Developer Update - January 31


Welcome to our first in a series of status updates from the Shark Tank. Last week, the first installment of the ‘Curse of Drachenfels’ hit the live servers along side the kick off for Season 2 and patch 2.1!

What would Vermintide 2 be without rats? Well, actually it would still be quite cool since you’d still get to fight the Norscans and Beastmen, but that aside, we would not be here without our furry friends. They put the vermin in the Vermintide. With the Year of the Rat upon us, Vermintide 2 will pay its rat-spects from Wednesday the 5th of February until 13th of February on PC. You can read more on what this is en-tails on our website next week.

This week we’ve been working to fix up some crash fixes on all platforms, these will be coming the moment they’re tested and ready. There is also been some weirdness with DLC entitlements, with classic Vermintide skins disappearing in Vermintide 2 for those who own Vermintide 1. Tom (of Fatshark Stream fame!) has been ironing out some of those kinks, and looking in to fixing up other issues pertaining to challenge accreditation for purchased Bogenhafen items and similar issues. Some of these issues can and will be fixed without the need for a patch. Stability fixes are on target for the Rat Infestation event coming early next week, and further fixes will be coming with Patch 2.2 and the release of Chapter Two of the Curse of Drachenfels.

Sienna! What a witch.

We sat down with Game Designer Kasper this week to talk a little bit about Sienna. There has been a fair bit of discussion this week surrounding our favorite wizard, with one of her infamous talent combos being brought down a peg (or two) in patch 2.1.

Sienna is fairly unique. Being a wizard of one particular school lends herself to being a particularly ranged focused, and in a game where melee should be the focus it can be difficult to design natural feeling abilities and synergies that allow for various interesting builds. Finding those flavors is hard, especially with two careers (BW/Pyro) being particularly ranged focused.

Can we talk a bit about why we made the changes we did, and is this where Battle Wizard will be now for Season 2?

"The bond between ‘Lingering Flames and Famished Flames’ + ‘Kaboom!’ was undeniably strong throughout Season 1, and the picks became almost mandatory on some of the toughest challenges in the game right now. For Season 2, Battle Wizard has seen that brought down to more reasonable levels. There’s multiple angles we look to balance from, examples being ‘is something overperforming, or is other stuff underperforming?’ and in this case we’re certain that this talent pairing was the former. We noticed commentary trending that she was super strong, and oftentimes super boring to be in a lobby with as watching your BW simply pressing “F” to win isn’t much fun for everyone else.

We still feel she has her core tenets met - the Battle Wizard represents Sienna trying to balance her addiction to Aqshy, but there’s still a fair bit of recklessness in there. It has a large AoE, explosion and dot heavy kit at her disposal still, but just without the one-button-to-win build. There may be additional adjustments made throughout this season, so do continue to share your feedback with us!"

Nice one, cheers! On to Unchained - there is a bit of talk about town that Unchained feels in a bit of an awkward spot at the moment. What are your thoughts on that?

"Unchained is a career with a pretty high skill ceiling I think, but when mastered can be very rewarding to play. It’s obviously the most melee-centric pick of the career choices for Sienna, and as mentioned before can be tricky to integrate nicely into a ranged archetype.

There is a murmuring amongst the community that Unchained has just only one viable build at the moment. I think that’s what you’re getting at right? I can see the possibility of some stuff to add more varied options to her kit in the future for sure. There is a discrepancy between her ability where it feels like you are giving up your power (overcharge) when you use it. Maybe we could scale with overcharge? More damage/radius when near max level overcharge? Or yield a cool buff when used at high overcharge. Something could be done there. I do think it’s going to take more than just sliding numbers up the scale, though, so it will need some more thought. Ideas of course welcome!"

Cool. Looking forward to seeing where we go with that. Lastly (for now) – Sienna’s Mace. What role is this envisaged to play, and any chance of some love soon?

