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View Full Version : MISC. 90%-99% of dmg is grenade launcher or other aoe abilities



Oroibahazopi
28th Nov 2013, 19:40
Been looking at my death breakdowns when playing vamps. Do other people have similar stats?

Ok maybe it's closer to 66% ^^

Psyonix_Corey
28th Nov 2013, 20:46
This doesn't line up with our metrics or internal play sessions, but I wouldn't be surprised if AOE damage was prevalent in matches with newer players or multiple alchemists.

When I play against good human teams, the bulk of my incoming damage is typically Crossbow and Longbow damage.

Oroibahazopi
28th Nov 2013, 20:48
Well how do you avoid the dmg as a vamp when you have 3-4 alcs in a small room shooting their shots off the walls and spamming their fire everywhere?

blincoln
28th Nov 2013, 22:04
I'm no expert, but I would think at least one option there is throwing in one of the poison cloud grenades that the Reavers (? I think?) can obtain.

Oroibahazopi
28th Nov 2013, 22:14
That only helps against direct damage stuff. The nade doesn't really stop you from eating the humans grenades/volley/traps at all. As a Scout as soon as I see a nade and hear the pouncing sound I just throw my own nade in there and usually get numbers flying all over the place with zero real effort.

I mean as a tyrant you can just charge in and pop endure pain getting the humans to dump their stuff on you while you walk away, but smart humans know that you can't actually do anything with endure pain active so they'll ignore you.

I seem to have problems with alcs point blank shooting me with their launcher too which doesn't seem to be damaging them as much as me.

I'm not really saying I have a massive block on how to deal with it per se, I'm saying that it's sad the most effective way to damage vamps is with point blank aoe spam. Yes the Scout and Hunter can plug you for a lot of damage if you let them but it's pretty easy to avoid hits if you know how to tactical shooter.

blincoln
28th Nov 2013, 22:26
Right. What I was getting at is that I would think that if you're playing as a team, then when the human side does what you describe (hiding in a small room and spamming explosions), then one of the vampires should do something that forces them out of that position (like the poison gas grenade), and then the rest of the vampires can pick them off. e.g. Sentinels can abduct them to break up the group, once the humans are forced out into the open.
There may not be an effective counter as a single vampire, but I think there is as a group of them.

Oroibahazopi
28th Nov 2013, 22:35
I guess so, but the poison nade is a 1k g unlock. I'm still only working with default classes atm. Been relying on brute force with the Tyrant so far which is probably where the problem is, but since there isn't any other method, with the gear I have, to force humans to move from their turtle I'll just keep dying and getting assists a lot.

Oroibahazopi
28th Nov 2013, 22:52
And let me add this. Take scout with knife and trap. That's a burst of 490-670 which is like 50% of a Tyrant's hp. Three scouts stacking traps means 1200 dmg unless there's some kind of diminishing returns? Even if it isn't 3-4 of the same class each class has an aoe instant ability that does similar amounts of damage.

Then again that is no worse than pounce chaining with Reavers.

hirukaru
28th Nov 2013, 23:26
This doesn't line up with our metrics or internal play sessions, but I wouldn't be surprised if AOE damage was prevalent in matches with newer players or multiple alchemists.

When I play against good human teams, the bulk of my incoming damage is typically Crossbow and Longbow damage.

And a grenade to finish you off when you run up a building with a reaver. ;)

But it is as Corey says.
Later at higher levels people will play different and will not use the AOE only. Ofcourse we still use it.
But our main dmg out put is from our weapons.
This is how the human class shine from main role to last role.

Alchemist -> defense -> assault short -> med -> long
Scout - > long range assault -> Med -> short
Hunter -> Med range assault -> Short -> Long


And let me add this. Take scout with knife and trap. That's a burst of 490-670 which is like 50% of a Tyrant's hp. Three scouts stacking traps means 1200 dmg unless there's some kind of diminishing returns? Even if it isn't 3-4 of the same class each class has an aoe instant ability that does similar amounts of damage.

Then again that is no worse than pounce chaining with Reavers.

Well if the Tyrant disarms the traps the path is safe.
Even though class stacking is OP. (going to test 3/4 choking bombs, and see if it stacks if so it is almost instand death 120dps.)
But all tactics can be broken. and I really dislike 3/4 of the same class.


