SotT 6.4 Feedback AKA Why still with the walls?

Firstly I want to be clear I really do appreciate the devs continuing to improve and experiment in V2. Please keep doing this, it gives old vets like me a reason to come back to one of my most played games of all time. So thanks for this patch.

That said, I wanted to provide some targeted feedback regarding SotT’s ult, Thornwake. When SotT came out, I think we can all agree she was seriously overtuned. Yet none of her excessive power came from her ult. I almost never saw anyone use either of the wall versions of her ult in legend or higher, and I certainly never used it in my many hours playing SotT in Chaos Wastes. The damage/stagger ult was the only choice for what I feel like are obvious reasons. Yet here we are, the class given a pretty serious makeover, and Thornwake still has all the inherent problems it had on launch.

Crowd control via impassible walls just doesn’t work in a game where enemy hitboxes can overlap. Ignoring the fact that the wall is straight up useless in any open area (of which there are many) it’s not actually helpful to create choke points or block paths off entirely. If you create a chokepoint, the enemy will just overlap as they bunch up to funnel in, leading to cheesy pokes when a weapon doesn’t penetrate all the way through the 3-in-1 rat facing you. And if you block off an entire path, the rats just stack up behind the wall, released like a…well a vermintide when the wall disappears. More enemy density and cheap hits ensue.

If players could attack through the wall this would be a different story. Enemies could be killed before they are able to overlap and create density issues, specials could be sniped instead of shielded, ect. But instead, this update doubles down on the wall concept. Now we have a really long wall, great for closing paths and creating deathballs, or the pulling vines that drag enemies back and clumps them into - you guessed it - a deathball.

Blackvenom Thicket could be a useful tool if the pull radius was larger. At least then it could be used to pull all the enemies away from an out-of-position or downed ally so they could escape. But as it stands, the pull width is too narrow to rescue a surrounded player.

That leaves just Tanglegrasp Thicket, a stagger and debuff that every SotT player in high difficulties will pick simply because it’s not a wall.

I get that creating a completely new ult for SotT is a very unrealistic expectation, and I’m not advocating for such a drastic change. Best case scenario imo is players can attack through walls while enemies cannot. Again, I like the devs are mixing things up with these changes, but despite their efforts, I still find Thornwake an incredibly frustrating and unfun ability.

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I mean it depend,
combined with a pyro sienna the wall is incredibly strong, either create a chock point and make some fire on it, or fully block a road so the ennemies stack and use conflagration or corruscant staff to burn them out as both weapon can affect the ground behind.

I agree that push and poison will be used the most but I can see situation where the improved wall will be of used.

First off, you have confused Blackvenom Thicket (Stagger) and Tanglegrasp Thicket (Push).

The issue with the wall is primarily that people never bothered to actually learn good tactics and placement of the wall because of the noob nuke. Within the current iterations I see good potential for both Blackvenom and Tanglegrasp and maybe potential for Ironthingy.

Blackvenom is obvious functioning as debuff and to stagger enemies from bosses over elites to hordes. It is easy to apply but does shine when you have large elite density (+bosses) where you want to remove pressure and gain some damage boost.

Tanglegrasp has several different functions. This starts with the showcase video of being able to push hordes over a ledge (granted it needs a ledge). However, it also works well as saving tool when your teammate is surrounded by horde and you just need some time, so you push the horde back and revive your teammate. Tanglegrasp works also as separation tool (“somehow” similar to Bleeddancer) so when you use the wall into a mixed horde, the horde enemies will be moved back and ideally blocked for a moment while the elites keep standing. With the horde removed the player can kill the elites before the horde returns.

Ironthingy is a bit less useful. You should consider using the large wall to either streamline enemies or to temporarily remove an attack direction. Or in short to protect your back. A scenario for example could be if you get surrounded in Convocation of Decay you just half the circle with the large wall and reduce pressure and then when they jump down and climb up to damage them. Also, there are several weapons which are quite happy when you have clump of enemies like Trollhammer Torpedo, Conflagration Staff, Coruscation Staff, Shotguns and the Minigun. Also one placed Bleeddancer through a clump of enemies and everything non-elite will be dead.

The wall has depending on the talent different and several uses. People just need to adjust and will adjust with the noobnuke no longer being there. I am fairly sure that both Tanglegrasph and Blackvenom Thicket have good use on Cataclysm and will be chosen accordingly. If Ironthingy will work out has to be seen.

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People just dont know how to place their walls. Anyone whos played with a good mei player in overwatch will know how powerfull they can be

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The bigger problem I see with Tanglegrasp is it sometimes flings heavier enemies (SV come to mind especially) straight back at you, so instead of pulling them away it sometimes flings them behind you. That needs some looking at - it seems the eruption does knockback too and that I think is where this problem stems.

The idea of Tanglegrasp isn’t bad, it gives more of an anti horde option and lets you separate enemies while Blackvenom is just a stagger. SotT already handles hordes very handily with poison and bleed however, so I find myself using Blackvenom more even so.

