Monster and Lord Fights Discussion

Were obviously talking about legend here.

I think that there are lot of unbalanced builds that easily trivialize monster and certain lord fights like Hagbane (especially with strength pot), Shade with concentration pot and the new addition of BoP with strength pot.

Now I see nothing wrong with certain builds totally dominating boss dmg over others like the shade ultimate but there has to be a reasonable limit. Meaning IMO: A potion, build investment and not much space for mistakes to completely kill a monster alone. Even then the case can be made that it would be too much or that having two anti-boss would make it easy.

But there is also another part to it and that is the fights themselves.
I would like to see especially monsters to get more mechanics or utilize the ones they have better. Of course all attacks should stay avoidable if the correct action is taken by the players.
But also finally giving them a turn rate limit to prevent 180°ers (something every mob should have gotten instead of the dodge time window).

Monsters:

Roger:
Should do a lot more leaps especially to close range with someone slaughtering him from afar.
I’m actually happy if he stays how he is otherwise maybe a few tweaks to move and attack speed.

Flamerfiend:
Should really stop taking fights so chill and slow. I think he should have a special mechanic related to Manthings poking his controllerbro on the back. Throwing everybody back or starting to flame 360° could work.

Savage Meatball:
Currently feels like a more savage copy of roger that attempts to snack on the field of battle.
Suggestions?

Troll:
I’m unsure on him. I kinda liked the mechanic that he could be unbeatable if you were too few or underequipped for it and that he needed attention and would be back to strength if ignored.

Now I do not think that Monsters need to be a massive tread at all times but even an unsupported monster should be a bit threatening but most importantly interesting to fight.

Lords:

Spinemangler:
He’s quite fine but some op builds like the Shade just mangle his spine as soon as he touches the arena sand.

Burblebblob:
Fun and fine suffers from severe “getting slaughtered and dies as soon as he calls in his boiis from ranged weapons”. Tuning down some of those weapons will be fine.

Bigmouth that does not take them on alone:
Ditto. He stands around too much in my opinion. Having him attacking and charging around more would be great.

Leverkeeper:
I think he dies too fast and you barely ever see him doing anything in his human form (except getting slaughtered) but he doesn’t need to be as hard to beat as other bosses.

Rasknitt and co.
Very fine. A 2nd stage of intense casting would be neat. Both also suffer the effect of some very hard hitting Manthings.

I’m eager to read how you would Improve these battles.

Please try to keep your suggestions reasonable. Dreaming is fine but the intent here is to find ways that Fatshark could take to improve the game. New assets and the like will take time to create, time FS might want to use elsewhere. Also make sure your suggestions are lore-friendly as everything needs to be acceptable to Games :warhammer:orkshop.

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i would do the following to each bosses:
rat ogre
-it comes with 2 pack masters. in lore, they are there to control the ogre. their hook is there to keep the ogre in its cage. therefore pack master and ogres should always be linked. as long as ogre is alive, there must always at least 1 pack master active. as soon as no pack master lives there will be a new one spawns. also ogre should always spawn with a horde.

stormfiend
-i feel this boss is too docile. i would like it to act more like a main battle tank instead of an artillary. what it needs is to learn to kite the human players. so it tries it’s best by running away from players while keep shooting at us. to prevent this, we need to disable the pilot. by hurtting the packmaster on its back. which staggers the boss.

chaos spawns
-it’s pulsating with chaos influences, so why doesn’t it also turn it’s adjacent chaos into minions too? so to fight this boss is to seperate it from the ambient and horde near by. some1 needs to role play as a live bait while the rest of the team clear the fighting area. so when it spawns, no1 attacks it to gain aggro, and the boss picks 1 person. that person will attempt to run away from the fighting area to prevent the situation from getting worse.

bile troll
-this thing vomits. so let it’s vomit do things. bile troll vomit also spew out chaotic parasite eggs that haches into more things that vomits (in smaller volume). and the parasites tries to run back to its host where they live (and heals the bile troll) let’s say each egg hathces 2 parasites. and on legend the troll puke out 6 eggs per vomit.

