SPLASH or CRASH: L3-Nozzlenose D
Joseph "WALKMAN" Hamdan
Jan 14, 2018
The L3-Nozzlesnose (L3) has been an alright weapon since basically the beginning of Splatoon 2. It saw a bit of shine during the baller meta, but since has been basically a weapon only used by Nozzlenose enthusiasts. Although the weapon was never laughable, it needed a little more to see some stable use. Let’s see if with the L3-Nozzlenose D's (L3D) release whether the weapon has what it takes to make the SPLASH it has been close to.
Before I get into the analysis, I want to thank my good friend Shado Chimera for helping me with a lot of the technical aspects of this week’s iteration. This chart made by Shado was used as a reference throughout this article.
The L3 and overall Nozzlenose class are overall pretty strong options, if one knows how to play them. Being a semi-automatic weapon they require a slightly different method of aiming and shooting. Essentially with semi-automatic weapons hitting shots is a little less lenient. If you have aim and line up your shots correctly you will get hits. However, if you are spamming the trigger don’t be surprised if you are missing as you aren’t going to get away with the same type of reckless aiming you might get away with other weapons. This can be a turn off to some, but those who stay dedicated to the weapon usually perform quite well and it is a decent weapon to have in your side pocket. The L3 is a 4 shot kill weapon dealing 29.0 damage max per bullet within its optimal range. It is slow on the killing side compared to most standard shooters, but this isn’t the end of the world as it is still a passable rate (22 frames to splat from a neutral position). Furthermore, the main weapon is an extremely efficient painter especially in terms of building its special, which we well delve more into in the special section of this review. It doesn’t create the most solid ink lines strafing in one direction, as you see below, but it does a good enough job to keep up with the meta and overall the L3 holds its weight in the turfing department.
(First)- L3D turf coverage, strafing right to left. (Second)- N-ZAP standard turf coverage, strafing right to left for comparison.
Also, relative to the weapons that are used most frequently it has a decent enough range. Its turfing range is about on par with the splattershot pro, being just under its range. While its splatting range is just above the N-ZAP’s meaning it can out range it in a fair amount of situations. Generally the L3 can paint far away enough to be keep most weapons at bay, but it will have to be at slightly outside their range to kill them making it a little dangerous to attack enemies head on. Compounded with it being slower in terms of killing than most shooters and that a minimum of two well aimed bursts are needed to secure a splat, the L3 weapon on its own is not the most lethal killer and thus, probably needs a solid kit to make up for it.
(First)- Max range of Splattershot Pro (left), L3 (center), and N-ZAP (right). (Second)- The max range to hit 29.0 or max damage per bullet with the L3.
Before we move on to analyze the kit I do want to go into one aspect of the L3’s damage and fire rate. As discussed, each bullet of the L3 does 29.0 damage and therefore some may think that Object Shredder (OS) is necessary to combat Ink Armor because 30 damage is necessary to break it. However, from testing with Shado in a private lobby, we found that using OS on the L3 as a counter to Ink Armor may not be the best option. This is because the L3 bursts release 3 bullets with one tap and that even if the first bullet with OS equipped breaks the enemy armor, the next two shots still hit the target during the invulnerability period of the special. We tested this multiple times at varying distances and got the same result. Thus, even with OS you need to fire 3 bursts minimum to splat an armored enemy. Sure OS may help if only one bullet in that burst connected, but this makes it more situational and might be better off trying to break the armor with your sub weapon of Burst Bombs in the case of the L3D. It may also help shots affected by falloff damage to more reliably take out armor, but again a little too situational. So in the end should you use OS on your L3 or L3D? Right now, I would say you probably still should. The L3 is terrible at breaking objects in general and at a time when Bubble Blower is one of the most common specials at the top level this is not the trait you want to have. I have no data on how effective OS is against bubbles. There are just a lot of factors that go into account here like the weapons of your teammates and the enemy when trying to pop or prevent popping of bubbles. Furthermore, if you take a look at Shado’s chart the L3 is terrible at popping the Rainmaker compared to other weapons, so again anything helps. If you are playing a team you know is only running Ink Armor without Bubble Blower then you wouldn’t need OS. Overall however, OS can be helpful when taking into account Bubble Blower and the mode you are playing. We will see how effective the L3 is at popping bubbles after their nerf in the upcoming week, but based on how it already destroys objects compared to other weapons it will probably remain mediocre without OS.
