@Fatshark: Toughness has balance problems and LIES to players. Why, and recommended ways to fix this!

It’s literally just my experience dude.

Most ranged fights I play I either never really take damage or I get my bar shattered and have to resort to not so good ol’ overkill mitigation through coherency regen gating, which does not involve maximum toughness at all. Using the recovery gating is in no way affected by maximum toughness once you are at that point. Simple as that. And like I said 20 toughness is not enough to tank an extra hit. I would need probably double that at least to eat an extra bullet consecutively. Therefor 20 toughness has NOT increased my survivability.

I get shot and lose my toughness bar when entering open areas sometimes. By the time I get out of the heat and can close into melee range I don’t regen enough to get back to full and so I am more vulnerable to chip damage towards the beginning of the melee portion of the fight, since my current % toughness is less than it would be if I didn’t have the curios. I could just sit back like a b1tch and wait an extra handful of seconds before every situation like this, but at that point I am using a stat to be microscopically tankier at the price of playing way slower, which is neither fun nor entertaining and therefor pointless to me as a player when there are other options for curios that are actually just purely beneficial.

It generally takes a LOT of max toughness to feel a difference in pure melee combat too so by ditching the 20 toughness I didn’t really feel like I was taking more damage in pure melee fights.

To summarize:
Overall compared to the very few points of health I save in the pure melee fights, I lose out on a decent chunk of health sometimes when engaging in melee after ranged shenanigans happen.

I think a dislike for a mechanic that slowly grew over hundred of hours of gameplay isn’t that irrational, to be fair. I’ve simply played too many games with a “blue bar” that helps protect your “red bar” and out of all of them Darktide feels like the worst system.

toughness’s primary role is to protect against ranged burst and chip. Melee can hit health through toughness, so even if you have a high amount of toughness, you’ll still chip health, so health is better to stack if you plan to melee more. That’s the reason why vet has more toughness, and zealot has more health.

Yeah that is valid though overkill protection doesn’t seem to last long at all, 20 toughness on its own admittedly doesn’t do a heap, I start noticing a really big difference around the 2 curio stack mark generally.

Well it’s more that I’ve seen you take issue with the system since beta days. Obviously you’ve had a lot more experience since then and seem to have a much more thorough understanding of the system now than with your earliest posts on toughness. Having read a lot of what you’ve posted on the subject it’s hard not to see a bit of confirmation bias finding things you don’t like about it.

Regardless I was needlessly aggressive in my previous post and I do apologise for that. It’s been a long day and I’m just getting a little tired of the toughness arguments on the forums generally. I should probably step back a bit for a while.

That’s really only half true. Toughness % acts as DR against health chip so you take twice as much HP damage when hit at 50% toughness compared to being hit at 75%. The way the math works out you usually have more effective hp against melee chip with extra toughness than with health. That does require you to not be hit in quick succession a lot though, if you’re often being hit in melee at 0% toughness then naturally at that point stacking HP does indeed do more for you. As a general rule the better you are at damage avoidance generally the more benefit you get out of extra toughness. It’s very much on a per player basis which will give you more value.


Thing is in most situations, at least in t4/5, where shooters are very prevalent, you’re not likely going to be just taking melee hits, and most damage is going to be from range. More toughness does help there, but if you plan on going into melee, and you take a hit, the bonus health is going to help more than the bonus toughness. A vet with 300+ max toughness will still take chonky health damage if they have 150 toughness or less, but that amount of toughness is still very capable of holding up against ranged threats for quite a while, especially if they’re running the damage reduction feat.

Not taking into account the chance there might be a mixed elite that allows the vet to get some toughness back with the proper feat, or zealot getting a larger percent trickle or taking an extra hit or two when the dr is up. It’s just baseline to test base effectiveness, because situations might not always be available, and not for every build. Builds that rely on toughness regen are likely going to benefit more from more toughness, but, again, as a baseline, more health does help more vs melee damage.

So, to test that baseline survival against melee damage without any of that taken into consideration, I did some tests in the psyk. A zealot that stacks full health rather than full toughness curios will last an extra 3-6 seconds longer from being attacked by a single scab berserker (6-8s vs 9-12s, depending on attack pattern). Vet with 300ish toughness lasted about 7-10s, so the bonus toughness didn’t really help in that scenario once it was down to halfway (3x the toughness, 1/2 the health, total 450 vs 430 health+toughness). It did a good job in the 75%+ range, which was the first 2-3 hits from the opening flurry. After that it dropped quickly in effectiveness. The initial damage was mitigated better, but the vet’s health was pretty much gone by the time the toughness was gone. The zealot’s toughness was gone by the second hit, but was still eating damage for an extra few seconds longer than the vet could. Swapping to toughness curios for the zealot made the first two hits eat less health damage, but once the toughness was gone they could barely make it to the minimum survival time of the health stack. You are right in that if you don’t get hit much then toughness stack is the better route, but 80% of the time you’re going to be getting shot at, so chances are that the dr from toughness isn’t going to be at its peak effectiveness.


Honestly after playing a ton of damnation zealot toughness is a mystery that doesn’t really matter since all you need to know is
Bar full = good
Bar half empty = find enemy’s to hit or ult.
Bar empty = ult or kill the shot gunner or block.

It’s really not a issue if I know the scab gunner can do 40 damage per shot or 60 I just know if I’m out in the open any longer I will die in a few seconds.
It does its job of warning you that your under fire and to start closing the gap or find cover.
In melee your looking at what your fighting and moving accordingly not just staring at the blue bar. (Unless your in malice and can just freely trade hits)

I have edited some errors and increased the depth of changes to ranged damage.

  • Get rid of overkill resistance. This mechanic grants 82.5% ranged resistance for 1 second after toughness is broken with a 5 second cooldown. The duration and cooldown are also different between difficulties, which is very sketchy for a lifeline mechanic. It makes damage feel inconsistent and should be removed to also balance out the net survivability gains of some of my enemy changes. Balancing a (half) FPS game around fluctuating tankyness just gets messy and the game already has an evasion system that is very engaging and well designed for avoiding damage anyways.
    Edit: I originally thought this mechanic granted overkill immunity and am extremely sorry for the previously incorrect misinformation that may have spread because of my stupidity.

  • Get rid of the hidden toughness multipliers on all normal/Elite ranged enemies and halve them for Specialists. Follow this up by adjusting base damages. Extremely similar functioning ranged enemies have a wide variation of toughness multipliers that make them do very inconsistent damage between health and toughness. This inconsistency is only proliferated by them having largely different base damage values alongside the previously mentioned overkill resistance.
    I will be listing some balance adjustments in order to right this inconsistency, that are also in line with the loss of overkill resistance and 50% maximum toughness.
    All listed numbers are for damnation. Difficulty damages scale at 25%/37.5%/50%/75%/100% effect, for context. My source is from a very helpful datamined post created by a fellow numbers nerd. https://www.reddit.com/r/DarkTide/comments/10f40uz/all_enemy_attacks_damage_values_healthtoughness/

  • The ranged enemy number changes I recommend are as follows:
    Scab Shooter bullet damage 35.84>>>12, toughness multiplier 1x>>>1x
    Dreg Stalker (why the hell are these not called Dreg Shooters?) bullet damage 10.8>>>12, toughness multiplier 4x>>>1x
    Scab Stalker bullet damage 9>>>12, toughness multiplier 4x>>>1x
    Scab/Dreg Gunner bullet damage 12>>>9, toughness multiplier 1x>>>1x
    Scab/Dreg Shotgunner pellet damage 12>>>12, toughness multiplier 3x>>>1x
    Reaper bullet damage 32>>>16, toughness multiplier 0.5x>>>1x
    Sniper bullet damage 122.5>>>122.5, toughness multiplier 10x>>>5x

Bleedthrough damage is what gets me the most.
If you are caught with less than 50% toughness, you take CONSEQUENT hp damage in addition to toughness damage. That feels bad.
Means your effective “protection” quickly loses worth as your toughness goes down.

Burstfire guns can easily shred toughness in a single volley. Shotguns… are understandable. Scab stalkers and dreg shooters… ehm. ANd once it’s naked, well, that’s most likely your hp going down. Because odds of you stacking enough toughness to prevent the next instance of damage (ranged or melee) is low.

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Looking back at it now I can’t believe I forgot the biggest needed change:

  • Rename Toughness to Beefcake Energy.

Anyone know exactly what an “Assaulter” enemy is? I wanna say it’s a scab stalker, the sleeveless flak shooters, but I’m not sure.

Also flamers and bombers don’t care how much toughness you have they will delete it to 0 anyway.

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The greatest lie is thinking that having 50% toughness will protect you from anything

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TYVM for the clarification! I just changed the enemy names to the ones that people will recognize. Trying to match the exact coding name isn’t really necessary anyways. Just gotta avoid getting them mixed up.