Let's talk Batstrike

Discuss Median XL!
TTraw
Stone Warrior
33 | 5
I usually don't write up unnecessary paragraphs about how X ability is garbage because I can usually go find my way round and make it at least slightly enjoyable, and in other cases I am either not having the best SSSSUs that will make the selected ability steamroll the content or just bad enough at the game to not use selected skill to full potential.

However I feel like there's one ability that makes me uneasy no matter what I do to it and that is sin's Bat Strike ability. The amount of technical difficulties I have with this is to be honest, quite overloaded, and from my limited search on the forums it seems like this ability isn't getting enough attention from both the devs as well as the community itself.

Batstrike "sucks" but not from the perspective of it being a weak ability to deal damage with or a bad ability in terms of game design, but more of, as I said, technical limitation that has been applied onto the ability itself that made it more of a pointless chore than anything. Let me explain.

0. This is not a real issue to me, since it is on the 0. paragraph, but the description of batstrike lacks A LOT of info. Minion dmg, hp, etc...

1. Let's start with the whole concept first. You attack with Batstrike and release effect with normal attack. Sounds fine and manageable until we get deeper into the issues
    a. First issue I found is that Batstrike has some sort of chance to miss that seems to be unique only to Batstrike itself. I dont know if that's a bug or feature, but it seems like the aura sometimes refuses to be applied no matter what. It is completely inconsistent with her other abilities - both Shadow Refugee and Bloodbath apply on a single swing every time no problem, but this ability just refuses to give you additional charge sometimes, completely messing up your muscle memory and timing which is unfortunate because Bat Strike is like the only ability in the game that would benefit from consistent timing making it very counterproductive on its own. It doesn't seem to be related to enemy avoid or def, your attack rating, nor enemies running away from you. If this is a bug that can be worked around I would love to hear solution but as it currently stands it is a lost case.

    b. Same applies to releasing the charge. Sometimes I tend to swing normal attack 5-6 times on a standing enemy with capped AR and no Avoid until it actually activates the ability. It really messes up with this ability timing badly. And I am not mentioning that releasing the charge is tied to weakest ability in the game, or rather lack of it.

    c. Visuals. Batstrike charges are represented as 3 small dots orbing around sin. This might've worked in original diablo where there is not a lot of visual clutter. But this is median we're talking about, where fancy procs and abilities as well as hordes of mobs swarm around your character. The way the charges are represented just doesn't work in this version of the game, and combining it with previous issue, as well as the fact that higher level charges no longer release previous charges, add for a very frustrating yet common situation of you releasing a charge you didnt want to release.

2. Let's now talk about first charge. There's one thing that is quite a big issue.
    a. The visuals of first charge, the bat nova, are completely desynched from the nova that actually hits enemies. It seems like the damage is applied nearly instantenuous to all enemies in the area, knocking back all enemies the moment you hit with normal attack, meanwhile the bats seem to fly slowly and just pop onto enemies doing nothing. There was a lot of instances where I wanted to use the knockback as a safe way to gather more charges, but to my surprise bats were just not knocking back enemies which lead to a lot of deaths. It took few uses of this skill to realize that desynch, to say the least.
Other than that the charge is fine imo. It deals fairly a lot of dmg but idk if it is worth for doing twice (being generous here) the hits before it works.

3. Second charge. Oh boi. Let's just ignore that it is the most awkward way to summon anything in this game because she is supposed to melee around anyway and focus on actual issues.
    a. The bats might have some impressive health stats and solid damage, but bats are just too slow to be meaningful. Assassin is the fastest moving character in this game, with additional stamina and 2 abilities that can increase her movement speed. The bats very often struggle to get to the enemies before they can do something meaningful and just are visual swarm that is always behind the sin. It can be worked around with teleport but wasting teleport just to make your bats useful is a death sentence to assassin.

