Happy holidays, all! As a present to myself, I finally sat down and spent a lot of time ironing out my Lunge suggestion, which is a follow-up project to the Shield Rush suggestion that has been lingering over my head since its precursor post months ago.
As with my Shield Rush suggestion, my inspiration for this project is similar: I am not a fan of Lunge’s skill tree. While I believe Shield Rush is a skill that represents the Paladin and Forge Guard classes, which were absent in its skill tree, I view Lunge as a skill that should cater to Void Knight playstyles, with hints of Forge Guard and general Sentinel build in. Lunge, also has too many defensive nodes as it is now, at least in my opinion, and so this revision also looks to add more offensive mechanics to the tree while still keeping some defensive themes. Some mechanics such as Shield Rush’s rewind and void beams, which I removed from its tree in my older suggestion post, have also been moved to my Lunge concepts. I would recommend reading through my Shield Rush suggestion if you haven’t already, as it is the sibling post to this one!
Moving forward, I would like to re-summarize my goals with this project:
Add more Void Knight, Forge Guard, and general Sentinel flavor to Lunge
Move interesting concepts that I removed in my Shield Rush suggestion over to Lunge
Remove some redundant defensive nodes from the tree and add more offensive and utility options
Promote increased build versatility and options for a number of playstyles
Introduce other mechanics that will make people want to try out Lunge
With that intro done, I think it’s about time I got into the skill tree. To help guide you along, here is my rough draft of all the connections, complete with self-made icons in order to understand how all the new nodes connect to one-another! These are just proposed connections and could easily be shifted about!
Now, let’s move on to the actual skill node descriptions. The first part after introducing them will be my notes about what they do. Then, my reasoning behind each node, as well as mental ramblings about potential adjustments, comes afterwards.
Note: Variables marked as X scale with the point investment in a node, while variables marked as Y are static no matter the investment. If a description has multiple X variables, they are not the same value, it just means that they all scale. These suggestions are slightly more experimental than Shield Rush’s as I felt Lunge had more concepts to play with, so there will be a good amount of variables. If anything is confusing, please tell me!
Time Dilation [0/X]
- X% less travel speed. X% increased cooldown recovery time. X% reduced mana cost.
I am beginning the node summaries with one that has been altered from a previously existing node to fit a more temporal theme. You may wonder why you would want less travel speed, but some of the mechanics in further nodes will make this clear!
- Lunge and void lances it creates deal up to X% more damage and have up to X% increased area of effect [width for lances and beacons] depending on the duration of the lunge.
This furthers the temporal theme that I would like to establish within this branch of my revision’s tree. As you can see, this node provides increasing benefits to your final impact size and damage depending on how long your lunge lasted for, which ties into the travel speed penalties caused from the previous node. By increasing the risk the player poses to themselves by traveling slower, they can reap a greater reward. I am still unsure how exactly I would want this skill to scale, or if it should have a cap or just continue scaling based on duration, but the base concept still stands that Time = Power.
Alternate Timeline [0/1]
- You travel back to Lunge’s starting point after hitting the primary target, returning the mana cost.
Oh hey, it’s Desynchronous Charge, but on Lunge! That’s about it, really. I felt this node made a lot more sense on Lunge than Shield Rush, and it’s too cool of a mechanic to axe altogether.
Shattered Timeline [0/1]
- Lunge no longer has a cooldown. Lunge now costs 10% of your current health to activate.
Oh hey, another thing from Shield Rush! You’ll notice it kills you a bit less now, but don’t worry about that, the next node will let you inflict more pain to yourself for a great reward!
- When you hit your primary target with lunge, remnants of yourself from alternate timelines surge from your body, chaining to +X nearby enemies with Lunge and mimicking its damage. Effects outside of the primary hit, impact AoE, and passthrough damage [if specced] are not copied. Y% more health cost per Remnant. Y% less Remnant damage and AoE. Remnants prioritize enemies outside of the impact AoE, and search up to 2x the impact AoE’s radius for targets. Non-physical damage on Remnants is converted to void damage.
