VO Career Differentiation - Why it should be embraced, and how it could be done

WARNING: You’re gonna want these TL;DR’s. This is 10k words in total.

Well here’s a topic that most people don’t think about. I’m hoping I can change that, at least a little bit. Maybe if I can convert at least a few people, then perhaps shatfark might make some body moves - and I do believe that ‘some body moves’ may end up all that’s needed, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

‘Career differentiation’ is how I’ll be referring to the concept of different careers using different voice lines for various scenarios, lines that reflect the change in that hero’s character/role based on career. Each hero went down a specific, different fork in their path to end up being one of their three careers after the events of V1, and that brought with them a change in their personality and combat role. These changes are outlined in the official career descriptions on vermintide.com. Have a link and check them out, this post is already massive. These are more detailed in the blog posts, which I’ll post in the next part.

The purpose of this topic? Mainly, it’s not to suggest stuff or give the devs advice. It’s actually to, uh… clear up some community feedback.

Because I already know where most people’s minds are going after they’ve read all this. I know, ‘cause I’ve seen it all – these pop up every time something like this gets brought up. All the different ways of telling you that this idea is ludicrous, that it can’t be done, that it won’t be done, and why don’t you go complain about something important for a change. This first post will address the most common excuses people provide for why career differentiation isn’t important.

Why am I doing this? So that the devs can see something other than the common consensus that what we’ve got is good enough. Anyone who wants and expects more are left silent, and most any feedback on the flavor voicework is people posting funny conversations on Reddit. It’s very surface level. I mean, some people think that Rothelms are Maulers, or don’t even notice that a good portion of combat dialogue is lifted straight from V1. That creates a very… stagnant pool of feedback, and what I wish to achieve is to get the devs just a little bit provoked, to make further strides in this regard.

Furthermore, I’m putting forward a hypothesis, which I’ll try to reinforce with this thread.

I believe that VO career differentiation is core to V2’s identity, that its current state is in no way intentional and was likely borne of whatever caused the game to release as early as it did, that every aspect of the career system shows career differentiation has belonged and still belongs in the game, and that its implementation is not the worthless resource sink that you may believe it is. As such, asking Fatshark to not be Shatfark and get away with a waste of potential is not unreasonable – in fact, now is the time.

Below are these comments, which I’ll try to reasonably refute with only a small amount of speculation and talking down to readers. It’s pretty hard.

  1. This isn’t possible and they would never do this

This argument here seems to be based on the idea that career differentiation would imply that all the dialogue would be changed per career - or, at least, the majority of it. That, of course, isn’t the case. It’s fairly evident that the implementation would be limited to select map comments, occasional combat lines differing, career-specific conversations with other heroes (Hero A Career 1 X Hero B, career-irrespective). Why do I say that as if I’m in charge?

Well, the other lynchpin is the implication that the devs wouldn’t even be trying to attempt it. And to be blunt, that’s plain wrong. There are things upon things to indicate that this was, possibly still is, and more than likely will be the plan moving ahead. Who knows why the game released with it in a nonexistent state, but then, it’s plain as day that something happened at the office that caused the release to be what it is, when it was.

Now, what are the ‘things upon things’ that I refer to? Off the top of my head:

1: The devs stated their plans

Summary

@Fatshark_Hedge utright stated that there will be different dialogue depending on different careers shortly after the game was revealed. Sadly I can’t attach a link as that happened on Reddit, sometime around October 19th-21st, which is more than the seeming 8 month limit Reddit has on storing posts. You’ll have to take me on my word. I have a very vivid memory of it because I was in that thread, and I am pretty sure I was the one Hedge replied to in the first place.

2: A small chunk of it exists

Summary

Dialogue proven to be career-based exists, albeit in a highly limited state. There’s exactly three lines in the base game that are career-dependent - Bardin’s potential responses to Bodvarr at War Camp. He has a Slayer line, an Ironbreaker line and a Ranger Vet line. They are designated as such in the source code - and are the only such lines in the base game. That is entirely too random to be normal, and almost certainly the sign of something that was meant to be a lot more of a thing, but the whole March release thing happened. Also, they don’t work properly - despite the code, you can get any line on any career, though the only one I ever heard was Slayer (on all three).

2a: The game seems primed to use this system

Summary

This isn’t so much fact as speculation, but parts of the existent dialogue seems to have been career specifc. Kruber will talk about being paid for the mission in the intro to ATG, for example. Bardin says “Urgh, through my armor”, which makes that unique to RV/IB by exclusion. Sienna calls Saltzpyre ‘zealot’ in two of her praise lines - I doubt the writers would have just randomly thrown that word in considering this is one of his three careers. She also has an incredibly rare combat praise conversation with Saltzpyre where she refers to being a Battle Wizard. Kerillian routinely calls herself various wood elf things, even when she’s meant to be cosplaying a high or dark elf. Many of the reused V1 lines make reference to what became careers - Ranger, Pyromancer, Witch Hunter; there were plenty of lines they could have recycled that didn’t end up with an Ironbreaker being told “Stop that, Ranger” after he showers Kruber in flame from his drakegun. (admittedly I devalue point 1 with this because Hedge also stated that absolutely none of the V1 lines would be reused, instead they’d be re-recorded with new twists on them - yet those while existent are a minority)

3: More was added with Keep conversations

Summary

The keep conversations that have been added are the biggest tell of all, as many of them directly reference ‘different paths’ and ‘careers’. All of them are blatantly meant for the default 5 careers - Kruber is starting a mercenary concern, Bardin is still a former Zulunbaki Ironbreaker, Sienna is torn between being a good and a bad wizard, Saltzpyre is officially a Captain who believes he’d never stray from his path. So on and so forth; there’s no way in hell that when Sienna and Kruber have a conversation where she pitches a name for his mercenary squad that Slayer Bardin wouldn’t have special conversations about just what the [wordfilter] made him glue an orange wig to his head and literally die by dwarf standards. And then Kerillian randomly starts talking to Kruber as if he’s Huntsman, yet again proving that this is a feature that’s at best a quarter way implemented.

3a: More was added with DLC

Summary

Career based dialogue has continued to be added with Bogenhafen. There are numerous instances of map lines that are blatantly, outwardly career specific, and actually do function. On Blightreaper, WHC Saltzpyre will say that he will have the Bogenhafen revelry judged while BH Saltzpyre will say that there are doubtlessly wanted men among the attendants of the ball. On The Pit, Slayer Bardin will make reference to seeking a glorious death and Merc Kruber will mock Sienna for saying there’s more to living than money. So on and so forth. Once again, if the devs had no intention of furthering this aspect of the game, then there would be no point in bothering with this, however limited it is in Bogenhafen. Furthermore, it makes no sense to do this for the two random DLC maps while not doing any of it for the main game… save War Camp.

