Patch 1.05 is out for PC and PS4 addressing multiple connectivity issues.
Gast Method: Fan-Made Stance (With Doodles)
This is one of two fan-made stances I am currently concepting. Right now the art is fairly rudimentary sketches, but I plan to add a few more decent illustrations to it later. The Gast Method is based on a more animalistic approach to martial arts, based vaguely on the ‘claw-based’ animal arts of Kung Fu with a few other mystical flavors thrown in, lending towards the mythological creature the name leans towards.
The basic premise is that the Gast Method Stance is one based on mobility and distance while using its unique defense action to steal shard energy from an opponent while granting some breathing room. The stance rewards keeping back from an opponent, while using the broad sweeping strikes to chip away health, prevent the use of an opponents special skills or healing and control the battle with your own equipped powers.
The Gast Method takes a very animalistic approach, but most apparent is the use of dangling arms and extended fingers in a claw-like fashion. The head is tilted somewhat like a predator watching prey, and the movement of the arms is limited, much as if they were hanging lifelessly.
When using a sword, the weapon is gripped in reverse (much like the Khalt Method), but the tip is dragged along the ground, held in one of the dangling arms. Stave use (when it is implemented) would be much like leaning on the weapon for support, again, the appearance of bestial, limpness being fundamental to the stance.
Blocking is done by the legs. Since the arms are used purely to attack, the legs are used defensively, drawing up close to the body and absorbing hits from the front, or intercepting blows from the back with athletic twisting. Blocking a blow results in much further push back and stamina consumption than other styles though, making it difficult to sustain when close to cliff edges and the like.
Idle poses should be animalistic. Grabbing at their own mask, howls to the sky, aggressive posturing, anything that speaks to being savage or at the edge of control.
Unlike other Stances, the Gast Method does not use kicks or sweeps. All attacks are made with the hands, flung around on the end of sweeping arm spins and athletic maneuvering at full extension. Many of the moves have a side or retreating motion, to keep attackers at bay, with other two-handed slices moving forward to assault with brutal effectiveness.
The arms are swung around as if they were lifeless. These swings leaving large arcs, ending in outstretched fingers in a claw formation. Attack damage is, for the most part, Blunt Damage as normal, but Gast Method heavy attacks are too swift and ranged to warrant guard-breakers, rather they do Cut Damage, chipping away at health with razor like slashes from their fingers.
Weapon maneuvers are similarly sweeping. Large arcs while advancing or retreating, athletic speed and animalistic posturing as blows chip and slice. Full arm extension and blade grant a lot of room to attack but lack the impact of other, close-range styles.
Stance Defense Action
The Stance Defense for the Gast Method is based on mobility and clearing distance. It is directional in control and has the potential effect of stealing shard energy from an opponent. Depending on the direction moved, the distance and the amount of stolen energy varies.
When engaging the right stick, the character goes into a prepared crouch, as if ready to push off in a given direction. There is a black, swirling effect of energy, much like the aftereffect of a feinted attack. When the impact lands, the Gast Method character takes no damage, and shifts in the pressed direction in a wisp of black smoke, reappearing a small distance away. This range varies depending on the direction pushed, however, there is no stamina recuperation for a successful defense.
Right Stick in the UP Direction
The Gast Method practitioner shifts forward and passes the attacker, landing in a position where they are both in a rearward stance, facing away from each other. The distance is still within assault range, but as a result, the Gast Method user steals two shards of essence from the attacker to place in its own reserves.
Right Stick LEFT or RIGHT Direction
The defender likewise becomes a smokey after image and reappears to the side of the attacker in forward stance. The distance traveled is about 150% of the distance traveled from pressing up, but as a result, they only steal one essence shard from their attacker.
Right Stick in the DOWN Direction
The defending Gast Method user shifts backward in the same smokey effect, reaching a full 200% distance away (when compared to the distance traveled by the UP direction) but does not steal any essence in return for the distance.
The general idea of having longer-ranged swings alongside a mechanic that moves and shifts the player is a given counterweight to having less resistance, high mobility and a lack of armor. Although dexterity benefits the damage more than strength for the Gast Method, a high endurance and high mobility keep them moving, able to use normal position shiting more regularly, and wear down heavy opponents without the need for spam.
Spacial awareness would be essential, however. The movement and shifting defense action mean that players need to be aware of cliffs, edges and their vulnerability to falling. This would be a style based on movement, mobility and general positioning over a slew of attacks that either wail on a defender endlessly or engage in heavy, guard-breaking smashes. Stamina management is at the forefront of keeping high mobility, as the defense action gives you distance, but no stamina.
Because of the lack of damage output and general squishiness, the essence theft mechanic gives a Gast practitioner a few more options in the field to prevent an opponent using their own skills, while also granting them distance and energy to use their own. Using strike-and-run techniques the Gast strategically picks apart an opponent bit-by-bit, using their own essence against them.