This is the “big clear” node for Lunge, transforming it into a relatively isolated damage skill to one that an clear through packs, albeit with a huge risk to one’s self. Much of this node plays into Void Knight’s themes of alternate selves and future strikes, which is part of why shattered timeline is required to use it. You are breaking the timeline so much that multiple versions of yourself are flickering into the current one! The searching and void-conversion mechanics may be a bit extra, but I felt like throwing them out there. They are not key to the core mechanics of this node, and could be adjusted or removed.
- Lunge no longer has an AoE. Remnants will now all appear around, and attack, the primary target. Y% less Remnant damage.
Contrary to its previous node, this is the “big damage” node that does not provide clear options. This is for builds that want to use Lunge as a strong single target option, probably with other skills that will be used for clear and mobility in its stead.
Void Lance [0/1]
- Fire a void lance from your weapon after hitting your primary target. Void lances are projectiles that deal void spell damage and fade after Y seconds. If Onslaught is specced, deal void lance’s damage to enemies you pass through on the way to your target.
The purpose of this node is to introduce an earlier spell damage option to Sentinel, and to serve as an offspring of the void beams that I removed from Shield Rush’s concept. Shooting a void lance from your weapon is also just cool, come on now.
Dense Darkness [0/X]
- Void lance deals X% increased damage. X% reduced void lance width.
Just a generic supporting node for Void Lance. It is now SMUSHED, but deals higher damage.
Abyssal Loyalty [0/1]
- 25% less void lance damage. Void lance now returns to you instead of fading, and can hit enemies again on the return trip.
This node provides an interesting way to get an increase to Void lance’s damage, while also going back into the theme of rewinding time. If you position improperly, you will lose damage, while hitting both parts of the lance will cause a 50% more damage bonus! The percent could also be altered, but I think it should stay above 70% per hit at least.
Creeping Beacon [0/1]
- Void lance is converted to an abyssal beam that moves X% slower, lasts for Y seconds, and no longer hits, instead slowing and dealing void damage over time to enemies nearby. Disabled by Abyssal Loyalty. The beacon can be further slowed by points in Time Dilation and spawns just behind you on impact. Only one beacon can exist at a time.
The beams from Shield Rush have returned! This time they have more support from the tree, and can be made into massive, slow-moving beams of death by maxing out Time Dilation and Patience. Unlike lances, beacons are intended to be used more alongside cooldown-version Lunges, as opposed to Shattered Timeline. That’s not to say they can’t be run with the latter, but they will be just as effective when Lunge still has a cooldown!
- +X% increased impact area of effect, +X% more damage to high health targets.
I kind of wanted a generic engage-related node that led to some other ideas. Admittedly I am not great with generic nodes, so this could really be any stats that would make sense!
- Lunge has a second charge. 50% longer cooldown. +1 maximum void beacons if Lunge has a cooldown.
The second charge node from Lunge stays, but this time does not destroy its damage. Also, it gives you another void beacon, rejoice!
Flame Injection [0/1]
- Inflict an Injection debuff on the primary lunge target that deals fire damage over time. The debuff can not stack.
This is the next new concept that I wanted to add to Lunge. Actually, this was the first additional concept I came up with. If you were to lunge at someone with a sharp object at high speed, you could surely tip the object in something to cause additional adverse effects! Poison wouldn’t make sense for sentinel, and Serpent Strike already exists, so I decided to go with burning and bleeding themes. The DoT mechanic gets heavily altered by the further nodes in this branch.
- All effects from Injection are now physical damage. Stoke the Flames now scales with bleed stacks and prevents bleeds from dealing damage.
I realized, as I was finishing up with the nodes, that a bleed themed Flame Injection should be provided as a morph. That’s where Rupture came from! Admittedly, I am unsure if Flame Injection or Rupture should be the initial node, and which should morph into which, but it doesn’t change functionality much!
Flame Release [0/X]
- When a target dies with the Injection debuff, it explodes to deal X% of its maximum life as fire damage in an AoE around itself. Injection no longer deals damage over time.
