|Ask a Shoanti|
Opening Volley (UC): This has got to be the ultimate switch-hitter feat. Your ranged attack gives you a bonus on your next melee attack. No idea who would use this other than a switch-hitter. Of course you're only going to get this bonus once in most combats. Unless you've got a back up ranged weapon.
Opening Volley is a really cool and flavorful feat concept, which to my mind doesn’t quite work out in practice.
The feat provides:
Whenever you deal damage with a ranged attack, you gain a +4 circumstance bonus on the next melee attack roll you make against the opponent. This attack must occur before the end of your next turn.
Sounds cool! But consider the myriad of very common circumstances when you won’t be able to pull it off:
1. Your initial ranged attack misses the foe.
2. Your initial ranged attack kills the foe.
3. Someone else in your party kills the opponent off before you can make that melee attack.
4. You can’t reach the foe to strike with a melee attack before the end of your next turn.
5. You can’t reach the foe without drawing an attack of opportunity and you’re not prepared to risk it (the route is not clear or perhaps you are based by another foe in the intervening period).
I do think this feat concept was on the right track, but I’d like to see it re-worked so that it has more practical use before I'd select it over another available option. Perhaps conferring the melee attack bonus whether the ranged attack hits or not, or have the bonus last longer removing the “end of next turn” requirement. Those suggestions might cause the feat to become overpowered rather quickly though.
As an aside, one of the reasons I dig this feat is it's one of the few combat feats that has no prerequisites. I don’t know why, but I always find that cool. That should happen more often.