Some of you might remember my old Guidedshot mechanics thread. It was about how its special mechanics made the skill very powerful (Wiz Pierce and Warrior’s Throw Sword shares the same mechanics). This time I will talk about Whirlingblade and why it is weak, one of if not the weakest of all specials (in my opinion it is the weakest). No vids because Apple sucks and Shou.tv is does not support my device. =(
First off, lets make this clear. Whirlingblades is the most unique out of all Specials. Why? Because it does not have a Cooldown. Instead, just like the Chakram’s Primary skill Boomerang, it is affected by ASPD (Attack Speed) and Projectile Speed. Now some of you might be thinking “that is great I do not need to get CD Reduction!” but continue reading before you get all excited about saving 1 Affix slot to increase your ability to spam it.
Now lets get into what Whirlingblades does. When you activate the skill, it has ~0.2s of animation before the projectiles are released from the opposite sides of your char. The Chakrams spiral in a counter clockwise direction outward then inward. While the Chakrams are flying, all MH abilities are disabled (regardless of weapon so be ready to sacrifice your MH skill use). Your Primary skill cannot be used until at least 1 of them returns to you. Whirlingblades cannot be used again until BOTH are returned. Due to the different starting locations, if you are moving, the Chakrams will never return at the same time.
As I mentioned before, ASPD affects when you can use the skill again. Projectile Speed does the same thing. These 2 variables decrease the time it takes for your Chakrams to reach the maximum distance away from you. They DO NOT make your Chakrams move faster. Meaning they affects the number of rotations the Chakrams do causing you to lose (Hits AND AoE)/Cast. As you increase the frequency of the casts, you lose consistency in AoE and will have to cast it several times to hit your targets while moving. Assuming you are stationary (Numbers are approximations and timed manually):
[ul][li]At 0% ASPD and 0% Projectile Speed increase (lv0 Heroic SKill), the Chakrams will do 3 revolutions around you covering all spaces between you and the edge of the orbit. Meaning a big enough enemy can be hit 4~5 times with 1 cast. This process takes 2.5s.
[li]At 0% ASPD and 40% Projectile Speed increase (lv40 Heroic Skill), they fly for 2s and do 2 rotation.
[li]At 60% ASPD and 0% Projectile Speed increase, they fly for 1.4s and do 1.5 revolutions.
[li]At 60% ASPD and 40% Projectile Speed increase, they fly for 1s and do 1 revolution. This is actually very bad because they leave 4 “safe” zones where small enemies can avoid the projectiles. Illustrated by the blue zones below (Pic is not fully accurate but used to give you a general idea of the zones):
[attachment=0]Max Whirling Blade.png[/attachment][/li][/ul]
It is nice that the Chakrams will orbit around you while you move but, unlike Whirlwind and Cyclone, enemies can “dodge” the projectile if they are positioned in the right place at the right time.
Inconsistent AoE is bad enough but its damage mechanics are even worse. As you can see from the pics below, it currently receives NO damage boosts. It only deals 100% MH damage. Yes, the Chakrams deal double damage on their return trip. They are also affected by Living Force and Blindslide but good luck hitting enemies with its small and complex AoE pattern. If you are not lucky enough to hit enemies on the return trip, say goodbye to at least 2 thirds of your potential damage. If you cannot hit with both Chakram’s well that is half of your damage gone… Up to 5/6 of the damage disappears due to positioning.
At this point, you might be wondering about Pheriphery. When triggered, this affix will create a returning Whirlingblade at the back of the char. Its damage is the same as Whirling blade but only the return trip. The Pheriphery Chakram is affected by the Whirlingblade Heroic Skill so lvling it will increase its damage but also decrease its number of revolutions around you (Decreases from 2.5 revolutions to 2). Thankfully it is NOT affected by ASPD so you will. But as you can tell Celebrity actually decreases your Pheriphery AoE and damage potential as it decreases the time they are out on the map. The reverse is also true though. All of these tests were done on my own account (didn’t want to uninstall to use test account) so I do not have the resources to tell how big of an impact it is.
As you can see, this skill’s game mechanics, specifically the how Projectile Speed affects it, conflicts with Boomerang. You want Prokectile speed for Boomerang! But it ruins your Pheriphery and Whirlingblades. This skill follows the game engine’s basic vector calculations which uses the position between the caster and the projectile. So increasing ASPD and Projectile Speed affects the projectile’s velocity (only reduces the time it takes for the projectile to move away and back to the caster). They do not affect actual speed or distance travel. Rubik informed me that Balista uses the same calculations.
For any of you wondering how this skill interacts with Mirror Image:
Mirror Images are separate units so they do not have your Heroic Skills or ASPD. Their Whirling Blades will always do 3 revolutions but they stop doing damage immediately when the images disappear. Also because they use OH DMG and do not have access to your talents and items (No Living Force, Blindslide and etc since again they are separate units), their damage with Whirlingblade is even worse than yours. At least they have more AoE coverage; that is until they dissapear…