Chaos Warriors, AKA punching bags

Chaos Warriors are glorified punching bags that are meaninglessly spammed at players. There are many ways to 1 to 2 shot them on Cata and many ways to stagger them. They are easier for low stagger high mobility builds to fight than massed SV because of how slow their attacks are. The only thing CWs test is how much superarmour dps a team has.

The most recent addition to the list of ways to bully Chaos Warriors is UC’s Unstable Strength being made to also effect stagger strength. This lets UC with the Flaming Flails first heavy stagger lock multiple CWs out of their overheads, which is absurd.

To stagger one CW out of their overhead, it requires 3 stacks of Unstable Strength, 10% Chaos and EP (Enhanced Power). Staggering multiple CWs out of their overheads requires 6 stacks of Unstable Strength, Oppourtunist, 20% Chaos and EP.

FK with a shield bash requires Staggering Force, EP, Comrades in Arms, 20% Chaos & 10% Armour to stagger a single CWs out of their overhead with a shield bash. Unlike UC FK will deal low overall damage with such a specialised build and be less safe to play as a result.

It’s safety like this that lets a career trivialise content like Chaos patrols (making CWs effectively high health Stormvermin).

My suggestions:

  • Decrease the superarmour penetration of some weapons and ultimates e.g. Rapier full charge crit, Blessed Blade etc.
  • Decrease the stagger strength of the Flaming Flail’s first heavy.
  • Tweak Abandon so that UC can’t generate an entire bar of ult from nothing when overheating before they explode (I think having to be at 25% ult full would be fair) or increase the amount of health lost from the process.
  • Make CWs better/quicker at pushing through other enemies to reach players.
  • Slightly decrease the amount of CWs found on Cata (slightly less in ambient and horde spawns, replace 2 in the Norscan patrol with 4 Maulers).
  • Make CW attacks deal more damage than other elites. Not so much more that it leads to 1 shot breakpoints, but simply more than the other elites.

Hopefully these changes would help make CWs more of a serious threat and solidify them as the 2nd tier elite instead of the punching bag they are now.

What are everyone’s thoughts?


Hm, I think there are two parts to this discussion. The weakness of Chaos Warriors and the sillyness of Unchained’s Unstable Strength stagger buff.

I am okay with specialized builds to stagger a single Chaos Warrior out of his overhead attack like it was before for the Flaming Flail. This is no longer the case though, getting up to the point where multiple Chaos Warriors can be staggered with one attack. There is probably also now the ability to stagger them with other weapons on UC.

I think the easiest way would be to removed Unstable Strength affecting stagger power. Unchained was already strong before, she doesn’t need it. A compromise would be to make Unstable Strength affecting stagger incorporated into Chain Reaction. We could also talk about a multiplier for stagger power like only half or fourth of the bonus is transferred to stagger power. So at 6 stacks she would have only 15 % more stagger power. 60 % more stagger is insane, nobody should have that on any talent. We could also make the Heavy one pure single target attack. But the stagger of Unchained has to be adressed anyway.

Abandon is a different discussion topic. I still like the idea of switching it with Chain Reaction for its position in the talent tree. With Chain Reaction than having the stagger bonus this could make up some potentially interesting builds / talent combos / synergies like:

  • Frenzied Flame + Chain Reaction = Melee chaos
  • Abandon + Chain Reaction = Personal Safety Net
  • Outburst + Chain Reaction = Push and Stagger build
  • Outburst + Enfeebling Flames = Team Safety Net

So many choices just by switching two talents plus a slight change to Chain Reaction! Bomb Balm is yet another topic which I may post very soon, myself. I would like to have a replacement. So considering Unchained I would like to see:

  • Remove stagger power bonus from Unstable Strength like it was before
  • Add it to Chain Reaction as bonus
  • Reduce its maximum effect from 60 % at 6 stacks to 30 % (or lower) at 6 stacks
  • Switch Abandon and Chain Reaction in the talent tree to make interesting choices and synergies
  • (Replace Bomb Balm, another discussion though)

Concerning Chaos Warriors: I don’t think they should be quicker necessarily. But make them more resilent. Depending on weapon they can be already quite tiresome, however depending on weapon/active skill they can also be one or two-shotted which is not good. Make Chaos Warriors rarer but make them a more challenging encounter.

