Ironbreaker + Barkskin = Ridiculous

Yeah it’s a shame that the beta forum is now set to private, I’ve got a lot of detailed posts in there I can’t link back to. Oh well.

What about globadiers? Or flame rats, or fire barrels, assassins, friendly fire, packmasters, blightstorms, leeches, troll bile, stormfiends, catapults, rockets, buboes…

Not saying you don’t have a point but you need to be more specific here. What anything else? Any other character? Any other class? Any other talent? The only thing you can directly compare against OtP and Flagellant are the other two talents at level 10.

I don’t think DR makes a character more powerful. Yeah sure a Slayer might tank a hit to the face and take 40 damage instead of 80. But DR only applies when you get hit, and you only got hit because you made a mistake. Getting punched in the face by a boss doesn’t kill the boss any faster.

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Globe damage is 20 per tick, Flamerats it might not work against, honestly don’t know how much damage they deal, friendly fire is negligible for all but the most extreme cases of idiotic teamamates, and the rest are rare instances of dot damage, that rarely is enough to impact a run even for the squishiest of characters.

I am being as specific as I can be. 50% DR and above is too powerful, when they are not something that has extreme conditions applied to them, like short duration, long cooldown, specific circumstances that are rare to achieve or a mix of all them…
This creates a shitshow to balance.
IB has 65% during his ult. And that makes him stupid tanky, but it’s limited and it used to have a long cooldown tied to it, that’s not the case any more.
Zealot and Slayer have 50% DR against 95% of the damage they take (is that specific enough?) and that creates a shitshow, same with unchained.

50% DR is not just damage mitigation, it is effectively also:

  • 100% increased healing received (including Temp. HP)
  • 100% increased healing received
  • 100% Increased Effective HP

It makes the character easier to play, and the easier a character is to play the easier it is to be effective with it.
DR forgives mistakes, and it mitigates “unfair” damage that you could not have prevented. That’s extremely powerful.
I think DR is a vital component in how powerful a character is. And there’s a balance to be had. I wouldn’t want to see a Shade get 50% damage increase, just because slayer and zealot get a choice of 50% DR.
Both buffs would be so strong it would ruin the game balance.
In terms of power I would put 50% DR all the way up against 50% damage increase, if we’re looking at the state of the game right now.

Toughness indirectly translates to increased DPS, as when you can out-trade enemy damage through THP generation and toughness, means you can stay in the fight constantly, without having to go on defense.

This thread is about IB however, and he is the ONLY character where it makes sense to give him this much damage protection, because he has no damage buffs available to him. Barkskin brings him close to the overpowered territory however, but not overly so as he only has 42% damage reduction when Barkskin is active and it is only active for 2 seconds. The problem is Gromril Armour ignoring any type of hit in my opinion, not barkskin, which is short in duration, and can be a great asset for all characters to mitigate burst and dot damage to an extent, and it scales with the amount of DR available to each character.

Actually has anyone tested if Friendly Fire can trigger Barkskin? If so it shouldn’t

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Chances are, it can, just as it can trigger any other ability with on-hit trigger (Gromril Armor as a prominent example).

Personally, I don’t think the high DR itself is a major problem. As @Tamren stated, Unchained balances it with risky gameplay, and so does Zealot. Slayer lacks a ranged option to keep safe, and has less Health to boot. And for IB and FK it’s their specialty, albeit at differing amounts and styles. A bigger problem (for Zealot and Slayer) is, I think, that it’s dependent on a Talent pick that’s too strong to really pick anything else. Slayer’s alternatives are just bad too, while Zealot has at least some merit to his options, so they’re what needs rework.

I’ve played a bit of berserker IB before (and it’s frankly way more fun than the “standard” style), but this thread has prompted me to think I could reroll at least one necklace to retry it with BS. That might take a while, though, but we’ll see.

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I don’t disagree that some sort of toughness trait would be suitable for their standard line of perks, but I do think that 50% is too much, 30% is a more suitable number, and perhaps have choices to increase that with an armour multiplier.
Imagine Slayer having 7.5% stacking DR with his attack buff. That puts it at 22.5. Then a talent that replaces OtP with an increase to that stacking buff by 5% putting him at 37.5% DR.
Or something along those lines. It’s be a great DR effect, but it would require that he maintains stacks, which is very much in line with his “character” so to speak.

