TL;DR: If I'm spinning-to-win, I should stop my movement for a fun and interesting reason, not intentionally weakening myself because I have to
The spin-to-win play style is one of my favorites in ARPG's, so naturally I was excited when I read about the new Gears of Dreadlands set. Especially coming from my all-time d3 build, Whirlwind Barb.
I think the combination of fast movement speed that pierces enemies and deals constant damage around you is a staple for the genre that many people enjoy.
I think, however, there is a flaw in GoD that makes it underwhelming if this is what you're looking for, ignoring that it's currently one of the fastest and strongest builds of the season. Namely, the stop-and-start aspect of this set is too much of a hindrance to the fun factor. To elaborate: The fun of spin-to-win, in my opinion, is being able to sustain your resources and damage while constantly using your damage+move skill (Whirlwind, Strafe, Tempest rush). Your movement is your standard state, and if ever I'm going to stop using the skill, it should be either because:
- I need to escape a bad situation immediately with another skill
- I have a very strong move that requires me to stand still briefly
I was hesitant about GoD initially because it was unclear in one sense: Do I gain momentum stacks while Strafe uses my primary skill? The answer is no, meaning every 15-20 seconds you need to stop moving to fire off 4-5 basic attacks to refresh them. While the basic attacks are still powerful and the DR persisting helps alleviate the danger of standing still, I've stopped moving for 4-5 seconds out of every 15-20 seconds not because I want to, but because I have to.
This isn't me complaining about not being able to travel at the speed constantly, honestly I do think the build could use a little less movement speed. I just think in a spin-to-win play style, stopping my movement should come with a good trade-off while still being a fun, interesting, and situational choice to make.
Take Wrath of the Wastes barb for example (atleast before the Ambo's pride change). If I stop spinning, it is to take a couple of (slightly more dangerous) seconds to stack a powerful Rend on a strong enemy. Tempest Rush monk has this too; using the burst of the Flurry rune timed with Convention of Elements is some of the staple damage of the build.
All that being said, here is my idea for how I would make Gears of Dreadlands more engaging in its stop-and-start vs. spin-to-win play style:
- (2-piece set): Strafing against enemies will automatically shoot your last used primary skill. Gain 1 stack of moment every time your primary skill hits an enemy while Strafing, to a maximum of 10 stacks. Your Primary skills deal 10% increased damage per stack of Momentum.
- (4-piece set): Gain 6% damage reduction and 8% movement speed per stack of momentum. Directly firing your primary skill unleashes all stacks of momentum, repeating your primary skill rapidly for each stack and consuming all stacks. The bonuses of your Momentum stacks are retained while your Momentum stacks are being unleashed.
- (6-piece set): Your primary skills deal 10,000% more damage.
Obviously the numbers and speed of Momentum unleashing would be up to balance adjustments. With these changes I think Gears of Dreadlands retains its fun spin-to-win play style while giving you the choice of unleashes a large burst of damage, while stripping away defensive and utility bonuses for a few seconds. I think this would give it a good trade-off between choosing to continue to spin or briefly stopping, while still making the choice fun, interesting, and situational.
If you've come this far, let me know what you think of Gears of Dreadlands in its current state, of my ideas for it, and what you think of the spin-to-win vs. stop-and-start play style in general
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