By popular demand, Lashes, Chains and Tendrils, Oh my.
This powerset highlights extending props such as chains, vines, whips and other aesthetics such as telekinesis that can be used to mimic lash-like effects. This is an aesthetic sorely lacking in previous superhero games. So while such props are just an aesthetic issue, comprised of animations and effects, they do lend themselves to a certain set of mechanics that is missing from existing power sets; warranting a new power set design. The goal is to create a powerset that takes advantage of rope and chain weapons, a place they can feel comfortable and call home, so to speak; but that can be used with almost any aesthetic. The powerset therefore provides extended range to melee attacks, it provides more AoE options as well as the ability to either pull opponents to you or you to them. Furthermore, lash attacks harass your enemy, providing a chance to slow their own attacks. While technically a Melee powerset, its use of moderate-ranged attacks may place it within the Assault powerset category with little to no modification. I hope this provides a different feel from the powersets that are currently planned.
T0 Close Strike: A basic melee attack dealing very light damage. Cast time: Very Fast. Recharge: Very Swift.
T0 Ranged Strike: A basic medium ranged attack dealing very light damage. Cast Time: Very Fast. Recharge: Very Swift.
T1 Snap: You attack a single enemy at short range, dealing very light damage but interrupting the progress of their own attacks. Successful hits increase the recharge time of your enemy's attacks and greatly add to your own momentum. Cast Time: Very Fast. Recharge: Very Swift.
T2 Scythe Swipe: You attack all enemies around you at short range (modifiable) with a quick attack for light damage and knock them down. Alternate activation will cause a knock back instead. Cast Time: Very Fast. Recharge: Moderate.
T3a Defensive Whirl: You use your ability to create an impenetrable barrier in front of you which can be maintained as long as you have momentum. Drastically improves your defense against melee and ranged attacks while active. Cast Time: Fast, Channelled. Recharge: Fast.
T3b Sawmill: You attack your enemies with repeated light damage in a small cone in front of you which can be maintained as long as you have momentum. Successful hits increase your enemies' recharge times. Cast Time: Fast, Channelled. Recharge: Fast.
T4 Recoil and Recharge: A utility that resets the cooldown of all abilities and converts all accumulated momentum into increases in accuracy and damage of all your attacks that lasts for a short duration. Cast Time: Very Fast. Recharge: Extremely Long.
T5 Unrelenting Assault: You attack all enemies in a medium ranged, narrow cone in front of you twice, once on the way out and once on the way back. You attack enemies within short range behind you twice as well. This ability drastically increases your momentum. Successful hits will cause increased recharge times. Cast Time: Moderate. Recharge: Moderate.
T6 Grapple: You attack a single target up to medium range and pull it to you (some targets and bosses are resistant to pulls). Alternate activation will pull you to your enemy. Successful hits will cause moderate damage and immobilize your enemy for a very short duration. Cast Time: Fast. Recharge: Medium.
T7a Throatbinder: You attack your enemy from a medium range with a hold dealing light damage and reducing their power recovery. A successful hit will also stun your opponent. This attack requires a minimum momentum. Cast time: Fast. Recharge: Long
T7b Heartstabber: You attack from a medium range with a lethal armor-piercing strike. This attack requires a minimum momentum. Cast Time: Moderate. Recharge: Moderate.
T8 Many-pointed star: You attack all enemies in close proximity to you with extreme damage. Enemies hit by this attack will have their ability recharge retarded. Cast Time: Medium. Recharge: Long.
T9 Scythe Scourge: You attack all enemies within medium range around you with moderate damage and knock them down. This attack drains momentum and you may maintain it, repeatedly applying the knockdown effect and damage as long as momentum remains. Cast Time: Medium. Recharge: Medium.
I would expect the Grapple ability to be one of the signature abilities of this powerset as well as the rollercoaster of momentum between the use of Snap and Unrelenting Assault and the use of the twirling attacks of Defensive Whirl, Sawmill and Scythe Scourge. The idea of momentum is a good fit for chain and rope weapons as the amount of kinetic energy builds and builds as the rope wraps around your body and you use your knees and elbows to redirect it into straight directed strikes or use all that momentum to swing it around and around before starting over again with tight loops.
I made the Tier 3 choice a decision between offense and defense specialty and the tier 7 choice between lethality and control. Regardless of the choices made, the Lash powerset would contain a mix of single target and AoE attacks at both close and moderate ranges. Another way of designing this powerset would be to make both the tier 3 and 7 decisions between single-target or AoE specialty. This alternative powerset design provides both a defensive and a control ability for all builds.
I also suggest that there should be a mastery applicable to this powerset that adds a poison effect to the attacks. I think not only would the aesthetic options for poisonous lash-like concept be outrageous, I also think the added DoT on these attacks would make it a very appealing choice.
An aesthetics Package including animations as well as props would need to be published simultaneously with this powerset. (See packaged themes thread) It is important to recognize that animating chains and chainlike behavior can be performed using the physics engine, however, not only is that resource-intensive for the game cllient, it is also very difficult to get the chains to act properly without colliding with the environment and other rendered objects such as characters and targets. Rather it would make far more sense to animate the props so they merely look like they possess rope-like behavior. Games have done this before, with TERA's Reaper class, Skyforge's Slayer class and Mabinogi's Chain Weapons, to name just three.
Having said all that, I do think there may still be potential to allow the chain prop to sway with physics when it is held in the idle, combat idle and movement stances, as it is hangs suspended below the character's grip.
I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.