3b: And even more was added with ambient map conversations

Summary

This one’s solidly in the realms of speculation, but still. The major patch before the BBB re-enabled conversations between heroes that aren’t tied to maps and aren’t based in the Keep – i.e. how they used to work in V1. Aaand they’re broken; you only ever hear the first line, they are never followed on. Whoops. But if you pay enough attention to when your heroes just randomly say off-the-wall stuff that makes no sense, you’ll likely notice a few that seem like they’re meant to be career specific. YMMV, but I’ve heard Sienna start raving like an absolute lunatic – something that I can only imagine Unchained doing. Saltzpyre also raved, mumbling to himself if ‘the vision’ he saw was truth or just a dream; he also says he ‘cannot return to the Order until we are finished’, and WHC is the only career where he even wants to do anything with the Order anymore. Kerillian occasionally starts talking softer and mentions Isha. There’s no way of knowing for sure, but these very much seem like they are tied to careers. Yet, being broken, it’s hard to use them to judge.

TL;DR: The devs publicly said that they intend for heroes to have different lines based on careers, the game’s existent VO and code imply that it was designed to have such a system, and small chunks of it continue to shine through in both the base game, the post-launch patches and the DLC.

  1. It’s good enough as it is

Very often people just brush career differentiation of with an ‘eh, what’s there is good enough’. I guess it’s not up to me to tell you that your priorities are wrong, but I’d make a case for why what’s there isn’t good enough.

Most people only really notice the VO when they hear a funny line, or when there’s a special callout. They only care about it being the barest degree of functional. Anything else is just extra. And yeah, I’m aware that that’s the majority. I’m pretty sure that if anyone reads this far down, then I’m likely to get a comment saying that they don’t want gameplay related chatter changed because they’ll have to get used to career specific lines. It’s that sort of min-maxing.

However, there are some things to consider as to why the devs would sink time and resources into something like this.

1: They set a heavy precedent in V1

Summary

V1 had absolutely no business having as much careful characterization and flavor as it did. It would have easily been the hit that it was with 1/4th of the voice line diversity. They were not selling more copies by making sure that each hero was a heavily detailed complex character that lived and breathed in the Warhammer Fantasy world. The art design alone would have gotten them all the attention from people attracted by this. What I’m getting at is that the devs were immensely passionate about detailing the world of Vermintide and its characters.

Last I checked, the devs have remained the same. The writer, Magnus, is certainly still the same (not sure about his partner). Yet their approach in V2? Compared to the meticulousness with which V1 was performed, it’s night and day. Forget career differentiation, VO as a whole remains quite the mess compared to their previous game, which, mind you, had a smaller budget and required a lot more figuring out. While I like to rag on how incompetent Fatshark are (and refuse to call them Fatshark), it’s significantly more likely that things happened that made proper recording, archival and implementation of voicework a low priority.

They did not need an incentive to flesh these characters out as much as they did in V1 - so why would they just drop the ball so hard on V2? That is not to say they haven’t dropped that ball.

That is to say that I see very little reason as to why they shouldn’t go find it and pick it back up. And with how very small, highly sporadic bits of it are creeping through, it seems misguided to believe they aren’t already doing that.

2: The careers are ludicrously underexplored

Summary

With the dev argument in mind, consider the fact that in all honesty, the majority of the game’s careers really just isn’t what it says on the tin. Disregarding the fact that Kerillian cosplays as other elves, we should face the fact that Slayer, Ironbreaker and Shade are the only careers in the game that couldn’t easily have been “Character in different clothes they felt like putting on for this mission”. And the only reason these careers apply are their unique weapons. And to be perfectly blunt, it’s feeling a lot like the only reason they went with ‘careers’ as opposed to ‘gear setups’ or w/e is so they could have a melee-only Slayer, because Slayers are popular.

Indeed, that’s a good argument - most of these careers are easily recognized archetypes from WHFB. Mercenary, Huntsman and Foot Knight sounds a lot more exciting than Normal Kruber, Light Armor Kruber and Heavy Armor Kruber. That’s good enough for most people, too… …but as I’ve established above, these devs aren’t ‘most people’.

If you take a close look at how V1 was designed from a hero characterization standpoint, it will become apparent that there’s no way in hell that these same developers would go “yeah Bardin is a slayer now, whatever”; “eh, Kruber just puts on a hood and gets liver failure to go invisible”; “Sienna has skin made of fire and spontaneously combusts, nothing’s too special about that”; “Saltzpyre hunts random things for a living and works entirely outside the Order, why’d he be any different”. That’s simply not a thing that’d happen.

For people who care a lot about Warhammer, they sure were all too eager to have a game where a Slayer makes no reference to his oath, where a pseudo-High Elf devotee of Isha still refers to herself as an Asrai and continues to be a total Drakira-powered [wordfilter], while a Kruber who spent several months squatting in the forest drinking heavily and being depressed continues to be cheery, bombastic and goofy.

I can see Shatfark doing a lot of stuff lazily, or suboptimally, or just generally screwing them up, but intentionally bungling something this key to the game’s identity? Limiting any lore justification for the careers to blurbs on their official site, with no indication in the game? That’s not sounding very likely. Once again - yes, it did, in fact, happen… but that doesn’t mean it happened by design, or that we shouldn’t be reminding them where their standards should lie.

TL;DR Even with the devs being wonky, disorganized and sometimes incompetent, keeping career differentiation this minimal is very uncharacteristic of them. The use of recognizable, lore-flavored archetypes makes the lack of differentiation extremely noticeable. The bar was set very high in V1, with no buts or real incentive - the devs are passionate about the world and the characters they created, while the current implementation is anything but. And the game launched in early access state at best… Curious, isn’t it?

  1. Go complain about something important instead

AKA "literally unplayable lol!!"

Flavor is more important than many think, in the end. I didn’t play V1 for 850+ hours, tolerating its worst periods and dealing with updates that did more harm than good, just because of the gameplay loop. I played it because the world and the characters really worked - they glued it all together. I’d run certain maps because they created an engrossing image, and I’d do run after run on the same difficulty just for the different interactions, or to hear ones I already heard many times. The game had a very real feel to it, something with its own gravitational pull. It was this - not even the gameplay - that grabbed me; for the first time in years I could safely say I was a hardcore fan of something.

I used to dream of what sorts of cool interactions a BH Saltzpyre would have compared to a WHC, I’d wonder just how they’d handle Bardin becoming a Slayer, I’d imagine all the different kernels of characterization we would have. After all, they did such an amazing job in V1, and clearly they were intending to top that in V2, right? It just made so much sense back then. How it’d all mix together, how much it’d extend the game’s replayability. And then March happened.

Perhaps I’m not the only one who feels like this game’s longevity will greatly increase if this is paid attention to. That’s sorely missing from V2 - it set itself to achieve so much more, and then came short of approaching V1. It doesn’t feel right anymore… right, or complete.

1: You’re not getting that much less content or fixes if this is focused on

Summary

Yeah, so, that sort of thinking just relies on the assumption that developers are fluid between all jobs at a dev studio. I really doubt that having developers focusing specifically on fixing VO would mean you aren’t getting your weapon/AI/geometry/talent/balance/silent patrol fixes.

There’s a valid counter-argument: if there really are devs whose job it is to just comb over VO files, then why is it still as broken as I say it is, 9+ months past release? Several potential answers to that one. One being that there aren’t devs who strictly work with VO, but rather ones whose job it is to generally comb through files and see if things fit together - considering we know for a fact that communication and proper archival aren’t things Shatfark practices, it’s reasonable to assume these devs were overloaded with spaghetti code in other areas of the game (the typo-borne hero power bug says hi).

