A Footknight's Feedback on Kruber

[Beta patch #7]
[updated Mace and Shield for July 29th update]
A footknight’s perspective on the balance beta

Hi, Stop_Hitting_Me here. On Twitch I’m also Stop_Hitting_Me, and on steam I’m known as Stop Hitting Me. My friends call me Shme for short. I’m a small time streamer, known for my love of footknight, shield weapons, and hyper-aggressive shield play. I play on Cataclysm difficulty, usually with pugs. If I’m in a premade I’ll usually add twitch mode, grab grims, or do a deed. I’m hoping that this will be a good perspective for some feedback on Kruber’s classes and weapons, especially the shielded variety in respect to what makes a shield weapon good – overall feel, flow, and offensive/defensive capabilities.

I am also a huge procrastinator. I intended to do this at the beginning of the balance beta, but well, here we are.

Mercenary

I’ve thought that mercenary could use a bit of a tweak for a while, and the choices made in this Beta are a good tweak, I think. My concern with Mercenary is that he is a fast-hitting powerhouse with The More the Merrier and Paced Strikes, on top of being unrivaled support with an ult that does knockback, applies temp hp, and hefty damage reduction. Nerfing Walk it Off and buffing Ready for Action were smart choices, but from what I see there is still a clear best option in Walk it Off. On yer Feet also suffers because it causes people to be prone to holding on to it, waiting for a situation that might never come up. In Overwatch, Mercy’s Ult used to have the same issue. I would recommend combining ready for action and on yer feet. Hopefully that would make people hoard it less, knowing it will be up again sooner, and make it a good contender for Walk it Off. You would then need a third talent for that row. Maybe a minor offensive buff of some kind? 10% power seems like it would be reasonable.

Huntsman

Huntsman is a class that should reward precision aiming well. Now, with it’s free headshots it feels more like a point and click adventure game. Especially with blunderbuss. I would recommend, instead of gaining stacks of sure shot as you walk, make it a reward for playing well. Maybe every, or every other, natural headshot gives you a stack of Sure Shot. This would make the free headshots feel more like a reward instead of a freebie. I also feel like giving max stacks with Reset is a bit much. That many free headshots on a lower cooldown makes it a must pick over the other two talents, and also makes it so you never run out of ammo at all. My reccomendation would be to get rid of the cooldown reduction and lower how many stacks it gives. Maybe to 5? If a lower cooldown ult talent is still desired, I would recommend getting rid of the increased duration talent Head Down and Hidden. Increased duration never did much for the huntsman ult since you’re visible, and at some point you are likely to switch to your melee weapon anyway.

Footknight

My bread and butter, saving the best for last. I LOVE what has been done with Footknight currently. My favorite talents are all still there, but now there are actual options. Nothing feels too powerful on him, or too weak. He’s a great, aggressive frontline tank/support. That is exactly what Footknight should be. Even without changing weapons or gear, I will choose my talents based on what I feel like the group needs or what I feel like doing at the time. The only talent row that is a sure pick for me is bull of Ostland. That seems to be a personal preference, as many people swear by numb to pain or the new wide charge, and not a balance issue.

What DOES need to be fixed is how wonky the stagger from the charge can be. Valiant charge is the biggest stagger in the game, and as such it should overwrite ALL other stagger effects. You shouldn’t fail to knock a chaos warrior on his butt just because someone else made that chaos warrior barely flinch. Things also shouldn’t immediately stand up the moment someone breathes on them.

Weapons:

Executioner sword. Even with the nerf, it functions decently on Footknight and well on Mercenary. I never liked it on huntsman since I love attack speed, so I haven’t tried that in the beta yet. It’s no longer as mindless to play, which is a good thing. You should not be falling asleep while playing Cataclysm.

Greathammer: Changing the push attack to a cleaving attack instead of single target was brilliant. The only time you would do a push attack against a single target is if you’re footknight and have crowd clearer. Making the push attack a cleave makes it function much better in the times that you need a push attack. No complaints, good stuff.

Greatsword: Greatsword now feels like the cleave-happier, agile version of two handing. That’s great, and fits the look and feel of the sword. It’s specialty of horde management functions even better now. It still has a weakness against armor, but it does the job well enough with proper stamina. Functions well on both footknight and merc.

Halberd: It feels GREAT now. It already packed a punch, the only problem with it was it’s super wonky attack patterns. Now everything feels fluid on it, and versatile. Exactly what a halberd should be.

Mace: It definitely NEEDED that tank multiplier. It now can actually do its job – being a more agile version of the big hammer. The extra cleave makes it feel much safer, and manage the horde easier as well. I don’t think it needed the single target damage on it’s 3rd light attack, however. Making that single target lowers its overall crowd management, and the mace already has its heavy attacks to deal with armor. That’s only a minor issue, though. Overall an improvement.

