The next BBB - List of Balance Concerns: Shade, Gk, Bw, Ranged Classes and More - Feedback and Suggestions

The last BBB in summer was said to be the first half of class and weapon rebalance.
So, for the next BBB I would like to give some feedback and put forth some suggestions primarily dealing with Shade, Grail Knight, Battle Wizard and ranged classes in general. Some various, smaller ideas are also at the bottom of the list.

I will try to outline the reasoning behind my suggestions in the hopes of highlighting current issues regarding balance without bloating the post with too much text.
Due to the number of topics addressed here, the details of each invidividual topic might be limited in scope.

Ultimately, this post is more of a summary of several balance concerns.
It is intended to prevent balance from focusing too much on one issue while forgetting the rest, thus leading to an overall balance that is still skewed due to one aspect having been balanced, but the others not so much.


  • Cloak of Mist + Vanish:
    This combo enables a low cooldown invisibility ult, thus giving very high survivability via escape tools, extremely high burst damage versus all targets due to 100% crits, especially non CW elites due to instakills, all while keeping Shade nearly permanently invisible.
    Yes, there is a chance client netcode issues or enemies clipping into each other will prevent the chaining of invis and then the Shade is in a really bad spot but the net result for this is the aforementioned overpowered combo. One ult and Shade can delete ~10 elites while at 0 risk due to invis.
    The cooldown being ~20 to 15 secs.

=> In order to keep the theme and idea of this combo alive (because it is thematically fitting and “fun”) the following changes can be implemented:

  • Cloak of Mist: Reducing the cooldown reduction from +45% cdr to +30% (or +25% etc.) cdr.

Reason: The current iteration enables too much invis abuse while giving too much damage for how low the cooldown is. Less cooldown reduction seems adequate.

  • Vanish: Adding a 1 second internal cooldown during which Vanish cannot be triggered again.

This gives players a choice if they want perma invis or more dps. Since you either need to wait for the 1 sec internal cooldown before attacking again or you can choose to attack all the time but lose the perma invis.

The Shade level 20 talent row in general:

The lvl 20 talent row is rather bland in my opinion. Nobody takes the increased backstab dmg. Bloodfletcher is useless on xbow and swift bow, longbow does not really need it not does it benefit much from bloodfletcher, only hagbane works but still ends up feeling utterly inferior to Vanish.

=> The goal is to make the entire talent row more interesting and competitive:

  • Ereth Khial’s Herald / Backstab damage talent:
    Increasing the backstab damage from 75% to 100%.
    Increasing the backstab angle from 90° (I think it is 90°? Never measured it) to 120°.

Reason: Turn this talent into the backstab damage talent it is supposed to be, while also giving it more QoL with the wider angle.

  • Bloodfletcher: Reducing the internal cooldown from 2 secs to 1 sec.
    Changing the ammo regained from “1” to “5% of max ammo.” Reason: Streamline it with the cooldown for Vanish.

The current 2 secs cooldown is slightly too punishing to make bloodfletcher worth it as you will be stripped for ammo regardless. Yet, a 1 sec cooldown is still enough to prevent ranged spam on a melee class. Additionally, this makes it more useful for repeater xbow and swift bow.

The intention for this talent row is to have a direct damage talent, a utility/safety talent and a utility/ranged talent and to make them all more or less equally appealing.




Grail Knight:

  • Overall, Gk is incredibly high damage for relatively little effort due to his loaded talents and passives.
    The main culprits are the minor passive giving him +25% damage on the first target hit, the talent that gives 3 stacks of 10% power each for 1 enemy killed, the potion boon and the low cooldown of his ult.
    Put together, he deals an excessive amount of damage (+55% extra damage) while also giving his team an massive surplus of strength potions, and to top it all off he has a delete button every 40 secs that also staggers bosses.
    A major part are also the meta weapons but if it was not these 2 weapons, it would be some other pair.
    (The meta are mace&sword and executioner sword. Exe heavies with their crit chance and high damage and mace&sword with great horde clear and still very high elite damage. Both weapons might be overtuned but are not really op, especially since exe is only so strong on Gk due to his 2nd melee slot).

===> Edit: Due to buffs to Mace&Sword’s heavy attacks that greatly increased cleave, its performance is overtuned - at least in that department. These buffs were not part of the original mod by the community authors Incan, Pershing & Sleezy and overbuffed the weapon. See Incan’s comments on it below. A reduction in cleave for the heavy attacks seems in order and would help balance Gk more. <=== End of edit.

=> Grail Knight naturally needs to be a melee specialists and should have damage boosts. However, the current amount of extra melee damage is somewhat too high.
Goal: A compromise that makes Gk less frontloaded into damage but instead offers more variety in weapon and talent picks, with more defensive stats as well. (e.g. damage reduction).

The meta loadout (Exe, Mace&Sword, talents 2,1,2,3,3,1) is overperforming but every other loadout is either fine or even underperforming. Bringing them all more in line would be ideal.


- Knight’s Challenge / Passive extra dmg on first target: Reducing the damage from +25% to +15%.

25% is too much, it is higher than Whc tag, almost as high as the full passive of Slayer and Zealot (they add more damage to more targets and affect power too but they are the MAIN passive of said classes, Gk’s is just a minor passive). Extra damage should be earned via gameplay and not be given straight away for free, at least not that such a high amount of extra damage.


- Virtue of the Ideal / Power stacks talent: Changing the requirements for the stacks.
Now requires an elite kill to trigger. Increasing the duration of the stacks from 10 secs to 15 secs.

This is the go-to talent as it is incredibly easy to trigger and keep up.
It is essentially+30% power “for free” because the condition to trigger it are so easy to achieve.
Furthermore, it gives power rather than damage (the heavy attack talent on the same row only gives damage afaik).
It is straight-up better than the other 2 talents of the same row. Therefore, higher reward should require more effort to get, hence the elite kills - as that fits with Gk’s identity as elite killer.


- Virtue of the Penitent / Str. Potion boon: Increasing the kill requirements by 50%, e.g. on cata it is 200 kills, now it should be 300 kills.

Compared to the other options, a high amount of str pots has more value and scales vastly better (you get more pots the more you kill, whereas the other boons do not scale at all with kills or any other action).


- Ult cooldown: Increasing the cooldown of Gk’s ult from 40 secs to 60 secs.

It deals high damage and is in many ways comparable to Shade’s ult, only with boss stagger instead of invis. Consequently, given its potent damage output, it deserves a slightly higher cooldown similar to Shade’s ult.


- Thirst for Glory passive: Changing the effect from +10% movespeed to +10% damage reduction.

It feels very unfitting for the heavily armed and armored Knight to be zooming around the battlefield while having no damage reduction despite his heavy armor.
Moreover, 10% dr would allow a 150 hp Gk to survive overheads on cata and therefore allow for more build variety (instead of defaulting to +20% hp and +30% block cost reduction on necklace).


- Virtue of Stoicism: Changed the effect from “giving 50% of the damage taken back as tmp hp after 5 seconds” to “giving +50% (or +30%) healing received for 2 seconds after having taken damage” (from enemies – friendly fire should be excluded from triggering this effect).

Reason: More straightforward and easy to understand and use. Places more emphasis on player agency and action. Makes it more competitive with Virtue of the Joust.




Battle Wizard:

  • Bw has 30% damage reduction, insane tmp hp generation, high mobility and survivability, high stagger, high melee damage and the highest ranged damage of all Sienna classes.
    The entire class is stacked and not only overshadows the other 2 Sienna classes but also has a reasonable claim to be the strongest class in the entire game since 2.0.
    The main points of balance concern are Famished Flames, Volcanic Force and Double ult/Burnout. The damage output of this class is too high given Bw’s other utility options.

=> Bw’s identity is all over the place and clashes with Pyro’s.
The original idea was to have Bw as the cc/anti horde ranged class that also works as a general utility class while Pyro is the more single target oriented dps class:
“As a Pyromancer, Sienna is a ferocious single-target annihilator, specialising in incinerating the hardiest of enemies at a brisk pace, one at the time.” -
“As a Battle Wizard, Sienna unleashes spectacular area of effect spells, immolating large numbers of enemies and turning onrushing hordes into smouldering piles of ash.”

In order to make these 2 classes more distinct, changing some damage related talents on Bw so Bw is no longer THE premiere ranged Sienna should make both classes more balanced and interesting:

-Famished Flames - Part 1: Changing it so the higher burn damage no longer applies to melee and ults.

A ranged class should not also be able to deal such a high amount of melee damage, especially since firesword is already a strong melee weapon that offers high tmp hp generation, high safety, high stagger and decent damage. It does not need even more damage going for it.


-Famished Flames - Part 2: Reducing the extra burn damage from +150% to +100%.
Increasing the heat generated to match the increased damage: Famished Flames deals +100% burn damage but also increase heat costs for each attack by 100% (or 50%/75%/150%/etc.).

Higher power at the cost of higher resources, especially since Famished Flames requires no sacrifice otherwise and is permanently active, it has no trigger or similar.


- Volcanic Force: Changing the +50% damage for fully charged ranged attacks to +50% (or +25%?) aoe range/cleave for fully charged ranged attacks.

This talent makes bolt staff ridiculously unbalanced while also turning Bw into Pyro’s single target identity, but simply “better.”
Bolt staff does not need even more single target dmg, with Volcanic Force it 1shots bodyshots all non-boss enemies except superarmor on cata - and CWs only take 2 headshots too.
Aoe, stagger and anti horde as the core concepts of Bw are more fitting than more single target damage.


- Double ult/Burnout: Removing the damage from the ult. Now only staggers and teleports the Bw.

Burnout already has 2 instances of stagger AND 2 instances of teleporting/survivability, it should not deal damage as well. This would make Kaboom the damage focused one, and the cooldown one the generalist talent. Burnout should focus on 2 out of the 3 aspects (stagger, movement, damage) and do these 2 twice as well but not also do the 3rd one.




Ranged classes:

First, some general statements about ranged vs. melee.
Ranged weapons are stronger in power (no melee weapon can delete hordes like a shotgun, no melee weapon deals as much single target damage as ranged weapons can or at least not as fast and not with such a range etc.).
Ranged weapons also allow the player to stay safe and away from melee, dealing dmg to enemies with impunity.
Consequently, this means that ranged weapons can add a staggering amount of safety to a team when threats are killed from range before they can overwhelm the team. This requires little effort since pointing a shotgun at a horde is less demanding than actually fighting it in melee.

As a result, it is to assume that, overall, ranged weapons are more powerful in several ways compared to melee weapons.

Which is good!

The balancing factor for ranged weapons is the fact that they require ammo - and are thus limited in their use.

However, this only applies to melee classes; ranged classes simply ignore the ammo restriction by virtue of having access to unlimited ammo.
Ultimately, this leads to a ranged power creep since the ability to ability to safely delete enemies with the more powerful ranged weapons that no longer have to worry about ammo limitations.

=> Ranged classes should have more ammo than melee classes and they should be able to rely on ranged weapons more.
Still, the current amount of ammo sustain on all ranged classes is rather too high and enables an unhealthy ranged spam.
Being able to go 95% ranged kills and 5% melee kills and still be the top damage dealer in a self-proclaimed “melee focused game” is bad and should not exist in the way it currently does.

Reductions in (not complete removal of) ammo sustain are as follows:

  • Ranger veteran: Reducing Grungni’s Cunning ammo drops from 30% of max ammo to 20% (or 15%) of max ammo.

  • Waystalker: Removing the ability of Kurnous’ Reward to trigger multiple times with one ult volley. Should only trigger once per ult.

  • Huntsman: Reducing the amount of ammo gained from Shot Crafter from 10% to 5% per special kill. Removing the no ammo consumption during ult.

Reason: Huntsman has 3 other ways of getting ammo (Passive “Waste Not, Want Not” / Putting Scrounger or Conservative Shooter on the weapon / the talent Keep It Coming). Leaving the skill based passive and the one tied to Keep it coming untouched is justified.

  • Bounty Hunter: Reducing Bh’s extra ammo from +50% total ammo to +40% total ammo. Due to Bh’s dependency on Scrounger for ammo sustain outside of his Dual Action talent the only way to change his ammo sustain without changing Scrounger is to reduce the total ammo he gets

Reason: Slightly reduces the ammo generation on Bh (since Scrounger is based on 5% of total ammo) without messing with Scrounger for other classes.

  • Sienna: Increasing the hp cost of venting slightly.

Reason: The current hp cost of venting is largely irrelevant due to the high tmp hp generation available to all 3 Sienna classes.

===> Edit: After some feedback from other people in this thread, the drastic reductions across the board could be switched for some other changes.
These could be along the lines of the suggestion of James and others in this thread that proposed keeping ammo sustain largely the same BUT tying it to melee (similar to VT1 scavenger on melee weapon).

This would alleviate the same issue of ranged classes being able to sit back the entire match by adding “melee phases” for these ranged classes during which they need to spend time/do actions in melee to get ammo (as opposed to relying on the ranged weapon and talents for ranged ammo sustain).
Tl;dr: Instead of “use ranged, get more ammo with ranged, use even more ranged” => “Use ranged, use melee, get ammo, then use ranged again.” <=== End of edit.



Conservative Shooter changes:

Reducing the ammo sustain on ranged classes comes with its own problems:
The difference between a melee class with a sniper weapon with Conservative Shooter and a dedicated ranged class will then be smaller, possibly tipping the scales in favor of the melee class with Conservative Shooter.

Some ranged weapons on melee classes also can come close to unlimited ammo by having access to the trait Conservative Shooter.
With good aim, a longbow, crossbow or handgun will not have similar amounts of ammo sustain as a proper ranged class, but they enable a melee class to shoot significantly more often.
Picking off ambient elites, killing specials etc. requires headshots but hardly uses up a ammo – at least not as much as it should.

=> Conservative Shooter is skill based and should therefore not be reduced too much:

  • Conservative Shooter: Changing it so that it only triggers the ammo return on every 2nd headshot.
    Also should only trigger once per ranged attack (it is possible to get more than 1 arrow back when shooting into a horde and hitting more than 1 headshot).
    This places more emphasis on a proper ranged class to do ranged combat as opposed to a Whc with a crossbow, a Handmaiden with longbow or a Merc with handgun etc.
    These options still exist but their effectiveness compared to a ranged class will be reduced.





Witch Hunter Captain:

  • Changing Fervency so that it no longer has the aoe stun / reducing the aoe stun strength to the level of normal Slayer jump (No Crunch talent).

Reason: Same as with Cloak of Mist, this talent has great damage potential due to 100% crits and instantkills. Reducing the aoe stun will make the other options more competitive and distinct.

-Flense: Changing Flense so that it only has 2 stacks per target instead of 3.

Reason: Flense is extra damage for free (the requirement is to hit the enemy, nothing more) and should thus not be as strong as it currently is.


  • Smite talent (not “Smiter,” but the lvl 10 talent that gives a guaranteed crit every 5 hits): Removing the interaction with ranged weapons. Reason: It is possible to land a few melee hits and then trigger the crit with a ranged attack.

This is commonly done on volley crossbow, which attacks 3 times per alt-fire, leading to a feedback loop where every alt-fire volley attack now crits. The result is very high ranged (boss) damage and infinite ammo on a tank and melee dps career. That is too much in one package.
The same fix ought to be applied to Mercenary’s Helborg’s Tutelage talent and blundebuss and it should be applied here as well. Difference is that Merc blunderbuss does not have a similiarly strong synergy.

  • Zealot rework in general: No suggestion here, just stating a fact that Zealot’s design has aged poorly and needs a complete rework. His passive has a poor interaction with other healing talents (Ws, Gk, healshare etc.) and he was supposed to gain stacks from tacking dmg and then losing stacks again when he gains tmp hp.

Yet, the way he is played revolves around finding the first enemy, getting 6 stacks and then playing the rest of the game with +30% power and +20% attack speed and +90% healing received as a permanent buff.
The band aid change to make his passive work with tmp hp was ok back then but is in dire need of a total rework now.

Bounty Hunter:

  • Double-shotted: Removing the possibility to gain 80% cooldown reduction when hitting 2 headshots instead of 40% cdr on 1 headshot. This happens all the time on client where a single headshot is counted as 2 because netcode delay. The result is a Bh with a 6 second cooldown on his ult when using 10 cdr on trinket. Without the trinket it’s only 12 seconds.

Needless to say that this is quite ridiculous and should not exist.
Whc’s “Unending Hunt” talent had the same exploit where hitting 20 enemies with the ult gave 80% cdr as opposed to the intended 40% for 10 or more enemies. It was fixed for Whc but not for Bh. Double-shotted dominates the other 2 ult options and gives Bh the highest boss dmg in the game by a wide margin.

While it does require a headshot, the current 80% cooldown Double-shotted is too strong.


  • Piercing Shot: Reducing the cooldown reduction on Piercing Shot headshots from 100% cooldown reduction to 80% cooldown reduction. If Bh’s Double-shotted gets changed, Piercing Shot will also need to be changed slightly so it is not like Double-shotted, but just “better.”

The only reason Piercing Shot is not used that much is because it has no ammo sustain for the main ranged weapon like Kurnous’ Reward has. Otherwise Piercing Shot would likely be a top choice for elite and boss damage.

===> Edit: Might not be needed given that this Ws build with Piercing Shot has no ammo sustain whatsoever outside of Conservative Shooter. IF the changes to Conservative Shooter apply, then the changes to Piercing Shot would be overkill and ruin this build => The cooldown can stay the same or only be reduced to 90% (so reaching 100% cdr would require 10% cdr on trinket). <=== End of edit.


  • Removing Unchained’s passive affecting stagger power.

Reason: Unchained’s passive boosting stagger power results in her being able to stagger multiple chaos warrior overheads with 1 flaming flail heavy.
Unchained was fine before that massive buff but with the extra stagger power she now faces close to 0 threats in melee that she cannot stagger and therefore neutralize with minimal effort.

  • Slightly increasing the hp cost of “Abandon” so it will not save Unchained from overheating when near 0 ult charge. In return, the other 2 talents should be looked at.

