Ironbreaker : Breaking Only My Sanity

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:

  1. Damage reduction after crit for a few seconds.
  2. Increased Critical power.
  3. Can no longer be stunned/staggered
  4. Charged attacks can cleave through enemies without stopping
  5. Attacks do full damage regardless of how many enemies hit in the same swing.
  6. 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.
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BUT Mah beam staff!!1 WATCH me press F A LOT! I r Awesum!


Killing entire legend horde with flame thrower.
Sienna : Flamethrower is garbage, and a detriment to the team.
Jelly that her beam staff pales in comparison
Me : Just giving you guys time and space to kill special spawns and bosses.
Sienna : It steals Temp HP from the team.
Me : No one is taking damage cause I’m solo’ing the wave at range.
Sienna : You’re just a player who cares about green circles.
Sienna runs forward to try and land kills. One shot by stormvermin in horde. Leaves game.
Me : Thanks for playing.


It makes me sad when an Unchained piles in like a Footknight… with a dagger,

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I use glaive on my shade some times, I have no issues. Sounds like you’re getting some shít players lol. The glaive is a solid choice for shade because the bosses all have damage caps on them now anyway. It’s horde clearing is still really good and with the 20% dodge talent, you should be able to avoid most hits. I’ve still never out-damaged my waystalker build with any of my shade set ups… I can easily hit 9k damage overall without even going try hard on the waystalker. Normal damage for most games is around 15k+. Also, waystalker with hagbane and 20% monster damage can solo any boss in seconds, kinda defeats the purpose of going shade if you have BH to clear specials.

But yea, IB absolutely does not need a buff. You just need to find some better players. This is why I made a thread recently asking for some way to filter players for matchmaking.

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Right, the last part of the post stated it was a generalization. It does not describe individual instances. Point being that the Ironbreaker, if played, takes on an inordinate amount of responsibility to keep the group alive. Therefore, it needs a reward, or buff. In some way. Either through specific boosts, or changing some game numbers that makes their load out more effective.

I play a lot of Iron Breaker because he can defend the group, as well. Of course, most players make this as hard as they can by scattering about instead of just staying near the dwarf who is knocking everything around.

The dwarf’s gear is definitely a bit bland. It does the job, I love the grudgeraker, but none of it is terribly exciting overall. The crossbow is the biggest disappointment. Of all the crossbows, I would expect the dwarven one to be the most complex and interesting - it is the opposite of that.

I don’t think IB needs a buff, though.

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There’s a weird logic going here. You feel that you already carry people far too much on Ironbreaker, so you want to make him even more powerful? Your reasoning sounds more like reasons for nerfing, not buffing, and IB is honestly in pretty good place now. Like everyone else, his Talents need looking at to give better choices, but otherwise, he’s good.

IB is one of the most specialized characters in the game. He’s the only real “tank”, with extra Stamina, Damage Reduction, high health, ability to ignore stray hits and the only ability in the game to directly control enemy aggro. His job pretty directly is to take hits (but not necessarily damage) so that others don’t need to, which does lead to carrying the team sometimes. Despite that specialization, he already can be equipped and specced to deal with armor, fry hordes, deal with specials and/or deal at least usable damage on bosses.

Changing his weapons (aside from Drakefires) hit other careers as well, and could very easily turn their balance upside down too. Besides, here’s the same thing: You’re asking for buffs to the weapon that you already consider his best choice. I don’t know what could be achieved by buffing the already good choices, instead of the ones having trouble being useful (like H&S and 1-H Axe).

And lvl30 Talents may or may not come at some point, but I think the earlier ones will need a lot of tweaking and reworking before that, to give some actual (feeling of) choice on our builds. There are far too many Talents, on every career, that are simply not worth picking or too good to pass.

And last, as you likely have noted yourself too: The real problem is other players and their skills - or lack thereof. The best thing you can do to change that is to try to discern which ones are willing to take instruction on their playing and to learn, and teaching them. Not an easy task, especially the first part, and may be as frustrating as carrying teams constantly, but that way you can help the community both skills- and attitude-wise.


See I both love and hate this kind of logic, the problem with it being the fact that it’s one-sided logic on both ends;

Ideally you’ll purposely let a few mobs leak through if your friendlies need a fix-me-up but at the same time you’re already preventing more damage by putting a cork in that chokepoint.

A good teammate will simply re-prioritize and move on when they see what’s going on, looking over their shoulder now and then to see if you need a hand with anything.

I like the thought but I’m not looking forward to game-hopping or party-suiciding bardins (whichever method they’ll abuse to get this armour) only playing to take some damage. I’m not against being rewarded for playing well and effectively but I’d suggest a different mechanic and I’m not currently able to add thought to what that may be - just something less prone to abuse by selfish players that you’ll always get in groups.

Dunno, I get the complaint but the weapon is great and IB has plenty of tankiness/stamina to get some pushes out and make up for it, if you’re still taking hits then it’s either greediness for damage or the game having it’s usual fit and bugging out with ghost strikes and what-not. Many weapons mobs etc have a lot of unique cases that pop up all too frequently where a hit or a push simply wont register or mobs are hardcoded to just mess your day up (especially the cheapshots when they climb/drop down from places and you hit them but they just ignore you.)

Don’t we all want this :joy:

Yeah I feel you.

No it’s not, but I get plenty of these kinds of matches when I play unchained or shade as well and I’m left to either pick up players constantly or I get to deal with salty tanks that are clearly tired of QP and burning themselves out on VT to the point where they’re rushing ahead of everyone and playing DOOM mode which often results in either people getting pounced by specials in the back since he’s triggering the AI director constantly or him getting picked off on his own and shouting about it on teamchat/voice.

Luckily most of my games are just fine though… at least they were till before the sale and, now I get a lot of people expecting to be ready for legend only to go down on the first wave of a horde, or they’re just quickly playing something to get every map done on legend for cosmetic hoarding… had a saltzpyre earlier that I’d swear spent 80% of the match dead, eating popcorn, if he hadn’t been a nice guy I’m sure we’d kicked him from the start, surprised the group didn’t. The guy said he’d ‘‘not played WHC ever since he got BH’’ ^^;

Now I’ll be honest, No.

I doubt it, so respectfully; just no, at least not with that wording.
Pretty sure you meant ‘‘needs some talent reworking to add more flavour/depth.’’ not ‘‘buff.’’

High health-pool, 13 second grom-ril armour, flamethrower, damage reduction infinite block ulti.

Not saying you’re bad or that your skill is meaningless or that you’re being carried by mechanics but ironbreaker is in a pretty darn good spot atm when you’re anyone that’s remotely good at melee overall with any character, and aren’t someone that only plays drakefire pistols spamming leftclicks all map to get ‘‘muh green circles.’’ People seem to expect that green circles equate to good plays/good players/skill etc…

Ironbreaker really excels at empowering the player, not necessarily in a healthy way but in a passive manner - you a good melee semi-ranged player that only takes a few hits? well now those few hits are going to hurt even less so you turn into a big tanky rat slaying monster! Nothing bad with that though, if anything just pointing out that indeed he lacks some flavour and a lot of his depth is ‘‘granted’’ for free just by donning the armour.

Meaningful talent choices would add a lot of value - but they would for most classes at this point. Blanket talents are a problem and I never expected to have to deal with ‘‘5%’’ and ‘‘30%’’ talents in vermintide game to be honest… I was hoping they’d all be direct-impact gameplay changers, though I’ll admit I wasn’t expecting us to have so many of them. Adding even more would only make it more difficult to have each of them actually affect gameplay.

Nothing special for a flamethrower sadly, not trying to put you down but be careful not to let it get to your head either.

I like the general post but the tone of it as you progress kind of sounds like you’ve been suffering from a lot of groups with simply bad players that left a lasting impression, cause I won’t lie I’ve had plenty of those kinds of groups too where you’re just rolling your eyes as they go down again and gulp another potion and you just wish they’d parry before attacking for once. It’s simply not nice and it can be hard not to get a bit salty at times.

2H hammer is great, hard to contest - the maces in this game are a lot better than what people give them credit for. I always roll a mace on Sienna because of this.

Yea, true enough, though I addressed this above - just want to be clear that I do agree with you on this. Very bland noob-friendly easy to use kit that excels in the hands of a veteran to slightly ridiculous levels if allowed. (no buggy nonsense, no AI director on speed the whole game) That said it’s not bad to have a noob-friendly kit but the blandness can easily put people off especially when his reputation is designated tank and people always feel dodgy about ‘‘Ooh noo I don’t want to tank I want to kill stuff’’ He can do that just fine too.

I do see plenty of ironbreakers however.

From this I already know I wouldn’t enjoy playing with you however, judging people by their loadout is never gonna go well. I’ve kicked plenty of people pre-emptively and left plenty of groups pre-emptively because people started giving me unsolicited ‘‘advice’’ over how I should play. ‘‘Why aren’t you using beam staff? Why aren’t you using dual daggers? How dare you use dual axes during hordes! Rapier is shít, use Falchion!’’ and whatnot. A lot of it before even starting a game, no thanks.

Also important to remember that some people don’t put 400 hours into a game that hasn’t been out for even six months yet, and that sometimes people will just have a bad day. Thats honestly what kept me from not kicking that saltzpyre I mentioned earlier too. If I want perfect runs I’ll just group with my premade and we’ll usually bulldoze through a few before the AI director gets sick of us.

You sound like you might be quite hard to please in that sense and expect a lot from a pug and people that don’t know you and that you don’t know, with all respect I recommend adding a few more people and engaging in a bit of encouraging voice communication here and there to get some regular guys/girls/whatevers to play with - preferably at least one. I can highly recommend at least that. Two coordinated people can make a world of difference. Just make sure to communicate to your team as well and never become a clique.

I like your ideas but I can’t help but think they’d be game-breaking to implement without severe limitations and timers/proc requirements.

Maybe the level 25/30 talents instead offer something like
‘‘15% CDR and any affected infantry will be confused and hit each other’’
‘‘15% duration and taunts bosses’’
‘‘15% longer cooldown and knocks (non-boss) enemies back farther or stuns.’’

All of those would directly and potentially drastically change your active ability compared to ‘‘30% cooldown’’ ‘‘You can taunt bosses now’’ and whatever that other talent I never take is…

The scoreboard is in dire need of a buff/nerf to more appropriately display/award stats. A GOOD handmaiden/unchained/footknight can reach pretty similar levels where you actually have luxury in getting a flamethrower and a decent versatile 2h all-together. I’d wager only a good sienna will come as close to that versatility and she’ll be lacking on bosses compared to a footknight’s charge as she lacks boss-stagger.

Lots of replies essentially saying the same thing. “He’s in a good place.”, I believe is the overall gist of the responses. Which I agree, for everything under legend. Matter of fact, I’d say he’s nothing short of a god at recruit. He doesn’t pack the punch, so players simply choose not to play him. I’ve got over 500 hours logged into this game, and when I see dwarf players other than myself, 9/10 they’re not playing Ironbreaker. I also don’t blame them. But when I do see that 1/10 Ironbreaker, they load up some kind of half-assed build and think that playing Ironbreaker means you’re gonna be a tank. After they fail to be effective, whether through taking too many hits or not being able to eliminate immediate threats, they switch right back to another career. Thinking that their loss was a result of not playing a damage spec.

Of course, there are several other factors that made the defeat screen appear before them. One of which being, you can’t just load up Ironbreaker and expect to be a tank. Matter of fact, without getting into the fine details of the career, you’ll be less than useless. This is where the career falls flat. You can slap the “F” button on Pyromancer and still land some damage, kill a special, CC a boss. With Ironbreaker, it’s a complex rhythm of parries, dodges, team coherency, aggro management, positioning, holding tomes and grimoires, trading crucial strikes with Gromril, reviving players, and correcting mistakes in general. Anything less, with the average group of players, and you’re most likely not getting that emperor’s vault. If any vault at all. (Still searching for the veteran hammer btw).

So, the responsibility of rounding out the “all damage team” composition, comes down to the Ironbreaker players like myself. Where the damage characters have one job (killing things), the Ironbreaker is literally saving the pug from utter defeat. Is the effort worth the reward? Not by a long shot. Is there some equipment changes to make the game interesting? No. I try the 2h axe once in a while, end up relying more on the flamethrower. Point is, the Ironbreaker is locked into a specific build if you want reliable amounts of success. Not to mention the hours of practice required.

Some have said I’m just getting shitty team mates. Guess that means I’m just unlucky. Don’t know how many of you play this game as much as I do, but I believe I’ve seen the “average” player. They’re not great, but gosh darn they feel like they’re ready for legends. Someone said that they see a decent amount of Ironbreaker players. Perhaps we’re just connecting to a different region of players. If people played Ironbreaker as much as I do, I would assume that a few of them would be pretty great at it. In which case, I wouldn’t have made this post. I’d get to play all the other fun characters and racking up vaults. Sadly, that’s not the case.

I’d like to see the Ironbreaker become more accessible to the general crowd, make the Ironbreaker less necessary, or make it feel a little more fun to play. I’ll take whichever. As of now, in general, it’s a difficult to manage career with several responsibilities that most players won’t touch. Which means, I have to play it. Which means, I don’t get to play anything else unless I want to take serious risk wasting my time.

Basically, make the career more fun to play so that unfamiliar players will actually put effort into him, and the veteran players have some new/fun strategies to work with. If that’s too much to ask, well we’ll continue to see a decline in Ironbreaker players till the devs are forced to make him relevant to the average player. Hopefully I’ll have a veteran hammer by then.

I’d say one of the bigger reasons that especially better players dont play IB is that its a career that breeds laziness/bad habits.

You get too used to gromril armour and expect to be able to eat hits every now and then, which is a bad thing for every other career in the game. Playing other careers/characters comparatively keeps you on your toes and can make you work harder just to not die, pushing your skills more.

I really like IB, drakefire pistols are awesome however I’d rather be giving myself a challenge so i pick slayer for champion and RV for legend most of the time instead.

i dunno bout u, but if i play the ironbreaker, the flamethrower is the most godlike weapon ever. it just eliminates all hordes and ambushes and infantry, and can stunlock an entire rat patrol, and filter out a chaos patrol leaving only chaos warriors to deal with. if you’re talking dps, the flamethrower does an insane amount of killing and raw damage, and it totally frees up your party to focus on elites, bosses and specials. i find that using him to carry on legend is one of the easiest classes to do so (eliminating all hyperdensity in a game with one class makes the run so smooth)

but then again, i’ve only ever seen one guy play ib the way i do, normally people go pissfire pistols to pewpew things (imo it’s kinda slow to kill stuff)

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Not to mention if you have a mate dance a patrol while you fully charge that thing and then chain cc it from ranged like a boss, I’ve pushed an entire patrol off a cliff doing that on the drop down area on fort brachenbrucke… If you don’t let them get near and start animations they’re paper, doesn’t work as well on cw’s but what can you expect…

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hahaha yessss i would love to see that! i’ve never fought a patrol near a cliff with a flamethrower yet =P

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I swear that patrol there can be a pain sometimes, it was the single most fun IB bardin moment I’ve had besides cackling manically in one of the many chokepoints on into the nest with flamethrower up xD it’s so good with 2h hammer

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I do the exact same thing with the hagbane bow, it’s hella fun lol. But, you don’t get the kills for it I think. :frowning: But it doesn’t matter, makes life so much easier to be able to knock back heavies.

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In my experience i have an ironbreaker every second legend run. Normally they have a flamethrower.
At the end they always have dealt the most damage and took the least.
Flamethrower is incredible powerfull. With ok positioning, it can hold back entire hordes with easy.
If the positioning of the team is good and you have a sienna and ironbreaker with flamthrower, you almost certanly won’t have to fight hordes at all.
Thats my experience.

IB seems to be in a really strong spot right now. Most people have issues in QP because of the lack of coordination with their team. If you don’t want to use mic and call positions etc, the best you can do is play a really versatile build and hope to carry as much as possible. Which is my usualy strategy.

When I want to carry as Bardin, I usually run the 15 second taunt. 1H Mace and Drakefire Pistols, with Chaos/Infantry on ranged/Charm. Chaos+Stamina and Swiftslaying on my Mace. With that I can clear specials, Elites and smash Chaos Warriors with charged attacks. Also concentrate on clearing the small enemies around the CW before hitting him. This frees your teammates up to tunnel the CW without taking damage from enemies living inside his legs.

This leaves your only weakness as Bosses and Drakefires do more than ok damage on them if you get headshots. The best thing you can do is get aggro and dance the Bosses as much as possible.

You can hold a line, deal ranged damage, deal with Elites and specials.

IB is one of the only careers I can go a match without losing less than 50% of my health pool with.

Just putting it out there that boss taunt seems to knock bosses back, pair with bomb and you can throw a boss off a cliff almost solo. I screamed a poor ogre off the cliff at the first grim on Halescourge burblefart’s map, poor thing had probably never heard a Dwarf shout that loud.


knocking a boss off a cliff, is honestly one of the best things in this game

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