Detailed post-beta feedback from a Kruber/Bardin main

I’ve put in a lot of play time during and after the beta into Kruber and Bardin to get the mercenary and IB 100 mission hats. Here’s what I would consider the biggest issues I have with the current patch:

1. Skavenslaves
Slaves are the most frustrating enemy to fight because they have a tendency to initiate running attacks from 2 feet away. If you have a group of slaves in front of you and move or dodge backwards what tends to happen is the slaves will form a rolling waterfall of heat seeking running attacks that hit you in sequence like a chainsaw. This can also happen if you shove rats back, they will immediately dash into melee again and often stack on top of other rats to create hyperdensity. If you do anything but block you will immediately take a hit that interrupts what you’re doing and opens you up to further hits. If it’s just 1-5 rats this isn’t a big deal, but if there are a lot of rats you will have no opening to hit back, especially if you have a slow weapon like 2h hammer.

IIRC this used to be a big problem with fanatics and I can’t remember what they did to fix it. In any case it should be impossible for rats to execute a running attack unless they start a sufficient distance away. They also shouldn’t run at players already engaged by a wall of rats.

2. Hyperdensity
This is a well known problem and Fatshark has taken measures to fix it. It’s not perfect but it feels better than it used to. The currently problem I have with the system is hyperdensity on a small scale. Sometimes when you engage 2-3 enemies they will all stack on a single spot instead of spreading out to surround you. For instance if you see a stormvermin in front of you and have a 2h hammer it’s a simple matter to smash the rat on the head and kill it. But the moment your hammer lands a second stormvermin pops out of the first one like a chestburster and smacks you with an overhand attack. A similar problem is when multiple enemies somehow sync their animations such that it looks like one enemy is attacking you, but it’s really 2 enemies in lockstep that are clipping together.

These kinds of issues are nothing new if you’re fighting next to a drop or a ledge the enemies are climbing up. What makes them such a problem is that they keep happening on open ground where that shouldn’t be an issue. Obviously whatever section of the game code that’s responsible for telling enemies to spread out when attacking isn’t working in some cases.

3. Ratling gunner/flamer stagger
Increasing ratling gunner/flamer stagger resistance was a good idea on paper. However the implementation didn’t work out so great. The basic idea is that light superficial hits will be ignored while the rat is attacking, this makes the players expend more effort to suppress them or just bring a bigger gun. In practice however this increase makes the rats completely immune to drake pistols and swiftbow. You cannot stagger them with any attack even if you’re pounding critical hits directly into their faces. Hagbane and Bolt staff suffer from this to a lesser degree because light attacks can’t stagger but they have a heavier attack to fall back on. Every other ranged weapon either kills the gunners in one shot, or reliably staggers them in one shot.

Effectively this change ended up being an unintended nerf to drake pistols and swiftbow. I think they should either reverse it or change gunner stagger thresholds so that cumulative light hits will add up and stagger them (especially crits/headshots).

4. Ambushes
I don’t like how the game currently handles ambushes. They feel like “ultra-hordes” because they aren’t any smaller than regular hordes and they pour enemies onto you from all directions. It ends up being 3-4 times harder than a regular horde and it can be extremely frustrating if the director keeps throwing them at you, or spawns one during a boss. Particularly given the skavenslave issues I mentioned above.

I think ambushes should be reworked to make them distinct from hordes. The number of enemies/waves should be cut by half (maybe more) and a random number of marauders/berserkers/stormvermin would be mixed in instead. This makes ambushes short and sharp like they should be instead of just being a horde that spawns on top of your head.

5. Scrounger
The current implementation overperforms at the high end and unfairly nerfs weapons with low ammo. Weapons like handgun and blunderbuss suffer the most because they have very slow reload speeds and thus fewer chances to hit and score a crit, and when they do crit they only get a single ammo back.

I strongly feel that Scrounger should be returned to it’s old flat rate of 2 ammo per crit. The single target limitation is perfect and doesn’t need to be changed.

6. Shield pushing
I don’t recall anything in the patch notes about this so it may be a bug. The stagger strength of shield pushes has been reduced since the end of the beta. Previously your pushes were strong enough to stun and interrupt stormvermin and maulers regardless of what animation they were in. It was also effective against berserkers and CWs with a little help from other attacks or crits. This ability to stun on demand is one of the fundamental reasons to bring a shield in the first place and removing it is a heavy nerf. I strongly feel that this should be reversed.