This node gives up the DoT aspect of Injection in order to create an exciting explosion at the end! Skills that wish to focus more on single-target skills can use this to make the large enemy they’re focusing on violently explode and wipe the surrounding creatures.
Stoke the Flames [0/X]
- Ignites no longer deal damage to Injected enemies, but every stack of ignite on the enemy will increase Rapture’s explosion damage and size by Y%, capping at X%.
This gives an interesting AoE option to hybrid-ignite [or bleed if you have rupture] builds, allowing them to make that final explosion even more satisfying, but at the cost as removing your status damage temporarily.
- Enemies with the Injection debuff take X% increased fire and physical damage over time.
Provided you don’t wish to use your ignite and bloods to make a huge explosion, this allows you to scale up their damage against enemies that are already suffering from Flame Injection’s damage. How kind! I also felt that bleed and ignite sentinels could have some more interesting options, so that’s also why this is here.
Seeping Flames [0/X]
- Flame Injection now also deals damage over time in an AoE around the primary target. Y% less Injection damage over time. Does not work with Flame Release.
I wanted a way to convert Flame Injection to do some cool AoE stuff. Technically you could create a whole army of melting people with stacking AoEs by using this alongside Shattered Timeline, which I also thought might be an interesting playstyle. However, this node isn’t super necessary, and I honestly don’t feel that confident about it in particular, but still wanted to include it in this post as a possibility.
Blazeblood Coating [0/X]
- Allies that strike Injected enemies with melee attacks gain +Y fire melee damage for Y seconds. This effect can stack up to X times.
This skill can be used in supporting during party play, but the main idea I had with it was to provide a way for manifested weapons and armor to get a lot of extra damage on their attacks! Some further nodes in the tree will further deal with Manifested friends, and will help make this node even more potent!
Force of Steel [0/X]
- Y% increased impact damage and Y% increased stun chance per Y armor. Damage and stun chance cap at X%
I liked the theme that one existing Lunge node brings wherein armor makes the skill stronger, so I wanted to keep that theme! After all, a heavy armor guy running at you is probably going to deal more damage once he puts all his weight behind his sword.
- Lunge’s cooldown is reduced by Y% if it kills its target. Gain X Strength for Y seconds on impact. Disabled if lunge has no cooldown.
The idea of stacking attributes through Lunge already existed somewhat, but I wanted to capitalize on it while adding a skillful execution mechanic. Knowing your damage can allow you to jump about more often, and will lead to greater amounts of strength, augmenting damage through attribute and armor scaling. A cooldown is required to prevent stacking hundreds of strength with short range shattered timeline-augmented Lunges.
Weapon Training [0/X]
- Lunge has special effects depending on your weapon.
- +X% to crit chance with spears
- +X% attack speed for Y seconds after using Lunge with swords
- Bleed chance for Lunge multiplied by X for axes
- +X% stun duration for Lunge for maces
One thing that has always bothered me about Lunge is its spear specific nodes. It didn’t bother me so much in that they were spear specific, but that other weapons weren’t represented as well. This node aims to change that! Now, the four main “warrior” weapon archetypes each get special effects. Spear and axe bonuses may be more valuable to those looking for resets or those who are using shattered timeline. Meanwhile, sword and mace bonuses are aimed more at occasional use rather than constant lunging.
Advanced Weapon Training [0/X]
- Lunge has additional special effects depending on your weapon.
- +X% increased crit multiplier with spears
- Gain X% movement speed for Y seconds after using Lunge with swords
- +X% bleed duration for Lunge when using axes
- You are immune to stuns for X seconds after using Lunge with maces. Lunge always stuns. Lunge’s cooldown can no longer be altered.
This node furthers the bonuses from weapon training, building upon the themes of the prior node. The mace addition in particularly was done due to posts about players valuing guaranteed stun mechanics, which I agree are a neat thing to have. However, the mace effect also prevents Lunge from having a lower cooldown in order to prevent abuse and permanent stunning with no risk.
- Deal Y% of Lunge’s impact damage to enemies in your path. +X physical damage
The passthrough mechanic is another thing from Lunge’s existing tree that I wanted to keep. This time, it doesn’t make the cooldown super long, as I don’t feel it is a strong enough mechanic to justify that.
