Since I’ve mostly fine with where the other specials are (ironically, with the exception of the Sack Rat of all things) I thought it’d be just the perfect time to talk about the Gutter Runner in this new Vermintide.
So we’ll jot out a quick list and I dislike Positives
Spawn more often
Enforces environmental awareness
Presence makes teams stick together
Relatively low hp so can be eliminated once spot
Harder to hear
Harder to avoid in cases of 3 disablers
Harder for a team to contend with when spawned during certain high risk situations
Non linear pathing which makes them run back and forth behind a wall forever until you leave them and purposefully expose yourself to ambush
Teleports after being caught out
Pounce speed still variable
The main problem I have with gutter runners is their sound.
Simply put. They don’t make enough locational noise to now feel fair to fight against in combinations of 3+ disabelers. Them having faster transitions between pounces is one thing, but being unable to quickly and accurately detail when the thing is even in line of sight is a serious gameplay affecting problem that also doesn’t feel fair to deal with.
I’m sure many players at this point who run Cata have had situations where they’re aware that one exists but simply can’t do anything but accept the reality of a pounce because flags/minotaur/horde/other disablers
Either shorten the intervals between it’s chittering Or Add a new sound for it being in line of sight of somebody
These changes would make it easier for a skilled player to identify at least the location they should be wary of and would help reduce the stress of dealing with frequent combinations of two of them that occur.
The only one that matters, in my eyes, is the ability to correctly and accurately use the tools the game gives you to respond to a threat. Right now with combinations of two gutter runners, it’s simply too hard to acknowledge where they are. Throw in a hook rat somewhere, and you can quite literally have a situation where you can dodge a hookrat but still be pounced on in the window of that successful dodge. Which should never be the case.
Second problem(s) I have is pathing, targeting, andjumping
The pathing of a gutter runner is whatever. It’s not actually linear but having it run back and forth constantly while you look at it is weird. I believe that a gutter runner should take a more linear path through the environment to set up a vantage point to get rid of that silly interaction
The targeting of a Gutter Runner is actually bananas right now. In a game I’ve played my ally was hooked at the same time the gutter runner pounced on him. I axe the hookrat. The gutter runner continues to stand perfectly still at their body, and then jumps on them when they recover. This probably should never happen
Lastly jumping speeds are out of whack. Again. Lightspeed gutter runner pounces where they just yeet off of a wall and travel faster than an arrow onto some unsuspecting person is silly. Breaking pounce tracking right after a dodge and seeing it walk forward really quickly is equally silly Both of these should probably be fixed
As this is less important than creating proper identification tools in sound. I can’t think of a good solution. Targeting needs to be changed so that it behaves like lifeleeches. Who, even when they teleport both on a single ally, if one lands a grab, the other changes its target. This would stop them from being stuck in a situation that causes for them to wait for an allies recovery.
Linear movement, despite my post claiming otherwise, would probably break their difficulty, so a more intelligent movement system (if possible) would be appreciated.
And. No yeah that’s about it.
They should be easier to identify given their relative increase in threat.
Their targeting and jump could use some work.
Gutter runners are finally in a situation where they have the presence of L4D hunters. But are a bit skewed in terms of their power given the number of directions they can approach a player from coupled with the lack of overall warning you get to adjust with when contending with other threats or disablers.
This would help
What bugs me is their ability to magically disable you just by being in proximity.
You can see them coming, line up a weapon swing to swat them out of the air, and then just before they impact your weapon you are magically on the ground. They can also pounce you without the jump at all, they are just standing there and BAM you are disabled, no animation at all. There’s really no skilled counterplay to that.
When they actually work, gutter runners are ‘balanced’ and a completely fine unit. What makes runners dangerous is the large amount ofbugs, as you mentioned, making them literally unavoidable. Fix the bugs, and there would be no reason to adjust the runners.
I’m 50/50 on that. If we still get combinations of 3 disablers, one of those being double runners, not being able to tell which one is which and how close will probably still be a point of frustration.
But these are just my opinions. Subject to changes as bug fixes roll in (provided I’m even still playing whenever that finally happens)
Let’s talk about the Sack Rat! Yeah, totally shouldn’t be a priority issue, but they get spooked way too easily. How are they supposed to lure our heroes to their (individual and/or collective) doom if the Sack Rats run away before anyone even notices them? I think the biggest issue is that they “aggro” through walls, so they can get spooked and start to run before anyone even has line-of-sight to them. Sometimes to an absurd degree, like the one on Righteous Stand who will sometimes spawn up above the barracks section (right after riding the lift up from the arena event) but spooks and starts running when the heroes are below him, basically a couple large rooms worth of fighting away from even being able to see the Sack Rat spawn point.
Actually on topic, I don’t really have too many complaints about assassin rats. I feel like they got a lot dumber in 2.0 – like, they run back and forth in place more often than they used to, seemingly having forgotten how to pounce. I do think that they are easily the most dangerous special, but I’m pretty much okay with that. The one thing I think would make them feel a bit more fair would be if sound cues made it a bit more clear when multiple gutter runners spawn, rather than just one. But that’s not an issue specific to gutter runners; that seems to happen with lots of different specials.
I’m pretty sure that’s a bug. But it does happen. Point in case. During a (not true) solo the other day on Legendary I hear the sound of it announcing itself. My ai kruber than immediately whips behind and shoot it. So that’s definitely a thing that happens.
But we’ll chalk it up to bugs. I’m sure once bugs are fixed things won’t be that bad. But in the case that they are I felt compelled to give my feedback.
Absolutely. And while they’re at it they can raise every specials priority on all of their sounds to make more sound than beastmen flag bearers. Those things drown out everything when they plant that flag. And for an action that happens only in the span of a second it’s amazing how much audio queues you can miss when it happens.
They definitely have some some issues and have always had a few. Their audio is a bit random and disorienting and I think at times, that’s intentional. Like when they first spawn you hear their noise echo all around you with no clear indication where they are. They’re assassins, so they’re supposed to be a degree of sneaky and deceptive. That’s just for spawning though.
Often times you hear their scream/yell when they leap at someone, other times it’s completely silent. Things like this aren’t supposed to be inconsistent. In fact, you can dodge an assassin without even looking at him by just using the audio cue.
The animation speed at which they do things can be either slow/confused, normal, or god speed. Like when they leap up objects. Sometimes they perch there for a second and leap. Sometimes they leap over the object completely and leap. Sometimes they leap almost the instant they leap up. Sometimes they’re instantly up and then instantly leap at you. Then other times they do stuff like this:
I have so many of these. You have no idea.
There are definitely a number of issues with them at the moment and you definitely nail those issues.