“Siennas mace is a bashy/tanky weapon which transitioned from 1-handed weapon in Vermintide 1 to a 1.5-handed weapon in Vermintide 2 (a Bastard Mace? Can we call it that?). It should have good output versus armoured enemies as well as being a decent crowd control weapon, less on the damaging side and more on the tanky side. Maybe the issue is that it’s quite complex to use, what with alternating moveset for the charged attacks. I’d wager the mace could use some tuning as well in a future update. Since from the perspective of a 1h weapon it’s a bit slow, from the perspective of a 2h weapon it has a bit of a low output.

On the immediate horizon this won’t see change, but certainly is on my list of things to mess about with in a future update!”

Cheers, Kasper!

What is next?

Aside from the Rat Infestation coming to the Keep next week, we also look forward to bringing you the next mission later in February in the Curse of Drachenfels update - Blood in the Darkness . Here is a small sneak-peak quote from Lohner’s thoughts about Blood in the Darkness :

" Well, you’ve opened up a path to Castle Drachenfels, so it’s time to get in there and find out what’s going on - and, if at all possible, rescue as many luckless villagers as you can. The Pactsworn are definitely up to something. Whether they’re trying to resurrect Drachenfels himself or something else, put an end to it.

addendum from Hedge :

I did want to get a screenshot in here, but we’re not able to get assets approved in time, so please accept, as promised, this screenshot, or at least my artistic interpretation. Thank you.



Can we get that as a ravaged art to hang in the keep, pretty please?


Thank you so much for this sentence alone. Hopefully, this helps that people stop the bs claim that there is no balancing done during the season!

Personally, I feel that Unchained is actually in a good spot and does not need to much. So let me say before beginning: There are some talents which need some tweaking, yes. But please do NOT reduce the rsk part. No increase in overcharge pool and no change in damage transfer mechanic. With this out of the way, I would suggest the following changes:

  • Searing Grasp: Searing Grasp increases in addition to ist current effect the DoT-effect time for all attacks OR Searing Grasp get an increase of ist DoT-effect time in dependance of the overcharge (the higher the longer but just for push burns)
  • Chain Reaction: Enemies ignited by the explosions should burn and receive damage by burning so that we can actually get a chain reaction, Maybe up the explosion chance
  • Flame Wave: I think most people agree that this one is nearly never used so you should completely rework it. Here my suggestion (although I am sure that the inherent flaw will never get it past the community wall): Change Name to either Unchained! or Implosion! Upon activation Sienna can not explode by overcharge for 30 s no matter how much damage she receives, her damage reduction is increased to 75 % and her damage can scale up to 100 % depending on received damage. However, after the 30 s Sienna will be downed (or outright killed). Maybe add an explosion depending on received damage. This way she would dish out ridiculous damage for 30 s while being near invincible but would pay with being killed (so no clutch talent). Sacrificing her only safety net for even more damage, truly Unchained.

Other than that, I really really don’t think that there are more changes needed. Some talents are just underappreciated like Fuel to the Fire which in my opinion is her strongest Tier 6 Talent.

As for the Mace: I tried to use it one time with a defense bulwark-type build in mind. But it just didn’t work (mostly thanks to missing skill). So, I don’t know if it is to much effort I think it would be interesting to develop the mace towards shield-like behaviour. Having good stagger on push and a larger cone. This way it would synergize well with a build around Searing Grasp - Enfeebling Flames - Bulwark and offer her a true defense/support build (especially useful on higher difficulties).

Also, cool screenshot.


suggestion on unchained, give unchained ultimate kaboom affect as passive, damage and dot. she has a important ultimate and is very lackluster outside of saving herself only from dying. this will give it a punch to otherwise a very underwhelming ultimate.

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BW feels like it is in a good spot right now. I’ve messed around with several builds, and it doesn’t seem to be super overtuned. The FFA changes seem to actually be making her engaging. She is still probably the strongest overall wiz class with her versatility, but she doesn’t feel like an “I win” button now.

Pyro is in a perfectly good position. Strong melee and strong ranged.

