[SHOTGUNS] A rework

Written the title, let me do a small premise. Why did I write “rework” and not “buff”. Because I understand the thoughts behind shotguns… I understand developers’ intentions. Shotguns have a particular niche and I don’t want destroy it making them too generic… BUT, currently, the disadvantages surpass the advantages… a little bit too much.

Every ranged weapon has pro and cons… but it seems that shotguns have won a weird contest like “give them the worst malus!”. Let’s see why (don’t lose the last point :3)

  • Bad range. Every ranged weapon has its favorite range… but only shotguns can’t compete other than their favorite range. I can score an headshot with “sniper weapons” in short range too… it just needs a decent aim. If I see a far enemy and I’m using a shotgun… I can’t do nothing.

    Let me add one thing. If I use a ranged career, a squishy one, risky and that can’t help mates to deal with hordes… I must fulfill my job. My friends have to forget at least the specials! Be able to operate only in short range means that my mates must do also a part of my job.
    At this point I could use a crowd control career. Safer. Tougher. Bigger help to my mates. It melts hordes good as well. Good ranged abilities.

  • Bad armor damage. I can understand. A little bit for gameplay, a little bit for realism… shotguns aren’t famous for the armors penetration. But here you exaggerate! To kill a simple Flamerat I need to stay in melee range! And better not talk about SV or Beastgor.

  • None super-armor damage. Enough clear.

  • Few ammo. Read below.

  • None consistent way to recover ammo. If we count the above point, they can be used only by Huntsman and Ranger Veteran… and they still require some effort to not finish the bullets!

  • Slow reload (mainly Blunderbuss, wich has one only shell). Simply too slow. You shoot and kill some enemies… meanwhile you are reloading other enemies are already on your team.

  • Hyperdensity is gone. Fatshark nerfed shotguns’ cleave mainly to prevent that a shotgun could destroy the entire horde during “hyperdensity moment”. But now it’s gone… and this an indirect nerf to shotguns.

  • ----------BAD MONSTER DAMAGE---------- Sorry for the caps lock, but this is the most terrible thing. After all these malus they can only operate in close range… BUT when a packmaster comes, you are fuc.ed anyway. I repeat: after all these malus O_O This is incredibly frustrating and nonsense… I mean, I can’t even say “Don’t worry mates, I can’t help you for far enemies, but close range is my job”. I still need another mate that helps me in close range. While I’m using a shotgun. A weapon meant for the close range. This destroy the already fragile shotguns’ niche.
    p.s this means they are bad vs bosses too

I mean… the problem is that there isn’t nothing to compensate all these problems. What do shotguns do? They are specialized in… berserker type? Mauler? Hordes (only when not too open)? All “things” that can be solved (pretty well) also by other weapons. Sure, shotguns can do it better… but the other weapons haven’t all these devastating and terrible malus.
The problem isn’t shotguns’ power itself… but the huge amount of cons. The game is not worth the candle.

---------------------------------------------------------What would I do?-----------------------------------------------------------------------

I would proceed by small steps.

I would give them a small buff to monster damage and reload speed.
In this way:

  • when used by ranged careers, they could really reign in their niche. The short range. I repeat: a ranged career that can operate only in short range is still a big malus… but at least they could fulfill an interesting niche.
  • when used by melee careers, they could be a panic button to use only when there is a great emergency (the ammo recover would still be pretty bad, they could not be used ofter).

The reload speed is just to make them less clunky… because, seriously, after a shot the years go by (and the enemies reach you :S).

Thanks for reading.


You list all those negatives and then you give only reworks for 2 of them?

They already fulfill the close range niche, boss dps would be nice maybe but don’t rlly think it’s needed as you can do alright boss dps with str pot and ult. You shouldnt really use your ranged weapon as a merc or a fk or an ib to do boss dps.

I know you say ‘proceed in small steps’ but why not just gives us your entire rework, so we can try and critique it or agree with it as a whole, or does increasing boss dps a bit and adding reload speed fix all those negatives for you?

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I think you’re misunderstanding. It’s ok for a weapon to have drawbacks, that’s part of what creates an interesting niche. OP is just suggesting that the balance of strengths and weaknesses is a bit off.

So he’s suggesting a few aspects that could be buffed slightly to address this balance. Focusing on things people are least likely to find objectionable.

Seems real sensible to me.


