Let's talk Grudge Marks. Part 1.

Grudge Marks and everything related to their implementation in Vermintide 2 has been quite a discussion among the community lately and understandably so. Despite the fact that monster rework turned out to be generally well received, several issues have been brought to the table by players having their runs ruined by certain combinations of marks leading to either frustrating experience or straight up defeat. While preferring to stay away from discussions involving game mechanics characterized as “broken”, “unfair” and my personal favorite “never playtested above recruit”, I decided to finally contribute to the topic after witnessing eight Invincible Shield-Shatter Minotaurs wiping floor of the Citadel of Eternity with some of the finest Vermintide 2 players the community has to offer.

In this article I will break down each of the attributes individually and in combination with other traits (primarily in the context of Arenas) and provide rebalancing recommendations to justify certain attributes’ presence in the game. Since there has been a noticeable increase in new players in Chaos Wastes, I will try to keep things relatively noob-friendly going into details in a few places, so feel free to skip forward if you find the information irrelevant to you.

Before going into the deep waters of the new attributes it should be noted that all Grudge monsters both with and without any Marks have several buffs applied to them (thanks to Royale w/ Cheese for providing exact numerical values): +50% health, +20% damage and -70% knockback distance. These changes address all three elements of fighting a monster – damage inflicted, damage sustained and knockdown possibility, making monster’s presence on the field more significant and reducing player’s options to “cheese” the encounter by dropping the poor thing off a cliff or into the environment. This is overall an amazing change that should probably be applied to all monsters in the game, leaving Grudge Marks exclusive to Chaos Wastes.

Shadow-Step (Mark has a chance to warp to random locations near the player when hit)

Warp is a hilariously unsubtle and intentionally deceiving way of describing teleportation ability behind this attribute. Why should a monster teleport willy-nilly around the map, you ask? Well, I have no reasonable answer to that question and I fail to comprehend this nuisance. Shadow-Step gives Marked monster 10 second cooldown 10% chance to teleport near the player upon taking damage. There are three main issues with this attribute: rng (random number generator) of teleportation, rng of attack and spawn range. If several players attack monster simultaneously (which is almost always the case) there is no way to predict where the monster’s going to teleport. This issue is made worse by the fact that Shadow-Step is triggered by Dot (Damage over Time) leaving RDD (ranged damage dealer) characters (Sienna in particular) in significant danger despite any effort from other players to keep the monster at bay. Although this sounds fun on paper, this breaks several fundamental rules of engagement and neglects a huge portion of teamplay involved, which brings us to the next issue. Although Fatshark’s description suggests that warp happens “near” the player, monsters seem to spawn exactly at attack distance from the player. Now, the difficulty of the game directly affects attack speed of enemies raising it adequately to a point when on legend/cataclysm the time window between monster teleporting to you and landing an attack may exceed your ability to switch to melee weapon and block or dodge. If it wasn’t bad enough, warping seems to reset monster’s attack sequence, so even if a Rat Ogre just smashed the crap out of your teammates with an unblockable attack you probably shouldn’t expect a relatively forgiving three attack sequence.

In the end there is nothing gamebreaking about this Mark; it provides more of an inconvenience rather than an existential threat. In fact, I’ve seen these monsters and their illusions teleport outside of Citadel Arena and get stuck there making them completely irrelevant. The issue however comes from combining this trait with several others, as will be the case throughout the entire analysis. In combination with Illusionist trait, you have basically no chance of keeping track of these monsters, since the illusions’ attribute work independently of their host’s. In practice it means that not only four monsters can attack four players at once, but they can all warp on one player – in fact the better player – who actually tries to help his teammates by attacking their counterparts. This can result in complete ideocracy when several monsters clip into each other so badly that your character gets lifted several feet in the air and can’t even land on the ground because continuous attacks from the monsters literally keep you floating. In combination with Relentless trait, you won’t be able to save your teammate getting warped on and caught by Chaos Spawn, and if the monster has Crippling trait that you shared through Slaanesh’s Baleful with that teammate, poor guy has no chance of avoiding the attack and combining these two with Shield-Shatter… F in chat.

Illusionist (Mark periodically summons 3 mirror images of itself)

I’ve put some extensive thought in how the concept of this attribute can be implemented in the game which brought me to a conclusion that Fatshark basically chose the worst option imaginable. Every 30 seconds Illusionist monster creates three copies (illusions) of itself. These illusions share attributes of their host, have 5% hp and deal 10% damage. The only balancing factor in this is that illusions can’t multiply, so there can be only three illusions present on the field. Did I use word “balancing”? Well, forget that, because 3 illusion cap is per monster, not map wide, meaning that you can get two illusionist monsters (which you probably will, provided there are only ten attributes in total and three of them are guaranteed on anything above veteran on Arena) on the Citadel Arena bringing the total amount of monsters present on the map the size of a classroom to eight. Does it sound bad enough? Well, it only gets worse. As of current state of the game there is no way to distinguish monster from its illusions. This is obviously intentional, but it creates numerous problems.

First of all, the game has no option to display several health bars, meaning you will never know what exactly attacks you even from your damage output. Sometimes the health bar changes to that of monster/illusion you engage, but it’s buggy as hell, and if you attack several monsters at once (which you have to, otherwise you won’t get rid of the illusions or spot the host) it becomes an 80’ disco party. Some might argue that illusions are not a threat provided low hp and damage, but they drain your stamina as good as the real thing, and that’s the worst aspect of this attribute. Three out of five monsters have fast three-attack sequences at their disposal. That means when you get attacked by two monsters at once, you won’t be able to avoid your stamina drain (good luck getting any reasonable amount of block cost reduction in Chaos Wastes), you won’t be able to dodge or avoid incoming damage at some point, your damage output will be so insignificant you won’t be able to take out the illusion and you can’t just lower your weapon to see what damage the monsters do to you to find out whether the real monster is present because that’s so counter-intuitive no one in the right state of mind will do this. Also, the majority of Verminide 2 community doesn’t have the experience of facing several monsters at once, so this attribute can put way too much pressure on players to a point when entire party is forced to fight defensively and gets overwhelmed either by monster itself or other threats present.

The actual fun part about this attribute is that you are forced to put more thought into boons you chose throughout the pilgrimage, sometimes favoring defensive bonuses over the offensive ones. The broken part is that no amount of stamina will allow you to withstand the overwhelming force of four Minotaurs at once, and provided the danger of Marked monsters to the team you will actually lower your chances of success by bringing a tank with little to no DPS (damage per second) capabilities to the field. Being the disaster as it is, Illusionist obviously skyrockets the danger of every other attribute. Shadow-Step makes all four monsters jump all over the place giving you no chance to concentrate your attacks on the host. Mighty doubles the damage of the illusions making it as high as 20% of the original value, which is no longer the amount you can ignore, Rampart and Invincible make getting rid of the illusions in quick coordinated effort of the team impossible, duo with a Shield-Shatter can cause the fastest team wipe imaginable, Vampiric and Regenerating can literally drag your Arena fight for triple the amount of time it would take otherwise and so on.

The potential of “screw you” scenarios with Illusionist is infinite, it doesn’t add anything to the game, there is no justification for it lore-wise as far as I can tell and it breaks the scrupulous in-game balance. Most combat related mechanics in Vermintide 2 affect both player and the AI thus making them fair: damage over time, area damage, stagger. Unlike Illusionist most of the Marks have corresponding abilities among characters available to the player: Battle Wizard’s Fire Walk as Shadow-Step, Ironbreaker’s Impenetrable as Relentless, Waystalker’s Amaranthe as Regenerating, etc. Having monsters match or outnumber players on a tiny flat map that provides no maneuver opportunity, no disengage possibility, no effective range utilization, no efficient strategy or team coordination is a mockery of years of balancing power projection of monsters and perfecting strategies to counter them. Also, Arena of Courage becomes so overcrowded by Illusionist that it becomes literally impossible to navigate.

