Early game leveling for ranged cadence is painful

I have played many ranged cadence builds for years, and in the past, early game leveling went smoothly. As of, leveling as ranged cadence feels bad in the early game.

Ranged cadence has to wait until level 7 until it receives any AOE. In contrast, ranged blade burst gets AOE at level 2, ranged fire strike gets it at level 5, ranged primal strike gets it at level 3, ranged 2H savagery gets it at level 6, ranged RF gets it at level 4, and ranged Inquisitor leveling with default attack gets it at level 3 or 4.

AOE becomes a problem at level 5 with Kyzogg, and areas past the Kyzogg fight also require AOE. But turning quests in after Kyzogg ordinarily gets you to level 7 (or very near it), so if you get adequate AOE by level 7, leveling feels okay. The Kyzogg fight is a slog, but immediately afterward, you get rewarded with the AOE you so desperately wanted in that fight.

As of, the AOE received at level 7 is inadequate. In my experience with ranged builds, a 25% chance of full AOE is adequate, and a 20% chance of full AOE is not quite adequate, but is close enough not to feel too bad. The above ranged builds all get a 25% chance of full AOE (or better) earlier than ranged cadence, except for Inquisitor leveling with default attack.

For cadence, the %passthrough chance is calculated on a per hit basis. I had verified this with testing in a previous patch, and again in This means that the 30% passthrough chance for 1 point in fighting form is not a 30% chance for 100% passthrough, it’s a 30% chance to pass through on that hit and every subsequent hit. Multiple passthrough events take multiple strokes of luck in a row.

So we can calculate the chance to hit at least n targets, which takes n-1 successful passthrough attempts, with x as the chance to pass through, as x^(n-1). This only happens every 3 hits, so dividing by 3 gives us the chance to have AOE good enough to hit at least n targets, on a per shot basis. Having it on a per shot basis lets us compare it to things like % chance to trigger a WPS with 100% passthrough. For example, to get the chance of hitting at least 3 targets on a per shot basis for 1 point in fighting form, it’s (0.3^2)/3 = 3%.

Three percent of your shots having a minimal amount of AOE is not adequate AOE.

At level 7, you have enough points to put 3 in fighting form, giving you a 50% chance. The per shot chance of hitting 3 targets is 8.3%, and of hitting 6 targets is 1%. Keep in mind that hitting only 3 targets every 3rd shot is pretty lousy, and that all the other builds which got their AOE earlier than level 7 don’t just get to hit 6 targets, they get to hit as many targets as they want.

At level 8, you can put 6 points in fighting form, giving you an 80% chance. The per shot chance of hitting 3 targets is 21.3%, and for hitting 6 targets is 10.9%.

With the prior numbers, level 7 would give you a 90% chance. The per shot chance of hitting 3 targets is 27%, and of hitting 6 targets is 19.7%. Subjectively, this felt good.

Phantasmal Blades and PRM are the other skills I know of affected by the bugfix. Both of them do small amounts of AOE on a per-cast basis even without any passthrough. Neither need passthrough or multiple passthrough to hit 3 or more targets.

Cadence needs passthrough, and it needs the passthrough to happen multiple times, and if it doesn’t, we have to wait two more shots until we get another chance to maybe get AOE. All the other ranged builds get more AOE earlier on, and after level 7, any delay in getting adequate AOE feels bad.

How about just using Zolhan’s Advantage until enough skill points are available? Without Cadence, the desired proc change of around 25% can then easily be reached at level 7. And just shift to Cadence after enough skill points are available (and honestly, without the flat damage provided by deadly momentum, Cadence it is a bit lacking early on). But well, I would also not fight against an early level item that adds 100% passthrough to Cadence (and is only available at this level, or not a general desirable weapon - e.g. a skill modifier to Francis gun)

Imho, not every skill must be perfectly usable at the earlist levels - e.g. Blade Arc requires also a heavy investment before it becomes a really usable skill.

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That strategy would work; I’ve tested it.

