Big Balance Beta - Patch Notes [Updated 05 Aug]

Patch notes for the Big Balance Beta will be contained in this thread.

Original Beta Patch patchnotes:
Melee weapon changes
Ranged weapon changes
Talent changes

19 Likes

Patch 1

Weapons

  • Blunderbuss - Increased max ammo from 12 to 16
  • Grudgeraker - Increased max ammo from 14 to 16

Shotgun weapons have a strong presence with powerful damage but they have always had an issue with sustain. Adding a couple of extra shots should help somewhat with this.

  • Sword & Dagger - Re-added 10% additional critical strike chance for Light attack 3 & 4, heavy attack 2 and push attack.

This change was abit heavy handed. The intent was never to invalidate the weapon, but rather further emphasize the requirement for precise attacks to maximize it’s efficency. The bonus critical strike chance has been added back into the later attacks of the weapons combos to reward players that plan their attacks and dodge around enemies.

  • Shade Volley Crossbow - Max ammo capacity increased to 45 to match Saltzpyres crossbow.

Bugfixes

  • 1h Sword Markus and Sienna - Fixed an issue where the 3rd attack did less damage against the first target hit.
  • 1h Elf Axe - Fixed an issue where the push attack had 200% increased critical strike chance instead of the intended 20%.
  • Halberd - Fixed an issue where the wrong attack would trigger if you held the charge until the end.
  • 1h Mace Sienna - Fixed an issue where the first heavy attack got registered as a light attack for the sake of procs…
  • 1h Axe Bardin and Saltzpyre - Fixed an issue where the heavy attacks got registered as light attacks for the sake of procs.

Talents
Ranger Veteran

  • Smoke Health Regnereation - Fixed so it does not only heal for 1. Reduced the intended health gain from 8 to 3
  • Fixed a crash due to Bardin using Disengage in the end portal with the attackspeed talent activated.

Unchained

  • Fire Aura - Added damage on top of the pulsating weak dot.
  • Health to cooldown - Fixed situations where the effect didn’t function as anticipated

Foot Knight

  • Damage Soak - Fixed situations where the effect didn’t function as anticipated

Bounty Hunter

  • Party movement speed buff - Lowered speed bonus from 20% to 10%

Ironbreaker

  • Party Block Power - Increased the duration of stacks from 5 to 10 seconds.
27 Likes

Patch 2

General changes

  • Added pseudo random distribution to critical strikes and procs.

What this means is that everytime you attack and don’t trigger a critical strike, the chance of you triggering a critical strike increases slightly. This should help flatten the bell curve slightly when it comes to large periods of either no critical strikes happening, or all critical strikes triggering in a row.

  • Generic damage reduction effects now stack multiplicatively rather than additively.

Previously some careers have had the potential to stack damage reduction effects in such a way that they become impervious to damage. This was changed to address the stacking of damage reduction, while also opening up more options to add more sources of damage reduction into the game.

Footknight

Designer general comment - I think that the missguided nature of the current changes we proposed to Foot Knight stems from the fact that statistics in themselves do not paint the entire picture of how people feel about a class and the choices presented within that class. Looking at the pick rates of current live talents both power increase talents (“Have at Thee” and Taal’s Champion) we see both of them almost never getting used. We made the assumption that people who wanted to play Kruber in an offensive fashion would just pick between the Mercenary and the Grail Knight, this was obviously NOT the case.

Our goal with the changes was to present the defensive and supportive nature of the class with options to that type of gameplay. Options to control, buffs, auras. But removing both of Krubers power options does not only, like many of you voiced, make him a one trick pony, but it also severely limits the choices the players have when choosing weapons and working with breakpoints for those weapons.

We hope that these new changes can cement Foot Knight Kruber as a heavy duty frontliner who can support his team with control and buffs, but also lay down the hurt when his team needs more of a bloody battering ram.