Look at this table;
See what happens to EHP and healing received once we get over 20%?
At 20% DR we already have 25% increased healing received, as well as 25% increased EHP.
At 50% it is double (100% increase)
At 75% it is quadruple (300% increase)
And so on…

Compare that to other talents and stuff that adds healing received, which is at max 30% each.
HP increases are at max 25% each.

I don’t mind DR, but it should be weighted very carefully, in order to not create imbalance compared to everything it affects.

There’s a reason so many games use a special formula for armour (DR) having diminishing returns as you go higher and higher. To keep the EHP gain curve linear. In this game we also have THP, which is a huge thing affected by DR.

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Could you please tell me, how is this dmg reduction calculated? I mean, I’m sure you’re right, but I want to understand how the game does the maths here.

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I actually forked up the calculation there, mixing up the amount of damage taken with the actual DR. It’s 58% when you have Barkskin active (which is huge compared to 42%).

It’s multiplicative. Basically every source of DR is multiplicative in the game.

Damage taken: DMG = 100
Damage reduction, source 1: DR1 = 30%
Damage reduction, source 2: DR2 = 40%

ActualDamage = DMG*(1-DR1)*(1-DR2)
100*(1-0.3)*(1-0.4) = 42 damage taken
Actual DR = 42-100=58% DR

If it was additive it would look like this:
ActualDamage = DMG*(1-DR1-DR2)
100*(1-0.3-0.4) = 40 damage taken
Actual DR = 40-100 = 60% DR

There’s probably a smarter way to calculate it, but that’s how I’ve done it.


Yeeeeah… gonna need to see a video posted before believing this, lmao. Even in an only skaven slaves horde this will get you killed, and if there are elites or specials or chaos then this reckless play will super get you killed.

IB is a forgiving career to play. Obviously if you take a weapon trait to add more damage resistance it will be a little more forgiving. But if your playstyle is “hold down W and left click” you’ll still get wrecked.


I still think you’re vastly overestimating how much of an effect OtP and Flagellant have. If 50% DR was as overpowered as you claim it is, simply taking those talents would equate to a 100% increase in survivability and total damage dealt. But even if it managed to do that it would still need to outperform all other options to become the new meta before anyone would even consider the idea of nerfing it. Until then it is simply one of several viable talents you could pick at level 10.

The only nerf I can see happening is a return to the old numbers for OtP and Flagellant. IIRC it used to have a threshold of 15 instead of 10 which made it less useful for DoT and other small hits and only of real use against bosses and smiting attacks from elites. I can’t remember which patch made that change but it was before the last beta we did where THP was completely reworked.


I never actually though about DR this way, but now that you mention it I think it’s a great way to think about damage intake. So, given these numbers (and I’m not trying to pick your argument apart, I’m legitimately curious), what does it look like when the damage is spread out?

I am constantly trying to protect myself. I rarely take two hits back-to-back because I am rather twitchy with my block; if I manage to prevent all but 1 attack after every Barkskin proc, is Boon of Shallya more or less effective?

I do agree that a character with 400% additional effective health is insane. I do believe you make a trade-off if you take in on IB… I would prefer Hand of Shallya, but I am probably less-experienced than you are. I think that, instead of making yourself 100% more tanky, you can recover additional HP (which, if we are going off your graph, is increased by a factor of 3 because of roughly 65%DR) while also providing someone else vastly increased survivability/wound control.


Not sure what you mean here mate :thinking:

It all depends on the attacks you soak. If it’s a heavy attack from an elite, you’d be better off with Barkskin in my opinion, otherwise Boon. The way I choose what to use between the different necklace traits is based on the answer to two simple questions:

What gets me downed/killed?

What is most beneficial for the team?

  • If it’s burst damage from multiple consecutive hits (hyperdensity, monkeys/windmills, ratlings, multi Nazi bombs etc.) I choose Barkskin - unless I’m on a squishy character and have trouble maintaining maxed out THP I won’t
  • If I’m on a squishy character and Boon provides too much THP, I go with Barkskin, having burst protection on these is extremely helpful.
  • On some characters I pick Hand, if the kit synergises with it. THP generation has to be good from meleeing or THP from Ult with lvl 25 talent are some of the key things here.
  • Dupe I rarely use outside of RV who already has 10% chance not to consume, which synergises extremely well and he also has good THP generation options.

