I’ve mentioned this in other places but I’m specifically creating this topic so I can bring it too Gearbox’s attention.
Phaseslam’s action skill cooldown is too long.
Phaseslam is a one and done action skill which should do heavy damage to an area before moving on. I used it for the duration of the story and had a fantastic time. The skill was actually part of the reason I bought the game and I think it deserves to be one of Amara’s defining action skills. With the recent patch, I think we are one major step closer to this happening. However, we still have further it go if Phaseslam is to become a shining example of an action skill.
The skill falls off for a number of reasons in late game.
- Compared to other action skills like Gamma Burst, Barrier, Digi-Clone and her own Ties That Bind, Phaseslam has a rather lengthy cooldown. It is longer than all of those and, in the case of Ties That Bind, the cooldown is practically twice as long.
- Furthermore, Phaseslam struggles to benefit from Topped Off. That Guardian Perk is arguably one of the best and for many of the action skills it puts in a lot of work. Unfortunately, melee builds receive relatively little from this since you will normally be up in enemies’ faces and not at max shield. So while Ties That Bind’s cooldown fades nicely, Phaseslam remains too long.
- Moze and Fl4k have flat ways of taking solid chunks of time off their cooldown through Eager To Impress, Head Count and Grizzled. This is normally a far more reliable way of decreasing cooldown. Phaseslam cannot benefit from this.
- One of the marvellous things about how Phaseslam is designed where you risk being close to your enemies but then get to trigger your action skills which triggers boosts which enable you to fight harder and stay in the fight longer. Built well, Phaseslam gives you access to boosts from Clarity, Samsara, Helping Hands, Find Your Centre, Soul Sap, Rush stacks, Laid Bare and Wrath. It’s a fun and worthwhile loop. Unfortunately this loop breaks down a little in late game because of the length of the cooldown compared to the amount of damage you receive. A change to the cooldown could make the playstyle far more rewarding and satisfying.
I have two ideas for how we could restore the action skill without unintentionally effecting the balance of the rest of the game too much.
- Change the cooldown from its current 35 seconds to, I would say, 25 seconds. Still a decent length but not as punishing as it currently does.
- Many melee players would agree that Blitz could do with a boost. It’s a wonderful idea but in late game you cannot rely on your melee strikes to kill enough to retrigger it and then the cooldown seems long here as well. I would change this skill so that, a) any melee kill can end Blitz’s cooldown and b) any melee kill takes a flat number of seconds off your action skill cooldown. Fl4k has a similar thing simply for critical hits in tier 2 of the Hunter tree so I think it would be perfectly reasonable having this on a capstone. Additionally, since it would be further down the tree it would be less likely to buff other playstyles which do not need it.
I think if one or both or a mixture of these were done then Phaseslam would feel a lot more satisfying. What do you think?