Skittergate, Director, AI

I’ve been experiencing a really harsh director in Legend difficulty while in Champion, sometimes the director just seems asleep. This is most apparent in Skittergate on Ratsnik fight after Deathrattler is dead. It is so off the wall unbelievably hard and cheap, I’ve lost 6 games in a row trying my hardest to win against that only to have a horde of pure shield rats close in and there’s nothing I can do. Plus, Deathrattler just uberspams his gattling gun when Ratsnik is on him to the point he won’t even move, just constant firing with hordes inbetween making it impossible to move, get people up, heal, anything. My friend with Zealot ults to get invincible, chugs his concentration potion and the time between ults, he’s dead from the gattling gun while he was trying to get to me to get me up. That part of the mission is cheesily hard. The rest of the mission prior is spammed with healing and is a little tedious with the sheer number of specials but it’s doable, just not very fun.

I think there’s something off with the player bots because when I play on missions with just my friend we have these over-bloated numbers at the end screen while the few times I’ve played with randoms, the missions are boringly easy and the numbers are all pathetic. I think there’s something weird going on with whenever I play Shade too, I’m not sure if the game tracks how much you’ve played of one subclass but the director really wants us dead when I play shade. I commonly get 15k damage dealt on Legend as Shade with everyone else at 8-10k. In contrast, I play Handmaiden and everyone does about 8k for the same pace throughout the mission.

Now the AI, they will seek out specials to their (and your) deaths. They will all abandon you to go hunt a special behind a wall. A big bug the AI have on Skittergate is that they won’t go through the portal and just sit near the last generator and fight off Chaos hordes. The grand majority of the time, they will die after you’ve passed through the gate, losing any items they held and sometimes, they won’t die until you reach ratsnik and now you’re down a man or two for the start of that fight.

So this shows that the bots can work, they have some numbers behind them when I’m not Shade.

This is the horde of shield rats, after I had died killing as many as I could. They just come back too fast, there’s too many.

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I agree that the Bot AI (especially post 2.0) are particularly bad, but I think you’re being disingenuous expecting them to perform as competently as a player at that level. The bots are effectively the training wheels for early stages of the game, not your intended teammates. If that were the case then this would be a single player game. Even pre-2.0 with the enhanced bot combat mod, they were barely passable at Champ difficulty. That being said, you should play with humans rather than their supplementary bots and reevaluate.

It’s not an issue with bots. Deathrattler really is a LOT meaner then before.

I think it’s because of the increased enemy attack and turn speed. His attack cycles are much shorter now so he can pretty much permanently fire his gatling guns. On top of that, he can turn to track you even while moving at full speed now so there’s no way to avoid the damage. The pillars are the only cover but they are buggy and the guns shoot through them most of the time. Combines with the increased SV spawns it’s unfairly brutal now.

Considering that the gatling guns are also a CC effect (they interrupt everything and even push you back) the spam needs to be toned down a lot. The fight is an infuriating mess now.

I replayed it tonight three times. Two times were in Quickplay and while the overall mission seemed a lot easier, my allies were a lot worse than the bots. I did it one last time with my friend and two bots and finally got a win out of it. This is what I found:

The bots need to be escorted through the generator tunnel, past the drop down, and halfway to the open gate’s ramp before they will go in with you.

The first opening minute of the boss fight is not the time to drink a concentration potion as Shade. Rasknitt’s shield hitbox on Deathrattler is immense and a charge up attack with dual daggers will be wasted.

A player with a shield is required in order to tank the shots Deathrattler spams while Rasknitt spams his magic. Aside from a stealth res, they are the only person who can get people up in that fight.

No healing satchels, you gotta be able to quaff healing.

Can’t stick on the sides of the arena. In the time it took me to reload my Shade’s crossbow, I was surrounded and couldn’t move because rats dropped around and within me, couldn’t push them off and couldn’t block all the attacks.

Rasknitt was at half health when Deathrattler was killed. I think because of this the adds were manageable. When Deathrattler is dead, it feels like the adds come in at twice the speed and the types of adds that join are dependent on how low Rasknitt’s health is. If that’s correct, you need someone on the team who can burst him down from 1/3 of his hp because that zone is plague monks and shield rats.

You also have to be lucky that Deathrattler doesn’t NBA slam you across the arena, especially after you’ve quaffed a concentration/strength potion. There doesn’t seem to be any way to dodge or predict it, it’s just a lotto if he targets you or not.

I think that’s about it. If you do all that then he’s actually pretty easy. Still had grenades and healing left over. But all of that changes in a split second. It’s way too unforgiving especially following such a long mission. If I had to change the mission, I’d make it so that Deathrattler only fires his gun while Rasknitt is on him and adds are only summoned while Deathrattler is dead. That way players can decide if they’d rather sprint through the fight and deal with adds or pace themselves by whittling Rasknitt down.

This is what it took to beat Legend Skittergate pre-2.0 (05-13-2019)

This is what it takes now. Take note that this screenshot had one less boss spawn than the other. I don’t care about the numbers but I think it’s clear that I deserve victories in the screenshots on my first post, I feel like I was cheesed out of them, not that I was beaten. (08-15-2019)

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