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Hugbringer
19th Dec 2013, 05:17
As requested, here are my impressions, thoughts and what-not, given my time played as a Sentinel. Feel free to ask questions, I'm happy to share the knowledge, what little will actually ooze out :D

I've tried all three classes, but have played the Sentinel like 99% of the time. I like to focus on only a few classes instead of bouncing around.

How to Snatch

So snatching is obviously right mouse button. Though actually doing it, right now, is best used when you are close. As it activates a scream that your opponent can obviously hear. They can hear your wings, but that screech is very obvious. I usually just aim right for their torso, holding the right mouse button. There are some times when you'll fail and land by accident, not any way to avoid it. Snatching requires a certain amount of recklessness. Just know that once you get them, you won't land by accident. So as soon as you hear the 'Tick tick tick' from abduct (I only use that version), just fly up. If you miss, don't go up, up is not your friend when you miss a snatch, stay low and turn fast. Do a lazy circle and come back around, don't get greedy, you won't win. Snatching from a straight dive has the best results as you fly up even faster and get more drop damage.

Class Usage Theory (My opinion)

1) You aren't front line and leading the charge won't end well. Though you can do it, but you need to really read the situation.
2) Take advantage of your height to get a quick glance, than remove yourself quickly from high above, you won't be flying there most of the time. You get arrows to the face! Stay as low as possible, you'll have to learn to fly through alleys and even windows. Expect to fly into humans occasionally, but better than getting shot from across the map.
3) If you are gunning for K/D ratios, probably don't want to be a sentinel. I usually see myself as a 'Second Wave' or 'Clean Up/Assist' character. Sometimes your kills spike, but mostly due to 'Kill Stealing' as you'll finish off stuff that Tyrants run over or Reavers pounce.
4) Never fly in straight, seems obvious, but it is hard to resist....Trust me. Stay low, come up from below if you can. Humans like to get up high, hard to predict where sentinels come from below.
5) Don't always fly, they can HEAR YOU. Land and prance around, people react differently to the sound of flight than they do foot-falls. Take advantage of Psychology. Fly an obvious direction, than grab onto a wall before you get to where they are likely aiming and than hop over and land on them or swoop down from above.
6)Learn quickly what doors and windows you can fly through and which ones you can drag people out of. Windows or doors with a 'lip' or 'rim', avoid those, they'll push you too the ground. You'll know them when you see them.
7) Patience....be patient....but react quickly.

Okay, so powers.

Kidnap vs. Abduct:

I see Abduct as being the only feasible version in my opinion. Against skilled shoters and good human teams dragging people higher into the air for more fall damage just gets you killed (anyone thats gotten hit by a warbow knows how much that sucks as a sentinel). Abduct is more flexible in that you always do damage and leaves killing them just a bit easier even if you have to stay low. Can still drag them far enough to let other vamps eat them, yummy!

Wing-Flap vs. Impale

Its been awhile since I've used impale, so I'm not sure if there are any significant changes, but I ended up preferring wing-flap because of it's versatility. AoE damage in a cone that does decent damage and can knock people off buildings for more fall damage! Impale was nice for the damage, but it's activation felt slow and meant i was on the ground with a 1 on 1 power that just meant I was going to take more damage as it didn't slow down the human. So either it was a finisher or I hit them without killing them and took two or 10 bolts too the face. Missing, well...that just hurt and usually meant I died. Wing-flap was decent enough damage that after a pounce and dive-bomb or even a tyrant charge was enough to almost finish people off. For example....its like 400 for a pounce, 350 for a dive bomb and 300 for wing flap I believe? Or something around that and most humans usually don't have full health....you get the idea. I've gotten quite a few double kills with it before, even a triple once I believe. If Impale had a sort of interrupt effect (Like the Scout knives and if it does, I guess I just don't remember it), or like a 'Rabbit hop' so I could catch a human running away, that'd make me use it I think.

Dive Bomb vs. Take-Off

Dive bomb I like, good damage and good AoE range. Provides some flexibility in your range of attack. If you miss though, you'll be hurting. So I'm okay with that as it means I've done something wrong, in which case I should die. You can adjust the aim just enough that you can hit with it and they can avoid it and requires a bit of 'guess-work' to predict where the human will go. I like using this after a tyrant charge particularly, they're really focused on the tyrant and dive-bomb disorients well.