Reason: Before Abandon was added, Uc was in a sorry spot. Abandon is almost mandatory and while a major part of this is the fact that the other 2 talents on that row are largely useless, Abandon is too safe in its current form. It can save Uc from overheating even when Uc has little to no ult charge. Increasing the hp cost will make it less of a get out ofjail free card. Buffing the other 2 talents as a trade-off is important though.

===> Edit: Patch 4.1 “Made Sienna’s Abandon talent not be affected by damage reduction.” Thus, the point above no longer applies. <=== End of edit.


  • Reducing Asrai Alacrity 's attack speed boost from +30% attack speed to +15% attack speed. Reason: This talent vastly outshines the other 2 and gives way too great a reward for being such a simple requirement. Compare it to Footknight’s Crowd Clearer talent that only gives +15% attack speed and no extra power for 3 secs after a push.





Masterwork Pistol:

  • Reducing the damage of the alt fire by ~20%.

Reason: The pistol kills full patrols worth of elites and deletes monsters in seconds with the right click alt fire. The repeater pistol also deals reduced damage per shot on the alt fire, the same can be applied to the masterwork pistol.

Some may argue that the left click is balanced but regardless of that the alt fire is most definitely overtuned. Discussion and analysis by Incandescent here: The Masterwork Pistol does way too much damage


  • Reducing the damage of the heavy attacks by ~20%.

Reason: Coghammer is basically just a faster exe with more stagger on light attacks.
This issue is exacerbated on Slayer, where it turns into an absurdly strong elite blender.
Still, even the base version without Slayer is a jack of all trades that also has extremely high heavy damage for some odd reason. It completely overshadows the pickaxe in its intended role.

Reducing the damage will result in a greater power investment being necessary for the breakpoints that make it so strong and make pickaxe and coghammer more distinct: Pickaxe is slow with high dmg, coghammer faster with lower dmg.




Apart from these 2 weapons, the overall balance of weapons is good.
While there are some weapons that are meta and might be faintly overtuned, none is truly op.
As for some of the lesser used weapons, they could be somewhat more interesting.
I would just like to throw some ideas at the wall and see what sticks; mainly spitballing here.
The list is short as this post is about the class and talent outliers that break balance or lead to powercreep, not about items that need buffs.
The weapons work just fine, they are viable but they could be just a tad bit better. More variety is always welcome.

Alternatively, Pershing, Sleezy and Incandescent might be willing to expand upon their previous work on the weapon rebalance (e.g. Firesword Concept or a Kruber spear rework with a focus on stabs instead of sweeps.)

Fire dagger:

  • Enabling the combo of going from push attack into heavy 2. Enhances its anti armor capabilities and adds more QoL.

Dual Swords:

  • Replacing dual swords heavy 2 with dual daggers heavy 2. Reducing the extra crit chance on lights to +5% on all light attacks. Dual swords will then have a bit more anti armor damage, while still being more effective versus hordes and less potent against armor than sword&dagger (the 2nd dual daggers heavy has the same dmg profile as the 1st heavy but it is quite a bit harder to land headshots with it).

  • Alternative option: Adding the 2nd dual daggers heavy attack as a 3rd dual swords heavy attack. Dual swords heavy attack chain now loops from heavy 2 to heavy 3, heavy 1 is only used to start the chain. Essentially like the billhook light attack chain.

Right now, current dual swords might as well not exist, their lack of anti armor dmg makes them near useless for builds that have no proper way or dealing with armor. Even then it is quite subpar (meme builds or special events like twins excluded).

2handed Sword (Kruber/Saltzpyre):

  • Adding a push attack follow up attack like dual hammers that deals some armor damage. Same reason as dual swords, the 2handed sword lacks armor damage and has to compete with the bastard sword.





There, of course, more talents and more weapons that could be tweaked or reworked. For the sake of the post length, these suggestions are limited to the ones that are mentioned above. In my opinion, these are the talents and builds that create the largest balance concerns.

Naturally, all of the suggestions come from a subjective point of view.
This post is intended as a summary of notes about game balance. It may help spark some discussions and give others the opportunity to voice their (dis)agreement or add their own suggestions.
The idea is to point out current issues first and foremost, while also providing some solutions to them.


Popping in here to say for posterity: Once again I was right about everything :^)

we actually had plans to do this but FS did the BBB before we were finished with the mod.

