[Discussion] Change/Re-Balance of the Talent Trees

Disclaimer: All numbers and talents are open for discussion and serve as placeholder for discussion so try to reduce on the “Its to op OP/weak” comments. This is merely meant to present the general idea. Even it such a re-balance at this point is unlikely or not in your interest there might be singular talent ideas which could interest you. So take a look at the screenshots as well.

Good, to the actual topic. Currently the talent trees are in some cases rather uninspired and some choices are near non-existent leading to more or less streamlined talent tree. I think the main problem is that the choices are limited between similar effects or similar points. So no matter what you choose you will always have temporary health for level 20. With this said, I propose the following change open for discussion.

Pre-Condition: Weaken the ground state of all heroes so that they are from values near identical with the exception of their specific active and passive skill. Passive and active skill will be reduced in effectiveness too.
Talent trees: “Rotate” the current talent trees by 90 °. You will have now three lanes. The left lane is meant for augmentation of the active and passive skill while the other two are meant for certain playstyles. Mixtures are of course possible as well.
To cover the loss of the initial bonuses the talents can be strenghtened and level 30 talents can be introduced.
Advantages: Choices are more meaningful (do you want a stronger active skill or temporary health), choices of talents allows for more diverse builds and builds are less streamlined, current playstyles are still possible (you can still play ranged but you have now to sacrifice power in other areas), temporary health is still in the game but needs sacrifices in other areas, less discussion about Natural Bond because temporary health is less prominent
Disadvantage: Initial State is very weak making game in the beginning harder, Heroes are not all powerful anymore and have to accept weaknesses if they want to excel in certain areasy, balancing will take a loooooooot of time, half of talents will be broken initital.

I have exercised two full examples for this (numbers and places of the talents are placeholder and are only for presenting the basic idea): Ironbreaker (screenshot #1) and Ranger Veteran (#2).

For some other careers I only showed how the left lane talent tree could look like: WHC (#3), Foot Knight (#4), Pyromancer (#5), Shade (#6).

Like said before, even if you dislike the whole idea, looking at the screenshots might be worthwhile if you look for talent ideas. For most talents there was some (not much) thought put into it. So if you have a question you can ask below the specific screenshot.

With this: Here are the screenshots

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1514791003
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1514792079
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1514792234
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1514792161
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1514792387
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1514792298

3 Likes

This is a great idea.
As much as I love the “Pick your passive/active enhancement” tree-type, this is obviously poorly done here by FS (too much 30% cooldown imo, but that’s not the topic here).
Let me comment on all those sweet trees.

Ironbreaker

• Moving Fortress
-If needed to be a bit stronger on lower levels, I’d revert back Gromril armour to 100% damage absorption, and make the level 15 talent something like “Absorb all incoming damage for the next second after Gromril armour absorbed an attack”. But it already seems fairly balanced on your tree.
-Your level 30 talent is a bit weird and restrictive. I’d change it to : During Taunt, you gain (temporary) health for all attack you block (maybe add a maximum health gained to that).

• Crowd Control
-Three extra stamina shield is a hell lot x)

Ranger Veteran

• Smoker
-I really don’t like the level 25 talent, and the level 15 looks like it’s gonna bring a lot of bugs (minor, just number, but still bugs). I’d just put More ammo at level 5, Health or Pots at level 15, and Bombs at level 25.
-Your smoke talent aren’t terrible, but something like You conceal your allies would be a fun addition. Sometimes ago I was thinking about reworking some abilities, and a tossable smoke bomb, just like a classic bomb, came to my mind (if you used the item spawner mod, it’s in the items already, the smoke bomb is a thing, so it would just require a few tweaks).
So yeah, something like : Smoke bomb increase your damage and stagger ennemies. Smoke bomb is tossable and reduce ennemies damage. Smoke bomb conceals your allies and increase their damage.

• Ranger
-Level 20 talent seems a bit boring, plus it means you can just take other level 5 and 10 talent, and your good with the level 20. I’d put something like Increase clip size.
-Level 30 is ridiculous. 1% increased damage only in ranged, with your weapon of choice being XBow, Handgun and Grudge raker, means it would only be really effective if you cut yourself a path through a horde with Grudge raker. The idea is good but it just doesn’t work out in VT I think.
Something more sneaky like Killing ennemy unaware of your presence increase your damage and reload speed for 5 seconds (which does synergize with your ability).

