A few weeks ago, I suggested some buffs and nerfs to certain lancers. None of those changes have been implemented yet, but I know the devs are at least considering some balance changes. Here are a few more. In the cases of buffs, as with Kaigin (and somewhat Oz) last month, I have proposed some semi-detailed new mods for Nev:3.
The nerfs are as follows:
The dog is ridiculous. 160 hit points nearly rivals that of frontline. Restores 10 health base per target hit, on a 36 base attack. Um, really? Garrison has a primary punch covering a similar area that deals 26 and 18 to secondary targets, with no heal. PuP has a dash on a 2 turn cooldown. Sure, it has to target a lancer, which can limit it or make it more predictable, but it can target allies, deals 35 damage on an enemy, and auto-chases. Did I mention it’s a 2-turn cooldown? Okay, then he has Walkies, which is an extremely strong hard CC on only a 4 cooldown and can even be modded to a 3 cooldown. Then he has Prowl, which is a 3-turn invisibility move that is insane for vision as you all will soon figure out in Fourlancer mode, and oh yeah it gives Might and 10 energy because reasons. And his ult is a huge AoE 45 damage attack that Scrambles, which is also an extremely powerful crowd control effect. Yes, the dog can be kited, and yes, he doesn’t have any strictly defensive cooldowns, but he’s a problem. Crazy good primary, 2-turn dash, Walkies, 3-turn invis, great ult…pick 3 maybe?
- Prowl Protocol now lasts only a maximum of 2 turns (down from 3).
- Pounce now has a cooldown of 3 turns if used on an enemy (up from 2).
These changes are designed to make PuP’s vision-granting abilities slightly less oppressive, and limits his mobility a bit while retaining some interesting defensive options with Pouncing an ally (no penalty there!). His Bite, Walkies and Ult are all iconic in their power and are unchanged…for the moment. I’m not sure whether these changes are entirely appropriate, or whether they’re even enough, given that PuP is a very…unique…freelancer.
There are also some changes that could be made without changing the “feel” of PuP’s kit: specifically, reducing his hit points and healing / shielding capabilities. I’d be interested to hear what route you guys prefer.
She has a primary attack that hits up to FIVE (5) range and goes through walls (and has a couple of great mods). She has a huge AoE prep phase slow that can also deal delayed burst damage and play around shields. She has Mending, a very powerful defensive cooldown that can mitigate nearly an entire turn’s worth of enemy attacks on her. She has a long range dash that can go through walls and deals damage and slows in a large area. And she has a large-AoE ultimate that provides crowd control that even Unstoppable doesn’t work against. All in all, it’s a fantastic kit.
I don’t want to take much away from her, as she’s quite cool and unique. I have one simple change to suggest for the time being, and let’s see how she performs.
Seismic Slam now hits a maximum of 4 range (down from 5). Let’s keep the frontline in the damn front. And maybe make her unable to cover literally everywhere you could Fade against her.
Buffs are as follows:
Garrison is in a decent spot — all of the frontlines not mentioned above are in a similar and fairly decent spot. However, he does pale just a bit in comparison to other frontlines given his relative inability to protect himself. He makes up for his low damage and limited hard CC with his missiles, but not enough. Garrison isn’t really about self-protecting, but he is about dealing decent damage to clumped enemies. So, a minor tweak.
Piston Punch now deals 21 damage to additional enemies, up from 18.
I do recognize that this is a slight (relative) nerf to Haymaker, but I don’t think it’s problematic or enough to warrant the mod being dropped to 1 point (which would cause other problems as default mods are intended to be 2 points).
Nev:3 is fairly strong, if aggressive. So these aren’t really buffs necessarily so much as improving a fairly weak mod pool to have some more interesting options.
- Catarang: Inertia (2 points) is now a 3-point mod (up from 2) and reads: Whenever you use Catarang, throw a phantom disc in the exact opposite direction and distance from the one you threw. The phantom disc deals no damage on its way out, but will return to you the following turn and deal return damage.
- Embiggify: Cat and Mouse (1 point) now reads: If no enemies are hit, reduce the cooldown by 2 (up from 1).
- Mouse Trap now deals indirect damage instead of direct damage.
- Acrocat: Big Cat (2 points) is now a 1-point mod (down from 2). Mod renamed to Jumbo Cat.
- Catastrophe: Catnip (2 points) is now a 3-point mod (up from 2) and reads: Using Embiggify after Catastrophe will cause all 3 discs to be Embiggified.
The mods changed weren’t atrocious, but did not see much play to my knowledge. There are a few other mods that could potentially be changed as well.
The above is meant to provide some cool new capabilities for savvy Nev:3 players to take advantage of (Inertia and Catnip reworks), a simple fix to Mousetrap (damage dealt the turn after you use an ability is always indirect as far as I know — don’t see why Mousetrap should behave any differently), and a couple of minor buffs to the “if X, then reduce the cooldown of Y” mods which generally do not see much play and could at least be a bit more cost-efficient to make a more trigger-happy playstyle utilizing those be somewhat functional.
As always, thoughts are welcome. What other lancers do you think might benefit from changes? My current list is Celeste (not necessarily buffs or nerfs, but a few tweaks), Khita (possibly a minor buff, but not sure what), Helio (possibly a small nerf to energy gain), and supports generally (possibly a small hit point nerf). Does anyone need major reworking?