Not too long ago, Teddy blessed us with the powers of "melee interrupts". I'm going to refer to them here as retaliations since that sounds cooler. If you're not familiar with retaliations, they occur when you use a melee attack (basic attack or melee skill) after pguarding. The resulting attack will interrupt any enemy that can be interrupted (including elite brawler bots and elite bees). This feature was a beautiful update that helped cover some of melee's major vulnerabilities. And it was an add-on to the previous reward for using a basic attack after pguarding: guaranteed critical hits.

Unfortunately, retaliations don't get much love late game. Almost any sensible mage will cast a spell after pguarding since mages can use pguards to dish out high-damage spells nearly indefinitely. Similarly, most melee players perform a retaliation through a skill rather than a basic attack -- since it is stronger and reaches more enemies (usually). Thus, a retaliating basic attack is almost never used. That's why I'm writing this make them more attractive. Here's my general premise:

Basic attacks should be unique and noticeably strong after a pguard, and the attack should be different for each class. Simply throwing guaranteed crits at somebody is not enough to convince them to use a basic attack after a pguard. However, if the retaliating basic attack was stronger than a regular basic attack and had the potential to land a critical hit itself, then that would make the move more appealing. I think a fair balance for retaliating basic attacks would be for them to be stronger than a regular critical basic attack but weaker than a base charge skill/spell (with respect to a given class). And that's only the start. After buffing their damage, we can also change their range and animation.


1-Handed Melee Swords
One handed swords could get a quick slash attack that swipes wide (180 degrees or slightly more), with a larger range/hitbox than the regular basic attack. It could look something like this, but accustomed to SoG (no charging the attack...and it would probably have a bit less range in the game). Of course, the ability to interrupt enemies would stay.

2-Handed Melee Swords
Honestly when I think of retaliating with 2H, I just think of some kind of whirlslash. I think it would make sense. The sword is larger, and the user is (theoretically) more powerful. I imagine a person slamming their foot down and quickly swinging the sword at everyone around them in retaliation. It's kind of a copy because we already have a whirlslash animation...but I don't think that necessarily means the idea couldn't work out or that it couldn't have its own uniqueness. Maybe the swing could have greater reach than whirlslash (kinda like Titan's Throw but not). I think of Kingdom Heart's vicinity break with this attack. (Vicinity Break is the spinning attack btw.) Of course, the ability to interrupt enemies would stay.


Now as for the mages...I'm not really too sure about what should be done for them. This is because right now, animation-wise, mage weapons are effectively melee weapons with projectiles. I guess there are 2 options... One option is to use the retaliations mentioned for the melee weapons, and to add projectiles to the attack. Another option is to give mages a completely new retaliation (which would probably require more animating too). For simplicity (and because I'm not very creative), I'm going to go with the former. But if someone wants to suggest something else, that's fine too of course.

1-Handed Mage Wands
Retaliation would be the same as for 1H swords. In addition to the wide slash, 3 orbs could be emitted from the player: one at 0 degrees, one at +30/60 degrees, and one at -30/60 degrees. For more excitement, these orbs could be given some splash damage on contact. You could even change the color of the wide slash to the color of the orbs or something else that looks neat.

2-Handed Mage Staffs
Retaliation would be the same as for 2H swords. In addition to the quick spin...well, that one is harder. There are a few possibilities. 1) You could send out wave projectiles along each of the cardinals. 2) You could send out one giant circular wave with reach similar to the regular one-directional arch. 3) You could create a small circular explosion around the player with less reach than the regular wave arch but more power as well.

That's what I've come up with so far...I've spent like 2 or 3 days thinking of mage retaliations. It's hard for me.

I should point out that I don't think there's harm in making mage retaliations flashy. Most of the time it'll probably be better to use snap cast after a pguard, which will do much more damage. That's not to say mage retaliations should be OP by any means. But a little beef wouldn't break it.

Hybrids are a bit weird because they're in the middle. Either they could default to the melee or mage version of their retaliation, or the retaliation could change based on whether atk or matk is higher. (This issue is more significant if mages are given their own unique retaliations. If they're simply melee retaliations with some add-ons, then this discussion doesn't even need to happen...for obvious reasons.)

All retaliations should naturally remain shield-cancellable, just as regular attacks can be shield canceled. And all retaliations should come out faster and have less cooldown. (At the very least, they should come out faster and be safer.)

Those are effectively my ideas. They could probably be changed to some extent (mainly the animations and reach). And I'm not too sure about what a "good" mage retaliation would look like (usually it's just Snap Casting). But I do think it would be meaningful to give basic retaliating hits some umph that would cause players to think about which is better: retaliating basic attack or retaliating skill/spell. It may potentially resolve a few melee issues (but really only help slightly in terms of safety). Plus it just makes stuff look cooler.
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