There are lots of considerations, but basically every trait choice has a go and a no go list. Which is honestly a little too long for me to type out here. It’s also heavily up to playstyle and personal preference.

I roll with Natural Bond on him. Because I rarely take damage, and when I do Gromril gives me a free pass, if the defecation hits the ventilation his CD on his ult is now stupid fast giving him 65% DR, so you can always hit that preemptively to make basically any situation survivable. With barkskin combined with his 30% and his career skill you end up at 86% DR, which is silly, but it is also a bit overkill in my opinion - sure it’ll make you basically unkillable for 10-15 seconds, but how does that compare to the utility of the 300 HP possibly regenerated during a game via Natural bond? That HP generated is amplified by his 30% DR, translating roughly to 430 EHP throughout a game, and then we’re not even factoring in 50% DR from his career skill. That’s a lot of “free” healing.

With his combination of 30% DR, Gromril and his 50% multiplicative DR of his career skill, NB’s value is significantly increased, meaning I can help the team by carrying all books. Secondly it also means I rarely have to be healed throughout a run.
If legend was harder I might consider using Boon to be able to create a buffer of THP faster than normal, or Barkskin as protection from burst damage, which can put a dent in any character.
That being said, I’ve found myself using NB even on DeathWish - it simply allows your team to use all the consumables on the map.

I do play very conservatively as IB, I don’t play as if it’s my job to kill everything, even though I usually do rack up a significant kill count, my focus is more on playing as a “tank”, as much as you can be that in this game, basically putting myself between enemies and my allies. Control and aggro is a higher priority than outright killing everything, so my melee weapons reflect that (usually Greathammer or SHammer with drakefire pistols, or Pickaxe/1h axe combined with Drakegun.
Hand always has merit, but it’s more useful on other careers in my opinion, and “not using supplies” is always better than “better use of supplies” imo - leave that to other careers to use dupe chance or hand.

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How did I say it was also 100% increase to damage dealt?

Stunty Savior and Crippling Wounds do not even remotely compare to the power of Oblivious to Dodge (Pain)
Stunty Savior is a meme pick for speedruns, but since boss walls was introduced I really don’t see anyone using it as an optimal choice. Planning on your team dying is rarely a good plan, especially when you have another choice that basically doubles your survivability.
Crippling Wounds does not stack with other similar effects, but it does see “some” use, but only by players that honestly are too good for legend. It’s only really useful against targets that take 6 or more hits to kill.

No Surrender gives a “measly” 15% extra damage, which again does not remotely compare to flagellant.
Suppress Pain is just straight up a worse pick.

Does that not constitute META?

That’s another way it could be “fixed”. I’d argue it should be 20 damage that is the threshold with that model, but that’s not really all that important. The big thing is that the 50% DR is applicable to way too many damage taken scenarios and it creates an imbalance.

Forgive me; poor wording tends to be my downfall. When I say “Damage Spaced Out” I mean the following:

I am under the impression that the hit that procs Barkskin is not reduced by Barkskin (confirm or deny? I have no idea). If this is the case, then if you only take 1-2 hits while BS is active, 1/3rd or 1/2lf the hits are still hitting you as though BS wasn’t there. If you take 15 hits in those 2 seconds, you are getting great use out of it, but fewer follow-up hits mean less effectiveness from BS.

Please correct me if I am wrong!

That’s exactly how it works.
You take damage (any source), for the next 2 seconds any damage you take during these 2 seconds is reduced by 40%.

3 slaverats
1st slave rat hits you for 20 damage - since you have no DR, you take 20 damage.
Barkskin is now active.
1 second later you are hit by another rat for 20 damage - barkskin reduces that damage by 40% 20*(1-0.4) = 12 damage taken
1 second after that (2 seconds have passed since you took damage the first time) barkskin wears off
3rd rat now hits you for full damage, since barkskin is no longer active, and activates barkskin again for 2 seconds.

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Hmm. Now that I think about this stuff a bit more, I have an idea. I admit right away, I haven’t really tested the new Barkskin as I mostly get my Health loss from single, bigger hits anyway (yeah, I know, my timing sucks) instead of barrages from trash enemies or DoT, so it wouldn’t really be that effective on me usually.

But the potential problem I see is that it can be active all the time or nearly so, with a long barrage of hits producing only one full-damage hit every ~2 seconds (which on the tougher characters can be mostly ignored), giving potential rise to a constant facetanking and hit-trading style of combat. So a short (1-3 seconds, open to balancing) extra cooldown between activations could be warranted. That would mean that there would be a period of full (well, however full other DR allows) vulnerability between BS activations, turning it a bit more in the direction of mistake protection rather than a constant DR.

This is of course (again) dependent on what exactly the devs want the Trait to do.


This is not a bad idea, but the problem really isn’t Barkskin in its current state, from my perspective.

The problem is the ridiculous levels you can achieve when combined with high DR characters, as well as the fact that you can activate it with friendly fire (who would have thought a wigglemancer, beaming across your back every 2 seconds would actually be helpful).

Another solution could be to hard cap DR, but nobody likes hard capped stuff - myself included.

I think it’s a great choice for burst/dot protection right now. If that is what tickles your fancy it has worth over Boon, NB etc. the problem is characters with too much DR.

This thread got me interested. I’ve been playing a Sienna Unchained with Barkskin; previously I ran with Hand or Natural Bond. I don’t know that it has dramatically changed my outcomes on legend or champion for that matter; however, it has effected my playstyle some:

I feel much more comfortable charging at a horde and repeatedly staggering them so my teammates can level them. If I get hit by something big, I’m less inclined to slip into a block position and more inclined to focus on staggers. This extends into a willingness to charge at a rattling pelting it with a ranged attack as it shoots me; same with gas.

That said, I’m generally getting killed by the same things that always killed me – a single big hit that I wasn’t expecting or didn’t block in time. Subjectively, I feel like I’m living a little longer than I used to, but that may be because I’m now focusing on group heal – so I tend to consume more health than I used to.

I like the barkskin trait, but, as you say, it provides a number of situational benefits as opposed to a universal benefit. I cannot charge like a madman into a horde, because if they get behind me, that reduction will just buy me another second before I get struck down… at the same time, I’d be lying if I said that extra second didn’t matter.

With all that said, the friendly fire thing (for a sienna player) tends to come up if I’m working with a hagbane player. I’ve had that happen twice on champion, and I don’t really think it helped me, because most of the time when I took FF, I wasn’t going to be hit. I could see a very well coordinated carefully exploiting this in highly specific circumstances (e.g. you’re about to take a hit from a chaos warrior or monster) – but let’s be real, dodge or block is still the better tactic here. For hordes, it really wouldn’t matter; when you’re surrounded by rats, the damage that each inflicts is reduced, so the benefit of FF mitigating the first hit is likewise reduced… though it still exists to a degree.

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Oh I completely agree that the scenarios where it is actually helpful is few and far between, but it triggering on friendly fire in the first place is wrong, and is the reason this could potentially be exploited.

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I get what you’re saying in an abstract sense; in an applied sense, sustained combat would require continuous friendly fire to keep the barkskin active. For instance, AOE spam when someone was fighting a monster. There’s a part of me that questions whether this would be an exploit or a valid/unconventional use of mechanics. I mean, there are negative effects to sustained friendly fire; there’s also (a potential) opportunity cost in committing a ranged character to intermittent ff pings. But here I’m being speculative.

Going down another road: thinking about this in terms of symmetry. If friendly fire no longer triggers Barkskin, it logically shouldn’t trigger Gromril Armour either. If they decided to shift the mechanic so FF didn’t trigger abilities, I might be in favor of that change, but I would like it to be uniform in its behavior… also, I’m not sure how this change might effect other classes.

That make sense/seem consistent?


It would if gromril cooldown was much longer than it is if you ask me.
Again I don’t like fixing things like this on such a surface level. I think the problem with FF triggering gromril is not that it triggers it but that FF is so damn prevalent.
So fix FF so people get a warning for FF and if they continue they get punished in some form. It could be in the form of friendly fire damage turning in to a reflect damage so you actively hurt yourself. Or some sort og punishment system that gives you a time out when matchmaking the next game

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Then people will get unfairly punished when idiots go galavanting directly into the line of fire… or when other people intentionally jump into the line of fire because the damage taken is negligible and they don’t care.

FF system is fine as it is.

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