Overperforming Builds Explained

What is an overperforming build?
It’s a build that does way too much, even on harder difficulties, and which trivializes parts of the game. It goes beyond doing what it needs to and ends up removing challenge, or just stops giving other players on the team something to kill.

Do you just want everything nerfed into the ground?
No, I’d like the ‘strong’ builds to be at the same level as the other things that are still great.

Aren’t these just DPS doing their job?
Yes, but they’re doing it way better than other builds in their arsenal. They could easily be nerfed and still do their job.

What makes you the expert?
Thousands of hours, testing builds, talking to people about those builds, feeling the difference between playing one of these builds compared to the rest of their kit. People may disagree and also may have their own suggestions.

Are you trying to remove the uniqueness of those Careers?
No. They still keep that with their other Weapons, so it wouldn’t leave by changing these specific builds.

Can you give an example of where you want the baseline balance to be?
One example of an overperformer is Hagbane on WS. Compare this to Longbow, which varies in usefulness, but even on the best players, still doesn’t reach the same level of damage output as Hagbane. That’s where I want the baseline balance to be.

This means we’re not buffing things to match Hagbane levels of damage, but bringing those strong builds down to the level that they’re still good at their job, but not too strong.

What about buffs?
I’ve argued for buffs to many things, some of which are now included in the game via the Weapon Balance Mod. E.g. some of the changes to Bardin’s Greataxe. This is maybe not the thread for that.

What is your over all goal with this thread?
To shine a light on the balance disparity between some of the better and overperforming builds compared to the rest of the characters kits. These overperformers create a problem, as the game is co-op, and they’re doing too much, which can suck the fun away from other players.

It can also cause people to want to balance things up instead of to the middle ground, which leads to massive power creep.

Hopefully I can make the baseline, which still has some balance variance within, clear.

Also to explain what we’ve been ‘crusading’ for. As the argument I keep seeing from people is that we just ‘hate shade’, or ‘want everything to be damage sponges on Cata’. This is far from true. Removing the high levels of build disparity, and making the balance feel more well-rounded is the goal.

All of this is open to suggestion. The example builds aren’t perfect, and don’t need to be. They’re just basic example of what causes the strength of the builds.

The overperforming builds:

Shade: SnD/DD Headshot build

Build: https://www.ranaldsgift.com/9/132211/26,1,4,6/18,4,5,2/3,2,1/6,1,2/7,2,3


Too versatile in damage. Synergizes too well with Assassin, and running AS/Crit on fast Weapons. Deals way more over all damage than any of her other builds.

I’d also add that the recent Cloak of Mist buff improved this build.

Pyro: Fireball

Build: https://www.ranaldsgift.com/14/133122/1,1,2,1/2,1,2,4/3,2,1/4,3,2/7,2,3

Unlimited spam, with a decent fire rate and long range, compared to shotguns which do the same job. Hunter allows you to reach 40% Power vs everything, Deathly Dissipation and Bonded Flame allow you to stay at high THP, and gives ridiculous freecasting, where you can melt Hordes for free. It’s also really good vs Bosses.

Zealot: A+F, Billhook, with BoP and gaining Ranged Power from his Passives

Build: https://www.ranaldsgift.com/12/113333/39,1,4,6/19,2,1,2/3,2,1/2,1,2/7,2,3

Way too versatile. Killing power combined with tankiness makes it have too much uptime on enemies with the offensive stats he has. Ranged Weapons not needing Power, and being able to reach 37.5% with Crit + Crit Power (interchangeable if you want to take Smiter).

Waystalker: Hagbane spam.

Build: https://www.ranaldsgift.com/7/113233/22,1,4,6/18,3,5,2/3,2,1/4,5,2/7,2,3

Unlimited spam, with a decent fire rate and long range, compared to shotguns which do the same job. The ammo you can maintain while spamming so much AoE damage and Stagger make it absurd. This build hasn’t really stopped being OP since launch. It’s good against every enemy except Armoured, which isn’t a problem if you just spam headshots anyway, because you won’t lose ammo.

WHC: Left click spamming with Rapier.

Build: Crit + AS or Block Cost + Crit on the Rapier.

It’s too easy to do insane amounts of damage, and you spam lights against every Man-Sized enemy.

Not sure if much can be done about this one. I’d much rather see his Heavy Attacks become more accurate and be the main source of him scoring these kills, but the inherent headshot mechanic will always be abusable by such a fast Weapon.

Semi-nerfed overperformers:
Merc: Ultimate
WS: BBB Swiftbow changes
Shade: BBB Cloak of Mist CDR build & Hag Spam with Bloodfletcher

Nerfed overperformers:
Slayer: DK double Hammer build
Shade: Old CDR build
Sienna: Wigglemancer build
BH: Old Volley Crossbow build, and Melee kill = Crit
BW: Stacking DoT bug fixed

Honorouble mentions:
BH: Double-Shotted. While BH himself isn’t too broken anymore, this Talent can be absurd vs Lords and Bosses alike.

BW: Flamethrower can sometimes end up doing too much damage.

BBB Huntsman: It’s still being tweaked, so I won’t go into detail.

In conclusion, I don’t want to see anything nerfed into the ground. Just leveled off with the rest of their kit to remove the huge balance disparity.


Hmm. I definitely wouldn’t consider most of those builds to be particularly strong. In fact, I don’t think any of those would be brought to a meta comp. Perhaps the issue is that the content isn’t difficult enough to bring out their weaknesses? I’m not sure. Could be modded clouding my view of the meta.

Edit: is there a reason you don’t run 60% BCR?


Depends on which Careers. Some of them I didn’t change the Weapons stats for, some of them have enough dodge, avoidance and damage to deal with not having to take BCR.

The builds aren’t optimal.

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Gotcha. You probably have way more QP experience than I do. Can you give some insight as to why you feel pure dps builds are out-performing tankier/higher utility builds?

Edit: The comp I generally consider the meta comp would be
Merc/ Bill Hook WHC/ IB/ Bolt BW or probably fireball Unchained on the beta.

Could Killing Shot be replaced with a headshot damage boost (that stacks with the hidden one) instead of the rng mechanic we have now?

Cata duos, QP are what we usually spam, and then Twitch/Deeds if we get decent people in our group.

DPS focused builds obviously still need some support. E.g. Fireball can flank to avoid FF in QP, but obviously not in duos or high density situations, and therefore needs somewhat of a frontline.

These are the builds that I’ve noticed will outperform tankier ones. My usual mindset is that Kruber’s Melee Careers/Zealot/Slayer, pushing ahead will get more damage through sheer tankiness, but these builds have cosistantly found a way to beat that through what feels like cheese and not playing well.

I don’t think WHC as a whole needs a nerf, and I’m really at a loss as to how they could even balance the Light spam.

I see. The aoe builds definitely have very high damage potential. I just don’t value raw damage output that highly I suppose.

Edit: There are two nerfs I would advocate for on your list, though. (and 1 buff)

Waystalker should only get ammo back for one elite/special, but they need to fix the targeting on her ult. It’s very broken with density. Just shoots straight off into the air.

WHC needs to have fervency replaced with something else. It’s just too strong.


I always got the impression it was weaker than Unending Hunt in premades. Is this not the case?


Probably not. I see some people still run unending hunt. I think Core does.
Pre-pseudo random crits, there was an argument to have unending hunt for some crit-dependent comps. With Pseudo-random crits, Fervency is just way better. Fervency on a good WHC can basically just delete a bad situation as long as it isn’t a CW patrol.

I doubt I’m the first to think of this, but would making Killing Shot tied to heavy attacks work as a solution?

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I would not describe any of these builds as op tbh.
The Whc build is one that is indeed very strong but has been nerfed a bit with the removal of flinching from rapier lights.
Hagbane on Ws is also very potent but sadly her only option atm aside from certain scenarios.
Ammo regen on Ws does need looking at and should not be solely dependant on the ult.
Give her a secondary option for ammo regen and nerf Kurnous’s Reward (or sth. along those lines).

There are some points that I agree with, like Zealot getting ranged dmg boosts from his passive not being fitting (but Zealot is due for a major rework anyway imo, he is the antithesis of normal gameplay and has a poor interaction with other elements of the game).

Going with dmg dealt is not all that helpful for comparing classes imo.
E.g. sniping specials is not useless just because it won’t net the highest dmg dealt.
Aoe dmg will usually beat everything else in terms of dmg dealt with the exception of boss dmg for twitch boss spam.
Eg. Rv with shotgun on higher difficulties will deal more dmg than most classes due to density.

Also, I would have expected to see volcanic bolt BW and famished fireball BW up there since these 2 are probably the ones that truly overperform to a large degree (dmg+safety/tankiness+utility) - at least in my opinion.
Some beta builds (Huntsman in general, Shade Cloak of Mist) need changes too but that is indeed beta business.

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Gonna play devil’s advocate.
Why shouldn’t zealot’s passive work with his ranged?