No i get it, just think shotguns don’t need more reload speed, and giving it a but more monster dps isn’t need aswell, really doesn’t fix shotguns, if you try and make them stronger for the melee careers that will just make them even stronger on ranged careers, there is a reason grudge rv is good dps or why bluntsman still exist and is still 100% viable in high level content, ofcourse mercenary with 40dmg red is still better but still.

Ok yeah I think most people would agree that balancing shotguns for non ranged classes would be too strong with ranged classes.

However; the two suggestions made here - increasing reload speed and monster damage a bit - aren’t really doing that at all though. This wouldn’t make them particularly viable for anyone who isn’t Huntsman or RV, it would just ease some of their bigger drawbacks.

Personally I only think reload speed is an issue on Blunderbuss because of the single shot clip. GR is fine, and RV already has a perfectly respectable reload speed talent. Rather than increasing the reload speed on Blunderbuss, I’d rather a neater huntsman specific tweak that helps handgun too, since it also suffers from reload speed issues (IMO obviously).

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I used to love using the shotties to blast SV out from behind a wall of slave rats, but when their armor damage was removed in 2.0 they lost that role. Now they really can’t do anything that a melee weapon can’t do.

They need something, that’s for sure.


Making the weapon a little stronger (meaning upgrading it to a decent choice for FK, Merc, & IB) would make it too good on Huntsman and RV? Mwah, I still don’t think it’ll be overpowered there with the minimum buffs suggested… And it’s not like Huntsman and RV are currently all too powerful either. And like with many other situations in this game: If making a weapon in itself not suck means it’ll be overpowered on a specific class, I’d rather the class was balanced properly instead, so more options become viable for all classes, instead of not buffing underperformers.

Personally, I think Shotguns need just a little more punch on close (= almost melee range) vs. Monster and Armor and they’d be fine. So you can reliably kill Hookrats and Flamers / Gunners at close range (even on Cata and even on FK, Merc, or IB). Then they’re good. Trading ranged fighting for reliably deleting any special in close range seems a fair tradeoff to me. The reload isn’t the problem, and it’s fair if you can indeed kill stuff in your one shot. And it’s not like it’ll become a Monster killer or good vs. SV and Bestigors when these breakpoints are achieved…

Either that or the ammo on bash needs to return (in a nerfed version - 1 ammo per bash max for example).


I just don’t see it. Most of These “disadvantages” are non-issues to begin with.

For range it doesn’t matter because there are like three enemies in the game which can attack from afar enough that you can’t shotgun them. The rest has to get into your reach anyway. There is no reason why I should be able to kill everything from 20 m distance.

“Bad” armor damage is a necessity. If you make it higher than currently the shotgun will literally one-body-shot close to medium range every single enemy in the game beside CW and Monster. This kind of powercreep can’t be the goal. Same goes for super-armor. And most ranged weapons are rather tame against super-armor unless headshotting.

For ammo I am irritated. You have like 11 or 12 shots? That is more than enough between ammo boxes or drops. But it seems I’m just not the gun-blazing type of player.

Blunderbuss is a really good choice on the mercenary and covers nearly all weaknesses the melee has. I don’t see much reason for change here.

IF you HAVE TO add something to shotguns for no reason though then let it be true to its core design. Close to medium range weapon with stopping power. So if you shoot something with a shotgun it will be stunned or toppled for a second or two. Maybe add a damage modifier for follow up attacks so enemies get 25 % more damage while being stunned by the shotgun. This way they gain a tactical element and ease the follow-up on armored enemies if they didn’t drop by the shot itself anyway. Would also solve the “problem” with the packmaster It would make the weapon even more interesting. Unless you just want a glorious overpowered one-body-shot gun blazing weapon.


Shotty IB here for the past 400ish hours (I literally only play IB 2H hammer IB with grudge because I love it. Don’t judge). I would agree with @Adelion’s suggestion the most, at least from the perspective of the grudgeraker with its 2 shots per reload.

Range - shotguns don’t need more range in my opinion, I can normally 2 shot most specials at the top end of medium range.

Armor Damage - again, not really needed in my opinion as you can still take down a SV with a close range buckshot to the head. You shouldnt be sniping elites with the shotgun, there are plenty of better classes and weapons for that. Super armor should remain unaffected.

Ammo - It was a bit of a change when they fixed the punch for ammo exploit but once I got used to it, I rarely run out of ammo if you have a team that takes into account each other’s ammo counters.

Personal usage - I tend to use the shotgun for close to medium range support for the team, primarily either killing stuff or staggering stuff. A reasonable buff in my eyes would be to increase the staggering power of the shotgun. It’s hit or miss to take down a flame rat in 1 shot, but the damn thing should be noticeably hurt by receiving buckshot to the chest and fall back a bit. I also wouldnt mind lowering the number of pellets to stagger a packmaster as you seem to have to get every single one into the thing to slow it down.

I imagine the playstyle for RV is completely different so I could have just spouted a load of heresy but opinions are like a$$holes…


Shotguns feel pretty bad. Not a fan. And at the moment their power seems all over the place and feels weird to what a shotty should be.

Right now shotguns are good against berserkers. I like that, that’s good. Shotguns are ok during hordes unless you’re RV and Huntsman, in which case the shotgun is fantastic. Also good. Shotguns are weaker against armor without a crit headshot and can’t stagger gunners or flame rats out of attacks. That’s an oof, but I’m also fine with armor having threat, so it’s not unfair. Shotguns are worthless against hookrats at melee range even with a crit headshot. That’s terrible. Hookrats are a high threat special that gets right in your face, literally THE enemy you pull out the guns for during hordes. They absolutely should not be able to survive a close ranged body shot from a blunderbuss with at least one or two power vs skaven traits.

Do I think meathead classes such as Merc, FK, and IB should be able to destroy rat patrols with shotguns on Cata? No. Should RV and Huntsman be able to blam rat patrols on ult? Sure, I don’t see the issue. Should all of them be able to take out a hookrat on bodyshot within hooking range on Cata? Extremely so. That’s where I think the power balance should be. No need to adjust reload speed or ammo capacity if it can do that, imo.

Edit: failed to mention, hookrats count as monster armor. So a fix to monster damage would fix that issue.


I wrote a rework for only two cons because certain malus are nice and legit. I don’t want make shotguns overpower or good vs everything.
With “proceed by small steps” I mean that “those two reworks” are enough to give to shotguns a better spot… and anyway more tests would need before other changes.

Here I don’t agree… Packmasters are really a problem.

Sorry but I don’t agree.

We agree that Globadier, Stormer and Ratgling are a problem… but there is more.

  • Flamerat can damage you out of your range;

  • Packmaster is another big problem… despite it’s a close range enemy;

  • Specials are dangerous always, not only when they attack you. Example: you see a far Flamerat, where it can’t attack you… but there still is the need to kill it as fast as possible. It will reach you. Therefore this still is a shotguns’ lackness;

  • And elites? Other ranged weapons can deal with them… shotguns nope.

But I repeat. I don’t want make shotgun be able to kill everything… as written, only Packmaster at close range.

Indeed I didn’t write to give them more armor damage o_o

Honestly I don’t think it would a reliable and intuitive strategy.

And this is valid for @InFro too… to not repeat the same thing more times u.u :stuck_out_tongue:

Efficient responding, good sir/madam :D.

I agree that the additional damage on staggering doesn’t make a huge amount of sense as we already have additional damage on stagger. Would just over complicate things.

Just let me more consistently stagger specials (like flame rate and rattling) out of their attack animations and i’ll be happy. I don’t care about damaging through armour but if you are hit by buckshot that doesn’t penetrate, that energy transfer is going to knock you on your ass, I presume, having never been shot.


Oh, thank you :heart:

p.s ye, I would like to start with more monster damage.

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I think this is a most relevant point. Adding reliable stagger equals both extra damage through stagger mechanics andreduces threat. Spending a shot to stagger a CW (middle pellet only, as in single target stagger) would be a ni e additional use for the weapons.

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Personally I don’t think they need a big buff, or even any really big changes. Shotguns work very well on their respective ranged careers due to infinite ammo and ranged power buffs. I have used blunderbuss from Legend to C3O with Huntsman and I can say that I was very satisfied with the power and cleave. It’s not as easy to use as Hagstalker or Conflagmancer (lol) due to no CC, but it has better burst killing power, and not everything has to be the same.

The main problem to me is that shotguns are otherwise just kind of bad on the 3 other careers that can use them (Mercenary, FK and IB). You only have 12 bullets which will run out fast if you’re on top of killing specials, not to mention if you ever need to use a couple shots to clear through really dense mauler stacks, and there’s no way for these careers to regain ammo, since neither scrounger nor conservative shooter work well. In fact, there’s not a single trait that works well on shotguns (maybe time to rework traits and properties and add new ones Fatshark?). And on top of all of that, even with 40% power, you’ll struggle to one-shot specials like warpfire throwers at close range at Cataclysm, which is kind of unacceptable considering how precious each shot is.

I would say that giving shotguns 50% more ammo (18 shots for blunderbuss for example) would be a very nice boon. It would give you a lot more ammo to kill specials and hordes with, without instantly running out of ammo. It would also allow you to use more shots to use in bad situations without instantly running out of ammo (what’s the point of shotguns if you’re only ever going to use them to kill specials, right?) and it would give you more time to get to ammo pickups. Give shotguns a 10% or 20% armour damage boost, so you can more reliably one-shot specials at close range (you would still need extra power so I think it’s fair, and I don’t think it’ll reach any good breakpoints to start massacring sturmvermin) and a slight boost to monster damage. The extra ammo will do nothing for Huntsman or RV (they already have infinite ammo) so it won’t make them more powerful. All of these proposed changes will only help non-ranged careers use shotguns. 18 shots is also not enough to start gaining 2 ammo back from scrounger (although it will be enough for grudgeraker, but regardless, crit chance on IB is low and scrounger will still be very unreliable). This will make shotguns a weapon where you can’t just regain ammo from traits, and instead have a decently big ammo pool which you can use to get a boost in fights in exchange for ammo and rely on ammo pickups, which is more unique, balanced and even makes RV a bit more useful too. Only thing missing is a solid trait to use, but that’s on Fatshark to introduce and rework traits I think.


Shotguns problem is low ammo pool and a lack of reliable traits

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Seems to me too as the most reasonable solution as suggested by @InFro InFro and me before. Just give the Shotgun more stopping power or stagger so that it has a tactical niche, not only against single targets but also multiple targets, although the stagger should depend on the amount of hitting pellets per target. The increased damage is a consequence.

I am against an increase in DPS either by increased reload speed or worse increased damage. I am also against more ammunition just so we can spam them mindlessy into hordes. But being able to stop three or four CW/SV overheads, to topple a packmaster that he falls on his back (without being killed directly), to stun a warpfire thrower so you can get into melee range easier (although that is already possible), those things would be interesting.

I’m really not into shotguns having a stagger niche. That just sounds lame.

Why would anyone take a gun that somehow has enough power to knock down a chaos warrior, but can’t kill elites, when they could take anything else and kill things? Repeater handgun, drakeguns, crossbows, handguns, literally all of those can kill elites and specials better than shotguns and drakegun can actually CC…


Blunderbuss is a wave/horde clearing weapon. I think it is by design that wave/horde clearing weapons are not good on melee classes. The whole point is to melee on melee careers. In 1.6, every IB build, RV build, and Kruber build was just another build for shotguns. Bash and shoot. Bash and shoot. It was extremely strong, but it also made 5 careers all feel the same. Bluntsman and GrudgeRV are both still top tier damage careers. Shotguns are not good on melee classes because you’re supposed to use your ranged weapon for killing specials and use your melee weapon to deal w/ waves and ambients.

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I totally agree… we have to remember that Vermintide is classified as fps, not gdr. There are roles, no doubts, but everyone has to aim to inflict damage. The idea seems pretty clunky… I mean, should I shoot toward a CW and hope that someone kills it? Moreover shotguns have few ammo, a bad armor penetration… they would hit one only CW, at most two, and they would end the ammo quickly.

I don’t know if you quoted me or another user, but I agree with you. I’m happy that “ammo on bash” is gone… and I agree that only Huntsman and RV should be able use shotguns frequently.

But their role can’t be only “hordes clearing”. Why should I use a squishy and risky ranged career only to kill hordes? I could use WHC, Zealot, Merc, etc etc… they are safer, tougher, they help more your mates, they have good ranged abilities and they kill hordes as well.

For these two reasons I don’t want (as written) more ammo or nothing that would make them too strong with IB, FK and Merc… but more monster damage is precious to define their niche… because, I repeat, if I use a close range-only weapon and when a packmaster comes I can’t deal with it… this seems pretty frustrating.

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