Let's talk Grudge Marks. Part 1.

I’m getting tired of games that are essentially rolling the dice on whether you win or lose. I played chaos wastes more often than not for three main reasons: I enjoyed getting a fun combination of boons, it was a good break from book hunting in Legend missions to get Emporer’s chests ( and quicker even with frequent crashes and disconnects), and I didn’t have to worry about having the best weapons equipped for a class I didn’t use as much.

Now that grudge marks have been added, it’s more feast or famine than ever before, and that was already an issue. It seems we either pound grudge marks into oblivion or the grudge mark simply cheese the team to death with a bad combo before we get any good boons. There were already certain classes that were OP and others that are mediocre on Chaos Wastes, now most of the time, it’s essential to have at least 2 good monster damage/stagger players, and you never know, you could get shield shatter, rampart, and relentless on a spawn which gives you no way to free a player caught by it. ​

Everyone keeps pointing out to me how a certain item, boon, class, or talent gets around a bad grudge mark combo, but if you’re casually quick-playing, you might be playing with just one other player, and you don’t have the right item, boons, or class, and couldn’t plan that in advance. I had a game where mission number 3, a vampire shield shatter chaos spawn kills three players.

What were our boons? Ammo pickup, exploding barrels deal extra damage, natural bond, 30% damage reduction while holding still, take damage from the team when above 75% health, etc. etc. We survived awhile by trying to cheese it by having it chase us around ledges, until a horde and some specials, and the Tzeentch lightning curse decided to wreck us.

Rolled the dice about 4 more times, and the host gracefully quit with a “peace, I’m out” after getting screwed one too many times halfway through the campaigns, and about 4 hours. That’s one evening of gaming wasted on the Casino Chaos Wastes adventure where you gamble your time and effort to see if you avoid bad grudge mark combinations and get decent boons. Skill really does come in second in the chaos wastes to your odds of getting screwed.

9 Likes

For sure a lot of the marks feel tuned to the idea that players have really powerful boons from the start, but that isn’t the case quite so often. And even if you get the ascended stuff early on, there’s a lot of situations compounded from monster type+marks+level geometry that don’t really have a counter. Basically once you get into 2-3 marks territory you never want to open a chest in narrow areas or around perilous ledges, which is a very frequent situation in these maps in general, and you semi-never want to open them if the map rolled a bad curse. At least, not unless everyone is a fully decked monster destroyer, which feels like a very stringent pigeon-holing of an already restrictive meta.

I think that a reasonable middle-ground would involve both nerfing the marks a bit and the super-overpowered stuff that completely trivializes the game (mainly exploding crits on a handful of careers; my understanding is that they’re doing flat damage now, much like lightning used to, instead of the stated 30% of the crit damage). Aside of that, i think that weapons themselves are overall fine in expeditions and most boons could actually use a bit of a buff.

And unrelated, but for the love of Sigmar and everything holy, do something about “farm???” because I am losing my sanity and I can’t even blame the Chaos Gods for it. Crystal Egg monsters shouldn’t drop coins and the wubwub Slaanesh curses should probably disable all pick-ups except coins which are still scattered about the map as normally. Maybe that way people will focus on actually playing the game and striving to succeed with what they have instead of hogging money and wiping while at it or around the first corner of the next map while having filled pockets.

7 Likes

Yes, there are still glaring issues related to boons and curses too that need to be fixed.

As for the Slaanesh curse for disabled drops, I want to second that I would rather have pilgrim’s coins still around the level and that the drops should not include the coins than have to deal with farming them. The monsters that spawn from eggs, probably shouldn’t drop coins either, because the incentive to gather 25-40 coins off of one is too much to resist for most players and it will usually just end up being pushed off a ledge and kill off a player before it goes down.