If I can’t get this fixed, that will probably become my default advice for people without tokens to get around it. But it wouldn’t be my advice to people with tokens. And there are people who are exploring on their own, and aren’t getting advice from anybody.

For people exploring on their own, it’s counter-intuitive that the way you start a cadence build is with something other than cadence, even though cadence is available at level 2, then you should suddenly respec all your points at exactly level 9.

True, but I think ranged cadence should be.

It has been since about 2016, and it’s available with only 1 point in soldier.

And it isn’t (and hasn’t been) perfectly usable from the very earliest levels, since it’s slightly slow to level with through level 5, and if you use a 1 point cadence on kyzogg, it’s a bit tedious. Just perfectly usable from then on, and decent enough until then.

or use a component skill…
FF is reached at lvl 7 even if you beeline it
searing embers/component dmg skills are unlocked at lvl 5
they can also carry you for a fair few levels (which i’ve seen some complaints about, but i guess that’s another topic)
so, since you now have a carry skill, with aoe, before you even get your native aoe, where is the issue in waiting to get cadence aoe slightly later/delayed compared to before?
Zolhan having passthrough is also a decent skill which you can get up to 20% while waiting to even reach FF
investing more points into cadence and wps early game is also perfectly fine instead of rushing for FF (yes i dared suggest something that egregious)
^why do i do that, because, even while slightly slower, it’s not really that big of a deal to level early game without aoe - not even on veteran

edit, just gonna repost this since it kinda belongs too

it takes 15pts to even reach FF, +1 in cadence to unlock it, you’re now level 7, with 2pts in FF, 3 if you have kasparov
*this would still not give you 100% passthrough by the old means, and gives you 50% passthrough now
at level 8 you’re now at 6/12 and has 80% passthrough almost same as before but “1 level later”, at level 9 you’re now at 100% passthough with 1pt to spare
that is it, 1.3 levels difference from before

and like i said before, beginners aint gonna notice much of that, not the “inefficient” way(s) they play and level

*i’ve also levelled ranged Cadence without beelining for FF nor using component carry searing embers exploit
legit it’s fine, even on vet, early game lack of aoe isn’t that detrimental, much less so if players don’t know about it or aren’t paying attention (which most of them don’t)

**again this is not me against changing it/buffing values back, it’s me disagreeing extremely with how this issue is portrayed

“Level as something else” is not a solution to the problem.

The problem is that it is no longer reasonable to level a ranged cadence build as ranged cadence. There’s no balance reason that requires ranged cadence to suck for awhile, when it didn’t do that before. There’s no reason to make leveling advice for it suddenly complicated, or for it to be hard for people exploring the game to figure out how to do it on their own without advice.

There was a bugfix, and in the course of fixing it, values were adjusted way too low. I’m trying to get attention to the issue so it can be fixed. It is not a bad thing to try to bring attention to an issue with leveling.

Past Kyzogg, who you reach at level 5, the game expects you to have AOE already. It actually expects you to have it at Kyzogg already.

I always level and play on veteran.

I’ve watched an experienced streamer level inefficiently. It’s not just beginners who make mistakes.

But with this change, even perfect play doesn’t solve the issue. You just don’t have the points to get AOE by the time the game expects you to have it.

it is, please stop blowing this such out of mega proportions, it’s beyond ridiculous, i’ve already shown the exact level difference, even using your beeline method

nothing changed on that front

that’s your POV tho, devs obviously felt different
by the looks of it, assumption, they saw that before bug was 4pts, tooltip was 12, so they split the difference at 8 meeting it halfway
whether or not that was the behind the scenes reasoning behind i couldn’t say, but seems like it could be an easy fit

it does not, several 0 aoe skills available in classes by then, AAs are a prime example, tho i do think the others are better than cadence early because ST is just sorta better by being more stable, but they all lack aoe

and that streamer would likely also not notice the difference going on here for cadence if they were already not paying attention before in their less than efficient ways