I guess so, but the poison nade is a 1k g unlock. I'm still only working with default classes atm. Been relying on brute force with the Tyrant so far which is probably where the problem is, but since there isn't any other method, with the gear I have, to force humans to move from their turtle I'll just keep dying and getting assists a lot.

You do not need any other skills then the basic ones, basic is strong enough but if you want to change tactic other weapons and skills are needed to do so. (and the little power burst that it can give sometimes depending on tactic is also nice) (400g atm is also perm untill the bug is fixed, didnt hear any information about when they plan to fix it)
-------------------

Add on to Corey,
Lots of higher level players are temp quitting cause we do not want to ruin the game for the lower levels.
(Only played 1,33337 hours today, cause of this fact) a win of 16 kills/ 0 deaths / 10 assists and around 25k+ dmg is not much fun ;)

So if you aint seeing me online you know the reason.

Oroibahazopi
29th Nov 2013, 00:25
Can you turn off the screen shake from the alcemist grenades? It seems like every game I play the human team has at least 2 alcs and my camera is shaking all over the place.

High level players don't ruin the game, how are people going to learn if the people who know how to play leave?

Strike5150
29th Nov 2013, 11:29
Its because we play together, and yes it does ruin the game for some. The only thing we can do is not play together which isn't as much fun for us.

But don't worry there are lots of good players left, and I'm still solo queuing.

Oroibahazopi
29th Nov 2013, 14:19
Just queue with starter gear only so you don't have much of an advantage ^^

Honestly if you are new to a game and expect to do well you're kidding yourself, you should expect to eat dirt and learn hard. Best way to get better.

Oh yeah and replays. Make it happen I know it's possible ;]

Xaragoth
29th Nov 2013, 18:43
Here's my drivel on a bunch of things related to what was written by others in the topic:

Having not played for a little while and hopping in for a round this evening, I gotta say I agree to some degree with the topic statement. A lot of Nosgoth is AoE and CC. And Hitscan War Bows. Screw War Bows! The amount of "spam" that is going on is a bit off-putting if you have been out of it for a while and get a fresh perspective on it again.

Personally I actually can't enjoy public games anymore, because there is so little teamwork. Chatting is bad for you in the game, since you will get pounced. So the only viable way to play is a 4 man team. Which then in turn usually is very boring, since we stomp people a lot. Also having only one game mode isn't helping the enjoyment either, since TDM right now doesn't really require much of you. Pick the most powerful setup you can, kill things until end of round. Very little variety, occasionally a fun moment, very little personal skill play, loads of team play. No objectives that mix it up.

Also based on that experience with publics I feel there needs to be some improvement on the coordination of a random team. Something like SMITEs Voice Commands for example. VOIP is probably going to get turned off by a lot of people, since so many don't seem able to set up their headsets right and you hear people talking in the background or them blasting their music. So it's most likely sensible to implement another system that helps facilitate teamplay.

Well, all in all I personally will be taking a little bit of a break off Nosgoth for a bit. Might play a round or two once in a while, but for the most part I am waiting for a patch with new content. 46h of only TDM doesn't do well for your brain. It gets all mushy. I know a few others are having similar problems with it right now. Novelity has worn off and we slowly get driven to insanity by playing the same over and over. So, break time. The rest of you have fun, while the old people take a break and rest their weary bones :P

Oroibahazopi
30th Nov 2013, 14:53
Maybe I've upped my game a bit or I'm playing better players but I can say that from my perspective the % of aoe stuff on my kill breakdown is around 50% now most of the time. Higher level players unashamedly use the hunter nades and scout traps for maximum effect, and it's a significant amount of damage.

I find alc's just really annoying to fight against as Tyrant. The can consistently direct hit me with the nade launcher and if I get too close they just dump the fire at their feet and use the flashbang so I'm totally blind running into walls while on fire and getting gibbed by grenades lol.

hirukaru
30th Nov 2013, 18:00
Maybe I've upped my game a bit or I'm playing better players but I can say that from my perspective the % of aoe stuff on my kill breakdown is around 50% now most of the time. Higher level players unashamedly use the hunter nades and scout traps for maximum effect, and it's a significant amount of damage.

I find alc's just really annoying to fight against as Tyrant. The can consistently direct hit me with the nade launcher and if I get too close they just dump the fire at their feet and use the flashbang so I'm totally blind running into walls while on fire and getting gibbed by grenades lol.