You could prolly add in crit / crit power swift bow WS to this list running with the current beta set up. As long as you take serrated shots, and scrounger, you are an infinite ammo machine gun that does reasonably good boss damage and can decimate hordes and armor from a safe distance without much issue.

(it makes some solo content comically easy, as you back dodge / kite and spam shots with no concern of running out of ammo.)

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  • Already a melee power house, so having any Ranged BP he can want makes him overly versatile, the fact that he’s also really tanky makes me feel like he has way too much. He’s got Slayer level of tankiness with added Ranged Weapons, with decent ammo counts
  • BoP on him with the full Power+ Crit/Crit Power becomes better than a Special killer, with one Push > Dodge > Weapon switch. The same can be done with Volley and Repeater (lol), actually
  • The Power is pure Power, so it gives him Cleave as well as any breakpoints, with added Crit/Crit Power, making Volley extremely versatile on him. The Boss damage, Special killing and Horde Clear it’s capable of doesn’t seem like it should be on Zealot
  • The ammo he can retain from dealing 37% Power damage and having the extra Crit% to one-shot some Specials
  • Seems a little unfair that he can skip out on building for anything at all, and just take Crit/Crit Power, even on Ranged
  • Unchained has a similar, but more situational Power mechanic, but doesn’t gain Ranged Power, so he’s at less risk while being better and more consistant

IMO, he’s always been stepping on BH’s toes way too heavily and offers safer and more sustained ranged damage to Specials.

The level of versatility on him has always made him seem like he was designed for Vermintide single player. :sweat_smile:

It’s why I was against buffing it in the first place, pre-BBB I was getting Hag levels of damage by just constantly running around with Ranged out and Heavy shooting Elites. It’s kind of been nerfed though, and I don’t think they’ll do any more.

This is why ‘balance’ around what’s popular doesn’t make much sense other than to see where overpowered builds are.

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Zealot has to deal with the low effective range of his ranged weapons and can’t rely on crits to negate that. His power bonuses equal out to that of unchanined just spread between both his weapons.

Why i was asking is because, pyromancer also has her crit affect her melee weapon. But the community is much more against zealot having his passive work on ranged and not so much against pyro’s crit passive affecting her melee, which i don’t understand and i’m trying to understand.

Some arguments that it’s fine on pyro is because it has a build which does less damage then meta pyro. Which zealot also has.
Or that removing pyro passive affecting melee would make melee not worth building for.

Is it not fine on zealot because his passive gives a much bigger increase? (Power vs crits)
Is it fine on pyro but not on zealot, because zealot is more tanky and pyro more squishy?

What are your thoughts on this?

Not really. Unstable Strength needs permanent maintenace while Zealot stacks are to adjusted once (unless healing talents). Also Zealot stacks bring more bonus than just 30 % more power for zero risk. If chosen attack speed and then either Movement Speed/More Healing/More Defense. There is no reason why range should also be affected.

And I am still not sure that Unstable Strength really provides power and not just damage. I have not noticed a difference in staggering at high overcharges.

Don’t understand it as well. From design ways Pyromancer appears to be primarily ranged. No career should have more then 30 % crit on melee. This is just insane. Even her crit rate of up to 50 % or higher in range is questionable. I would say tone it down but personally I already rank her far lower than Unchained in utilty, so I am not sure how justified it is.

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I see where you’re coming from, but I think about it the same way as I do Unchained.

Their buffs are situational. He stands still in front of an enemy at the start of the match, and that’s pretty much the end of his mechanics.

As for Crit, while it’s good and she can do some good damage, I don’t see the same consistency in damage from her as I do from him. I think she gets just about enough to be more viable in melee, but not feel OP. You can obviously run the Melee build, but it’s nowhere close to running a ranged one.

It’s all of his upsides that make me think he’s too versatile tbh. Gaining that much Power in general and with no situational requirement, other than an awkward 10 seconds hoping your friends don’t get aggro of the mob that’s hitting you, is kind of out of sync with a lot of the other Careers.

That includes DMGR and the fact you can gain higher THP Generation with the level of AS he’s capable of. It’s not up to me, but I’d like him to be a bit more active for his mechanics to work anyway.

I don’t want to see anything at all done to his Melee though.


It does provide more damage/stagger cleave but I don’t think you get any stagger breakpoints on elites.


It should though. Using the mace I can stagger Maulers on Cataclysm with charged bodyshots if I use opportunist. If dont use the trait I cant do this.

As opportunist increase my stagger power by 50 % I should be able to do the same if I have Unstable Strength at max overcharge (+60 %) in theory. However, there is no effect. Unless the relation between melee power and stagger power is something different than linear, this is an oddity.

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