Take-off. To me it is a nice trick, but the damage and AoE aren't enough to warrant using it 'offensively'. I came to 'depend' on it and it made me more aggressive than I should be. That and it just gets you shot, scouts can still hit you and they know exactly where you are. If the cool-down was rather low, or it had a knockdown effect, or just some sort of 'disruption' effect, I'd be okay with it. Less so to help me, but to help other Vamps by making the human's lives more difficult.

Echolocation

I hate to admit I've not used this power much. I tried it a few times and immediately didn't like it as it turned everything really really dark except for the humans, which were bright yellow. Which I found disorienting because my eyes wanted to follow the bright yellow markers when my surroundings as a sentinel are more important. I have to chose my place of attack, not who to attack. It would be neat if this power were tied into a version of Kidnap that disoriented those around you when snatched them, like a victory scream of sorts. Thats the only way I can see it being useful, come in close, activating Echolocation and than using it to find a snatch target. Though I doubt the range is good enough to really make that useful to you and harmful to the humans. Would it be possible to visibly 'Fuzz' the enemies scream? Like when you bang your head and your vision kinda dances around for a second or two before your eyes readjust? Some effect like how the light grenade turns your screen bright white, where as the echolocation turns it 'fuzzy' or 'drunk' like for a second or two. Can still shoot and skill still helps, but you physically can't see as well.

So I guess I like the powers that interrupt the humans...sue me :)

Odd things I've seen

You get double power activation sometimes. Not that you use it twice, but its like the power 'Hiccups'. With the change in activation times, from 1 second to 2 seconds today, I noticed it a lot with Wing-Flap. I'd seen it a few times with Impale as well, its as if the power and animation would start...and even hear it...but would go off a second time later on and actually animate and affect the player.

Dive-Bomb and getting caught in one of the 'Stalls'. Only happened maybe once or twice, but I got stuck in the spinning animation after scraping down a wall and hit one of the stalls on the stage in the mountains (Damn i wish I could remember their names). Wasn't anything serious, but I had to 'wiggle' free for a few seconds. Also the scraping down the walls is kinda odd at times, especially the really big walls.

Space bar to drop out of the sky. This works, but is a bit odd, like it gets confused and doesn't drop me down. I want to say when I'm banking from left to right, I can't drop down till its done animating. not sure if intentional, but odd. Its almost as if it is sharing a timer with something else. Does it count as a dodge? Dodge left, then wait for 'dodge refresh' than drop down?

I can't think of anything else though, I'm sure I will later on. Hope you enjoyed!

TL;DR, Sentinels are awesome with practice, I'm a terrible writer, kittens are cuddly and you should eat more fiber! (Love you guys and gals :D )

lucinvampire
19th Dec 2013, 10:05
Wow good write up and explanations/comparisons of the abilities :D

I very much like your idea of "drunk" vision from Echolation - that would be a nice touch :D

You've actually made me want to go play Sentinel now!

Oroibahazopi
19th Dec 2013, 11:48
Good read, and now I can just link this instead of shrugging when my team mates ask how to snatch ^^

cmstache
19th Dec 2013, 12:23
"Snatching from a straight dive has the best results as you fly up even faster and get more drop damage. "

FINALLY!! Someone else who agrees and pays attention. Trying to kidnap from low altitude is a terrible move.

Usage theory:.... On point. Couple things I want to add that I've had for success.
1. Take advantage of being able to stop and restart flying in mid air for quick altitude drops.
2. Flying in a dive-to upwards motion and repeating is more effective than stable altitude. The dive makes up for the speed loss on the climb, but helps the survivability.


I also prefer abduct, although maps like Sommerdamm might make kidnap worth it, being able to carry them further away from the group.

Personally, I like puncture better than wing flap, but they both have uses. I agree with the interrupt effect of it though. Might be worth looking in to.

Take-off preferred here for me. But, it's a mean decision to choose between the two from the devs. :) Smart choice for them though. I could see otherwise by day 1 that people would be spamming divebomb followed by take-off.

Echolocation: 100% right. On every point. It DOES help vs camo players, but Camo doesn't really last long enough for this to be useful.


Power hiccup... Saw it too. Got me killed when I should have gotten a double kill.