Higher level players won't use there nades to just kill players that way.
lots of them are using it to clean the roofs. (Escaping reaver on the roof + nade = dead reaver)
The trap can be disarmed by a tyrant (With charge) run over it, continue to run and escape.
Trap explodes and then your team should get in.

As a tyrant with charge don't come from an expected angle and do not come alone. (Try charging off a building or around a corner or even from the back).

Let the enemy focus on the reaver sitting on the roof while you sneak in with a tyrant to charge them and let the others finish them off. All kinds of tactics to make sure the enemy does not notice you untill it is to late.

Oroibahazopi
30th Nov 2013, 18:11
That's true, it doesn't change the fact that those abilities are what usually gets me killed. It's very easy to avoid direct fire most of the time on the approach and even when attacking if you time right and use your invisible flying sensor.

I always take damage from traps as tyrnat, do the traps not activate instantly?

Focusing reavers on roofs is not sensible since you can't actually see them before they activate their leaps. Also using the abilties on rooftops is a waste if you have the usual 1-2 alcs. Although the preattack delay on volley is nice since you can be fully charged as the dps starts to land.

hirukaru
1st Dec 2013, 00:51
That's true, it doesn't change the fact that those abilities are what usually gets me killed. It's very easy to avoid direct fire most of the time on the approach and even when attacking if you time right and use your invisible flying sensor.

I always take damage from traps as tyrnat, do the traps not activate instantly?

Focusing reavers on roofs is not sensible since you can't actually see them before they activate their leaps. Also using the abilties on rooftops is a waste if you have the usual 1-2 alcs. Although the preattack delay on volley is nice since you can be fully charged as the dps starts to land.


There is a split second delay.
So if the tyrant is able to charge over them and get enough distance there will be no damage (or little damage)


BTW i never play with 2 alcs in a team. :)
mostly 1 alc, 1/2 hunters and 1 or 2 scouts.

But that is because I play with people on the forums and we been playing together for a long time now.

Oroibahazopi
1st Dec 2013, 09:15
It certainly seems to me that having 2 alcs is the way to go. Just because the alc weapon is the only one that can shot around corners and the fullbore has better rof and 50%+ more dps than the scout bow especially since it's aoe. Also it seems you take hardly any self damage from point blank nade launcher shots so it's win/win.

You definitely don't want/need more than one scout assuming they have the swiftbow.

hirukaru
1st Dec 2013, 16:36
It certainly seems to me that having 2 alcs is the way to go. Just because the alc weapon is the only one that can shot around corners and the fullbore has better rof and 50%+ more dps than the scout bow especially since it's aoe. Also it seems you take hardly any self damage from point blank nade launcher shots so it's win/win.

You definitely don't want/need more than one scout assuming they have the swiftbow.

The way teams pick there classes mostly depend on there preference, when I play with the people I normally play I we mostly got 1 alc or none. We decide our classes also off the classes the enemy picks and the tactic the enemy is using.

So it all depends on different factors.

Oroibahazopi
1st Dec 2013, 16:59
When this game gets released there will be people who form teams by what is most effective not by preference.

Since Vamps ultimately rely on melee range combat the alcs dps and aoe give it a natural advantage. Alcs can clear areas outside their LoS, rooftops and suchlike, without having to use their abilities. They also have two really annoying escape abilities with the flashbang and the fire nade. Two alcs with the healing mist could be super annoying also, 900 heal would give the human team massive sustain.

Zindiq
2nd Dec 2013, 14:47
I play alc a lot , but I don't see it as the best class, but maybe the easiest.

problems with alchemists are that they don't really deal that much dmg. the beginner launcher do 220 dmg on direct hit and you have 6 shots then a long reload.
the multicannon you have 5 shots of 3 greanades that does 80dmg on direct hit then a long reload.

both of them you can reload 1 grenade at a time , so if you don't reload constantly or the engagement last longer then you have problems.

firewall or flamethrower:
the firewall is great if you can put it and not step in it your self, but since its stationary its easy to avoid for the vampires .

the flamethrower on the paper looks a lot better , does a ton of damage and you can run after a vampire burning him. The problem is it don't work at all, any attack on you make it fail and do nothing, it has no range at all you need to hug the vampire for him to do dmg, would be good if they were all standing next to you but then the problem that it bugs out.

the improved light grenade is the way to go , im not sure you get blinded as long but the dmg on it is good .