  • That’s Bloody Teamwork! (Reworked) - Merged with Defensive formation into “Increase damage reduction of Protective Presence by 5% per nearby ally.” Moved to tier 4 mid row.

  • Stagger Cooldown Decrease (Moved) - Moved to tier 5 right row.

  • Have at Thee! (Restored) - Returned to its former spot at tier 2 mid row.

  • Rock of the Reikland (Modified) - Now also doubles the radius of Kruber’s Aura.

  • Damage Soak (Removed)

The main goal of this talent was to provide players with a choice of single target damage reduction, where the player could make choices in where the damage reduction was needed the most. The damage soak / blocking part was put in place to provide some drawback to making a player super tough. This decision was just bad and forced players to just block in fights and made not taking a shield on Kruber even worse. The new streamlined version of this talent “Tag Team” hopefully fulfills the same goal of single target damage reduction and player agency, while giving offence Kruber some defensive tools to work with.

  • Tag Team (New) - “Kruber gains 10% power. The closest ally to Kruber gain 50% damage reduction and 10% increased power. Passive aura no longer affects allies.

Dwarven Ranger

  • Passive Ale Drop (Modified) - Gives 3% attack speed and 3% damage reduction for 300 seconds per stack.

We removed the movement speed part of the Ale because players could achieve a pretty ludicrous velocity through stacking multiple movement speed buffs.

  • Smoke Health Buff (Merged) - Merged smoke health buff with smoke attack buff into one.

Making two choices out of Bardin’s ult talent row a buff choice gave players only two options in how to use the ult. Giving Bardin players something more to give to the team besides lots of ammo felt like a good idea. But removing the bomb talent in the process left a void that could not be filled.

  • Ranger’s Parting Gift (Restored) - Reverted removal of Ranger’s Parting Gift

Bounty Hunter

  • Last Shot Power - Increased duration of buff from 10 to 15 seconds.

  • Melee Kills Reload - Added effect: Killing an elite while out of ammo restores 20% of max ammunition.

Melee kills reload combined with a ranged weapon with Scrounger (Crits restore ammo) combined with Last Shot Power already makes for a pretty deadly combo, but it is only really viable on weapons who feature small clip sizes. We are adding some more ammo generation to the talent to make it a bit more attractive while playing with large clip size weapons.

Unchained

  • Health to Cooldown - Increased health cost from 2.5 per tick to 5 per tick.

Health to Cooldown offers a safety valve to overheating as Unchained. Coupled together with Bomb Balm the opportunity cost was too low which caused Sienna to be able to repeatedly use her magic without any cost. The health cost was increased to try and combat this while still making the talent an interesting pick.

Ironbreaker

  • Tunnel Fighter - Reverted back to old behaviour reducing the cooldown of Gromril Armour. Increased cooldown reduction from 7 seconds to 10 seconds.

The stacking bonus resulted in poor gameplay behaviour where the Bardin player was encouraged to, at best: Constantly get hit by enemy attacks to try and get as much cooldown bonus as soon as possible. Or at worst: Encourage allies to shoot at the Ironbreaker to break the Gromril Armour shield. This was deemed undesirable and thus has been reverted to the old behaviour. To make it more competitive with the other options in the tier, the bonus cooldown was reduced further.

Handmaiden

  • Ariels Benison - Reworked to increase revive speed by 50% and grant 20 health back to the revived hero.

The new instant revive talent offered an improved supporting angle for Handmaiden. But removing the bleed from the dash was not the correct way to go about this since it hampered an otherwise interesting offensive choice. The Ariels Benison perk has been functionally outdated since the change to introduce automatically blocking while reviving. Compromising this to give her improved revive speed as a perk with a slight bonus to the revived ally helps out the career identity.

  • Speed on Block - Effect now triggers on both Block and Push.

Putting forced reliance on blocking feels bad on a career that’s as focused on dodge gameplay as Handmaiden is. Instead we’ll experiment with adding more focus on weaving in pushing in the attack combos to gain the effect of the talent.

