I thought about Maliwan guns having multiple elements in BL3 on the drive in today, and had a couple of thoughts. Obviously just my speculation, what’s yours?
First, multiple elements means to me multiple elemental targets in an area at one time.
So far, with rare exceptions, a fight in BL1/2/TPS has been against a particular elementally resistant type. Take the Wildlife Explotation Preserve as a good example.
As you go through you first have weak-to-fire stalkers. Then weak-to-corrosive loaders (with a few hyperion personal mixed in but not many) in the docks. Then fire vulnerable again for the next two “rooms”. Then corrosive/loaders for a few rooms, then fire vulnerable again, and so on.
With multiple elements per gun this could mean, and I expect it to, that the level designers don’t have to work within the single element per mob type limitation. Our rooms will be full of enemies that are resistant/vulnerable to different elements, and you may have to select between shots.
What this means in practical terms is new load-outs. Instead of pausing to swap weapon suites from, say, corrosive to fire between rooms, we’ll be picking the particular Maliwan weapon that has both elemental types incorporated in the gun. Will be interesting, obviously this should mean that we are managing fewer guns, but more options per gun.
Switching elements. I don’t think (and could be seriously wrong) this means that all Maliwan weapons will fire multiple elements per shot (ala the Florentine), but rather that you choose which element is active at any particular point.
Controlling this will be interesting. I personally would (if I were designing it) do the pie menu type control, where you, say, hold a number button and use the D-pad to select the element for the next shot. This is not a bad mechanic for this type of thing, but it is one more thing to keep track of in combat. Other thoughts on how this would be controlled?
One more interesting thought I had was; What if the two (or three) elements have different stats? You pick up a Maliwan SMG and you see it provides 50 damage per second corrosive, but flipping elements it only provides 25 DPS for fire. I can see gun designers tweaking this in interesting ways, making your weapon choice more complex. Of course a Legendary would have equal stats across all elements.
And so on. Want to speculate on multiple elements on a single gun?