Mace and Shield: [Copied my post from another thread. Changed to reflect July 29th update] So in the July 29th patch they changed mace and shield a little, and I like the flow of it more now. For those that don’t know, push attack now chains into the shield slam instead of the heavy sweep. This means that we can chain a push straight into a bash AND chain a push attack into the bash. If you prefer the sweep, then you can easily enough follow the push attack with the light 3 uppercut, which still chains into the sweep. Since the uppercut is so fast, there’s not much of a difference in how long it takes to get that sweep out.

This really increases the versatility of the weapon, which is nice. Testing the speed of the bashes though, it really seems like you can shield slam just as fast whether you push, or push attack. Kind of awkward, but I have the old push attack shield back combo back so I’m happy. The light attacks feel fast enough after the shield slam that they’re a functional enough horde combo, and with the push attack you get a chance to sneak in a little bit of decent armor damage and stagger against a single opponent while attacking the horde.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with where the mace and shield is now, and I’m surprised that was all it took for my opinion on the weapon to change. It definitely has it’s own identity: slower, but heavier stagger against hordes than the other shields. It can put down the hurt against single target armor without being so reliant on headshots when compared to the sword and shield, but it comes at the cost of being more stamina intensive than the other shield weapons. As a positive though, it’s easier to keep surrounding enemies controlled while doing so. It definitely has it’s place and I’m pretty satisfied with it.

Mace and Sword: I haven’t played with this one much, but now it feels like two separate weapons. This is good – you can block cancel the first two lights when you want more stagger, or push attack into the two sword swings. It’s very versatile now, and fun.

Sword: To be honest, I don’t like one handed swords. Not really my thing, so I only tried it once. A slight buff feels good for it.

Sword and Shield: I like how you didn’t change this at all. I’m assuming that’s because you can’t change perfection. It’s my favorite weapon in the whole game, being a very versatile and fun choice. I feel like it’s the weapon other shields should be measured up against. They need a good flow, with no awkward pauses, and a lot of variety in combos. This is the exact reason I DON’T like the bretonnian sword and shield. The flow is all kinds of off, awkward pauses galore. Brettonian sword and board needs to be tweaked a bit to improve the feel of it. The worst pause is after the light attack shield slam. Back to Empire sword and shield: The only tweak that might be done is to give it the block angle of other shield weapons. It’s perfect otherwise.

Spear: When the man-spear first appeared, I hated it. A lot. You’ve done a good job in nerfing it so that it is no longer encroaching on the territory of shield weapons. It’s still a good choice, providing some far reaching crowd control.

Axe and Shield: While I’m focusing on Kruber, axe and shield deserves a mention. It was a great choice to make it attack a bit faster. Like I mentioned earlier, flow is critically important for a shield weapon even moreso than other weapons, and now it flows better. I would still buff it’s push to be in line with sword and shield’s push in speed and reach.

That’s my current feedback on all things Kruber-related. I’ll try to update this as we get future beta patches. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions, if I missed anything, or if there’s anything you’d like me to expand further on. Overall, I’m loving this balance beta and the work you’re doing. There’s a bit more to do, but it’s definitely a huge improvement!

Sincerely,

That guy who pushes a lot.

Edit: Block angle, not radius, on sword and shield

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Nice text wall! I also like shields a lot, and FK is my most played Kruber as well. I agree with most of what you said in the post, but I do want to comment on Mace & Shield: Because - contrary to you - I absolutely, unequivocally, love the changes to it. The new M&S synergises with the new FK amazingly. (Build with THP on Stagger, Power on Staggering Elites, Mainstay, Free Push after Block, and you’re good to go! It’s how I always wanted to play FK, really.)

As for the new and improved M&S moveset: I wouldn’t like it to be changed at all. The new pushattack-light double clunk-clunk is super satisfying, does great single target damage, and an upsweep after a downwards strike feels perfectly natural to me as well. The new availability of the push-bash combo by moving bash to heavy 1 is worth a lot as the most powerful crowd control combo in the game, and it makes the function of the old pushattack-bash completely superfluous. The new pushattack-sweep is actually rather decent, especially because it’s so beautifully horizontal and thus great for headshotting hordes, so I guess I disagree with your opinion on the sweep being useless. I feel it even improves clearing speed against hordes by using the heavy sweep. You still have bash - sweep by chaining heavies for control mixed with some damage, and that feels better than what the old pushattack - bash was in that role to me. While you also always have light 2 - heavy sweep which can also be chained infinitely for when you have the space to be a little more agressive against a horde, and if you just want to be mainly agressive you can also just chain the lights, now that light 3 has received its beautiful buffed damage profile. I think the new moveset is definitely an upgrade on all accounts, and I really don’t want to see it being messed with anymore.