  • Make CW more resistent: Give them a damage cap, nothing in the game should be able to one-shot them on Cataclysm, not even a critical BH active skill shot with double damage and 500 % crit power. A damage cap so that lower damage weapons still have a chance to beat them with same effort as now but high damage weapons need at least two, best three shots.
  • Make CW more stagger resistent: I personally like the old stagger breaking point with the Flaming Flail. But it is discussable if this attack should be interruptable at all (yes, that includes Billhook and active skills too).
  • (Give them better armor but one which can break at random parts of the body, generating weakspots for faster dispatchment)
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I thought about immunity to 1 shots but it gets complicated. This would make Shade’s default ult less effective against CWs than Cloak of Mists, and would make WHC (since WHC can 1 full charge crit headshot + 1 light crit bodyshot to kill a CW shot and has Fervency) and Slayer better vs CWs relatively compared to Shade, BH and GK who all have single target 1 to 2 hit ults. It could also mean someone like GK just won’t want to use their ult on a CW even with Audacity, simply because the Exec can 2 shot them.

However, I think a damage cap would work well if the very high superarmour damage some weapons have was reigned in, like the Rapier’s full charge crits, Dual Dagger’s superarmour penetration etc. That way CWs don’t get 1 shot, but ultimates like GK’s are still good damage against them relatively compared to other options.

This would be interesting. It could open up attack angles in the meta and help make ones from above/horizontal not almost always the best. Likely too much effort at this point but it would heighten the skill ceiling.

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This isnt some sort of FPS where you can just aim for the loose leg part. Most weapons have a slightly angled fixed way to swing them, making it virtually impossible to strike certain areas reliably. Just having the “weakspot” on their right side, left side facing you, would make it increasingly difficult to hit them, since most/all weapons start their swing from right to left.

I would rather see CWs being borderline immortal if they dont get staggered/flinched first. Alot of weapons can stagger a CW with a heavy to the head. So it would not enforce bringing shields. That would also probably and finally make people care about stagger overrides and might make Opportunist a more valued trait.

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This is the same issue we have with headshots and weapons with poor headshot angles. Adding other weakspots would turn the bad angles (like Kerillian’s Greatsword’s light attacks) into ones that are sometimes better for hitting weakspots. I’d like to see a difference from headshots and hitting the neck personally (so sword slashes would deal more neck damage, maces deal more skull damage etc) but I can’t imagine Fatshark is going to make any big changes like that to the combat.

While I find the idea of CWs being super resistant when not staggered interesting, it would make weapons like the Rapier and Dual Daggers exceptionally bad against them, and would also hurt weapons like the Exec as it would be tied to focusing down a single CW to first stagger and then deal damage to, and could no longer deal any reasonable damage to them while kiting. The Falchion, Dual Swords and SnD would also be disproportionately negatively affected by this.

Fix CW iceskating first(any elites really) THEN we’ll talk about buffing them :slightly_smiling_face:


I often find the ice skating results in them and other elites not landing their attacks anywhere near me at all even if I stand still. It definitely needs improving.

Also fix the 20 CW thrown at you each 15 secs during weaves first and then we can talk about not staggering CW at all.

If CWs die too fast, it’s because of ults, mostly. There is no way to balance around that by toughening CWs. Either they become properly threathning to some but ridiculous to others, or weak to some while properly threathning to others (as they pretty much are now). Only way to balance that is by reworking careers with high single target damage possibilities. Same issue with Monsters and Lords, basically. Skarrik can either be a literal 5 second fight on Cata vs. the right team composition, or a 15 minute slog to another team. No way to balance that out by changing Skarrik or CWs, only by changing high damage ults / introducing damage caps to single hits.

And a single CW is never a big danger anyways. Just like any other enemy in the game. CWs are dangerous enough when they come in a horde or with a few other CWs / Maulers together, because they tank for the horde and the horde makes dodging their attacks harder / the horde hits you as you deal with the CW.

CWs don’t really need a buff, other than maybe an expiriment with a damage cap. If Unchained staggers them too easily, the problem is with Unchained, not with CWs stagger resist, which is balanced vs. Pretty much every other class / weapon.


A lot of things trivialize Chaos Warriors but like others said, I would rather see sliding enemies fixed first.


Exe GK
Billhook alt
Flaming Flail UC
Mace/Hammer & Shield stunlock
M&S light 1 stunlock
Locked and Loaded
Throwing Axes (Meme worthy but can stunlock CWs)
Valiant Charge (Vulnerable CWs assuming allies don’t overlap stagger)
Manbow Huntsman (2 - 3 headshot outside of ult, 1 quick headshot during ult)
2hh Crunch Slayer

and so on…

Have to keep in mind not everybody is at the same playing level and CWs like most enemies only really become threatening in mixed groups or high density.


Exec and every other armor piercing weapon is able to stagger CWs on head hits. CWs only receiving damage after getting staggered and while staggered beyond the first time would make you focus on one CW at a time, much like Shielded SVs. They would require more coordination and they wouldnt drop like flies. Would a Cata Patrol be terrifying, because you cant stagger out of overheads with common heavies? Yep. Would the ordinary CW that joins the wave be a threat? Hardly. Two? Maybe.

Right now they are walking medpacks.