If this is the case, then now IS the best time to start pestering them about flavor things such as career differentiation. The game’s in the best state it’s been in, however sad that statement is. Few things require truly urgent fixing. The core is no longer as rotten as it’s been for months - so maybe now it’s a good time to care for the shell.

But my personal pet theory is a decent answer to the other concern.

2: Why should they waste so much money on voice actors when we need content?

Summary

It’s no secret that voicework ain’t exactly cheap, and implementing variations on existing lines is defnitely not vital to the game’s survivability. It’s not nice thinking that a few hours that result in maybe 20-30 takes being accepted could possibly have paid a programmer’s monthly salary.

Partly, this is answered by the above-mentioned priorities these devs held in the past. A lot was spent on VO for V1, which wasn’t even meant to be the huge success it ended up being. V2 exploded much the same, whether we think its release state deserved it or not. With it being their only project for the foreseeable future, I doubt they’re cash-starved, even if V2’s early release happened because they were running out. But this is me thinking as a consumer and not a developer, of course.

You can believe what you want, but do also entertain another theory… Which is that all of what I’m complaining about possibly exists. If not all, then at least most of it.

VO for different careers reacting differently to maps/conversations/gameplay elements, missing VO for enemies (berzerkers, gas rats, chaos taunts, Maulers), missing VO for gameplay elements (grimoires, jump spam conversations that were referred to once and never saw the light of day instead being patched over with more reused content, boss dialogue for Halescourge and Spinemanglr), VO for maps that hardly have any (FG, TSB, Brax), VO for future content… But it’s in a raw state - disorganized alphabet soup at best, and recording sessions that haven’t even been spliced into separate takes at worst.

Multiple things make up the backbone of this theory.

2a:

Summary

The voiceline dump we received a few months ago was a glorious mess. They called it a V2 VO dump, but instead it had literally everything from V1 with maybe a couple of things from V2 in it. It was highly disorganized, most files being alphabet soup, and often appearing in folders where they didn’t belong. Looking through this? Yeah it’s a nightmare, yet this is how they store their own files.

2b:

Summary

A number of lines in V2 are obviously botched takes. I’m referring to “By the Eight Winds— BY THE EIGHT WINDS, CHAOS WARRIOR!!!”, “Lileath, I can’t keep going! … Gods, I can’t keep going!” and others. These are clearly incorrectly spliced from the actors’ session recordings. Which means that voice line splicing is a thing that needs doing, and at some point they had to hurry. Do I need to mention that one time Kruber speaks a line clearly meant for Sienna on Skittergate? Calling the skaven ‘ratties’ and saying he has a ‘burning need’ to avenge Helmgart or something? You bet they were in a mad hurry near release!

2c:

Summary

When I refer to career differentiation, I don’t always mean different lines entirely. It can be something as simple as a different take of the same line, to reflect the different tone that this career has. In the past, they already did change many lines from one take to another in patches, meaning that unused takes are saved somewhere - even if it’s in a messy alphabet soup format. Something as simple as Merc and Huntsman having two different ways of calling out supplies can go a long way.

2d:

Summary

Magnus, the writer, was meant to have a public Q&A on @Jsat 's stream shortly after the game’s release. It was repeatedly mentioned before suddenly never materializing, and him generally staying silent, even on Reddit. Not the strongest of arguments, as literally anything could have happened, but chances are that it simply wasn’t going to be possible to really talk about anything writing-related when so much of it wasn’t in the game. Perhaps existent in a manner of speaking, but not available to players.

TL:DR Focusing on VO for a while won’t completely kill other fixes - fixes that are now far less vital than in past months. The devs that’d be handling this aren’t the ones working on the spawns or the stability. Monetary concerns aren’t as major when you consider Fatshark’s history of putting quality flavor above pure profits - and especially when you also consider that there are numerous indicators that far more VO, including such that is career related, already exists and simply is in an uncut/unimplemented state.

And there you have it. I hope that whoever manages to read through this wall of text leaves with less skepsis surrounding the idea of exploring the heroes’ different career paths. At best, I’d really like for the enthusiasm to come back.

I remember the times before release, when hype was on the air, and things seemed so bright. Back then, on Reddit, every new career reveal would provoke post after post of people excited – some about the gameplay style, but many, and I mean many wanted to see how Fatshark would handle our heroes transitioning into these careers. People wanted Huntsman Kruber to have different interactions with the elf, speculation was abound as to what made Bardin go Slayer and how the others would react to it, many were stoked that Kerillian would have to actually try and sound like less of a [wordfilter] as Handmaiden, and boy was I ready to be sold on the idea of Saltzpyre going Bounty Hunter. I’m serious right now – these discussions were as wide-spread as anything gameplay related.

And then the release happened, and things got bad. But maybe now it’s time to stop dialing our expectations back. I hope I’ve made a good case for why it isn’t a lost cause. Maybe I sound like I’m convincing myself more than anyone else, maybe it doesn’t make sense that I simultaneously believe that it’s almost-there-just-a-little-longer AND that it won’t make it unless we show interest. In truth? Ever since Fatshark went Shatfark, it’s been really hard to predict things. I just hope I can make them see at least some interest, whatever that’d result in.

Stick around for the next post, where I’ll go into full armchair developer mode and try to explain how I think career differentiation could/should work! Yeah, people will totally read that!

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In general, I’d expect all types of lines to change, albeit some more often than others. Map lines are almost always completely fitting to any career (with rare exceptions), while combat chatter varies greatly, and map-based conversations can always have room for one that’s career based. I’d say it’s likely that career-based conversations will have the other heroes not exhibit any career specific traits – so yes, it’s an inevitability that, say, Kerillian would flip back and forth between having the occasional tolerable line as Handmaiden to being the basic wood elf if she’s in a conversation. Career/career conversations are a deep deep hole, and they wouldn’t be frequent or uniform if they did end up being in the game.

It goes without saying that everyone should get a conversation that concerns their, well, career change, and the change in their outlook on life that was attached to. Just like being called by their career title now and again, this is something that really should be done for everyone. And ideally, the backstories we’re given on the official site – or the more expansive ones seen in their respective blog post updates – should be viewable in game. Naturally, elements of those backstories should comprise the foundation of these conversations.

Links to said blog posts, because I’m operating on some info that’s only found within:

http://www.vermintide.com/news/dev_blog_kerillian/

http://www.vermintide.com/news/dev_blog_markus_kruber/

http://www.vermintide.com/news/dev_blog_victor_saltzpyre/

http://www.vermintide.com/news/dev_blog_sienna_fuegonasus/

http://www.vermintide.com/news/dev_blog_bardin_goreksson/

Don’t forget that career differentiation can likely also be achieved by using different takes of the same lines. This’d mostly apply to combat chatter. Additionally, some careers can be unique by not having lines that the two others do have. Less can sometimes be more.

Possibly the biggest sink in terms of these lines is the remaining 4 characters sometimes referring to the hero by their career name in combat – something that has to be a thing for consistency’s sake. That’s really the only aspect that you can easily call problematic.

Here I’ll go career by career, pointing out what and how could be differentiated – and try to stay economical. Ideally, all of this will sound plausible!

Ranger Vet

Summary

Official description:

Still searching for his lost dwarfen hold and facing dangers with boisterous merriment, Bardin Goreksson has through his adventures in Ubersreik become a Ranger Veteran.

A dead-eye shot with a multitude of ranged weapons and more than capable of sending limbs flying or pulverising skulls in melee should the need arise, the Ranger Veteran wreaks havoc on any battlefield.

RV is one of those careers that don’t actually have existential issues. In fact, he’s one of those careers that when you look at the description, you realize that you’re playing as them. Always. They’re the ones whom the overwhelming majority if your character’s dialogue actually is. A lot of Bardin’s combat chatter absolutely checks out as what you can see above.

That said, I must emphasize that he’s missing something. There really need to be special lines for him calling out his ammo drops. Which, ideally, should have different models. Not only is it a flavor and polish thing, but it’s a matter of convenience. I can’t stand the disappointment of seeing an ammo pack only to realize it’s one of the dwarf’s drops. It’d also add more identity to this career, all in one fell swoop.

Ideally there’d also be one or two mentions of his veteranship – but unlike other default careers, it’s not as big a hole. They still refer to the dwarf as Ranger (regardless of career (because they just ripped the lines from V1)), which is about good enough.

Ironbreaker

Summary

Official description:

Ironbreakers are peerless tunnel fighters, armed and armoured for the never-ending contest against Skaven and other monsters of the depths. As an Ironbreaker, Bardin will be the indomitable wall upon which the enemy’s charge will break, and a bastion of steel for his comrades to rally around.

Before becoming a Ranger, Bardin cut his teeth as an Ironbreaker, serving in the throng of Kazak Norn. Pondering upon the events transpiring during the Ubersreik campaign, and in the world at large, Bardin decides to don the heavy armour of the Ironbreaker again.

IB’s description doesn’t outright state how the hero’s personality changed, but it’s easy to infer what would be different about them. Bardin’s whole character arc is that he is an oddball among the dwarf race, he goes out on his quest others’ opinions be damned – he’s not a rebel, he’s just even more stubborn than most dwarfs and refuses to buckle under peer pressure. A lot of his cheeriness, as he says in the Keep, is somewhat forced to keep doubt and ‘poisonous thoughts’ away.

As the description says – and a certain Keep conversations confirms – Bardin was an Ironbreaker in the past, and left under unpleasant circumstances. To go from Ironbreaker to Raneer takes a lot of conviction from a dwarf (one career is honorable and respected, the other makes any decent dwarf turn think you’re cuckoo). To actually go back to something you once walked away from like that?

I think it’s fair to say that IB Bardin would miss out on the more gleeful and cheery lines RV has. Not that he’d be grim and edgy, but he probably wouldn’t be showing Blightstormers wind out his [wordfilter]. A few more combat lines focusing on the tactics of combat, and a few less of him being a complete goober. Bardin will always be a goober, but IB would be less so.

The dwarf’s dialogue is generally written in a way where a lot of it still fits IB, so I can’t say he needs special attention to any aspect of gameplay. He could do with unique horde/ambush lines, and I still think it’s a crime he never does the famous “Khazukan Khazakit Ha!”. In a perfect world, he’d have different ammo callouts for when he wields drakefire weapons.

The other characters would likely have the same relationship with an IB, probably pointing out the armor when raising or healing him. In career-specific conversations, I’d imagine the elf would treat him with even more disdain (she admits that Ranger’s oddballishnes strokes a familiar chord with her) and Saltzpyre would definitely approve of his decision to don the armor. Sienna should probably appreciate his use of drakefire weaponry, but not in combat (can’t code weapon-specific praise), more so in a keep conversation.

Slayer

Summary

Official description:

Slayer Bardin is a melee whirlwind of carnage. A true specialist in close quarters slaughter, the Slayer Oath prohibits Bardin from using any ranged weaponry.

Bardin has been carrying a heavy burden in his heart, and after joining the band of heroes who saved Ubersreik, he finally allowed himself some time for brooding and introspection. A life changing, or rather life ending, decision was made. Bardin became a Slayer, a warrior that seeks nothing but an honorable and glorious death that shall expunge the shame.

Yeah… do I even gotta go into detail here? Slayers are arguably the most iconic thing pertaining to WHFB dwarfs. It’s needless to say that there’s a lot of respect to be paid to all the flavor and lore here, and we find almost none of it here. Again; in a perfect world, Slayer should get special treatment and get an almost completely unique set of combat chatter.

Obviously, any character interaction with a Slayer should deal with his, well, slayerdom. What made him do it? Does he regret the decision? Can he please not run off to get killed by the nearest chaos spawn and stay with the team? Where’d he get an orange wig? That, and general displays of brashness and ruthlessness. The few lines we do have set a good tone – he wonders with bated breath if a Chaos Champion is enough to fulfill the oath, and sighs with regret when it doesn’t work out. At The Pit’s event, he tells the others to get on with the burning because he has a glorious death to seek.

Personal theory though it is, but it’s very likely he took the oath because he realized that his quest for Karak Zorn is doomed, and all the sacrifices he made on the way there were for nothing, meaning he wasted his and his kinsmen’s time and resources – he could have been an Ironbreaker this entire time and served the throng in tunnels or something. In a non-perfect world, we can assume that Bardin’s slayerdom hasn’t’ turned him into a brooding edgebeast, meaning that his cheery attitude can remain in most lines. If anything, it can be amplified.

Still, I believe it is mandatory that he gets the following unique lines: damage taken/near death; healing; throwing bombs; ambushes; spotting bosses; killing bosses; spotting CW’s; killing CW’s; War Camp-like lines for Halescourge and Skarrik; spotting ammo for others; warning others of low health. Each of those would deal with his search for worthy enemies, his refusal of ranged weapons, his ultimate goal of death, contrasting with his continued care for his group of heroes.

Shade

Summary

Official description:

The Shade is a master of stealth, a deadly assassin striking from the dark, able to outmaneuver any foe with fleet-footed movement and otherworldly agility. Devoted to her new faith, the Shade prefers weapons favored by Khaine to do her bloody work.

As the pain of exile continues to fester within Kerillian, a new voice introduced itself in hushed tones in her dreams. The whispers promised purpose and meaning and Kerillian, being sick to death of the world of men, listened. The voice belonged to Khaine, the God of War and Murder. Having accepted to heed his call, Kerillian embarked on a sinister journey to find her true self.

Shade would be one of the more content-demanding careers to differentiate. The description says enough – this is a Kerillian who’s actively losing the battle for control, she’s not just whinging for the sake of whinging, she’s moments away from flailing her blades around while screaming “BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD, MAYFLIES FOR THE LUMBERFOOT THRONE”. When she’s not pretending she’s stealthy and can get behind an enemy without them instantly turning around.

Much of Kerillian’s existent dialogue, however, is vicious and violent enough to still fit the Shade quite well. In terms of combat chatter, a Shade would still need ways of showcasing both “oh look at me I’m real stealthy” and “blood blood mcguts guts khaine be praised btw the other gods kinda succ”. It’s less a matter of selecting which lines to add, and more which to replace, however. I don’t think mentions of her Asrai heritage, of Lileath (Drakira should still be cool), and other wood elf things should be kept for the shade. In essentiality, any line that’s distinctly wood elf can be replaced with a line that’s distinctly cosplay dark elf.