Where I wholeheartedly agree with you, however, is that the lights need an attack speed increase. They are inded very slow, which makes pushattack-uppercut often the best choice to use against hordes, because it at least allows you to be safe while you pummel them one by one. It would increase this weapon’s feeling and versatility a lot if the lights were a little faster.

As for imperial Sword & Shield: I think it could do with the headshot buff one handed swords received, otherwise I agree with you that it doesn’t need changes really. (Wasn’t its block radius already increased to that of other shields as well some time ago?) One of the best designed weapons in the game.

Sidenote about Axe & Shield: This is my most played weapon in the game (by far, maybe even), and I want to second that its attack speed buff makes the weapon just right. Now it’s a very solid weapon. Powerful, but without being overpowered. Versatile, but still has strenghts and weaknesses. Amazingly well designed moveset. Flows like music. Love everything about it.

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I love seeing a fellow shielded knight fan! Thanks for the feedback. I do agree that the new mace and shield has great synergy with the footknight talents, and a constant barrage of high stagger lights meshes really well with cooldown regeneration on stagger. Part of where I’m coming from is I’ve done a lot of mace and shield on FK before the changes. Maybe I’m having a hard time adjusting to the changes, but managing heavy hordes felt very doable earlier, but a bit less so now.

Being able to push right into the shield bash is nice, but when compared to what I’m used to with the sword and shield it feels very slow. Maybe if they buffed the push speed of the mace and shield to match the sword and shield it would feel a lot better, but at the moment it feels sluggish. On old mace and shield, push attack into the bash felt about as fast as the push into the bash feels now, and it felt nice to get a little bit of armor damage in the crowd control combo.

I might have been a bit harsh towards the heavy sweep, but it does feel underwhelming to me. Currently push attack into the sweep is a good combo for hordes if you have the room, but it feels less fluid and effective as the old push attack into two lights felt. It feels like you need a lot more breathing room now in order to do the job of a shield weapon effectively, if you want to do more than single target damage.

One possible reason for our difference in opinion is that I generally run crowd clearer so I have to do a lot of pushes in my combos to keep that buff up. Crowd clearer is a really nice substitute for swift slaying, making taking opportunist much easier. That leaves me either doing the push with an awkward pause before starting my first light, the push attack into the heavy sweep, or the single target push attack into light 3. Of those the push attack into heavy sweep is pretty decent, but that pause between the push attack and the heavy sweep leaves me vulnerable.

Maybe if they buffed the attack speed on the lights like we talked about, I wouldn’t be so frustrated with it. Right now, it feels great single target, but very frustrating against general horde. Switching from feeling really good to really frustrating so often keeps me from using the weapon very much.

I don’t necessarily think that SnS needs the headshot bonus, but I wouldn’t exactly complain if I got it. :wink: That would make it easier to contribute to horde dps, which even a shield weapon should do. I did realize I said block radius when I meant block angle. If it was given the 180 degree block angle, I must have missed it, but to me it doesn’t feel like it has that wide block angle.

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@Stop_Hitting_Me @TmanDW if I have understood well, you guys love FK and you have spent some time on it… so, could I ask to you an opinion?

Honestly, since FK is one of two tanks in 16 careers, I would like to see him “more focused” on a pure tank style… BUT, since there are also some players who love to adopt an aggressive style… I thought about a compromise.

A compromise where we have the same number of “dps” and “tank” talents as now… but shuffled in a different way.

I noticed that level 10 tier has 2 “dps” talents (Have at Thee! and Crowd Clearer) and only 1 “tank” talent (Staggering force): this, in my opinion, nullifies your power of choice if you want to play a “pure tank” FK…

…from the other side, level 25 tier, has only “tank” talents (cooldown on stagger, cooldown on downed ally and Counter-Punch): this, in my opinion, penalizes who wants to boost FK’s dps and play him more aggressivly.

My idea is swap Crowd Clearer and Cooldown on downed ally… in this way, in both level 10 and 25 tier, we would have both “dps” and “tank” talents… and this should improve the variety.


p.s anyway, about Mace and Shield, I think it’s bugged. With some tests, you can easily notice how its bash is much slower than Sword/Axe and Shield’s one.

