Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Default The Mind Spike Is Better Than You May Have Been Told (Defender Discussion)

    Several times on this boards, I've seen people describe the battlemind as underpowered for a number of reasons. While that may be, one common reason given is not correct. The claim that mind spike will never see use should be false if a DM plays opponents properly. This misconception applies to defenders in general, whether using marks or a defender's aura. Creatures subjected to either of those know they are taking a penalty to attack other creatures -- but that should almost always be all they'll know.

    Mind spike is not a property of battlemind's demand. In most cases, the only way a creature should know the effect of mind spike is by triggering it. Even seeing another creature subjected to the power should not necessarily tip them off to what happened, especially if the power's use was fatal to the target.

    That still doesn't address an enemy's ability to just walk away from you, but why would it? It doesn't base its decisions off an assumption that your modifier for basic melee attack rolls might be much lower than that for an at-will attack. If you've already hit it with a weapon, it should be treating you as an active threat capable of doing that again in response to any opening given, and should act accordingly. Just remember that doesn't include treating a power it's not yet experienced as part of the threat.

    A creature should only have advance knowledge of the danger you present if it passes the appropriate hard difficulty knowledge check equal to your level. That won't happen a lot, and attempts to communicate it likely play out to your advantage. In the heat of battle, even someone that treats your threat as their first priority is likely to need at least two rounds to convey that effectively to allies.

    DMs and players need to remember that the PC defenders are exceptional. Their marking effect tends to have greater consequences than those applied by the majority of opponents any enemy would face. Even if they become legendary, their enemies still aren't likely to be prepared for what that means in personal confrontation.

    Finally, people have also noted that a defender is hampered by weak opportunity attacks. While true, people sometimes forget to mention is that the defender doesn't have to be the one making those attacks. Ideally, you can land them more often than not, but you're fine if the choice is between staying next to you and drawing opportunity attacks from a flanking rogue, or a barbarian, or an avenger with the Power of Skill feat (because who doesn't have Corellon as a patron deity? ). If you have no such support, then yeah, you may even need to look into the Melee Training feat. Otherwise, you don't have to be both devil and deep blue sea to be effective.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NecroRebel's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Mind Spike Is Better Than You May Have Been Told (Defender Discussion)

    The real reason Mind Spike is kind of weak is because Lightning Rush (and to a lesser degree Forceful Reversal) exists. In most cases, the Battlemind's own 2W+Con damage from an augment-2'ed LR will equal or exceed the target's single-hit damage that Mind Spike would deal, LR can't be avoided by shifting away or even by including the Battlemind in the attack, and LR actually protects an ally instead of avenging them. Simply put, as soon as you hit level 7, a Battlemind will essentially never again use Mind Spike because they'll have Lightning Rush and it's simply a better use of their immediate actions (and their power points).

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Surrealistik's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: The Mind Spike Is Better Than You May Have Been Told (Defender Discussion)

    The problem is that even if the DM feigns ignorance, Mind Spike is much weaker compared to alternate options and defending mechanics that are subject to the same assumptions. Coupled with a weak MBA, the Battlemind out of the box is hard pressed to do its job well relative to say the Fighter (ignoring Lightning Rush).

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: The Mind Spike Is Better Than You May Have Been Told (Defender Discussion)

    I'm not as familiar with the Battlemind as some others, but I think I understand why Mind Spike is considered weak.

    First off, it requires the enemy to still be in base-to-base contact with the battlemind; if the enemy shifts, then Mind Spike cannot be used (as its a melee 1 attack). As a form of dissuading an enemy from attacking an ally, it suffers from being easily avoidable.

    Secondly, it only triggers if the enemy actually hits; consider that the Fighter and Paladin both get to make an opportunity attack/trigger their Divine Judgement regardless of whether the enemy rolls low or not.

    Finally, the "punishment" is based off enemy damage, which is likely to be middling compared to the potential damage a PC can do, especially if using MM1 monsters rather than MM3 monsters.

    I don't think the Battlemind is unplayable, but I think I understand why it's classified as a weak defender. If your argument is that DM should not shift his monsters away (and allow Mind Spike to trigger), then I'm going to have to disagree; there are plenty of reasons to shift away (make flanking more difficult, avoid AO, moving away from the guy who is giving you a -2 penalty). That this hurts the Battlemind more than other Defenders is, in my mind, a problem with the class rather than some issue with metagaming.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Surrealistik's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: The Mind Spike Is Better Than You May Have Been Told (Defender Discussion)

    Let me be very clear; the Battlemind is _not_ a weak defender; it's one of the strongest in the game, easily.

