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Garuda melee queen 4 suggestion: Blood Moon


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Killing things should not be the frame ability design goal.  The goal should be fun and player interest/engagement.  A room clearing AoE is derivative and boring, whether the damage is immediate like so many other frames, or delayed like with Garuda and her slash marks (having to follow up to get your boring AoE damage is not "engagement"--it's busywork design).  Sure, it's not as obnoxiously bad as the slow, channeled blender initially shown, but it still fails to make the frame fun to play, and with 3 already being a dead-boring placeholder ability, that's a big disappointment for our shiny new murder queen.

Now, I recognize that DE wants to keep Garuda on the lower effort side, what with all the Fortuna work going on,  That's understandable, but I think we can still do some more fun and engaging things than "AoE free slash procs", and I think we can satisfy people who want exalted claws and people who don't want Valkyr 2.0.  She also needs a little excitement oomph since she's pretty hard to get.  So, to all those ends, my 4 suggestion is a duration ability with three parts:

First, Garuda's blades come out and track alongside her equipped melee to add damage, slash, range (within reason), punchthrough, and additional melee combo counter hits.  This keeps her as a fancy melee powerhouse without the exalted weapon replacing her chosen melee, and it gets the claws involved, which everyone wants.  It goes well with the new melee's combo counter build-and-spend stuff, but it's a strong base right now, too.

Second, in the area around Garuda, melee hits from everyone in the area go to everyone's melee combo counter, and no combo counters expire within the area of effect (lower ranks can scale down the bonuses and just add a little combo duration).  This doesn't have a big effect on a solo Garuda (though it does give her the option to run without combo counter duration mods, which is a small novelty), but it makes Garuda the melee queen bee.  It buffs the team and encourages excitement and participation, without forcing anyone to participate or play differently, and without overshadowing other players or creating resentment (a perennial problem with AoE murderframes).  It also makes Garuda synergize with exalted melees instead of running an exalted melee.  Now, she not only doesn't step on Valkyr's toes, they are excited to see each other in a squad, because both contribute to the other.  Obviously, with new melee's build-and-spend concept, this Garuda ult would be a bloodbath and showcase for the new toy (it may even be a bit over-strong until new-melee offers some combo outlets, but that could be seen as an early adopter bonus).

Finally, (and this is where we get something a little harder to build, but I don't think we're getting near crazy blue-sky territory, especially with the 2 already working) melee hits in the area create a blood splash that hangs in the air a moment before being pulled to Garuda and her allies in the area.  This visually conveys the combo bonus and ramps up the blood theme, but then you make enemies touching the blood trails suffer debuffs (I suggest an accuracy penalty, a modest damage-taken increase, and a CO-friendly puncture proc).  Now, it goes from flashy to a strategic and relevant spice on the ability.  A calculating murderess can keep her enemies weakened by positioning herself to draw the blood trails through them (this is why the initial hang delay is very important--it helps solo Garuda have time to mindfully work with it).  Meleeing in a squad will create a deadly bloodbath that, again, helps everyone in a strictly positive way.  As another interesting texture, drop the "no combo counters expire" above and have the arriving blood spurt tick up the combo counter when it reaches the player, so players can effect combo extension instead of just getting it for free (the blood should fly fast enough to catch up to a player, but not so fast they can't delay it some by moving away).

I would call it "Blood Moon" and have a menacing orb hang over the AoE, maybe tracking Garuda but not fully keeping up with her, so it isn't quite as flexible as to always just center on her (why, yes, I do like little limitations that add texture to abilities...).  "Bloodbath" also works very meaningfully as a name (and skips making the moon effect).  This ultimate emphasizes melee and gives players things to think about (or ignore with no ill effect), which is very suitable to the frame concept and yet totally different from how Valkyr accomplishes her more raw melee focus and ultimate.  We really don't see many favors for melee players, so it adds something special on that alone, both for Garuda and for her squadmates--everything should be more fun for the squad.  It would also emphasize and celebrate the new melee release, which is an exciting meta-synergy that I'm sure some people's wallets will appreciate...

Oh, and remember how I said the 3 was a dead-boring placeholder?  Well, it can actually synergize with Blood Mood by making its own blood splash that carries a (rank based) combo bump (and enemy debuff) to the squad.  Still pretty boring, but at least that's something to add a little interest and drama.  It will look like it belongs a little.

Edited by TyrianMollusk
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