So how do you balance Illusionist? Remove it from the game . Surprisingly enough some small changes would make a huge improvement to it. To begin with, if illusions inherit host’s attributes, those that have cooldown or trigger should be activated by the host, not by each illusion independently. Things like Regenerating and Invincible should apply to the monster and its projections at the same time, not individually. If you decided to copy the host’s attributes at least synchronize them so the players know when and how to react to them. And don’t get me started on eight monsters sharing two different sets of attributes. Having half of all existing attributes present on the Arena at the same time is so much fun, you won’t even know what killed you. Preferable options would be to either not apply host’s attributes to its illusions or actually make a step forward in deceiving the player into making him think that it does by adding a randomness in what attributes illusions inherit. Let’s say you come up against in Illusionist Mighty Invincible monster. Both Mighty and Invincible have distinguishable visual and sound effects, but making a 50% chance of an attribute not applying to the illusion while keeping its visual presentation allows players to be creative in the ways of expose the fake.

Other solutions include tweaks with the strength of illusions and their number. Having only one half-strength illusion will make it almost indistinguishable from its host and will perfectly serve the purpose the developers intended – wasting team’s resources against a non-existent enemy. Having four illusions with -50% stamina drain will maintain their threat but will allow the player to discover an illusion when engaging it in combat, not after being punched in the face or scoring the kill. Most importantly of all, 30 second cooldown is laughable and it needs attention. Out of eighteen characters available to player only two have a career skill cooldown this low or lower, which is almost hysterical. Those monsters can copy themselves faster than you can use your ult to neutralize them, half of the time they are absolutely lethal to engage in melee (Shield-Shatter) or immortal to range damage (Rampart), leaving you with zero countermeasures. Simple fix to this would be extending the cooldown time, boring fix would be to allow Illusionist to only trigger once and the fun fix would be to reset the cooldown timer upon taking damage. This will incentivize the player engaging the real monster to go out of his way to inflict any possible damage to prevent illusions respawn as well as giving other players the ability to partially ignore the illusion they are fighting to instead inflict damage on the host, which is obviously the highest value target. This way relatively low damage inflicted by illusions will come into play and give players some risk-reword freedom: concentrate your effort on a low-treat enemy that you are fighting or risk sustaining damage to concentrate on the host to prevent more illusions appearing. Unless of course the Illusionist monster has a Shadow-step, in which case they warp all over the place resulting in you loosing any trail of the actual monster.

With all that said, Illusionist takes an honorable bronze in my personal “Top 3 bullsht Grudge Marks” list, which is disappointing, because the idea behind it has so much potential and already has the highest impact on the battlefield; unlike some attributes that you won’t even notice this one stands out and unfortunately in a bad way. I absolutely love the chaos it unleashes by itself and whole-heartedly hate the unmanageable shtshow it becomes in correlation with other attributes. It’s a jarring missed opportunity and I will be looking forward to any changes applied to it.

Relentless (Mark cannot be staggered)

There is no workaround to this attribute, it’s completely broken and needs to be reworked. Obviously, monsters being mercilessly thrown all over the place and into the void has become a meme at this point, making the highest threat enemy in the game barely an inconvenience. Currently more than half characters in the game have the potential to drop a monster somewhere inappropriate using different combinations of career and passive abilities. Since entity mass is basically non-existent in Vermintide 2, the solution to that would be increasing stagger resistance or decreasing knockback distance, which developers did, except they didn’t. -70% knockback distance was applied only to Grudge Marked monsters that are exclusive not even to Chaos Wastes themselves, but Chests of Trials and Arenas only. Can adventure mode get some attention, please? Since the issue has been somewhat addressed, what’s the reason for an attribute adding 100% stagger and knockback resistance? I suppose it’s one of the attributes aimed at screwing you up.