- X% increased hitbox width while Lunging. Enemies in your path will be impaled and carried with you to the target point. Enemies can only be impaled once every Y seconds, but are stunned while impaled.
This node lets you gather up some enemies on the way to your location and group them all up so that they can suffer through the final impact. The impale effect originally was gated by distance traveled in my rough draft, as I feared the mechanic being abused, but I decided an inherent status cooldown in impale would be better.
- +X physical damage on impact for every enemy carried by Lunge. +X health restored on impact for every enemy carried by lunge.
Following up from Impale, Conqueror lets you get huge bonuses if you position yourself in order to shish-kebab a large amount of creatures. These bonuses come in the form of enemies ramming together to increase the physical damage they take on impact, as well as some health regained for every enemy that gets mushed together. The health restoration effect could be removed and I wouldn’t mind, but the main theme to keep is that More impales = good.
Piercing Will [0/X]
- Manifest a lance to charge by your side. This lance functions as any manifested weapon and will stay for Y seconds after being summoned. Maximum of X lances can be created by Lunge.
Lunge can now create friends! I’d said earlier I wanted some more manifested summon themes in lunge, and this is one of the two nodes that focuses on this. While providing a reliable way to create weapons, this node also comes with a summon cap, as otherwise some silliness could occur with shattered timeline.
Manifested Fury [0/X]
- All manifested weapons will lunge with you toward the target, striking them and enemies on the way for an additional +X physical damage per weapon. Deals fire damage instead if the enemy is Flame Injected.
Now your weapons can lunge with you. I was debating whether or not Armor should too, but it already has a Lunge, and I feel weapons alone charging with you would look cooler. Anyway, the more weapons you bring with you on your journey, the more damage you will deal at the end. Note that the extra damage only applies on passthrough and on the main target, not in the whole impact AoE. I will say I am unsure if this node should come after Piercing Will, or if I should reverse them.
Force Barrier [0/X]
- Gain +X armor and elemental protection per Y distance traveled by Lunge. Lasts for Y seconds after impact. Does not stack.
Here is where the defensive mechanics from Lunge have been moved to. Now, if you go on a lengthy trip, you will arrive with a good amount of armor and elemental protection! This node is readily available so players can flex into defensive options no matter what their other point investment is.
Time Barrier [0/X]
- Gain +X vitality every Y seconds while Lunging. Lasts for Y seconds after impact Does not stack.
This node provides the remaining protections that Force Barrier doesn’t, but gives them based on the duration of the lunge rather than the distance traveled, returning to temporal/void themes, which will also be present in the final two nodes of this defensive/utility branch.
Spatial Rift [0/1]
- The player breaches the fabric of spacetime and becomes transient when using Lunge. Lunge can now travel through any material to reach its target. Impaled enemies will also become transient and pass through objects. Lunge’s cooldown can no longer be modified.
Part of the inspiration for this node is that I wanted Sentinel to have a cool movement skill that could pass over gaps and through objects. I figured the best way to go about this was by extending void’s temporal theme to spatial things as well. By becoming a transient remnant, you can now dash through anything to reach your target, and will even carry impaled enemies with you through hell and high water. As with the mace effect from Advanced Weapon Training, this skill locks Lunge’s cooldown time to prevent abuse.
- Can not be hit while lunging. Lunge’s cooldown will no longer begin until reaching the target.
This is my rendition of Lunge’s previous invincibility node, which I felt was unhealthy. This node still provides partial invincibility, while not protecting against existing DoT’s or obstacles that cause such kinds of damage. I feel this is a healthier version of the node, and still preserves the idea of safe lunging, while preventing abuse.
And that’s that! As with my other suggestions, please give me some feedback about my ideas, and post any ideas you’d also want to see in a Lunge rework. Once again, happy holidays, and I hope you enjoy this post! [Also, this post may have a lot of typos since I’m pretty mentally fried from working on it! I’ll be re-reading and fixing things gradually over the next day]