Now onto the kit of the L3D which carries the Burst Bomb and Inkjet. To recap, we know that the L3 as a main weapon holds its on in turfing, but isnt the best at creating solid lines of paint, and that it isn’t the most lethal killer as it requires better aim and is slower to kill than most shooters. Let’s see if the kit of the L3D helps to fill these gaps and adds more to the weapon than they may take away.
Depicts L3D kit with Burst Bomb and Inkjet, as well as various stats.
We start of with the sub weapon of the Burst Bomb, which is about as annoying of a sub to get thrown at you as possible. The Burst Bomb has three zones in which it will damage the enemy, all providing different damage values. These three zones/hitboxes we will call the direct hit, the near hit, and the far hit. The direct hit deals 60.0 damage, the near 35.0 damage, and the far 25.0 damage. This means that even from a pretty far distance you can damage the enemy for 25.0 damage. It may not seem like much, but this is actually extremely beneficial to the L3D. After one burst of the main weapon those 3 bullets will do 87 damage and while the enemy is running away or strafing to shoot you back reliable, hitting them with a Burst Bomb for a total of at least 25.0 extra damage is more reliable than using your main weapon. Although, the 1 shot 1 Burst Bomb combo is a little slower than just shooting the L3D it provides a much more consistent kill. Burst Bombs are also useful for killing enemies behind cover or at a higher elevation as shooters normally struggle here. They also combo decently with bullets affected by falloff damage. Thus, Burst Bombs do provide that extra something to make the L3D go from a passable slayer to a more formidable one. They aren’t going to make the weapon the best slayer in the game, but they do enough to help where it’s needed. We saw that the L3D didn’t leave the best solid turfing path to swim through and also provided little immediate ink under the users feet. This was alleviated on the original L3’s kit through the use of the curling bomb which made an easy and quick straight path of ink to swim through, but it is also addressed here with this kit to a similar extent. While swimming through your patchy ink path a quick Burst Bomb can fill it right up. Additionally, Burst Bombs directly under your feet are one of the best methods of getting quick ink under yourself. The Burst Bomb therefore, solidifies itself as one the best sub weapon to be paired with the L3, filling in a bit of its gaps. I’m pretty impressed with the sub weapons of both L3 variants as they add something to the weapon to help fill its gaps.
Image depicts furthest range the Burst Bomb can deal 25.0 damage. Shows how easy it is to deal a finishing blow with a far Burst Bomb after an effective first L3 burst.
Next, we move on to the special of the L3D, the Inkjet. The Inkjet is not the feared force it once was, but some updates to the game have made it a usable and niche option on some map/mode combinations. Some of these maps include Port Mackerel, Kelp Dome, and I know some like it on Walleye Warehouse. The major problem with Inkjet is that it isn’t really much of a threat outside of certain situations on its niche maps and even then other specials can be just as effective. The fact that the Inkjet blast radius is so small/unreliable and it is relatively easy to shoot out of the sky making it a questionable option. Basically, using Inkjet is often more risky than rewarding. There is always the chance of getting a large multikill with the special, but still you may be putting yourself in an unfavorable positions where the enemy can easily kill you too. It isn’t the worst special in the game, but it is limited to a niche special in the right hands and on select maps for it to be truly effective. Also, the special doesn’t really stack well on a team meaning if you are going to run Inkjet on a team then you should only run 1, any more and you will be missing out on other much more valuable specials in your team composition. Another detriment to the Inkjet special is that the special pretty much requires the use of Special Power Up (SPU). This will increase the blast radius and damage zones of the special. Similar to the Burst Bomb the Inkjet has three zones in which it can deal damage, a direct hit dealing 120.0 damage, the near dealing 50.0, and the far dealing 30.0. SPU is crucial to Inkjet users because this helps expand the radius of the near hitbox, meaning more lenience on aiming (see images below). Expanding the radius will help secure more kills with this special. The downside here, is that it pretty much requires using the ability, and honestly a lot of it. Generally people use around 2 to 3 mains worth of SPU with Inkjet, limiting the gear abilities one can use overall. This means that if you are using OS to counter Bubble Blower, and lets say 2 mains 3 subs of SPU you only have six subs left for everything else. This could entice people to drop the OS and focus on other abilities they might need such as some ink efficiency perks or Sub Power Up to better complement the Burst Bombs. Overall though, the whole situation kind of makes this weapon suffer as their may not be enough gear ability slots to compensate for all of the L3D’s needs.
(First)- Shows at this point, lined up with one of the test rooms intersections of the vertical and horizontal lines, the Inkjet deals 30.0 damage without Special Power Up. (Second)- Shows that at the same point the Inkjet deals 50.0 damage with only 1 main of Special Power Up. Depicts effectiveness of Special Power Up on Inkjet.
The redeeming quality of the Inkjet on the L3D draws back from the L3 main weapon building special extremely quick compared to other weapons. For example, let’s take a look at Shado’s chart once again. If you notice, the L3 has one of the highest maximum turfing potential out of all weapons at about 53.67pps (p per second). One of the weapons considered the best of all Inkjet weapons is the Enperry Splat Dualies, which gained this fame mostly off its ability to quickly charge the special. However, you can see that the Dualies standard fire has a maximum turfing potential of 40.77pps (note that the firing after roll has a greater pps, but overall is slower because of the time taken by the action of rolling). With all of this data laid out we can see that generally the L3D will be gaining its special more frequently just based on the main weapon alone. Using the maximum turf potential and the 180p charge to special of each weapon I calculated that the quickest the L3D can charge special is about 3.35sec while the Enperry clocks in at about 4.42 seconds. Of course the curling bomb of the Enperry can contribute significantly to overall charging of the special, but still the L3D can charge its special pretty damn quick. The fact that the L3D can charge Inkjet so quick and that it is slightly better in the killing department than the Enperry there is definitely reason to play it over Enperry. Although, the upcoming patch might change this as Splat Dualies are receiving what seems like it a pretty decent buff while the curling bomb however is receiving a bit of a nerf. Regardless, as far as Inkjet options go the L3D is a solid choice in the right hands.
Here is the part where I make the dream kit for the L3, but honestly it wouldn’t be too far off from the current kits. I believe both the Curling Bomb and the Burst Bomb synergize well with the L3, allowing it to be more mobile and a slightly more lethal attacker. The specials on the other hand in Baller and Inkjet hold the weapon back, as with the current version of these specials they could never be more than niche picks. They work pretty decently with the main weapon considering how underpowered they are overall, though as I said they are situational picks. Therefore, I would probably keep the sub weapon of either Curling Bomb or Burst Bomb, probably Burst Bomb more though as people would be more inclined to use it I feel with this sub. Then, I would change the specials given the opportunity. Obviously, the weapon could see more use with its quick ability to gain specials and Ink Armor for greater spam especially with N-ZAP '85 seeing special charge nerf, though I’m unsure if it would become the go to option over other armor weapons. Then, it could be paired with Inkstorm as well for quick spam of that which may be effective as it doesn’t take long to deal 13.0 damage with Inkstorm while 1 perfect burst deals the rest of the 87.0 damage. However, Inkstorm has fallen off recently despite being a pretty good special, simply because other options are better both in terms of specials and the weapons that carry them. It may make for a decent stingray weapon, seeing as L3’s normally aren’t usually the very frontline weapon and it may synergize well as a result of building quickly to stop pushes and already being in a middle position to fall back. Lastly, they could just give the weapon Bubble Blower, which would probably get the most use out of it of any of the aforementioned specials. Although the L3 weapon itself doesn’t really synergize well with popping bubbles itself, it can definitely build them quicker than the current go to weapon of Forge Splattershot Pro given the same turf to charge. If the weapon was given Bubble Blower than perhaps change the sub weapon to an explosive bomb like the suction or splat bombs to give it a quicker method of popping its own bubbles. It may not even need an easy method to pop bubbles as often just throwing them out there is enough to push back the enemy while coordination with the team may enable quick bubble pops, though it would be appreciated. Any of these kits could work for the weapon to get it used more often, although being that niche pick that doesn’t have too much competition in said niche isn’t the worst thing.
The L3D is currently the one of the best Inkjet weapons and this in itself means it has a chance at seeing some play on inkjet worthy maps. Right now, I would pretty much give it up to the player to decide which they like better on a map, basically decide if you value Dualie rolling or Curling Bomb over what the L3D offers. With the gap between L3D and the Enperry being rather close and the upcoming patch buffing Dualies, the Enperry may take the edge over it. There is nothing severely wrong with this weapon to make it unplayable even though it has a lackluster special and it suffers from a limited amount of gear abilities. Therefore, I see no reason to treat it any different from the way I critiqued the N-ZAP ‘89 and I give the L3D a SPLASH for being one of the best at what it does. It isn’t going to turn heads, but the weapon and kit provide enough to warrant some play in the current state of the game, which a lot of weapons can’t say at the moment.
Register to leave a comment!