Stagger mechanics in Vermintide 2 are often overlooked or underappreciated, even by experienced players. Stagger gives you control over the horde, provides safe space for your melee engagement, gives you thp from curtain talents, can delay an incoming attack giving you breathing space, reinforces teamplay infinitely, interrupts elites’ attack sequences that would otherwise cause significant damage and even stop specials from attacking, forcing them to retreat. Staggering is so important that some players actually build their characters around stagger breakpoints, even sacrificing more favorable weapon/charm properties and level 15 talents.

Staggering monsters is executed for three reasons: control, saving your teammate and as a last resort against an attack you can’t block or dodge. What this attribute does is making it impossible to save a player grabbed by a Chaos Spawn or using your ult to defend yourself against a monster, since all of them have attacks that can’t be blocked (or any attack paired with Shield-Shatter). Relentless could be anything between 1 and 99 percent and it would serve its purpose, but of course Fatshark had to go full ham and make it absolute. As if attributes that empower monsters weren’t bad enough, now the most basic defensive capabilities you possess are taken from you and teamplay is once again hindered. Are you are used to staying close to the monster in case your ally comes into serious danger? Well, forget that, now you can’t do sh*t. In fact, you should run in the opposite direction, since there’s a curse that shares damage between players, so if your instincts push you towards an incapacitated ally, you are getting your portion of damage and probably tentacle slap in the face, since the monster has a Crippling Mark as well, and you are going on the table as a snack with no means to defend yourself. Relentless monsters are barely a threat from Chests of Trials, since players can concentrate all firepower on them and utilize aggro mechanics to avoid being caught by a Spawn. Unfortunately, this is never the case during Arena fights, so you better pray for a Chaos Spawn that doesn’t have Shadow-Step. Or Illusionist. Or Shield-Shatter. We’ll get to the latter eventually, don’t you worry.

Mighty (Mark periodically deals more damage)

Every 25 seconds monster gets a 10 second 100% increased damaged. Sounds overpowered? Well, it is, and it’s a fun one. It ranges from something you shouldn’t be concerned with to making you bash your head against keyboard if you get a bad pair with it. If we bring the math to a minimum, Mighty monsters deal double damage for 28.57% of the screen time, which doesn’t sound too bad. Some might argue that 10 seconds boost is alright, in reality it’s enough time for a monster to perform several attacks on you, including unblockable ones. Of course, in perfect circumstances an experienced player can avoid damage as long as required and even solo a monster, but during Arena fights this is never the case. There are always more imminent threats than the monster, and trying to avoid a guaranteed death from a special to be killed with one hit from the monster is an experience that quicky lines your brain cells to perform a mass suicide.

This attribute is unique in the same way as Shadow-Step, being a multiplier of difficulty for other attributes. This time I will go through all of them to depict the whole picture and bring some attention to why making strongest enemies in the game twice as strong is a bad idea. Already mentioned Shadow-Step teleports monsters to your face, and if you’re not prepared for the incoming attack, you can get instantly killed on higher difficulties. Illusionist means that you are about to witness a holy r*pe of Chaos Gods on your ass with several monsters breaking your block in a second and wiping floor with you with a chain of unblockable attacks. Relentless means that you won’t be able to ult your way out of this situation and no help is coming. Vampiric goes completely through the roof with Mighty since dealing 200% damage and regenerating 200% of damage dealt on top of it means that monster regenerates 400% of the base damage of its attack. Since Mighty monster can literally one-shot you, you are going down my dude, and the rest of the team follows, since every player killed by such monster will heal it for twice of player’s health +300 hp that he gets when knocked down. In several occasions I witnessed Mighty Vampiric monsters regenerating health faster than combined team damage output could match. Add Regenerating on top it and you better have a god-like boss killer on the team, or you might as well jump off a cliff. Rampart makes Mighty monsters incredibly dangerous since they can only be damaged in melee. Invincible makes this monstrosity completely immortal for 25% of the time which can waste the boss killer’s effort to take it down. Crippling means that if you miss a single hit, you get an F in chat. Shield-Shatter makes Mighty monsters almost impossible to kill and with Rampart on top of it as good as impossible on higher difficulties.

Vampiric (Mark heals from the damage it deals to players)

This is a pretty straightforward attribute, although the description fails to explain that monster regenerates twice the amount of damage it deals. From the community’s response to Grudge Marks update this one seems to be universally hated, but I personally find it to be the lesser evil here. It’s not as punishing as Mighty, it doesn’t cause crazy shenanigans on your screen like Shadow-Step and its effect can be completely neglected by avoiding damage. The problem arrives when a Vampiric monster knocks a player down and is not interrupted during the act of Necrophilia. Let’s do some math here. All available characters in the game have 100-150 base health. In Chaos Wastes it can be expanded by +20% Power Up granted for completing certain levels and Ursun’s Fortitude boon which increases max health by 50%. This brings us to potentially 270 health. When a player gets knocked down, he receives 300 temporary health which is his time window for getting revived. These values are probably even higher as this thp pool is probably affected by properties and traits in Chaos Wastes as it is in adventure mode. This means that a monster taking out such player will regenerate more than 1k health in total. This might cause more issues for less experienced players on lower difficulties since with this attribute buffed Grudge Mark monsters can regen half their health even on Champion. And as you probably guessed it, every player killed by Vampiric monster makes it harder for the players still on their feet. As already mentioned, Mighty is a pretty nasty trait to pair with Vampiric since it doubles the effect. Chaos Spawns eating players get twice as much healing as they should, which can be frustrating when paired with Relentless, and same applies to Bile Troll’s regen. Speaking of regen, Regenerating trait also doesn’t help and neither do Rampart or Shield-Shatter.

Simple balancing act on this, if even necessary, would be changing 200% regen value to something more reasonable, like 100% or 150%. In the end however Vampiric is not a big deal overall and can be ignored completely. With the shift of difficulty since the update monsters are either slightly harder to kill or they f*ck you up so badly that you won’t even care for their health regeneration. Even paired with something as over the top as Shadow-Step it’s not a big deal, the illusions have so low hp that even a full regen won’t cause a difference. This is probably the second most forgiving attribute of all, so you better wish for this one because there’s stuff in there that will make you consider abandoning Chaos Wastes for good.

Rampart (Mark is immune to ranged damage)

Now this is where things go downhill faster than Helmgart’s GDP. This attribute goes straight into my “Top 3 bullsh*t Grudge Marks” list with a stunning second place. Simple explanation is that Rampart makes every RDD character completely obsolete, which are around five or sex depending on the builds. Now, in terms of combat mechanics Vermintide 2 is a rather simple game: you have melee and you have range. Using bombs counts as range option while most offensive career abilities are regarded as either melee of range. Rampart makes every range utility you can possibly obtain worthless. There is a balancing aspect of this Mark – it doesn’t affect DOT, meaning burn and poison damage can still be inflicted, except the damage on the impact itself. This makes 20/24 range weapons in the games completely useless against these monsters, as well as half of sienna’s staffs. Immunity from range obviously includes any bomb or heavy projectile like Bardin’s Trollhammer Torpedo or Morgrim’s Bomb obtainable from Shrine of Strife.

Among all attributes that I’ve already reviewed Rampart is similar to Relentless in a sense that it diminishes your ability to react to danger Marked monsters possess. Unlike some attributes that empower monsters or debuff you, Rampant stands proudly as something gamebreaking at its core. Unlike some attributes that force you to adapt to certain scenarios, Rampant forces you to play your range-based character against all its strength: superior range weaponry, carrier and passive abilities’ reinforcement of ranged DPS, talents specifically chosen to extend ranged damage output. With current balance of combat in Vermintide 2 favoring range over melee players in Chaos Wastes put all the bonuses, boons and power ups into extending their range potential and they’re right to do so. It doesn’t take one a science degree to understand that you should play from your character’s advantages, not its drawbacks or limitations. All of this 40–60-minute effort (depending on the expedition) goes to complete waste from a single attribute. This is absurd. Once again Fatshark had 99 options of implementing ranged damage reduction at their disposal and they chose the absolute value.

Grudge Marked update brought a huge potential obscurity to several careers. Players are forced to adapt to excessive increase of Chaos Wastes difficulty and compose entire teams around dealing with the Grudge monster. Because of the extended threat that these entities present, expeditions degraded to fighting the boss in the end, like some shtty arcade Nintendo game. Marks steal the show and leave your favorite classes in the dust and you can’t do anything about it. Wtf are you going to do against Rampart monster as a Ranger Veteran? Try to bite its dck off? Have you seen a Waystalker melee a boss? Might as well try to sue it for sexual harassment. While adventure mod provides competitive gameplay for all characters, Chaos Wastes simply tell you to stick your main up your ass if it’s not up to the challenge.

While unfair beyond imagining, this attribute only gets worse and limits your abilities to counter other attributes, half of which literally incentivize you to avoid fighting monsters in melee. Range is the best option against illusions spawned by Illusionist, but not with Rampart. Mighty and Crippling can literally wipe your entire team in 10 seconds and boy is it happening if they are Rampart as well. Combination of Shield-Shatter and Rampant drops your chances of successfully completing Arena level to around 10%, half of that if you have any of these attributes on a second monster. Pair it with Invincible and you get a half-immortal monster that doesn’t take any damage for 20% of the time. You can literally run away from this monster when Invincible is triggered, since you can’t do sh*t against it while the Mark is active. Whoever came up with this idea should face trial for crimes against humanity. Speaking of invincibility…

Invincible (Mark periodically becomes immune to damage)

Marked monster becomes invincible for 5 seconds, cooldown 20 seconds. Theoretically this attribute is simple to counter by disengaging a monster or loosing its aggro for the duration. Invincible has noticeable visual and sound effects, so you know exactly when you’re wasting time trying to deal any damage. Unless of course you are at a distance at which VFX can’t be noticed which can happen during the expedition but isn’t the case for the laughably small Arenas. This is a more player-sparing attribute that artificially prolongs the fight with monster which objectively can be a danger for the team, but since there’s no workaround against monster’s temporary immortality you might as well leave it alone and concentrate on other enemies, maybe have one player keep aggro on himself for the duration of the Mark. Because Invincible triggers momentarily and is hard to time right, the only real issue comes from wasted boss killer’s effort to take it down. Things like going invincible between Grail Knight’s Blessed Blade attacks or a millisecond before Shade or Bounty Hunter land the hit, the latter being pretty bad since missed headshot won’t recharge Victor’s career ability. Again, any numerical value of damage reduction from all sources would be more appropriate than complete immortality, but hey, Fatshark wanted some funny numbers, who am I to judge.

Overall Invincible is not a bad idea. Certainly, it makes fighting a Bile Troll more tedious since it already has temporary immortality of its own; also, you lose the opportunity to inflict damage or kill Chaos Spawn during regeneration phase. However, this trait can become rather nasty paired with several others. Regenerating Mark that otherwise wouldn’t be an issue becomes triggered by Invincible all the time due to 3 second cooldown. This results in monster becoming immortal and healing itself at the same time without any possible countermeasure. Shadow-Step makes a mess of this Mark by making all monsters become immortal at different time, so any effort to snipe illusions with a burst of DPS from the team may not achieve intended result. Rampant on top of Invincible can literally double the amount of time necessary to take monster down. There are also minor things like wasting Sienna’s effort to apply several burning damage stacks on the monster forcing her to start all over when the effect goes away and deteriorating the bonuses from Victor’s Flense and Open Wounds talents. DOT from Kerillian’s Moonfire and Hagbane bows or Bardin’s Drakegun and Drakefire pistols also suffer from decreased efficiency.

8 Likes

TL;DR but yeah, they just arent that fun ngl and too many of their traits feel uninspired.

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That’s a bit of a wall of text tbh.

Grudge marks feel a lot like a bandage over boss killers being foolishly OP, even more so in CW with some boons.

Even with some really harsh grudge marks CW boons like LifeStaff with explosive crits still make it laughable.

I still have more of a problem with difficulty progression to be honest, as getting a Legend/Cata early boss chest with rampart and shield shatter on it is basically a recipe for gg reload.

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Its just 95% of them still are deleted with one lucky trait or something, its still problem for stuff that proc on crits and not working correctly (30% dmg explosion on crit yeah sure sadly its spawn bombs instead of 30% :P)

and if no one has a lucky trait it’s a 25 minute chipping away.

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Yeah but the idea was to stop bosses from getting pulped. Even a rampart boss can still be wrecked by the engineer’s crit every 4 shot death ray, unless it also has relentless. Not being able to move lets your melee step in. I just don’t enjoy these things on cata, as said some are just reboots on the start. Shield shatter by itself puts your team on a timer if it’s something like a chaos spawn even if it’s a start of the round one with decreased HP (4500 is still chunky and with 20% extra damage dealt). Pretty lame ends to runs because of combos that can’t be dealt with. Unless you built some weave esque build dedicated to speed and avoiding enemies which a lot of arena finales have turned into when people don’t want to lose their 1+ hour of progress to cheap bosses. Not a great state atm.

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Shield Shatter just puts already less desirable weapons, those with less than +15% extra dodge range and a low amount of effective dodges, even lower on the list.

Atleast one of your mates wont run around with an executioners, or something as silly, and is able to take the monster for a walk until you, or a mate is able to blow it up.

The whole “but what if it has like X, Y, AND Z” discussion is rather weird, since triple marks equal you being either on the last, or second last node, stacked with boons. A Shield Shatter Mino will still just die to a Engi, SoTT, or whoever rolled lucky as fast as before. If its not stagger resistant ledging it as easy as breathing on the last nodes. If its Relentless, you got one dead Mark you don’t have to worry about.

I have not encountered a combination yet that would be an auto lose. All I encountered was people fighting Illusion Monsters where they shouldn’t, people who mindlessly whack at the monster without minding the circumstances, and people who never ledged a monster in their life, because they never needed to.

This is what it always boils down to. “It got harder. Cant get my loot easy. NERF!”

There are no unbeatable, or cheap combos. Most of the run will feature monsters that are just as easy money as before the patch. If there was a chance to roll an Invincible-Illusionist-ShieldBreaker early in the run, I would be annoyed as Saltz when he hears Elgi brag about her Bridge adventure, but they don’t.

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Right the thunder dome arena when beastmen are the first wave - so the boss is a mino, the room is rimmed with banners and beastmen and said mino has relentless, shield shatter and illusionist. Throw the blood god’s blessing in there for the curse. What team composition avoids a wipe. ‘Play SoTT + GK with knightly temper praying for decanter and more power boons + OE and hope for crit death beam’ isn’t even a valid suggestion, forcing less variety is not a solution and SoTT is so passed broken using it as an argument should be a litmus test. It completely deflates your ‘people just want an easy ride’ argument to suggest using what’s more survivable/stronger than pre nerf Zealot and Shade rolled into one package.

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This is really not an argument for keeping shield shatter in its current state.

There are no cheap combos??? what?

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First of all, largely any monster with +50% health can end the run on the very first map unless everyone is stacked with monster damage or the circumstances allow ledging and people can actually pull it off with -70% knockback distance. If the monster itself doesn’t kill everyone due to broken attributes (shield-shatter chaos spawn for instance), then it’s likely to end in a wipe via resuming waves of hordes+specials or the effects of whatever curse is going on during the ~7-8 or more minutes of chipping away at the monster’s butt. Enjoy an illusionist anything on a Tzeentch map with crystal egg curses and a modifier with +hordes or +specials. You could of course not open the chest, but honestly at this point you’re better off just resetting the run or, if you really want to spare yourself the grief, not playing expeditions at all. Because, while such changes were very much needed, in their current implementation they are randomly punishing you for wanting to play the game, as opposed to predictably punishing you for having a poor grasp of the game’s mechanics. And you know, making mistakes from which you can actually learn and improve as a player. Right now the mistake is having bad luck during the expedition.

