Question — can we get a detailed stagger explanaton from dev, akin to recent dodge post?

Which answers some questions, like — do ranged weapons always count enemies as staggered? Does stagger from talents counts? What if i stagger with shotgun bash, then switch to melee and hit — will that counts? What if I stagger them not with a bash, but with a shot? Does staggers lasts exactly as long as staggered animation playing on enemies? Say, if FK knocks CW on his back is he staggered all the while he’s getting back up? Can monsters/bosses be staggered? Only with bombs and talents, I’d imagine. Will smiter work on them? Read here it was bugged for some weapons (all of 1h axe attacks, for example) — is that fixed, cause it’s not in the known issues list? If I stagger enemies do allies get increased damage against them? What is the correct formula of stagger damage increase, and is it difficulty-dependant? Saw a few conflicting answers.

well, that was… long. Those, and million of other questions, would be really cool to see detailed post, for such an important new mechanic, if possible. Cheers!


Sure thing!

So there is this concept of stagger value, which is basically number of consecutive staggers an enemy has gotten. Stagger someone once, they have 1. Hit them again during that stagger, value goes to 2.

This count of staggers is universal, doesn’t care if it’s a heavy or light stagger, is reset when a stagger action ends (animation + extra time until AI can act again), bosses are effected too and the value is inherent to the enemy and doesn’t care who caused it or who is hitting to gain bonuses from it.

What we did was add som code at the end of the damage calculation where we take that stagger count, capped at 2 (so 0,1 or 2) and then we have a damage multiplier that we add for each stagger. So if the damage multiplier is 0.5, you’d be getting 50% extra damage for each stagger that you’ve chained on your target (but max is 2).

Basic formula is damage = damage + damage * damage_multiplier * stagger_value

Then we add all sorts of complications, since this is vermintides damage system we’re talking about. So some weapons add more stagger value when they stagger, like 2H hammer heavy attacks, pushes, shield bashes and the like. This was added with the shielded enemies since we use stagger value to calculate when they should open their guard. So as an added bonus we all of the sudden have weapons that will add max bonus in only one hit. Neat - since all those weapons and attacks kind of do that cause they feel heavy and are basically cc/tanky strikes.

Elites use a half system of this, basically 1 + stagger_value * 0.5. Why the 1 base value? wouldn’t that increase all damage against elites everywhere? Yes, it’s cause we bumped all health (see below) and then tweaked it by introducing this.

Then we had a bunch of weapons that really played on their single-target damage capacity, like executioner heavy or 1h axe hits and such. They felt real weak and since they have a profile of being heavy hitters we created an exemption from the damage bonus where some attacks got a default 1.5 stagger_value regardless of stagger (basically a minimum stagger_value used, so if you hit someone with stagger_value 2 you’d still use that but anything else counts as 1.5). We also used this for ranged attacks.

THEN we added talents that you can use to modify the system with. And then we fail to get real great text to explain how they work. They have been and will be reworked but the beta version had these effects:

Smiter: for first target, add 0.25 stagger value per stagger_value, so 0 is still 0, 1 counts as 1.25 and 2 counts as 2.5. Hence the test result in the linked thread of “got no bonus” I’d suspect.

Assassin had a flat 0.5 bonus + stagger_value * 0.75 (basically per stagger_value 0=0.5, 1=1.25 and 2=2)

The other two work as described, adding to either yours or others stagger_value used in the calculation.

Then, after all this, we increased everyones health to test how our beta testers would feel about more resilient enemies with a way to compensate through working together and/or staggering/focusing on individual enemies. Why not keep health values and just lower damage output instead of complicated maths? Well, we didn’t want everyone to stumble into Beta and scream as their weapons produced smaller numbers.

All of this is for science and we’re still tuning and testing and evaluating feedback. Expect changes to be made and excuse the long rant. Hope it helps and I’ll try to stick around for followup questions and otherwise gulp up feedback.


How do we know what amount of stagger was applied?
Is it visible on the enemies?
I presume just lurching back would be 1 and falling to the ground 2, which is in effect until they are able to move/attack again?

1 Like

Thank you, kind sir!
I would suggest making your answer into a separate pinned post, for better visibility, if possible.

Otherwise pretty detailed explanation, awesome stuff. Stagger counts for everyone, from all sources, giving us pretty interesting possibilities (if FK rams Chaos Spawn, and Shade then Ults it it will result in some really big hit, huh).

Only thing that I didn’t quite understood:

Is this damage for two hits? Like damage = damage (1st hit, applying stagger) + damage(2nd hit on staggered)*damage_multiplier * stagger_value. Otherwise, I don’t quite understand why damage counted twice. I am meh at math, though %-)

1 Like

Yeah - so a stagger is a state-breaking hit-react, basically if the enemy aborts its attack or stops and lurches, is pushed back, falls or stumbles. The stagger is in effect for the entire duration of the animation and often (on lower difficulties) for some bonus time after where they are just unable to react. There was no additional interfacing added on top of the existing stagger animations.


cool - so the damage + damage * stuff is just maths for a single attack. Since the stagger damage bonus is 0.5 we have to add the base damage on top of it since multiplying with 0.5 would like half your damage output instead of bumping it.

edit: just forget it, it’s too late… se below response from Palesz instead :stuck_out_tongue:


Yeah, order of operations :grin:
You multiply what’s in the bracket and then add what’s before it.
damage = damage + (damage * damage_multiplier * stagger_value)


I thought stagger value can only be 0, 1 or 2. It can be half values too? like half a stagger(0.5) or one and a half staggers (1.5)

no, stagger values for enemies can only be 0,1 or 2 (or above). For the damage bonus calculation we cap it at 2 and sometimes override it to whatever we want - like 1.5.


just to clarify, you dont cap the “stagger value” in this formula at 1.5 for what you want, but the “damage multiplier”, right?

Oh, and actually one more question, sorry — for attacks akin to .exe sword heavy + ranged — can they rip benefits of an enemy under stagger 2 multiplier? Or “regardless of stagger” meant just that, and it’s always a fixed value (1.5) which cannot go higher?

1 Like

No - we override the stagger value. So for an enemy that is in their first stagger (stagger_value 1) that get’s hit with an arrow to the face, we’d count that as stagger value 1.5.

so instead of 1 * damage_multiplier we get 1.5* damage_multiplier.

We do this since damage_mutiplier can then be difficulty dependant and tweaked easily to set how big a deal this whole things should acutally be.


The stagger value is on the enemy side 0-1-2.
Any value different from this, goes to your weapon, when calculating your actual damage.
1.5 comes for the exempted weapons/attack types that should stagger more than 1 but less than 2.

Yeah, so it’s a min value we use. If the actual stagger_value is greater we’d use that instead. So max-chain-staggered foes that gets an executioner chop would get an even bigger damage bump.


this actually helps a lot. the values I got from testing make a lot more sense using this formula

So for attacks like the greathammer heavies that apply stagger, does the stagger from that attack get applied before or after the damage calculation?

1 Like

First damage is done, then stagger is calculated and added if the enemy survives. So you’ll never get stagger bonus based on any stagger added from the same attack.


Except for the appropriate talent, like Smiter?

yeah, those talent things always comes into play.

BUT the Smiter talent in the Beta works like a multiplier on the stagger_value, which would be 0, since stagger form the attack is yet to apply, for a unstaggered target and thus not provide any bonus.

“Smiter: for first target, add 0.25 stagger value per stagger_value, so 0 is still 0, 1 counts as 1.25 and 2 counts as 2.5.”


Ah yes, this is why people think that the talent doesn’t work. You’ll have to fix the description. :slight_smile: