Overture - Melee Traits

Beware: Looooooots of text again -_-

There are probably not many topics which have been more often discussed than the melee traits. I myself have made at least three(?) threads about the topic, making various suggestions. Though sometimes the scope has been to big or the change was to complicated and provided more a solution on paper without regards to the actual code. That said, I am here to make suggestions another time. But I will limit the scope to just the melee traits, focus on the identity as I perceive it and will try to suggest changes which do not touch the mythical “weapon feeling” argument which is always used then when people run out of arguments. I also want to suggest the change in the global power level because it is to high for Cataclysm. For this I will go after two main vectors: THP and usage of career skill.

Current Melee Traits & the problems

The first point we have to consider is where we see the traits power-level wise. Gut feeling tells us similar to talents. But better or worse? Personally I think, traits should be weaker than talents and with a clear, singular identity. And as such I will suggest the changes.

The obvious issue is Swift Slaying. No matter how you look at it, it is simply to strong and to good. Actually, it is stronger than talents as all Attack Speed talents have lower bonus values OR more limited activation/uptime conditions (with the exception of Zealot because …). The obvious overpowered nature is also something you see when you look at the respective identities (as I perceive them) and what they actually do. I see it like this:

Swift Slaying: Offense (by attack)
Opportunist: Defense (by stagger)
Ressourceful Combatant: Career Skill
Heroic Intervention: THP
Parry: Defense (by block)
Off Balance: Offense (by teamplay)

So much for theory. In praxis though Heroic Intervention is to limited and needs heavy exploits to work. Parry and Off Balance are equally limited in their usage. Opportunist fills a good niche and actually works and is worthwhile. And Ressourceful Combatant technically functions but … Swift Slaying is increasing career skill usage as well and actually does it better or at least close to equal than Ressourceful Combatant. Also, it does provide a better THP bonus than Heroic Intervention and more consistent. As you generally hit 20 % more often the same or different targets and roughly kill 20 % more enemies, it provides in general 20 % more THP and 20 % more cooldown reduction on hit in addition to its attack speed. As such it infringes heavily with two other traits and since it also helps to keep enemies staggered and applying additional stagger on top due to faster swings, it also slightly infringes with Opportunist and provides better defense. Overall, Swift Slaying goes over its identity and does to much. It needs to be nerfed.

With this in regard, I suggest the following changes to traits focussed on keeping weapon feeling and also attaching singular identities which do not infringe with each other.

Changed Melee Traits

The solutions I provide should generally work with the code as I have seen the necessary script lines at different points. Though the actual implementation might be a bit more complicated as buff duration and effects and etc are separated from activation conditions and etc.

Swift Slaying

Swift Slaying will be nerfed. Though the weapon speed will stay. So in order give Swift Slaying an unique identity, we just have to remove the additional effects.

AS: Multiplier = 0.2 (equals 20 %)
Healing: Multiplier = - 0.15
Cooldown on hit: Multiplier = - 0.25

With this the Swift Slaying is solely there for the enhanced physical ability with increased attack speed. The reason for Health only being reduced by 15 % is for one math and how increase and decrease work percentage-wise as well as the oddity that during Swift Slaying you will also gain less health by THP generating career skills, healing potions and green health regeneration effects (identical to boon of shallya, just reversed). You could try to used a different variable but it might become to complex. Also, it asks the user to think a bit more and not use health potions while Swift Slaying is active. The negative multiplier for cooldown on hit is also more than 20 %, simply to separate Ressourceful Combatant and Swift Slaying identity-wise. One is for enhanced physical ability, the other for the career skill. Choose wisely.


Opportunist: For now it will remain unchanged. Though I am pondering if I should add a small penalty for health regeneration or career skill like 5 %. Don’t think it is necessary though.[/details]

Ressourceful Combatant

This talent will see a larger change. One thing which bugs me for RC is the reliance on Crit, same as Swift Slaying. Far to much in this game relies on critical hits which are horrible to balance. So this reliance will be removed. Basically the change that I want to make is the following.

Cooldown on hit: Bonus = 0.075
Cooldown on damage: Bonus = 0.075

With this every career can profit from the bonus, not only the crit stacker. The option to make this a bonus and not multiplier has some advantage over a multiplier (although for some careers it is a disadvantage). Careers have different cooldown on hit values, ranging roughly from 0.25 to 0.5. As such the 0.075 bonus equals 15 to 30 % depending on the career, especially helpful on careers with low values. While 30 % might seem powerful, you have to sacrifice the holy Swift Slaying for it. In addition, you get a bonus on getting damage. While this is helfpul do not mistaken. This does not allow you face-tanking and cooldown against THP trading because your melee trait does not provide you with a THP boost.

One of the maybe biggest boon though is that it gives Engineer a way to generate Cooldown for the career skill by hitting enemies (though at the moment Engineer has no defined Cooldown_on_hit and it would probably have to be added as bonus = 0 first). And while this again might be contrary to the initial design decision of FS, we have to remember again that Engineer would have to sacrifice other melee traits for this feature. Also 0.075 is not that much for Cooldown on damage as the base values are generally higher. But it would need some testing with the values. With getting more Cooldown on two effects, the name Ressourceful Combatant would also make more sense now.

Heroic Intervention

Supposed to be the THP for teamplay trait but definetely does not work as intended. So to give it this identity, I would change it like this.

THP on hit: 0.25 per teammate within range
Range: 10 (I think this is Handmaiden Aura Range, yes you read this right)

Both aura talents as well as teammates within vicinity multiplier exist in the code already, so this definetely works. My first idea was to make it a 10 % multiplier per teammate. But then I noticed that this would just be a weaker version of Boon of Shallya aka as weaker version of an already existing trait. So, I opted for a bonus similar to Vanguard. With the aura, it is generally weaker than THP on hit. Also, as somehow third THP talent per career it gives careers with “bad” THP generation talents a new interesting option. They could finally recover reliably THP as long as they are ready to play as team AND sacrificing the attack speed. Also, needs a new name.

Parry and Off-Balance

Truth be told. Here I am at an impasse. No idea what to do with these two. Outside of some very niche scenarios I don’t see use for them, especially Off-Balance. Even if I slap them together as one talent, I don’t see the use.

Maybe if parry is changed to a BCR for the frontal 60 °? But have to avoid the 100 % BCR meme builds. Maybe really defining it by the angle. BCR of 50 % in the frontal 30 °. With this and the properties, you can get a auto-parry from frontal attacks. But your block can still be broken from side and back attacks. Open for suggestions.

And with this, I am done suggesting. Especially the first four melee traits are offering you - and also asking from you - an equal choice. Do you want more offense, more defense, more health or more career skill usage? And depending on build and career, the choice will differ more as it does right now. Parry and Off-balance are still open for ideas but I start to like the frontal high BCR which makes it more about positioning and less about reflexes (and bad ping). Feel free to discuss, although I think my mind is set for now :stuck_out_tongue: And don’t whine that Swift Slaying should not be nerfed. I made a giant thread an explanation why that is not an option.

Looking further

As said initially, I would like to decrease the global power level and give traits, talents, weapons a narrower identity instead of doing it all. And I think this change in melee traits will help achieving this as two of the main issues are two much THP and career skill usage (at the same time). Though this can be further enhanced and I am looking at weapons here.

Not considering the obvious overpowered and broken weapons which need a general nerf, the provided ideas could also be utilized to adjust weapons which are slightly overtuned (or the very very very few weapons which are undertuned) without changing the weapon feeling. An example:

Bardin’s weapons are for the most part actually quite balanced to each other and also to the challenge provided by Cataclysm. So they don’t need to and shouldn’t be buffed. Though two weapons are sticking out for being overtuned: Dual Hammers and Coghammer. With the multiplier we can now adjust identities to them and slightly tuning them down. So Dual Hammers would be the “Defense weapon” and as such it would get a negative multiplier from somewhere 10 - 30 % on cooldown on hit. They are good for providing THP but generate less career skill. Coghammer would be the “Offense weapon” as as such it would get a negative multiplier on THP somewhere 10 - 20 %. As such the weapon is good for career skill usage but less generation of THP. So to say an actual risk (less THP) vs reward (easy use and high damage) function, instead of the usual just win harder things we have in the game.

It coud be used to give more identity to the weapons and adjust them without change of weapon feeling, overall slightly increasing the challenge and decreasing the global power level. Or in short, making the game more fun as choices are now more equal and in sync with the actual challenge by Cataclysm. But for now, I would focus on the melee traits. It is a good start as I provide some interesting buffs for the other traits in exchange for the Swift Slaying nerf.


Agree on everything else.

Atm I think Parry is quite insane for certain Careers. It makes dealing with Chaos Patrols alone much easier (unless you get noclip overheaded or Gutter Runner’d). I’d even suggest a slight buff, but nothing too crazy.

A possible buff could be making your next attack after Parrying have increased Attack Speed (Crit would likely be too strong).

  • Slayer off Weapon for Speed Boost build
  • FK with Stagger Talent on a Shield (you don’t need Opportunist)
  • Warrior Priest off Weapon
  • Handmaiden
  • Elf 1H Sword in general. On WS this is my main Weapon
  • Halberd builds can work with it for Careers that can’t afford to drop Health on Neck
  • Decent value on DD for Shade or just in general

I run it on Pyromancer with BCR on Dagger and Neck, drastically increasing survivability.

If you’re able to time attacks, or just need an ‘oh sh*t’ button, you can avoid some crazy situations. E.g. I’ve blocked 3 attacks from behind, while crouch-dodging to escape high density and survived.

Off topic, but I’ve come to realise people using 90% BCR reduction builds, etc are wasting their time below Cata+. On Cata there’s almost never a reason to do it.

Standing still and Blocking has never been a playstyle I’ve understood or used. While Parry can intentionally be used to survive, Off-Balance is REALLY difficult to make value out of, outside of Bosses and a meme Ironbreaker build (you would have to use Mace and Shield, as Axe doesn’t get Tank on Heavy Slams).

Even on Ironbreaker, with Shield Weapons, I tend to dodge a lot, instead of standing still Blocking.

Blocking has no real value other than stopping random hits you wasn’t expecting, half of the time. Standing still and Blocking causes enemies to stack properly and take too long to attack you. The slowdown from Blocking also does this.

It could have had it’s place, if they allowed Warrior Priests Shields to proc it, which I asked for a couple of times.

There is one build that works!


Bret Longsword is so good, that you can run pretty much anything on it and destroy, so meme Riposte + Off-Balance isn’t half bad, if you have your timings down. It also works just fine with Parry.

Outside of that, I want it to be good, but it just isn’t.

I knew that Parry had some niche advantage. It is just that sometimes I get the impression that people avoid because of the unreliability unless Host. I mean there is no issue with keeping it as it is. Because as you explained, the trait has its usage.

Concerning a potential buff, I would come back to the issue of Off-Balance you explained as well:

You would avoid block unless necessary. Even defense careers don’t block, they push.

So, it could still be an idea to simply slap the 20 % more damage on parry. Though, thinking about it now I always considered Parry like a duelist playstyle trait (which does not work in Vermintide). Nonetheless, maybe change Parry instead that the parried enemy gets staggered to Stagger State 1 (in addition to the no stamina cost). This will give the player more reaction time and some bonus damage. Might become a bit to comical against bosses, though.

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I find myself using only 3 of those traits

Opportunist if you can reach some nice stagger breakpoints because the more you can stagger the less you have to block and therefore the more attacks are you able to do.

Parry for weapons who cant reach stagger breakpoints and are already fast and for careers which are focusing more on elite and special killing than horde killing ( like dual dagger shade and rapier bounty hunter)

For everything else i take swift slaying.

So yeah the other traits which werent mentioned by me really needs some rework.

Hah, curious. I was aware that Parry is used in high end content. Though, I am surprised that both people answering the thread are actually use it. May I assume that you host mostly yourself or do you use parry as client too?

Any specific ideas on how you would like the other traits be reworked? Like off-balance as that is the one i struggle most with.

I was quiet until now but i do use parry on DD Shade, the answer is both provided ping isnt too unfavorable, but if it is, i switch to DS with swift slaying instead.

One idea could be to have it be a trait that instead of acting like some sort of counterattack reward, instead reward attacks that does what the name suggests. For example, the talent gives you a stacking buff giving something (damage, stagger, mix, other?) for hitting enemies when they are staggered or “off-balance” as it were.

Heroic intervention, stagger/hit enough enemies around an ally, gain some kinda buff, possibly scaling off number of affected enemies? Trigger from ability use?

Resourceful combatant…Think i saw someone suggest this somewhere else but goldfish memory. Ahem, Trait gives a flat % increase to innate ability recharge from hitting enemies, maybe even adds one, a reasonably smaller one, to ranged weapons.

I like the approach for off -balance. Something like increased stagger damage. Might be possible to work something out in that direction.

Did you by chance read the actual suggestions in the op :sweat_smile:? Especially resourceful combatant is similar to what you suggested. Although I think a bonus is the better choice over a multiplier.

As for heroic intervention I will just say I don’t like the trigger by career skill. I want the game to move a bit away from the overage of career skills. But the buff close to allies is within my suggestion as well.

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The problem with Parrying and Blocking as triggers, is that doing it intentionally requires taking a risk since you’re waiting on enemies to swing, and Blocking is a secondary way of mitigating damage, and tertiary if you have good stagger or know to push regularly. I would just get rid of both of them and replace them with something else.

For Swift Slaying, I think it would be neat if they just made it the Bloodthirst Trait from the Chaos Wastes; I would recommend reducing the reset timer from 30 seconds to 10.
Increase Attack Speed by 2% for every 5 kills (Up to 5 times). Resets if you do not kill anything for 30 sec.

There are a few other good ones from the Chaos Wastes that wouldn’t seem out of place outside the Chaos Wastes:

Vaul’s Tempo: Every Critical Hit increases your Crit chance by 5% for 10s. This effect can stack 10 times.
Quetzl’s Repulsion: Increases knockback from staggering attacks and pushes.
Huanchi’s Fangs: Melee Attacks cause Bleed.
Myrmidia’s Great Leveller: Striking 5 enemies in one swing increases stagger power by 50% for 3 seconds.
Regrowth: Critical hits heal 5 health.

Some of the above might need to be nerfed a little like Vaul’s Tempo, but I like the idea for a build that synergizes with more crits.

Most often you block while dodging so if either block or dodge fails the other can help you out. Also as i previously said, the parry trait is for weapons which dont have stagger. For example on double dagger i dont see much sense for swift slaying. For example on shade swiftslaying doesnt give you much outcome, you will go most likely with thp on kill so swift slaying wont increase thp regen, and your main objectives are elites anyway. Same with hagstalker, you will stagger and kill the horde with hagbane, and killing elites with double dagger. As a rapier BH parry can also be good for him because he will often have to switch weapons in spicy situation, having a parry trait which can save your stamina can be crucial here. And taking a risk isnt the case. Most of the time you go with audio cues if there is much going on, so if you hear a hit from the back incoming you automatically block, and those blocks reacted on sound cues are most often timed blocks so parry trait will trigger and can save your life since no stamina will be consumed, especially in situations where you are surrounded is that life saving.

Most often if i am host, or i team up with my premates so i know that i will be with a good ping.
Btw there is also a mod which shows you the time window for the parry trait:

But dont focus too much on it it is better to get the right feeling with sound cues then you will get it into your muscle memory.

And always dodge + block at the same time, so if one fails the other will save you. You should do this anytime not only with the parry trait.

Well, perhaps combining Parry and Off-Balance isn’t a bad idea then. Just make it so that Parry not only doesn’t cost stamina, but it also provides a 20% power buff for 10 seconds. I use it on Daggers sometimes or on Saltz with the Rapier, but also on GK with the Parry perk that grants 20% bonus power for 6 seconds.

Right now it’s a bit too niche.

(Also, I have the Parry indicator; doesn’t work most of the time. It’s a bit dated.)

For me it works, you have to have the parry trait on an item for the mod to work.

Ohhhhhh, that’s why. You have to have the Parry trait. I thought the indicator was always supposed to be on.