks to 4,287.89 bleed damage, or equal to 36.2 extra ticks (or 18 extra seconds).

Let me remind you: you need to activate 5 Perfect Releases to get 5 Dialed In Passives, which amounts to 5 Special Attacks with at least 5 bars of Power.

But we're not done yet!

A Perfect Release also makes the arrow attack become a Guaranteed Critical Hit. The signature ability makes landing a Critical Hit with an Arrow Shot will cause any personal Bleed Debuff triggered to become a Critical Bleed, multiplying the Bleed’s Potency by Hawkeye’s Critical Damage Multiplier.

The SP2 has a 100% chance to inflict a 25 second Fragility Debuff. Attacking a Fragile Opponent grants +900 Critical Damage Rating and reduces Block Proficiency by 50%. If this is a Perfect Release, an additional Fragility Debuff is inflicted.

A R5 5* has 738 base Critical Damage Rating, against another R5 5* or R2 6* that gives a +180% Critical Damage Modifier. So bleed potency can be increased by 180%. With max. Cruelty mastery, this is increased to 1,213 Critical Damage Rating, or a Critical Damage Modifier of +233%. Ergo, the 118.45 bleed damage per tick becomes 394.44 bleed damage per tick.

Two Fragility Debuffs increase Critical Damage Rating by 1,800, or a total of 3,013 Critical Damage Rating (max. Cruelty included). This yields a Critical Damage Modifier of +345% or 527.10 bleed damage per stick. This comes close to the pre-buff damage per tick, but requires launching a SP2 and this is only for 25 seconds.

This is where I stop calculating. Point is that a very simple, potent, consistent, reliable bleed debuff of the SP1 is replaced by a very complicated, weaker, inconsistent, unreliable bleed debuff. The only thing that had a net benefit, is the SP2, who will have a much better bleed than pre-buff and twice the amount of damage than the post-buff SP1.

The SP1 spam: does it work?

Pre-buff Hawkeye was only good if you spammed SP1. Is this as good post-buff as pre-buff? That's a difficult to answer question.

I am not going to state that you will definitely lose bleed damage, but I will argue that it won't be as easily as just launching the SP1, thanks to the Perfect Release mechanic and the different effects and bonuses it gives. The power drain is significantly reduced in effectiveness, so the SP1 spam won't be as good as before.

Much depends if the bleeds of the SP1 can stack. If so, doing 5 SP1 in a row gives 5 bleed debuffs, which can be easily paused by basic attacks. That would be pretty good and in that case the bleed damage is superior to pre-buff Hawkeye. If they don't stack, well...

To conclude: while the Hawkeye buff is certainly one of the better buffs of last few months, the clear nerf in power control gives a sour taste in the mouth. It seems Kabam is still tone-deaf for the pleas of the community to not nerf or devalue existing strengths of champions.
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Comments

  • FluffyPigMonsterFluffyPigMonster Posts: 1,910 ★★★★★

    My only problem with the buff is that he needs to be duped now.

    If you want the crit bleeds on sp1 and sp2 yes. Otherwise there seems to be plenty of damage in his base kit. Nontheless, we still need to test the buff ourselves to see come to a conclusion.
    My calculations hints that @Aomine_Daiki10 is right. You need the Critical Bleeds in order to have more bleed damage with the SP1.
    What are those numbers going to look like?

    Also - does the sig ability scale anything? Physical resistance removal?
  • CyborgNinja135CyborgNinja135 Posts: 349 ★★★

    My only problem with the buff is that he needs to be duped now.

    If you want the crit bleeds on sp1 and sp2 yes. Otherwise there seems to be plenty of damage in his base kit. Nontheless, we still need to test the buff ourselves to see come to a conclusion.
    My calculations hints that @Aomine_Daiki10 is right. You need the Critical Bleeds in order to have more bleed damage with the SP1.
    Well yes. Obviously crit bleeds will deal more damage than regular bleeds. But you'll still be able to stack bleeds with his specials, and since basic attacks will pause them, you will have plenty of damage without the dupe, at least on paper. To say that the sig ability is necessary is just false. We can all agree that NF is fantastic when duped, but he's still great unduped. I assume it will be the same with HE.
  • GroundedWisdomGroundedWisdom Posts: 29,287 ★★★★★
    The problem with that was, it was literally the only thing he had going for him. Bleed of course, but that's easily countered. I used a Gem on him a long time ago because it was the only option I had at the time. He's been benched a long time. I'm welcoming the change.
  • Nameless_IWNameless_IW Posts: 727 ★★★
    precisely the power drain was nerfed. why kabam insist in nerfing the "buffed" champs????
  • Lovejoy72Lovejoy72 Posts: 1,146 ★★★
    Every video I’ve watched on this predicted the nerf complaints. I’ll take the change in power control if the damage on the Sp1 actually ends the fight before my social security kicks in. If he can power drain, reduce combat power, AND actually hurt the opponent?

    This buff seems rather like a better champ for newer players that pull him as an early 6*. Which I think is a paramount issue. Who is actually using him now as a go to power control champ? With, say, Doom on the table?
  • Lovejoy72Lovejoy72 Posts: 1,146 ★★★

    Lovejoy72 said:

    Every video I’ve watched on this predicted the nerf complaints. I’ll take the change in power control if the damage on the Sp1 actually ends the fight before my social security kicks in. If he can power drain, reduce combat power, AND actually hurt the opponent?

    This buff seems rather like a better champ for newer players that pull him as an early 6*. Which I think is a paramount issue. Who is actually using him now as a go to power control champ? With, say, Doom on the table?

    Idk if he is a good early 6* since kabam said that his sig ability was “paramount”
    Agreed, if that is the case it’s an issue. I hope it isn’t.
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