The biggest problem with V2 is actually

…there are too many enemies.

Yes, really. Allow me to make my case.

Performance and AI and hyperdensity issues aside, there’s a core design issue here that needs addressed: Is V2 about horde chopping, or about skillfully engaging with foes? Because you can’t really have both.

Horde chopping requires fast, high damage, high cleave (or aoe) weapons and a defense mechanism that works against multiple foes who may all be in different stages of their attack animation and multiple positions. It favors constant repetition of the most effective actions available to your character. It works well with a frantic combat pace where you act and react based on muscle memory and reflex. Control is irrelevant because enemies that are staggered or otherwise controlled are replaced by active, dangerous foes in a fraction of a second; only killing them matters. Weapons that can’t kill many things very quickly struggle to defeat the horde in a timely and satisfying matter, and the game becomes a tedious slog. Each player is constantly engaged at all times because of the sheer number of foes, and there is little or no opportunity for teamwork or you’ll get surrounded. Examples: left click spam, ranged meta, dodge spam.

Skillfully engaging with fewer but difficult foes requires precise timing and doing the right move at the right time. It favors weapons with a variety of attacks (to allow choice for situation), control of opponents, and powerful short term defenses. It works well with a slower combat pace that allows you to plan every move. Weapons need to have potent strength and weakness tradeoff between their moves, so there is a reason to use certain combos for certain situations. Enemies take noticeable time to kill, and there are fewer of them, allowing space and time for the team to interact with each other. Weapons that are too strong in every situation trivialize the encounter. Examples: Stagger system, weapon combos, block, non-spam dodge.

It’s really hard to balance the game for both of these things at once, and the result is those few builds and weapon combos that can do it all become the de-facto picks. If the game is tuned for skillful fights, hordes become unmanageable. If the game is tuned for hordes, skillful fights become trivialized. Having a mechanic that punishes teamwork (constant hordes) and also having one that encourages teamwork (stagger) is just weird.

1.6 was a dedicated horde chopper, and a very good one. 2.0/WoM is balanced for skillful combat, but left the hordes in place, resulting in tedium. I believe that by reducing the size of hordes, FS will gain a lot of freedom to balance the game as they see fit without running into issues of generating tedium. It would also clean up a lot of performance problems. Imagine hordes as scattered clusters of 6-8 rats instead of an endless wave, each cluster could function very much like an elite enemy and the same balance principles would apply, making the gameplay as a whole flow better. You’d have time to take on each cluster before the next one hits, meaning control and teamwork are effective.

So FS, I say you have a choice to make. Where’s the focus going to be? Are you willing to do what’s needed and focus on a single core design principle? Either one is good with me, just stop trying to mix them. They are not miscible with each other.

tl;dr - If the game is balanced for hordes, it makes elites easy. If it’s balanced for elites, hordes are a PITA. Pick one design, don’t mix.


I think part of the problem, for both the root cause and the argument as presented, is that there is a balancing act meant to be carried out in Vermintide 2. The idea of having many types of enemies that pose many types of threats is that there must be many tools to solve many problems.

Similar to Starcraft (Air, Ground, Armored, Light, Biological, Psionic), there are many scenarios that are best-fit to certain tools and we have weapons designed to counter them. Hence the Brace of Pistols versus the X-Bow on WHC versus the Blight-Stormer, a slow, long-range assailant, and also a Gutter-Runner, the fast, melee-range assailant?

Should we not be concerned that by chopping down the styles of expected gameplay that we will just settle into another rut of “What’s best?”

Won’t this happen anyways? That’s the way of the meta-gamer. Why not take the best build when it’s available?

I do agree with you: weapons need to have strengths and trade-offs in order to be a reasonable, balanced weapons, but I don’t think that means we must remove options altogether to keep the game fun.

I admit that I might be the only person with this opinion, but I think hordes stand beautifully now (I preferred initial 2.0 when my fights were a gruelling slog to the finish line, Dark Souls FTW) and I really like where WoM has left things. Not to say you are wrong, simply to say that I think we have differing opinions on the matter :slight_smile:


I get what you’re saying OP, but I don’t feel that the current game systems work that badly for hordes in general; I feel like we side-graded, and the downsides are the attendant problems with that and with . . . well, FS releases, AKA balance got wrecked and it’s buggy. Beastmen are also an outlier that are affected by multiple factors; they are undoubtedly overtuned, but they’re also bugged, and we also haven’t been playing against them for years.

It’s fair to want a good duelling game - and it’d be cool if we got some scenarios where we fought fewer but more skillful enemies, but the game was sold on the idea of cleaving hordes, so I’d like it to remain that way.

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That’s apparently the idea, but it never, ever works. When you are facing many things, the generalist is king.

True, but there’s a difference between people’s play habits and when min/maxing is required by the game mechanics.

Yeah it’s not that bad. The issue is that it’s all been pretty pointless. They did this huge overhaul to encourage teamplay and change up the difficulty - and all that’s changed is the meta builds are different. You still need a do-everything weapon, you still need a do-everything build, and you still have to carry yourself and basically ignore your team, except to remember not to run too far or pick them off the ground occassionally. When every square meter of space of filled with rat, there’s no opportunity for team play because the only thing you can possibly do is kill rat - or they will kill you. The surrounding and suffocating nature of hordes prevents any other type of gameplay.

If that’s what they want, FINE. It’s what 1.6 was an it was awesome. No problems. If it’s not what they want (WOM) they need to tone hordes back and focus on the dueling. Either option is fine with me, but it’s frustrating to have the game interfering with itself. For dueling to work, weapons and builds must have strengths and weaknesses, and for massive hordes to work you must be able to do everything yourself. They are designs with opposing requirements. One of them has to be chosen as dominant or the game will continue to be a mess.

None of this is a problem in a pre-made of course but QP is what the vast majority of people do, so the game has to be balanced with that in mind.


I kinda agree; the 2.0 changes seem mostly pointless; I feel like the biggest fundamental change to the game is the obfuscation of game information while playing. In 1.6 it was a daunting but doable task to know how much damage a weapon did in most situations, to know precisely how many hits to wear to kill an enemy. You said “x is better than y because it kills a Chaos Warrior in 5 hits instead of 6” (over-simplified as an example).

Now you can just say “this kills faster than this”, but quantifying that is much harder outside of unrealistically ideal situations, so the game is now more observation-based. You attack that Chaos Warrior until it dies, not because you know you need to land just one more hit to kill it. That one crit doesn’t just change the calculations from that bonus damage, but it caused him to get a stagger level and now your next hit also deals more . . .

I exaggerate slightly, but only slightly. At times in games I’m still just totally confused as to why I killed an enemy as fast as I did, and why sometimes they seem to hang on. I suppose it creates a bit more of a feeling of it being a real world; irl, not everything dies after a very specific number of whacks with a sword lol.

Personally, I prefer the old feel VT had - it reminded me a lot of Doom or Quake, where you knew “this Cacodaemon will die in three shotgun blasts, this pinky in two”, and you learn naturally to plan around that sort of thing. But that’s not so common in newer games, outside of niche throwback titles like Ion Fury.

I feel like this change in feel might have been intended, but even if not, it’s the functional take-away. Specific meta weapons will likely shift with nerfs and buffs, but this detail will remain the same and only get marginally better with experience or when things occur in a vacuum (like, you get to just stand there and wail on a target without it moving).

You’re right, though, that the game doesn’t encourage teamwork as directly as some might want. It’s not an MMO where you have Tank-Healer-DPS, thankfully. The skill aspect of it is powerful and must be there for it to be Vermintide; that will mean that generalist weapons will be a thing, but really it still just means that weapons need to be able to do all things to some extent, and then you the player are free to pick which cons you are okay with, and which pros you want the most. I feel like skill should always be able to triumph in the game, even if that skill cap can be obscenely high. It’s also a big reason that bugs are so much worse in this game than most. Imagine if Dark Souls was littered with bugs that could rob you of a win against a boss you’d died 40 times against prior, just as you were about to land the killing blow. It would wreck the feel of that game, and it has a similar (though slightly less dramatic) effect on Vermintide.

Perfect balance will never occur, and that’s fine, IMO. We can’t have it be like in pre-BBP when Trolls could regen faster than some weapons could kill, creating unwinnable situations regardless of skill.

Teamwork in Vermintide is totally a thing, though, and not just helping with disablers; kiting a boss while your team kills a horde is team work. Specializing into anti-armor or special sniping or horde clear are roles, and certainly classes do much better at some than others. I can’t imagine running old Onslaught without a Slayer with 2H Hammer for horde control, but he would also require specific back-up. There’s also lots of team synergies that exist just by being, which is another form of team play.

In QP these are harder to come by, of course, and you can get really bizarre comps, but that also encourages experimentation; you might find that some bizarre comp did pretty well, if only you adjusted x-portion.


EDIT: Sorry for the wall of text

This is only the case as you’ve laid them out: assuming your evidence is absolute fact and not opinion, I agree 100%. If that were how things worked, there’s no denying it.

But I use horde-cleaving weapons against armored enemies all the time. I wanted a horde-cleaver so I took one into the mission and then I found a patrol and killed them with it. The weapon has strengths and weaknesses… works just fine for me. I do the same with Crowbill for hordes; all weapons can do everything, they just don’t do certain things as well.

For massive hordes, we throw our shielded allies into the fray to hold off the enemy because that’s part of what teamwork is. It’s not just slaying the rats, it’s slaying the correct rats. The ones that will flank your elf; the ones that are behind your dwarf, the ones that are globe-ing your wizard, the ones that have pinned your soldier. There is teamplay to be had, you just seem to believe that you are alone because everyone else is useless.

Or you could not because there’re other capable players, too. I see them whenever I play :slight_smile:

Lastly: I think having more than 1 way to play made the SC2 PvP scene remain. Stalkers can hit ground and air, but a pro will tech towards whatever is needed to counter his enemy. No one just builds Marines/Medivacs, there’s always Tanks/Marauders/Vikings in there, too. To say it never works would be naive; absolutes are rare in reality and this certainly isn’t one of them.

What I love about most coops is that they’re a team-game, but in order to have a “play your way” theme you can’t also have super-strictly assigned roles that are required. Much like your example, MMOs encourage teamwork by requirement and Vermintide actively gives you the ability to win any battle with any weapon using skill alone. Certain weapons make you more viable, but all of them can function to some extent (just as you said).

Though our opinions on “feel” might be different, @BizarreSalp, I think you’ve got an excellent view of the game’s functionality and I really appreciate the post. Keep ‘em comin’!


My point’s not getting accross properly I think I’ll try to rephrase it, otherwise just forget this mess.

Hordes are extremely restrictive - this is unavoidable simply because of their nature. They swarm and surround and leave you no choice but to deal with them now, as your highest priority action. Any other choice results in death. That means control, debuffing (stagger), teamwork are not valid choices when you’ll die in the next .25 seconds if you don’t put yourself first.

Those weapons and tactics that work in that restrictive enviornment, work even better in a less restrictive environment, such as dueling with elites, making elites trivial once you’ve adapted to the challenge of managing the horde at all times.

It’s the restriction/freedom that’s the continuum, not the difficulty or the balance. Something designed to be effective when restricted will always have even greater effectiveness when that restriction is then removed.

Thus, hordes restrict the game design. If you balance for hordes (the restrictive environment) you make the other encounters trivial. If you balance for the other encounters, you make the hordes oppressive (see: WOM).

A pre-made group can work around that by having designated horde clearers, but QP players don’t have that choice. We either choose the highly effective generalist builds, or we don’t complete runs.

Rephrasing it like that, I suddenly realize that letting people change their career/build/weapon when they join an active map would fix 90% of this problem and major balance changes aren’t needed.


I agree with you here on a lot of points; the idea of a horde is that is is extremely restrictive and dangerous: you must be a talented combatant or the Vermintide will wash over you. That’s how skaven fight!

Solo enemies, of any type, are an easy foe because you can surround them and smash them to pieces; the same goes for us when a horde arrives. A lovely turning if tables, yes?

I think I’m still a bit confused of why you absolutely must have an anti-horde weapon. As an avid wielder of the Crowbill on Sienna and the Sword and Board on Kruber, I’ve never felt like I’m at some kind if disadvantage when a horde arrives. Instead, I adjust to know when to strike and fall back to use my weapon to its greatest effectiveness, boosted by the presence of allied shield-wielders.


Good points OP, i subscribe to pretty much everything you wrote here.

There’s a popular explanation why they did stagger-damage system : 1) to increase difficulty w/o just inflating hp numbers; 2) to increase teamwork. Its highy debatable whether or not the system achieves these goals, or worth the downsides (much less predictabilty of damage output&breakpoints), as mentioned, when you’re swarmed or forced to constantly repositon you dont have the time to utilize stagger for damage, so imo effectively the enemies result in infalted hp numbers anyway, contrary to pt 1.

And there was another explanation/insight from a dev (late into the beta), something like this:

What it does, is makes easy fights even faster to win. So when you win the fight, you win it faster.

Its not an exact quote, but accurate. And this explanation makes sense about what this system actually brings to the game.

So low pressure fights (ambient), you win easy already before the 2.0. After 2.0 you win these fights even faster, but difficulty spikes are harder. Thats my conclusion and i’d personally prefer a more equalised difficulty across the run. Because i simply like ambient fights with fewer enemies, yes they’re not very difficult, but they’re fun with variety and style, you can employ cool moves, instead of just repetition of the same, one most effective thing in a high pressure fight (just like you said, fast attacks that can kill fast with a degree of control&cleave).


I totally agree, I had written this in a my previous thread.

Was dodge dance boring? I don’t know, maybe, but at least it worked against hyperdensity. Now we can’t anymore spam dodges… thing that could seem good. But how can we dodge attacks that we can’t see? And this is just an example.

Fatshark must do a choice.


I don’t agree with this with the exception of beastmen, they fill slots incredibly quick in comparison to the other factions. But I don’t feel safer during a horde than with a high stagger weapon (kruber spear, 2h hammer, 2h sword.) Sure some of them take a while to kill groups but it’s affordable when enemies respect the slots.

I would argue temp hp and infinite ammo are just as troubling, although they are symptoms of the problem you’ve listed.

I’d just like to say I agree with you, and have agreed with you even before you made this post. I’ve made a topic about it before, but reducing enemy counts puts less reliance on horde-specific weapons vs elite-specific weapons, amongst other advantages like reducing reliance on temp hp, which leads into attrition being a lose state again, which puts less emphasis on throwing everything onto the player all at once, etc, etc. I’ve always liked the idea of elites being rarer but more interesting battles. I like to bring up that poor Chaos Warrior who gets dunked by himself on Against the Grain after all the guaranteed healing. I have to wonder how much more interesting it’d be to fight him if chaos warriors weren’t just really fat stormvermin that only become threatening when there are six of them on top of you.

Reducing horde counts and the crazy special spawn allows you to reduce the extremes that a weapon’s qualities can go to and it becomes more about preference. I imagine balancing weapons around their moveset rather than what they specialize in would be a bit easier in the long run. It allows you to reduce the reliance on infinite ammo mechanics in some fashion. Visual clarity is improved, performance is improved. There are so many advantages to taking the game in this direction that it’s killing me knowing it’s never going to happen.

While i’m dreaming, i’d also like for them to reduce the number of careers(and talents per row for said career) down to two so we can get some character identity back, atop just avoiding similar classes stepping on each other’s toes.


The teamwork focus game sounds a lot like VT1. This game was horde focused since the alpha/beta. It won’t really change. You can pray for VT3 to go back to its roots. But it is unlikely. They have had a lot of financial succes with VT2 (mostly due to Youtube and Twitch promoting the sh*t out of games these days #FREEMARKETING). This gives game developers a false sense that the direction they chose was better than the previous one. If only VT2 and VT1’s fighting philosophies were reversed. We’d have the best, skillbased, intimate game right now.

Remember when banter was more common and fun? Now it’s just ULT yelling and endless hordes and “specials”. Going horde focus has many, many more downsides than you highlight in your post.


Whenever V3 shows its mug, it is difficult not to suspect it doubling down on “dominate your competition.”

The problem is that if if you control them instead of killing them, they start piling up, resulting in hyperdensity and making the horde even more restrictive.

If you are controlling and killing at the same time, well thats not actually a thing, because there’s no control needed once it’s dead, so this is functionally the same as just focusing on killing them.

If you go straight to killing, you skip a step and also prevent the horde density from increasing over the fight. It is the optimal strategy.


There are only so many ways to introduce “difficulty” and establish mechanics that one can learn and master (way more complicated than most people imagine it is).

Density is easily conquered by either having the right tool for the job or by people sticking together. This is good for two reasons - it gives weapons specializations (if everything is too versatile, building your character becomes painfully boring) and it rewards teamwork (kind of a thing in a coop game). I can see why a lot of people are frustrated by enemy numbers and whatnot but once you see a proper team clear a map you realize just how trivial everything becomes when people REALLY know what they’re doing, even without any overly busted builds.

The problem with density is that it, inevitably, has a cap - whether it’s the AI breaking at some point for multitude of reasons or simply the host’s PC catching fire.

Density is both an insurmountable obstacle for inexperienced players and a thing that just becomes kinda a boring annoyance for a decent group at some point.

The only other way to really make things noticeably more difficult would be severely nerfing our THP sustain but we already know exactly how this community would react to that, don’t we. Taking hits isn’t nearly as punishing as it should be in my opinion and while you could achieve a pretty good HP sustain in VT1 I still remember feeling way more vulnerable in general and it made VT1 Cata way more exciting for me. Taking a hit in VT2 is fine, because all you have to do is be a bit more careful now and whack the horde couple times or kill an elite or two and you have all that HP back.

If you got rid of the density, you’d have to compensate with super f**king scary enemies that would be able to oneshot you or rely heavily on perfect timing… but then there is peer-to-peer shitting in that soup.


There are weapons that excel in hyperdensity and can keep things controlled perfectly well while dealing damage. Incorporate teamwork into this co-op game (ironic) and you’re doing a great service to your team.

Biggest Problem ? Lack of internal testing and overall quality of the game.

2.0.11 introduced some previous bugs AGAIN … so the hit registration bug for projectlies , swings and pushes is back and i just can not stand it anymore.

As a player , i bought the product to enjoy my free time. The quality of this game is so incredible inconsistent that i cant even say: hey lets wait 1 month after a patch so the mayor stuff is probably fixed by then. No … its just always broken and thats the biggest problem of V2


Absolutely. I swear it must be the programming for VT2 where whomever is doing it makes zero use of comments to specify what the coding is actually pertaining to.

Just played a game on Horn of Magnus where our Slayer had an entire Skaven Patrol spawn in front of him. I didn’t hear anything so was ambushed by a bunch of stormvermin and our run ended soon after that.

Ninja patrols are still a thing after all this time.

If the basics of this type of game do not work then to me it’s a broken game. Spawns and Audio Cues need to be 100%.

edit: Again got killed by a silent Wargor party spawn while dealing with a Minotaur.

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I see a lot of people talking about “silent patrols” and other types of missing audio cues, but this literally never happens to me. I think people just aren’t hearing them when they happen.

Personally, I do agree with the OP for the most part, but I find special spam to be a big contributor. If it were just you and the horde, it is entirely possible to fight it with any weapon (some are better than others of course). But when you get two gutter runners and a globadier and a chaos spawn all ontop of the horde, things are a little different. With that much going on at once timing and precision go out the window, replaced by plain reflexes. I remember someone on this forum once said something along the lines of “in VT1 the specials were there to distract you from the hordes, and in VT2 the horde is there to distract you from the specials”.

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