Halberd combo changes are going against weapon design philosophy of Vermintide

Long time ago, there was a livestream and a question was asked to game designers about weapon combos.

They were basically asked: why many weapons have fixed chains with different attacks in them? You have less control over your moves, if you want to do Light 3 right from beginning - well you can’t. Why not add more attack buttons for different attacks?

To which they basically answered: Weapon attack combos are a defining feature of each weapon, if we spread different attacks into more attack buttons (input keys), it will be more difficult to make all weapons feel unique. Therefore weapon combos are important to us and gonna stay. We want you to go through attack combos while you fight.


Back to the present, when there’s a ton more weapons added to the game, there’s an even greater incentive for complex weapon combos.

But what the mod did to halberd is a regression in that regard. Yeah it had some problems about its style before (Light 1 block cancel spam), but the 3.1 patch killed its identity.

Remember the dev’s idea about combos? Well now halberd completely bypasses it:

You have every effective move on your beck and call right from the start.

  1. You wanna kill one target?
    Heavy 1 stab -> Light 2 stab -> Heavy 1 stab -> Light 2 stab -> … and keep going until the mob dies.

  2. You wanna kill one target with a quicker first attack, or breaking a shield?
    Pushstab -> Light 3 overhead -> Pushstab -> Light 3 overhead

  3. You wanna kill horde?
    Light 1 -> block cancel -> Light 1 -> block cancel -> …

Full light combo is pointless, Full heavy combo is pointless - who even does them?

The constant chaining of same attacks looks boring as hell, the stab chaining into one another is a ripoff from Elven spear, and considering its one of the most effective moves of both halberd and Elven spear - this is bad for variety and distinction.

Not only the identity of the weapon is reduced, the animations look more unnatural. Like the Light 1 -> Heavy 2 sweep, especially when chained back and forth… these are the sweeps from the same direction one after another. Or the Light 2 stab after a Heavy 1 stab - it can go too fast and be unnoticeable and unimpactful.


TL;DR of my thoughts:
The previous halberd combos were fine, they were not supposed to be simple and accessible. The combos are a defining feature of each weapon and should be diversified, not simplified.

/rant
I just had to get it off my chest, sorry if it sounds unpleasant Incandescent, i heard you spent a lot of time working on halberd in the mod. Nevertheless it just goes against what i valued in halberd, or my approach to Vermintide in general. The “art” of weapons has top place for me, if its not looking good to fight with, if its not varied and creative, then its not worth any advantage you get instead.


Votes:

Do you like new halberd attack patterns over the old ones?

  • Yes
  • No, i would prefer stat changes instead to make halberd more viable and interesting*
  • Mixed

0 voters

*the stat changes could buff overall attack speed to make complex combos more viable, buff damage of both heavy attacks to make them worth, reduce the significance of Light 1 block cancel spam, increase penetration of stabs to make them semi-viable for hordes.


Do you use Heavy 2 sweep with the new halberd?

  • Yes, often
  • Yes, but rarely
  • No, or practically not at all

0 voters


Should “Light 1 sweep block cancel” be reduced in effectiveness?

  • Yes (assuming there’s a buffed alternative for horde killing)
  • No
  • Indifferent

0 voters

2 Likes

Before the change, Halberd literally had 2 combos that were worth using at all: Block cancel light, and Push Attack>Light.

It’s much better now, the rest of the move set actually has a reason to exist. There’s more variety within the weapon and it’s a lot more fun to use.

10 Likes

Looks like you and I are fated to have polar opposite opinions on this game. To me the changes are an absolutely staggering improvement to the weapon’s feel and fun factor.

I really don’t think having multiple viable combo paths in any way invalidates the importance of weapon combos generally, or in any way waters down the identify of the weapon. It’s now a very versatile weapon with multiple options for any 1 situation, but which excels at nothing, with middling to bad mobility. To me it’s how a jack of all trades weapon should be. If anything, I really wish more weapons had the interesting combo depth halberd, Bret sword, and B sword n Shield have.

The only issue with it to my mind is that FS didn’t bother to modify any of the attack animations to make the new combos flow better visually. That’s a real shame, but if that’s the price we pay to have a weapon that isn’t brain dead boring to play anymore (I would argue it was at least top 5 most unfun weapon to play in the entire game pre beta), then I will pay that price 1000x over.

2 Likes

you’re missing the point of my post. It’s not about comparing overall weapon, but about attack patterns of now vs before. I ask devs to make the initial concept to work fully, i don’t believe at all that Block cancel light was an intended way to fight, not such predominantly at least.

Basically any variety improvement over the old halberd is noticeable instantly, because it has no variety to begin with from META standpoint -> but thats again coming back to unintended Block cancel light and stats balance.

They did. Now it works great.

It has multiple combos, they have a variety of entry points, they have a variety of uses, and it’s actually one of the more complex weapons now in terms of combos to memorize. It’s awesome.

