Bounty Hunter has a problem with his active ability, that problem is called Double-Shotted.
What do I think is the issue with it?
It’s a massive boost to the base ability itself. Not only does it double the damage of it by adding another shot, but it also gives 80% CDR if you hit both headshots. This is probably the biggest boost to a career ability ever. Imagine if WHC Unending Hunt talent gave him 2 charges of his ult alongside the 40% CDR, or if Mercenary gave double the THP from his ult alongside a 50% CDR.
Has the potential to simply delete monsters and lords very fast. I’m not a fan of 1 trick pony active abilities, it limits variety for a career and removes enemies that are often fun to fight. The damage output of it is insane.
Zero competition in that row. Partly you could say that the other 2 talent choices simply aren’t that good, but if we were to try and match Double-Shotted, just how strong would you have to make the other 2 choices, and how would they be different exactly?
In this thread, I want to propose a rework for that entire talent row - something that I think would create 3 roughly equal talents in terms of viability, and offering 3 distinct roles and playstyles.
Just Reward - every elite enemy killed gives 20% CDR. This would be your option if you want to primarily use your active ability for killing elites. It’s a simple and direct upgrade for the active ability.
Double-Shotted - fires an extra bullet and has x% higher headshot damage multiplier. CDR is removed entirely and instead turns Locked and Loaded into a high impact, high cooldown ability. Compared to the other 2 talents, this is focused on killing lords and monsters. In comparison to current Double-Shotted, this would do more burst damage, but would lack the sustain to keep going and fully delete whatever monster or lord you’re firing at. Even with just 40% cooldown reduction it would synergize too well with concentration/concoction potion and trinket CDR. Increased headshot damage multiplier means you still want to hit headshots with this and keeps it high skill.
Buckshot - modifies the sidearm into a blunderbuss and sets cooldown to 10s. Literally just turns it into the blunderbuss, same 12 pellets, with the same damage profile and same cleave. Every iteration of Buckshot has, in my opinion been a failure of a gimmick. This talent would be your horde clear option, and essentially just gives you a second ranged weapon. It’s simple and effective, would be fun to use and gives it a unique role.
Now let me say that the numbers and effects aren’t set in stone here. Maybe Just Reward should give CDR from special kills as well, maybe Double-Shotted should still have cooldown reduction, and maybe Buckshot should get a cooldown increase, etc. etc.
But you get the idea of this - one option would be a direct upgrade and meant for elite and special killing, another focuses on killing monsters and lords, while Buckshot would be your horde clear option.
Locked and Loaded is a low-impact active ability. It doesn’t do anything particularly exceptional like one-shot monsters with a really long cooldown, taunt all enemies in a radius or pump everyone with tHP. It also doesn’t give Victor any crowd control like WHC or Mercenary shouts, no mobility like Handmaiden dash or BW teleport, and no personal defensive boosts like Pyromancer’s Bonded Flame. Therefore I think it’s good to give it lots of CDR with Buckshot and Just Reward - you get to use it like a second ranged weapon without it destroying everything in one use. It becomes a highly offensive tool, and something that I think would be a lot of fun to use. Double-Shotted meanwhile would be the high-impact and high cooldown option to deal massive burst damage to single-targets.
Personally I think my favorite change would be the Buckshot one. Essentially it gives Victor access to a shotgun for his active ability - which is something no careers currently have. I like low-impact low cooldown abilities in general, and it looks simple and effective without any gimmicks like current Buckshot has.
Please remember to discuss about the general idea of 1 talent for elite/special killing, 1 for monster/lord killing and 1 for horde clear, instead of arguing about the specifics first. Those can always be changed and modified.