    b. Their AI. The worst offender. Bats are flying pets which sounds like one of the best perks a good summon can have, but unfortunately they suffer from something that I like to call "Bat AI". What that mean is that they like to do the bat things. They have some weird behaviour when they fairly commonly will do a motion where they move about 1/3 of the screen away from sin and then go back to her before they actually start attacking anything even if mobs are close to them. This is especially painful considering their extremely slow speed. There are also certain weird behaviour that make them go in straight line, usually opposite of sin's desired path, and they wont return to her until they go offscreen. And it seems like it has nothing to do with fear effect. I personally don't think most summons have such AI issues with this game but feel free to correct me here.

    c. Their "Skill Synergy". Perfect being synergy seems to work and is very good at keeping them alive. Can't say the same about ways synergy. Imo it isn't well thought off. I am not talking about the fact that ways are very outdated passives that dont mesh with sin's trees in almost any way currently, I am talking about how these passives seem to not scale with bat's minion damage. I was very surprised to find out that, but minion damage only affects their physical damage and smaxing ways just for that synergy is absolutely not worth it. I tried even going full summon build just for these bats and ways bonus was so insignificant I finally decided to just go for things like Beacon and survivability for myself. Bats don't have any way to increase enemy elemental pierce so the whole synergy seems absolutely pointless and very outdated right now.

4. Outside of clunky charge mechanics, I actually don't have anything to complain about the 3rd charge. It's very strong when it works even if gets shat on teleporting enemies.

While I don't have any power to tell devs "pls fix this", I wished that this ability received some love not to the powerlevel, but to convenience in usability. Batstrike assassin, when it works properly, is one of biggest fun out here imo. It has very cool theme, is extremely flexible for single ability, and bat summons are kinda cute too. It is very fun because it is one of few builds that seem not completely braindead and could do it's job if it were to perform at its best.

Now, I am not dev and I wont tell anyone ways to fix this build, but I do have some suggestions that can be entirely scratched for better solutions:
    1. Make the ability always apply the charge and charge release without that chance to randomly whiff. I don't know if it is unfixable bug, but with the "new" sigma engine I wish it to be fixed or if it can't be fixed, make the charges and releases also count on whiffs even if no enemy is around. Assassin already needs to invest multiple swings to activate this ability, I don't think that would make it very overpowered and if it did we can always tone down the damage on these abilities and summons.

    2. Make the charge more visible. There's no best solution, but maybe making the charges appear above sin head, change in color for every level, or even have a different sound que for every charge, would fix the visual clutter issue.

    3.Obviously make the visuals of bat nova match the actual nova speed;

    4. Make bats much faster, or make them benefit from Shadow Refugee and Beacon.

    5. Change their AI to another flying creature if it's possible. Bat AI seems to be extremely not in favour of the assassin with that random flying ai behaviour. If that can't be fixed, then maybe add more bats so that there's a bigger chance that bats will do anything.

    6. Rework the ways synergy. Either make passives scalable with minion damage, or if summonsin is a very scary idea because having multiple ways to make a build for a certain ability is too much fun, then make them scale with either the claw passive or just sin damage just like the new bear does with bow druid. Or even give them just a completely different synergy such as a chance to activate bloodbath on strike for the assassin - this would help with the fingerbreaking playstyle. There's a lot that would make their synergy more interesting, even a simple elemental pierce on bats per hard point could possibly work.

    7. Make the charge be also released with Crucify in addition to normal attack. Not very needed but I feel like Crucify needs a little help in having a purpose. I understand how you dont want to release Batstrike with Bloodbath, SR or Noctule, because sometimes you'd want to keep the charge, but as it currently stands Crucify is an ability that is never used after you get Noctule, or an Oskil for naginata. Doing so would give Crucify new purpose without making it compete with both noctue and OSkills.

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk, please tell me how bad I am at the game.
Edited by TTraw 2 months.
snt2523
Sasquatch
63 | -3
Ass claw is non-exist. literally everything in that tree are unusable
CallMeCrazySam
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The bit I ever tried to use it, it was way too clunky for me to want to use. Even in the claw tree, I would always head up into Crucify/Noctule anyway for the simplicity. The intention is to dance with the skill, but even as you pointed out, the clunkiness is just a big oof. I never used it enough to comment on the other issues you touch on.

The damage at one point was there, maybe it was overnerfed to compensate, who knows.