OP crit boons like Lightning Tempest and explosive shots can be abused by crit class talents (e.g. Shade, Witch hunter, Sister of the Thorn, Bounty Hunter, Engineer, Slayer etc.) There are also boons such as Caxautan’s Fury (crit for 3 seconds after receiving damage), then put that player on a Slaanesh Curse of damage with Explosive Crits, Lightning Tempest and Crit on Damage, and you just watch them break the game. I had all those boons with that curse on a Waystalker with a swift bow. My teammates were grumbling while I enjoyed breaking the game. It’s fun to an extent, but it should’ve never been so broken. I feel like there are probably simple common sense solutions that are not too difficult to implement, but it just doesn’t happen.

So, I have a few more suggestions:

OP CRIT BOONS
Instead of critical strikes, please just implement a timer similar to Bounty Hunter’s blessed shots. Once every 6-10 seconds, your shot or melee strike triggers the lightning or explosive crit. Then it works advantageously for any player or class that receives it without a high potential for talents or other boons to break the game when combined with it.

AMMO PICKUP BOONS
There’s the problem of ammo perks and talents you get from boon alters that don’t often trigger, and won’t if you use a weapon that doesn’t require ammo. I would say about 9/10 times, when I pickup ammo, I can’t make use of the boon because I’m not scrounging for ammunition during a horde.
Here’s what I would do instead of trigger on ammo pickup: Similar to Waystalker’s headshots increase attack speed for 5 seconds, you could have them trigger on headshot, or have it trigger on killing an elite or special, or on using your Ult, etc.

30% REDUCTION WHILE HOLDING STILL
For the 30% damage reduction, while holding still, there’s almost never a moment where that triggers unless I’m downed or shooting passively.
Here’s what I would do instead: It could function similar to Ironbreaker’s Gromil Armor or Engineer’s Ablative Armor stacks. Or to make it different, have it so the first 3 hits the player takes 30% reduced damage, and each 5-10 seconds of not getting hit restores 1 hit granting 30% reduced damage.

FIRE BARRELS DEAL 300% DAMAGE
For fire barrels deal 300% damage (of all the damn silly things to have as an Exotic boon), why not have it also give grenades a 100% damage boost? The damage boost on barrels is going to hurt the team sometimes more often than the enemy.

PUSHES CAUSE YOU TO VAULT FOREWARD
Remove it.

BOON TALENTS
There are also many class talents as boons that do nothing, or conflict with your current build. For example, Slayer’s talent that depends on whether he has one-handed or two-handed weapons in both slots. I often get the talent that gives me one-handed attack speed when I am using two-handed weapons. There should be some conditions that check your current class, to ensure that the talent is actually applicable as a boon.

BOON REFUND OR REFUSAL
I honestly think that the player should somehow be able to refuse a boon for a partial refund to pilgrims coin or something. Sometimes a boon can actually be more of a curse.
I have an idea, what if shrines allowed you to remove existing boons for a 100 Pilgrim’s coin refund per boon you refund? That way, if you spent your coin on some alters and got extremely unlucky, you have some recourse instead of potentially dropping out of the game or dealing with the crappy hand you’re dealt.

UPGRADE WEAPONS AT SHRINES
On shorter expeditions, it’s also extremely easy to fail to find a Red Temper or upgrade your items. Some classes (like Slayer) depend on having certain items equipped. I would like it if shrines included some more options to upgrade or replace existing weapons.

MAKE UPGRADING WEAPONS IS CHEAPER IF YOU ALREADY HAVE QUALITY ITEMS
Would be nice if upgrading to a higher level item didn’t punish players who chose to get something like a green or blue temper or weapon swap early on. I think it should be cheaper to upgrade depending on the quality of the item you have. I usually tough it out and never upgrade my starting weapons until I find a Unique or Exotic temper. If I pick Exotic, I almost never end up using the red to save pilgrims’ coins.

