Shielded stormvermin

I feel that the stagger period for shielded storm vermin needs a change. Either a larger window, or maybe a variable window of opening to deal damage. Since they have seemingly unlimited stamina the ability to kill them is largely dependant upon attack speed.

I noticed the difference going from mace sienna to dual axe slayer. The slayer has quick attacks that can hit the tiny window of opportunity. With sienna I can stagger, but the window of opportunity doesn’t grow larger.

I’m wondering is the existing stagger mass limits on weapons could be used to create some extended duration to shielded stormvermin’s vulnerability window. Since a sienna mace can stagger an entire horde it should be able to slow the recovery of a shielded foe, creating the ability to damage it.

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I have all lvl30 characters except for Bardin, and I main Kerillian and Sienna for the most part.

If we are talking about Sienna and Mace (Which IMO is the best choice if you are in circumstances when you have to carry the group), I find the powered attack works just fine with Shielded stormvermin. I don’t really find an issue with that. Different playstyles, I use the boltcaster staff, staggers the shielded SV a bit with a couple of bolts, one powered attack which is an overhead attack and the SV is done. I don’t see what is much of an issue with the mechanic, I don’t have much problem with this enemy. Normal attacks with the Mace tend to just bounce off the shields but I am used to using powered attacks against armored foes.

In my experience, when dueling with a Shieldvermin, the window when you get them to open their shields is quite long (a second, maybe more) - if nothing else is done. Problems start coming up when you’re opening up their defense by spamming light attacks on a non-AP weapon or when other people are there fighting the same enemy. Landing one or two hits on them when their defense is down causes them to immediately put the shield back up, resetting your progress. Light attack chains can be hard to interrupt suddenly, and if they don’t damage through armor, you just achieved nothing. If many people keen on piling on the Shieldvermin, no one can keep count of how close he is to opening his defense, and another opportunity gets missed on ineffective strikes.

You can affect both of these. The first case is a question of fast reactions or learning your weapons’ patterns to open up the shield. I bit of work, but nothing a little experimentation and practice can’t achieve. The second is a bit more annoying and can be harder, as it requires you to trust your teammates and their ability to handle a Shieldvermin. If another teammate is fighting a Shieldvermin, with no additional trouble, leave them to it, wait for an opportunity (but you need good timing for that) or circle to the back of the enemy. If you go and join in beating down the shield, you’ll likely mess it up for both of you. Let one player handle the opening. Remember: One or two hits, no matter whether they do damage, immediately reset the SV back to blocking. Those hits need to count.

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I personally just find them very unsatisfying to fight. They’re obstacles, yeah, sure, and they mix up the gameplay when you’re also dealing with a horde/boss/specials, and aggroing them means you’re likely to attract a horde or a squad of specials, but chances are that those new, actual threats will be done with before you take down even one of the shielders.

The biggest flaw seems to be the fact that they take a very specific amount of hits when their block is broken. If you don’t immediately go for the heaviest strike in your arsenal, or if someone else just happens to hit them first, you can bet their block will be back up when you come to. It’s adjustable to, but not in a satisfying way. It’s annoying. Adjusting to it doesn’t feel right, it feels like you’re coping with a glitch, not a game mechanic. Not that there’s a huge difference in fatfart games.

Then there’s how I swear their shield also covers up most of their back. Dodge dancing behind a shielder with a rapier when he’s busy with someone else, i’ll often find multiple hits blocked even though they went into his shoulderblades. That just cannot be right. Neither can the fact that there’s nothing stopping them from just doing an instant 180 to face you when you’d hope there’d be a teeny tiny grace period before they switch their aggro targets, what with how they’re completely invulnerable upfront.

They also literally never open themselves up for attack, even while using their sword combo. It’s such wordfilter that they get to go on their slashing spree and you aren’t even rewarded if you get a heavy hit in without being damaged yourself. This just feels wrong. Like many other things in this game, it’s something I found myself trying to pull off for dozens of hours, despite knowing it wasn’t a mechanic, simply because it didn’t make sense that it wasn’t a mechanic.

I get that the game is already nerfed really hard, and that things are supposed to be challenging, and that git gud lol - in fact, I’m almost always on this side of the argument - but the shieldvermin are just too damn tedious. They do their job, they get you swamped in a fight and make you choose targets carefully, but they do it too well. You’ll rarely lose because you couldn’t deal with shielders, but you’ll very often groan because you keep trying to kill them and they just keep being smacked around by low damage attacks. That’s not challenging, that’s tedious, even if you abuse pushing and go straight for the head and your team isn’t messing up your aim. Surely there’s something that can be done to make these enemies either 1) not tedious, or 1b) not tedious and also actually dangerous on their own.

Thank the gods for the handgun.

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If you ask me shieldvermin are by far to most boring enemy in this game. When i first saw them i thougt they are ment to be defeated by teamplay (Something i like) but i very rarely see people do that.