Yeah, tell that to your mate who got overheaded instead of you 15 feet away without ever being targeted by said CW :wink:

And all that is bad only when you adopt the notion that heroes equipped with those weapons actually should be able to deal with a bunch of CWs effeciently. In the end, it is not a solo game.

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Honestly I’m fine with how UC works… finally she can be considered a tier A career… and most of all she is finally fun.

About CWs, we could also make them a little more aggressive (even if, imo, they are already able to make pressure when among hordes)… but the first change should be tune the diagonal swing from below.

I’m against buffing their damage… both because increase numbers is lazy way to increase the difficulty… and because it would nullifies the ability of tank careers to tank at least one hit.


Which is exactly what was suggested. Give them a cap so that you need by design at least two or three strikes to kill them. That way they can’t be noob’d away by super-attacks but weapons with weaker armor penetration don’t have a more miserable time.

While Unchained’s buffed stagger is a problem (and HAS to be changed without question), it is not the sole one. Look at the list that James wrote. At the moment Chaos Warriors are just to weak and it would be nice …

… if we for once get an enemy which is not creating threat by quantity but by itself. This is fine for Skaven but a Chaos Warrior should be something to be feared. In reverse their spawn rate has to be decreased, maybe even drastically if we can get a more interesting enemy in return. I think you proposed in another thread the idea of making bosses weaker but appear more often. This is the same principle just bottom-up instead of top-down approach. It is to create an enemy tier between fodder and big fodder.

Sure, bug fixing is necessary. But the existence of bugs should not be used as excuse to avoid changes.

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It’s not an excuse. If anything I’m agreeing changes should be made, CWs only feel threatening in mixed groups, density or because of said bugs like sliding and questionable uppercut shenanigans.

Just pointing out, depending on how they’re buffed players might feel frustrated and cheated because of those bugs.


It was not meant as an attack. Especially not at you. I just want to avoid people saying: “Let’s not discuss any changes until all bugs are fixed.” These things should come together.

Mainly because I have seen such arguments before.

No offense taken.

I’d personally like to see their stagger resist bumped up, limiting it to career skills, shields and maybe heavy hitting ranged headshots.

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True, I’ve been too zealous in my declaration of CWs being punching bags. Not everyone is at the same stage of skill, and there are builds that struggle with them. It’s an issue of some weapons and ultimates being too effective I think.

I agree. I think in the long run reigning in some of the extreme damage sources rather than giving CWs any special mechanics or massive number buffs will be both easier for Fatshark and lead to a balance that accounts for all careers and weapons, without adding anymore mechanics that the player is not informed of in-game.

They still would be for a Crunch Slayer, Zealot etc. In teams a FK alone would render a Norscan pat as weak as it is now with Battering Ram. While adding coordination-based elements is good for the game, there would still be too many ways to ignore and slaughter them. Dual Daggers are armour piercing, but iirc don’t stagger CWs on heavy headshots.

This is from my experience using Riposte on WHC in true solos, though I haven’t really noticed extreme sliding like this affecting anyone unless they weren’t paying attention to the CWs. CWs are difficult to purposefully block, particularly if there’s a lot of them, simply because of how they’ll slide away and often to the side of the player, unless you let them surround you. FoW is very good for demonstrating this. They are very clumsy enemies.

It’s likely the CW would already be staggered by someone else, which is usually the case on Cata, making such a change only really matter for low stagger weapons fighting CWs solo, which doesn’t fix the problems CWs have. It wouldn’t have any effect on a Crunch Slayer for example, who would proceed to eat the pat for thp as normal. It would also lead to Sienna’s 1h Sword dealing more damage to a CW (because of the weapon’s stagger) than a WHC headshotting with the Rapier and Deathknell.

I think it’s simply a case of whole lot of strong, meta weapons and some ultimates having too much superarmour penetration. The Rapier’s full charged headshots don’t have too much, but the crits do, Dual Daggers/SnD have too much base penetration etc.

Good OP i think you are confusing the thing about some careers like say a shield engi being able to stunlock entire CW parties and CW´s being weak generally. Because i am rather sure they dont need buffs more than maybe being made resistant to stuff like chainstuns.

That since, for instance, their damage is already enough to oneshot most “non tank” careers on practically any hit short of the punch which deals 1/4th of a squishy healthbar.

This is a terrible idea, far too many weapons cant stagger CW´s at all and would render any weapon that cant useless for any map that includes a fair number of them like CoD or enchanters lair. It would also massively buff chaos patrols which is already beyond unnecessary.

It would also make it impossible to deal with any number of CW´s beyond 1 at the same time since stagger debuff wears off pretty quickly.

Yes, yes, yes!

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There’s also an issue with reducing the number of CWs. It would cause Norscan hordes to have too few armoured enemies, which would lead to them being wiped out too easily by aoe/high cleave/shotguns etc.