So I’ve picked up Gun Lance a few weeks ago, and it’s become my favorite weapon. Around 500 hunts with it now so I’ve had quite a bit of time with the weapon. And I love the way it plays but I think there’s some odd choices about the weapon that I don’t like.
- Wyvern Fire. Initially I was really annoyed by the massive blowback from Wyvernsfire, since it displaces you so far from the monster. I learned that the displacement is really useful for giving yourself some breathing room, getting a flinch/KO and then reloading Wyrmstake or lunging in for a combo. Lunge + one hop is usually enough to make up the distance you get launched.
However, why for the love of God is the damage in 3 chunks, and not one concentrated shot, like the Wyvern ammo for HBG? I assume it’s to control wakeup damage, but when GS can do 1300+ easily, I don’t see why doing 800 damage on a GL wake up hit with Wyverns Fire is unreasonable. Making it a concentrated burst would be so much more useful. I guess an argument could be made for 3 hits having higher flinch potential than a single hit, but I can’t see those number so I’d have to have specifics before I made a verdict on that.
- Wyrmstake. I have a hate-hate-love relationship with this ability. First, the hate, A, B and C
A. The length the attack takes to complete, and the amount of time you spend immobile. This attack is bad ass and does really good damage (provided you hit a weak zone, but we’ll get to that) but it’s way too slow. I’m fine with the delay on the Wyrmstake exiting the barrel, but the nearly 2.5 seconds you’re stuck in place after launch is just so punishing. The Gunlance dodge is not OP, it doesn’t have ridiculous invincibility frames and it’s really challenging to I-Frame dodge with GL. So why can’t we dodge out of the Wyrmstake ending animation? Why must we sit still and wait for the monster to roar, attack, etc, when nearly no other weapon gets locked in place like this? Heck, even Greatsword can roll cancel immediately at the end of each attack.
B. The WEAK ZONE DAMAGE. Okay, so why does Wyrmstake damage depend on Weak zone values to do max slicing damage before the shell explosion (the majority of the damage of the attack) you have to hit a weak zone. But, the slicing damage cannot crit. This makes no sense to me, there’s no other damage type in the game that is weak zone dependent but cannot crit (other than elemental damage, to an extent, but even that can crit with critical element). The slicing damage leading up to the shell explosion needs to be able to crit. That one change alone would massively increase the relevance of Gunlance as a truly offensive weapon.
C. The Love. I love this attack even though it’s got its issues, it feels SO good to land it, and it has a lot more application than people give it credit for. If you set up you combos correctly, you should almost always finish on Wyrmstake. Wyrmstake does crazy flinch and KO build up, so ending a KO combo with WS will set you up nicely for the next KO, or you can use it as spite damage before a monster roars lol.
- Shelling. Shelling is effective, not massively powerful for obvious reason, which I think is more than fair. It’s no weak zone dependent so buffing it may take Gunlance power out of control. It’s still technically a defensive weapon btw (I sometimes forget that I have a shield with Gunlance lol). I do think that a base 10% damage buff to shelling damage wouldn’t be a ridiculous idea though. Wide 4 would get bumped up to around 70 base damage per shell, assuming artillery level 3, which is what you could reach with Feline Bombardier and artillery 3 anyway. I think 10% on to that wouldn’t be insane.
These are my major thoughts on the weapon. I love Gunlance and it’s a shame that it’s so low on the usage list for the overall player base. It’s a weapon that rewards excellent timing, pinpoint dodging, and shielding sometimes I guess. I’ll be honest, once you get the dodging timing down, there’s almost no reason to run guard up or guard 3. Using guard is pretty important if you’re new to the weapon, because the dodging positioning is pretty strict unless you’re using evade extender lol, which just turns Gunlance dodge into foresight slash. Between 4 major playstyles, tons of build options, and just general power, the Gunlance is such a great weapon. I’m very happy with it and I would hope each of you give it a try.
All of my observations are things that I think would push the Gunlance into being a more enjoyable experience, and more accessible to new Gunlance users. Other than the slicing damage not criting, that actually pisses me off lol.
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