Monster Hunter World

An open letter to Capcom on the problems with Gunlance and how I think they should be addressed

This was originally a comment on another post, but after how long it became I felt that I should just make it its own post to at least encourage further discussion of the weapon and get visibility on the off chance anyone at Capcom is reading this subreddit.

Let me start by saying that Guard Edge and Guard Reload are both fantastic additions to the Gunlance that it has needed for a while now. In previous generations the Shield has felt more like an accessory to Gunlance rather than part of the toolkit which made the moveset feel quite clunky at times. The introduction of these two things as well as the ability to counter after a Guard Edge certainly makes the moveset feel a lot more fluid and are big positives for the kit as a whole. Blast Dash is also super fun and perhaps the most fun addition to any weapon in Rise.

That said, I want to take the time to discuss some of the core issues that Gunlance has with its base kit that I believe need to be addressed in order to expand this weapon's potential and eliminate some of the awkwardness that stems from legacy design:

  1. The Gunlance is one of, if not the only weapon in the game where you lose access to a lot of the moveset depending on what weapon you choose i.e. you will not use Fullburst on a Wide Gunlance nor will you use Charged Shelling on a Normal Gunlance. This is now exacerbated by the fact that Wyvern Fire is now a DPS loss on non-Long Shelling types and that Wyrmstake Spam is more or less the optimal way to play Long type Gunlances now. Having a kit with a lot of depth means little when you lose access to most of it based on what type of Shelling type you chose. It would be far more interesting to play a style of Gunlance that took advantage of Poke Shelling, Full-Bursting, Wyvernstaking, and Charged Shelling without having each style be pseudo-locked behind a Shelling type.
  2. Delete Shelling levels. They don't enhance the gameplay of the weapon in any way and only serves to limit the pool of viable Gunlances. Either all Gunlances of the same rarity need to have the same Shelling level or Shelling damage needs to simply scale with raw. It's for this reason that there is largely only one viable Gunlance per Shelling Type at any given time (granted Anti-X Species/Exploit Rampage Skills do help with this somewhat 1>)).
  3. My third point plays off the second point, but I also think that Gunlance needs to be given the option to utilize element on shelling. The inability to use Elemental Shells unnecessarily limits the Gunlance in terms of build freedom. The current state of elemental builds for Blademasters aside, Gunlance is one of the only Blademaster weapons where Element is basically worthless. There were similar, albeit not parallel, problems in the past with other weapons that have since been addressed 2>). In conjunction with points 1 and 2 I would conjecture that the removal of Normal, Long, and Wide Shelling types and replacing it with Raw and Elemental Shelling might be worth exploring for the development team. This would allow them to preserve the current style of Shelling while allowing for more exploration for players.
  4. Wyrmstake being a reloadable resource means that it can only exist in one of two ways: either it's completely useless or it completely trumps everything else. There are three ways I can see changing Wyrmstake 3>):
    1. Delete it and replace it with Wyrmstake Blast.
    2. Bake it into the final shell of a Gunlance to reward players for emptying their Shells. This can be balanced by getting rid of Normal, Long, and Wide shelling as conjectured in point 3 or by placing a modifier on the Wyrmstake depending on Shelling type.
    3. Both of the above.
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These opinions are not objective and are simply my own thoughts on how I think the weapon should be fixed. I am curious as to what the rest of the community thinks. Do you agree with my points or disagree with them? I am posting this to encourage more discussion of the weapon and in the hopes that maybe someone from Capcom will see this.

If you made it this far into the post, I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to read this massive wall of text.

____________________________

Foot Notes:

  1. While the Anti-X Species/Exploit Rampage Skills somewhat opens up the viability pool, it's completely arbitrary that this increases shelling damage while other things do not. Long term I believe this will do more harm than good for the Gunlance as I believe it will limit design space of future Gunlances as it could push certain Gunlances over the edge in certain encounters.
  2. In 3U Element Phial Switch Axes were completely outclassed by Power Phials. Similarly, prior to Iceborne there was little reason to ever use an Elemental Charge Blade over an Impact Charge Blade. While Gunlance Shelling simply cannot do Elemental damage in the first place, making the issue not a direct parallel, I called these two weapons to attention to illustrate how fixing the Elemental Damage modifier on both the Switch Axe and Charge Blade opened up a lot of build diversity for both weapons.
  3. Implementing any of these changes would allow Guard Reload to be baked into the base kit of Gunlance as a direct replacement for Quick Reload, again making the shield feel like less of an accessory and more like part of the weapon, without being oppresive.
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____________________________

TL;DR:

I encourage you to read the whole thing, but:

  1. Allow the Gunlance to use it's full kit without certain moves being pseudo-locked behind shelling style (e.g. Wide won't ever use Full-Burst).
  2. Delete/fix Shelling levels.
  3. Allow for Elemental Shelling.
  4. Delete/fix Wyrmstake by either replacing it with Wyrmstake Blast, tying the Wyrmstake to the final shell of your Gunlance, or both. This allows Guard Reload to be baked into the base kit of the weapon without it being oppressive.

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