spinemangler
-this rat likes to parry alot. so let him parry all attacks from the front and u can only damage him from behind. and at 80%, 60%, 40%, 20% hp he spawns horde and sv while actively chasing a fixated target around the combat area, trying to grab and toss it above (and inturn causes fall damage and maybe aggro more ambient mob if fatshark adds more of them around)

bubble spew
-this guy seems pretty good, i would only suggest him leaving a puddle of stuff that u shouldn’t touch whenever he teleports, and the only way to get rid of it (and prevent the entire fighting area from being over crowded) is to lure those flying bugs into it to kill it (both the bug and the puddle).

chaos champion guy which i dont know the name of (lulz)
-i really can’t think of anything that would suit the theme of chaos champion type person with the current map that we fight him in. hes suppose to be a scourge of world type of character. at most i would suggest is let him do more with that axe of his. since he cheats, let him cheat even more. make that axe go invisible and stab (well hack lulz) people from the back. the only way to counter this is to have a enemy corpse to be behind u so it hacks the corpse instead of u.

leverkeeper
-doesn’t he keep the portal lever? let him turn into a portal that spews out stuff. and u kill it the same way u beat the summoner level in drachenfels dlc (dear god). let him overheat. so the boss constantly ticks down hp due to heat, and minions from outside tries to come and cool it with stuff (either by suiciding or … throwing water buckets LOL). it’s ur job to stop them, while fighting the stuff coming out of the portal.

rasknit
-i feel this boss is pretty good and i wouldn’t add anything else. it has 2 phases, with a intermission, and add spawns. while making sure people needs to position correctly (pillar humping).

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I’d like to see some variety in boss fights. As it is they’re all pretty much the same: Hit the big thing until the red bar is empty.
Side note: This causes all of the bosses (scripted, AI-Directed and lords) to be vulnerable to the tactical-nuke classes (shades, hunters, etc).

I don’t particularly see an issue with being able to kill bosses solo. It’s some of the most intense gameplay V2 has, and pulling it off is rewarding as hell.

A couple of thoughts on each boss:

Roger
This one needs a little something extra I think. It’s clearly supposed to be the “basic” boss, but having a “basic” boss feels odd when there’s no order to when different kinds of bosses will drop. It’s not like you only face rogers early on in your game career, you know? It just feels like easy mode when a roger drops after you get used to fighting the other bosses. Maybe give it an ‘enrage’ when it gets to low health or something.

Flammenwerfer
I think this one is mostly OK after the recent changes. I would like to see it be a bit more mobile though. So many fights with them just go to stalemate because it plants itself in a place where nobody can get behind it, refuses to move, then lights the entire field in front of it on fire so nobody can try to get close. It’s not especially difficult, just annoying.
I’d give him a new ability in addition to the flamethrower that lets him bombard an area with fireballs. The fire stream covers a huge distance and lasts a long time on the ground, so it can quickly get to the point where you have the choice between eating a flame stream to the face or getting damaged by running through the fire. I don’t dislike this specifically because it encourages you to stay mobile, it’s just that it happens an awful lot and it doesn’t feel particularly fair. Giving him a second ranged ability would add variety and prevent the fight from becoming static.

Chaos cutie
More chaos needed. Like you said, this one is just a rogre that can eat you. This seems like a boss that’s screaming “This isn’t even my final form!”. It would be cool if it mutated and gained different sets of abilities as the fight as it progresses (or if it eats someone).

Giant with a hangover:
Easy mode. Dodge left and hit him in his big fat head. I think the general idea behind this fight is good, but I’d make some minor changes to his existing attacks that force more variety in how players need to react. I’d also make the vomit more visible on the ground.

SLAY-FLAY
This fight actually isn’t too bad, it’s just a bit plain. TBH I’d get rid of the pillar in the arena before I changed anything else. The phases of the fight aren’t very well defined, which often means you get surprised by an add poking you in the butt when you think you should be clear. I find that I spend a LOT of this fight just looking around to make sure there’s no adds that everyone has missed.

MUCULENT BROTH
Pure tedium. If I spend more time chasing a boss around than I do actually fighting them, something is very wrong. Literally every single one of this boss’s abilities either increases the distance between him and the players or takes control away from the players. Both of these are more frustrating than challenging (especially when he teleports on top of you and throws unavoidable slimers in your face), considering the fight is still primarily about emptying the red bar using normal methods. Having a boss that’s mostly dealt with using ranged skills/weapons is an especially odd fit now that the balance has changed and put ranged play in the back seat.

Just spitballing here, but the fight might cycle between 2 phases. First, he’s protected and out of the way, similar to Rasknitt’s magic bubble, while he sends spells out into the arena. This phase is entirely about avoiding the spells, not about trying to hurt him. After a wave of spells, he needs to “rest”. This is when he becomes vulnerable and the second phase begins. When he rests, some mechanic in the arena that can “hurt” him becomes available, which someone needs to operate while the other players fight off the adds, similar to the Fort B ending event. Repeat this X times to win the fight.

Bodvarr
This is a pure melee fight in an actual arena against one of the strongest melee fighters around. I’d base the whole fight around rewarding skillful melee play. Say, if you dodge his overhead swing, he gets the axe stuck in the ground and takes a moment to pull it out, during which time the team can wail on him, or if you continually dodge his charges, he eventually enrages and charges straight into a wall and knocks himself over. I’d make it so that he can only be damaged by headshots, but players have the power to to make his head an easy target by using these sorts of skill plays.

Keeper of the keystaff
Too easy. Transforms way too fast and then just turns into a spawn, which I’ve already covered. I think he should at least take longer to transform and regen all of his health when he does. Also, is it just me, or does the fact that this is the only arena fight without adds make the whole fight feel kind of empty?

Rasknitt/Gunrat
Both bosses here are loaded with abilities that either move players away from them or allow them to put (lots of) distance between themselves and players (see: MUCULENT BROTH). Once the gunrat goes down, this fight just becomes frustrating while you run from corner to corner across this MASSIVE arena to slowly chip down the health of an enemy that is realistically no longer a threat, and it feels so very drawn out because you’re also constantly watching out for that one slave rat that bravely ran a thousand miles to stab you in the butt.

The arena itself is the single biggest problem with this fight as it exists today. It’s massive, and most of it can’t be used for fighting because either boss might just randomly decide to drop their current aggro target and go after you with their ranged abilities while you’re busy paying attention to adds. That doesn’t feel terribly fair, considering none of the actual dangers in this fight are announced. The risk involved with fighting away from the pillars is so big that most people just don’t do it, which makes the whole fight feel artificially drawn out.

Neither boss really feels like an actual threat, it’s more the arena and the adds that make them dangerous (though I suppose this is true for all lords right now…).

Given the size of the arena, I’d give Rasknitt more wide AOE spells to force players to move around, and offset this by adding traversible structures (not just pillars) in the arena so that players have more options on how to fight/control adds and approach the bosses and/or avoid their ranged abilities.

2 Likes

Bosses maybe need a bit of work; but maybe it’s more that the tools to deal with them need a bit of down-tuning? If damage caps came back, melting the boss wouldn’t be quite so easy. I don’t actually mind them being relatively predictable, because that’s the nature of Vermintide; individual enemies aren’t that dangerous, it’s the combinations of them.

However, I do agree that there could be some improvements. Having the Stormfiend move more would be good. Shooting fireballs all over the place - it’s a bit MMO-y, but if there were indicators on the ground of where they were gonna hit, that’d work. I imagine him rearing back and shooting them into the air the way Deathrattler does when Rasknitt goes “Yee-haw!”

