Handmaiden didn't transition well into WoM's 2.0

A good point. S+D is very good on HM but it’s no different then it is on Shade or WS. It occurs to me that an indirect way to buff HM is to buff push-attacks on certain weapons. She’s the only one that can spam them, after all. Spear is good example (it’s previous glory now lost, push attack used to be great horde clearing but it doesn’t hold up in 2.0), and greatsword (25% crit bonus on push). Glaive could get the same treatment. By relying on the push attack, other careers might use them, but only HM could excel with them with her unlimited stamina.


Isnt that kind of a lame style though? Specializing in going around and just spaming block-push?..

Which is something Foot Knight does a lot of(along with weaving heavies and attacks), so there is no reason to have Handmaiden do a bunch of block-push spam. Also, as you said, that’d make for dry gameplay.

That’s why Handmaiden would be better with having more spaced out and timed control. Her style would be properly utilizing her mobility, less frequent control, and enhanced attacks. The idea mentioned here:

This would make her more unique, unable to spam and absolutely decimate hordes in a tiny time span, support her allies, and periodically enhance her attacks with cleave and stagger. The idea of combining cleave and stagger into one effect is that it would stagger a broader area(and not get stopped by one Chaos Warrior or armored enemy) and quantity of enemies in that one move, while also briefly bringing even elites to a halt. It could make for some very interesting gameplay if designed just right.

But that’s just one idea and example of a concept that might work well for Handmaiden. There are any number of things you could do with her.


This is a big truth… I agree, and it returns to my “most used phrase”: we are beating a wall with a spoon. We need more stagger in general.

Anyway a good way to buff HM could be give to her a passive like “more push strength”. Also the idea about give to her weapons “special push attacks” is great… But imho she at least needs “some numbers”, like a little damage reduction.

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No, I’m referring to combos that incorporate push. S+D has the stab>headshot heavy, 2hd Sword has Push Attack (crit bonus for swift slaying activate) > light spam, 1hs can enter the Light 3/Heavy 2 combo using a push if they want, Halberd has the double chop combo, and Sword+Shield has the anti-armor stab combo, Spear used to have the Push>Light>Light combo for strong cleave (now nerfed to ground). HM excels at weapons that work this way because she never runs out of stamina to feed them.

Just to clarify, are you arguing that HM is weak or that you don’t think she has a good career design?

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The OP is constructive criticism directed at her current design.


Handmaiden now is how ironbreaker used to be. Her talents and passives just exist to keep her alive. In a game with so much enemy density I’d rather be able to kill things. Survivability isn’t bad, but having no real tools to dish out damage isn’t fun. In 2.0 she just doesn’t do anything I would rather have over waystalker and shade.


Handmaidens that kind of career you play when you like to showoff your clutching skills by spamming F not something you play if you want to consistently win. Though you’ll more than likely still fail miserably at trying to salvage a run anyway.

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Gotcha. Well we can all have our own opinions about her design. They were going for a character that is tanky but not in a DR way. They achieved that. She should never die to getting surrounded or other things like that but does down pretty easily if hit. She has medium damage and Solid to top tier special killing. Overall a pretty solid and balanced class. I could see why you think her design is kinda blah, though.

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It’s not even an opinion. It’s a fact. It’s just a matter of using logic and reasoning using the given data.

“As a Handmaiden, Kerillian favours melee combat, using a spear’s reach to deliver death to her foes before their own weapons bite flesh.”


"In battle as the Handmaiden, Kerillian favors melee combat, using the reach of her spears to deliver death to her foes before they are in range to retaliate. Should an enemy close the distance, the armour of the Handmaiden is able to withstand a barrage of cuts, allowing Kerillian to retaliate with impunity. "

These were her original talents:

Her only tanky talent now is Birch Stance (30% Block Cost Reduction). She used to have:

  • Asrai Vigor (Grants an extra Stamina Shield)
  • Wraithwillow Stance (Increases area for effective blocks and pushes by 50%)
  • Triumph of the Cadai (Clears any wounds and converts any temporary health to permanent health when bosses die)
  • Defiance (Reduce damage taken by 50% when Kerillian is the last hero standing)
  • Hukon’s Tenacity (Increases stamina regen by 50%)

Her active also used to at least stagger horde enemies and add a bleed too.

This all means that:

Doesn’t make any sense and that what you said was not the original intent of her design at all. The statement by itself doesn’t make any sense because:

“tanky - (gaming) Able to withstand much damage, having a lot of hit points (that is, like a tank).”