    Its core defending mechanics however, certainly are.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Kurald Galain's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: The Mind Spike Is Better Than You May Have Been Told (Defender Discussion)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashdate View Post
    I don't think the Battlemind is unplayable, but I think I understand why it's classified as a weak defender. If your argument is that DM should not shift his monsters away (and allow Mind Spike to trigger), then I'm going to have to disagree; there are plenty of reasons to shift away (make flanking more difficult, avoid AO, moving away from the guy who is giving you a -2 penalty). That this hurts the Battlemind more than other Defenders is, in my mind, a problem with the class rather than some issue with metagaming.
    Oh yes, a decent fighter or paladin will blow the BM out of the water any time.
    Crystal Shard Studios - classy freeware games!

    Utility Belt wizard (Batman 4E-style) * Chocolate!

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Surrealistik's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: The Mind Spike Is Better Than You May Have Been Told (Defender Discussion)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Oh yes, a decent fighter or paladin will blow the BM out of the water any time.
    'Blow the BM out of the water'? If it's properly built with Lightning Rush and Lodestone Lure? I can't agree with that at all.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    obryn's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Re: The Mind Spike Is Better Than You May Have Been Told (Defender Discussion)

    I had a battlemind in my paragon-tier party not too long ago. He got to use Mind Spike exactly once. It's awesome if you get to use it - monster damage is hefty these days - but it's pretty darn rare.

    He was a Brutal Barrager, so enemies would get proned regularly. (Without equipment optimization in my Dark Sun game, he couldn't easily fit in a vulnerability abuse. Even so, Barrage + Hammer Rhythym is a decent amount of auto-damage and control for a defender.) He also had Lodestone Lure, so he was immensely sticky when he needed it.

    Now, Lightning Rush? Incredibly annoying. Especially when paired with a Berserker who has a monster in his aura. Damn, I hated that combo. It goes something like this:

    (1) Monster makes the only logical choice and attacks the Berserker.
    (2) LIGHTNING RUSH! Battlemind rushes over and says, "I am now your target." Attacks them.
    (3) Berserker punishes the monster for the insolence of not attacking him. (Berserkers, btw, hit damn hard when punishing for mark violation.) If he really wants it dead, he can throw Battle Awareness his way just for grins, now.
    (4) Monster finally pathetically attacks the battlemind. Misses, helped by the -2 penalty. DM sighs.

    It gets even dumber with a Shattered Time zone up and running.

    As for other class features... If you snag Harrying Step, Battleminds suddenly become a lot more awesome than they were before.

    -O

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Re: The Mind Spike Is Better Than You May Have Been Told (Defender Discussion)

    This is very interesting. I've only played a few 4e games so far, but I've had the best luck with the Battlemind as a Defender. (Though I suppose it might be because of the cramped, twisted arena we fought in that time.) The pregen Encounters Battlemind has a feature that lets him shift after a marked target if they try to shift away from him. Is that standard, or is it a feat? EDIT: Ah! It must be Harrying Step!

    After the enemy's support was cleared away, we ended up using Mind Spike to turn my guy into a sort of anti-tank. The Warlock ran right up to my mark and Eldritch Blasted him, and he finished himself off with the opportunity attack she ate in return.
    Last edited by Durazno; 2012-09-30 at 06:13 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    USA

    Default Re: The Mind Spike Is Better Than You May Have Been Told (Defender Discussion)

    Quote Originally Posted by Durazno View Post
    This is very interesting. I've only played a few 4e games so far, but I've had the best luck with the Battlemind as a Defender. (Though I suppose it might be because of the cramped, twisted arena we fought in that time.) The pregen Encounters Battlemind has a feature that lets him shift after a marked target if they try to shift away from him. Is that standard, or is it a feat? EDIT: Ah! It must be Harrying Step!