So it sucked, and now it doesn’t. I don’t see how we are actually disagreeing?

i’m personally still of the opinion that halberd could be made great without changing it’s combo’s. Some block cancel combo’s will always be better then just going trough the entire combo of the weapon, i don’t believe fatshark should change how combo’s chain purely because it performs worse then block cancelling.

The heavy attack sweep change was good, which makes it used more.

Currently the weapon just feels like How an executioner sword plays but with more inputs to reach the same thing. Halberd is just sweep and then stab, you don’t have to go trough anything, everything is instantly accessible, you don’t have to think about anything anymore, and they reduced stam cost to acces single target. Exec is simple and easy to use, now halberd is aswell. is that a bad thing? idk. i just feel like halberd is again a generic sweep or stab weapon. they could of made changes to its original combo’s and made it more unique

So in short: Did i think halberd needed changes? yes. Do i think combo changes were one of them? no.

I appreciate the work put in to it, but i just don’t like it, even when playing more with it, even if the old combo’s are still there. (which not all are, majority is tho). I also think block cancelling should have a place but it shouldn’t be the only way a weapon gets from bad to decent. The weapons default combo’s should be good as default and block cancellling puts it a little bit above that.

Also everyone saying new halberd is so much better, when it’s basically still the same old combo’s just with some heavy sweeps here and there. (cuz stat changes). Still block cancel for trash, heavy sweep if you feel like it, same old stam elite combo but now it can be followed up with a free heavy. It didn’t get more complicated to use, in play it is still the same and combo’s are easier to acces.

1 Like

Both of the heavy attacks were borderline useless before, now they both have uses in a number of different combos. How is that alone not a huge change to its combos and variety? Pre beta it was literally just light 1 block cancel and push attack light. That was basically it. Now off the top of my head there’s at least 4 different combos I use regularly, and a number of them can be linked into each other in interesting ways on the fly. There are at least 3 different viable combo trees just for dealing with single targets depending on what you feel like.

You will simply not convince me the weapon isn’t multiple times more interesting and diverse to use than it was pre beta. It still doesn’t feel amazing to use because of the awkward attack animations, but you know what, I’m gonna say it. Old halberd was easily the least fun weapon to play in the entire game pre beta. Again, it revolved around precisely 2 combos, and everything else was so much worse than those two combos, that even if you didn’t care much about being optimal, you still wouldn’t use anything else. It blows my mind that anyone actually liked previous halberd. If you don’t enjoy new halberd that’s fine, but saying it still plays the same doesn’t make any sense to me at all.

You’re missing the point as well.
Many of you see the weapon purely from a consumer perspective. Not “What could’ve been”, but “What we’ve got is better than yada yada”.

The concept of the weapon was solid, the foundation (attack chains) was there, it only needed a good amount of tweaking and polishing of stats.

If you couldn’t see the potential for varied gameplay of old halberd - its because you wouldn’t want to. I saw it when i consciously forbid myself from using LMB block cancel at all, used max attack speed build on Merc to utilize the weapon fully, and i mean literally fully - with every attack available. Heavy 1 sweep was so good as an opener, and for proccing the Paced strikes. The variance of combinations blew my mind - there was nothing like it in whole vermintide arsenal.

2 Likes

For being optimal it’s still the same combo’s. Except for single target, which just adds another heavy at the end and the heavy sweep, which can actually be used now, so it’s hard to judge on if heavy sweep would be used more pre or post beta. If we assume the heavy sweep change on old combo’s i can also see 3-4 optimal combo’s, which the current one has aswell.

I’m also not saying that block cancel lights should be the only optimal way for a weapon to perform, thats why i said halberd needed changes, not make the combo like block cancelling but just without cancelling, which is just as boring, the only difference is that its easier now. I said halberd needed changes, but combo changes weren’t one of them i think, why do they go about changing a combo before trying a million other options they could of done to make certain attacks more used, while keeping the versatility of the halberd and not make every same type of attack chain into each other with no thought.

I feel like you missed alot of what i meant., And i can see the conclusion people can jump to by reading my earlier comment.

This sums it up pretty good, except i don’t agree that heavy sweep Was good pre change. But i do think if you looked at halberd outside of its optimal combo’s, that it was a very versatile weapon already and they should of kept building of of that.

1 Like

More deep you go in weapons’ combos more rewarded you should be. Dual sword is a perfect example of it, light 3 and 4 have following 25% and 50% crit.

1 Like

I actually rarely used block cancelled lights because they always felt like ass and I’m not that concerned about being optimal honestly. I also tried the heavy slash as an opener a tonne pre Beta, and now frankly I understand your point even less, because that move objectively sucked horrendously pre beta (I wanted to love it, trust me). Anyway we’re just arguing experiences at this point so I won’t continue beyond this:

I spent A LOT of hours pre beta trying my hardest to enjoy halberd, experimenting with builds and combos but after all that I came to the conclusion I gave before, that it was literally the least fun weapon in the game to use. Now I find it very enjoyable, and the combos it has now feel infinitely better to me, though honestly I wish block cancelled lights would die completely. I’ll leave it at that for now.