  • Insta Ress - Reverted back to Bladedancer.

See notes on Ariels Benison.

  • Cleave Buff - Reverted back to Power from Pain. Increased duration of critical strike chance buff from 10 seconds to 15 seconds.

While the cleave bonus is a powerful effect, it felt suboptimal to move away from crits that also provide additional cleave inherently. To make it more competitive with the other choices in the talent row, the duration of the buff was increased.

Bugs

  • Fixed an issue where Handmaiden could move through enemies indefinitely.
40 Likes

Patch 3

Mainly a bugfix patch with some tweaks for Unchained.

Unchained

  • Fuel for the Fire - Re added. Increased duration of power bonus from 10 seconds to 15 seconds.

  • Fiery Aura - Merged effect of improved stagger to this talent.

After reading alot of feedback regarding some people missing Fuel from the Fire, it was re-added and buffed slightly to make it a more interesting pick across the board. The improved stagger talent was still an appreciated addition so it is now included in the Fiery Aura talent. Regarding the issue of fiery aura being too bright/intrusive, a new set of vfx is being worked on for the aura talent but it’s not ready for beta release yet.

Bugs

  • Fixed an issue where Rangers Parting Gift wasn’t consumed while playing as client.

  • Fixed an issue where the Block Attackspeed talent for Handmaiden didn’t function properly while playing as client.

24 Likes

Patch 4

Melee Weapons

  • Uppercut attacks now has 10% additional critical strike chance. Down from 20%.

Sienna Dagger

  • Added 10% critical strike chance to light attack 4

Mace/Hammer and Shield

  • Light attack 3 now has single target armour piercing damage profile. Same as push attack.
  • Push attack now chains into light attack 3.

Tuskgor Spear

  • Now has normal block cost modifier instead of shield modifier.
  • Now has original 4 Stamina shields, up from 3.

Billhook

  • Special pull action now costs 0.5 stamina.

Axe and Falchion

  • Push attack now has linesman hitmass modifier, instead of heavy linesman.

Saltzpyre and Shade Volley Crossbows

  • Cleave modifier reduced from 0.3 to 0.2 (pre beta was 0.15).

Swiftbow

  • Swift shot cleave modifier reduced from 0.2 to 0.15 (pre beta was 0.1).
  • Charged shot cleave modifier reduced from 0.3 to 0.2 (pre beta was 0.15).

1h Axes

  • Light attacks now slow you down to 80% of max movementspeed, down from 85%.

Talents

  • Unchained - Updated Fire Aura effect. Should be less intrusive than placeholder.

UI

  • Buffs now show up in 2 rows in the UI, up to 10 buffs. PROTOTYPE FEATURE, MIGHT BE BUGGY.
40 Likes

Patch 5

Huntsman Rework

Huntsman is the first and last reworked career to be added to the Summer 2020 Big Balance Beta. Instead of attempting to rework all careers at the same time we want to try and keep down the scope slightly to have more focused feedback and itteration on a subset of the careers that face the biggest discrepancy in pick and winrates, aswell as being common discussionpoints amongst the community. We are currently planning a second round of Balance Beta before the end of the year where the rest of the careers will be the primary focus.

  • Sure Shot (Passive) - Reworked. Every 50 meters traveled generates a stack of Sure Shot making the next ranged hit count as a headshot. Max stacks 10. Headshots does not consume stacks Sure Shot.

  • Maim - Replaced with Free Shots - Every third ranged hit makes the next shot consume no ammo.

  • Fast Track - Reduces movement requirement for Sure Shot by 30%. Replaces Burst of Enthusiasm.

  • Power Headshot - Ranged headshots grant 5% power for 10 seconds. Stacks up to 4 times. Replaces Makin’ It Look Easy.

  • Makin’ It Look Easy - Moved to tier 5, replaces Master Huntsman.

  • Longshanks - Now additionally grants 10% damage reduction when killing a special. Stacks up to 3 times. Taking damage removes a stack.