FOR NASTY GRUDGE MARK COMBOS

  • Shield Shatter is a nasty combo, and probably the most broken, especially with vampirism because you can’t stop it from hitting you when you run out of dodge. Instead, perhaps just make shield shatter just take 2x as much stamina per strike.
  • Rampart shouldn’t negate damage beyond a certain amount I think. Ranged classes become useless. Perhaps, just give it some armor against ranged that can be destroyed with enough damage.
  • Relentless is really OP when combined with Rampart, and then (especially if the third boon is Illusion or Shield Shatter as they currently work). I would just make it so that both Relentless and Rampart do not appear on the same creature.
  • Illusions are a bit too OP when they start knocking me off the edge, or an illusion spawn is grabbing a player, or when an illusion troll bile gets me downed. I think Illusion monsters function too much like a regular monsters. Combine the illusion with Shield Shatter, or Relentless and it gets to be ridiculous how often an illusion kills a player.
7 Likes

Just one thing to add on this.

I think that if instead of dashing it would do something like cause your active dodges to stagger enemies you touch, it would become a very cool talent that is thematic with it’s name. It would have to be more effective than Slayer’s Barge though.

2 Likes

I like most of the grudge and boon rework suggestions. If Chaos Wastes does get reworked, I’d also suggest removing the first map and giving every player 300 coins and a green weapon in each slot to start - chaos wastes runs are just too long and the first level is so depopulated of enemies that it’s a walking simulator.

2 Likes

Yes, something like that. There’s a lot of other things you could do ‘on push’ as a trigger as well.

Frankly the only mark that really gets to me is Illusionist - purely because it is pure jank. Just yesterday I played an expedition as an Engi with a shade and a BH in the team. GK was a bot. We got an illusionist Rampart Chaos Spawn on the first map which automatically made half of our team obsolete, but nevetheless we could kinda do it even then if not for the two specific ways Illusionist works:

  1. The moment a monster creates illusions is not telegraphed in any way, it just happens like that - randomly and abruptly.
  2. As most of the maps a quite claustrophobic, the illusions spawn all around you and they do it in their attacking animation state from the start.

All that makes counter play pretty much impossible because there is just nothing you can do when suddently there are 4 chaos spawns thumping on you from all four sides. This is actually how me and another mate died that time.

As for the push-dash boon, it is the primary reason I never buy random boons during the expedition. I may pick them up for fun when in the citadel, but that boon is really a curse, so I do it when I know my current boons are crap so it’s worth the risk. All other times I only take boons from chests and shrines, and keep money around for red anvils.

1 Like

Posting here to simply state I agree with most of the remarks above

I think a good fix would be some way to control the marks applied to bosses.

Random marks feels just too RNG and very unfun and impossible to plan around effectively.

I strongly agree with your comment. I hope the fatshark fools notice this, because I found it interesting that they throw this mechanic into chaos, more dynamism and fun to party. Those who most publish that “this is good” or “what’s wrong?” Well, that’s all, it is not only making a party with your acquaintances and friends but also most of the time it is random, if you have a party that has pure tank or support or rank classes it can be done, it will have its disadvantages but also its advantages knowing each skill of each class of each character.
But it was an AI that put it to adjust and they did not realize how it affects the game. And more that they update the game in a long time even when they insist that it is the same problem they are distracted with their finger in their ass, I do not want them to remove it because if there is one or another brand that does put fun and it would be good if they only had two and balance those marks, that it is not totally invulnerable to ranged attacks and the illusions do not hit like the original monster and have only illusion as an effect and that’s it.

Rampart: Change to -50% ranged damage
Shield Shatter: Change to apply a temporary -50% stamina regen debuff
Cripple: Change to not spread to secondary targets when under the tzeentch curse that spreads damage.
Illusion: Just don’t spawn monsters from these chests in confined areas.

only one i dont like is shield shatter. completely makes investing in stamina and block cost completely useless. one time i was playing the iron breaker and my ability was completely ignored which felt like a slap in the face. maybe change it to where players with shields can still have some block so theres at least one counter to it and have the tanky player hold boss. other than that, i really like the other grudge marks. makes me actually have to use my brain to fight.

but it works really well with shade and it made it easier for me to get backstabs in hordes ):

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