1 Like

What combo’s do you use now that make halberd more fun for you?

Do you think halberd needs any further changes or do you think its great now?

It’s understandable that experiences wary.
About Heavy sweep sucking for you - i’m not surprised as well. It wasn’t impressive stats wise, and it requires specific skills to utilize, the same type of skills needed for greatsword heavies (and greatsword overall).

I’ve used greatsword when it was in the most shittiest state, and still pulled my weight. Because i’ve used it soo much, that i learned to compensate for its drawbacks - like slow movespeed while attacking (by using dodges&mad camera movement) and slow AS overall (by better swing extension techniques) etc. That’s the kind of nuance of Vermintide combat that i fell in love with, its great to work around weapon’s limitations by “inventing” something for yourself.

Well there’s the problem then. To most people, it wasn’t, they weren’t, and it didn’t.

I say that as an obsessive user of off-meta weapons. I could make Elf 1HS put out better numbers then S+D (rip elf 1hs, you will be missed), I could make Sienna’s Dagger out dps an Elf, I could carry a team as a FK with GS. Halberd? It worked fine. No problems with it’s DPS, or it’s role, or it’s stats. It was just boring AF to use. Now it’s not. Why complain about something that’s just plain more fun?

1 Like

For elites, some variation on heavy -> light -> light, or push attack -> light -> heavy. As I said, I strongly dislike block cancelled lights as a combo, so the light -> heavy repeat combo on its own improves my enjoyment of the weapon hugely. Say I’m mid light -> heavy sweep rotation and wanna deal with an elite? That’s cool, just follow the heavy sweep with another heavy to smoothly transition into your single target combo. And most of these can be varied up a decent amount for variety if you’re not just focused on being 100% DPS optimal.

Ideal world? A whole bunch of attack animations changes to make it less clunky, some attack angles aren’t great visually or utility wise. I certainly wouldn’t say it’s perfect now, but this is my thinking: FS is now also working on Darktide as well as the various other projects they’ve already spread themselves across. If Halberd was going to get a proper rework at all it likely would have happened with 3.1. Realistically a band-aid fix for its problems is all we’re getting. As a band-aid fix, yes I do think the current conbos are about as good as we’re gonna get, and certainly much preferable to just tweaking stats.

But greatsword heavies have always had good cleave, and a decent angle, so how are they comparable? It didn’t matter how you angled or extend Halberd heavy sweep before, because it had no cleave to work with in the first place (obviously Merc could compensate this somewhat). I will say I liked its position as a potential opener, and if it had been given the stat changes without the combo order changes I’d probably still be using the heavy sweep now, though with stat changes alone it would still have little combo potential.

I don’t see what the problem is.

The Halberd did not regress at all. Literally changed the order of heavy attacks that were never optimal to use and created 2 more possible combos that make use of Halberd’s unpopular attacks.

Why is this bad? How does this buck against the dev’s design philosophy for the weapon at all? What do you even mean by saying full light or full heavy combos are pointless? What did you even value about Halberd that was taken away, it’s still largely the same weapon.

Like, the only difference is you can’t lead a horde with a heavy sweep without throwing a light attack first. That’s it. And the heavy was even buffed now so it actually functions better than before. If you want to not use combos and just smash lmb it’s the same weapon.

It’s. The. Same. Weapon.

2 Likes

So it’s mostly the light sweep > heavy sweep change, which is basically like block cancelling, but a bit slower and less input heavy. Elite combo is still the same, and personally i wouldn’t call the heavy stab light light interesting, but thats subjective.
My definition of versatile is that you when you, for example, heavy stab the next attack would be a light sweep, or heavy sweep into light stab. Not go heavy stab stabstabstab.
Don’t get me wrong i understand the enjoyment and smoothness the new combo’s bring, but i dont’ agree the new halberd is more complex or more difficult to use or be able to use in a versatile and effective way.

And yea i agree its a good bandaid fix.

2 Likes

No it’s not. It’s not the same weapon. Yes the efficient old combo’s are still there, and it took away old less effective combo’s and switched them around which made it into 'new combo’s" in the new halberd but removed alot of thought from it and easier to access. Don’t say it’s the same weapon when it clearly is not. And yes making the combo’s chain into each other from the same type will ofcourse increase it performance, but it did take away from the weapons feel and identity

While making everything easier to acces did make it more popular and increased it’s dmg automatically, it did remove alot of what made halberd feel unique in my opinion and it also removed the enjoyment a bit for me, but i do agree it’s technically stronger now, as expected. There is a reason exec sword is such a popular choice, its easy to use and performs well. Halberd shouldn’t get pushed into the same thing. Dont’ get me wrong, block cancel light before was also not good.

1 Like

Wait, could you do push attack -> light -> heavy stab before beta?

No, i mean that it’s still the same combo and you probably only use that entire chain on big hp elites, like cw’s, monsters etc. So it’s basically the same “feel”, unless the heavy stab at the end made it more fun for you, which is fair.

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