To start I have been playing Vermintide for a very long time and I know this game is a lot different from the first one in some fundamental ways. Many of these changes, in my opinion, reward bad play styles and don't reward strategic play and synergism with the team. Too many people rely on their "Fun" ULTs at the expense of actual skill. In the beginning of Beta my cataclysm team and I talked a lot about how this sort of "Fun" play style will come in and erode what made V1 great. With all that said I accepted this and continued to play V2 while many of my V1 friends never could get into it because it lacked the spark that V1 had. I accept that people play ranged based classes and are severely lacking in melee skills, I accept that people like spamming fireball to watch things die en mass, I accept people like Salt's BH class because it makes them feel tough, but for the love of God please don't bring a solid class like handmaiden down with you.
People are shitting on the bleed with the dash and yes it is a pittance of damage, but you are supposed to dash through A LOT OF ENEMIES not just one. When you multiply horde size with damage you start to see the benefit of this. I know that it is still not a great choice for cata in my opinion, buts that is why I choose something else. the other thing to account is the quick recharge of the ability, you can spam a the bleed almost a dozen more times then other ults bringing its total damage output far past some of the other ults.
Now as to the invisibility, this is what I run with, I can attest to hundreds of special kills with this one ability. Many people I know are short sided and very simple minded, but the window is more then just 2 seconds. Once you factor in the 2 seconds along with the time it takes enemies to re-target you, cover the distance to get to you, and your own dodge while aiming you actually have more then enough time to take down several gunners and flame rats. YES I would love 3 seconds back instead of 2, but because we already lost that I sure as hell am gonna defend what I still got. Unlike all the dwarf Rangers out there I use my invisibility to maneuver and preposition myself to be in a better spot then before not just to pray that I don't get overwhelmed when it ends.
The other aspect that I want to cover that I haven't seen in this thread, at least not yet, is the mobility part of this class. Vermintide is not all about grouping on a ledge and SMASHING ATTACK over and over at enemies climbing up. This class is highly mobile and tanky, not in health, but in stamina and dodge. She is meant to move, weave in and out of enemies with Wraith-Walk and cut them down before they mass and to find those globe rats and storm sorcerers. Not everyone in the team needs to be in a mosh pit of death, the game literally spawns specials because everyone is in a tight ball for too long. She is supposed to be mobile and be there to save the Zealot's ass because he bit off more then he could run from. In the case that she gets reworked on a level that is talked about in this thread you will only find more people camping in champion difficulty because they can never find a good team to go legend let alone cata. Some classes are support classes not in there healing or distracting but in their mobility.
This isn't so much about this class as opposed to a general problem with the player base, but this class exceeds at this the most. I tell this too a lot of people I come across when I play, "you don't have to shoot at all the specials, they can die just fine to melee". I don't need you to risk FF and TK because there is a special. I can dash and kill two gunners faster then your brace of pistols and be a lot safer while doing it. Too many people cling to their ranged classes and abilities like its the only thing that will carry them through the game. I play this class specifically because I actually like using my melee, I like pushing myself to take on the specials in melee and to excel at it. I can solo 2 gutters and a leach and a hook rat at the same time because of this class and because I don't give myself a crutch. I don't particularly like the other classes because I feel clunky and stuck surrounded my enemies.
This class embodies a type of player who isn't boxed in like the rest. I can carry a team because I can move I can navigate around obstacles and bosses to save people. YOU might not find it fun to play like this, to play with a strategy in mind, to not kill a chaos warrior instantly, to not spam your little crossbow with half reload speed, to not waste ammo on trash enemies, and to not flinch at the sight of specials, but others do actually enjoy it. Not every class needs an instant kill ability or another explosive crowd breaker or head shot seeker, THOSE are boring in my opinion. I might not like all the other classes and that's fine because I don't wan't them changed, I don't care, I don't need to like every class. I play them from time to time and I have my favorites out of them, but handmaiden is mine. Please take your overpowered low thought builds and leave my elf alone.
@mr_sp1ce Today I did Garden of Morr, Cataclysm for about 70% of the map with my bots. I opened up the map to public once I got to the dug out grave area before the maze, a salt and dwarf joined and we finished the game, no the bots were not dead when they joined either, all four of us were alive when they joined in. I used to do Cataclysm solo in V1 and I have done it in this game too, and only as the handmaiden. True solo I have never done, but normal solo yes you can do cata and yes you DEFINITELY want the handmaiden on your team as a player, as a bot she sucks, but again its a testament to her high skill aspect, you have to have a human behind the wheel of this class.