Her complaints and insults can be somewhat tweaked, with less lumberfoots and mayflies and more treating them as bags of guts and such. Alternatively, simply using different takes that are less her whining and more her frothing at her mouth – and those likely exist. It’s fair to say she would have a few different combat appraisals, especially for characters she usually dumps on, now able to appreciate rough slaughter a little more – Saltzpyre in particular. You can hear what to go for in some Bogenhafen dialogue – she views mayflies as little more than meat for the coming slaughter of the gods, and generally seems to regret not selecting a better benefactor prior. The matter of her ‘ancestor’ that she dug up and used as an excuse to get into the exclusive Shade club should also be brought up with some characters.

Shade is also a career that’ll need different map conversations. Her perspective on the temple at Athel Yenlui should be a little different – dark elves harbor a lot more against the high elves than the wood elves do. Multiple other conversations also have more of a toxic tone to them, something the Shade just wouldn’t bother with. As for their content, others will obviously be a little unsure about their resident elf kind of falling off her shelf and dying her skin purple, and generally approach her with more wariness when career-specific conversations arise. Some mentions of her stealth ability could be brought up as well, probably in comments to her being on low health or downed.

Obviously, any lines where she’s referred to as ‘wood elf’ or ‘tree elf’ would go out of use for Shade, ideally replaced with the other heroes respecting her pron- I mean racial orientation.

Waystalker

Summary

Official description:

Still fighting, mocking, taunting and racking up a staggering amount of kills, Kerillian returns, more quick-witted and vicious than ever.

Waystalker Kerillian is the next step in her career as a Waywatcher, reflecting her ever-increasing skills with a bow and arrow. The Waystalker specialises in elven archery in all its forms, be it pinpoint precision work or sheer volume of arrows loosened upon hordes of oncoming enemies.

Waystalker is in a similar spot to the other default careers, in that you can totally tell that all of the dialogue currently used is meant to be used by her. The unbearably obnoxious elf – that’s her. She definitely stepped up her annoyance game since her Waywatcher days.

What she does lack, however, is recognition of the fact she’s now a Waystalker - even if she was promoted to such by herself. Kerillian being who she is, she would certainly mention that fact at least at one or two points. And, of course, the other characters should probably stop using V1 lines calling her ‘Waywatcher’.

Handmaiden

Summary

Official description:

As the Handmaiden, Kerillian favors melee combat, using the reach of her spears to deliver death to her foes before they are in range to retaliate. Should an enemy close the distance, the armour of the Handmaiden is able to withstand a barrage of cuts, allowing Kerillian to retaliate with impunity.

Guided by Lileath, the Elven Goddess of the Moon, Kerillian was confident in the visions and dreams she had received from her favoured deity. One night, after yet another day of butchering Skaven, something extraordinary happened. The Everqueen herself, the spiritual leader of the high elves, reached out directly to Kerillian in a dream. Next morning, Kerillian woke up in awe and started to slowly digest the magnitude of what had just occurred…

Take Shade and put her in reverse – Handmaiden needs the same level of attention, if not more. A Kerillian that’s actually trying to be a little less toxic is a fascinating prospect that deserves attention – even if most of it can boil down to using less obnoxious takes of her lines.

Less of Kerillian’s dialogue seems to apply to the more soft-spoken Handmaiden. The shreds of her we hear in Bogenhafen are considerably calmer and assured, implying that she’s having far more success with tolerating her mayfly companions. That said, the balance of being a [wordfilter] can somewhat be maintained if we hinge on the fact Handmaiden has more grounds to be pretentious. Based on the description, she’d be a bit more of a special snowflake, since it’s no small deal that the Everqueen herself gets in touch.

Naturally, all of this would receive much attention from the others in keep/map conversations, because Kerillian going pseudo high elf and claiming to have queens talking to her in her sleep is honestly more unusual than her snapping, digging up a long dead ancestor, and using that to justify going khainate. Chances are the others, particularly Saltzpyre and the dwarf, would be suspicious and wary of her (possibly meaning she has a good excuse to keep the verbal abuse going).

Handmaiden would call for different horde and ambush callouts, as well as different appraisals of other heroes in the fight, like Shade, but, once again, in reverse, being more supportive and less of a total [wordfilter]. In return, they’d obviously stop referring to her as a ‘wood elf’. Bardin can also acknowledge that she is using thicker armor – he’s told her before.

(cont’d in post 3)

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Bounty Hunter

Summary

Official description:

As the Bounty Hunter, Saltzpyre dons heavy armour and prefers to kill his enemies with ranged weapons, before he has to suffer their foul stench up close. The Bounty Hunter combines melee and ranged combat, with more brute force (and less finesse) than the Witch Hunter of old.

When dealing with his superiors, Saltzpyre learned the hard way to temper the zeal of his obsession with the Skaven. After Ubersreik, he could no longer contain himself and spoke his mind. His superiors responded harshly, threatening Saltzpyre with severe reprimands. Victor, feeling betrayed and disillusioned, cut his mental ties with the order. Officially, he remains a fully authorized Witch Hunter. In his mind, however, Victor continues his quest alone, and will now, if the need arises, secure funds for his quest by working as a Bounty Hunter.

Disregarding the mention of things that didn’t live to see the light of day (heavy armor, brute force), Bounty Hunter is still one heck of a proposition for us to just come and accept for Saltzpyre. This is easily the one career that I’d really like to be sold on. That said, it doesn’t necessarily have to require the amount of lines Slayer’d need.

As the Bounty Hunter, Saltzpyre can lose a bit of his pomp and replace that with more ferociousness. He’s still a sigmarite at heart, but his final disillusionment with the Order should leave him feeling less like lording over the other characters. Saltzpyre’s more intricate and wordy callouts – not all of them, some are pure gold – can be replaced with briefer, more vicious ones, and in map interactions, he can definitely curse the Order left and right if need be. That’s not to say he’s less devoted or in any way unsure; but he now only has Sigmar and his ‘comrades’ on his side. In a way, that brings certainty.

Bounty Hunter flavor can come through in many ways, particularly via direction callouts (as he’d be used to tracking), some special callouts (him claiming them as his targets, whether the player actually intends to go for them or not) and combat chatter (replying to praise with pride/complaints as to the gear and weapons he purchased himself). He’s a more self-sufficient Saltzpyre, in that he’s been brought down to earth, but remains no less snobbish and loud than before. In a world where we can go as far as to afford career/career interactions, Bounty Hunter and Mercenary would definitely have a very curious relationship, as they are quite literally colleagues now (who is Saltzpyre taking bounties from if not Lohner, who also employs Merc Kruber?).

The others would definitely find his transition to Bounty Hunter interesting and be a little suspicious of him. Kruber likely finds BH an oddity to work with because he’s so used to Saltzpyre drowning him out with authority, the dwarf probably sees a lot of himself in his one-man crusade to do what’s right in spite of a stubborn hierarchy that tries to push him down, and Sienna would harbor a small hope that he could maybe take further steps to start becoming an actual normal human being now that he’s no longer willing to associate himself with the tyrannical Order (an unfounded hope, but a hope nonetheless). The elf likely sees through him and realizes little has actually changed about Saltzpyre, and that all he’s done is prove that he’s a true fanatic - merely conscious enough to make a distinction between the Order and the faith in Sigmar. In regards to his relationship with the wizard in general, BH is likely beginning to feel more lenient towards her, now that she’s still under his control and jurisdiction, but he himself is in a legal grey area.