• Jack of all trades
-Seems okay-ish, tho it feels like talent you would take if you don’t like the other.
Oh, and Wilderness of something like that might be a better name.

Witch Hunter Captain
I like the new active, a bit sad we lost the crit part. I wouldn’t reduce radius over time, 5m isn’t that big already.

• Commander
-Level 5 talent would require Fatshark to review some code, but it’s seems cool. An alternative, less powerful but easier to code AND for some player, would be “A nearby ennemy is auto-tagged every X seconds”
-Level 25 already exist, and it’s already quite mediocre, considering how fast those 2 temp health deplete. Changing it to “Taggable ennemies” and not Tagged would make it easier.
-Level 30 isn’t that bad, but it feels less powerful than level 20. I would swap them.

• Finesse
-Level 20 is barely usable. How about Headshot put the ennemy on ground, or stagger it if it’s a boss/Chaos Warrior.
-Level 30, again this wouldn’t work well in VT, plus this goes against the tree, you put some headshot damage and bonuses in ranged play, and the level 30 talent ask to stay melee.
But I like the dodge component. What about +5% crit chance for every successful dodge, all stack dissapear on a crit or after 5 seconds out of battle (so you won’t just spam dodge when walking through the map).

Foot Knight

• Chaaarge !
-Level 20 talent. Are we talking about Max health damage ? This is extremly OP. One conc pot and a FK could take out any boss easily. And even if it’s not Max health, that’s a lot. Otherwise it’s a great idea, just reduce a bit the number I guess ^^
-Level 30 talent. Same again, too restrictive. A 3% increased power for each ennemies hit by Valiant Charge for X second would be better (altho maybe a bit strong on horde. The actual in game talent is also a good simple talent.)

Pyromancer
Ability in a straight line ? YES, that’s what needed to be done. Not so sure about the cooldown increase.

• Burn
-Seems okay

Shade
I’m okay with the suppression of the damage boost in the idea, but it does reduce the number of weapon she can use to synergize with your level 30 Shadowdancer talent. Maybe just tune it down would suffice (a simple 1.5x damage is enough I think). Or change Assassin’s Blade to work on Backstab, or during Infiltrate.

• Shadowdancer
-The whole tree seems quite good, but as I said just above, you put such a big hit on Infiltrate. I can understand that it’s annoying that she just delete any threat, but Shade shouldn’t become extremly hard to play. Plus you kinda force people to take all/a lot of talent on Shadowdancer if they want the level 30 one, cause if you can’t move through ennemies and don’t get this 75% bonus damage, it’s not gonna work a lot (unless you play Glaive and are really good at missing the first charged hit).

Overall it’s an awesome idea, those are really cool looking reworks, just be careful not to be too restrictive in the choices you offer.

2 Likes

Nice, what long and detailed answer. Thanks for that already. I will not go in detail for every point of yours. Reason is mainly - like mentioned in the OP - that this here is only to present the general idea. As such the suggested “trees” are not balanced and not “round”. As you have seen for yourself, the finesse tree has some odd choices.

I will , however, lose a sentence or two about the restrictive talents. Let’s take the one for the Footknight. 30 % increase in power is huge. As such I thought it should come with some limitations like not using ranged weapons (since they are already powerful). The no dodge idea was mainly meant as a restriction on weapon choice. As it is now, weapons with high Stamina and good blocking are favourable for this Talent as you can shove and push a lot. So it is to avoid already strong weapons with low Stamina to become even stronger by the bonus. It is also meant a bit to “enforce” certain playstyles you would otherwise not use (like going more into pushing and less dodging around) in the far sense of risk to reward.

Also since you obviously have ideas of your own, I welcome you and every other reader to make their own talent trees and suggest them as their is a lot of room for different styles and also many careers i didnt even touch. The only thing I would like to keep consistent though is to keep the left lane for augementations of the Active and Passive Skill. And to make temporary health a hard choice. It is still there but you have to sacrifice something for it.

Ay ay, I’d gladly do that. If I find time. Maybe.