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@souI23 About 80%+ of my playtime (1500 hours)is on Footknight, so you could say I’m somewhat fond of him :wink: . I would definitely say that I’m one of those who adopts a very aggressive approach to footknight tanking as well. I would definitely be sad if those options were taken away. Thinking about those talents, it might be a bit pedantic but I view Have At Thee and Crowd Clearer to be kind of hybrid talents, instead of just DPS or Tanking oriented. The extra power from Have At Thee can help to hit some pretty crucial stagger breakpoints on top of doing the damage. The attack speed buff from Crowd Clearer can help you also pump out more pushes, more shield slams, swap weapons faster, etc. It really helps the role of frontline tanking beyond just hitting things more. Pedantry aside, I think I know what you mean though. The level 25 talents are all a bit more on the tanky side.

Bringing pedantry back, Counter Punch and Cooldown on Stagger can also be used offensively. Counter punch lets you do weapon combos that have a push attack more often, and cooldown on stagger lets you charge more, which becomes an offense tool if you’re rocking Bull of Ostland, which I usually do.

Pedantry is gone now, I swear. So this proposed change would mean that Level 10 has Cooldown on Down, Have at Thee, and Staggering force. Level 25 would have Cooldown on stagger, counter punch, and crowd clearer. I see some positives and negatives with this swap. Level 25 would have the hardest choice between talents in the game, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it means choices feel impactful. You’d have a choice between personal offense in crowd clearer, survivability with counter punch, and support with cooldown on stagger. Level 10 remains an easier choice, depending on what you wanted to build for. Stagger breakpoints would take staggering force, offense focused builds would probably take have at thee, support would want cooldown on downed ally.

After putting some thought into it, I can see what you’d be going for with this switch, and I can see why it would be a good thing. Both of those tiers would then have offense and defense options. For me personally, I would feel very conflicted on whether I would like it or not. On the one hand, I could do things like run crowd clearer, staggering force and tag team so I could skip opportunist and put on swift slaying for even more attack speed. Or crowd clearer and have at thee for heavier hits. But I wouldn’t be able to do my preferred option of having crowd clearer and either counter-punch (that combo can get you out of just about ANYTHING) or cooldown on stagger (that combo helps you push often enough in your combos so the buff is always up). So you could say that I would have very deeply mixed feelings about it, hence the wall of text.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the new mace and shield has a slight bug. I definitely feel like I can’t shield slam spam as fast as I can with sword. That should be tweaked, and the push should be faster as well.

5 Likes

MACE AND SHIELD SORRY.

It was my favourite Shield Weapon too. The new changes are pretty good though. I’m almost getting the old Push-Attack build vibes from it.

I do miss the Push-Attack > Light double overhead feel though. Sad to see it go.

Agree on FK too, he’s doing great. Hopefully they make Merc a little less useful for the same role as him.

Can you explain what you mean by the push attack light double overhead? I only started maining sword and shield after the big balance beta 1.3, are you referring to a combo that was before then?

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I meant Mace and Shield, sorry.

Ah, that makes more sense. Yeah the old combo of lights after the push attack was superb for horde control, but garbage for armor unless if you just spammed push attacks. Even then, it wasn’t great. The buff to it’s anti-armor capability was smart, I just wish it didn’t take away so much from it’s horde clear combos.

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It’s interesting to me that you like the new FK changes that much.
He still seems to me to bit a bit of an underwhelming career, even though I do like him (and especially the new Trample).

Before the BBB, I pretty much exclusively used S&S on FK instead if M&S, because it was superior in every way. Therefore, I never really got the muscle memory and instincts for the M&S imprinted in my mind like you might have, because you played it more often. To me, the M&S feels like a totally new weapon, really. That might explain a part of the difference in our feelings about the moveset, maybe.

On M&S FK I now usually run 15% Power on Stagger instead of 35% Stagger Power, and Tag Team so I don’t need 7% Power to let me hit the Plaguemonk stagger breakpoint and Repeater Handgun Cata breakpoints, which frees up Mainstay, which increases my pushattack effectiveness a lot. This all means I need Opportunist instead of Swift Slaying, but that’s alright with me because I don’t take crit chance on my weapon (just block cost reduction and Power vs. Skaven for the Plaguemonk stagger breakpoint), and move speed, ult cooldown, or revive speed are all very valuable traits to have on the jewelry next to stamina regen as well. My playstyle leans heavily into the pushattack this way, which gets me a lot effectiveness, particularly against elites. I feel I can usually control Cata mixed hordes alright, but like I said I totally agree the non-pushattacks need some attack speed to improve the M&S’ feeling against hordes and to get rid of of those jarring awkward pauses you mentioned before.

