With the release of Chaos Wastes and Patch 4.3, some undocumented changes were made to the way Shade’s ult works.
**These are: **
-Cloak of Pain: The 2nd charge no longer has a guaranteed melee crit upon coming out of invis.
Also no longer crits on the first ranged attacks on either the first charge or the 2nd charge.
-Cloak of Mist: No longer has a guaranteed melee crit upon coming out of invis. The crits only start with the 4 secs after coming out of invis. No longer has a ranged crit for the 1st ranged attack upon coming out of invis.
-Shadostep: No longer has a ranged crit when using the ult with a ranged attack.
Now, none of these changes are listed in the patch notes which begs the question whether or not these are all just bugs or simply undocumented but intentional changes.
If the latter is true, then I must say that I heavily disagree with these changes and would like them to be reverted.
The only exception is the loss of guaranteed ranged crits; Shade is a melee class and does not really need to have access to ranged crits with the ult since they enable bodyshot kills on specials.
Edit: It has been pointed out that keeping the ranged crit on Shadowstep and Cloak of Pain is justified since you waste the melee damage boost on it. Additionally, if Cloak of Mist gets a nerf to its cooldown reduction (e.g. from 45% down to ~25%), then you could make an argument for keeping the ranged crit on it as well.
For the other changes, there are several negative consequences across the board.
Cloak of Pain:
The loss of the guaranteed melee crit on the 2nd charge of the ult halves(!) the dmg output of the ult against non CW elites and hordes since previously you could backstab another enemy with the crit.
However, this came at the risk of being out of position afterwards (Use first charge of the ult to kill 1 enemy, then use the 2nd one to kill another one OR use the 2nd charge to go back to your team instead of backstabbing an enemy).
This was a well balanced risk/reward dynamic that enabled a fun and engaging playstyle.
Secondly, was there any noise about Cloak of Pain being OP? In fact, it was already underpicked due to Cloak of Mist being so strong.
Additionally, compared to other classes that have talents that allow them to use their ult twice, Cloak of Pain was already weaker:
BW “Burnout” just gives 2 full uses of the ult within 10 secs, Gk “Virtue of Audacity” adds another stab that deals even more dmg than the first ult attack, Bh “Double-Shotted” adds another high dmg bullet instead of the mediocre shotgun pellets AND adds cooldown reduction.
There exists no reason to nerf Cloak of Pain in such a drastic manner. The talent was in a good place before.
Cloak of Mist:
Yes, Cloak of Mist is overtuned atm, especially when combined with Vanish.
However, not giving the attack that breaks the invis the guaranteed crit completely kills off the synergy between Vanish and Cloak of Mist:
You break invis but since you do not crit, you cannot guarantee a backstab kill => Vanish will not proc => the 4 secs of crits cannot be used to chain Vanish backstab instakills since you are visible and enemies will look at you, not exposing their back.
Instead of such a slegehammer approach, I would prefer to have an internal cooldown for Vanish (Shade crit when ulting broken and cor staff broken for BW. Its been 1 month now and still no fix - #11 by Rapax)
and a nerf to the cooldown reduction of Cloak of Mist (e.g. from 45% cdr down to 20% cdr).
Also, the undocumented changes to Cloak of Mist do not really change its power much
when not using Vanish as you still have 4 secs of crits on a ~27 sec cooldown.
Except now you don’t crit with the attack that breaks the stealth, resulting in no backstab kills, which makes the whole “backstab class” just not function at all.
A change to Cloak of Mist should be a separate topic but safe to say that it should not mess with key mechanics and make the class awkward/clunky to play.
In short, the changes in 4.3 really wreck some synergies and overall damage the identity of Shade as a crit-based backstab-focused class without adding anything in return.
They are uncalled for in all but one case (the ranged crit on ult is debatable) and are not even listed in the patch notes.
Could someone please shed some light on whether these changes are just bugs or actually intentional (and if so, what the reasons behind them are and why none of this is in the patch notes)?
(Edit: I can add some videos if that helps to showcase what I mean).