For humor’s sake, I would hope that the other characters ask if he misses wearing fancy hats. Chances are, Saltzpyre himself has a lot of critique to offer to the equipment that’s out there on the black market.

Witch Hunter Captain

Summary

Official description:

As a Witch Hunter Captain, Saltzpyre is all that he was during the Ubersreik campaign and more. He has improved his combat movement, deftly darting to advantageous positions, and sharpened his skills with an impressive array of weapons.

Unexpectedly, the day finally arrived when Victor Saltzpyre was promoted to Witch Hunter Captain. Saltzpyre had long since given up hope of advancing in the Order as his radical theories about the Skaven had gained him many enemies within. Fate, it seems, would have it otherwise. The Witch Hunters had suffered crippling losses in these turbulent times. With no other options, the Order was forced to choose Saltzpyre as a Witch Hunter Captain.

As most other default careers, WHC Saltzpyre seems to be the character he is in the base game. I mean, he calls himself a Captain in a keep conversation, that’s as good as it gets.

I wouldn’t say that much should be done with WHC. Different special callouts to coincide with his base perk, for instance, would be way too much of a waste for something that’d misrepresent the way it even works (since it doesn’t matter who tags the target). At most, he could have different horde incoming lines that bring out more of the authority figure in him.

Discussing his promotions and his initial hesitance in accepting it, as well as other things surrounding his continued association with the Templar Order are obvious topics for discussion at the Keep.

Zealot

Summary

Official description:

In battle, the Zealot is a furious melee fighter, thrashing heretics, heathens and monsters with flails and maces in a holy rage. Although lightly armoured, the zealot is capable of suffering grievous wounds and still continue fighting, bolstered by his faith alone.

Since losing his eye in a fateful encounter with the Skaven, and the obsession with the ratmen that followed, Victor Saltzpyre could no longer handle the Orders lack of support for his convictions. Deeming all worldly organisations insufficient for the monumental tasks ahead, Saltzpyre slowly descended into a fanatical worship of Sigmar.

Funny enough, I don’t think much needs to change to bring Zealot out compared to WHC and BH. I’d almost just settle for his hood being put back into the game WHAT WERE YOU THINKING DO YOU SEE HOW RIDICULOUS VICTOR’S FACE IS

Saltzpyre’s sanctimonious ranting is as fitting to one who still associates with the Order as it is to one who’s on his way to zealous flagellancy. He can certainly simply use a lot of different takes, ones where he’s borderline frothing at the mouth – and stop referring to other Sigmarite figures (Volkmar, the Order, the Silver Hammer, etc). A few conversations can explore his growing zealousy and instability, with Saltzpyre himself just rising to a new level of ham every now and again.

Gameplay-wise, however, he can definitely use some unique lines – specifically, for taking damage, going down, and commenting on the damage others take. His response to pain should be more enthusiastic, making him react with furious war cries and mocking the pactsworn for thinking they can penetrate his shield of faith. He should probably have a special quasi-ult line for when his refuse-to-die passive activates. As for the others, he’ll probably balk at their weakness and suggest Sigmar as a viable alterantive to healing supplies.

He could just start raving madly about how Sigmar literally points a finger at the correct path, or how he’s convulsing in hysteria at the thought of many unsmitten enemies still left to kill. Saltzpyre is now on a strictly personal crusade, and likely sees his companions as merely tools to help him move further on, little more. Ironically, he’d likely get along far more with the wizard, because one single witch with righteous tendencies isn’t a big deal when he has an entire world to scour – he needs all the help he can get. The others would just consider him a lost cause and generally be wary of him.

Once again, he really should be asked if he misses the hats.

Battle Wizard

Summary

Official description:

As a Battle Wizard, Sienna unleashes powerful area of effect spells, immolating large numbers of enemies, turning onrushing hordes into smouldering piles of ash.

In order to find peace, Sienna had to temper her addiction. Her flame-lust will always be there, but she now dims it through more structured and organized means. She chose a touch of military discipline to deal with what she ultimately is – an addict.

BW is the black sheep of the default careers – the Sienna we have in the game right now is almost certainly not Battle Wizard. It’s Pyromancer (see Pyromancer below for clarification).

With that said, aside from the usual package of different keep conversations and a few career-based level/general conversations, BW doesn’t need a whole lot to feel properly differentiated.

Combat lines for killing sorcerers and for facing a horde are the best candidates, as that’s where her more tempered nature can come through. BW shouldn’t lose it as easily over killing a flame rat or being ambushed (and liking it). After all, Battle Wizard is more restrained and reserved than even the Bright Wizard she was in the first game – and that was before she smoked 60 packs of Marlboros and became a crazy cat lady.

In terms of relations with other heroes, BW could be the career that Saltzpyre of any class uses less of his more scathing remarks towards. Nobody would mind Battle Wizard.

Pyromancer

Summary

Official description:

The Pyromancer career turns Sienna into an efficient single-target annihilator, specialising in incinerating the hardiest of enemies at a brisk pace, one at the time.

As the Pyromancer, Sienna revels in her power but is careful not to overstep the mark, at least when out of battle. Through instinct and the half-remembered lessons from the Bright College, she balances the magic she wields with enough discipline to skirt damnation.

Disregarding the playstyle description from when Homing Firebolt wasn’t meant to incinerate entire hordes, this is an apt description – of Bright Wizard from the first game. Pyromancer is indeed incredibly close to Sienna’s personality in V1, and is the most likely direction she would take after its events and before being captured by Rasknitt.

As such, there’s little to really say. Sienna balances between a haze of fire lust and being the most reasonable character in the party. She has a more palpable human side, with compassion for the weak, coexisting with a bad case of pyromania that’s beginning to feel like pyrophilia. Her association with the College is fleeting and she’s willing to explore outside it, Saltzpyre being pretty much the only obstacle in her way – and even he is sometimes conciliatory. Battle Wizard took more effort to rein herself in, but Pyromancer has the balance Sienna had in V1.

She’s lost a bit of control and sounds slightly more deranged. She’s even learned some new spells in this time period. All the Pyromancer really needs for career differention is for characters to refer to her as Pyromancer (some lines exist, shamelessly ripped from V1) and to make mention of research she does on her own – and that’s really only to justify the scrolls she’s covered her clothes with. If ripped V1 lines are here to stay, then I’d like if she had her V1 overheat lines – she sounded more on edge back then, whereas in V2 it’s clear she lets less of it overtake her, instead choking a little and holding it back, more suiting a Battle Wizard in that sense.

Unchained

Summary

Official description:

As the Unchained, Sienna’s focus now lays in magically enhanced melee combat. She can channel the winds of Aqshy to provide both an armour of flame that protects her and a mighty spell of fiery destruction, detonating around herself.

Sienna Unchained has thrown caution aside, embracing every possible scrap of power from the Winds of Magic to strengthen her. She lives from one dizzying magical high to the next, getting as close to the foe as she can – the better to witness that sublime moment when flesh and bone succumb to the glorious flame she now serves.

Unchained is another doozie, just like Slayer. I mean, Sienna’s lost it, she’s literally on fire. Chances are, it’s Saltzpyre who got this suit of locks and chains for her. Yeah this is one career that, in order to truly feel like what it says on the tin, has to basically be fully revoiced – and that’s not reasonable. Yet Unchained is one of those careers that just feel wrong to play with nothing to distinguish the character behind them. I haven’t completed a single game as Unchained in months.

As such, I think Unchained would benefit a lot from just using different, more unstable sounding takes of the same lines, and removing some of the more ‘normal’ sounding lines period. Chief of all the new lines Unchained should get, however, are different reactions to overheat – she should encourage you to gain overheat, to play the dangerous game. It’s just wrong to hear Unchained wheeze, gasp and moan when she’s on high overheat. This is what she lives for! And if it’s confusing to the player… then how did they even get to level 12 as the wizard?

It’s clear that no one else would exactly approve of Sienna just cracking like that. Specific careers could, but as I outlined, career/career conversations aren’t something that’s plausible. That sort of simplifies things, really – just cut down on the friendly replies others have for Sienna, that’s about it.

Conversations would obviously revolve around whether she think she can keep this up and whether she still has it in her to not, say, maybe set them on fire – and generally warning her against addiction. What does she think of the others? Pretty much all the same to her, I’d figure.

Mercenary

Summary

Official description:

The Mercenary is a versatile fighter, entering battle in armour balanced to provide ample protection while not severely restricting mobility. In combat, the Mercenary is capable of both close quarters mayhem and shredding the enemy with ranged fire.

When Saltzpyre, the Witch Hunter, recruited Kruber for his retinue it was the former State Trooper’s first venture as a Mercenary. The new profession lit a fire within him, and a desire awoke to one day lead a company of his own as a Mercenary Captain. Perhaps the events in Helmgart will lead him down this path.

Merc Kruber is yet another character who is definitely in the game. The Kruber we play right now is definitely the one that survived the events of V1and took the best of it, focusing on moving on with a more lucrative calling instead of dwelling on his heavy-set PTSD. He sounds more goofy than before (as he’s a heavy drinker) and takes a lot more of a team morale role than he used to. Notably, especially in Bogenhafen, he has become a lot more, well, mercenary in nature, going as far as to claim that money is all that’s important in the world at this rate. He still reverts to soldiery terms and appraises his teammates as if they were his squadmates – since he intends to lead again.

There are even occasional mentions of him working for money (very occasional, likely slipping through just because they were done and sorted). The only thing Merc really needs is to be referred to as Mercenary by other characters. It’s funny how the devs gladly reused all sorts of lines from V1, including ones that identify the character as a career they simply aren’t anymore (Waywatcher), but nobody calls Kruber Mercenary even though they very often did so in V1.

Details of his mercenary work, his employment at Lohner’s hands and his general slip into mercenarydom should probably be expanded in more map and keep based conversations.

Huntsman

Summary

Official description:

Steady with his aim, especially after an ale or twelve, the Huntsman relishes both the thrill of long range kills on selected, particularly troublesome foes as well as the satisfaction of mowing down waves of oncoming hordes through devastating firepower.

Walking the path of the Huntsman, Kruber returns to his roots and finds solace in the worship of Taal and Rhya, the Gods of Nature. The Huntsman excels in ranged combat, delivering death from afar with bullet and arrow. Moving as one with the land, the Huntsman dons light armour, favoring speed and agility instead of heavy plate.

Huntsman Kruber is in a pretty sad state, and it doesn’t really get reflected much. I mean, Kruber caves in to his PTSD and spends several months squatting in the woods, only emerging when he’s gone hobo mode and thrown away both the hopes of a lucrative mercenary career or really going anywhere in life. Half of his hats make reference to illegal activity, so it’s clear that there’s little of ‘good old Markus Kruber’ left in Huntsman.

That means that the goofier sounding lines Merc has don’t feel right on Huntsman once you realize what occurred to him. He is no longer happy-drunk like Merc most of the time, he’s depressed-drunk. Still drunk as balls though. Coinciding with him being a hunter of sorts, he could do with different special callouts (more brief and to the point, perhaps slurred), different direction pointers (he too is a tracker, after all), ranged combat appraisals and horde/CW callouts (Merc and Knight make good use of the more soldiery lines he has, whereas Huntsman doesn’t sound right shouting formation orders). Most of the level comments and dialogue, however, still fit Huntsman whenever Kruber is concerned. The main exception is the start of Athel Yenlui, where Kruber often complains about disliking forests and never feeling at ease within – even if this is the case for Huntsman, he should definitely sound less inexperienced there.

Like Merc, he is still Saltzpyre’s bodyguard, though I do wonder what he’d think about that particular lifestyle change. The wizard and the elf would probably approve more of him in this state, as he distances himself from the Empire’s corruption on one hand, and becomes closer to nature on the other. Bardin has the icky issue of likely having his own career choice affect his opinion of Huntsman Kruber, but by and large he’d probably see it as the beginning of Kruber’s fall from grace; not that it’d stop them from being comrades.

Huntsman in general seems more grizzled and less compassionate, both in regards to how he’d react to gruesome scenes like EiF or how he acts to his teammates.

Foot Knight

Summary

Official description:

Foot Knight Kruber is strong as steel in defence and fearsome in offence, able to shrug off the mightiest of blows or shatter enemy ranks with a formidable charge. Standing tall in the thick of combat, the Foot Knight is the epitome of a heavily armoured, frontline melee warrior.

Knighted for his heroic contribution to the defense of Ubersreik, Kruber has – somewhat reluctantly – climbed the social ladder. Not fully comfortable in his new station, Kruber has nonetheless found new method and purpose in his never-ending battles, be they against the enemy horde or his inner demons.

FK Kruber has less differences from Merc than Huntsman, but they’re still notable. This is Kruber being plucked out of the freedom he received after leaving the army and being thrust back into servitude – though in a much, much higher position than before, certainly more lucrative than a mere Empire Soldier. The honor of knightdom is not something he had in him to refuse, but it still takes away the freedom and self-realization a Mercenary career would have allowed him. It’s up to him now to fit his new status, however ineffective his attempts may be.

As such, most of his combat lines really do still apply. He probably does still drink, so only the really goofy ones could bear replacing, but that aside, at most he could use more pompous lines for meeting hordes head on. Taking damage could include a few references to his much heavier armor and him, a knight, not falling to some scum just like that. The real area for change is in his interactions with others.

Kruber being promoted to Knight is probably a little amusing to everyone (if not a lot), and there’s definitely room for them calling him ‘Sir Kruber’ ironically, when he’s fallen down or is being healed or isn’t hitting armor/blocking. Considering that he himself would view it as a mixed blessing, he could just as well do the same, when reviving, healing or praising others. Him being a knight really can just be sort of a running gag, as it clashes so much with his down to earth roots, even if he himself hasn’t changed much.

