New Enemies and Dicussion on Meta and Mechanics

Hey there if been reading a lot in the forum and recently had a quite interesting talk with some friends on the state of the game. I think what is currently lacking is more variety in enemies as all types have been figured out by now. Therefore I want to open up this thread and discuss some ideas for enemies.

BUT before I get to that this is not just a "look what I found in the tabletop game! Wouldn’t that be cool? type of discussion. Rather I would like to explain first why I think that matters. VT2 is a Co-Op game and such it’s kind of tricky to get balance of heroes and Metas right. And we all know there is so much talk going on about what and how to change heroes which I now think is kind of pointless. It’s not the heroes that need to change to keep the game fresh rather it’s the enemies. One Hero or career is too dominant? Maybe don’t nerf them to oblivion but introduce enemies that counter that playstyle and create new challenges. This would not only help keep the balance but also provide new experiences and might even keep Veterans at the edge of their seats.

Maybe We could have a rotating pool of specials and bosses where every few months we get a new set of impactful enemies. Of course not in a way that with every rotation we have completely new specials/bosses/elites but a new MIX of them. What would be absolutely amazing would be rare bosses much in the style of games like darkest dungeon. In that game there are some bosses that you meet very very rarely but that are incredibly strong. Some shake up of that sort would also keep the excitement fresh and the fear of turning a corner and not knowing what awaits you all the more better.

So with all of that rambling out of the way here are some of my ideas for new and interesting enemies:

Small Disablers:
What bothers me a little about Packmasters and Leeches is that they are all in– meaning once they got you you cant do anything. What about introducing disablers that are not permanent and that you can fight off. However they could be more numerous.

I’m thinking about giant rats or Chaoshounds that appear as swarms or groups and just disrupt the group. They might not do a lot of damage but can make for more stressfull or interesting encounters as they knockback, knock over or otherwise disable partymembers. Especially Giant Rats could be tied to a new type of special like a shaman that summons the rats and when he dies the rats disappear. Then you are faced with the decision to either kill all of the little buggers slowly or risk getting overrung while frantically looking for the Caster.

Ranged enemies:
This one is a bit more tricky in my oppinion but I would be awesome having elite patrols with ranged untis which might set up ambushes. The idea here is to make battles in open spaces where you COULD kite indefinitly more tricky as suddenly shield would become somewhat usefull. Again they shouldnt do too much damage but enough to counter quick dodgy heroes or other ranged classes. This would also bind ranged classes into doing something other than killing all the enemies that are interesting to fight in melee from a distance.

And did I mentioned that they would make shield actually useful? Who would have thought.

Buffs or Mobinteractions:
Another Interesting idea would be to introduce specials that interact with hordes/mobs. I thought about a Bannermen/leader/shaman type of enemy that buffs f.e. rotbloods or slave/clanrats. My first idea was to give them an attack buff by either casting a spell or just whipping them into frenzy in one or the other way giving all the small uninteresting mobs more attack or movement speed. A more complex version of this would be to suddenly give them different and new attack patterns but that might cause a ton of other issues.

Alternatively they could cast something like “flesh to stone” giving mobs armor or more health but I find that kind of boring. Mechincally the idea would be to have melee characters switch into a defensive mode and trying to holding off Mobs while ranged classes are running for their lifes trying to find the bloody caster.

Flyers:
Now this is of course very controversial but could make some interesting encounters. However it would probably screw all the physics and Map geometry so this is unlikely. Would be cool though to have another angle to have to watch carefully.

So what do you guys think? Both on my thoughts regarding new Metas as well as the enemy ideas posted here? And please feel free to share your ideas for new enemies and also what their role/mechanics could be like.

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All good ideas, except for maybe the extra disablers. Removing control from the player is anti-fun in every single case.

I really like the idea of more ranged enemies, both for the extra shield utility and for curbing the power of mobility. Lots of maps would need adjusting though. The big open areas would need more cover added so that it wasn’t a run-ender every time a set of ranged enemies spot you while you’re fighting a horde or something.

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I like this, though I do have a couple thoughts/concerns

  1. Ranged enemies: this one could be tricky, because if we get a horde of lesser ranged units firing all over the place then it’ll probably be a bit of a slaughter, especially if the ranged weapon has a high projectile speed. It might be a little challenging to balance and I think this would need to be addressed if ranged enemies where to be properly implemented and not found in large numbers. (i.e. 2-3 ratling gunners are fine, but I would prefer not to fight 5 or more at once)

  2. Flyers: flyers could be fun, though I’d imagine these would cause some unexpected complications. Depending how the maps are set up, I would have to wonder how high up these units could get, I’m not sure if there’s an artificial ceiling coded in. Also, it could get a little tricky depending on how the characters are maneuvering around the level, especially at things like lifts. I also worry that these units might not fit in certain areas like cramped caves or buildings.

That said, I still like the idea.

I have similar concerns and think that implementation is going to be hard but I imagine ranged enemies more like versions of the globadier. Grenadier units that doesn’t give a rat’s ass about their clan members, tossing bombs with a small explosive radius instead of warp-goo.

New enemies are always welcome DLC in my book. Speaking of books, any enemies that would be added should be historically canon for the End Times and the locations of the game. There is no shortage of content for the to draw from.

I strongly agree - the game needs new enemies and new mechanics to shake things up.

What if some enemies were more effective at draining your temp health? We never learn any sort of justification of what temp health even is - but I’ve always just taken it as being like adrenaline keeping the hero going even when they’re badly wounded. So enemies that would justifiably leech your will to fight could increase temp health loss, or even prevent you from getting more. This would help create priorities that differ based on circumstance - and that’s good! When a player has to consider how to approach situations on the fly, that’s what makes things interesting.

I love the idea of semi-disablers. Even just staggering the character and leaving them vulnerable akin to when you get up after being saved would be enough of a threat. Likewise, getting slowed - and yeah, while these are annoying, they should follow the way that VT has always worked; if you get hit, it’s your fault. You should have avoided it. I would think that such enemies should be nimble, making them hard to pick off with ranged attacks.

Likewise, while we all agree that darkness isn’t the best effect, having it as an enemy special effect (like on a spell cast similarly to Blightstorms) could be interesting.

An enemy that stacks curse on you on-hit would also be interesting, or a special that if it hits it causes your ult to be unusable or, if recharging, the recharge to stop.

I like the idea of ranged enemies, as well - I think all they need is some kind of obvious wind-up so that you can skill use skill to avoid attacks. This makes me think that Skaven slingers as an uncommon enemy would be better than something like a Warplock Jezzail. I mean, maybe it could have a “laser-sight” of warp-green to give an idea of where it’s aiming, but in general there’s not a lot of motion to show when something is going to fire a gun. Slingers would have an obvious wind-up animation.

It also helps to think of what role the enemy has; common enemies are by necessity not that interesting, and if they were made too gimmicky they could easily get annoying. Bosses are so uncommon that you can go multiple maps without seeing a particular one (unless it’s force-spawned). The obvious choices are Specials and Elites.

Some specific ideas of mine (I think I’ve mentioned them before):
-Plague Censer-Bearer (Elite)
Carrying huge plague censer flails, these enemies will attempt to hit you with them with big and slow attacks that also cause a small DoT. They can also twirl the censer around themselves wildly to create a noxious cloud that deals periodic damage to heroes. It does not affect them.

-Plague Deacon (Elite? Could be a special)
Can cast two spells; Pestilent Breath for a cone-shaped attack in front of themselves or Poisonous Pustules, which makes them splash poisonous fluid on close-range attackers.

-Warlock Engineer (Could be Elite or Special)
Can attack in melee with its halberd similarly to Stormvermin, but its warp halberd damages through block. At a distance it slowly charges Warp Lightning blasts to target players. The Warlock Engineer will point with his halberd at the target before unleashing the Lightning. Properly timed dodges will cause him to miss.

-Night Runner (Elite)
These elites are fast and agile, moving like Gutter Runners, but lacking their teleports and conspicous glowing warp-blades. They are adept at dodging maybe, slow attacks, rolling away and then lunging in. They are also skillful (but not perfect) at dodging ranged attacks.

-Warp-Grinder (Special)
First heard by the sound of drilling and crumbling, the ground beneath players will begin to crack and surge. When the Warp-Grinder breaches, it causes damage to nearby entities (heroes and Pact-Sworn), and creates a new spawn-hole for Skaven Slaves. Only one wave of Skaven slaves will come from this hole before it collapses. The Warp-Grinder itself will attempt to burrow back into the ground unless killed.

-Cultist Priest
These were men of the Empire, who made common cause with Chaos, worshipping Nurgle - in places such as Ussingen, it was men like these who opened the gates for the invaders.
Cult Leaders will buff nearby Chaos enemies with a damage reduction aura, reducing their damage taken by something like 20%. They chant and have a dark aura as they do so, and are resistant to stagger (not immune, tho) once they start channeling. Killing them is a priority, especially when there is a horde about. Notably, their buff will do nothing for Skaven.
When attacked in melee, they will defend themselves with a dagger with standard attacks - they are relatively simple enemies to defeat.

We also have no real Charger-analogue, which I think is something that’d fit quite well into the game. In general, special enemies in this style of game fall into two categories; disablers and area-denial. All current specials fit into this, though I think there are perhaps options for new enemy effects, like buffing, debuffing, or other forms of annoyance - I think there’s really far too little interaction with ults, which tend to be the great levellers. They’re a panic button, almost a crutch, that we are encouraged to use to escape our own mistakes - in VT1 if you got yourself trapped, that was kind of it. It’s good to have that as an option, but there should be more interaction.

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This is literally the place for players to gather and talk about what we’d like to see in the future.

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The problem you guys forget, that whatever you add, it SHOULD NOT SLOW DOWN THE GAME to a crawl. The more specials and disablers you add, the more potencial run ender you crate, it will force you to be more careful and eventually grind the game to a halt.

The ideas bandied about here haven’t been run-ending disablers. Semi-disablers, which (from my understanding) would simply stagger/disable you for a moment. The threat would be that other enemies could deal damage to you while you are staggered. And even then, they’re things that should be dodgeable with the right timing.

The problem is never when a single type of threat shows up. When the boss brings the horde and specials on spawn (maybe pulls some ambients too), that’s when the sh*t hits the fan.
If you superimpose the new stuff on the existing ones, you might inadvertently create non-winnable situations. If you just add it to the rotation, they will be not threatening enough like the old specials. So first and foremost you have to find the place for these enemies in the directors repertoire and how they work together with the already existing stuff.

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I do would like to see a Charger equivalent. For Skaven, I could see some kind of hell-pit beast or some kind of cavalry that charges through and disables, highly stagger resistant and high health but announces charges with some kind of horn-blow.
I would also love to see albino Stormvermin that sometimes leads a patrol.

You’re right, but that’s also why it was suggested that there be several semi-disablers spawned at once counting as a single “special”. Obviously, though, all ideas would need actual play-testing. :slight_smile:

You’ve nailed the challenge on the head, though; Vermintide is a lot like Mario. A single Goomba is a laughable enemy, and so is every other single enemy from Mario. But when you have a bunch of Goombas, jumping Turtles, a Hammer Bro, and a Lakitu - suddenly it is difficult as hell. :smiley: I’m thinking that Vermintide just needs more potential variables added to it to keep it interesting.

Well, the good part should be that new enemies abilities would affect other mobs as well, as is currently with blightstorms, rattling gunners, warpfire, and others.
So all ranged enemies should do friendly fire, the charger should also stun all vermin on his path and so on.

I Never understod why people bla-bling about meta in this game

Because:
V2 is one of rare game in which if you play good EVRYTHING is meta… which means meta not exist only your skill and how play your weapon of choice.

I never found problem doing legend and hardest deeds with any class or any weapon, its all about to pick weapon, play good and know your place (what you can do with your weapon what you cant, and not put your snout in place it not belong) … I cant respect meta when guy killing like terminator but also burning supplies like thirsty guy in desert, so anyone in group suffers because “hes trying to get circles” this is not meta thats pure form of being bad player. Just rewind how much times you see lose screen because those “meta” guys trying to get their circles… In this game winning screens is all which matters. If you get circles and see lose screen, your meta is worthless, and you obviusly not doing good.

Heh I never read this meta bullshits. I always play as I feel comfortable with favorite weapon and skills. That’s how I made whole game and FoW on legend and attention! I do this with random players.

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I’ve said this before, but unfortunately metagaming will always exist, in one form or another. In asymmetrical games (like this one) a big part of it is finding the most efficient setups and actions. It can be either people staring at the numbers and calculating the most efficient stuff, or following the general tendencies of the game’s players (and both are done with this game). The best the devs can do in searching the balance is to reduce the difference between the “best” and “worst” options to a level that is negligible for all but the most enthusiastic min-maxers.

Luckily, we’re pretty close to that already, and getting closer with each balance update. As you said yourself, player’s skill will trump equipment setup every time, and everyone does best with the weapons they’re most comfortable with, but some things will also always be better for certain situations.

And just for the record, I haven’t really followed “the meta” at any point either, and just play what I feel like playing.

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I can agree that meta exist in one form and another , but V2 can be proud with their game and minimal meta compared to other games, Thats what i wanted to tell.

v2 is just game where anything is viable if wielded with skill. and thats nice

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I would disagree heavily here Monster balance is not even anywhere close to being balanced, some careers like Zealot are just OP across the board, shields and uses? and what about some these berserker careers being tankier than dedicated tanks or the whole suitability in general?

Now I agreed that about 70% is around balanced with each other and that the game is in it’s best balance state so far (except shade) but the other 30% are either OP or very much useless.

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“Everything is viable” =/= “Everything is meta”. There’s definitely weapons, classes and builds that are far stronger than others.

we are getting new enemies this summer, we have totem dropping mobs, mobs that charge and disrupt, more ranged enemies, should be enough to sate the desire for awhile.

Why not join the Fatshark Discord https://discord.gg/K6gyMpu