Oroibahazopi
4th Dec 2013, 21:07
4 alcs camping in small rooms using the spammyest nade launcher and heal mist should not be a viable strat.

It's horrible, if only because of the camera shake in tight confines.

Oroibahazopi
5th Dec 2013, 17:23
4 scouts camping in a house with their traps is just as obnoxious

Oroibahazopi
5th Dec 2013, 17:24
Can you please change self damage to at least *1, would help deter people from a lot of this spammyness.

Psyonix_Corey
5th Dec 2013, 23:33
We had higher self damage during development and found it to be too punishing to Alchemists who are often forced to shoot vampires point blank as their last line of defense. It's a tough balance but if this strategy continues to dominate we'll certainly look at turning it up.

I agree "house camping" with 4 traps or 4 alchemists shouldn't be viable. We usually rely on abilities like Choking Haze, or good Brute tanks to disrupt these strategies but if it's an ongoing problem we'll look at more active ways to discourage it.

cmstache
6th Dec 2013, 00:21
I think the camping involves a lot of the time where the healing location are. Some are OK, and some are just plain cheap as hell. It's absolutely a viable option to not even camp once a match.

In fact, earlier today we were basically making circles around Province as the humans and dominating. We would hang out at a heal zone, then a couple would die (as a couple vamps did too) we'd then head in almost a dead sprint to the recently spawned players as the vamps would chase us, as they got picked up by the newly spawned scout. And then the cycle started again from where they were. Was it foolproof? No. Did it work though? Yes. Was it effective? Yes. Did it piss the other team off? Absolutely, and it was fun as hell.


As a side note, Hiru, we had 2 alchs earlier.... although I was healing, so that's not the same.

Shadyhaxx
6th Dec 2013, 22:49
Well how do you avoid the dmg as a vamp when you have 3-4 alcs in a small room shooting their shots off the walls and spamming their fire everywhere?

Although I think this can be very frustrating I am reminded of my all time favorite game which was UT99 and a lot of the weapons had significant splash damage. Are you coming from games like Call of Duty or Battlefield where perhaps there isn't as much splash dmg. Because right now I don't see this as a problem of game mechanics. I just think you may need to rethink your tactics.

Oroibahazopi
6th Dec 2013, 22:55
I play arena shooters like Q3 and tribes.

In all honestly I haven't met a team exploiting this very well yet and my team usually wins when the humans try this. But to me, as a tactic, it should net you zero kills and a bunch of suicides.

I'm fairly confident a decent 4 alc team with the sticky nades, healing mist and damaging flashbangs would be too good.

Shadyhaxx
7th Dec 2013, 16:30
I play arena shooters like Q3 and tribes.

In all honestly I haven't met a team exploiting this very well yet and my team usually wins when the humans try this. But to me, as a tactic, it should net you zero kills and a bunch of suicides.

I'm fairly confident a decent 4 alc team with the sticky nades, healing mist and damaging flashbangs would be too good.

That certainly sounds viable. If that is the case it should be looked at. So far I've not seen this exploited. I'm not sure what sticky nades are or healing mist? More items you get in your buildout? I"m still very new to this game so I cannot really comment on those things. I know more as I play more. :)

One other thing. Deathmatch is all about dying. You don't have to go into that room and get wasted. If they camp you can camp. Very common in all fps games.

Oroibahazopi
7th Dec 2013, 17:18
Ahh but it's not DM it's TDM with no friendly fire and reduced self damage.

The sticky nade launcher was just a guess at what would be best, the 3 shot one might be better. Yes it's all new gear. Start up the game and go to the equipment section of the shop.

cmstache
7th Dec 2013, 17:47
One other thing. Deathmatch is all about dying. You don't have to go into that room and get wasted. If they camp you can camp. Very common in all fps games.



That's why its so important to start off well. While it certainly isn't set up for it, nor is it within the spirit of the game, if the humans camp, the vamps can do it from a rooftop just as well. Drawing fire/ taking hits and dying isn't the same as suicide.

Shadyhaxx
8th Dec 2013, 11:48
Ahh but it's not DM it's TDM with no friendly fire and reduced self damage.



Whether it's DM or TDM it's the Same difference. This game is won on NOT dying and getting kills. We certainly do NOT need team damage. That should never be in play. My point was simply that if they camp a spot so can you. Nothing forces you to go into that death trap of a camp spot they have setup.

