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!”
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.