“A tank is a character whose primary role is to absorb damage and prevent others from being attacked. Tanks are “meatshields”, so to speak, putting themselves between the mobs and the more vulnerable party members.”

In fact, you say that she is both tanky and not tanky in the same paragraph. This sentence saying the latter:

So being objectively mediocre at everything while suffering in design is pretty solid and balanced? We shouldn’t set our standards so low. Her one quality that stands out at all is her mobility, but that offers little on its own. Her design doesn’t even come close to stacking up in terms of coherency or quality when compared to other more well done career reworks. The OP explains with facts, evidence, and logic as to why her current design was a poor transition from pre-WoM.

I could think of dozens of ideas that would help deliver an amazing hybrid role. But whether it’s my ideas or anyone else’s, the end result should be something that is brilliantly defining and effective.

These 5 characters have amazing personalities, voice acting, story, banter, and life. There are some really well done careers too(even if they need some tweaking). Why keep a weak link in the chain? Especially when so much of the chain is so strong?


I have to point out that there are conventional tanks and then there are avoidance tanks - in the context of Vermintide the line is a little blurry as to which is which, but I would argue that IB and FK fall into the former category with their damage reductions and mostly-defensive abilities, and HM falls into the latter with her near-infinite blocking capability and the fact that she can essentially stage dive into a raging shitstorm and get back out safely because her mobility allows.

She does however have a somewhat confused design, as it feels like she’s trying to fill a role that doesn’t need to exist. I’m also just salty that the shield, despite being so much fun to use, has an extremely awkward half-synergy with her design. The pushes are absolutely insane with her stamina regen (even if it’s not necessarily anything FK can’t do better) and gives a feeling of being able to dart around the deathball and bully it to death with vicious push attack combos, which incidentally feels delicious to use and seems to pair quite nicely with her crit bonus. The lack of damage on any of her other attacks and absolutely zero cleave on anything except the first heavy (which feels awful), plus the very awkward THP generation makes it a…questionable playstyle at best. Virtually any other weapon would serve better in everything except the elite-bullying, and virtually any other character could achieve similar results to a no-shield playstyle depending on build. Hell, a Zealot is probably a better shieldless Handmaiden than the Handmaiden is, which is why it feels like her intended role doesn’t actually exist or need to exist.

I kinda wonder what would happen if no-collision dodges were a permanent trait. She could never, ever be truly surrounded or cornered, and could possibly pull off some decent clutches if used right.

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While an avoidance tank is a thing, it’s only tanking if it’s helping allies.

Pre-WoM, Foot Knight and Ironbreaker were really simple in design (I suppose all careers were pretty simple though). Foot Knight in particular didn’t offer a whole lot. The talents were mediocre but more importantly, shield weapons weren’t that valuable. They didn’t do squat for damage and their stagger was seemingly no better than many other weapons.

After the implementation of stagger, beastmen, talent reworks, and other things, careers like Foot Knight and Ironbreaker gained much more value. Shields were useful and potent tools to use now. More than they have ever been. The stagger system helped a lot with that. Those two careers also gained talents that gave good synergy and helped them play in different ways.

So while careers like those were reworked and brought up to a new and more impressive standard, careers like Handmaiden didn’t receive the kind of quality treatment that some other careers had. But things like that are better elaborated on further up in the thread.

Some of the things you talked about are also further examples of design issues.

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Aye, the shield is effective but there’s nothing outside of her stamina that encourages its use. It is a tool to save stranded allies when paired with her ability, when that’s something that needs to be done (which ideally is never). It has also occurred to me that there’s no real reason for Fatshark to do anything about it, because the shield is only part of a paid and relatively expensive DLC. To encourage its use is to tell most of the playerbase “you can’t use half your career because you need to pay up first”.

So…how does one give her some general bonuses that help the dual dagger dashy stabby bois, the DLC-owning pushy shieldbros and the average joe sword & dagger blenders, without being discriminatory toward certain playstyles, being totally boring or just too awkward to take advantage of? cough Willow Stance cough

And most importantly, can we get some helmets that don’t just look like fireproof balaclavas with tiaras?


How else will I rob the banks of the Empire?

Definitely important. I was thinking something that would cover a broad spectrum kind of like this:

Things like this that augment actions she makes could be one effective way. Something like the Spear & Shield’s first heavy is an enormous sweep that would probably gain the most benefit, allowing that weapon to help her take on a more tanky/supportive role. But she would also be able to use designs like that with any weapon. Because it would be “the next heavy that hits an enemy”, it means you can do things like:

  • One heavy in the air and then the next at the enemy. Such as with the 2h sword so you can utilize the bonus on the sweeping heavy.

  • Use the heavy after the first or X number of light attacks. Or after push attacks. Currently, the heavy that’s used can change for a weapon depending on the point in your light attack combo that you’re at. This would allow a player to seamlessly weave in a heavy if they would like in order to proc the bonus.

You could have it proc on a push. That’s just an idea, but there are ton of things that could work. There are options there and a lot of creative ways to give her a unique style, considering she falls into a hybrid design.

I like to think of her as an “insurance” character, since her kit is very well suited to clutching runs that have gone south, though she has lost some talents that helped her do that.

It’s kind of neat to have a character that is better to have the worse everyone else is doing, but it’s too problematic to have a character that gets markedly less useful the better the team is doing, so it’s not something you can base her class identity around.

I’d personally love to see some talents that expand on her aura. Even just a talent that made the range bigger would help to consolidate her identity in a team. I don’t know though it’s a really difficult problem.

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You are aware of how Block Cost Reduction works, right? 30% BCR makes her more tanky than all of the talents you listed combined. Especially with her passive stam regen. If you run 90% BCR, you can block an almost infinite amount of attacks without being guard broken. Additionally, she can now dodge through enemies. This means that you can never be pinned down and killed. If you don’t find Handmaiden objectively enjoyable, that is completely understandable. However, for a class as tanky as she is, she has very solid killing power. In addition, she has crazy mobility and stealth. Although a short duration, it is enough to dump aggro which is super useful in many situations. And she is not “mediocre” at everything. She is average to above average at everything. That is a good class design in a game where multi-role utility is so valuable. Handmaiden can be an immovable frontline, a clutch character, a special killer, an elite killer, and solid boss damage. Name 5 classes that can say the same.


You’re not accepting what a tank does. A tank serves the team by doing things like drawing aggro to themselves or being disruptive, absorbing a lot of the enemy’s attacks in one form another. She’s not a tank because she doesn’t do those things. She can’t. This career doesn’t need to be made another Ironbreaker, but by all means she is currently no tank.

How can you possibly say with a straight face that she has a good design? She has:

  • A talent that has never worked.
  • More critical hit chance than the Shade, whose career is based on crit chance. All the while she has no other talents or designs that synergize with crits. That doesn’t make any sense.
  • A lack of talent synergy.
  • Current design doesn’t even line up with the original intention behind her design.

There is a mound of examples and evidence in the OP and across the thread.

When people make statements like this, there seems to be a lot of purposeful omission. Specials, bosses, and even elites will make her quite movable.

As for the remainder of your sentence, she’s not special in any way at doing those things. Obviously a character with mobility is going to move a lot, but:

Having sufficient skill can allow a person to clutch, regardless of character. Some are easier than others, but there is plenty of clutching potential. She’s also not going to kill specials, elites, or bosses any better than a lot of the cast.

So mediocre.

“Of ordinary or undistinguished quality. See Synonyms at average.”

In the end, this is all digressing from the main points of the thread.


I actually was thinking randomly about a new ability last night - whether or not it would actually be useful is debatable, but I considered the possibility of a heavy spear toss that penetrates multiple enemies in a line (with a gracious enough area) and drags them along with the projectile. It would be ranged-limited, to prevent yeeting hordes off the planet, and the damage wouldn’t be super high (perhaps enough to just barely oneshot headshot a stormvermin). Level 30 talents could possibly be something like 1.) an explosion at the end of the projectile’s travel that deals damage based on the number of enemies the projectile hit during flight, 2.) refunding a percentage of cooldown on headshots (which would be interesting, since enemies aren’t all the same height to headshot in a line) and more headshot damage, or 3.) reducing the projectile damage by 40% but giving her multiple uses of her ability before the cooldown applies.

At the very least, I can definitely see adding some more utility to her ranged weapons being welcome, since she has absolutely nothing to offer in this area otherwise (and Kerillian is all about that bow). Make her into a kind of skirmisher, offering a similar duality of melee and ranged to Waystalker but more focused on influencing and controlling the battle than just murdering all the things dead.


That would be really interesting. Those are super cool concepts.