@souI23 : I think we’ve had this discussion before, and in the end our main point of disagreement is how we see a “tank” in Vermintide. This is not an MMO where you need your tank to soak damage and keep aggro as much as possible, but in Vermintide a “tank”'s role is way more proactive, being a frontliner and making space. The talents you classify as “aggressive”, I feel are perfectly fitting for FK’s role as a bloody battering ram Vermintide “tank”. His build diversity with his current weapon and talent choices are fine, and he has several defensive builds as well. I don’t really have much to add to @Stop_Hitting_Me 's analysis of your proposed talent reshuffle. I feel it’s completely unnescessary.

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@Stop_Hitting_Me thanks for your opinion;

@TmanDW I know that we already talked about those things and we partially disagree… but this was a different speech. Indeed, as written, I’m not asking to remove/change some “aggressive” talents. Their number would remain exactly as now. Moreover mine wasn’t a speech where I say “FK should be more tank” or where I argue about his definitions.

From the other side, even if talents can be “versatile” (I agree on this), in my opinion is undeniable that certain talents have a tendency. Sure, attack speed is useful for a tank, attack speed is useful in every single situation and in every single career, but it tends a little toward the aggressive side. While, for example, cooldown on stagger/downed allies tends more toward the tank side (where tank covers your, and mine, definition: make space): you can use it aggressivly… but it’s not something that does dps.

My idea is just create a situation where talents are better distributed… but FK’s style (or “his definitions”) would remain the same.

Anyway you quoted Stop_Hitting_Me, but he doesn’t seem totally against it… rather I think, about certain points, we are saying the same things.

Friend, I have a good memories of you in this forum, we talked a lot and we exchanged many likes… but this time it’s like you already knew that we disagree before to “start” :c

Being able to have Have At Thee and Crowd Clearer at the same time gets a plus in my book. Would make for a very aggressive, bully tank.

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Well, we did have this discussion before, so we both could have known we’d disagree before we started. Your talent rearranging suggestion, in my opinion, is a solution to a problem I feel doesn’t “exist”. FK’s build diversity with his current talent tree, including for defensive builds, is - in my opinion - fine as-is. This is simply a difference in opinion, and more discussion probably won’t make us agree on that. And therefore, please don’t take my apprehension with your rearranging suggestion as closed-mindedness. In my job, one of the first - and most important things I’ve learned - is that doing something without having a clear goal for that action most often ends in a negative result, and that sometimes doing nothing is a much better course of action. Since I don’t share your intended goal, I don’t think your talent rearranging is a useful change. I don’t know what else I can say about it anymore.

Last night I tried the hammer and shield again on RV, and I do admit it wasn’t AS frustrating as I remembered. Still felt bad when the horde came calling though. Overall though, I’m in the minority that always felt like Mace and Shield had some advantages over sword and shield, even if SnS was better overall. Mace and shield, with the high stagger cleave and good stagger power (a mace swing was about equal in stagger strength to a shield push) resulted in a few distinct traits.

Staggering more things helped with ult regeneration - It was definitely noticeable how much more often I could charge with the old mace and shield. I was often able to charge again before the buff from bull of ostland had expired. Keeping that buff up more often meant that I was able to, at times, kill more trash than SnS.

Also, since I was able to get a lot of fast attacks that staggered a lot, it gave me more hp on stagger than sword and shield in my offense combo. I didn’t need to spam shield slams as often to get my health back up, and anything that left me in offense mode more often is a plus in my book.

It was also easier to maintain stagger on dangerous elites. Against plague monks, once they were staggered you could just keep swinging and laugh as you bully them. I would only push often enough to keep crowd clearer up. With sword and shield, it took a lot more stamina to keep plague monks staggered if you wanted to do any real offense at the same time. Also, it’s really funny to see maulers jiggle with every mace swing. Of course, you can still do that now, but it’s just a strength the weapon has always had.

I definitely have some fond memories of MnS in my time trying to figure out how to actually make the weapon work and be viable. In my time I’ve been able to fend off a chaos patrol when trapped in a tiny room in Horn of Magnus without anyone dying. A few times on both FK and Merc I snagged a few green circles, even monster damage and total kills.

I hope they do end up buffing the speed of the light swings and the push, then we would likely both be happy with it. I would be concerned that it might just make mace and shield and sword and shield swap places, or feel too similar in their strengths and weaknesses.

@bendking I’ve been a stubborn Footknight main for a long time now, and I’ve always thought he was a very solid contender. Even pre-WoM my win rate on footknight was much higher than any other class. He can FEEL underwhelming - you don’t kill as much, after all. It’s easy to not fully notice what footknight can provide if you’re not the one playing him. But these days I feel like what footknight contributes is invaluable. And now it’s even better, with more ways to build for that contribution.

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