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View Full Version : SENTINEL My thoughts on the new Sent. grab mechanic



cmstache
3rd Mar 2014, 13:53
A little late, but as promised:


Overall, I think the new mechanics are great. The sentinel feels less robotic to me now. As one of the better sentinel players from the alpha crew I can definitively say the learning curve is significantly shorter. I had a lot of error in my "trial and error" of my practicing previously with the old mechanic, and I'm sure my team would have preferred not to lose by 3 kills because I F-ed up 9 times.

The new build also granted more mobility, and speed is easier to gain and maintain. This is great as the sentinel doesn't have defensive skill like Evasion and Ignore pain. Speed IS your defense. As I noted earlier, it also feels more natural. You can still grab people inside buildings, it's just a bit harder, which is OK. Honestly, It was a bit easy for me to begin with.


Now, on to my recommended critiques: :wave:


- The exploit I sent in to bypass the charge :D Fix it ASAP please, now that I know about it I keep dying trying to go out of my way to not use it on accident.:nut:


- Not being able to land after dropping a player is an insta-death indoors. We need to be able to drag players across the ground on the floor... Even without damage it'd look absolutely brutal. Then we can get some altitude after we exit before the skill ends.


-As you mentioned, the swoop 3-4 times thing is obv. needing some tweaks. Change the duration from 4 seconds to 1.5-2 and it'd fix that. It might give you 1 more attempt,angle depending, not 5 or 6.

- I'd like to be able to air dodge during the charging. I feel having to charge now is enough penalty, and being unable to dodge while activating is harsh, as well as cuts back on angles you can approach. I'd also make it like the reaver's pounce, where you can charge whenever and just left click to activate it as needed. This way you can still reactively use the grab, say when rounding a corner, but still have to be intuitive about it.


-I have mixed feelings about turning upward slightly while charging. I'd done some cool stuff with it, but it's dicked me over some too pretty harshly. If push comes to shove I'd do away with it and just make players adjust.

-I personally don't have a lot of issue with knifing sentinels, but I feel a ramped screech (softer to harsher, quieter to louder, etc.) would help players gauge when the ability activates when using sound, thus defending better.



And finally, there are a couple activation bugs that you removed previously that are back, particularly that you don't have to be in flight to activate the grabs and divebomb, just airborne and falling.

cmstache
3rd Mar 2014, 19:12
Forgot to mention, for the love of God fix the seninel getting stuck while going up a slope.

Razaiim
3rd Mar 2014, 19:33
Something I want to add to this. I find the sentinel also frequently lands directly next to the person you try to snatch, regardless of speed or angle, even if you don't get interrupted.

I do like the grab time because experienced players can be clever and charge it out of sight, then swoop around corners, kind of like a Tyrant Charge. Of course this added time also leads to the looping around issue. So here is an idea I think is worth trying:

If Sentinel is doing the whole coasting on the ground thing, (I'm not sure what the best parameters for qualifying this would be), then if he grabs the target, reduce the speed at which he can fly upwards, and remove the upward draft. This allows newer players to get accustomed to the skill, but greatly reduces the player's ability to inflict fall damage and carry their target away from the team.
This change helps separate experienced players from the others in two ways: Players such as myself that do high angle high speed grabs (which can be fairly hard to aim and are risky without doing the around the corner thing) can demonstrate their skill better by having the maximum speed from the grab, allowing better isolation of the target, and easier to get away. Experienced players can also use the slowed vertical speed and lack of an updraft to pull off those indoor carries, and still fly out, with out the need to land.

Tube_Reaver
3rd Mar 2014, 22:55
I agree, the sentinel seems to land a lot more often now when pressing RMB for kidnap/abduct. In my opinion have it so that the sentinel can't actually land unless the player presses spacebar.
He can only fly/skim across the ground until he presses spacebar to cancel flight and land.

cmstache
4th Mar 2014, 01:16
I have mixed feelings about that. I feel like that might work, but only if it has a maximum radius (say <25-30 degrees). If I'm coming down at a 70 degree angle and don't level off I SHOULD land. That or reactively be thrown up at the same angle, thus becoming a giant target.

Razaiim
4th Mar 2014, 03:09
It kinda depends. I rarely have issues landing while flying now, regardless of how low I fly. It's strictly during kidnap / abduct. I feel like the maximum dive angle already allowed for flight should also be allowable for a kidnap/abduct during the duration at least.

Kebabz
4th Mar 2014, 07:21
I do enjoy many of the changes of the sentinel, but I on the other hand, have no love for the new abduct mechanics. The part of the swoop that allows the sentinel to grab people is way to long. If you fail one first pass, then you can just turn in circles several times until you do. Stuck in that one animation it does look semi silly to see the sentinel hoovering the entire floor. The silly factor is a big concern of mine, but likewise is the length of the abiltiy. As I said before, if failing the snatch on first grab, you can just turn in circle and hoover the entire area around you. So if the humans are gathered up, which they generally are, chances are that you will get one of them. However with the hoovering mechanic, it is more like an aoe ability and not really the precision ability that one expects it to be.

Tagexx
4th Mar 2014, 17:16
I agree with that you should stop flight only when you press space, it would make sentinels life much easier without giving them any advantage, especially for players that are learning.

As for the charge mechanic, I preferred the old way, however, the new one would be good as well with some tweaks. I believe the charge should be shorter (seriously, how long does it take to spread hands), and the overall duration as well, as the sentinels sweeping the floor for humans look ridiculous and definitely not natural. Also it causes the problem Kebabz mentioned, where a skilled sentinel is virtually undodgeable.

cmstache
5th Mar 2014, 19:48
I've tried to remain neutral on this for as long as possible, but it's become painfully obvious to me that this is a straight nerf.

-First off, I'm continually landing for no apparent reason.

-Granted, I'm trying not to abuse the "swoopy-glide" mechanic in there at the moment, but the charge gives WAY too much reaction time. By the time I close in on an enemy the entire team is looking at me. If I do abuse it I still get shot for at least 500+ damage. It's literally impossible against only a decent team to get in and out without being shot, regardless of how good you are. It MIGHT happen once or twice a match.

The biggest issue with that damage is the fact that most reavers (most common) WILL NOT initiate first, and Tyrants are giant targets. So, despite being seen first, while drawing fire and trying not to get shot at the same time so my teammates can enter the fight, I am having to find a way to approach the enemy and distract them long enough for a tyrant to initiate and do some damage. God forbid a reaver have to jump in and help, I don't know how many times today I landed even though no one touched me, start getting shot, and survive a good 5 seconds while reavers are surrounding the team on a roof doing nothing, except sit in the pounce animation.

-The Stairs!!!!! Oh God, the stairs!
This was an issue in alpha, but it wasn't as serious. I assume the new flight mechanics (which I like btw) made this worse. What I've found is that the maximum upward angle a sentinel can fly is less than the angle of stairs. It's even worse when the snatch is activated, as the angle is reduced even more. It's impossible to land a grab on someone who gets on higher ground once the grab is activated. I might grab them, if I'm lucky enough to not land, if they are on the first or second step, anything after is a wash.

This leaves me with 2 options, come from an even higher, even more obvious angle and Grab them. If I do this I get shot from the time I'm visible to the time I drop them and can get behind cover. This often ends with me having less than a couple hundred life, worse if I have kidnap instead of abduct and hold on longer. The other option is to try to grab from a flatter angle anyways, in which case 50% of the time I land (About 90-95% on stairs) and half of those are instant deaths. The only reason I have a positive K/D at all with a sentinel, despite averaging about 1800-2500 score per round with it, is because of take-off. This alone makes the sentinel unplayable for most of the player-base. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for making grabs harder to land and raising the skill cap. But, you're punishing the class that's already the most easily punishable in-game for doing what they are designed to do.


I understand that the vast movement radius nerf was intended to keep people from being raped 1v1 by a sentinel after a grab. I miss the points on my score, but I actually like it more. But, the charge seems a bit too much. One of those two is good enough, not both. Personally, I'd like the warm-up gone. It allows a sentinel to still use it's abilities, yet not instakill players. Better players can now effectively, and intelligibly, react after being dropped. But, if the warm-up time has to stay I'd at least cut it down to about 1/3-1/2 the current time. The only players who were hard to detect as a sentinel were the extremely good ones that were hard to hear approach, the current snatch mechanic doesn't reward stealth, only feeding off your teammates. That would be fine and well, but as stated, most players make sentinels initiate first, either by necessity from external force or by their option of waiting around for it to happen. It doesn't mold to the playstyle the sentinel has been forced to take.

Razaiim
5th Mar 2014, 20:07
^ What Sausage said, the ridiculous landing and lazy reavers are killing me softly

Razaiim
6th Mar 2014, 00:38
Ok I've hit the peak. I can't play my main class properly due to the number of factors that are outside my control (interference from the enemy team not included in this), and then dealing with the flak from ignorant, foul-mouthed smack talking tools that have never touched a class besides reaver (no offense on reavers, they're just the easiest class). I've spent as much time scrambling around trying to recover from a kidnap that fouls up at the most unexpected and least opportune times, as I have just flying. I'm running straight up reaver/tyrant until we see some tweaks to the sentinel's flight, and I suggest anyone that doesn't have great masochistic tendencies do the same.

RainaAudron
6th Mar 2014, 00:42
Sudden landings on sloped areas are quite annoying :/

Razaiim
6th Mar 2014, 00:47
Slopes are annoying but I can avoid them. I find that I am landing just as meshes make contact for the kidnap/abduct. It feels like a loaded die is being tosses everytime I connect.

cmstache
6th Mar 2014, 16:14
^ That's how I feel. It's gotten to the point where even the other team says "That first one just never works right, does it?" just after I just blow up.

Razaiim
6th Mar 2014, 16:58
yip, just gonna run savage/smoke/haste for the ultimate win.

Amorbis
6th Mar 2014, 21:14
I've found myself playing Sentinel a lot more since the grab has been changed. I do agree that it has become more limited in its scope though, which is perhaps the trade off for being more consistent than in the Alpha. When I play I find grabbing is better for dealing with stragglers, but the dive bomb/puncture combo works for damage across the whole enemy team, if you live past the initial bomb landing.

cmstache
6th Mar 2014, 22:05
It's not as consistent.
The damage threshold is 190 damage. This is a straight nerf compared to what it was and now you alert players sooner, which is even worse. Trying to grab players near a healing station is almost a guaranteed land.



Other issues aside, the actual flight mechanics for the most part are grand.

hirukaru
6th Mar 2014, 23:26
It's not as consistent.
The damage threshold is 190 damage. This is a straight nerf compared to what it was and now you alert players sooner, which is even worse. Trying to grab players near a healing station is almost a guaranteed land.



Other issues aside, the actual flight mechanics for the most part are grand.

Back to the old grab and keep the new flight mechanics.
I liked the old grab better, it says enough if I can grab with a track pad I guess.

Hugbringer
7th Mar 2014, 18:59
Going to add some of my opinion too after reading the above. Part of the 'landing' issue is due to damage taken while snatch is engaged. Not if someone mentioned it, but causes you land immediately when the damage threshold is met.

I'm okay with the 'charge' sorta. The thing I truly miss is the intuitive control of flight, whichis interupted with snatch animation and drop afterwards. Its like the leveling off aspect of take off, but its in the Sentinels base skill set now, just makes me a predictable target more times with no 'press F to live' button. With all the tells that exsist, predictable movement patterns and ability to knock me out of snatch I feel like the Sentinel has lost its ability to fill in the gaps against good human players.

Being in the open to initiate a dive reduces ability to initiate an assault. Being knocked out of snatch and unable to fly out of most buildings means some popular camp spots so very hard to be useful in. Before I could fly in and out and help seperate/initiate the assault. I can still do that, but can't get out. Corner camping is almost always lethal as currently it limits the approach angle that damage I take almost gurantees I drop from snatch. Its not the tactic that bothers me, its the inability to deal with it as my approach angle is 'too' predictable.

Ive limited time, but I might add more later. The tunneling for the charge and forced movements are a problem. Hitting stairs and small inclines is a big issue that I've inadvertently exploited to defend myself against Sentinels. I dont fear them as a human when I'm in a building.

The charge mechanic works for reavers cause its charged in safety and activated immediately on command. The sentinel one doesn't do either. If I could charge it and hold it somehow, I'd be okay with it. More to come

GenFeelGood
7th Mar 2014, 19:26
The thing I truly miss is the intuitive control of flight, which is interrupted with snatch animation and drop afterwards. Its like the leveling off aspect of take off, but its in the Sentinels base skill set now, just makes me a predictable target more times with no 'press F to live' button.

I have noticed this as well, having to readjust the angle of my approach after charging the abduct. I seems to become momentarily level and straight, instead remaining at the angle that I directed.

Razaiim
7th Mar 2014, 19:33
Going to add some of my opinion too after reading the above. Part of the 'landing' issue is due to damage taken while snatch is engaged. Not if someone mentioned it, but causes you land immediately when the damage threshold is met.

I'm okay with the 'charge' sorta. The thing I truly miss is the intuitive control of flight, whichis interupted with snatch animation and drop afterwards. Its like the leveling off aspect of take off, but its in the Sentinels base skill set now, just makes me a predictable target more times with no 'press F to live' button. With all the tells that exsist, predictable movement patterns and ability to knock me out of snatch I feel like the Sentinel has lost its ability to fill in the gaps against good human players.

Being in the open to initiate a dive reduces ability to initiate an assault. Being knocked out of snatch and unable to fly out of most buildings means some popular camp spots so very hard to be useful in. Before I could fly in and out and help seperate/initiate the assault. I can still do that, but can't get out. Corner camping is almost always lethal as currently it limits the approach angle that damage I take almost gurantees I drop from snatch. Its not the tactic that bothers me, its the inability to deal with it as my approach angle is 'too' predictable.

Ive limited time, but I might add more later. The tunneling for the charge and forced movements are a problem. Hitting stairs and small inclines is a big issue that I've inadvertently exploited to defend myself against Sentinels. I dont fear them as a human when I'm in a building.

The charge mechanic works for reavers cause its charged in safety and activated immediately on command. The sentinel one doesn't do either. If I could charge it and hold it somehow, I'd be okay with it. More to come

I agree with most of what you say with a couple exceptions:
I am aware that damage during the kidnap animation will cancel it. The issues that myself and other sentinel players (I'm expecting that you have as well) with landing is when you approach undetected, or don't take damage to reach the cap, and you land just as or right before meshes collide, and as cmstache mentioned, some weird areas such as healing stations will cause landing everytime. Perhaps I should be more clear what I mean by landing in the future.

My second disagreement is on your last point about being able to charge in safety: I have actually been doing this a lot when I have a semi dedicated team. I wait for either smoke or a damage indicator to tell me where an enemy is, and I charge the kidnap out of sight and swoop around the corner.

Other than these, yes I'd have to agree with what you said about being altogether to predictable. How ever this applies to all vampires to some degree.

Hugbringer
7th Mar 2014, 23:35
I agree with most of what you say with a couple exceptions:
I am aware that damage during the kidnap animation will cancel it. The issues that myself and other sentinel players (I'm expecting that you have as well) with landing is when you approach undetected, or don't take damage to reach the cap, and you land just as or right before meshes collide, and as cmstache mentioned, some weird areas such as healing stations will cause landing everytime. Perhaps I should be more clear what I mean by landing in the future.

My second disagreement is on your last point about being able to charge in safety: I have actually been doing this a lot when I have a semi dedicated team. I wait for either smoke or a damage indicator to tell me where an enemy is, and I charge the kidnap out of sight and swoop around the corner.

Other than these, yes I'd have to agree with what you said about being altogether to predictable. How ever this applies to all vampires to some degree.

I guess I hadn't noticed much of that as even alpha there were 'odd' times when I seemed to land for no reason. I usually just chalked that up to my 'skirting the edges' of what the class was meant to do. Snatch is usually pretty liberal, at least for me as far as Vertical height is concerned and I usually only end up landing by accident when I'm trying to pull off a tricky dive and than I expect the possibility of failure. I have noticed it, but nothing consistent enough to make me go 'hmmm'.

Your second disagreement I'm completely okay with and I do as well, though to me I found this to be one of the glaring issues with the Sentinel's loss of a place in a group that it had before. In Alpha they could either lead a charge or mop up to lesser degrees than the other two can do respectively. To me, part of leading a charge is gauging where the strength of the enemy is than exploiting its weak points, which sentinels can scout-out quite well being so high in the air. Tyrants have an easier time leading a charge because they have their Ironskin thingy to save them should things go wrong or you miscalculate. They're better at it than a Sentinel, but before I used to be able lead the charge just by seeing a weak spot and taking advantage of it immediately. Now with the inability to escape buildings and the fact that my dive sends off at least two tells and lead in time means I am forced to wait for another vamp to go in.