Anyway things that need to be on the watch list:

  • Bret sword should probably have the stagger on heavies reduced, right now it’s at 2h hammer levels and it’s kinda nutty.
  • cloak of mist in its current form needs to go, even without the vanish interactivity it’s effectively fervency with like 80% uptime throughout a run if you’re being efficient
  • swiftbow and volley xbow nerfs in the BBB should be reversed, those weapons have fallen back down to meme status kinda hard.
  • as mentioned before: masterwork pistol lul
  • Pickaxe needs either significant buffing or a rework since right now it’s just a worse coghammer
  • agree that dual swords needs tweaking, unsure about solutions
  • nerf the Mace & Sword back towards the levels we had it in the mod; Fatshark overbuffed them compared to what we had and it shows. The heavies cleave way too much
  • Zealot is a mess
  • Weapon traits need a full rebalance
  • WHC probably needs some nerfing; his kit is way too stacked and flense for sure is too strong
  • Engineer buffs lmao

There’s obviously plenty more to add but we’d be here forever if I went through all of it


Agreed, there is a lot to manage and putting them on a list should hopefully make it easier for FS to keep tabs on all of it.
It’s the most pressing things like the overperforming classes, which imo are Bw, ranged classes, Shade and Gk that should have priority.

Bret sword being able to stagger CW overheads is indeed kind of funny but not what a sword should be able to do.

I am not sure if Cloak of Mist without Vanish is exactly like Fervency. Fervency has a lot more synergy with Whc instakills, Cloak of Mist “only” gives crits and the backstabs require stealth or sth. like an Ib ult. Arguably less instakill interaction in exchange for more uptime.

Cloak of Mist is undeniably op atm. Removing it completely would be regrettable though so I would prefer it if the cdr on it was lowered and its interaction with Vanish invis got fixed.

Swiftbow is a meme, the biggest issue it and volley crossbow - and repeater pistol too - have is the fact they quickly get “too good” on the ranged class of the respective character while remaining subpar on the other classes, e.g. shotguns. Hence the suggested changes to ranged classes.

I’d absolutely love a proper overhaul of weapon traits; unsure if all of the above plus a full rework of traits is possible all at once given FS have a lot on their plate at the moment :stuck_out_tongue:

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if only there were a group of people willing to work on it :^)

Which probably isn’t us; we’ve already done a lot of work for 100% free and have lives outside verm. Also I still get harassed about various BBB changes and other changes I wasn’t even involved in so that’s cool

We did have a trait rebalance in the works but it’s pretty much fallen through because of people being busy and also just a lack of incentive/motivation. I love the community and the game and still actively contribute in ways that I can and can’t talk about but I can only do so much in my spare time lmao


Double shot does or did more damage(i am fairly sure it does a lot more) and lets BH stagger bosses. Add a conc pot and he can chainstun kill a ogre/spawn while also having a far more generous hitbox if i am not mistaken.

Meanwhile for the elf, piercing shot is already something you only use with longbow and only for the sake of picking out chaos warriors far more than anything else. Once in a while you might be allowed to demolish a fireogre or a troll provided the team doesnt have what it takes to stagger or burst it.

Really rarely will you get to deal with a hyperdense enemy crowd funneling towards you and letting you barrage them with it.

This ability is anything but overpowered given how conditional it is. If you wana hit something that pumps out far more power then slap the crap out of Grail Knights holy sword because this thing hits like old Shade ability backstabb did. Maybe even harder on Lords.

And that got nerfed to oblivion, this day its just about barely enough to kill a CW.

Additionally, Waystalker still has 2 talent rows that are essentially crap and 3 if we are talking how forced her last one is.

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Talent balance is certainly a massive issue in regards to the sheer number of talents that are objectively worthless

the stagger system is kind of a prime example of this whenever bulwark is on the row; it may as well not even exist


Admittedly, this suggestion is not without issues since it depends on the assumption that Double-shotted gets fixed/nerfed. This in turn could (“could,” not necessarily “will”) make Piercing Shot too strong for Double-shotted to compete. That might not even be true but it is a potential risk.

I am aware that Piercing Shot is very niche and mostly a meme build.
It does have a larger hitbox than any other ranged sniper weapon however, you can miss with a longbow but hit with the Piercing Shot, against the same stationary target like the dummies while aiming at the exact same spot.

The Gk ult cooldown should be longer, I would up it to 60 secs to match Shade (see original post).

The idea behind it is to ensure that, if Bh’s Double-shotted gets a reduction in its cdr, then Ws Piercing Shot would be just a significantly better version of Double-shotted.
It is to keep some consistency between 2 ults that are quite similar - changing one but not the other can cause issues. So both get changed.

The Ws Piercing Shot change might not be needed, it is certainly way down on the priority list lol

Yup, that’s why I tried not to add too many of those here unless they directly influence the op options like Vanish and that talent row, or the Gk lvl 10 talents.

I’d rather reduce the most prominent of the oppressive talents and classes first before bringing the underperforming ones up to a base level.
Leaving overperforming talents the way they are and buffing the rest first comes with the risk of buffing the lesser options all they way until they compete with the op ones.
That’s how you end up powercreeping the game.

There’s a couple more sweeping issues I can see before another official glance over weapons.

Zealot is a shambles and a comedy mess.

Ranger Vet needs more uniqueness now Engineer has shown up.

The rolled-back changes to Huntsman.

BH is dull without his ult double shotted and doesn’t have much to offer.

I think there’s no point looking at weapons - Engineers Pistol (For example)- if there’s a change to RV coming, so hopefully some more broad-brush-stroke changes to classes come before weapon tweaks affecting those characters. There’s no reason GK can’t be reigned in a little if it doesn’t affect anything else, or shade gets a little tweak in isolation - but why bother with that when it could come as part of a bigger change to classes?

Ammo is a huge issue and personally I’d remove any ammo regain traits and make ammo harder to come by so ranged characters get the bonus from their ranged talents, and melee classes need to husband their ammo a bit more.

I agree with about the Shade, (Fire) Dagger, Dual Swords and the (2handed Sword or) Greatsword.

Absolutely true.

…I mean, its fine even if double shot does get nerfed, because BH crossbow already outperforms WS longbow thanks to his passive letting him bodyshot anything smaller than a mauler. So the only thing PS makes WS shine at is Chaos warriors.

Chaos warriors who lose like half or at least a third of their healthbars from BH crossbow headshots with his passive up anyway, which some wizard builds also accomplishes. So letting the elf be better at sniping CW´s is…not much if you ask me.

Thanks to the lack of falloff while flying it is indeed more accurate per se, but having used it a lot myself i noted that it seems to be bugged against bestigors and stormvermin at times. It passes through their heads without doing anything or counts as a headshot&refreshes but does a bodyshots worth of damage.

A fair view, but i am just flat out against nerfing PS at all even if BH or GK gets theirs nerfed : P

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This is a really good list, I was happily surprised. As per Internet Law, however, I must now pick a minor nitpick and derail the whole thread arguing in a cycle with you about it now.

Jokes aside, I want to bring some attention to the Glaive, which is in a kinda sad spot right now as Keri’s only heavy anti-armor weapon. Velsix had some good suggestions in another thread:

Wanted to share his thoughts for consideration.

And my own question is - “what about 1-Handed Axes and the Throwing Axe?” The axes were in a good (but I did not think overpowered?) spot at one point when they got a little more cleave (which was reverted later for some reason). Now they are probably some of the worst weapons in the game, whether on Saltz or Bardin or Kerillian. And the Throwing Axe is one of the coolest weapon concepts, but is just horrible to use. Should its reload be streamlined, perhaps? Would that be anywhere close to enough?


Pleasantly surprised to find little issue with this list.
Personally, I don’t consider GK is as much of an overperformer as presented here, he has high damage but not much in terms of attack speed buffs which I find generally superior.
Also, a priority is sorting zealot out. Right now we have a class that is extremely forgiving and strong, but also becomes pretty much pointless when people bring regen abilities. I tried to play zealot the other day and I had to go through like 3 lobbies to find one without healshare, ws regen or GK regen. At this stage I just play whc more or less every time I want to use a melee saltz because it avoids the hassle of constantly having to reset stacks or just being gimped at high hp.


A fair point, I guess it might be an overreaction to reduce the cdr on Piercing Shot out of fear it could potentially outperform Double-shotted.

The rest of Ws kit (at least when playing Piercing Shot) is suffering from a lack of ammo sustain compared to Bh - which would be even more impactful with the suggested changes to Conservative Shooter.
Simply keeping Piercing Shot might work just as well, like I said, it’s not really much of an issue imo, just a failsafe in case it might end up making Double-shotted look too bad in comparison.

I agree, the main problem with a Zealot rework is just that a full rework requires more time and effort compared to changing the numbers on some talents.
That’s also why I did not suggest any concrete changes other than the fix to Smite. Coming up with a full overhaul for Zealot is a bit more work than that and the list was already long enough ^^

Everyone’s view on ranged careers seems a little different.
I don’t think ranged careers are as OP as some make them out to be, I genuinely have an easier, safer and more fun time on melee careers.

Most careers have power creeped since the launch of Vermintide 2, while ranged gameplay has slowly been watered down.
Some ranged careers need changes but I wouldn’t say direct nerfs, I can’t comprehend people saying ranged gameplay shouldn’t exist because Vermintide 2 is a self proclaimed melee focused game.

From what I read, you seem to take more issue with certain ranged playstyles feeling cheesy?
The way ammunition is recovered is especially important, pushing ranged careers into melee for their ammunition sustain would feel more fair and balanced.

WS recovering ammo via melee would feel more fair than WS recovering ammo by pressing F.

RV being pushed into melee more to get more frequent caches/ammunition would feel more fair than just being handed a cache on special death.

BH is a tricky one… I’d personally like to see him less reliant on Scrounger but have him revolve around an in and out melee/ranged hybrid playstyle.

Huntsman seems fine to me,
Waste Not, Want Not is skill dependent.
No ammo consumption is tied to Hunter’s Prowl which is on a reasonable cooldown.
Keep it Coming means giving up crit or headshot damage + still requires connecting shots
Shot Crafter is potentially the only cheesy one, but it still means giving up to 40% Damage Reduction.
Scrounger/Conservative are traits, not really Huntsman’s problem.

Reworking Shot Crafter into a melee based ammo recovery talent could be a nice change.


I read the first 2 sections on Shade and Grail Knight and it’s an automatic “NO” for me. Not even going to bother to read the rest.

Not that my opinion matters - it doesn’t actually . Nevertheless, I appreciate the fact that this was compiled.


The different views on ranged is probably due to varying experiences with ranged combat.
The main point is likely the teamplay aspect. The more cohesive and coordinated a group plays, the stronger ranged classes become (e.g. Engi being very reliant on his team as an extreme form of that).

In a coordinated group with a proper frontline etc., the ranged classes are able to perform vastly better, resulting in things like blunderbuss Huntsman, Rv pistol or Bw bolt becoming ridiculously strong.

Especially so compared to how little effort the player in question has to put in.
The rest of the team has to frontline for them and all they have to do is wave a shotgun at the horde, mauler, zerker etc. or hit a bolt bodyshot on any non Cw elite or special and the enemies in question die.
(A bit hyperbolic, I’ll admit, but the gist of it is true).
Coupled with the current ammo these ranged classes can keep that up for 90% of the run due to having too much ammo sustain.

I agree to disagree.
This might be true when looking at it from launch where Bh and Huntsman 1hit killed lords and ranged tmp hp was a thing.
However, since 2.0, every class got buffed (sometimes repeatedly), ranged classes included, e.g. Bw becoming as broken as she still is, or Rv getting considerably more ammo due to packs spawning at his feet.

This is not what I said nor is it what I would want the game to be.
I argue for less ammo sustain overall: for ranged classes as

well as for a less reliable Conservative Shooter for melee classes with sniper weapons.

Giving ranged classes ammo sustain is great since it adds a variety of different gameplay styles.
Tt is the degree / the amount of ammo sustain that is too high in my opinion.
The main thing about ranged combat is that ammo or heat management has become a non-issue for ranged classes.
They can sit back and spam their ranged weapon, which feels very cheap indeed.

Changing ammo sustain to require more melee is certainly another interesting and more interactive way of dealing with it.
The main issue is how would one do that.
With a trait rework that adds Vt1 Scavenger? Make Scrounger and Conservative trigger on melee kills only? New talents or completely rework existing talents?
All of that is more work and effort, not sure if FS can get around to doing that and balancing it afterwards (last BB Huntsman rework flashbacks)
I’d definitely be keen on trying that out and seeing how it works though :slight_smile:

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There would be almost no reason to pick ex Huntsman over Merc if Huntsman ammo sustain was nerfed to the point of needing to spend a lot of time in melee

Really the only thing differentiating the ranged careers from others is their ammo sustain

At least speaking personally, if ranged combat was nerfed this hard I’d just be done playing the game


What are you so opposed to in regards to them then? If you do not spell your thoughts out then your opinions will not be heard. Just saying you do not like them for some reason does not convey anything substantial.

From my perspective OP is absolutely correct that the Shademist build needs to be nerfed, it should not be left as it is and Grail Knight…well i personally have more problems with his ability rather than the rest.


Overall, ranged gameplay has been toned down.
RVs caches spawning at his feet was a needed QoL change and BW is a whole other ball park.

Simply saying FS should take their time with ranged careers, I’d like to see them pushed into melee more for ammunition rather than lowering numbers.

I admit pressing F and potentially recovering 100% ammunition as WS is cheesy yet somehow unreliable. The melee crit ammo recovery idea for RV back in the last BBB, would work pretty well on WS.

I agree on a lot of your post though, Shade is blatantly OP and cheesy. GK is powerful yet lacks talent/build variety. Pickaxe and Dual Swords need a pick me up. MW pistol is over-tuned. Zealot is in a weird place right now. Majority of traits never see the light of day. etc etc

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