About the restrictive talent, I do get the reason why you put them in place, but gameplay wise, I fear no-one would pick them cause you lose a lot of adaptability, and it create unnecessary choices like “Do I swap to range to kill this guy or do I trust my team to take care of him and keeping my passive up”, which can work, but I believe it won’t in QP :stuck_out_tongue:

Okay, it’s quite late here now, so I won’t go deep into specifics (for now, at least) but generally, I feel this whole thing is way too drastic. While PAYDAY 2 managed to make a full rework of its skill system work, it was still a gamble and came in quite late. I kind of see where you’re coming from with this, but smaller changes are quite enough, as I don’t think the Talent system is inherently broken in any way, just individual tiers and Talents. I do find the vertical themes kind of interesting, and I think something like that could be done, but as you propose them, I’m not sure it would fit in the game. I also find the themes maybe a bit too restrictive, even considering mixing and matching, as there would be little room for general improvements or other, more interesting individual Talents.

Your assessment of certain things’ strength is way off, imo, especially considering how they combine. The limitations you proposed for IB and FK for their lv. 30 are way too restrictive, and would likely make certain equipment completely overpowered (halberd, anyone?). Also, you put in temp health on kill for everyone as their last survival Talent. It’s boring that everyone has the same thing there, as is the current lv. 20 tier in general. I also happen to think that if moved anywhere, the temp health Talent(s) should be moved to earlier, not later. For some reasoning, see the relevant topics.

1 Like

I know that the current Talent system is not really broken. It is just not very flexible and not very diverse. Like I said before, you can decide on Level 20 HOW you want to get your health (and even this decision is not really existent). Or on level 25 you can decide how to augment your active skill. But if you want to have builds which feel different you have to force harder decisions on the player. And you with this approach you can cater your active skill to your liking.

Pyromancer for example: Do I want to stay basic with high damage single target fireball? Do I want single damage homing ball? Or do I want the Little fireball of death and destruction. Depending on which I want I have to make sacrifices somewhere else for example no more temporary health. In my opinion it makes up for far more interesting decisions and better teamplay.
IB/Witch Hunter: What shall be the use of my active skill? Separating boss from the rest of the enemies? separating Horde from Elites? Or just as a general defense tool so that i survive for 10 seconds? There is just more customisation potential in here.

As for the presented talent trees: Of course the assessment is way off. This was the work of 1-2 hours. So that would have to be adjusted properly with more time. Like said in the disclaimer most of the trees have just been for presenting of the idea. As for the restrictive talents: Yes, they come with an incredible power boost and have therefore the restriction. I admit, I never played Halberd and only Mace on Kruber but has the weapon not very low stamina, a medium push and generally needs more dodging to be effective? The power boost was more meant for weapons like the shield where you can push a lot without dodging. But yea, stuff like this are also open for discussion. Just the general approach to create the talent tree in role-orientated lanes.

As for the position of the temporary health. It can be anywhere in the tree. But it should be paired with really good benefits in the other lanes. Because it is the strongest skill in the game. I would also be okay with removing it for tank classes all together. Would also be okay with removing it for the damage dealer classes. That is then up to design decisions. Again, main point here is to present the alternative approach. The trees are just a simple visualisation for the concept.

Oh that’s what you wanted to do ? This is the way I like trees, but yours aren’t one if those. Sorry for the potential coming poor english, but your tree is a single entry table (columns themes).
You aren’t in a “What ult modifier do I prefer ?” case, because you can pick all of them.
You need to do a double entry table, column themes and lines “restrictions”.
Therefore you can’t have a Ult Passive augment columns if you want the player to pick one of the ult augment.
I’ll detail when I get back on pc

This answer may attract some sidetracking, but oh, well. The Halberd is generally considered the strongest weapon in the game at the moment. Its basic pattern against hordes is hit, block, hit, block (that is, block canceling after every attack) which makes it already safe to use. Add huge reach that keeps enemies far away, the strike having a good wide sweep and cleave, and armor penetration, and you can already stay quite safe staying in one place. Damage is good enough too to one- or two-shot hordes. Not as relevant to this, but there’s also the push-attack, attack pattern to deal with single enemies, hitting fast enough to get two hits in when dancing with Roger. And it still benefits from the Halberd’s reach. Personally, I don’t like the weapon that much (I find the base patterns annoying and I dislike it really only using half of its attacks for anything, with heavy attacks having no use), but I admit its strength and still may use it for some Deeds.

