HANDMAIDEN, Remade

THE LITTLE INTRO THINGY:
Hi there. Given the amount of unhappiness with Kerillian’s Handmaiden career (and other careers’ constant butchering with patches) in community, I’ve decided it might be productive and fun to spend an hour composing a list of changes that would suit her advertised playstyle without randomly flipping her numbers up and down. Being an amateur developer myself, I’ve tried to make as much impact achieved with as little new mechanics created and overall resources used, so it’s going to look like a mini-rework, basically. I doubt that devs will step out of reusing same talents everywhere and actually implement this, however, but I still keep my hopes and expectations high, so maybe if not completely, but at least partially, this thread can create a basis for Handmaiden’s future development, giving birth to a new fresh and fun playstyle. I don’t insist on using exact names, stats and so on, although it would be completely awesome if this rework ever sees the light as is.
For now, I am creating this thread mostly for entertainment as well, just to see if people like it, and if they do, I can always come up with more crazy ideas for underused heroes and careers.
That said, let’s begin.


BASIC STATS:
Health: 125% => 100% (She won’t be needing extra health)
-“Renewal” perk (We move her utilities into talents)
-“Ariel’s Bension” perk (We move her utilities into talents)
+”Elven Resilience” perk +30% damage resist (yes, we’re making part-time tank, without bonus health, however)
For “The Dance of Seasons” perk we make a passive and active part. Passively, Kerillian keeps 50% boost to her dashes (we basically add up bonus from “Shadowstep” talent while removing it, as it currently is a musthave anyway). Actively, Kerillian gets a buff, let’s name it “counterattack” for this thread, but we don’t need to name it in the game, actually. The buff activates if Kerillian gets hit by blockable strike while using her charge-attacks or push-attacks; “counterattack” nullifies that hit’s damage and all further incoming blockable damage for 1 (or 0.5) second with 100% stun resistance (first game’s modmakers have already proven this check to be possible). If this turns out to be too strong, successive attacks past the first one can be resisted only partially. If activated, “Counterattack” stack is consumed; it does not regenerate passively, it only gets refilled by Kerillian’s active ability use.

ACTIVE ABILITY:
“Dash” works the same way it previously did, however, it should also refill Kerillian’s stamina on activation, as well as “counterattack” stack, AND give her 1 temp (grey) hitpoint for every enemy she passes through. Cooldown should be around 20-30 seconds, as we are removing those boring 30% reduction from talents, like in IB Bardin’s case.


LEVEL 5 TALENTS:
(We are practically making the first row determine what utility Kerillian is going to have for the party, instead of just giving her stamina regen aura and nonfactor revive bonus by default)
1) Aspect of Ariel: Revives are uninterruptible and are 50% faster; 30 points of their temp (grey) health is replaced with permanent (green) upon revive (alternatively, lazy-mode, we can change health part to 50% resist on revive, like other tanks already have).
2) Aspect of Orion: Ammo pool is 50% larger. 30% stamina regeneration aura for teammates.
3) Asrai Sentinel: +1 stamina shield (2.0 stamina) and +30% effective block/push angle.

LEVEL 10 TALENTS:
1) Eldrazor’s Precision: Increases Hero Power by 15% but reduces attack speed by 5% (stock talent).
2) Gladerunner: Increaces movement speed by 5% (stock talent, moved from level 15).
3) Defiance: Reduce damage taken when last hero standing bla bla bla (stock again).

LEVEL 15 TALENTS:
(This is an interesting one, as we make use of Kerillian’s new ability to get grey health from her ultimate)
1) Hukon’s Tenacity: When Kerillian has grey hitpoints, increases stamina regeneration by 50% (reused and tweaked).
2) Wraithwillow Stance: Having grey health further improves damage resistance by 5% (reused name, maybe make resist even higher).
3) Spirit of Ashenhall: Grey health can go 20 points into “cursed” health (it is currently a funny bug with grimoires which can be reverse-engineered into a feature for Kerillian if needed).

LEVEL 20 TALENTS:
(I don’t think devs will be making an exception for this career specifically, so there’s nothing changed, really. The only talent I would’ve changed is the third one anyway)
1) Weavebond: Temp HP on crit.
2) Khaine’s Thirst: Temp HP on kill.
3) Champion of Loren: Nobody takes it so whatever. :thinking:

LEVEL 25 TALENTS:
1) Gift of Ladrielle: Kerillian goes invisible for 3 seconds upon Dash activation (stock).
2) Bladedancer: (Or rename it into Bladerunner, kek) Dash now hurts enemies instead of just staggering them (enough to kill at least something this time, please), and generates twice as much grey health (reused name).
3) Handmaiden’s Grace: Kerillian can store up to two “counterattack” charges instead of one, but ultimate still gives only one (reused name).


