Shade’s Volley Crossbow is personally the most fun ranged weapon in the game, i love using it, but every time i use it, i feel like i would be better off with anything else.
Shade has no synergy with it, which is a shame because it’s a weapon exclusive to her, and the weapon itself is quite good. The pros of the Volley Crossbow (comparatively to her other ranged options) are the higher burst damage. However that’s not enough to justify it’s incredibly bad ammo management. And how the class has no synergy with a weapon of this type.
When you play Shade, you want a weapon that can easily stack Barrage and snipe specials, and the Moonfire bow or Hagbane bow both beat the Volley Crossbow on that department, they both also have better ammo conversation and damage per shot, keep in mind in order to do better damage than those with the it you need to use the 3 bolt burst, which is terrible ammo wise.
Bloodfletcher was already bad enough at sustaining the ammo of the Volley Crossbow, but after the nerf it’s completely useless, as once again, you need 3 bolts just to do a meaningful shot.
The removal of the guaranteed crit on her ult was the final nail in the coffin, as it was the only thing that allowed Shade to recover ammo on it through a free proc of Scounger.
Currently it just does not work with Shade at all, which is a shame, I was really expecting for the new Kerilian class to be able to use it, but now that i know it can’t, i’m really sad, specially because some of it’s talents would actually synergise really well with the weapon.
I’m not a game designer, and i do not promise my solution to be perfect balance wize, but i have 1150 hours on this game and i’ve done everything there is to do multiple times on each character on cataclysm, and have tried almost every build you can do, so i at least should have a base for a opinion on this. I also am suggesting ideias that would barely take time to implement.
Rework Shade’s Shadowstep
Currently no one picks Shadowstep, there is no benefit in comparison to her other talents, so i suggest reworking it.
It would make Shade’s Ranged attacks not consume ammo (but still empty the magazine) and also not break invisibility (kind of like a mini huntsman ult) while removing the massive damage proc on her melee. This would synergise with the Volley Crossbow as it’s the weapon that can extract the most value from this talent, and still keep class identity, as Shade would essentially turn into a roaming special assassin, while being able to still provide great boss and elite damage. Scounger would also allow her ult to provide a way to regain ammo back…
I’m not sure about this one, as every talent on this row is somewhat underwhelming, so reworking blood fetchers could potentially turn it into a dominant pick. I’m also not sure about the balance of this suggestion, but I think a ideia like this could be cool.
Make blood fetcher a X% ammo recovery on a crit backstab, on a Y seconds of cooldown.
It would make it scale way better with the Volley Crossbow unlike the current version, while not allowing it to be completely dominant like the previous iteration, where you could get all your ammo back from a boss. This change would not make the volley viable on her however, but i see no point in not having it, as it’s just a adaptation of the current iteration to make it synergise better with Volley.
Allow Handmaiden to use it (probably conflicts lore wise)
Handmaiden’s massive crit chance would be perfect for the Volley Crossbow as it allows for a easy Scounger build, and would be a cool way to buff her otherwize low boss damage at the cost of worse range and special killing capabilities. Her ult being a dash would now get a lot more use as it would be a cool way to get close enough to ranged specials in order to use the Volley Crossbow effectively.
Allow Sister of Thorns to use it (probably conflict lore wise)
Sister of Thorns’ Atharti’s Delight, Radiant Inheritance, The Pale Queen’s Choosing and Morai Heg’s Doomsight would all be PERFECT for Volley Crossbow, absolutely perfect, and it would allow for very interesting play styles in comparison to the way Saltzpyre uses his Volley.
Wouldn’t these changes, or any changes, make Kerillian’s Volley Crossbow overpowered?
Absolutely no, Saltzpyre has access to a volley crossbow as well, with very small differences, and he uses it insanely better than Kerillian would with any of my suggested changes. Bounty Hunter with Cruel Fortune, or Zealot with Smite can shoot the Volley Crossbow with Scounger non stop without running out of ammo, and unlike Shade, Bounty Hunter has his ult to snipe enemies too far to deal with using the Volley Crossbow.
Even with them having essentially infinite ammo with the Volley Crossbow, it’s still not overpowered due to the cons of the weapon (very high reload speed, low damage at range) making it so the other options are still equally as viable.
No matter how much you change Kerillian to better use her Volley Crossbow, it would never become a dominant pick compared to her other options because of it’s cons, but at least it would become viable, and that’s really what i want.