This new post focuses on the second PTR patch, which improved the performance and mechanics of Gears of Dreadlands. The Hungering Arrow variant is in great shape and feels well balanced – kudos to the devs for improving it.
There are outstanding performance tweaks that should be addressed for the other flagship primary skills (Bolas & Grenades):
I want to stress the importance of finishing the upgrade of Bolas. You’ve taken the time to spot light Leonine Bow and Emimei Duffel in the patch notes. The community was excited about the choice between Hungering Arrow and Bolas. (elite killer vs trash killer)
Bolas is under-performing to a degree of abandonment. Meaning, if left as is, nobody is going to play Bolas in push; not many will play it in support since the pixel pull is too loose, and the T16 speed stuff is easily replicated with Hungering Arrow. (those sub 1 min clears rock for key farming – and HA will be the first gear we all farm – so expect Shattershot speedsters to dominate).
Performance Test Results
With the above in mind, please review the performance results:
*I am near 5k paragon, most of the above clears have the potential to be 1-2 GRs higher with aggressive fishing.
Bolas: Increase Power by 11GRs
I use Leonine Bow, Emimie’s Duffel and Dawn (cubed) for toughness. I have given this setup an honest try with the GoD6 set, sinking about 50+ keys into push attempts. I strictly clear trash since we lack the elite damage % affixes necessary to finish off elites, so it is more beneficial to skip them, or hope for a Conduit.
At my paragon, Bolas is dangerous to play – as it requires close range combat, the trash isn’t so dangerous – but death or serious damage loss occurs when surrounded by multiple elites with harsh affixes. (which tends to happen because you’re dragging them across the map.)
I hoped gearing with Stone of Jordan would answer the inefficiencies, but it doesn’t. The loss of F&R is too steep. Incorporating Ninth Cirri Satchel only results in poor performance because the element cycles are reversed (Cold -> Fire) – you kill the trash with HA before you use Bolas. If Bolas were superior at killing trash, you may consider holding off on HA cycle. That said, I recommend closing the gap between Bolas and Hungering Arrow.
- Tighten the pulling effect of Leonine Bow of Hashir, the enemies are too spaced out post pull, try to emulate Ranslor’s Folly tight pixel pull.
- Implement the following item upgrades:
Leonine Bow of Hashir
- Bolas have a 100% chance on explosion to pull in all enemies within 24 yards, and also deal 425-525% increased damage
- Bolas explode instantly and deal 425-525% increased damage.
Grenade: Increase Power by 15GRs
Grenade should not be forgotten. Grenade has its own characteristics, it fits in between Bolas and Hungering Arrow – it’s the middle ground between elite and trash killer. You also may play GoD6 Grenade with Endless Walk.
There is a very simple way to buff this skill without impacting Rapid Fire. Update an old item:
- Grenade deals 900% increased damage.
Stone of Jordan
This item was intended for dual skill builds under compatible sets. Assuming you can balance Bolas w/ Hungering Arrow, GoD6 fits this criteria. The problem is the ring itself doesn’t supply enough damage to replace favorites like F&R, Compass Rose or CoE. In another thread, the following suggestion was made and I agree with it because it will separately make items like Etrayu and Balefire Caster worthwhile:
Stone of Jordan
Each of your elemental’s damage bonus is equal to your highest static elemental bonus to skill. Your static elemental damage bonus is now doubled.
Holy Point Shot: Another 4-5GRs Please
We must get this balanced with other class elite killers. Impale must meet the new standard of intra-class balance:
Holy Point Shot
Impale throws 2 additional knives and deals 250-300% increased damage.
Thank you again for all of your hard work, we look forward to seeing how the next patch settles.