7. Maces/shield
Mace/shield is currently underperforming, in fact I’d go so far as to describe the current implementation as “garbage”. Both compared to the other shield weapons and especially compared to everything else. When compared to 1h mace it has the same light attacks, but it’s heavy strike is weaker than the 1h mace light 4 finisher attack. It’s push attack is pathetic compared to the 1h mace heavy, costs stamina to use, and has an especially weak headshot multiplier.

When you look at the other shield weapons they are very similar to the 1h version of the same weapon. Axe/shield is a lot like 1h axe, only you have a shield and trade mobility for protection. Same with sword/shield, the attack patterns may be different but the basic hack and slash stats are the same. Mace/shield is the odd one out because it’s a heavily nerfed version of 1h mace with no redeeming features.

Here is how I would rework the weapon:

  • Add a Light 4 overhand attack to finish the light attack chain, same as 1h mace.
  • Buff push attack power and headshot multiplier to match 1h mace heavy.
  • Increase power for the heavy 1 sweep attack until the armour damage becomes 10. (about 15% more)
  • Push attacks now chain to Light 3 which lets you do an overhand smash, an uppercut, then end with another smash. This combo increases your armour damage output for the same stamina. (the 1h mace works a similar way with heavy 2 chaining to light 3)
  • Light 3 now chains to shield slam, which lets you do Light 1-3 then slam for crowd control. This also opens up the bigger Light 1-2, Heavy 1, Light 2-3, Slam combo for even more horde clear.

8. Handgun
During the beta handgun cleave was nerfed down to 5.66. This puts it below the 6 needed to cleave marauders, meaning that hitting a marauder will stop your shot and you won’t hit any further target. This is a big problem if you’re trying to kill specials behind other enemies, the primary reason anyone would bring a handgun in the first place. Frankly I’m baffled as to why anyone though this was necessary. Handgun is already tied for the slowest attack speed in the entire game and no one uses it on hordes, it’s exclusively for specials and elites because of it’s slow reloads and limited ammunition. Handgun suffers even more when you factor in the scrounger nerf and the buffs to other weapons like Repeater that now leave it in the dust.

Handgun cleave should be raised to 8.48 which would put it back on the same level as Longbow and Crossbow. This is not overpowered by any means, especially given that those other weapons have almost twice the attack speed.

9. 2h weapon and shield dodge range
2h weapons like hammer have the worst dodge range by far, something they share with shield weapons. I think they should be buffed slightly in that regard because the dodge distance is so short it can be impossible to avoid things like packmasters and boss overhands. Even if you dodge at the right moment and your ping is acceptable the distance travelled is so short that you will get hit anyway.

10. Drakegun/Flamestorm + Drake pistol
I still see people who have no idea how to play around these weapons, they constantly run in front of the people trying to use them. My suggestion would be to add a marker on the ground whenever a player charges up the heavy attack on drakegun or drake pistols. This would work just like conflag staff, only instead of being round it would be cone shaped to mark the danger zone.

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Fully agreed on everything regarding H&S. The overhead really isn’t remotely powerful. Your only good way of dealing with armor is headshotting with C1, which is… yeah. Chaining into uppercut+overhead is the best way to fix the weapon. The only way shatfark could have justified removing the overhead was making C1 really good against armor, which it very much isn’t.

Don’t entirely 100% agree on everything else, but H&S… please.

Thank God im not alone. The fcking running attack of the slave rats is the most frustrating thing in the the entire game. A pack of those fckers is more dangerous then 6 chaos warriors combined, due to their insanely fast running attack and hyper-density potential. This is even more noticeable when using Kruber, due to the fact that most of his weapons are slow as hell (halabard, two-handed hammer, two-handed sword), which usually results in you taking a wagon of damage… The damage they deal is also really inconsistent, sometimes it’s little more then a scratch, other times a sigle blow from a slave rat is more powerful than chaos warrior’s slash

Totally agree here as well. I used it once after the patch just to see how it felt, after that i never used it again. I also agree with the shield pushing, it got nerfed pretty bad…All in all great post

2 Likes

Bardin main here. It’s their problem really, just like when they jump in front of the mage’s attacks. But yeah, I like the idea of cone shaped marker.

Great post and I agree with pretty much everything you said.

Skaven running attacks is a super interesting topic. I don’t think they have anything to do with how far away the rat is from you, but rather with your movement relative to each other. That is, if you’re backing up or otherwise moving away from the rat it will always initiate a running attack regardless of distance. If you’re stationary or moving towards it, it does a standing attack. This can be really handy for juking rats without even having to dodge, but also really annoying because it’s easy to accidentally trigger running attacks by just moving around while fighting.

I remember when I started playing V1 and these mechanics were very frustrating and non-intuitive, but once I got the hang of it it was much easier to manage a large skaven horde alone. I learned when to push, when to block, when to move forward or back, etc. But in V2 the hordes are so much bigger as a general rule, and so much more chaotic, that it’s way harder - especially with enemies clipping into each other as you mentioned. It gets to the point where moving back at any given moment will trigger some running attacks from the clipped together mess of rat stabbiness. Lag only makes things worse, as sometimes the server may think you are moving when you are not and so the rats get to do a running attack when they shouldn’t.

The only thing I don’t agree with is

I don’t think these weapons should be able to stagger gunner/flamer. They’re light weapons and you’re shooting a big armored rat… these weapons can’t stagger stormvermin even on charged attacks, so it seemed weird that they could stagger flamer/gunner. I do go back and play V1 quite a bit and the most recent change is how it was in V1 - light attacks don’t stagger them, and charge attack for swiftbow and even I think hagbane don’t. Basically if they’re that easy to stagger they just become a trivial annoyance even for someone with light weapons.

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I don’t really play Kruber much but I will definitely second the Handgun cleave nerf.

I never understood this one. Even Kruber Huntsmen don’t use this thing as a Horde killer. This is only really used for Elites, Specials, and Boss Mobs.

3 Likes

I think it’s okay if shield weapons have similar DPS to non shield weapons, you gain increased durability in the form of blocking power but the loss of mobility more than makes up for this. You can’t just kite things in circles by repeatedly dodging, you have to stand and fight because your dodge range and block move speed is minimal. I think axe/shield and sword/shield are set in that regard, but the current incarnation of mace/shield is definitely lacking. If they simply buffed the push attack to match the old heavy and increased the power on the heavy sweep a bit I think it would be perfect. When you compare the two weapons you have two different attack patterns, but with the same recognizable mace gameplay. 1h mace has overhand heavy smashes and horizontal push attacks. Mace/shield has overhand push attacks and heavy horizontal sweeps.

Increasing the heavy sweep damage and adding a Light 4 attack also solves the biggest issue it currently has, which is every time something armoured comes up the only viable tactic you have is push attack spam. It takes 3 push attacks to kill one SV and a whopping 10 attacks to kill one CW, and that’s IF you hit the head every time! So even if you’re an ironbreaker it’s almost impossible for you to kill one CW on your own and much harder to survive one if you have zero stamina. If there are multiple CWs or multiple shieldvermin, well the rest of the party is just carrying you at that point.

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I actually did some testing on this just now and the results were… mixed.

  1. Drake pistols reliably stagger stormvermin with every shot (blast attack works too), but swift bow does not stagger them at all even with a crit headshot.
  2. Against ratling gunners neither weapon can stagger with any combination of crit or headshots. But drake pistols can still stagger them before they start to shoot.
  3. Against flame rats both weapons stagger with every hit. Swiftbow light shots can’t deal any damage because the flame rats are armoured, but they still stagger with every shot and bounce them around like a pinball. I’m pretty sure that’s a bug, flame rats have the same armour type, HP and attack animation as gunners so they should react more or less the same way.

As far as balance goes I would be happy if they just allowed drake pistols to stagger gunners again. Pistol shots don’t strike me as “light” attacks because they can kill and stagger SV just fine. That would mean that only swiftbow, bolt staff/hagbane light attacks and low numbers of shotgun pellets can’t stagger gunners.

In the case of switftbow it would then be the only weapon that can’t stagger armour under any circumstances, but this makes sense because it’s as far from an anti-armour weapon as you can get. It’s the weakest ranged weapon but has the most ammo and it even says anti-horde on the box.

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I’ll agree with that, makes sense.

Shields aren’t good because they let you block more, they’re good because they give you massive CC potential. Edit: Your block comes up really fast too, so I guess you’re right.

The range is enough to dodge everything that needs to be dodged. I hope they don’t mess with it.

Agreed on the hammer/mace and shield though. It’s weakness against armour is such a big issue that it makes using the weapon a liability to the team.

I like that the stun has been moved to the shield slam instead of the push. Pushing is too easy and safe considering you could interrupt just about anything with it. I just wish the slam actually staggered things reliably. Namely berserkers.

I don’t care about walking in front of them because they do basically zero FF damage, even at legend. Also, I’m here to kill things, not to watch someone else stand still and hold m1.

You say all this like it’s a bad thing.

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That and a couple of other useful/unique thngs. You block really fast and you also return to block after shoving fast too, that’s why I prefer the old shove to the new bash. They also drastically reduced the stamina needed to block smite attacks, you can block a SV overhand for 2 shields or a CW overhand for 3 shields instead of the 10+ it used to take if you didn’t have any BCR. With BCR you can now block 1-3 elites or a properly dense horde almost indefinitely which is almost like having a pocket IB ult with 100% BCR.

The new shield bash is more powerful but less reliable. The old shove would stun SV and maulers 100% of the time guaranteed regardless of what animation they were in. Against bersekers it was iffy but you can usually beat them to the punch and stun them before they went into the attack pattern. Against CW shove would only work on them if they were weakened by something else but if you got them into that state you could usually keep them locked down. With the bash if you find a single CW or SV on it’s own you can chain stun them just by bashing the face repeatedly, this is 100% reliable especially combined with blocking. However in “non laboratory” conditions where you have elites mixed into a horde or multiple elites attacking at once it doesn’t work every time. And unlike with shoving you are almost guaranteed to take a hit in return if you try to bash an attacking enemy and it fails to stagger.

This is just a suspicion but I think it may have to do with the new 3-arc slam system where you have a primary target and two wider arcs. Only the primary target seems to get staggered reliably, but exactly which target in the narrow arc you hit seems to vary a bit. This contrasts with shove which reliably hits everything in your forward arc.

Yeah I get that. When I take drake weapons I try to use them only when necessary, which to me means against specials and hordes when it’s obvious that the party is in danger. In a decent party that’s not often.

But a lot of pubs clearly aren’t good enough for legend and we could finish the map 5 minutes sooner if they would just stand still for a second so that I can quickly melt the horde (and so that the BH won’t ult them in the back of the head like some handmaidens I could mention…). I think having a visible THE FLOOR IS LAVA type decal on the ground would eventually get the point across. I don’t like shooting them in the back even if I know the damage is superficial because it’s a bad habit and some of them get pissy over 1-2 damage.

Well to be more specific the big issue with ambushes for me is the skavenslave jankyness I mentioned earlier. Skaven ambushes are just overly frustrating to fight because you tend to get stuck in an “inflatable donut” of skavenslaves poking you in the back and initiating running attacks no matter what direction you move. Plus a lot of ambush-only spawn points are just straight up broken. Sometimes rats will pop out of thin air with no animation, or they might come up through the ground and be invisible because they’re standing inside you. I’ve even seen a few cases of rats jumping through windows and then falling through the ground where you can’t see them but they can still hit you if get too close. Stuff like that.

Chaos ambushes work just fine but rat ambushes just don’t feel… right? It’s hard to quantify exactly how or why but I think they would feel a lot better if they can nail some of the bugs I mentioned.

2H sword / repeater meta baby
Run n gun

The new push attack deals with armor. Hordes can be dodged and carved through. Spin 180 and push behind you from time to time if in danger of being surrounded. Use parry trait, he isn’t the elf; it feels good to smash through packs of storm vermin, berserkers / monks, and chaos warriors

Though I do wish 2H hammer to be better, and the other weapons mentioned

I get that, the addition of the slam mechanic and the shift from pushing to slamming did come with a couple of small nerfs. Using the slam instead of a push means you have to be more selective with what you try to interrupt because charging up even a quick slam is more dangerous for the user than the push. Given how powerful an interrupt is though, I think it was fair to level out the danger/reward balance. My issue is that this balance is still a little off; From being too reliable for too little danger, to the right amount of danger, but too unreliable. This is really only with berserkers though. I think it’s fine against other enemies.

I’ve got no argument against your suggestion. Personally it wouldn’t stop me walking where I want any more than the conflag circle does.
I’d argue that the problem here is that there are people in legend (or champ, or vet, whatever) when they aren’t ready for it. I think maybe the difficulty gating system could be looked at. Hero power doesn’t actually have anything to do with the player’s skill/knowledge, and skill/knowledge is vastly more important than hero stats at the top end. It also couldn’t hurt for the game to be better at explaining itself to players.

I agree that they can be a bit inconsistent at times. It’s the chain-running attacks that get me.

I agree with the handgun. I went from using it on all 3 of Krubers classes, to not using it at all.

Bow for huntsman, since it stuns CWs and can 2 shot them, 1 shots SV even with body hits. And you can farm ammo on hordes running at you from their spawn. So much ammo on headship.

Repeater pistol for Merc and FK. It 1-2 shots all specials, can’t remember how many hits for pack master tho. But it fires so fast you can deal with even multiple specials thrown at you.

Handgun doesn’t really have a place anymore in the current meta.

Agree, now that I think of it I never see anyone with handgun anymore.

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