Blackvenom has another advantage here, it staggers everything, from hordes to elites to bosses, Tanglegrasp doesn’t stagger bosses and doesn’t seem to stagger elites as well as Blackvenom does. If bosses didn’t ignore Tanglegrasp’s wall (which they seem to do) it’d at least not be totally useless against them, but then the not being able to attack through walls while enemies can problem arises again.

I kinda wish the walls were half as tall or had gaps so you could see what’s going on behind them and maybe attack enemies there, that’d help. They totally swallow teammate’s ults.

I’m not such a fan of Ironbark mainly because I liked the wall that knocked enemies down on summon and then again when it died/faded (the original Blackvenom). That one was pretty handy if used well on Citadel Expeditions, managed to cover multiple tricky revives and make sure they could still be pulled off around all the ledges. I kinda wish that talent had remained rather than a larger wall (so we’d have og Blackvenom, Tanglegrasp and new Blackvenom), but I can understand why they did it this way.

Very true. Doesn’t change the fact most Mei players (and SotTs) just slap the wall down in your face at inopportune moments xD

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This.

You can make chokes for AoE, block LoS of Specials, reroute Hordes, delay high density, create escape routes and interrupt disablers.

With Hagbane applying Blackvenom, and dealing Atharti’s Delight damage, you can create choke points for yourself. Obviously Javelin too.

Ironbark’s change has helped it a lot, but it’s still a bit meh. If they added a proximity Movement Speed buff that would be really cool.

The reason it’s ok for her Career Skill to be not extremely versatile and mainly focused on utility is that she’s strong outside of it.

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I agree that the wall feels more like a nuisance than a help the majority of the time. Playing with Tanglegrap all last night there were many, many instances where it felt like putting the hedge into another wall was the most helpful play. That way it didn’t impede line of sight and the team was able to take better advantage of the stagger. This was particular evident with berserkers and packmasters since they’re high priority enemies that get the full effect of the pull instead of being sieved out like armored elites. Pushing away dangerous enemies just so they can repath around the wall to you in a few seconds isn’t a hugely useful skill in many situations.

Tanglegrasps sieving effect also feels less useful than it first appears. Even though it doesn’t knock armored enemies back as far as most things, or hide them behind a bush, it still moves them significantly outside of melee range which feels counter productive for the level of stagger it has.

These things all lead to Tanglegrasp being a pretty situational ult. Which feels very strange on a career with a “free ult” passive and an entire talent row focused around using that passive. All night long I was trying to get rid of ‘extra’ ults so I could use Radiance on demand for the team buff from the new Radiant Inheritance .

This all definitely leads me to believe that the standard Thorn build is going to be dropping Blackvenom Thicket at your feet like a Slayer with Crunch. It’s just so much easier and very consistent. Every once in a while you’ll see someone who is a bloody wizard with one of the other ult talents, but they’ll be few and far between.

The standard wall definitely needs something bit more. Especially now that Tanglegraps basically has pull + wall implemented into it I really don’t see a point for Ironbark Thicket. Even the old Blackvenom thicket with its explosion could be a decent replacement but if we really need a wall gimmick to exist then at the very least it should stop blocking allies attacks, preferably it should also give some slight buffs while standing near the wall.

Tanglegrasp is nice but strangely enough I find it to be way more useful in modded difficulties where berserkers and such types of enemies won’t be fully pulled by the effect and it actually separates elites from the trash properly.
In normal cata gameplay however its really hard to find some real utility. Ledges are obvious and in some situations it is really good way to stagger multiple enemies or wall off an entrance but you can as easily have runs where you never have to use the ability.

I think Blackvenom will be run by 90% of the community simply due to how much simpler it is to make use of and you don’t feel like you are trolling your allies by accident.

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The only thing that bothers me with standard wall is that it makes teammates get slowed when passing through it. I’ve faced several occasions where this bears deadly outcome as a misplaced wall will slow you, block your attacks, and can’t be removed manually.

In short, I believe the wall has the biggest unintentional trolling potential. It is a good tool if one knows how to utilize it and the map lets them actually make use of it, but in unskilled hands it does way more harms than goods; too much harms, compared to other ults, excluding cases where BH straight out shoots his mates.

I understand that it would have cheese potential if our attacks can go through it, but the wall slowing us down isn’t necessary IMO.

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I don’t understand the criticism that Tanglegrasp Thicket is “too narrow.” Is the Foot Knight’s charge also too narrow? Both Tanglegrasp Thicket and Valiant Charge are used to create corridors into hordes, and to knock back more powerful foes. Use them in a similar fashion! Sure, Tanglegrasp doesn’t affect monsters, but neither does Valiant Charge drag enemies over cliffs. They each have their benefits and drawbacks, but for my money, Tanglegrasp Thicket is a fantastically fun career skill to use. After playing around with the new Sister on Cataclysm fairly extensively, Tanglegrasp is certainly more useful to me than either the boring Blackvenom Thicket or the more or less pointless Ironbark Thicket.