UC - This class is in a very bad place. Worse melee damage output than Pyro or BW (depending on weapon). The only weapon she deals more damage with is the flail and/or the mace. Unfortunately, these are probably the two worst melee options for Sienna.
She also has the lowest effective hp. If you play her at high overcharge (which you would if you’re meleeing. She’s always 1 hit + FF or gas or gunner or flame rat from dying. In fact, she reaches that 1 shot territory at half overcharge. This makes her extremely squishy. She can eat an overhead which is something, but that isn’t really tankiness in this game as those are the easiest attacks to avoid in the first place. For now, she is the squishiest career and the lowest damage. There is no reason to bring her outside of Bomb Balm which feels out of place to begin with.

Recommendation: Reduce the DR to be more in line with other classes (30% to overheat bar) and make it where taking damage doesn’t actually blow you up. This way, if you want to be melee, it’s easier to maintain your overheat and you are actually a little bit tanky. Even BW gets pretty much 100% uptime on 30% DR so I don’t think that is out of line.


This weapon (regardless of intent) is not a bashy/Tanky weapon. Those characteristics do not fit it’s moveset or inherent properties. It should be looked at as an anti armor option or an “all-rounder.” At least according to its moveset. This weapon is a very easy fix. It simply needs increased range and increased damage. I would say about a 10-20% increase for both, but that’s hard to tell without testing it. It has some uppercuts that could be replaced with useful attacks, but it has a unique and effective attack pattern for almost every situation. It simply needs number tuning. Also, maybe speed it up a bit. It’s very slow compared to the damage it does. It’s a 1.5H mace because it has 2HH attack speed and 1HH damage.

TLDR: more range: faster attack speed: more damage. Exact numbers would need to be tested.


Thanks for taking the time to put this together @Fatshark_Hedge. It looks like it will go a long way towards addressing the communication issues that have been commented on by the community.

Also I’m with @DatDing15. We need this detailed rendering of the castle in the keep. Mayhaps a doodle to accompany all development updates, purchasable in LE, would beef out the art available for the keep.

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Unchained doesn’t quite offer enough for how risky she is.
Melee output is similar if not worse to the other 2 Sienna classes while ranged output is lower and a lot riskier to play.
The way damage reduction interacts with blood magic/overcharge makes her extremely risky/squishy to the point players will save onto living bomb for when they inevitably blow up.
With the nerf to cooldown on ranged attacks and a 120 second cooldown, players are even more likely to hold onto living bomb due to how long it takes to recover her safety net.

In some ways she is similar to Zealot, closer to death = more power.
Increasing her overcharge capacity, damage reduction or providing more ways to reduce her overcharge generation might levitate some of her issues.

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Truely insterresting article.
What about plans for consoles ?

Battle wizard;
Right now she is super strong. Using famished flames is good on every staff i would say, even makes flame sword super strong. Using volcanic on bolt is super usefull and focusses on quickly charging on spell to do more dmg if you play around your vent talent, even if you dont its strong.

Some thoughts on bw:

  • I feel like dots shouldnt work on super armor, maybe make it do reduced dmg or remove it.
  • Fix immersive immolation with beam shotgun blast.
  • maybe make beam activate volcanic after 2 seconds, so the snipe gets more damage. because i feel that the snipe is underwhelming right now, especially on cata.
  • lingering is a weird talent, i would love to see it changed to something else.
  • FFa is still super strong, reduces an already super fast ult even faster. but its not instant anymore so thats good, and with the ranged cdr changes, ffa kind of gives it back.
  • Remove lazy first ult talent choice, doesnt make sense to have -30cdr ult, maybe i am missing a use for it.
  • Kaboom right now only has a little higher radius? not sure on burnout radius, but i feel like having 2 burnout ults is more usefull then a little bit more radius. (if someone knows numbers pls pm me :slight_smile: ) maybe kaboom has more stagger? when i use it ingame i feel like burnout and kaboom have the same amount of dmg.

Pyro right now is strong/fun
Lots of different build choices, strong ranged, strong melee. literally perfect in my eyes. some might say op, but i dont agree with that.

Unchained is kind off a weird career, like alot have already suggested, you should take a look at how dmg gets calculated into your overcharge. Most of the time when you play her you stay at 4 stacks without ult being ready and 5 with ult being ready, or atleast i do. she needs alot of switching back and forth and need to pay close attention to gas/gunners etc. once a gunner drops behind you, you are practically dead, except if a teammate can save you. I dont agree with 1 tick of gas killing you, if you pay attention you can pretty much outvent it.

