I don’t think that the Shade is useless. In fact, somehow, I’m the happiest playing that class than the other two. What needs to be known is that you need tip top shape gear to make it worth playing, which may or may not be a problem depending on your perspective, but when I got my hands on reds and set up in a specific way I’m having more fun than ever. I feel it’s closest to my V1 setup too, Sword & Dagger, and in a different way. Backstab and critical hits are in essence Killing Blow.
But there are some suggestions I wanted to proffer on the Shade to improve its effectiveness and to further cement its role. You have a class whose main schtick is to get behind enemies and do a lot of damage. What this actually translates to right now, since most people use the Glaive, is frontlining anyway because it’s way too dangerous to go behind enemies because more are continually pouring in who will just hit you in the back and you’ll save your Infiltrate skill for the bosses because you are the only class who can do meaningful melee damage to them.
Digressing for a second, I have a serious complex about the damage bosses take in melee and I wonder why it’s never been brought up before. it’s just borderline useless to go up against them like that without very specific and powerful weapons, i.e Halberd & Glaive. Then you have Dual Daggers with Backstab 75% bonus doing nothing on light swing spam to them.
But because Fatshark seems to want to pursue specialized roles in their class system and flesh them out, I want to offer up feedback I’ve been generating over the weeks on the Shade specifically.
Murderous Prowess (Backstab)
Backstab hits or kills should restore ammo. The talent should instead increase the ammo restored. This would go a long, long way to making the Volleybow more useful, and that weapon has been in a state of disrepair since the first CBT and has gotten no love.
Backstab needs an indicator. I find it astonishing that a perk like Backstabbery, and many others, which have been in Vermintide 1 for years do not function properly or up to the standard set so long ago. Heroic Intervention, Off Balance, both don’t work (and the former fundamentally can’t because Aidings have been removed) and there are no indicators they are even on. This is incredibly bizarre in the case of Off Balance. Due to the unknown angle of backstab, the need for some kind of indication that it happened is vital. And I have more on that…
Backstabs should grant a (stacking) buff that prevents or (reduces) enemy aggro. This was my biggest idea for the class. It would incentivize and encourage people to get behind enemies and the more hits/kills they get will keep them safer and it also provides a way to indicate that Backstab is happening. This lets people work behind the lines with skillful play. It would force the Shade to also lean on the team.
Taking advantage of Backstabbery in V1 was niche as hell, and it still is here. But with the RPG systems and the class functions, there is a real opportunity to make it fun to use and more importantly worth using actively.
Elven Repeating Crossbow
LMB Rate of Fire needs to be brought in line with Saltzpyre’s. There was a slight increase in Patch 1.0.5 for this which doesn’t make sense to me.
Potentially increase ammo to 45 from 30. It’s either this or a natural ammo restoration, but this weapon is just not worth using unless Scrounger and a crit chance build or Ranger Veteran Bardin are in play. The former takes many hours to set up and gear the character for, and the latter relies on people forgoing the sheer survivability and power of Ironbreaker. In short, it’s a toll booth to fun, a hard roadblock on playing the class.
This is general feedback on the Volleybow. I say it’s been in disrepair for so long because its weapon illusions either have no sound or are using sounds from Saltzpyre’s volleybows. The hipfire accuracy needs to be improved so it can better be used as a run and gun weapon. There are crippling delays on switching weapons when using the alt-fire. It’s just frustrating to use even after you’ve gotten used to it. Its horrid ammo count makes using it without meeting certain conditions suicide. In Vermintide, if you run out of ammo, you are in a very dangerous position. This weapon seriously needs to be looked at.
That’s all I wanted to suggest. The Shade is fantastic, I truly enjoy playing it. But I feel that’s because I am closer to my V1 setup in several ways. If Fatshark’s vision is to make every class adhere to their cardinal role of either Melee, Ranged, or Team Focus, then this is what I think would help the Shade stand proudly.