I’d like to say that as a Knight, he’d no longer be Saltzpyre’s bodyguard – it definitely doesn’t feel right hearing him call Saltzpyre ‘sir’ when he himself is now a Sir. If he still is, then there’s definitely good conversation material as to how their employment even works, because a Witch Hunter, even a Captain, is still lower on the social ladder than a Knight, even a new one (to my understanding, at least). Bardin would likely approve quite greatly of his advancement, and at most just tease him so he doesn’t get a big head or anything. In a reversal of how I’d perceive Huntsman, the elf and the wizard would probably be less excited – mocking the arbitrary promotion that only brought a suit of clanky armor with it (for the elf) and being happy for his success in life but not being too excited about him having to face, let alone become, high society at some point (for the wizard).

Of course, there’s rich dialogue material in the fact that this truly is a double-edged sword. In general FK is more proper and pompous, but it’s forced and occasionally the façade slips, which can be done using both different takes and new lines, particularly for maps like AtG and EIF.

Man am I gonna be surprised if anyone’s read all of this.

So there you go. I know this huge thread could have been much shorter, but I wanted to give it my all and really address the core of the issue. That’s all I’ve got.

8 Likes

I really enjoyed your interpretations of the different character-arcs and forks, thanks for the read!

I don’t know whether to be surprised about the length of the posts or that you wrote something constructive that isn’t just dev bashing.

They do deserve a bit of bashing. I’m not saying the game is perfect.

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Nice work. I think the game’s hero characterisation is one of its highlights. I’d love to see the different personalities of each career be expanded through more voice lines. It drives it home that I’m playing as an unstable magic addict when Unchained Sienna starts rambling and laughing about things dancing in the flames, and Kruber suggests that she’s finally lost it and that things are about to get messy.

I read every bit of that - all really interesting, and I’d love to see it all done. Seems an absolute mountain of work, but it’d be fantastic, and I just adore WHF lore (though, as some have noted, I do like some of the more exotic things in it). Clearly an absolute ton of thought went into all of this post - thinking about how different characters would interact and stuff. I’d like it all twice if I could.

I feel like the real problem is just that having so many characters means so many POSSIBLE reactions - and sometimes we have conversations with more than two people. Like the one where Saltzpyre praises Kruber’s slaughtering, and Kruber replies they’re all on the same side - and Kerillian will then laugh sarcastically about how similar they are. That conversation would be so different if it was Zealot talking to Huntsman with Handmaiden throwing a line in, as opposed to WHC talking to Merc with Shade commenting. I rather suspect this massive task caused some sort of . . . internal change somewhere in mid-development, where they realized not just how big the task would be, but how much it would limit their dialogue overall (if, as you rightfully point out, characters’ whole demeanour should change between some careers, then huge chunks of their existing dialogue would have to get cut, meaning even more repetition).

I’m not trying to say that this shouldn’t happen, just kind of stream-of-consciousness considering the implications and why it didn’t pan out as much as they initially said. I feel like the most . . . doable way of implementing this would be singular lines, not conversations (aside from maybe keep conversations?). As you suggest, Slayer Bardin commenting that he hopes THIS Chaos Warrior isn’t as flimsy as the last and might actually be able to end him, or Battle Wizard more calmly analyzing the presence of a patrol, or Shade commenting on how Khaine will be so pleased with what she is about to do to this horde . . .

One thing I’d like to add - you really have created a good conversation here, and I hope you continue to be more positive and constructive in future posts.

1 Like

I know you get a lot of shite here on FS forums 'cause you can sound like a c * ck, but I want you to know you’ve always been my favorite c * ck. And this thread is a big, fat, throbbing reason for me to think that.

2 Likes

Havn’t read it all. but there are some well fought exemple of what you seem to complain about already in the game: Kerrilian say: “I am a child of athel lorren, daughter of [cant’ remember] your foul [tricks?] can’t [hurt me?]” as she is either handmaiden or waywatcher. But when in shade she say (and this is awsome) “I am a daughter of clar karrond, a bloodied daughter of khain, [you should fear me?]” And you did said ther was few exemple but i beleive at least each class have one exemple but it is rare to hear it thats all. Anyway good topic sorry for not reading it all ^^

I’ve read it all, and I couldn’t agree more. The dialogue depth of VT1 was what first got me into it.
When a lot of lines where added (with the “cosmetic” patch, iirc) I couldn’t be more happy, even if the feedback focused on the loot and gameplay aspects.
I think keep conversations in itself are a huge improvement over VT1, and oleysa’s post mission monologues are as good as lonher’s introes.

Speaking of which, I’m quite unhappy we have none for the DLC, and nowhere in there (as far as I have played it) goes to explain what’s the link between the two missions, how they figured out about the sword. I assume the first mission is a fool’s errand, and lonher takes his time to figure things out, but this does not match the game, with “the pit’s fires still burning”

Also, one of the most necessary fixes imo is how enemy lines can stop a great and sometimes rare banter.
“You know, Bardin, I’ve always meant to ask…” “Rothelm!”
It makes sense, but maybe a separate trigger could be placed so they resume the dialogue at a later time?

I’d say that my implication is that these just get jettisoned for anything that is career-related. New career-related conversations would be strictly career-related - so, if it’s a conversation with Handmaiden in it, SOMETHING Handmaiden is concerned, it’s not Kerillian just being less of a [wordfilter] - and ideally shorter than existent ones. Having dialogue where 3 characters are involved is essentially V2’s invention and it’s not been as much of a thing to really be required.

By and large, yeah, when I talk about possible conversations, it’s really just one or two per map, and maybe 3-4 with each character (not career!), plus a bundle of keep talks. The absolute bulk would be singular gameplay lines, which is where we do agree, but I do believe that simply using different takes from the VO recordings saves a lot of this concept.

That, and I still seriously believe that most of this already exists, has been recorded, and simply couldn’t be processed to this day.

Well, they say my heart grew three sizes that day. I’m now going to go down with cardiac arrest.

Really though, not to insert drama into this thread, but this is the last one I’ll really make. After I get to post my thoughts on the DLC, I’ll ask Hedge to ban me, just like I asked to be banned from reddit. Engaging with the community hasn’t had a positive effect on my mental state, and this is essentially my magnum opus. This is the thing I’ve been the most concerned - and the most passionate about, all this time. Here’s a fun fact; you might remember that shortly after V2 launched, there was a large post on Reddit that outlined all the ways in which VO was broken (and still kind of is). It somehow got several thousand upboats and even a few reddit golds. Hedge even replied, reassuring things’d get better - which they have, they did indeed improve from the absolute blackest hole of dark badness to just bad. Well, I’ve been the OP of that thread all along - I just use different names on different platforms.

Most of my dev bashing comes from the fact that they let me down when I didn’t ever think they would. I was their biggest fan, for the first time in years I let myself just get obsessed with something, and they not only dropped the ball, but they dropped it right into my groin. This was worse than when L4D2 launched at the peak of my L4Mania, and ended up just being kind of… ehhh?.. ehhh. Back then it took me years to realize it was kind of a letdown, but this time I couldn’t make it past the beta, once it was apparent that all these things wouldn’t ‘just get fixed next update, surely it’s just around the corner’.

We’ll see what happens next, but I’ve basically reached the limits of my constructivity with this thread here.

P.S. Well, the DLC dropped, and so far I can at least say that I’m glad to remove the paragraph pertaining to the Burning Head in the Pyromancer section. Somehow I’m skeptical that I’ll be tweaking much more after I actually play it…

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