It’s true that pyro also has a build where you play around high overcharge and she can do the same amount of dmg without risk of blowing up, procs ss all the time aswell, i’m not saying to nerf pyro, but in comparison, uc is weird is that aspect.

Not sure what she needs to be effective, because i’m not really a game designer :slight_smile: but i’m sure you’ll find something.


Yeah, so, art in the keep, ya? Glad we agree. I look forward to seeing it! @InFro and @DatDing15 have it right.

We appreciate your work, Hedge :slight_smile: Thanks for the post and I look forward to seeing how you tune things. I was already thinking of reserving tonight for sitting down and cutting through a couple rat-packs, so this was well timed!


I wonder if gating the overheat gain from damage would make a big difference, e.g., first hit that would take you over = takes you to 99%, the next hit at 99 makes you overheat.

Wouldn’t completely decouple the overheat threat from melee damage, but gives time for you to react and vent or avoid further damage.

This is how it currently works.


This is the way it works currently. It has an internal CD of like 10 seconds. However, you can overheat from a tick of gas, 1 gunner bullet, 1 FF damage, etc. Also, some weird interactions with specials make you instantly explode, even if you have ult up.


Here’s a free idea for the Mace. Give it more cleave and the properties of a Torch. Fire DOT on all its hits. Lighting dark areas is optional.

Importantly, increasing the damage the DOT on the mace does is really up there for its needs. It does only two tics of DOT, and the damage is a complete afterthought, even with Unchained’s full stacks of Overcharge boosting the power.

Good! Her Flail is my fav weapon in the game atm and if there are to be any changes I’d like them to be deeply thought on.

Thanks for the update. Shame there was no info on Geneviève Dieudonné. I’d also like that art work in the keep. You could even spin it as bardin drawing the castle to impress Catherine with his art skills.

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You made me whoop out my Gimp-Skills:

Edit: Excuse the typo



I think that the UC has some issues, but that the core mechanics are good.

  1. Sensitivity to AoE/ranged. While the UC is really sensitive to a lot of weak attacks when on high overcharge, it is the gas, warpfire, ratling bullets if there is no cover and, somewhat, arrows that are the problem that simply cannot be dealt with without a lot of luck. The one solution that I would propose would consist of two elements:
    a) collecting the damage of the above kind, showing it to the player, but not actually passing the overcharge part for a few seconds when it would result in the explosion, and
    b) giving the UC the ability to vent while holding any weapon, either on a regular venting key or on a special weapon attack key.

  2. Searing Grasp and Chain reaction should be buffed. SG should either add DOT to all attacks, or have permanent effect like Lingering flames or preferably combination of both, but with slightly weaker DPS compared to LF. SG should be more reliable overall.

  3. Numb to Pain should be slightly buffed.

  4. The Ult + Flame Wave, Fuel for the Fire and Bomb Balm. Apart from and in combination with the AoE issue under 1), the UC ultimate is my main problem with this career. Considering how long it takes to get ready and how few ways there are to reduce that time, its effects are really underwhelming.
    a) It should have a lot more stagger, especially against the specials, enough to free characters held by assassins or packmaster.
    b) FW should have the damage increased too.
    c) FftF effects should last longer or the power boost should be higher.
    d) LB healing should be higher.

Other Sienna issues:

  1. Pyro: I’ve never had good feeling regarding the effects of Blazing Echo. Maybe I’m misunderstanding it somehow, but whenever I play Pyro, the BE would either refill the ultimate completely one or more times in a row or do absolutely nothing - too often the latter, considering my Crit Chance.

  2. Mace: in a way I like the weapon, but it simply has too many issues. The very least that you could do with it is increase its stagger.

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This is the exact problem, good that at least you acknowledge it. Since it’s unused anyway, you should try to make it a proper 2-handed weapon.
First, because she has none.
Second, because it already works like 2 handed hammer on Bardin, so you invented nothing new.