As for your statement, how about a Relentless Rampart Invulnerable Troll? Sure, it’s just a troll so by and large it’s harmless, but you can’t really do anything to it outside of running away, assuming the way out isn’t chock-full of enemies. What about an Illusionist Invincible Regenerating anything? 4 people can probably kill it in a time span between 6-12 minutes if nothing else is going on in the game world, but then again how about we just run away from it and go to the bubble so as not to waste 1 hour of progress at the very end? What about shield-shatter crippling illusionist ogres, spawns or minos that can kill just about anyone upon a single touch?

Saying that there are no cheap combos is either due to not playing Cataclysm expeditions for any meaningful amount of time, or a weird instance of denial of reality.

10 Likes

We all just need to git gud, mates.

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I dont think thats the issue, all the bosses seem doable, but they also arent fun a vast majority of the time, just to not have a generally uninteresting fight everytime we run into one, we ledge it or stunlock spam it to death, basically just abuse game mechanics because none of these are enjoyable to fight. Almost every mark bonus feels uninspired and bland, or performs in obscure ways, like teleporting regen stormfiends who just zip away, from LoS, heal, and come back. Honestly bosses in general were already fairly unenjoyable, making them more of a slog, just makes me want to play chaos wastes less, especially since most PuBs cant handle them well it seems.

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And what state is that? Honestly asking out of curiousity. Because I think the Grudge Mark is bugged Client Side. From the few runs I played privately Shield-Shatter merely broke my block while public games I joined it damaged through the block.

So do we have some people here who mostly play as host to verify or debunk that? And in case it is really bugged client-side: Would that be okay in your book or is the block-breaking already the current state you are criticizing?

I believe shield-shatter for me made all the attacks of the monster count as one of those unblockable ones while I was a client. I thought it is as intended TBH.

What’s happening at the moment and I am not sure if it’s intended or not is that the first attack that connects with you deletes your ability to block for 5 seconds, regardless if whether or not you had enough stamina to block it. There’s a specific sound effect for this. All other attacks incoming in the next 5 seconds will simply ignore your block and connect, which means that once you are touched by shield-shatter you die, either due to other enemies being nearby or due to the monster’s subsequent attacks if we’re talking about combos from minotaurs, spawns or even ogres. It gets even worse if the monster has crippling on top, since being touched once essentially renders you paralyzed.

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And on top of that, any and all defensive tanking talents/boons, like the Zealot heart of iron/Grimnir’s implacability or Ironbreaker unbreakable get completely skipped and/or removed by shield shatter. Obviously if you think this is excessive you are just a loot baby who needs to play more SoTT.

I definitely don’t mean to be git gudding here, but you can avoid damage from a shield-shatter monster by jumping when hit by the first of the triple attack and getting yeeted, assuming you’re dodging the slaps and slams. Of course, you’re obviously limited by space and probably still getting hit by the horde around (definitely if crippled).



Yes to all the above. Regenerating, Invincible, Rampart troll took us about half an hour to fight.

Even more yes to this :

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Oh dear lawrd.

Somethings gone real wrong for this to be a thing.

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A couple of bad timings on the invincibility while he was down on his knees healing, and a mostly inappropriate team (I was playing GS Merc and we had a 1hh IB as the other melee) on a +horde map. The curse was Khornadoes.

And so the regular old trolly damage sponge became a legendary damage sponge😅

Still does remind one of that post about the extreme disparities between builds&careers that do work well against monsters and those that dont…lets hope fatshark decides to mind that a bit too.

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