For Lords; they are pretty easy. Mostly it’s because it’s combinations of enemies with adds that make fights hard, and all bosses have very predictable add spawns. Ribspreader definitely stands around too much. Gatekeeper is easily the worst lord in the game; I think that he should knock back players once be begins to transform and be invulnerable until the process completes. I find that in most games, he’s 90% dead before he even goes Chaos Spawn, and he rarely even gets a hit in in his base form. I don’t how to improve Burgernommer Happypoo really. Grimalackt added in some of the Snot sorcerers for his Onslaught mod; that might be fun. For Ribspreader, I’m kinda surprised he lost the dash attack of Krench.

Rasknitt’s fight is probably the best, design-wise. The constant trickle of adds are the biggest difficulty, though he does shoot a bit too long, IMO. Having a double boss is a great idea. The thing about the final phase, though, is that you just need to split into two groups and stay at opposite ends; he teleports predictably, so you can know when to move to the next spot (and if you position right, you can get his teleport knockback to move you a good portion of the way). Just use some light ranged fire to keep him staggered before you reach him.

Something that maybe all bosses could use is a kind of flailing attack; it would have to be telegraphed, but basically they just thrash in every direction and deal 360 degree hits with knockback (but please, not as much as Deathrattler’s ground pound; that’s just so annoying). They could use the move only when surrounded. Besides Deathrattler’s, the Troll kinda already has this with his “puke at his feet” move. If Roger and Meatball had it, they’d probably be in a bit of a better place - though frankly, I think the Chaos Meatball is the trickiest boss most of the time, due to his speed, ability to heal (which WILL happen if you have bots), and general aggressiveness.

Finally; we could make dodge-dancing trickier; give bosses some moves with more forward than horizontal range, so you have to learn which to side-dodge, and which to back-dodge. This alone would make all boss fights much more difficult. Perhaps Roger just kinda belly flops forward, arms out-stretched. Chaos Meatball slaps out his long tentacle overhead. Troll . . . well, he could just reach farther. Fire Roger already has this with his warpfire throwers.

That’s what I was going for. Similarly for the halescourge and rasknitt fights. It wouldn’t be the first time there’s been ground indicators. Sienna’s conflag staff uses one, blightstormer too. If we use something that’s already in the game, people will know how it works.

We’re saying the same thing, I think. How do you feel at that point of the fight? Is it the same as when Deathrattler was still there? It isn’t for me. It seems wierd to me that the big boss of the game, a skaven greyseer, is less threatening than his mount. The entire phase is players taking turns at bullying him in a corner.

2 Likes

All fine and well, but did you just place BoP in the same line as Shade and Hagbane? Yes, its effective, but relatively short-ranged and only Bounty Hunter ca. Reload effectively before the str pot runs out.

dont get me wrong but BoP before was better on that part str pot and bop did melt lords expect burblespue(to much teleport, small head, throw poop at u and rip aim…)

2 Likes

@Krator
@vision
The list does not equalize them in strength nor does it rank them and it’s also just an overview of some of the strongest.
In my experience the shade ult is the strongest of them all but also the one most dependent on a potion, the hardest and the most dangerous to pull of and the one with the most limitations.
I was really surprised about BoP myself as I didn’t ever notice it having a big impact before. So I usually carried a grim not a pot. Matter of fact is I can easily kill monsters alone with BoP and the mobility makes it really good even in hard situations.

A group using Armour killing weapons is gonna absolutely destroy most of the Lords. Ribspreader and the gate keeper on Shittergate. I have the mod for boss timers now since it got approved. Ribspreader is normally dead in less than 10 seconds with a decent party. The longest I’ve seen the gate keeper survive in the last few days was 6 seconds. Most normal bosses die around 30 seconds on average. If I’m on HM with hagbane, Chaos spawn is down in 18 seconds solo. Most other bosses are the same besides troll. As you normally can’t finish it off with your pot active due to it’s falling down regen time.

In another game, Mordheim, Rat Ogres usually need an eshin sorcerer to guide them so how about this as well?

This was the first time I actually compared them and I must say BoP is at least on Hagbane lvl.

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BoP actually performs on par with a “r ape juice”-less shade against stormfiends. It’s pretty crazy

The difficulty of a monster is situational. There are hundreds of other factors coming into play in a real-time situation where the introduction of a monster can easily spell your doom. I mean, in what world, especially playing on Legend, will you be left unmolested long enough to empty an entire BoP into a monster, especially with the reloading time now in place?

Honestly, if you don’t find this game challenging enough, hats off to your Uber skills. But I’d suggest lobbying for a fifth “Insanity” difficulty level or something instead of smarter harder monsters. I get that playing on the PC makes this a bit easier, but if you raise the difficulty level of the monsters, it’s gonna seriously impact the console platforms. A controller with thumb knobs will never equate to mouse and keyboard. I’d love to see a comparison of how many people successfully run Legend on PC vs consoles. I suspect it’s a deep divide.

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Keystaff Bob used to have adds, but there were so many posts from people complaining about how the adds made the fight impossible if you didn’t kill him right away… I miss it, was actually a real challenge then.

Although most of the challenge was from the blightstormers that would be casting from all the way back in Helmgart, and their storms would basically fill the whole arena.

Anyway I think there are still adds but they don’t happen until maybe 30 seconds after he transforms, and he rarely lives that long with 4 unhampered heroes wailing on him.

Using knockback is great, I’ll have to try that.

Alternately just split the team 2-2 and go to the opposite ends of the arena (long ways), then each group of 2 only has to run a short distance.

Orrrr just be baller and put one person in each corner :smiley:

2 Likes

Yes but:

Yes I can do this regularly and reliably. I’m obviously not unmolested but they can do little to this Sigmarite Agent. The dodge range of BoP combined with Charmed Life is very helpfull for reloading. Also unlike other weapons BoP will actually reward you to wait till you have your ult up a 2nd time ensuring you will have enough ammunition to finish the job. The ult alone allows you to empty the entire brace into the Monsters face unmolested.

I will take it for sure but FS never made any considerable move this way. The current highest difficulty does not live up to the skills of many players as the Lords and bosses only surviving 10-30s shows clearly.

In case you think Legend shouldn’t be too hard for some reason:
Difficulties are there to choose the one that suits you not the other way around. I respect the point about loot but I too have no power over FS’s bad loot system.

About deeds (bound to see someone bring it up):
Yes deeds are a thing but they are not especially fun balanced as it just becomes an AP and dmg-sponge feast. It also does not cure overperforming builds no it incentives to use them. You cannot join deeds it’s a pain to get a party together.

About console:
The balance currently is different on consoles and PC and these mechanics can be adjusted if necessary.
You are most welcome to suggest fixes or changes that would suit consoles.

1 Like

Surprisingly, as people get better at the game with time (individually and as teams), even bosses start feeling easier.

Personally, I think the Lords are in pretty good place. Each one is different from the others, none have cheesy moves that feel impossible to evade, and (unless you have a specialist or two and a few consumables with you) they don’t go down right away. Of course, those specialists’ abilities might need some toning down, as they do take away a lot of the challenge. Naglfahr isn’t really meant as a major challenge anyway, so I don’t really mind him going down fast, but he could use a little help on the arena. Maybe throw down some Bulwarks and Elites as he starts to change to stop everyone from whaling on him while he’s spasming.

Bosses on the other hand are a bit unbalanced at the moment. While each and every one of them is dangerous if the players’ skills aren’t really there, their stuff can be learned well enough to turn the fights quite easy, even trivial. To me and my group, the Chaos Spawn is consistently the most difficult one with his aggressiveness , difficult headshots and somewhat harder-to-read movements than the others. Ogre can be danced to death (even if I still hate him and the others hitting through block) and is a soft target, so all weapons are effective enough. Stormfiend bounces around so much he in many locations spends very little time actually fighting, and is so easy to evade that he often deals with the surrounding horde more effectively than the players. He also seems to switch targets easily, so this adds to the “bouncing around” issue. Troll needs somewhat different tactics to defeat him, not all of them obvious, but with a competent team he’s the one to go down the fastest.

So what to change? Spawn, if anything, could use a bit more predictability, but as it’s the one to still bring in a constant challenge, I think there’s not much to change. Some slight variance in appearance (and weak spots, and possibly a single attack) could be interesting, though. For Ogre, I don’t really know. Making him more prone to leaping to ranged damagers could well do it, maybe together with a strong stagger effect on leap. Stormfiend would likely be served best with slightly faster reactions, less trying to avoid the players, and maybe a bit more focus on who to attack. Troll… Kinda does need something, but getting his regen back to the earlier style certainly isn’t it, as that was often enough a showstopper on solo or clutch. Slightly faster movements, maybe, mainly on his actual movement speed, not so much on attacks.

The problem with the specialist characters (Shade, HS, BH, elf w/ Hagbane for anything soft, and apparently now WHC w/ BoP too) lies with those characters and weapons, not the enemies. That said, if the great efficiency needs a combination of resources (Career Skill, Potion, ammo) to work, I don’t think it’s that bad; after all, it means you have to save those resources to the fight. Then again, all but the Potions are mostly or completely renewable by the characters themselves… So yeah, I think something needs to change on these specialist Careers and builds. That’s a topic for a different thread, though.

And just to make my first point out less sarcastically: The reason many (Legend) players feel the Bosses and Lords are too easy, is because their skills have evolved a lot from what they were in the beginning. That’s kinda the point: You learn to play better, so you can tackle harder difficulties and enemies. There’s been a lot of work done on some of the major enemies to get their balance right (Troll and Burblespue as the shiniest examples), and the work is certainly not done. I don’t want any of the Bosses or Lords to turn into puzzle-bosses or zero-mistake endeavors by default; I don’t think either one fits the game’s style either. Deed modifiers that affect them could certainly do that (and the zero-mistake play is already kinda there in the form of HBFS and Sudden Death). Make a modifier that makes the Bosses invulnerable in all but their weak spot (and ensure that at least one spawns, to not make the condition irrelevant). There’s been more demand again for it lately, so start balancing out a new difficulty altogether (but don’t make the rewards significantly better than Legend, to keep it as a challenge difficulty). But I don’t think Legend needs tweaking up, for Bosses, Lords or otherwise, as the reason for its perceived easiness is the players’ skills, not its actual difficulty.

3 Likes

This is a game that has to work with replayability since there’s a very finite number of maps and difficulties. So I totally get the desire for the additional challenge as you get better and better playing the game.

However, new people are picking this game up every day. Getting that rough slap in the face we all got in our first experience with Vermintide. I don’t want or expect that to change. But I do fear that if the game is tailored to the needs of the long tenured, elite gaming skill minority just to keep them challenged, it will kill this title. It wouldn’t be the first game to make such a mistake. That only works in microtransaction games where they can milk the “whales” for all their rich kid allowance.

Point is, the learning curve is already steep. And changes like monster behavior transcend the difficulty level selected. You have to be careful not to scare away new blood. Hence my opinion that an added difficulty level would be a much better request for the long run.

2 Likes

My thoughts aren’t really that bosses need to be harder (well, maybe some do), I just kinda want them to be a bit more unique and varied. There are mechanics that already exist in the game that would be great additions to boss fights that would make the events feel a bit more special and make the bosses themselves a bit less like they’re just a tankier version of the things you just slaughtered on your way to them. Lots of games put these mechanics in seemingly for the sole purpose of teaching players about how they work before they use them in a boss fight or other special event.

They’re boss fights, afterall. They’re not there to be overly difficult, they’re there to be special.

2 Likes

I like this idea as well, and the devs could do it without having to really do much work. Grimmalact is making a mod (I think it’s called onslaught?) that is basically a higher difficulty level including revamped events and boss fights. I really hope that gets sanctioned as a harder difficulty

You are quite optimistic, mate. We already have one “difficulty mod” done by Grim, I’m talking about Deathwish, the problem is, it was released April 26, now we have December 23 and 8 month after release it is not sanctioned. So why would FS bother about Onslaught if they don’t give a fuсk about Deathwish?

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