    After the enemy's support was cleared away, we ended up using Mind Spike to turn my guy into a sort of anti-tank. The Warlock ran right up to my mark and Eldritch Blasted him, and he finished himself off with the opportunity attack she ate in return.
    No, actually what you describe is a basic battlemind feature called blurred step. Harrying Step is one of a handful of feats that can improve blurred step. Blurred step normally gives you one square of shift to follow them. Harrying Step improves this to a teleport to a square adjacent to the enemy that shifted.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: The Mind Spike Is Better Than You May Have Been Told (Defender Discussion)

    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealistik View Post
    'Blow the BM out of the water'? If it's properly built with Lightning Rush and Lodestone Lure? I can't agree with that at all.
    The thing with that, though, is that all the other Defenders start good and get better, while the battlemind doesn't even come online until it can pick up a proper mark punishment (Lightning Rush) and a decent OA (Versatile Master). So yes, they do blow the BM out of the water, because they don't have to lock up feats and powers just to perform decently, and in fact do just that from 1st level.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Surrealistik's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: The Mind Spike Is Better Than You May Have Been Told (Defender Discussion)

    Quote Originally Posted by vasharanpaladin View Post
    The thing with that, though, is that all the other Defenders start good and get better, while the battlemind doesn't even come online until it can pick up a proper mark punishment (Lightning Rush) and a decent OA (Versatile Master). So yes, they do blow the BM out of the water, because they don't have to lock up feats and powers just to perform decently, and in fact do just that from 1st level.
    I find that this is a completely erroneous way of looking at it. I agree the Battlemind is overtly reliant on certain powers/builds and is a bad defender out of the box (definitely a flaw with the class' design), but with even some basic Char Op, it is easily one of the best and certainly holds its own with the Fighter. In no way does a well built Fighter blow a well built Battlemind 'out of the water'. Even at high Op Brutal Barrage owns and is a leading damage engine.

    The Battlemind suffers from Ranger syndrome in that it relies on powers (ala Twin Strike/Lightning Rush) to make up for lacklustre class features (Hunter's Quarry/Mind Spike).

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Mind Spike Is Better Than You May Have Been Told (Defender Discussion)

    The real problem with the Battlemind is that it has a relatively narrow path of optimization. A Battlemind who makes good choices is a pretty darn solid character, but it's pretty clear that at a lot of levels, there's one right choice to make, which makes my Battlemind and your Battlemind feel pretty similar. Lightning Rush is the king of this, though it's not the only offender. Lightning Rush is a fantastic power that fully deserves all the attention it gets, but it's kind of frustrating if you want to break away from that mold. Most classes have at least one level with a dominant choice, but the way that Lightning Rush dominates your playstyle after you get it makes it feel like this is a bigger problem for the Battlemind than for a lot of other classes.
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers ALL HAIL KING TORG!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Do you play 4e? I wrote a guide to Truenamers in 4e as well!
    Here's something I homebrewed. (It's not Truenamer-related, honest.) PEACH!

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Default Re: The Mind Spike Is Better Than You May Have Been Told (Defender Discussion)

    Quote Originally Posted by NecroRebel View Post
    Simply put, as soon as you hit level 7, a Battlemind will essentially never again use Mind Spike because they'll have Lightning Rush and it's simply a better use of their immediate actions (and their power points).
    An immediate interrupt that costs you a standard action is not better than one that costs you an immediate reaction. It's fine when you've got the power points to spare, but it's also a fine example of having too much of a good thing if you'd sooner invest all of your power points in making another power redundant.

    To put it another way, overreliance on Lightning Rush is wasteful and inefficient. Instead of setting up two means of punishing an opponent, as you could with Ego Crush or Ghost in the Steel, you limit yourself to one.

    At level 7, you can play the Lightning Rush interrupt three times without giving up your standard action, and you become the target of one attack. Great. Meanwhile, you're unlikely to do lethal damage and you are not shifting when the power lets you move. The unaugmented Ego Crush hinders a number of lurkers and skirmishers, as well as the sort of controller that supports them. A single point lets you use it as an opportunity attack instead, forcing an adversary to choice between it and the Mind Spike. Ghost in the Steel works best against brutes and other enemies that prefer melee, but even its basic form has deterent value. Artillery and lurkers can't afford the hp shaving delivered at the basic level, and a melee-focused enemy with limited control over who it attacks next is not in an enviable position either, whether you've marked it or not. Both work with Mind Spike (directly or alongside), rather than trying to win a competition with it.

