Enemy Cooldown, Leech

Our party just got murdered in a champion game.

We were fighting a pack of stormvermin when a leech teleported in. I was the first to go down, paralysis to full death was roughly 3 seconds. Immediately after that, the leech teleported and picked off another party member after another. The entire group was dead in 10-12 seconds.

Sometimes you just get a raw deal; in this game I can accept that. This however, felt more like a fundamentally unwinnable situation. Leeches (to a lesser extent, packmasters) when they appear with a stormvermin pack are an absolute death combo. The storm vermin form a wall that effectively no ranged shots can get through, the leeches, standing behind them, can attack with total impunity and zero sight line. The stormvermin then kill the player, effectively instantly; giving the leech the opportunity to pick and eliminate player after player. This was one of the more ruthless, instant, exterminations that I’ve seen.

I’m not sure what the cooldown time for the leech is, or if there are different cooldown rules based on whether or not it was interrupted… but, it feels a lot shorter than the smoker cooldown in L4D, and I really think it should be increased. Killing off one character makes it interesting, rolling the entire crew before they can recover feels like a busted mechanic. This is one of those circumstances that I don’t often encounter, so it’s kinda easy to forget. Nonetheless, it felt broken and I wanted to share this experience.

You werent able to dodge the leeches projectile grab attack?

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I’m sure I could have, if I had a visual point of contact. When he fires through a line of infantry you can’t really see it coming… at least, I didn’t. But let me cede that point to you. Me getting killed; not the problem. The leech then being able to eat the entire team, as quickly as it did, because we were all within his attack range, and because there is very little cooldown on his attack, and because there was a wall of stormvermin… that’s what I’m saying is the problem.

The leech is the most damaging when he pulls you into a horde, and, frankly, he should be able to end you with that trick… but I don’t think he should be able to end the entire team (admittedly, only 3 were grabbed in my sight, not sure how the 4th went down) in less that 12 seconds.

19/20 times, this ain’t a problem; but 1/20 it’s utter death. I have not idea if extending the cooldown time on the leech will bust otherwise well balanced mechanics, but I’m trying to flag this particular type of situation for consideration by the Devs.

Does that make more sense?

Yeah of course it makes sense.
I mean…thats kinda the point right?
Get in a bad situation and specials show up, chances of dying increase. Thats kind of what the specials are there for. To make things more chaotic.
When they spawn outside of a horde/ambush/boss/pulled patrol they’re easy pickings/no big deal.
My opinion is there is nothing wrong with it and its pretty balanced.
IMHO Life Leech is probably the weakest special(very easy to dodge and then kill in one or two hits) and also one of the most easily avoided.
I rarely wait for the visual of the projectile but listen for the teleport sound and immediately side dodge, find/ping him and either kill him ASAP or a party member has already beat me to it.

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I think the fact a Leech can grab the player through an entire horde of enemies or straight through huge boss enemies is pretty ridiculous.

I get what you’re saying, and I don’t really want the special nerfed, but I feel like I’m noting an odd exploit.

So Vermintide borrows a lot from Left 4 Dead. The leech is the smoker, except it can teleport and it walks much more slowly. When you played as the smoker, there were two valid strategies: 1) pull the dude that’s vulnerable away from everyone else; 2) pull a dude directly into the horde. If memory serves me, there were two types of cooldown, one for a missed tongue (i.e. you didn’t hit) and one for a broken tongue (i.e. you hit and it was disrupted).

The cooldown for a broken tongue or a fatal attack was about 10 seconds, and this made sense. If you didn’t have that cooldown, a well placed smoker could run an entire team that was bogged down by a horde (and boomed/blinded). I think the cooldown after a pull (not a dodge) is an essential component of balance.

In my mind, you want the players to always be in danger, but you don’t want to create situations where they’re almost always going to die super quickly (on non-legend settings). Take for instance a narrow hallway where you cannot see or maneuver around the leech, when there is an armored troop coming at you – to a lesser extent, any flat terrain where the leech gets behind the shield wall. I’m not saying it’s unwinnable; I’m saying, given my experience in L4D, this really feels like an exploit to me.

It doesn’t come up often.

To spin this conversation in a different direction; do you think adding a cooldown of say 10 seconds after a pull would, in 90% of the situations, reduce the leech’s efficacy? My guess is that it wouldn’t, because they can teleport away and recharge. At the same time, I’d be reluctant to nerf a non-overpowered special because of a infrequent situation.

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