I rather liked that the Sentinel was a sort of go between of either Charge Leader, or Clean-Up depending on your build. The Sentinel was a sort of Jack of All Trades in respect to tactics, with the ability to be sneaky and fast, on top of separating and distracting with a quick snatch. With the elements as they are, and the balance geared towards what it used to be, I feel, depending on the composition of the vamps and humans, there are times I'm a liability on the field.

Being predictable I'm okay with, though the other two vamps have an ability that gets them a fair degree of escape potential. I just feel the Sentinel has been forced into a role that the Reaver is better at. Leading the charge is extremely risky since the tells are so obvious I might as well be sending out a ping on the map.

If the only means of evasion and survival for a Sentinel are speed and elevation, I'd at least like pure intuitive control like before. Leave the charge in, there has to be a compromise of course. If they return to how they used to be, there will just be teams of Sentinels again. In general I think the reduction in fall damage was enough of a change to make Sentinels less potent than before as that was how I got a lot of my kills by exploiting it. As it is now, I still stand a good chance against a Sentinel player that catches me unaware and tries to drag me off for an easy kill, the flight mechanics wouldn't have made a difference whether old or new.

If the fact that 1 vs 1, Sentinels were too good, I'd like to counter that someone that gets caught in a Tyrant leap while enrage is active is likely to die just as easily if not faster than 1 vs 1 with a Sentinel. The same for a reaver with pounce and haste. Good skill usage and being caught unaware, whether you are vamp or human usually results in death.

Changes:

Sentinels were too good before simply because it was almost impossible to avoid a snatch from a skilled player as they could control the tells and no one could hear them before it was physically impossible to avoid. Fall damage was brutal as well. Going back to the way it was isn't an option, we're trying to find solutions here :)

So we go with a charge mechanic to give people some sort of notice, so they can try to avoid it....okay.

Perhaps make it harder to spiral down and damage someone before they can even stand to defend themselves...okay.

Giving the charge mechanic a movement limitation seemed like it was borrowed from the reaver, though the reaver pounce animation only slows it down, it never forces it into a specific direction.... I think I'm just typing my thoughts as they come to me now....what if the set up only slowed down the Sentinel instead of forcing it into a specific direction, perhaps a good compromise? Like a short of body shift mid flight to get ready for the additional weight.

The two tells that the Senintel projects, one from the power activation and one from the dive, as we mentioned earlier its better to activate a snatch from far away and or above in safety. What if the 'tell' from the power coincides with the dive itself? The wing flap is already a good tell, diving does the same. So the power activation is merely just a delay, where as at the END of the charge, the 'tell' activates right when the dive would likely occur as well. Would provide some 'tell' control on the Sentinels part and give them a slight bit of their sneakiness back. Less screaming spam as well.

Building snatching and escaping used to be possible. Used to just require a good deal of speed to 'squeeze' out an entrance that now you can't get out of. Is this intentional or am I just unable to do it myself? Might be related to the odd clipping that Sentinels get? Possibly even related to the odd things that corpses do, getting stuck or unable to drag over certain obstacles like they were a steel cube.

I think I got what I wanted to mention for now...

cmstache
12th Mar 2014, 00:47
Building snatching and escaping used to be possible. Used to just require a good deal of speed to 'squeeze' out an entrance that now you can't get out of. Is this intentional or am I just unable to do it myself? Might be related to the odd clipping that Sentinels get? Possibly even related to the odd things that corpses do, getting stuck or unable to drag over certain obstacles like they were a steel cube.

It can still be done. The sentinel actually dips down, then raised further, then evens back out after a drop. If you time it with a doorway you can escape. The glaring issue here is that you did little to no damage, wasted a cooldown, and didn't separate a teammate. This is the opposite of what the guys at Psyonix have stated in the past. It was a great skill shot with an ability that nets little to no reward, but high risk.

Hugbringer
12th Mar 2014, 17:58
It can still be done. The sentinel actually dips down, then raised further, then evens back out after a drop. If you time it with a doorway you can escape. The glaring issue here is that you did little to no damage, wasted a cooldown, and didn't separate a teammate. This is the opposite of what the guys at Psyonix have stated in the past. It was a great skill shot with an ability that nets little to no reward, but high risk.

I have since done it since my last post and it feels harder to predictably do than it used to be. Which makes it way to risky against even moderately skilled players. I definitely miss being able to reliably seperate team members when they're tightly packed just using sneaky tactics.

cmstache
12th Mar 2014, 18:26
I agree.