Meanwhile Shields with their relatively low damage and horde-clear (even if they’re good at controlling) and short reach still need to rely on movement to stay safe. Their added block and push proficiency isn’t really quite enough to compensate for the lack of mobility, and denying even that bit of mobility would be crippling. And of course, Bosses have strikes that simply hit you through block.

I’d say that could be better done with the current system, by changing the existing level 15 and 25 Talents (that primarily modify the main Passive or the Career Skill, respectively). It feels to me that the column approach you proposed is more about (hyper)specialization than choices on how to modify things. “What do I want to specialize in, and do I want to trade some of that for other stuff (likely survivability)?” The problem is, even if the current system would get the modifications, the options will need to be balanced, with either option giving roughly equal advantage in equal amount of situations (that one’s missing in a lot of Talent tiers at the moment) and to change the behavior of the respective ability significantly (like a few Careers have now). I’d also prefer if they were more interesting than “faster cooldown”. I prefer the approach of “how to enhance this aspect” to “which aspect do I want to enhance”, but others have their own opinions. Neither one is easy to balance, but I think encouraging that much more specialization when the few hyperspecialized options we have are already disliked and underwhelming (either flamethrower as the primary examples) won’t bring in anything good. Even more so when really only coordinated teams can effectively utilize any kind of real specialization.

Well, first I want to say how grateful I am to discuss with someone able to read and to express himself calmly. This is something which is hard to find in the Steam Forums from Vermintide -_-

Well, Halberd is a problem anyway. Even without this power up. But yea, it does amplify it. So Fatshark has to do some weapon balancing anyway. Weapons with such a reach shouldnt be that strong or should be weaker close up. As for Shields: The only moment where you need dodge is Specials (mainly the Packmaster) or maybe a CW. I played a lot Ironbreaker and you can push and bash for a looong time without the need to dodge.

For the rest of the text I think you have it summed up correctly:

Blockquote
I prefer the approach of “how to enhance this aspect” to “which aspect do I want to enhance”, but others have their own opinions.

For me it is the other way around because I miss the option “I dont want to enhance this aspect.” It streamlines the builds in some way. Although I think the talent trees would be more interesting already if they just weaken the active and passive skills and therefore make meaningful augmentations. But yea, I would like to see some changes in the talent trees in general to make them more interesting and maybe to reduce the amount of each hero can do everything all the time.

For the specialisation (example Flamethrower) I think the reason they are disliked is that they are not necessary currently and are regarded as gimping yourself. There is very few reasons for a pure horde control weapon like the Flamethrower when every here with nearly every weapon can control and decimate horde. Now imagine if half of them would be seriously threatened by hordes. They can still fight it but it would be very hard and risky. In such a setup a Flamethrower might be seen more favourable. But the game balance would have to shift heavily for this.

Yep, that’s why I steered away from them soon after signing up here. And part of the reason (the rest is just my general reluctance on making new accounts anywhere) why I only read Reddit.

So, taking a hint from your design and the different opinions on ways of modifying one’s build, and for now assuming we would get a somewhat major rework on the Talents with some of them changed completely, the thematic aspect of different tiers could be lightened up a bit, giving maybe two options for each tier to enhance the thematic aspect (Passive, Health generation, Career Skill) and one more generic. This could also be done by applying some thematics to the vertical “build lines” too, with one column enhancing things in roughly similar ways (although this shouldn’t be too restrictive either, and not always followed in my opinion, as strict themes would quickly limit the Talent possibilities). As general examples, they could be Offensive abilities, Defensive abilities, mixed bag, and/or Survivability. If you wanted to, you could convincingly put Temp health generation by kills or crits under Offensive category (by utilizing your offensive maneuvers better) or Survivability (by giving an effective way of gaining Temp health).

Hm, thinking on my examples, Offense, Survival and Other/Mixed would be possibly the best themes generally, allowing for a lot of variations on each level (and Career) and giving the option for stranger picks beyond the character ability-enhancing ones (as those abilities are often enough quite strongly offensive or defensive by default).

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