  • Reset - Activating Hunter’s Prowl grants 10 stacks of Sure Shot. Replaces Blend In.

Huntsman has lacked in his identity and focus, having a very generic passive ability without much to play around with outside of scoring headshots, aswell as some slight ammunition sustain. This change intends on changing up his gameplay with adding more leniency in triggering all of Huntsmans headshot centric effects, without taking away that part of the core gameplay for existing builds.

General Gameplay

  • Pseudo Random Critical hits are now calculated individually per attack.

Previously it was possible to skew the odds of the pseudo random distribution for critical strikes by repeatedly pushing. All actions now have their own separate calculation when determining critical hits.

  • Headshots and Critical Strikes now longer automatically apply a light stagger to enemies.

In 2.0 as part of the overhaul to the stagger system a feature was implemented that allowed any weapon to lightly stagger any non-monster level enemy with a headshot or critical hit. This premiered fast weapons and attackspeed where they could outshine heavier slower weapons in their crowd control capacity. This now functions the same as before patch 2.0.

Talents

Shade

  • Cloak of Mist - Grants 4 seconds of guaranteed critical strikes after leaving stealth.
  • Bloodfletcher - Now has a 2 second internal cooldown.

Bounty Hunter

  • Bounty Hunting - Now grants 20% cooldown regen rate for each killed target, up from 10%.

Mercenary

  • Walk it Off - Damage reduction reduced from 40% to 25%.
  • Ready for Action - No longer removes Temp HP heal. Cooldown reduction changed from 45% to 35%.
20 Likes

Patch 6

  • Fixed an issue where Huntsmans passive ability didn’t function.
16 Likes

Patch 7
Shade

  • Cloak of Mist - Now grants 100% melee critical strike chance.

  • Bloodfletcher - Updated description to match new functionality.

Mercenary

  • Ready for Action - Reduced cooldown reduction from 35% to 20%.

Bugfix

  • Fixed an issue where Vanish triggered the 100% critical strike chance buff from Cloak of Mist.
20 Likes

Patch 8

Huntsman

  • Sure Shot, changed - Headshots grants a stack of Sure Shot. Ranged hits counts as headshots. Max 4 stacks. Headshots don’t consume stacks of Sure Shot.

  • Free Shots - No longer grants a stack on Blunderbuss bash attacks.

  • Distance Reduction, changed: Every 8th Melee kill grants a stack of Sure Shot.

  • Longshanks - Damage reduction stack granted on both Special and Elite kills.

  • Reset - No longer grants 30% cooldown reduction.

  • Waste Not, Want Not - Removed (The functionality to remove it went live in the first rework patch but the tooltip was not updated properly).

The intent of the Huntsman rework was not to remove the reward for skilled play, but rather open up for a subset of players that might have felt daunted by the high reliance on headshotting to trigger effects in his kit. While the idea of Sure Shot as a resource is interesting, the amount of stacks you could gather became eggregious, aswell as the way you gained them being too static aswell as encouraging some weird gameplay. This change should reward skillful players while also opening up talent options for those that want a more straight forward approach to Huntsman. We will continue to monitor the feedback and performance of this new itteration and make changes accordingly.

Bugfixes
Fixed a range of issues with inconsistencies in the original beta patchnotes for some changed weapon properties. Fixes include:

  • Kruber & Sienna Sword Heavy headshot damage not being increased.
  • Kruber & Sienna Sword light attack 3 damage being reduced, instead of increased.
  • Kerillian Sword light attack 3 not receiving it’s headshot and armour damage buff.
  • Kerillian Spear Light stab attacks not receiving it’s intended damage increase.
  • Sienna Mace Heavy 1 not receiving it’s intended damage increase vs super armour.
  • Bardin Dual Hammers gaining an unintended damage increase on diagonal heavies.

These are the most eggregious issues that have been reported throughout the beta period. If more issues are found, please report them in the bug forums and we’ll make sure to look into sorting it out.