    Getting back to opportunity attacks, the battlemind can always find an at-will that can be augmented to provide that benefit. You can even fall back on daily options to cover you for an entire encounter if necessary. This works because it won't be necessary to every encounter, especially if you're supporting a striker built to exploit opportunity attacks. All you need then is positioning. Two are better, but enemies only have to see one brutal one before they prefer to take their chances with you.

    The defender's goal is containment. Deterrent is merely one means of reaching that goal. Damage is merely one way by which deterrent is achieved, and the amount is less important than the reliability. Mind Spike provides a guaranteed rebuttal to a successful attack. The fighter doesn't have to wait for the enemy to hit, but has a harder time maintaining a mark to its full effect against certain creatures, especially in situations that leave a defender blind and prone.

    Modest damage is not bad either, when you have a battlemind's means of keeping an enemy close. If the striker averages a quarter or more damage per round than the battlemind to a target, who does the target want taken down first? What if the striker still averages higher than the battlemind with Mind Spike factored into the totals? Leaving it to allies is a good option and a good argument for providing the battlemind with a good opportunity attack -- though again, it need not be constantly available.

    People get a bit too hung up on More Is Better.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: The Mind Spike Is Better Than You May Have Been Told (Defender Discussion)

    I agree the battlemind is messed up in that particular and for all you GMs out there like me who care and don't want to deal with all the endless debates, and agree that the dynamic from level 1 is off try this:

    You Will Feel Me!
    Daily Battlemind Utility Level 2
    Psionic Illusion ranged 5
    Minor Action
    Effect: The battlemind creates a psychic double of themselves in an unoccupied space within range. The double does not occupy its space. The double cannot be targeted. The battlemind is considered to occupy this space for the purposes of actions with the psychic keyword only. The double last until the end of your next turn.
    Sustain Move: The effect continues until the end of your next turn and you may teleport the double 3 spaces from its current position.
    Sustain Minor: The effect continues until the end of your next turn.
    Augment 1: One enemy adjacent to the double is marked.

    It still isn't fixing the class, which, with the advent of Next will never be done now sadly, but, it takes a small step towards correcting an obvious injustice.

    2nd version:

    You Will Feel Me!
    Encounter Battlemind Utility Level 2
    Psionic Illusion ranged 5
    Minor Action
    Effect: The battlemind creates a psychic double of themselves in an unoccupied space within range. The double does not occupy its space. The double cannot be targeted. The battlemind is considered to occupy this space for the purposes of actions with the psychic keyword only. The double last until the end of your next turn.
    Augment 1: One enemy adjacent to the double is marked.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    tcrudisi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Mind Spike Is Better Than You May Have Been Told (Defender Discussion)

    You'll never be able to convince me that Mind Spike is worth it. The Battlemind is one of my favorite classes and is my favorite defender (by a long shot). So when I play a defender, I often default to the Battlemind.

    I've played it a lot. And out of months of play, I can count on one hand the number of times I've used it. Compared to the small amount of a Fighter I've played where Combat Challenge gets activated ... a lot. It's clear that one feature is far stronger than the other.

    I'm often stingy with my power points, too.

    I know that I'm arguing personal experience, but everyone else has already argued mechanics. Mind Spike is pretty pathetic. Not just because it so very rarely triggers, but because it also doesn't do much damage. Even in the most optimal situation: the enemy crits on an ally for 100 damage. Great, you've just hit the enemy for 100 damage. It's likely to survive that. Your ally? He's probably on the ground begging for a heal. Enemies have more health, so hitting them back for the same amount they do you? It doesn't hurt them.

    Compare this to Lightning Rush, which can easily trigger far more than 100 damage, and all of it as an interrupt so it will likely kill the monster before its 100 damage gets applied.
    Thank you Ceika for the wonderful Avatar avatar!

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Surrealistik's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: The Mind Spike Is Better Than You May Have Been Told (Defender Discussion)

    It's painfully terrible no matter how you look at it. Looking over Tower's Devil's advocacy for the feature I am seeing little but sophistry and exaggeration to be absolutely honest.


    At any rate, my fix:

    http://community.wizards.com/go/thre...56519/?pg=last

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Troll in the Playground
     
    ghost_warlock's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Unfriend Zone

    Default Re: The Mind Spike Is Better Than You May Have Been Told (Defender Discussion)


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •