Demonic Impulse Shadow Hunter is by far my favorite power fantasy in all of Lost ark. You’re bladed up and ready to blast enemies from Feiton to Anikka with your demonic transformation powers. Let’s talk a little bit about Demonic Impulse and its state of play in current endgame content and how it scales into future content.
I find that DI shadowhunter is often stated to have a high floor damage yet a low ceiling. It struggles a little bit due to being a transformation class. DI has a cheaper barrier to entry to get started dealing tons of damage, but its high floor and low ceiling lend to it feeling like you’re playing within a crawl space. Playing optimally on DI and pumping damage just doesn’t feel like it outputs nearly enough to keep up with other classes. I find this to be feeling more true in the past two raids released to the west, Clown and Brel. I want the investment in a shadow hunter as a main to feel like a main, and not a cheap alt character.
I would love to see some quality of life brought to my favorite Delain and I’d love to hear what others think about the current state of this spec as well. But what good is stating a problem if you’re not trying to create a solution? If you’d like to bare with me for just a moment, I’d like to share with you a potential direction that could modernize SH.
First, I’d like to state my goals for increasing the quality of Shadow Hunter’s DI spec. I’d like to mitigate some of the awkwardness that transformation classes feel in legion raid content, add the potential for more expressive gameplay without changing her playstyle, and make her feel more powerful and actually be more powerful. I think it’s also important to not negatively impact the current progression shadow hunters have made to their characters. Demon Gems should be just as impactful and Perfect Suppression shouldn’t be sacrificed for this quality update. It’s also important to open up DI SHs to a meaningful use of the gearing systems other classes use to fulfill their power fantasies, ie Tripods and Gems. Finally, gotta keep that Demon fantasy intact (and maybe beef it up?).
My recommended solution comes in two parts. The first is to allow the shadowhunter to salvage their form when the raid no longer allows them to use it meaningfully. The second is to change the DI spec to allow for purple skills to be more impactful on your damage when your form has faded.
Part one is simple. Allow the shadow hunter to cancel her transformation and keep her meter where it was when you canceled it. To keep players from canceling after using their most powerful skill, charging back to full to transform and reset the cooldown to do it again, I think the cooldown reduction would have to be changed. Either refund based on the meter used in demon form, or not refund at all unless the meter is fully depleted while in form. This change will hopefully help shadow hunters feel more powerful and impactful even when the legion raid throws downtime at you (or make you feel like a badass for canceling your demon form to finish a rotation of destruction skills without sacrificing too much).
The second part is where I’d like to touch on the Demonic Impulse spec itself a little more. My proposed change would be to empower a shadow hunter’s purple skills for a short amount of time after their transformation is naturally fully exhausted. This would just come in the form of a damage buff. I think the purple skills in human form still lend strongly to what makes the DI SH feel so powerful and demonic. It’d be nice to see these skills get some love, and it wouldn’t change the natural rotation that Shadow hunters are used to while playing this spec while keeping PS unaffected. This will also allow for shadow hunters to progress their damage further through the use of gems and tripods on more skills. I can see where investing in these systems could split the player base a bit, but I would personally rather have to invest more to become stronger than to stay feeling plateaued.
I’d love to hear others’ thoughts on the matter. Do you think DI is fine? Does it need damage or quality of life buffs? What changes would you like to see if any? And do you think my proposed changes have any glaring flaws or go against my design goals in ways I didn’t foresee? Thank you for coming to my TED talk.
TLDR: Give DI SH some quality of life to make transformation less wonky in legion raids, and open her up to a more meaningful gearing, by making more gems and tripods important/impactful.