Additional Bugfixes

  • Fixed an issue where 2h Hammer push attack counted as a heavy attack.

Statement from Design

The time period we had alloted for the summer balance beta is drawing close to an end. The beta will run throughout next week, then the results will be finalized. Most of the goals for this beta, namely experimenting with a set of balance changes to weapons largely based on community driven feedback aswell as testing out some new directions in regards to career design, have been successful. The amount of engagement and discussion by everyone in the community shows once again that balance in PvE co-op games does indeed matter.

Speaking personally, I would love to be able to run these kind of events as a regularly re-occuring thing, but they are very resource intensive endeavours and thus must be scheduled as such. Outside of balance there’s alot of cool things coming in the future of Vermintide 2 that requires the attention of the sharks working on the balancing beta right now. As stated in a previous post, we are planning on running another round of balancing later in the year, primarily focusing on the careers that were not touched upon in this beta. Until then I’d like to thank everyone for their participation and commitment to help in making Vermintide 2 the best co-op game it could possibly be.

41 Likes

Patch 9

Bugfixes

Huntsman

  • Sure Shot - Fixed an issue where Empire Longbow shots did not count as headshots when determining damage following a consumed Sure Shot stack.

  • Sure Shot - Updated tooltip to explain that the effect to grant stacks only triggers on ranged headshots.

  • Free Shot - Fixed a crash that would occur when using the talent.

General

  • Hammer/Mace & Shield - Push attack now chains into shield slam again.
19 Likes

Patch 10

Huntsman

  • Mostly reverted back to pre-bbb version. Longshanks damage reduction functionality is split out from original talent and replaces Master Huntsman. Stacks are no longer removed by friendly fire. Free Shot replaces Maim. All other talents and passive restored.

  • KNOWN ISSUE - Blend In does not function appropriately, fixed internally, will be deployed tomorrow.

Let’s chat Huntsman for abit. Originally one of the most difficult careers to design for, Huntsman has always been somewhat of a black sheep when it comes to fulfilling a niche while keeping a clear identity. Starting out giving some insight, there’s a slight discrepancy between Markus Krubers identity as a character (design wise) and the Huntsman career in that originally Markus was never a career that was supposed to be the premiere “Skullcracker” kind of character where the player is encouraged to chase after every headshot they can go for. Around came Huntsman and we needed to figgure out a theme that worked well for that kind of career. Rewarding precision shots came naturally with the “one shot, one kill” kind of idea of a Master Huntsman, but it clashed with the notion of Markus core identity. The decision was made to go ahead with the concept anyway since it felt pretty rewarding for pulling off skillful play.

But it’s always been abit of a pet peeve where we felt that there existed a subset of players that enjoy the idea of Markus Huntsman as a career but didn’t mesh well with his gameplay having a very high skill floor. The idea behind the experiment of Sure Shot as a concept was basically “How can we lower the skill foor of Huntsman without affecting the skill ceiling, still allowing existing players that have mastered playing a very headshot heavy career without feeling that the gameplay that enjoyed having been taken away from them”. We looked at the most popular builds of Huntsman and ensured that these would still have a place and remain largely unchanged. If a player has 100% headshot hitrate, then Sure Shot should change nothing in how you play the game, you should still be able to play the Huntsman you enjoy and keep doing so. Now this isn’t a realistic number to keep up with so even the most proficient Huntsman player does get some kind of bonus from Sure Shot where that one stray bullet that hit the arm instead of the head. The removal of Waste Not, Want Not was a decision made based on testing and data. A vast majority of players ran Conservative Shooter as is on Huntsman so ammo regen should still be available, the tradeoff for more consistent headshots fed by the trait while having to utilize abit more ammo management seemed to be sensible since during our testing it was showed that it was basically impossible for Huntsman to run out of ammo with Sure Shot and WNWN.