It feels like people have more or less made up their minds about the Sister’s walls, and as long as the base career skill remains a wall, it’s never going to be good enough, regardless of how the talents modify it.

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Tanglegrasp is one of the few things that can stagger a c3dw chaos warrior overhead, one of the best cc in the game, and arguably a better pick overall than blackvenom.

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I believe when

they usually mean

Tanglegrasp Thicket is more about the push and stagger rather than the wall itself; I don’t think it’s usefulness would be harmed in any way even if it didn’t spawn the wall at all.

TT and BT are both very useful, really versatile too, but IT on the other hand is only so in a niche case where the map, the user, and the teammates let it be of use. If one of the three doesn’t let it, it ends up being a very mediocre ult.

Agreed 100%.

The small delay before you can turn the wall should be removed; doesn’t make sense to keep it.

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A teamfight in Overwatch is a pretty different game scenario, though.

  1. Most enemies have ranged attacks in overwatch and can dish out lethal damage in very short timespans at range
  2. Many enemies rely on retreating and line of sight for healing to stay live
  3. Eliminating a single enemy gives a big advantage in overwatch.
  4. Allies can stand near the wall and attack normally.
  5. Visibility to enemies is a little important but it’s not too hard to keep track of 70% of the enemy team mentally
  6. Enemies cannot see the players when the wall is up

In vermintide:

  1. Most enemies are melee attackers only, the thicket only actually blocks damage with ratlings and crossbowmen
  2. Visibility is incredibly important for keeping track of where enemies are because there are dozens of them at all times
  3. Allies attacks can be hampered by standing near the wall, even if attacking things that are away from the wall
  4. The AI knows where you are always no matter what. You don’t get any benefit from breaking line of sight if you are aggroed.
  5. Enemies are all suicide rushing you, they don’t care about retreating and getting heals.

I could go on. It’s not really comparable.

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I haven’t read all the comments but i do find it ridiculous that i can hit enemies through normal walls and even ceiling but a bush can block my weapon…

I would like SoTT walls much more if there was a way to rotate them on their axis instead of fixed horizontal or vertical angles.

But the current system is still okay, in my opinion.

If I were going to suggest an ideal change to Sister of Thorns, it would be to make all of the final talents change the ult from what it is at base. I still think Blackvenom Thicket is too samey, and could do with a change.

Fatshark has already proven to be okay with changing some bits of the ult with Tanglegrasp. I think a much better version of Blackvenom Thicket would not be a wall at all, but a large-ish patch of terrain where enemies would either take enhanced damage, a constant low DOT effect, or allies would gain an additional low DOT to their own hits. Just bushes reaching to your ankle or something, which would not block weapons or shots, and enemies can path though. And, of course, would still keep the initial stagger.

It would be a nice way to define her Career Ability with the talent.
Base=[Wall off an area]
Level 25
Ironbark=[Wall off an even bigger area for longer]
Tanglegrasp=[Push that filters some enemy types and can drag things in a direction]
Blackvenom =[Non-intrusive area that allies can fight in that either buffs their damage, or makes enemies take more damage]

They are comparable, but you haven’t considered anything other than line of sight, which is 100% useful for delaying or avoiding Specials.

Just because it’s not in ranged, doesn’t mean the same logic doesn’t apply. You just have to place them to delay melee, rather than to deny ranged LoS, which isn’t the only thing Mei’s wall is for, since there are melee and close range characters in OW too.

As for it’s other uses:

  • Splitting off Elites or cutting off density, so you can deal with specific enemies first, like Mei does with Tanks in OW

E.g. Chaos Warrior/Maulers/Berserkers at the front of a Horde. Use the Wall behind them in the entrance, kill them first with less risk from the Horde

This is made easier with Tangelgrasp, which does the thinking for you. It was still possible with old Blackvenom Thicket.

  • Blocking off angles of attack in general, to give yourself a better position

E.g. Blocking a hallway entirely to avoid being surrounded

  • Wall yourself into a corner for safety

You can do this to get heals off, pool Stamina, or just to delay until you can be helped out of a bad situation.

  • Forcing a specific angle of attack for your teams build to make use of

On OW, this would mainly work with baiting a team into an Ult, but in V2, it’s just for shotgunning a choke

It still isn’t enough alone to make Ironbark good, but with the addition of the other effects, such as old Blackvenom or new Tanglegrasp, it’s definitely still useful.

3 Likes

Blackvenom Thicket at current state is a very good ult, fits her concept very well as it can be used to support and save teammates while debuffing chunk of enemies, which is pretty much what SotT is all about.

I do like your new ult though. Maybe it could use the first slot of lv30 talent as Ironbark Thicket is probably the least used one among the three.