I’ve put in over 400 hours into VT 2 so far. Over 500 including closed beta. About half that time was spent on the Elf, Sienna, and Saltz. The other half, Ironbreaker Bardin. Unfortunately, the reason for it was less than entertaining. A typical scenario for my Vermintide experience is loading into a quickplay lobby, legend of course, and seeing what can only be described as a group of screaming toddlers, simultaneously making the statement “I wanna’ be the damage!”. A few thoughts tend to go through my head upon seeing each character anxiously awaiting to die an immensely idiotic death in the upcoming match.
See the shade elf with a glaive. “Hmm. Can’t dodge, low stamina, can’t effectively backstab, will probably use career skill to get pinched off from group.”.
“Manageable”, I tell myself. Only truly useful for elite kills anyhow, I can probably pick up her slack in literally every other department.
See Kruber, I get a little excited. Another tank to help me wrangle in the Elf’s lack of self-awareness. Excitement turns to heightened blood pressure, as I see he’s wearing green cloth with a handgun equipped. “Hmm. Probably packing the halberd, at least. Can’t help in wave clearing, much like the elf. Maybe he’ll be able to put some serious damage on the ONE boss we’ll get on this Anthel Yenlui run. Probably not though, cause his gun isn’t made for consistent ranged support due to reload and ammo restrictions. He’ll go down at the first or second wave from trying to melee.”.
Almost at the portal, see last player in the back. Good ole Saltz, Bounty Hunter. “Thank Sigmar! Something that can actually kill effectively from range.”. Weapon swaps to crossbow, then back to Rapier/Pistol. “Great, he’ll probably be able to keep himself alive, don’t have to worry much. Hopefully he took the area clear talent to help me with hordes.”.
25 minutes later, game ends. Elf is lowest on damage and kills, spent most of the game dead, lost a grimoire. Huntsman Kruber has 48 ranged kills, 106 melee, third highest damage, second highest on boss. Only had to pick him up a few times. Saltz gets most special kills, highest damage for both total and boss.
Ironbreaker Bardin though? 416 ranged kills from flamethrower on hordes, which saved the team from being surrounded due to their lack of wave clear. Comes in first place for elite kills, as he brought the 2h hammer and the Elf was incapacitated for most of the match. Immense tankiness and 2h charged swings allowed him to barrel through pockets of enemies that frequently downed his team mates, so he could perform game saving revives mid combat. His taunt funneled enemies towards him while his team mates were perpetually scattered and disorganized, allowing him to control the team’s attention to single points and giving them time to regroup. Thankfully he took Resourceful Combatant, as his team was consistently in need of area taunts due to a lack of front line confidence and panicked blocking while back peddling into stormvermin.
Fun story, right? No. It’s not. This is my average matchmaking while loading up Tank Dorf. I will generally win my legend games if playing that character. Anything else, and I run a 50/50 chance on a good day. At this point, you have to accept the fact that every pug is out to ruin your matches, and possibly attempting to give you a stroke with their career choices. So, I’m now essentially locked into playing Ironbreaker if I actually wish to complete my legendary matches. I imagine Foot Knight Kruber’s feel the same way these days. Which brings me to the main point of this post.
Ironbreaker Needs A Buff
Now I know what you’re thinking. “But you just told us a grand tale of how bad ass Ironbreaker is! If anything, he needs a nerf so that other characters can shine!”. With that, I say, you can take your low handmaiden scores and shove em where the Sigmar don’t shine. Nerfing Ironbreaker is tantamount to removing the character from the game. As no one would bother playing him anymore, thereby causing even greater loss to win ratios. More to the point, Ironbreaker is a stale play through. Made even more frustrating with nerfs that all characters already experienced. Making the game increasingly more lopsided in team responsibilities. “Who’s supposed to wave clear? Guess Ironbreaker will.”. “Who’s supposed to frontline? Guess Ironbreaker will.”. “Who’s supposed to hold Elite/Boss aggro? Guess Ironbreaker will.”. All the while you have three team mates who all have the same specialty, “Damage, dying quickly, special kills, dying even more quickly, hiding from fights, etc”.
Ironbreaker, in the above story, was not bad ass simply because he’s Ironbreaker. That is a conglomeration of several hundreds of hours dissecting team dynamics, game mechanics, item combinations, etc. The 2h hammer itself is a 5% crit 30% push/block angle weapon. Which I’m sure comes as a shock to most people, as they normally only allow crit and crit power on their weapons cause “muh damage!”. Of course, the several hundred hours also lends to the Ironbreaker’s ability to maintain his game saving plays. But, no matter how bad ass he seems, he’s a stale play through. His talents are generic. His weapons are generally awful and require a great amount of timing and experience to look decent at the score screen. While simultaneously having to take on such massive responsibilities to successfully finish a match. Point is, he needs to be more worth playing if he’s to be such a cornerstone for pug matches.
I’m not sure what you devs have in the works for DLC and what not, but I’ve got some suggestions.
Cosmetics. Can I get some swag looking armor instead of a color re-skin? As much as I initially enjoyed the legend play through achieve, just making the armor black lost it’s allure about fifteen minutes after receiving it. Perhaps rewards for “absorbing” or “blocking” a certain amount of damage and getting some terminator-esque looking gear.
Reverting weapon/item stats. The 2h hammer, I’ve found, is the most overall effective weapon in his arsenal. Knocks around hordes like baseballs, staggers elites in most situations, head shots for non-charged attacks, decent damage. AS SLOW AS A SNAIL ON A SHORT BUS. My God I can’t imagine the number of hits I had to take because the enemy decided to quick slap me just milliseconds before the hammer struck. Swift slaying would make it bearable if it weren’t so inconsistent. If speeding it up isn’t an option, then it needs a higher damage output. At least to the point where it takes one less hit to kill most enemies. If those suggestions aren’t good enough, then perhaps reverting the stats back to closed beta. You know, 10% atk speed/crit chance, 40% crit power, etc. Would actually hand out much more build diversity, without having to adjust difficulty settings. Just a thought.
Last, but certainly not least, level 30 talents. I’m sure that’s gotta be one of your biggest complaints thus far. But 30 talents not only need to be a thing, they need to be good. Actually good, and specific to the character in some very strong ways. Here’s some ideas:
- Damage reduction after crit for a few seconds.
- Increased Critical power.
- Can no longer be stunned/staggered
- Charged attacks can cleave through enemies without stopping
- Attacks do full damage regardless of how many enemies hit in the same swing.
- Gain a 50% bonus to all defensive stats (HP increase, push/block angle, stamina, etc)
Just a short list of examples to give the Ironbreaker a pay raise, taking into account the amount of weight/responsibilities on his shoulders when dealing with the average group of players. This will keep him fresh and playable, even to the less than hardcore player base. Of course, if all that doesn’t seem fair then you could simply raise the veteran reward chances on champion to legend levels. Because the people playing legend aren’t doing it just for the significantly high chance of failure, they’re doing it for cosmetics and vet items. Otherwise I’d just run champions with my bots.
This is just a generalization of most games, and does not describe each individual instance. There are definitely decent and sometimes good players you’ll pug with. Kerellian’s that can avoid death at every turn, Kruber’s that could shoot specials inside tornado’s. But they’re few and far between. I’d like to do more with Ironbreaker, as I have the capacity to do so, just not the tools.
- Sincerely yours, +100 Ironbreaker.