Amongst some other mechanical suggestions that I’ve found pretty interesting, but which didn’t end up in final talents or perks, there are a few honorable mentions:
a) Make taking damage generate twice as much ability charge.
b) “Counterattack” activation gives Kerillian grey health.
c) Lower initial resistance, but it goes up if “counterattack” stack is lost.
d) Bumping into armor/shields during Dash ultimate generates extra grey health.


And that’s pretty much it for the career itself. As a sweet bonus, I would also like to suggest a couple of changes/improvements for her iconic Elven Spear and commonly underused Swift Bow which, I think, would be a great mix-up addition for Handmaiden’s playstyle if done right.

Spear changes:
The first change I would like to see on, possibly, every melee weapon in the game: make fully charged hold attacks guardbreak shielded stormvermin and break other shields. Guaranteed, and not a chance. They charge for eternity anyways.
Other than that, tweaking weapon’s properties. Decrease cleave on thrusting attacks, but at least double their damage on first target hit and improve headshot bonus. Maybe even give armor piercing props. Increase cleave power on sweeping attacks with more damage scaling working against hitting hard past first several targets. Make charged sweeping attack come out after push-attack without additional block cancels.

Swiftbow changes:
For raw stats, we only need to buff ammo pool. But in addition, why wouldn’t we make it work differently when character is crouching? I think it would be something new and fresh for sure, considering we will finally have some use for crouching in this game. Basically, crouching and using alternate “aiming” fire mode would mean planting yourself in one place with huge (maybe even 100%) movement speed penalty, and focusing all your power into barrage of arrows with extra speed (slightly faster than “normal” uncharged attacks) and extra damage on every hit (at least in this mode they should do significant damage).


Conclusion/P.S: I would appreciate community’s opinion on this topic, as well as any criticism or suggestion they have to make. If my work ends up being a success (at least in terms of entertaining people) I can make a few more of those for other careers which are too uninteresting ang generic, or too recycled with a lot of reused talents and properties (which HM Kerillian is suffering from a lot). Please ant thank you.

4 Likes

I like it. It gives HM more and better “distinct” choices to tailor her talents to the group’s needs. Also more synergies between talents and the way you actually end up playing the game.

It would be good if you listed A) current problems with the class (I don’t know what “the community” finds issues with or how she is not playing according to her “advertised playstyle”) and B) what are your goals with the rework. These would help frame your suggested changes.

Spear is pretty good even in legend. It need just a little buff in headshot department.

About other stuff. The things you wrote is basicly all around buff. HM is alredy pretty strong she just doent fill well in all Legeng Quick play comps.

Well, she’s basically your “tank” hero variation for Kerillian, but barely anything reinforces this feeling mechanically. I mean, yes, she dodges a bit further and keeps the block up a little longer. Those are some neat traits, and I don’t suggest removing them.

However, Vermintide players don’t win games with just blocking and dodging, neither they have as much fun with it compared to just agressively slaughtering enemies left and right, or being a bulky vanguard covering your team from endless enemy swarm, or skillfully sniping enemies with covering fire. She has her strengths, but they don’t define her role; she has some support stuff going on which is simply thrown into the mix just for the sake of it, and she’s still low-utility character, so she can’t be a proper support either. Her ability, being the most pointless movement-based career skill in the game, is mostly used to break the map or stall the game by kiting mobs, and just sometimes - for doing something useful or just for the sake of being “mobile”.

So she’s not a tank but somewhat moble and can block well, not a DPS but can do some waveclearing here and there, not a ranger but has some ranged additions. What I would like to see is her class given a good defenitive playstyle without getting rid of her trademarks.

Devs advertise her as a light tank that is supposed to play around her superior block? Give her tools to cover her counter-attacks from block and give her some extra melee potential while keeping her not as bulky as other designated tanks! Long-range dodges and clutch dashes are her definitive skills? Weave them into her core playstyle and expand on it, make her play a more “high risk - high reward” type of tank games than your average IB Bardin pressing F and going AFK! Devs give her support and ranged tools? Make them her additional features that player can pick up and alter their playstyle!

What I propose is that we take a hero with 75% reused talents and a couple of defenitive, but not game-changing traits, and expand on it to make a completely unique playstyle that revolves around hero’s unique abilities and altering performance for different situations and team compositions.

I even specified I don’t insist on using numbers I present as a given. Even despite that, the only “buffs” in this situation is basically her “grey health” additional mechanics for agressive playstyle and reworked passive to make her game out of block slightly better, other changes are just tweaks around her new definitive utility.

If I wanted a buff, I would suggest giving her ranged projectile spam with unlimited ammo. That would instantly put her on par with the most picked and most well-performing careers we have today. But I don’t want her to be META, or faceroll, or anything. I just wish she was a unique character with strong sides to play around, and not a pile of reused assets with only unique feature being her appearance and the most pointless movement ability of all.

1 Like

There is a thing like overcomplicating the kit. It’s not about the numbers. The counter attack you proposed is just a safety net. It just makes you more room for mistakes. Even if invincibility duration were 0.1 sec.

You said you wanted her to have better identity. But the safety net is a very bad choice for that.

If we are talking about identity lets think about Kerillian. She is an elf they are known for they agility not the ability to be punched in the face. If i wanted to give her smth unique it would be centered aroung push mechanic. Like if you push right in the moment of enemy attack your next attack will stagger more or deal more damage or any other beneficial thing for you. Look, to push right in the moment of enemy attack works well with elf. She is fast/dexterious/precise enought to do that. And it’s a risk reward system You can risk it os just block the attack.

Creating one action, or button, or ability with many purposes is what makes good games into great ones. It was the very thing that defined and shaped whole game genres: platformers, for example, if you remember legendary multi-purpose Mario jump as a standard of how to make simple actions do so many things happen if you use it in the right time.

Your push mechanic suggestion is interesting and sure is worth looking into, but this (partially) is what I considered when suggesting new “counterhit” mechanics. Having push do different things is, well, unreliable and looks a little bit… off. Let me explain.

For example, let’s look at the furthest from multi-purpose thing on the topic: HM’s career active ability is objectively the worst and lazy-designed movement-based ability in the game. Don’t believe me? Let’s check our other options. Slayer’s leap ability is his bread and butter, this is what helps him, being melee-focused character, rapidly cover distance, has stagger properties as initial attack starter or clutch teammate savior, while it’s also his primary tool to go Super Saiyan and divide a huge wave of enemies of any size by zero. Foot Knight’s charge is THE boss-killing-support of the game, being able to stagger bosses, lords and big enemies, while also providing him with crowd control capabilities and optional tools to be able to block for free to improve his tanking props or enhance his attack for a period. Zealot’s charge provides him with insane burst of attack speed to fully capitalize on all passives he stacked from losing health, while player can also add a talent upon it to make his SIGMAR VULT hooray-attack refill his entire healthbar with grey health in a matter of seconds. And even if you’re still not convinced - even Battle Wizard, by far the least picked and unique career of all, has her ultimate help her manage overheating, control a wave or add a small burst of damage to be used in a pinch, and it takes a special genius to create ability that does less than the least unique class’s one. What does Kerillian do on her ability? She… kinda… moves… forward? And you can make her go invisible for the duration (enemies don’t stop attacking you immediately, mind you), do negligeable damage or use it a little bit more often?

Instead of expanding on that, you suggest to slap another mechanic that just works separately from everything else on top of what we have right now? Right after you’ve told me about overcomplicated kit?

Here’s the thing. I know that it sounds “kinda like” my proposed counterhit mechanics, but while having similar roots and maybe even intentions behind them, they achieve different things. Counterattack ability expands on Kerillian’s blocking game, covering up her options and giving her somewhat tanky utility, while her stats are barely touched, it’s just HP and resists flipped around to leave her with less initial tankiness than other tanks, but more usefullness from grey health. Counterattack is ping-friendly, considering this game’s awful netcode; while from what I’ve read, your counter-push is timing-based and there are people who will only be able to use is consistently if they play as a host. Overall this thing just doesn’t sound like something to be used frequently or bring a lot on the table. It’s like “Parry” weapon trait, which people MAY use it for covering up their agressive play out of the block while hosts CAN clutch-parry a couple of heavy-hitting attacks once in a game, but it’s still barely used ever, all better options considering.

Giving HM Kerillian extra mechanics on top of existing ones (but not tied up to them) is similar to just butchering her stats further, i.e. “BUFFING” her. They did change how some of her stuff work from the BETA, and she’s still one of the laziest designs around, nothing have changed.

I’d take Handmaiden’s dash any day over Battle Wizard’s blink or Zealot’s charge. Handmaiden’s dash goes through all enemies, unlike Zealot’s charge and the invisibility gives you 3 free seconds to deal with whatever threat you decide at your destination. You can whip out your bow and shoot a globadier for example. You can prevent getting hit by holding block for the duration of the dash.

It’s peerless in regards to avoiding damage. You can easily test this by trying a solo run with Handmaiden vs. any of the other dash characters (you don’t even need to pick the solo damage reduction talent).

1 Like

Just as I said on the subject:


How does your personal preferrence change the objective bigger picture? We can keep choosing between having rye bread or wheat bread with water for dinner, or we can discuss having a lavish king-sized meal instead, and trust me, many people will prefer the latter.

Handmaiden is my current fave career and i’m pretty happy with where she is right now , i really dont think going to down the same path as IB and Knight with damage resistance is the way to go , if i was to do anything to make her more distinct it would be to change her blocking into dodging , using more stamina but allowing her to avoid all affects.

Balance wise i think shes fine and by that i mean shes about where i think careers should be not that shes equal to the still silly pyro/beam or bh/blessed volly bow.
if i were being greedy id look to get a few more seconds shaved off her skills CD , but i would be hard pressed to justify it.

i do strongly disagree with

they are one of the few things that really promote team work (get behind him) or a bit of finesse (using the high damage move after staggering it) in combat.

It is very effective even if you don’t break the AI. More effective than any of the comparisons. Point still stands: It’s peerless in what it does. No other ability allows you to blink next to a hookrat through a chaos spawn and give you three seconds to kill it.

How does your personal preferrence change the objective bigger picture? We can keep choosing between having rye bread or wheat bread with water for dinner, or we can discuss having a lavish king-sized meal instead, and trust me, many people will prefer the latter.

Can you offer us a peek at the objective bigger picture? I thought we were discussing opinions and preferences since that’s all we have. How could we even tell when Handmaiden has objectively reached the status of lavish king sized meal? I don’t think this is a productive direction to lead the discussion.

We’re talking “face in roughly the same 180 degrees where the shield stormvermin is supposed to be at and click LMB three times to kill it” Axe-and-shield Bardin teamwork gameplay, I presume?

Jokes aside, we already have AI director throw as much challenge on one surviving player as he would throw at four; and we already have self-sufficient careers, as well as their weapons, that can do anything to some extent. Teamwork should be counted to at first and foremost, but there also should be a reserve option, especially with entire melee being vastly inferior to ranged combat. For every character/career and at least their iconic weapons, and not just to META-level ones.


We’re not in a concentration camp where we can only think of eating grass from the ground over eating your cellmate, you can actually think of your own improvement ideas that will expand the character in multi-functionality, give her a definitive role and improve player’s fun with her. And there’s no telling if a character is good while she’s designed 70% from completely reused assets that every other character have, 25% from a second key that moves you forward and 5% from revive mechanics slapped on top of it all.
At least she’s not as bad mechanically, as in terms of her gameplay design.

Can you actually read? I said if i wanted to get he enought identity. In my opinion HM just need little tweaks and she would be completly ok.

If you say so it doent make it true. Her charge is actually pretty good.

I never said anything like that. Another time IF i wanted to rework HM i would do smth like that.

And just in general. There are different kind of people out there and different kind of games. When we are talking about game mechanics there is no objective best one. While some people may like your suggestions, others may dont like them at all.

You earlier said smth about bread and lavish meal. You know, i would prefer plain bread and watter rather than a lavish fish meal with top quality wine. Why? Because i hate fish and dont drink wine at all.

I can see logic behind your suggestions but they don’t fit my taste. If i start an in-depth discussion with you we would be just talking about our personal preferences while it could be interesting it’s kinda pointless in general because neither of us is the developer of this game and chances that we will somehow influence the development of the game is close to zero.

iv been thinking of an idea where a level 20 talent is do bonus weapon damage to bleeding targets,

To be honest I like the Handmaiden as is, she doesn’t need any changes.

I guess you two haven’t downloaded the beta… And you just necro’d a really old thread lol

Why not join the Fatshark Discord https://discord.gg/K6gyMpu