SotT is a far inferior "support" class if she ignores damage talents

I don’t think any experienced Vermintide player would disagree that Sister of the Thorn is too strong. Radiant Inheritance is better than most ults, Doomsight generates crits on demand, and Bloodrazer Thicket can kill almost any enemy on Cata with its bleed damage. And don’t forget her exclusive staff, the undisputed best CC weapon in the game.

Yet despite all these strengths, it would only take two talents eating the nerfbat to leave SotT in a very mediocre spot. If Radiant inheritance and Bloodthorn Thicket are removed as viable options, suddenly SotT is nothing more than a vehicle for carrying her staff around.

This deficiency primarily stems from (plant joke) both level 30 talents other than Bloodthorn Thicket being extremely weak. Ironbark and Blackvenom Thicket fail to fix the core problem Thornwake, that being a scarcity of situations where 6-10 seconds of a small but impenetrable wall is beneficial to the party.

There are two obvious use-cases for Thornwake: sealing off a path entirely or creating a narrow choke point. Let’s look at sealing off a path first. During a horde, waves almost always spawn from two points and come at players from every possible angle. Blocking one entire horde wave by sealing a path sounds great in theory, but in practice a flaw becomes immediately apparent. Enemies clump behind the wall, and when it goes down there’s suddenly a high density mob rushing the party. Every experienced player knows there are few things more dangerous than density, and closing off a path for just 6-10 seconds will rarely be worth the dense horde it releases. Even using the Blackvenom Thicket talent can’t solve this problem, as the knockback is too small and enemies will simply swarm over the frontline that were stumbled.

The second use-case is creating a choke point to funnel horde into an easily held kill box. For this to work, a SotT player must cast their ult in a passage that is to large to blocked entirely, but still small enough that Thornwake has a meaningful effect funneling enemies. In these situations, Thornwake is a great area denial tool.

Unfortunately, the ideal conditions for using Thornwake to create a chokpoint are very rare. Most maps have multiple avenues for enemies to enter, and creating one good chokepoint won’t matter when the enemy is coming from four directions. And when there is a properly sized passage, and the enemy can only approach from one direction, even then the wall only lasts for 6-10 seconds, or 12-20 with Radiance. Most hordes last much longer than 20 seconds, so the choke will be short lived. Sienna’s coruscation staff does a better job at zone control, as her flame walls can be recast for as long as necessary.

Without Radiant Inheritance and Bloodrazor Thicket to boost her killing potential, SotT would be an underwhelming support class. Her walls are too situational with too short of a duration relative to their cooldown. Too many areas allow enemies multiple avenues of attack for a 6-10 second wall that blocks enemies and allies alike to be worthwhile, even with a second cast every minute. It’s simply not a fun ult to use due to how infrequently it actually provides a meaningful benefit to the team compared to other support ults.

I know developers typically want feedback to highlight what need fixing but not how to fix it, as customers rarely understand what is and isn’t feasible. That being said, here’s a few ideas on how to make Thornwake fun:

Cut the cooldown of the wall variants of Thornwake in half, and double their duration.

Give players a defensive buff when they walk through or stand near the Ironbark Thicket.

Increase the radius of Blackvenom Thicket’s explosion, and apply the explosion both when it’s created and dispersed (making it actually possible to debuff a mobile boss)

I think the new class concept is unique and awesome, but as it stands it’s not the support powerhouse the devs clearly intended (based on the dev blog released today). If players forgo SotT’s damage talents for support talents, they are not nearly as useful to their team. Dead rats can’t hurt teammates, but a horde of overlapping rats stuck behind a very temporary wall sure can.

Thank you for reading this wall of text. I can’t wait to see how you tweak SotT going forward.

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Agreed, this is a great summary of the issues. I’m actually already getting bored playing the meta SotT build, it’s made everything so easy, but trying to run it as a support class just feels awkward.

While her ult talents could use some tuning, I massively disagree with the core statement. Sister’s passive alone makes her one of the better supports in the game. Probably second to merc only due to Walk it Off.

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I agree the healing passive is strong; I don’t think it’s stronger than any other support’s passives + their ults. That’s the problem, without her damage ult, she is essentially a character without one. It’s so difficult to get real tangible value from the wall ult, it can’t be factored into a comparison with other support kits.

And even if I’m wrong, and she still is a top tier support just with her passive alone, that still needs to be fixed. Every other class gets an ult that requires active use and rewards tangible benefits because that’s simply more fun than being a walking stat-stick.

You’re not giving Blackvenom Thicket nearly enough credit. It’s a perfectly good support-style talent. It’s a little more difficult to use than a simple shout ult, but it’s still good and can be used in creative ways. Only Ironbark Thicket is lame.

Have you played Handmaiden? :joy:

Extensively. And I have no idea what your point is. Handmaiden ult may not be game-changing, but the entire fun of the class comes from dashing through enemies every 20 seconds. If you took that ult away and replaced it with Thornwake, she would be incredibly dull to play, even with good weapons.

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Problem is that she isnt actively supporting her team.

Passive? As in it´s there just because she is? How is that a fun support in any way? Even ranger veteran does more…nah if she is going to have a support tag for the class then she needs abilities and talents to reflect that.

However i am also in favor of her having a damage build, or even hybrid mixups between the two.

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Without going into active talents, you could switch some passives around:

  • +25% healing now only affects SotT, but not allies.
  • Switch the “excess tmp hp gained by allies goes to SotT” passive with “excess tmp hp gained by SotT goes to allies”

=> Then, she’d need to actively do sth. to support her team instead of just existing with her +25% healing passive.
She’d need to actively gain (excess) tmp hp, which she could do well with her +25% more healing passive.
Also, she would then actually support her team with the excess tmp hp passive instead of the other way around where a strong tmp hp team supports her, which feels backwards for a support class.

Might turn out to be quite busted (e.g. Merc ults when SotT is at full hp => everyone gets double the Merc ult temp hp) so might need a cap/max percentage of tmp gained (e.g. only 25% of all excess tmp ganed is shared with allies or the max amount of hp “per tick/heal” is 10 tmp hp).

All of that is assuming her overtuned dps options (basically Morai Heg’s Doomsight, Bloodrazor Thicket, Radiance Inheritance) get nuked as they should and her non-dps ult talents get buffed so her support identity is in line with what the dev blog states: “her primary focus is not on killing, and her main job is to keep everyone safe and sound.”

I’d argue that it needs to just be an aura, like Kruber’s Call Out Weakness and Protective Presence, so she has to stay near people to get the benefit, instead of running off in whatever direction she desires.

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I agree that without Radiant Inheritance and Bloodrazor SotT would be a lot less powerful overall, but I disagree that she woukd be too bad. I’d actually say that a SotT without those things is pretty much the level of overall power the class balance in this game should strive for. And you underestimate the use of the walls, I think. The difference they can make in a high pressure situation is at least as big as that of a stagger ult, if not more.

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I disagree and I’m not having any problem using her as a support and dealing good damage, both with and without Inheretance.

Wall:

  • Staggers Elites twice
  • Blackvenom gives AoE shrapnel throughout the map, and then on Bosses too
  • Blocks LoS of everythng
  • Blocks damage
  • Causes enemies to reroute or completely blocks them off in certain areas
  • Can be used to stagger and split Elite density
  • Can create bunker spots in any part of the map
  • Can be used to force choke points for spamming with Moonbow/Staff (Hunter), or allies spam
  • Can be used to break Disablers grabs, without having to waste all of your Stamina, and dodges, and maybe get hit

This Career feels to me like it really pops off on Cata+, Deeds, Weaves, etc. As before that you can outright kill enemies and don’t rely on too much CC. This is similar and why FK Kruber is insane for tanking on Cata+, but feels a bit pointless on anything lower, unless you take full AS builds.

Just because you can’t spam outkill everything doesn’t mean you’re useless. It’s hard to gauge how useful you are to your team if you only look at damage.

I’ve used the wall to solo Convocation end event and others, just by switching sides and forcing the enemies where I want them.

Staff:
The staff is really insane for CCing any Specials. It’s absolutely fine.

25% Healing Received By Party Increase:
Allows everyone to run Barkskin, or double up with Boon of Shallya. This gives on-demand health whenever people use their THP generation, and is one of the best defensive stats in the game.

As Zealot and Grail Knight are two of the better and easier Careers for Cata+, because of the amount of THP they can generate, this buff is being greatly undervalued when compared to other supports.

On damage:
Moonbow (Hunter), Radiant Inheretance, and Bloodrazor Thicket spam all need to be looked at imo. The damage Bloodrazor Thicket does to Elites, while staggering them, is kind of busted.

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I was about to disagree with the post but you brought up all I wanted to say.
Also I don’t think there needs to be many changes for her to be in line.

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Only if the enemies are around the wall when it goes down, otherwise it´s just a discolored normal wall.

Except gasrats and stormers for some reason, doesnt stop leech grabs either.

Only if enemies dont have space to walk around it.

Except open areas where it just confuses teammates. It can also make enemies take unusual ways around to backstab you or others.

Painful lesson in the gardens of morr.

Depends on area.

The one consistently good use that still depends on your teammates being either bad or unlucky.

I dont like her as a support because she is too damn reliant on terrain or team having a bad time to be of any use.

I seriously disagree that she´d be in a good spot without both of those entirely, she´d be incredibly bland and empty.

The walls? shrapnel wall only works if enemies are around when it goes down (short range) and the extra duration wall only really has any kind of impact when you are in a cramped space with limited paths inside.

I ran it a few maps and it was an eye opener to how many points of access enemies really have.

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I don’t think any of these contentions make that ability bad. Most of your disagreements are too situational. If you’re actively looking for spots to carry out the examples I offered, it shouldn’t be a problem.

If you time it properly and you and your friends push enemies to the wall and use it as LoS, half of these problems are fixed.

E.g. getting them to bait standing attacks or pushing enemies into the end of the wall to trigger Shrapnel on Elites or Bosses

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You dont feel a wall that depends entirely on terrain to be even slightly good is too situational? Many if not most maps do not offer such nice holdouts for the vast majority of the map.

And no the scenarios i raised with specials is not situational either.

You think randoms have the coordination to pull this off? That that it is even remotely practical to try during the chaos of a horde+boss+specials scenario? (common enough)

It’s not only good for one use though. Not every Ult needs to be an all-rounder.

My point is that you and your team can actively play in a way that makes use of the wall. The only place I can see it being awkward is on diagnal terrain or open spaces, in which case it can still be used to Stagger or delay Hordes for Stamina pooling, etc.

Then don’t play it with randoms.

You’re describing the best scenario for this ability. It’s precisely used to break up and delay high density.

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If it is niche then it should be more powerful in that niche, if that niche is too specialized and not generally applicable then we get an ability that is like the 1handed axes.

Really freaking bad in 9 outa 10 cases.

An ability that doesnt work in quickplay…this seems fine?

All it does it make enemies split for a couple of seconds before pooling onto the closest victim again, it doesnt really help lower the enemy population or anything that stops the immediate crisis.

Unless you are very lucky and have good terrain to lock enemies out.

Bloodrazor meanwhile can kill multiple elites and you can kill specials with it rather than just break their grab on your teammates and let them try again a few seconds later, that´s helpful.

Plus if you time the wall cast even slightly bad then all you are doing is helping enemy leeches, blightstormers, packmsasters and gasrats. Its a double edged sword that is sharper on your half.

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Hyperbole. I’ve literally been soloing Cata+ with it and having no problem finding uses in almost every situation.

You’re generalizing your argument after initially basing it off about 3 situational downsides, which I’ve argued can be fixed with being mindful of the ability.

It’s still capable of using 1 of the 9 other examples I gave. If you really can’t make use of this ability, it’s a you problem at this point.

A few seconds can be everything. That’s why Stagger mechanics exist in this game. Speaking of which.

It Staggers once on use, and once again when it disappears.

This is such a vague argument, based on about 1 area in the majority of maps where it would be an issue. In which case it can still be used to Stagger and delay enemies.

You’re moving the goal posts and ignoring the main crux of my argument about the wall and the reason for this thread.

2 Likes

Finally some good ideas.

Please no auras. The problem with auras in this game is that they are tiny and having to hug your teammates constantly is not fun. Just keep it teamwide.

Bloodrazor is in a similar spot to BW’s Burnout. Both have good stagger and damage(Bloodrazor more so than Burnout). Good stagger or good damage. Pick one, not both.

The staff either needs to have the lift’s range reduced, increase charge cost for lifting enemies, or have charge cost scale with distance. It’s a bit too good at the moment and Hunter with Doomsight make for a potent combination on the left click.

And her Ult by itself sounds good on paper yet lack lustre and it is missing one vital QoL change. The ability to change the walls orientation. Also, if they really wanted SoT to be support why isn’t the ult a field of thorns which bleed and slows down enemies.

To be perfectly honest, having to play around that damn wall is pretty annoying which is why I’d take Bloodrazor even if did zero damage and only had stagger.

Whilst you are correct most of what you wrote becomes either irreverent or can be offset by not staggering but outright killing them instead by taking Bloodrazor. It’s like the age-old argument between Merc and FK, before GK came out. Damage vs stagger.

Why stagger anything when you can just kill it? No need to split elites if they are dead. No need block special LoS if it either dead or lifted by the staff. No need to block damage if what ever is dealing damage is dead. No need for AoE Shrapnel on bosses or anything if you can just kill anything in 10 seconds(I’m sure you’ve seen at least video where somebody nuked a cata boss in less than a dozen seconds). No need to force chokepoints when you can kill whatever enemies you are trying to funnel. Why choose to break a disabler’s grab when you can just kill it instead by simply choosing the damage talent.

TL;DR → Her damage far outweighs her utility and you are actively gimping yourself by trying to play support. Your support as a damage dealer is much impactful than any support build her kit currently allows.

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