So the concept seems fine on paper, we decide to put it together and even though the beta is well on the way and feedback is rolling in so let’s try to add an overhaul to an additional career and see what the reaction is. And yeah, we should probably have kept the changes in the oven for abit longer cause he’s an absolute monster at 10 stacks with Reset making it Virtually impossible to run out of stacks. Amidst all the waves we do manage to get some valid feedback that the manner you gather stacks of Sure Shot is quite problematic, but the beta is rapidly running it’s course so we decide to try an implementation suggested by the community and see how it works. This turns out to be a problem because there’s always more to a problem than face value suggests and the solution to change the aquisition method to yet again rewarding headshots goes away from the original intent of Sure Shots starting out. It doesn’t feel great to play with and alot of voices have been raised regarding this the last few days. Instead of trying to push the envelope and rush a last minute fix out the decision was made to roll back the majority of the changes to Huntsman back to his pre-BBB state. Generally feeback has been positive regarding Free Shot over Maim and the Longshanks damage reduction being an interesting pick for row 5. This does not mean we’re giving up on Huntsman but rather that we really want to try and make Sure Shot an interesting feature in it’s own right while making it fit into the idea of Huntsman rewarding high skill play. The current beta period unfortunately does not accommodate for that and we felt it was better for everyone if we went back to the pre-BBB version of Huntsman while taking the feedback and lessons learned from this beta to try and create a better version the next time we get the chance.

Bounty Hunter

  • Bounty Hunting - Reverted back to Just Reward. Increases cooldown recovery from 15% to 20%.

A similar case to Huntsman but on a smaller scale, the Bounty Hunting talent perfectly embodies the fantasy of a Bounty Hunting chasing down his prey and being rewarded for doing so. Unfortunately it was very tricky to try and make it feel good and just not this super random bonus that sometimes procs and yields a situationally pretty underwhelming effect, especially when it fails to stack up to relevant levels. We’ll keep this fantasy in mind for the future but for now we’re rolling it back to it’s pre-beta state.

Ranger Veteran

  • Scavenger ammunition now drops at Bardins feet instead of at the killed specials corpse.
  • Share and Share Alike - Ale now drops aswell as ammunition when it triggers.

This change should fix a few problems that arose with Scavenger caches where if you killed a special outside of the reachable boundaries, it’s basically wasted. Bardin is always the hero closest to the cache so he gets abit higher priority when it comes to picking up the bonus ammo or pickups. One worry was that it feels abit less logical that Bardin drops the pickups instead of it being something that’s scavanged from the specials clammy hands, but since it’s from Bardins special stash let’s just imagine he throws some out in celebration when the team downs an especially foul adversary. Regarding the Share and Share Alike, picking this talent should be less of a hit to his ammo sustain now since killing a special always yields atleast the base ammo cache.

Weapon Changes

Empire Longbow - Charged shot no longer deals less damage to Frenzied enemies. Should function the same as uncharged shot.

Executioner Sword - Restored 20% bonus critical strike chance to Heavy Attacks from pre-BBB.

48 Likes

Patch 11

Bounty Hunter

Weapon Swap Buff

  • Added Inspired Shot functionality into this talent.
  • Fixed an issue where the individual buffs applied a power increase to both melee and ranged attacks.

Inspired Shot started out as a perk innate to the Bounty Hunter and was one of his core defining abilities that encouraged a hybrid melee/ranged playstyle, swapping between your weapons to generate the most value of your build. While Inspired Shot was severely underrepresented in pickrate, as a talent it still had a place as an iconic and fun playstyle for the people that really enjoyed it. Merging this functionality into the weapon swap buff talent should allow for some flexible gameplay, whether you want to utilize the old alternating gameplay of Inspired Shot, or the more sustained version where you go for a few hits with either ranged or melee to gain stacks of the Weapon Swap buff. Hopefully this will also make Inspiring Shot a slightly more competitive pick with a slight bonus to power when switching weapons.

Huntsman

Blend In

  • Fixed an issue where the cooldown reduction was not applied as intended.
19 Likes
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