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snt2523 wrote:Ass claw is non-exist. literally everything in that tree are unusable


That's just wrong. The only argument I could actually see against claw is more of "why claw when I can use ___" instead.
Is the tree unusable? No.
Is the tree the optimal one to use? In my opinion, also no.
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Syphery
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1. Let's start with the whole concept first. You attack with Batstrike and release effect with normal attack. Sounds fine and manageable until we get deeper into the issues

a. First issue I found is that Batstrike has some sort of chance to miss that seems to be unique only to Batstrike itself. I dont know if that's a bug or feature, but it seems like the aura sometimes refuses to be applied no matter what. It is completely inconsistent with her other abilities - both Shadow Refugee and Bloodbath apply on a single swing every time no problem, but this ability just refuses to give you additional charge sometimes, completely messing up your muscle memory and timing which is unfortunate because Bat Strike is like the only ability in the game that would benefit from consistent timing making it very counterproductive on its own. It doesn't seem to be related to enemy avoid or def, your attack rating, nor enemies running away from you. If this is a bug that can be worked around I would love to hear solution but as it currently stands it is a lost case.


Batstrike will fail to generate charges when your initial hit doesnt actually hit the target, meaning if the target you hit has either Block,Avoid or high defense and your AR is low you will notice that the charge generation is very inconsistent, this was especially noticeable on stuff like baal, kabraxis or other bosses that have/had Block/avoid in the past, or my favourite example : Corrupted Assassin in Redtier Rifts where it sometimes takes 15 hits to release batstrike once or to charge it. Also Default Attack will NOT release any charges if your Swing doesnt go through these defensive checks aswell.

also fun fact, if you dualwield claws, and your first default attack fails to release batstrike, your second Offhand swing can actually release it and the damage will be scaled off your offhand weapon (and procc skills of this claw if you have any)

as for releasing the charges with other abilites, as far as i know that stuff is hard coded so it would take alot of time to get it done and devtime is currently spent elsewhere. Shadowrefuge and Bloodbath r not. and work fine even if the swings dont connect

2. Let's now talk about first charge. There's one thing that is quite a big issue.

a. The visuals of first charge, the bat nova, are completely desynched from the nova that actually hits enemies. It seems like the damage is applied nearly instantenuous to all enemies in the area, knocking back all enemies the moment you hit with normal attack, meanwhile the bats seem to fly slowly and just pop onto enemies doing nothing. There was a lot of instances where I wanted to use the knockback as a safe way to gather more charges, but to my surprise bats were just not knocking back enemies which lead to a lot of deaths. It took few uses of this skill to realize that desynch, to say the least.



Damage is fine i agree and would be especially usefull with some psn pierce and WOTS, However i find it awful to try to *spam* the ability in big mob packs (fautz for example) because you dont see anything at all in these packs and even when u spamswitch between defaultattack and batstrike sometimes you just end up summoning bats or nothing happens at all due not having charges. the inconsistency is what kills this one for me

3. Second charge. Oh boi. Let's just ignore that it is the most awkward way to summon anything in this game because she is supposed to melee around anyway and focus on actual issues.

a. The bats might have some impressive health stats and solid damage, but bats are just too slow to be meaningful. Assassin is the fastest moving character in this game, with additional stamina and 2 abilities that can increase her movement speed. The bats very often struggle to get to the enemies before they can do something meaningful and just are visual swarm that is always behind the sin. It can be worked around with teleport but wasting teleport just to make your bats useful is a death sentence to assassin.

b. Their AI. The worst offender. Bats are flying pets which sounds like one of the best perks a good summon can have, but unfortunately they suffer from something that I like to call "Bat AI". What that mean is that they like to do the bat things. They have some weird behaviour when they fairly commonly will do a motion where they move about 1/3 of the screen away from sin and then go back to her before they actually start attacking anything even if mobs are close to them. This is especially painful considering their extremely slow speed. There are also certain weird behaviour that make them go in straight line, usually opposite of sin's desired path, and they wont return to her until they go offscreen. And it seems like it has nothing to do with fear effect. I personally don't think most summons have such AI issues with this game but feel free to correct me here.

c. Their "Skill Synergy". Perfect being synergy seems to work and is very good at keeping them alive. Can't say the same about ways synergy. Imo it isn't well thought off. I am not talking about the fact that ways are very outdated passives that dont mesh with sin's trees in almost any way currently, I am talking about how these passives seem to not scale with bat's minion damage. I was very surprised to find out that, but minion damage only affects their physical damage and smaxing ways just for that synergy is absolutely not worth it. I tried even going full summon build just for these bats and ways bonus was so insignificant I finally decided to just go for things like Beacon and survivability for myself. Bats don't have any way to increase enemy elemental pierce so the whole synergy seems absolutely pointless and very outdated right now.


i dont have much to add here, bats r literally only usefull right now as meatshields. they dont really deal damage, their ai is poo and they are slow. they dont use any particur usefull abilites and r awfull to summon. they get skipped much later into the game by me because i pick up subtrefuge anyways though.
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Nitz
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If they fix 1a and 1b that spell would be awesome.
akbugger
Bone Archer
78 | 1
Unfortunately, outside of a few select uber boss encounters, batstrike is completely unusable. Not only does it redifine piano playstyle (lets see....shadow refuge, bloodbath, normal attack x3, check if I have 3 charges, release charges...repeat...blink....what-ever.....), but its prone to whipping altogether doing nothing.
I play Median like this:

skill a - bind to "q"
skill b - bind to "w"
skill c - bind to "e"
teleport skill- bind to "r"
town portal - bind to "t"

buffs:
"a", "s", "d", "e" etc.

For batstike I'd need
q - my generic clear attack, say noctule
w - default attack to load charges
e - batstrike
r- refuge
t -bloodbath
z - blink

Now, some people may be able to play this, I sure am not. Given how badly batstrike preforms in 99,99% of game due to technical issues (and the fact players are only human) one is better of just spamming noctule than ever resorting to batstrike. Sure, it's good vs Astro. Yey. And those 1-2-3 charge thingies are just..meh. One will really count the swirling globes over your head when you're fighting Asro or Xazax? With a 5 frame attack? Sure...
Am I the only one who actually liked the old Twin Fang strike? It was awesome. Sure, bad scaling and trash, but simple to use and a total eye candy. Batstrike looks like a white cross of nails (crucify!?)...when u manage to land it.
Why the bat theme on claws anyway? Isn't one bat attack enough as it is? I'd somehow merge this with Crucify (3 crucify hits - 4th creates a bed of nails or whatever).
Or, bring the Kick Sin back.
paolo12
Bone Archer
75 | 5
Visual clue above sin head is the best idea - I personally can't see these damn dots/orbs.
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Nitz
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akbugger wrote:Unfortunately, outside of a few select uber boss encounters, batstrike is completely unusable. Not only does it redifine piano playstyle (lets see....shadow refuge, bloodbath, normal attack x3, check if I have 3 charges, release charges...repeat...blink....what-ever.....), but its prone to whipping altogether doing nothing.


The third charge is nearly useless. Go for the first charge. Then press left and right mouse button about once per second.
Diaco
Onyx Knight
619 | 15
Nitz wrote:
akbugger wrote:Unfortunately, outside of a few select uber boss encounters, batstrike is completely unusable. Not only does it redifine piano playstyle (lets see....shadow refuge, bloodbath, normal attack x3, check if I have 3 charges, release charges...repeat...blink....what-ever.....), but its prone to whipping altogether doing nothing.


The third charge is nearly useless. Go for the first charge. Then press left and right mouse button about once per second.


5 fpa is almost 5 attacks per second. If you only rotate batstrike->normal attack once per second it's almost like having 25fpa which is insanely slow. I don't even think any mouse can respond to 1/5th of a second (let alone a human hand) so as to not waste a ton of frames for each attack. Honestly, I don't think the charge mechanic is feasible for a class that has 5fpa. Maybe if it was for a spearzon or something with lower fpas...
akbugger
Bone Archer
78 | 1
Diaco wrote:Honestly, I don't think the charge mechanic is feasible for a class that has 5fpa. Maybe if it was for a spearzon or something with lower fpas...


It's not. Be that as it may, batstrike charging > chasing red blobs spearzon has to deal with.... :facepalm: