Reviewing Each Penance

I love the Penances in concept however the implementation varies from good to terrible. Here’s my feedback on each of the cosmetic unlock penances.


Marked For Death 4/5
Good. Not particularly exciting but it incentivizes good gameplay and it suitably challenging. Reminds players to use volley fire.

One in the chamber 4/5
Similar to the above. I got the accidentally so I don’t know if I really understand it. It seemingly incentivizes and demonstrates the value of weapons with penetration.

Long Bomb 2.5/5
The intent seems to be for players to make a long grenade throw. There are a couple of places I can think of where it would be possible to get this as intended however it usually results in nonsense strategies, Players standing on high ground, trying to throw a grenade at enemies below them by aiming up.
If you want grenade kills without bouncing then allow players to cook grenades. If you want long grenade throws then measure distance, not bounces.

On Over-watch 4/5
This might be controversial because it could be an incredibly frustrating penance however… I actually like this. Avoiding damage is essential on higher difficulties and while this is a very challenging penance it will be teaching players to avoid damage.

Dead-Eye 2/5
This is similar to volley fire but worse. It combines too many elements. It could be simplified to “…kill 5 different highlighted enemies”, this would be a damage check that would make players consider their loadouts. As it stands you need 5 highlighted enemies to be visible, not killed by any other player, you need enough damage to kill them all in a short window and if you miss a weak spot your chance is gone.
Competing with other players with kills will be a particularly frustrating element of this challenge.

Make Every Shot Count 2/5
100% Accuracy is a decent challenge. No ammo remaining is terrible. This will not happen organically, it will be players refusing to pick up ammo because they want to get their penance. If it was only 100% accuracy then players would land one shot and refuse to shoot any more. You could change this to something like “…hit 100 consecutive shots without missing.”

Skull Breaker

Something In Your Eye 5/5
Creative and fun. Not challenging but reminds Ogryns about their grenade box and is satisfying to do.

I’m In Charge 4/5
Teaches players that they can use charges to interrupt in boss battles. I knew this from Vermintide but it’s a good thing to teach new players. Knocked off 1 point because apparently you can free people from the Beast of Nurgle by charging and this would be a better challenge as far as teaching mechanics.

Friends Will Be Friends 2/5
This is bad because coherency is flawed as a mechanic. You shouldn’t be pushing players into coherency so much, it hurts the gameplay. This could be changed to “Maintain coherency with at least 1 teammate at all times.”

Gone Bowling 4/5
Fun but very dependent on huge hordes. With teammates killing enemies as they come it seems like it will be rare for 100 enemies to line up for you. The number might need to be tuned a little.

Heavyweight Champion 5/5
Good. Fun. Funny. Plausible in natural gameplay.

Don’t stop me now 5/5
This just incentivizes chaining Bull Rush which seems like a fun playstyle and fun challenge.


Abhor The Mutant 5/5
I didn’t realize I could ready an attack before or during the dash until I read this challenge. Good teaching. Incentives rushing to kill mutants and help teammates. Perfect.

Buying Time 3/5
Not as bad as long bomb but generally not a good play. At 40 meters you can usually block line of sight with a sniper and then either kill it with a ranged weapon yourself or let a veteran do it. Throwing a stun grenade that distance is more trouble than its worth and still doesn’t secure the kill.
Maybe remove the distance requirement.

Shocking Stuff 3/5
Competing with team mates for kills is always bad. Stunning 50 enemies with a grenade is good. If there’s a way to take your teammates kills into account for this challenge, it will be good.

Up Close And Personal 0/5
This is just terrible. If this was a solo game then maybe… but it’s not. This drags down the team and is 100% a cause for toxicity.

There Is Nothing But The Abyss 5/5
This is great. Encourages aggressive, high risk, high reward gameplay that is everything the zealot should be. Is suitably challenging while promoting good play.

Just A Flesh Wound 1.5/5
For any other class this would be terrible. I understand the incentive for Zealot to remain on low health however the way toughness works(damage bleed through) and the current set of talents don’t provide enough support for this playstyle. This is a good idea but doesn’t work with the current balancing.


Not Even Close 4/5
This is a good challenge. The only thing that holds it back is Pox Hound behavior being erratic and unpredictable.

Cliffhanger 2/5
There are a lot of safety rails in this game… This basically leads the player to bait a large number of enemies to a specific location while telling their team not to kill them. This is no good. Maybe rename it and change it to “push back 30 enemies with one blast” or something.

Warp Battery 4/5
Good but sometimes requires competing for kills. Maybe allow Psykers to synergize by making warp charges a shared pool, this would be fun and cooperative.

Going Out With A Bang 3/5
This requires the player to die but as death can be something of a unique tool for Psykers it’s okay. If you are going to die anyway than taking 3 elites with you is cool. The only problem is that players will try to get this when they are perfectly safe. I’m not sure how to address this.

Pick n’ Mix 3.5/5
Competing for kills again. Otherwise suitably challenging and encourages good play.

Malleus Monstronum 0/5
This is absolutely awful. It’s a coop game… Terrible. Scrap it and start again.

General Points
Its a coop game. Don’t make players compete with each other. Don’t make challenges that negatively impact other players. This will only lead to the much dreaded Toxicity.

Encourage good gameplay, not bad gameplay. Teach skills where possible.

It is okay to have novel challenges as long as they don’t sabotage the team. Something In Your Eye is a good example of this.

If you want players to handicap themselves or play unnaturally then you need to make it a team challenge with team rewards so that all of the players are in it together. This can be very fun but it needs to be cooperative, not selfish.


Absolutely agree on most points. A few of them are a bit debatable, e.g. I’d gauge Warp Battery much lower, probably at 2/5 as it basically promotes psyker to only explode heads for 5 minutes and not for doing damage and killing dangerous enemies but for getting kills. Which promotes targeting unimportant enemies that aren’t near your allies.

Some penances are very brow-raising, e.g. Friends Will Be Friends: it’s not a hard one, but it can only be done with a premade team and nothing else. Randoms will never do. Bots will never do - they simply aren’t staying close enough! It also has zero margin of error - staying in coherency for 99.9% of the time is still a fail. It seems like it was designed specifically for an Ogryn with a +100% coherency range feat - but then we got that feat nerfed to +50% (and even then it’s debatable if it works at all). Staying in “normal” coherency range is very much a huge handicap for the entire team - as even using abilities such as Ogryn’s or Zealot’s charge will easily move you out of coherence.

Many of penances are indeed promoting bad teamwork behavior, which should be a big line to not cross in a team co-op game. Psykers got heavily shafted here, as most of their penances are just… bad. Ogryns got perhaps the best deal, but still with one sour grape.

Very good quality post! Thank you for writing down your thoughts, and I hope devs will get inspired by this.

Dead-Eye 2/5
This is similar to volley fire but worse. It combines too many elements. It could be simplified to “…kill 5 different highlighted enemies”, this would be a damage check that would make players consider their loadouts. As it stands you need 5 highlighted enemies to be visible, not killed by any other player, you need enough damage to kill them all in a short window and if you miss a weak spot your chance is gone.
Competing with other players with kills will be a particularly frustrating element of this challenge.

On tier 4 it’s not as much of an issue due to spawns in my brief forays into the difficulty. However, this is also (to me) a “Come back when you’re level 30” achievement, because at level 30, all 3 perks reset volley fire’s duration on a highlighted target’s kill.
So (I’m yet to really do beyond difficulty 3) I’m assuming you can simply chain kills to keep things going.

Absolutely 100% agreed

Could change this to “Regenerate X of allied toughness using coherency in a single mission.”

It would definitely promote good team-play as it incentives the Ogryn being near teammates who are threatened or taking damage and helping out, which as this game’s big tanky fellow is what I thought they were supposed to be doing.

I see this as much like the “Headshot a pouncing Hunter” achievement in L4D. Play long enough and you’ll get it, eventually. It might be a little easier, as LoS and distance won’t break a Brain Burst lock.

If it was something like “Defeat a Monstrosity having the highest individual damage contribution and using only Psyker powers” this would be a much better penance. It encourages the Psyker to do what he does best; boss killing, and doesn’t require the rest of the squad to sit there and do nothing.

Sorry, going to have to massively disagree on “Don’t Stop me Now” being a ‘fun’ penance. As it stands, it’s either broken or nearly impossible to do without friends forming a very specific premade comp and rinsing and repeating an area for elite mobs to spawn in a specific composition so the chance to even DO said penance. It’s a 25 second timer to bull rush 3 times with an ability that has a 30 second cooldown. Even if you found a God Roll curio in all three slots, it only reduces it to 25.5 seconds.

In order for it to properly work, you need psykers with the 15% CDR elite kills on (as well as you having the 10% CDR on allied elite kills on for 25% CDR) and hope they get the kills on elite mobs while you’re in the same coherency radius to pop off the 2nd charge (you will obviously use the 1st charge to initiate), and then run back to make sure the psykers don’t get overwhelmed and do so again in a very short time frame.

1 Like

Heavyweight Champion is the one for charging through 4 enemy ogryns, right? Is there really that many of them spawning at once on Heresy+?

I’ve been on Malice difficulty and had five Ogryns spawn and rush the group all at once. The composition was two Crushers, two bulwarks, and a Plague Ogryn. I don’t know if this was something the game intentionally did or bugged out though. We did not survive the encounter though.

it’s really hard, it took us about…4 hours to find the right mob spawn grouping, but we finally did it. It was incredibly difficult.

I suspect the “reviews” are based off the descriptions or feedback the OP has read, as opposed to actually trying to complete. I doubt anyone has completed every penance related to cosmetics.

sure, it’s fun barreling through mobs, but not fun funneling the needed density to a narrow space (there aren’t a lot of maps where you can even do it) whilst everyone pauses their CC abilities.

an easy solution is to remove the “…single bull rush” requirement and drastically increase the number (say 1k or 2k). by the time someone’s completed it, they have a solid understanding of the mechanic.

Twice in one mission I healed myself for over 100 and never got credit for there is nothing but the abyss. No meds down on the ground, triggered my ability and started cleaving with my hammer and healed for 131 the time and then 108 the second time and never got credit.

I certainly haven’t completed or attempted every penance. That said, I have too many hours in this game already spread across each class. I have spent most of my time on Ogryn(Level 30), with Zealot and Veteran in mid 20’s and Psyker at level 12. My friend mains Psyker and I have witnessed his frustration with some of the penances.

My reviews are based on my understanding of the game and my understanding of each class. As you say I don’t think anyone has completed every penance but I think we can reasonably give feedback on what we’re being asked to do based on our understanding of what we can do.

Many people have chimed in with more specific knowledge and feedback regarding some penances and that’s fantastic.

I agree with your assessment of Gone Bowling
As I said it will be rare for 100 enemies to line up for you and the number might need to be tuned.
I think reducing the number of enemies, maybe to 80 or 75 would be a good option.

I would not like to make it 1k over many games as in my opinion that would cease to be a challenge and would become a grind.

Did you have any +health properties equipped? I think it bugs out if you increase your health.

my initial comment wasn’t a slight towards you, but rather pointing out that many of them read easier than they are.

regarding whether it’s a challenge or not is relative, and many of penances are a grind already, requiring specific maps and circumstances that if “failed”, the opportunity (on that run) has passed. to me, that’s annoying not challenging and exacerbated by the fact missions are randomized.


I do have Curios equipped with +% health.