Reported that divebomb thing on Valeholm, but don't know if I was clear enough. Maybe I need to send in a SS? I was still pretty new at the time.





Great read though. Well played.

ZangarftheWrassler
19th Dec 2013, 17:37
And that's why I love hugs. Always has a secret awesome side that he shows humbly. Definitely dedicating my evening to Nosgoth so I am going to be on the look out for these tactics.

I would like to know, though, I have experienced a chain-combo<abduct/kidnap-->dive-bomb-->flap/impale>with sents that while with a good human team supporting me can be interrupted, I usually will be locked down once it has begun. If this happens, it's a guaranteed kill and I still can't figure out how to get out of it once it starts.

Ah hell, I don't know what I am saying. I just play the roguish soloing approach and usually get caught by this when I am alone.

Psyonix_Corey
19th Dec 2013, 17:56
And that's why I love hugs. Always has a secret awesome side that he shows humbly. Definitely dedicating my evening to Nosgoth so I am going to be on the look out for these tactics.

I would like to know, though, I have experienced a chain-combo<abduct/kidnap-->dive-bomb-->flap/impale>with sents that while with a good human team supporting me can be interrupted, I usually will be locked down once it has begun. If this happens, it's a guaranteed kill and I still can't figure out how to get out of it once it starts.

Ah hell, I don't know what I am saying. I just play the roguish soloing approach and usually get caught by this when I am alone.

The combo is definitely something we're aware of and looking to prevent if possible, but we don't want to over-nerf Sentinel.

The basic idea would be perhaps a period after dropping a kidnapped enemy where you have to keep flying but can't drop/use abilities. We don't want to lock you into a predictable movement pattern, but also don't like the undodgeable combo of Kidnap/Abduct chaining into secondary abilities.

Razaiim
19th Dec 2013, 18:38
I agree with everything here.... I played sentinel when I didn't have to worry about decent snipers. Now I'm usually the reaver that follows Hugs or Eric on the ground waiting for them to drop a guy in front of me. Still try to play it on occasion, but I spend a lot of time waiting to respawn when I do

PsyonixErich
19th Dec 2013, 19:36
As I posted in the other thread, Echolocation is THE BEST. Echolation + Kidnap + Puncture. I use Echolation to spot the weakest link in the other team, or autolocate the Scout who is looking at the direction opposite of me, I swoop him and take him away. Always hunt scouts. Always. Then I use Puncture and finish him off with an attack. Echolation is also great if I am stuck on the ground and need to sneak away, I can tell which directions humans are coming in to either run away or get behind them for anothe puncture.

cmstache
19th Dec 2013, 19:40
The combo is definitely something we're aware of and looking to prevent if possible, but we don't want to over-nerf Sentinel.

The basic idea would be perhaps a period after dropping a kidnapped enemy where you have to keep flying but can't drop/use abilities. We don't want to lock you into a predictable movement pattern, but also don't like the undodgeable combo of Kidnap/Abduct chaining into secondary abilities.


The thing it, i've found that if you wait to be able to drop you fall too slow. Personally, I go ahead and fly straight into the ground, forcing my flight to end. It's also why the take-off if so important for me at the end.

ZangarftheWrassler
19th Dec 2013, 19:41
The combo is definitely something we're aware of and looking to prevent if possible, but we don't want to over-nerf Sentinel.

The basic idea would be perhaps a period after dropping a kidnapped enemy where you have to keep flying but can't drop/use abilities. We don't want to lock you into a predictable movement pattern, but also don't like the undodgeable combo of Kidnap/Abduct chaining into secondary abilities.

I could see letting the human player being able to roll after abduct/kidnap and negating either the stumble and/or damage from the dive being a good way of breaking out of the combo. I could see roll becoming broken and OP though if it can do that against any ability. But don't let me tell you how to design your game. I am assuming more concerns arise from changing anything.

Oroibahazopi
19th Dec 2013, 20:08
I don't see a problem with it tbh. It's no worse than getting combod by jump/shockwave. Your team should be around to pick off the sent before and after the abduct.

ZangarftheWrassler
19th Dec 2013, 21:16
I don't see a problem with it tbh. It's no worse than getting combod by jump/shockwave. Your team should be around to pick off the sent before and after the abduct.

The problem is it locks the other player down for a good amount of time and can lead to a lot of unwanted negative reactions from their consumer base. And I don't think it quite falls within the same scope as a Tyrant as I have never felt their combos were ever inescapable if I actually had the skill to do so.

Sents literally disable all opponent control for 3 successive ability activations and almost always guarantees a kill. That seems a little broken and it's impossible to guarantee your teammates will ALWAYS be in range to protect you especially when I play scout where vertical placement and distancing myself from the group is a vital tactic.

jestdoit
19th Dec 2013, 22:12
I don't see a problem with it tbh. It's no worse than getting combod by jump/shockwave. Your team should be around to pick off the sent before and after the abduct.

Agreed here. Getting picked up means I wasn't paying attention or I was out of position where my teammates couldn't support me. Being picked up isn't the end, either. You can roll under their dive angle, and you have your own stuns/escapes.

This isn't nearly as powerful as stunning/CC'ing vampires and then having everyone shoot them. As it is, vampires stun and lock themselves into vulnerable animations with most things they do. Successful pounces, sentinel takeoffs, tyrants landing jumps, shockwave/wing-flap skill startup, even standard attacks/rolls are all free kill opportunities. With 2 or 3 good aimers on the human team, they're able to lock out vampires from doing anything, especially the sentinels.

Hugbringer
19th Dec 2013, 23:19
Personally I see the Abduct/Kidnap and divebomb as just the sentinels version of other combos that the other vamps have.

Whether it be the reaver with poison grenades and than pounce them while they're still in it for double effect. Or the Tyrant 'Death from Above' and than shockwave/AoEGroundPound. They're both 1/2 punches that requires skill on the vamp's part to execute correctly.

I personally see other Sentinels using the same tactic on me, the abduct and dive bomb and find for the part it is pretty easy to avoid. Most humans try to run for cover after getting Abducted and I plan the direction of my Divebomb accordingly. I roll towards the divebomb most of the time and they pass harmlessly over head and get shot to pieces shortly afterwards. Doesn't always work, but I expect them to adjust and sometimes miss and I guess wrong and that I'm okay with.

The things that get me though with the 3 power Sentinel combos are definitely when I misjudge of the other team is there. Most of the time it seems like the other humans abandon the poor victim of a grab. Which of course I'm fine with, than proceed to use ALL of my powers to kill 1 human. Though if they chase after me and my hapless victim, I tend to just avoid it and leave the other vamps to flank behind and pick off the slightly disorganized resistance.

I see it as good and 1 on 1 it is definitely a pain in the butt, but I don't see as anything too bad. I've had it be defeated, usually with like I mentioned before....clever rolling and use of 'Lock-Down' powers like the Bolo, Daggers, or light-grenades. Forces me to run mostly with just an even trade of damage. I might get lucky if they're inexperianced, but for the most part I evade.

I also find it kinda nifty class 'feel' that I can drag someone to a roof-top and finish them off in spectacular fashion, than feast on their corpse while the others below watch helplessly.

Oh, and cmstasche, I agree on Sommerdomm map, only just played it last night and I could definitely see a use for kidnap on that one. I wish all the maps where that scale and diversity. Definitely my favorite map now.

RainaAudron
20th Dec 2013, 13:46
Thanks a lot for the tips Hugbringer and the rest! Recently I started playing Sentinel much more and even though I think I´m better with him now than at the start, I still suck sometimes and get killed too often... It sucks when I miss to pickup a target and then have to wait like 13s for it to recharge, but oh well. I usually attack to soon, so gotta stay patient and wait on my team mates to attack first :D I noticed the 2s delay on puncture attack is really bad, it is almost unusable now :( I really liked it before, but 2s are bit too much and will get you almost certainly killed if you miss the target or during its animation phase.

I am a fan of abduct as well as I prefer to fly low and any extra damage is good. Finally learned to fly around buildings, though it brings the risk of getting stuck sometimes or accidentaly landing.

I wish you could have both dive bomb and take off, as they are both useful but then it might be OP. I usually use dive bomb I must say since once team mates assault the humans, I like to finish them off like you said.

Psyonix_Corey
20th Dec 2013, 17:11
I'm confused what 2s delay on puncture or other abilities you guys are talking about.. No change was made to global ability activation or Puncture I'm particular recently.

cmstache
20th Dec 2013, 18:18
The delay after using the ability is longer now, thus keeping you from using another ability.

RainaAudron
20th Dec 2013, 19:18
Corey - when I press the R button, nothing happens for like 2s.. is it just me or what? it´s like non-responsive or something, before it worked all the time.

Also tried echolocation - it is interesting thing, not sure what effect it has on humans though... However, after one use the humans have black texture until the end of the match I think, which is annoying...

Psyonix_Corey
20th Dec 2013, 19:30
Corey - when I press the R button, nothing happens for like 2s.. is it just me or what? it´s like non-responsive or something, before it worked all the time.

Also tried echolocation - it is interesting thing, not sure what effect it has on humans though... However, after one use the humans have black texture until the end of the match I think, which is annoying...

Haven't seen that here. If your latency to the server got worse somehow that could cause a delay on ability activation, but it would be consistent with everything (dodging, reloading, abilities, etc.)

RainaAudron
20th Dec 2013, 21:36
Hmm.. I do not know what is wrong - previously, it reacted right away when pressed. I usually have latency around 44s.

Oroibahazopi
20th Dec 2013, 21:38
Maybe it was fixed and bugged before, every skill I can think of has a pre attack delay of around 1s and a similar post attack delay. If you were able to instantly cast on landing that would be different to the other vampire classes abilities.

Psyonix_Corey
20th Dec 2013, 22:20
Almost everything has a "tell", particularly vampire abilities like Wing Flap or Puncture, to give the human a chance to react if they're facing the enemy and paying attention. But your character should go into the animation instantly on pressing Q.

The global cooldown was lengthened slightly after Alpha launched but it's been in for quite awhile now.

Hugbringer
22nd Dec 2013, 21:58
Almost everything has a "tell", particularly vampire abilities like Wing Flap or Puncture, to give the human a chance to react if they're facing the enemy and paying attention. But your character should go into the animation instantly on pressing Q.

The global cooldown was lengthened slightly after Alpha launched but it's been in for quite awhile now.

The way I saw it, it didn't seem like a physical delay, but more of an animation hiccup. After landing it is almost as if the immediate activation of the power (perhaps while the previous 'landing' animation would finish up) would 'start' ...then a half second later would 'restart' and than finish to completion.

It didn't happen every time, but just from my gaming experience it felt as if there was sometimes an animation over-lap that could visually make it seem as if the power was lagging. Seemed to happen after one of the more recent patches I saw in steam.

Though I definitely notice the 'tell' part of powers, I'm glad its there and it's definitely been made use of to avoid said powers :)

Tube_Reaver
23rd Dec 2013, 19:38
Not sure if others know about it or not but thought I'd share this neat little trick.

You can use dive bomb without having to be in flight or take flight. Simply hop off a ledge/roof/building, and press Dive Bomb.

It's awesome because the human team won't expect a dive bomb from a sentinel jumping off a roof. They'll be on the look out for a sentinel flapping its wings, and not for a sentinel falling down.
:D

Hugbringer
24th Dec 2013, 13:40
You can use dive bomb without having to be in flight or take flight. Simply hop off a ledge/roof/building, and press Dive Bomb.

One of the few little things I forgot to mention, though you are definitely correct, I've put that to good use. I'd remembered after the fact about letting yourself fall almost as far as possible before activating your wings for the most part, especially when try to evade enemy fire.

Though the off the edge dive-bomb is throughly useful when the humans are holed up in a building. For example the building in freeport where the crane is. Or any other spot there is a hole in the roof, just make sure 'NOT' to be flying and it is quite a useful surprise.

Tube_Reaver
9th Jan 2014, 21:30
One of the few little things I forgot to mention, though you are definitely correct, I've put that to good use. I'd remembered after the fact about letting yourself fall almost as far as possible before activating your wings for the most part, especially when try to evade enemy fire.

Though the off the edge dive-bomb is throughly useful when the humans are holed up in a building. For example the building in freeport where the crane is. Or any other spot there is a hole in the roof, just make sure 'NOT' to be flying and it is quite a useful surprise.

As of the latest patch, dive bombing off a roof without being "in-flight" is no longer possible. Whether they fixed it or it's a bug I don't know.