Some thoughts on Sister of the Thorn and the idea of "Support"

Sister of the Thorn is a support class in the same way a fully loaded 200 round belt fed light machine gun with quick change barrels and a bipod is a support tool.

Let us begin with her Class Passives. She gets four passives. Four.
A Cluster of Radiants - An extra Ult charge every 60 seconds that can be stored, making it better than having an Ult with a 30 second cooldown.
A Murder of Spites - Does up to 50% more damage to low health enemies.
A Sustenance of Leechlings - When a party member gains Temp HP at full health, Kerillian gets that THP instead.
An Attendance of Munificents - All healing received by the party is increased by 25%.

If I gave you that list of passives and asked you to tell me what kind of vibe this class was already putting out, I doubt you’d say that it’s a support class. Only one of these four passives affects not-Kerillian. If A Sustenance of Leechlings was tweaked so that Kerillian gave THP to her team in some way instead of them giving her THP, that might make more sense. As it stands now, these passives are mostly just support in the sense that killing enemies is helping the team win the game. And that’s support, right? At least we get An Attendance of Munificents. That’s something.

Level 5 Talents
I think it would have been nice to have a special talent list for a “support class” since healing and temp health are often considered important for such a role, but…eh. It’s fine.

Level 10 Talents
Surge of Malice - She attacks 15% faster when at 90% HP or above
Atharti’s Delight - Bleeds enemies on critical hits
Isha’s Bounty - Gain an 8 second 5% Power buff when you heal, stacks three times.

All of these talents only function as “support” in the sense that “If I make myself stronger to kill all the enemies, they can’t hurt my friends. And that’s what support is”. All these talents are selfish in nature. They buff Kerillian. They make HER better at killing things. Which isn’t bad in itself, but it’s not what I’d imagine for a support themed class.

Also Isha’s Bounty gives you a full three stacks if you have Natural Bond. Every 5 second tick of HP restores the stacks…meaning that as long as you aren’t on full permanent health, you have +15% power. When you are at full HP, effects that would have given you THP give you stacks as well. So you’re basically always going to have +15% Power. Support Class.

Level 15 Talents
– Same boring crap as everybody else. Missed opportunity for some interesting support themed Talents.

Level 20 Talents
Incandescence - Radiance can Stack twice.
Hekarti’s Cruel Bargain - Elites slain near Kerillian speed up Radiance recharge by 1 second
Radiant Inheritance - Consuming Radiance grants Kerillian vastly increased combat potency for 15 seconds.

Again, these are all Talents that make Kerillian herself better at killing things. There’s nothing supportive about these talents. Radiant Inheritance is freakin’ bonkers when it comes to turning Kerillian into a frenzied coked up elf berserker for a massive 15 seconds like she’s spiteful of Bardin’s Slayer and has to one up him. At least it’s thematic.

Level 25 Talents
The Pale Queen’s Choosing - Every 8 seconds, Kerillian’s next ranged attack consumes no ammo resource and restores 3 HP.
Morai-Heg’s Doomsight - Gain 3 guaranteed critical strikes each time a career skill is used.
Repel - Pushing while at full stamina increases the strength and range of the push by 100%

Once again, all three of these talents are focused on Kerillian herself. They make her better at killing. She’s a killing machine with either self sustain or crowd control. The one healing talent here applies only to herself and maybe you could make the stretch for support and say that The Pale Queen’s Choosing gives her a free enemy to lift in a fight every once in a while.

Level 30 Talents
Ironbark Thicket - Increase the duration of Thornwall to 10 seconds
Bloodrazor Thicket - Increases Thorn Wall’s eruption damage and makes it apply Bleed, but lower both size and duration.
Blackvenom Thicket - When the Thorn Wall expires, poisonous thorns explode outwards, causing nearby enemies to take 20% increased damage for 10 seconds.

I have never seen a Thorny Elf use anything other than Bloodrazor Thicket. Never. Not once. It’s the obvious choice. Why have a potentially maybe slightly occasionally sorta useful tiny wall that makes enemies clump up when it ends and is super situational when you can just kill a bunch of enemies outright and have a double (or triple) use boss pounder? Plus, the thorn walls block my line of sight, and that’s no fun since it obviously gets in the way of using ranged attacks against any enemies on the other side. Bloodrazor Thicket as the obvious choice it is…isn’t a support skill. It’s a very useful and strong baddy thrasher at a better than 30 second cooldown (that probably triggers Radiant Inheritance for you…another non-support buff for you. For a Support themed character, it’s really odd to me that this was the decision they made for an Ult, where basically the sky was the limit in terms of options.

Talent-wise, even if you go with the most supporty you can, she’s still super potent as an offensive class. I think that these Talents need some serious tweaking. And honestly if they totally reworked her from the ground up, I wouldn’t mind.