I have a few suggestions on how to change that.

Of course you could also adjust their stagger. I personally just want a more fun way to defeat them then just smashing their shield.

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Although I find the Shieldvermin easy enough to deal with nowadays if I can concentrate on it (most difficulties come from other Elites or players coming in, as you might’ve understood from my earlier post), I too would appreciate some adjustments. Probably my favorite would be an opening when they attack, being skill-based (well, timing), doable even with other enemies around, and realistic and sensible enough, and would also facilitate another tactic (waiting for an opening instead of creating one) against them. I think reducing their usual block angle or stamina or increasing the time their defense stays open could quite easily trivialize them.

Why all the hate for Shielded SV?

I like them, on their own they are not much of a challenge, when working with other units they can make your life a real pain.

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That is agreeable. What I don’t like is that if you poke an already staggered and fatigued SSV, it resets to a full stamina shielded state. This is just illogical, and many people does not understand this behaviour and just keep on brute forcing them and hitting them all-out after having dealt with everyone else around. That at least is easy since SSV are mostly useless in combat themselves.

Well I guess it’s not logical in the context of character stamina, but I’m not sure character stamina is relevant. The enemies do not follow much in the way of character restrictions or abilities. The ability of a Shielded SV to absorb some hits take some damage and then reset it’s block is fine with me.

It is frustrating when other people reset the block, but if some one is doing that just leave that fight and let them deal with it… As you said shield SV are not dangerous on their own. It’s the stuff they are protecting which will do the damage.

i concur. it sometimes is annoying how the shield break opening is reset because everyone’s spamming on the poor thing. BUT if u have everyone hitting it, the shieldvermin is toasted quickly anyway.

main issue people have with this guy is 1. not understanding how to combat the shield by opening it up with X attacks of a weapon, or 2. circling behind.

personally i love the design of SSV. you can build all your weapons for max dps and stuff, but with SSV you have to make sure you can deal with them somewhat. i used to have a big problem with them when i ran 2h hammer some time ago. not possible to solo 2 of them with a slow hammer previously.

Yes, I’m not talking about the in-game stamina property - rather a general real world notion - if you hit something hard enough for it to lose bearing and get confused and staggered, how can an additional blow restore all its strength back?

But even then - it’s not that big of a problem compared to the fact that they are all Agent Smiths who can dodge bullets.

You know, more people whacking a shielded stormvermin without a chain of attacks that break their guard or has a method to do so, will only make their shield bounce back up and might make a lone shielded stormvermin take longer to kill. <<

Not dangerous. Badly designed and the opposite of fun to fight. They make no sense and all they do is make you roll your eyes. Not everything has to be zomgsoscary to be in need of a rework.

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@Yzneftamz
Well decreasing their block angle while they attack would allow the players some skilled play. Dodge their attack while already starting your own ap attack. Skill would be succesfully dodging their attack and having the right timing with your own attack. If you attack to late they are already orientated to you again so you wouldn’t be able to hit them. Would be more risky than just smashing their shield of course. Would also allow for teamplay.
You see a ssv just attacking your team and you can go to help him even in a horde. Of course this would also require skill. 1. You have to constantly pay some attention on your teammates situation 2. You have to create enough room for you to be able to get an attack in on the ssv 3. You have to have the right positioning. I don’t see how this change would trivialize them. The only challenge they propose right now is that they stop your cleave in a horde. That wouldn’t change with my suggestion. Of course they would be a bit easier delt with inside a horde but they would still be way harder to kill than a regular SV, especially if your team doesn’t help you. The Handgun does trivialize them far more than my suggestion.

@BlackBart

Well that comes down to how you have fun in Vermintide. I have the most fun when the game allows me for skilled plays and i can succesfully pull them of. Teamplays are the most fun. Opening a ssv’s guard by smashing their shield is no skilled play. It’s a boring mechanic in my opinion. There is no risk for the player at all cause the ssv is constantly stunlocked. Yes they make fighting hordes more difficult but they would still do that even if you change them a little bit.

@anon26183726

As soon as several people attack a ssv then you can use charged attacks to open their shield too. So as soon as their defense is open the ssv will get hit by an ap attack. Yes it is not the fastest way but its easy and there is no way that a teamate of you will get hit. Normally when is see a teamate fighting a lone ssv i just wait and let them kill it. Getting behind the ssv is a pain cause they get constantly pushed arround. Sometimes i join them by doing ap attacks so as soon as the guard is open i will do damage. But that’s really not fun at all.

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I just made two videos to demonstrate my thougts a little bit.

In the first video i want to demonstrate how the decreased block angle during attacks would affect how you fight them


Lets immagine my suggestion is implemented.
My first try at 0:05 wouldn’t hit him. My timing is wrong i attack to late, he is already orientated to me.
Second try at 0:09 i attack to late again and maybe i didn’t even get the right angle.
Third try at 0:12 same mistake again.
Fourth try at 0:18 even worse.
Fifth try at 0:21 this time it should have worked. timing is correct and the angle too.
Sixt try at 0:24 a fail again.
Seventh thy at 0:26 should have worked again.

After that at 0:35 i just wanna show that ssv’s can make a shield push during their stunned phase without showing an animation. Im the host so this is not lag. It’s weird and shouldn’t happen.

At 0:41 i try it with two dodges. I think that also should have been a hit.

In the Second video i wanna demonstrate how the current ssv design counters teamplay.

Immagine the witch hunter and i get attacked by a horde and he also has the aggro of a ssv.
Lets just say i managed it to realize that the ssv start an attack animation and i also managed it to position myself at this angle and i also could get enough room to succesfully make a shot. Im in a 90 degree angle to the ssv and he is clearly not covered by his shield. Still he is able to block my shots. If you want teamplay in your game than you have to make the teamplay accesable in the first place. What am i supposed to do to help the witch hunter? Getting to a 180 degree to the ssv completely putting myself out of position in the middle of the enemy horde? In most cases the current design of ssv simple does not allow for teamplay and i personally really don’t like that.

I can understand that people are worried the game might get easier and easier with every change.
I wouldn’t mind for exchange ssv’s would deal more damage or attack faster.
If a game isn’t difficult it can’t require skilled plays or teamplay, so the last thing i want is to make the game easy.
But if a challenge is designed in a way that in 90% percent of the cases you solve it by boring mechanics, then it isn’t fun either.

Edit:
@Bahtoo
It is your thread so if you primarely want to discuss your suggestion i can of course make my own thread.

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I’m enjoying the discussion. I found the videos to be quite helpful to fully grasp the angle changes you’ve mentioned. I had hoped to cut out some shield vermin clips of my own, but I didn’t have any time for it last night.

As others have expressed I do not want to make it easier, but it would add a level of depth to get more intuitive counterplay.

Unfortunately at times the stormvermin will flinch back into blocking when getting whacked by several people, shits terrible.

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they are annoying to fight that’s for sure.
what can i add-say about them well some time when they are 1-2 agro on me and i see team is close by i just block and take a position so that my team can hit them from behind. and u know what happened? like most of every time… THEY turn 180 and BLOCK the hit like WTF…
sometime when i see a team just slaping at them i get behind and u know what happened? they block my hit and turn around 180…
a total can3er of one enemy. and when u play SOLO like kill all things not speed run, all u can do is exploit climb up and climb down kite. if u dont have a kite solution well idk for others but i just quit the game. horde +1, 3 SV shield NO TNX!!!

Theb storm vermin should have limited stamina which is consumed by blocking.

man, am i the only one who thinks shieldvermins are awesomely fun to fight.

fighting them with fast weapons by slapping their shields then heavystriking their exposed face is a straightforward technique.

i personally like to stunlock smash them while pivoting around to their back for the backstabs. shade with dd or snd kills them really fast, and is extremely fun to pull off. can be done with any fast weapons too.

if i’m using a slow weapon, sometimes i have to interlace ranged attacks with my melee weapon - once the shield is opened up, ranged weapon to the face. the time they are exposed is pretty long.

if all else fails, just engage with the party for a mad slashing poking and smashing. it usually is a mad rush to see who gets the final blow, rather than it being a stop to your run. i think the only time they’re a problem is during patrols when they’re mingled with many regular stormvermin.

if i’m running a BH, i prefer to wait till my teammates expose the face and i take the final shot to the head. usually 3 hits will open up the shield, so just be patient and line up the shot.

rifleman on kruber, bang dead. rv with shotgun, wail on the shield a bit and shotgun to the face. all of sienna’s melee weapons are fast enough to open up the shield, not even counting what she can do with her staffs. conflag can turn their backs to you by positioning the explosion behind them, beam staff is straightforward, flamer can totally CC an entire stormvermin patrol on it’s own. bolt staff i guess u can spam it on them, i don’t use it much.

most ranged weapons can be spammed on them and with enough muscle memory you can easily dispatch them. eg. swiftbow = 3 light shots then start heavying to the face. crossbows, just keep firing.

otherwise… not too sure what’s the fuss about. SSVs take a lot of flak but they can’t really attack. that’s their thing, to be defensive without offense. imo they’re well designed because they can easily be taken care of if you know what you’re doing.

note: there was a time when 2 shieldvermins + 2 regular stormvermins would spawn in spinemanglrs boss fight into the nest. they took them out because they acknowledged it was a pain especially with no terrain to exploit, and 1 person trying to clutch save 2 SSV in a boss fight was pretty hard if they didn’t have the right setup.

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