for the last time, hopefully, you get it 1.3 levels earlier, there is in absolutely 0 no way that’s detrimental in terms of difference, nor in which ways the game “expects” you to have aoe (which is also a silly claim), you can go without aoe for much longer than lvl 7-9, you can even do so without being that much bothered by it (depending on your tolerances ofc), even on Veteran
*i keep using vet as example because that’s the mode i exclusively play on unless i’m “testing” things for Normal specifically

again, i’m 100% fine if Z backtracks on the passthrough change/adjusts values to be 1:1 with the bug
my issue is 3000% purely being by the way it’s portrayed, and keeps being portrayed, despite even giving you the numbers, and personal experience

It’s not that I didn’t know about the PTR. I looked through the patch notes sometime between March 22nd and March 23rd. I responded to 2 topics that could affect gunslingers in a less significant way.

Looking at all the posts in the public test discussion forum, there was no mention of either change. Normally when there are big changes, you hear about it.

There was no reason to expect either change.

When I’d previously mentioned the fact that 4 points in fighting form gives you 100% passthrough, some people were surprised, and they did some testing on it. I saw the testing thread, and participated in it. We got an official response that definitively stated that it was a display bug, and would not be fixed. I’d been aware of it for about 7 years, during which it had not changed, and now we had official word that it would continue not to be changed.

The normal blade burst behavior I’d been aware of ever since patch in October of 2016. That patch enabled blade burst for pistols, and immediately I tried out the idea of blade burst gunslingers. I’ve played them ever since, and its behavior has been consistent all these years, and I hadn’t even heard it classified as a bug by anyone before yesterday. It was also generally consistent with the normal differences between 2H ranged and gunslingers, where 2H ranged hits hard once, and gunslingers hit less hard but more often. And it acted consistently with gunslingers using Bursting Round, which also has a circular AOE, and were the individual bullets can in rare circumstances hit two monsters in different locations and cause a circular AOE around each.

It’s the single biggest balance change to blade burst gunslingers since October of 2016, and the only change to ranged cadence leveling in approximately as long.

I was paying attention to everything except for reading every single listing of detailed changes to the patch notes and combing through the dozens or hundreds of changes to look for something major that had been mentioned nowhere else.

Both were listed as bugfixes, but both were balance changes. I can’t see a reason for either balance change. As far as I can tell, blade burst gunslingers weren’t overpowered. Ranged cadence was at the back of the pack for leveling already.

Before, it required 4 points for 100% passthrough. It’s been like that since at least approximately 2016, maybe longer.

At one point way back when, probably in 2016, I started using cadence without knowing about this behavior, so I was unnecessarily putting in 12 points in fighting form. Even though I was putting too many points in, the leveling was fine, since I was getting passthrough by 4 points.

I’ve tried leveling in the new patch. I’ve leveled many, many cadence gunslingers (and a few 2H ranged) over approximately 7 years. Leveling ranged cadence used to be fine, and now it sucks.

Previous behavior was 66% passthrough at 1 point, 78% at 2 points, 90% at 3 points, and 100% at 4. Now it starts out at a measly 30%. And since passthrough is calculated on a per hit basis, the lower the number, the more likely you only hit 1 extra target if you do get lucky enough to get passthrough.

Waiting 2 shots for a guaranteed AOE shot is not a problem. Generally I find that AOE is adequate if you on average get 1 AOE shot out of 4 total shots. The problem is with how long you have to wait until you get an AOE shot at all, and with the new cadence changes, whether it’s really an AOE shot once you do get it.

before it required 4pts if you knew about the bug, which most didn’t, as i mentioned even some veterans and builders didn’t know about that bug
officially it required 12 to reach 100% passthrough/if you went by the tooltip

*you can tell this is my 9.7 version because GI is active/working

When I’d first read about it somewhere on the internet, the claim was it required 4, and I tested it to see if it worked, and it did, and it had 100% passthrough at 4 points.

