This is the general problem.
However, prior to the recent patch, melee COULD chase down range. It required a Great axe, blood lust, charge and reap/gravity, and a second weapon with a good gap closer like the sword and shield. Once the bruiser was in bloodlust range, you could never escape even with a rapier because the GA was faster than the light rapier user. With that said, you had enough distance to fight back, but the GA would always be pretty close. In my mind, it was fair. The GA had a reasonable chance to kill you and you had a reasonable chance to fight back. Most melee, for whatever reason, didn’t run this build, and they struggled to kill range players.
Now, with the recent changes to dodge, once these melee players, or anyone with a S&S, gets in range you are dead. You cannot fight back as you could before. You get permanently snared and die. It doesn’t feel like much of a game playing against these types of players. You basically have to run away and avoid getting hit just once, which is nearly impossible because you do not have enough dodges to avoid reap/charge/gravity well/leap/bash or rush.
Range should be able to fight back in close quarters, but struggle to fully disengage. Once range gets hit with a melee attack they should be vulnerable to a second attack, but they should be able to make enough space after that point to fight back some.
I think the solution would be either to change the dodge penalty to either 10 or 15% instead of 20% and/or only apply to the penalty to the first melee attack and give the defender a 3 second immunity to further slows. Additionally, they may need to look at certain melee weapons and adjust some abilities directly, like the S&S’s Achilles heel should apply a slow when the target is below 30% health, not all the time.
Melee on the other hand shouldn’t get totally melted before they can get close. Therefore, they should change mortal empowerment and probably reduce the max range on the bow/musket to 50 to 75m. If bows are still a problem, they could change the scaling on dex with the bow that only low con builds do decent damage.
I personally only have an issue with the s&s (Achilles heel can lead to a permanent snare) and small issues with the greatsword (tracking on the final hit of skyward is too much) and GA (you cannot see reap coming, you will always be hit by it, it needs a longer animation). I think the other melee weapons are fine.