Oroibahazopi
8th Dec 2013, 16:19
I love team damage, raises the skill ceiling. I'm not even going to try to argue for it since it's gone heavily out of vogue with the new games. Same with hitscan vs projectile.

If they camp a spot and they have the point advantage, and the aoe spam means you can't engage at all then the round is wasted to a lame strat.

It can be beaten I guess, just need to have 4 reavers with the poison nade. Aoe wars. And oh if you started the round as the wrong class or loadout guess what you have to suicide to get the poison nade equipped increasing the human point advantage.

Shadyhaxx
8th Dec 2013, 21:09
I love team damage, raises the skill ceiling. I'm not even going to try to argue for it since it's gone heavily out of vogue with the new games. Same with hitscan vs projectile.

If they camp a spot and they have the point advantage, and the aoe spam means you can't engage at all then the round is wasted to a lame strat.

It can be beaten I guess, just need to have 4 reavers with the poison nade. Aoe wars. And oh if you started the round as the wrong class or loadout guess what you have to suicide to get the poison nade equipped increasing the human point advantage.

Well it's unfortunate. People play stupid tactics as opposed to playing a skillful game. I don't like team damage because if you have small quarters and AoE it really takes away from the game play imo. However I never cared for games like CoD or BF or even CS (cheat heaven). My game as I said many times was UT99. That game had no team damage and was a very skillful based game.

Note: Some of this can be fixed with map design. Don't create choke points and sections where the strategy you mention can be abused.

hirukaru
8th Dec 2013, 22:59
Well it's unfortunate. People play stupid tactics as opposed to playing a skillful game. I don't like team damage because if you have small quarters and AoE it really takes away from the game play imo. However I never cared for games like CoD or BF or even CS (cheat heaven). My game as I said many times was UT99. That game had no team damage and was a very skillful based game.

Note: Some of this can be fixed with map design. Don't create choke points and sections where the strategy you mention can be abused.

Is a making use of a good point abusing the point?
Or is it that the enemy has to alter there tactics to break the tactic of the enemy?

(Wonder how this goes in real life if it was point 1)

Next I agree with you that with team damage this game might be worse.
Humans will gain to much of a disadvantage.

Reaver -> poison nade -> building -> no damage
Human -> trap, poison, fire, grenade -> against Melee vampire -> damage to human -> human dead.

That is my 2 cents.
(maby a perk: increase strenght and speed and jump altitude but be effected by friendly fire.

Shadyhaxx
9th Dec 2013, 11:34
Is a making use of a good point abusing the point?
Not necessarily. In unreal tournament there was a map (castle) i think where a room existed that had the damage amplifier. People camped that room a lot and it could be difficult to get in there but you always could. What I really meant was don't create a death tunnel like you would in Centipede. Long hallway with one entrance and you line up your enemy and just blast them down. There was a map in TacOps like that and snipers camped the end however.. it did have a back way you could go to kill that sniper. So that is what I mean. Just make sure the map gives you an option to break the camp.

Or is it that the enemy has to alter there tactics to break the tactic of the enemy?

(Wonder how this goes in real life if it was point 1)

Next I agree with you that with team damage this game might be worse.
Humans will gain to much of a disadvantage.

Agree.

Reaver -> poison nade -> building -> no damage
Human -> trap, poison, fire, grenade -> against Melee vampire -> damage to human -> human dead.

That is my 2 cents.
(maby a perk: increase strenght and speed and jump altitude but be effected by friendly fire.

See comments inline.

Strike5150
9th Dec 2013, 12:25
Its been said already several times. If you throw a poison grenade in there the humans will all die and you didn't even have to get dirty doing it. Reaver poison, and done. Its a 300g ability, you should probably have one loadout on your reaver with it. Now it IS possible to negate the poison with alchemist heal so that would suck. In that case I would use smoke, and sneak in after smoke with 4 reavers and pounce everyone inside. Everyone has that ability to start with. If they can coordinate house camping with 4 alchs I'm sure you can coordinate a smoke grenade and a few pounces.

I agree its much harder to get humans out of a house then say picking them up on the street but its not impossible. I would also agree that allowing at least two entrances to any room the humans can camp would be a good idea.

Speaking of which I wouldn't mind having one or two more loadouts for the classes. I can think of a lot more than 2 combinations.

RainaAudron
9th Dec 2013, 14:21
Strike - Each class can have up to five different customized loadouts (not sure if only two are working now). You can switch between for example Reaver 0 and Reaver 1 in the loadout screen. Did you mean this?

Oroibahazopi
9th Dec 2013, 15:58
I'm not talking about situations where the humans are camped in a tiny room, there are other areas where they can be very well turtled and the poison nades wont cover the total area. Also again, if you started the round as a different class/loadout you have to feed them in order to get the gear you need. It takes very little coordination from the alcs to monitor team health and use haling mist, the damaging flashbangs do a lot of damage and in my experience the hit detection on the nade launchers is very generous. As well as the science awful screenshake.

Raina, I too cannot see how to unlock more of the slots. I only have 2 per class atm.

cmstache
9th Dec 2013, 17:11
Hardly anyone uses Healing mist to begin with. 95% of alchs like that fire wall. Honestly, this is a non-argument at that point.

Oroibahazopi
9th Dec 2013, 17:55
Yeah it's a non-argument because no one is smart enough to take healing mist lol

Strike5150
10th Dec 2013, 14:12
Yea I only have two slots.

As for abilities classes countering each other. I think its totally okay to have certain abilities be strong in the right situation. However I do think currently its impossible to be ready for everything since you can't have more than two loadouts which by default means there is something you might need and you can't have. Should you be ready for everything? For a standard public game absolutely. If it was competitive maybe there is some kind of tactical element associated with picking and counter picking classes / abilities.

Oroibahazopi
2nd Jan 2014, 18:00
I still hate the lameness of alcs, aoe spammage is anti skill.

The hit detection on their nades is way to generous, and to be honest I don't think they should explode on contact anyway. Especially if you still believe that the reduction to self damage is needed.

Their fire flask is a guaranteed 300+ dmg if a vamp is in melee range, even if the vamp runs tight away. Which leaves them wide open to the overly generous nade launcher that only a Tyrant can tank effectively.

Are alcs more effective at shutting down vamps than hunters and scouts? No, but at least vs hunters and scouts I can feel ok when dying because the person behind them must have the brain capacity to actually aim and spend their abilities at sensible times.

cmstache
2nd Jan 2014, 18:30
The alch splash damage is nice, but you have to remember that it has a fast damage dropoff. For example, the light bomb has solid damage but you pretty much have to hit someone in the face to have full damage. You may get a lot of assists, but if you can't aim you won't get many kills unless it's point blank... in which case you take damage as well. I just did 19k damage with a fullbore cannon/light bomb/ healing mist build. went like 14/2/17. That's significantly higher than normal, but It was from direct hits, not spamming. Especially, when the reload time is SIGNIFICANTLY more painful than the swiftbow. And it has a lower ammo size too. I ran out of ammo 3 times that match.

Oroibahazopi
2nd Jan 2014, 18:38
I'm not talking about the light bomb, I'm talking about the flame vial thing. The damaging light bomb is bad too though, since it's one of the only instant damage no aim needed aoe attacks, but at least it doesn't work though walls like the flashbang.

Alc is a horrible class all over, it's cheesy and easy to use but terrible at high skill play. Not to say that it doesn't make me pull my hair out when facing a team of 3-4 alcs. They encourage really tedious gameplay, camping in tight spaces forcing the vamps to all go reaver for the poison.

lucinvampire
2nd Jan 2014, 21:47
But...but...but...Alch's awesome :thumb: and she also gives really bad players (like my self) some hope in actually being useful in a game...
Personally I have issues with stuff and so this is the only class that makes it ok for me to play...and I love playing as much as Brick loves lamps!
Well she's cheesy but easy on the eyes :lol: I love her lots :D Alchemist is win :D

cmstache
2nd Jan 2014, 22:36
He oroi, if you play as a sentinel you won't die from alchs much.


I'm not talking about the light bomb, I'm talking about the flame vial thing. The damaging light bomb is bad too though, since it's one of the only instant damage no aim needed aoe attacks, but at least it doesn't work though walls like the flashbang.

Alc is a horrible class all over, it's cheesy and easy to use but terrible at high skill play. Not to say that it doesn't make me pull my hair out when facing a team of 3-4 alcs. They encourage really tedious gameplay, camping in tight spaces forcing the vamps to all go reaver for the poison.

You must mean firewall?
It's not as instant as it seems, it's got a semi-slow animation, hits the alch unless dodged immediately,and unlike the other abilities is almost impossible to use offensively.