Oh, and we of course can’t forget the Deepwood Staff.

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Damn, this thing is crazy. The primary attack is nothing to scoff at by any means, in fact it’s kinda bonkers, but the lifting capability that lets you put pretty much any enemy in vulnerable time-out is nuts. Chaos Warriors, Specials, Berserkers…up they go. This is support in that itself it does no killing, but it’s very effective at protecting your allies and yourself with a super potent crowd control effect. I like it in concept, but I can’t help but feel it’s just too good at what it does. This weapon of hers is really the most supportive element of her kit by far. Stopping just one Special or one Chaos Warrior/Stormvermin from whacking a team mate on the head might be far more damage saved than her healing might have ever restored. The Staff is shockingly impactful. When I see a Sister without it, it cements her position all the more as a damage dealer that I end up helping more than she helps me. She is not a support character without this Staff.

Some final thoughts
I guess when you want a Support Class in a game like this, there’s three general concepts that support themed class can explore and mix:
– A Healer - Restores health or adds health gaining effects and revives downed friendlies better than normal.
– A Buffer - Grants allies barriers to block damage, applies offensive effects like attack speed, damage enhancements, faster recharges, and other boons.
– A Controller - Crowd controls, debuffs enemies, disrupts fights. Makes it harder for the enemy to get to you or deal damage to you.

In Vermintide 2, there’s only four players against many enemies, so dedicating one of those four spots to a true support/healing role is a big ask. Potentially, you could be losing 25% damage output…the key is to make that loss in damage worth it by increasing the other three characters attributes and capabilities enough. Which is totally doable, it just hasn’t really been done here. The idea of having a fourth character in the party be devoted to a whole slew of supportive roles is quite appealing to me, and many others I’d wager. It would certainly go far to increase build and role diversity. Especially considering how those Levels 5 and 15 Talents are exactly the same as everybody else when that by no means needs to be the case. Maybe this would provide a legitimate option for players who aren’t that good at fighting enemies to contribute to the team. I dunno. But Sister of the Thorn as it stands now is basically just crazy strong and doesn’t at all seem oriented towards what many of us might expect from a “support class”. She’s still amazingly strong, I’m not upset or anything. She’s undoubtedly a very potent character. But sprinkling very light elements of support related attributes into her overall arsenal does not a support class make. Especially since, as I stated above, without her Staff she’s simply not a support character at all. That Staff is 90% of her support potential. There’s three Talent options at every level…and it could have been interesting to see each Talent level give a Healing, Buffing, or Controlling option that when combined and mixed could give this class a wide variety of legitimately useful utility depending on the rest of the party’s composition.

Maybe FatShark doesn’t want a devoted support role in the game. And that’s fine. It totally is. But this foray into a supposed support class could be a way to experiment with that concept, especially with Darktide being worked on. It’s alright if they don’t want a devoted support role, but offense and defense exist on a wide, colorful spectrum. Even in games like Killing Floor 2, the Field Medic is still offensively viable to a degree…but undeniably still the medic who shines in usefulness…and who has two separate options at their own talent tiers for buffing themselves or buffing others.

Maybe what I’m saying is that I think Sister of the Thorn or whatever could have been a really interesting actual devoted support character instead of what we got.

Originally this post was going to be a reply to another thread, but I ended up putting too much work into it and decided to just make it its own post. I’m not upset or even annoyed. She just seems uninspired and confused in what she’s supposed to be. I could fill this post with suggestions about what to change, but I’ve typed enough and looking at her mushroom shoulderpads is making me hungry.

I mean the only competitive pick out of all the careers that is not damage focused is Iron Breaker and that is because he is tanky and his Ult has the biggest disruption on field. The other careers just don’t quite cut it in that regard. Other than that the higher you go in terms of difficulty the higher the dps requirement becomes as well. So in order for a support career to function well in Vermintide 2 one needs high survivability and field disruption. I don’t think her ult accomplishes that ideally. First of all most people don’t know where to place the damn think and second of all even when placed correctly it is worse disruption than a conflag staff or any other shout for that matter. In my opinion her ult should have been something like an movement speed and attack speed slow down for enemies. That would cause disruption and make her an actual support.

In terms of her talents… well you cannot really make her tanky and she is an elf after all so her having damage related talents is required. But I agree she is overloaded with passives and her talents feed a bit too much off of her teammates than she back into them. And it goes without saying that radiant inheritance’s numbers need to be dialed down and the other talents in that row reworked so that they contrast inheritcance more. Kinda like a choice between being selfish and a selfless. I mean having Radiance stack twice doesn’t do much in a face paced game like vt2.

Her new weopons I think are fine for now you don’t wanna tweak too much at the same time otherwise you get results that are bs as well.

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