Up until, it displayed a requirement of 12, but the behavior was 4, going back approximately to 2016.

ye i just edited in post because i remembered wrong my bad on that

but again it’s a bug, which most people didn’t know about
it wasn’t even “officially” known until last year/a forum post was made More on passthrough [How it behaves]
and still after that most didn’t know
*i “know” it’s not widely known because of the many GTs i’ve viewed over the years, and interactions i’ve had with people/beginners, that always maxed Fighting Form on gunners

so for most people this is a net positive/4pts saved
bug abusers gets “punished” again, as usual :sweat_smile:, regular folks benefit

even after it was made very public last year

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I saw some of the edits happening while I was writing my posts. It was a bit surreal watching the edits happen in real time while writing a post, but I did see your edits, and edited a post of mine to take out a reference to something you were no longer saying.

I remember that thread, I posted in it, and it was a post of mine that got that thread started.

It’s not about the points saved or lost. 4 points saved or lost is not going to make or break an endgame build.

It’s about being able to level ranged cadence as ranged cadence, instead of something else.

In the old system, anyone who didn’t know would lose 8 points, but their leveling would be perfectly smooth. In the new system, everyone loses only 4 points, but some people’s leveling will be an excessive grind.

Who will need to do the grind? Not people with access to Ultimate Tokens. Not people who have access to Elite Tokens and the knowledge that turning in 2 quests in Elite after killing Kyzogg in normal will boost them by several levels. Definitely not the speedlevelers.

It will be people who are going through the game for the first time without a guide, trying ranged cadence. People with a guide trying ranged cadence will either decide to suffer through the extra grind, or to suffer through the complicated advice from the guide on how to avoid it.

you can do this perfectly fine, you’re talkign about 4 skill points, not the end of the world, it’s literally 1.3 level’s worth, and easily instantly made up for readjusting points

in what way, does players not knowing about the bug, ie the new players you’re referring to/who don’t have merits etc, lose 4pts?
they gain 4pts, because those very people were spending 12 before, because they went by tooltip (if they even cared at all/understood what the passthrough meant)
the sole instance of it affecting new people/people not having access to merits, or otherwise impactful is if it was addressed and highlighted in levelling guides, guides that should ofc rightfully just be updated to reflect this chance, the only guide that does mention this is ofc a recent guide, since it wasn’t known before, the other guides states 12/12
so beginners are not losing anything, because they weren’t aware, they gained 4pts, and reaching 8/12 is not cumbersome hard or a trouble early game

@The_Coyote since this apparently pertinent/highly significant for beginners, could you make a note/edit of doing fighting form to 8/12 now instead of 4/12 as before in your cadence guide ? [ -] Budget Physical Ranged Dual-Wield Warlord
seems like it might fix any outstanding issues trying to be raised here :sweat_smile:

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done (10 char) :slight_smile:

Edit: And well, as I used 12/12 in Fighting Fom for the guide and did not stopped the levelling because of unplayability in Veteran, I guess 8/12 will not be that bad :wink:

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You can’t readjust points you don’t have.

Additionally, it’s not just 1 level’s worth, because the early values are so much smaller in the new system.

I used to be able to recommend leveling as ranged cadence, because it didn’t feel bad to do so.

It has been known since 2016. I heard it from someone else around that time. Whenever I have either given advice on how to level ranged cadence or have seen someone putting too many points in since that time I’ve mentioned it.

I’ve said it repeatedly on reddit over several years. When I recently got onto these forums, I said it here too, like I’ve been doing everywhere else.

you might have known about it, and a few elsewhere might have known about it
it was not “publicly” known in that it wasn’t widespread, you could see this by veterans and builders not utilizing the bug until many years laters,
and as i said my own interaction with community/beginners also indicates this with the various GTs i’ve seen posted in steam, discord, reddit, crate forum

you have points because you spent them elsewhere, please stop trying to make this out to be some impossible math riddle

it is literally 1.3 level’s worth of points, because you need to spend 4 more points than before to reach 100% passthrough
the sole difference is how much passthrough and when you get it compared to before, but it’s still 1.3 level’s worth, 4pts, to reach 100% compared to the few people knowing about the bug
the biggest impact is the unconscious feel players are going to have about when the passthrough effects happens, that’s it, and they are gonna feel that for 1.3 levels longer, thats it
you’re acting like you’re the protector of the levelling, the guardian of the noobs, and if this change is somehow detrimental to them and cadence levelling, and none of that is apt, it’s fine, levelling cadence is fine, the beginners are fine, this will not impact them as much as you’re trying to make it out to be, this will impact bug knowers mostly, ie you
would it have been dope/fine “best of both worlds” if 100% passthrough was set at 4pts/with bigger incremental levels early, sure, but it’s dishonest to suggest what you’re doing that this is somehow detrimental to cadence levelling or beginners

*maybe i need to emphasize to not be misunderstood, i’m not against Z changing/increasing the values like you want, i’m against you making this big of a deal out of the change, because to me it oozes coming from a place of you losing 4pts, not the actual impact it has for builds/levelling/beginners

No, you don’t have the points.

It’s not the number of points you don’t have, it’s the fact that you don’t have them.

You don’t have enough points to get adequate AOE when the game starts requiring you to deal with groups all the time.

The whole point is that there aren’t enough points. You haven’t spent them elsewhere, you’ve spent all of your points on getting AOE for cadence and it still isn’t enough because you don’t have enough points yet.

It’s not “unconscious”. It’s overt and blatant and painful.

It’s impossible to miss, when you just dumped all 3 of your points into your AOE skill, after limping along with 1 skill point spent in cadence and nothing else but the soldier mastery, all for the purpose of reaching AOE finally, and then you try to use it, and it does nothing, and you try again, and it does nothing, and you try again, and it hits 2 guys instead of just one, and you’re like, “That’s it!? Nine shots in a row, and that’s all I get!?”

How many times have I repeated that it’s not about the 4 points? You keep trying to make it about that. It’s not about that.

If you tried it, you wouldn’t be saying that.

I think you should clarify that you mean the earliest 10 levels, and not level 25 / 30+ - otherwise it is easy to miss your point.

And yeah, in this phase a pure ranged Cadence build will have some lacking AoE damage - the reason I added cooldown Forcewave in this phase. But well, I think using Zolhan’s Advantage in this phase should also work (if Forcewave is not wanted) - and skipping Cadence until enough points are available.

i’ve tried it, it’s fine, you’re way over exaggerating but more so attempting to misrepresent it as some sort of crusade for the casuls and saving the poor beginners, “this aint it bruh”

you do, because waiting a level, aint gonna hurt you, i’ve repeated this ad nauseam by now
even if you’re being inefficient and rushing fighting form at 1pt cadence and 1pt zolhan you’re still gonna get 8pt fighting form at lvl 9, this is not a big deal as you’re trying to make it out to be
^it’s so much of a not big deal it’s not even an issue if you’re playing on veteran

it is “to you”, because you’re very experienced, very aware, and ofc know about this change/the exact passthrough bonuses; beginners do not, so your argument falls completely flat there, because most aren’t noticing it, much less so when we’re talking about the time it takes to get 1 more level and increase it the final bit now, even compared to old high starter values

it’s very clearly about that, for you, because everything you’re trying to make it out to be, falls flat or is easily debunked

lets break down the math to be done with this BS, hopefully
it takes 15pts to even reach FF, +1 in cadence to unlock it, you’re now level 7, with 2pts in FF, 3 if you have kasparov
*this would still not give you 100% passthrough by the old means, and gives you 50% passthrough now
at level 8 you’re now at 6/12 and has 80% passthrough almost same as before but “1 level later”, at level 9 you’re now at 100% passthough with 1pt to spare
that is it, 1.3 levels difference from before
you are making a humongous deal out of a 1lvl difference - so much so there is no way it’s coming from a perspective of protecting early game beginner levelling, because beginners do not notice that difference