After having the opportunity to forma and use Lavos a few times, I think he's in an OK spot. He's a bit weak right now, but overall his kit has the potential to become really good with a few tweaks here and there. However, that's not what I'm concerned about. Right now what I want to talk about is feedback, or how a skill feels when used.
If you've played Mesa, Nidus, Baruuk etc then you have a decent idea of what I mean by feedback. When you press Mesa's 4, or Nidus's 1 or Barruk's 4 you can intuitively know the AoE of your abilities, whether or not they're hitting enemies and more importantly, whether or not it's killing them. These abilities have strong visual feedback that reinforce the skill actively being used.
Lavos has some trouble in that department. His abilities often hide the true range or AoE behind unclear or hard to see effects, they have delays which can make it difficult to understand when it's active or not and often it feels like there's a disconnect between what the ability looks like and what the ability does if that makes sense. To break them down a bit further:
- This is probably his best skill in terms of feedback. You press 1, and enemies in a large cone in front of you are slapped with damage, status effects and you start healing.
- It has a lot of elements going on that make it feel like it doesn't quite work properly. His vials have travel time which means this skill has a lag time of about ~2 seconds before it even works properly. The vials have to slowly arc through the air, and then when they land it takes another second for the dot to start ticking. The vials don't actually do anything on explosion, it's all part of the field left on the ground. Said fields also have an incredibly small radius which most enemies will have likely moved out of thanks to the lag time. and which is hard to judge due to visual clutter.
- This skill is somewhat OK, but it feels like there's a disconnect between the probe and the actual AoE. You fire it, and the probe carries the elemental field with it. The best way I could compare this would be to Vauban's Tesla Nervos. With Vauban you see the balls roll up to enemies, then charge and release shocks in a bright glow. It's immediately apparent that they're what's causing it, but it's not clear that the probe is actually shocking enemies outside of when you start seeing the numbers pop up.
- Catalyze has very little vertical range to it, which ties into my arguments perfectly. It's difficult to gauge how large of an area each probe actually covers. The gel-like effect ends up hiding the true area of the skill which on flat areas isn't too much of a problem (although the skill becomes worse the further out enemies are) but in areas with multiple levels you can't tell if the skill will hit or not.
Overall, I think there's a lot of smaller improvements that could be done to Lavos that would make his abilities feel much better to use. His 2 should have the vials do some damage / status on explosion and could use less clutter in the AoE, his 3 could have a Volt-like shock animation from the probe to affected enemies and his 4 needs some verticality + some sort of bubble indicating the actual size.
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© Post "Lavos lacks strong visual feedback and is partly why he feels so clunky" for game Warframe.
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