Volley Shade Rework/Tweak

Volley Crossbow is the least used elf ranged weapon. Despite being a shade exclusive, it has no redeeming niche or build to make it strong enough to ever use over the other options, outside of fun. To create a niche build on shade:

  • Tweak: Bloodfletcher – Return 5% ammo back
    • The cooldown nerf on bloodfletcher was deserved, given shades were spamming hagbanes as much as waystalkers; however, the 1 bolt/arrow back is pitiful on volley crossbow and swift bow. Making the talent scrounger on backstab still means longbow and hagbane gain only 1 arrow back, but allows volley to gain 2 bolts and swift bow 3 arrows. This would make volley and swift bow more appealing without buffing longbow or hagbane.
  • Rework: Shadowstep – Retain dash, invisibility, and guaranteed crit. Increase ranged damage (50% ranged power? damage? increased headshot damage? Crit chance? Crit Damage?) for 5-10? seconds and lose melee damage bonus. 10-20% Ammo gain on ult? Conditional cooldown reduction?
    • Shadowstep is a rarely seen talent pick that is completely overshadowed by cloak of mist and cloak of pain. Providing a ranged damage bonus and some ammo gain encourages the use of the ult to drop aggro, dash to reposition, then output ranged damage. Given the already powerful melee ult alternatives, removing the melee damage bonus means you don’t get both boosted ranged and melee damage requiring a trade off.
    • Additional Buffs:
      • 10-20% ammo gain on ult usage (2-4 on longbow/hagbane, 4-8 on volley, and 6-12 on swiftbow). Though it may seem excessive, the conditional and low ammo gain on scrounger and the above bloodfletcher tweak would still make volley shade ammo hungry. Furthermore, volley and swift bow have terrible special breakpoints, meaning you will be spamming arrows to kill a single special with no guaranteed ammo return. Providing ammo regain on ult usage can help assuage ammo issues without necessarily giving infinite ammo. Additionally, this encourages utility ult use such as ulting during a horde to pick off specials or a few elites.
      • Cooldown reduction for ranged kills during the ranged buff (up to 20% with 2% per ranged kill or hit or something) or flat cdr (boring option). This optional change combined with ammo gain allows the ult and ranged weapon to be used a bit more often for sniping/hording. Although the ult does guarantee a crit for scrounger procs, at most scrounger provides 6 for volley and 3 for swift bow from the guaranteed crit. (Without considering increased crit chance or the like on ult).

The purpose of these changes is to create some niche that makes elf volley crossbow feel usable and fun, not cripplingly bad as it is now.

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I agree it needs to be reworked/tweaked.
I really like to use it, but mostly due to its low ammo i never do.
If it had double ammo I would definitely use it more often.

I actually use this thing exclusively when playing shade…tried the others, moonbow included, but they just lack something.

Plus with a boon for double shot in the chaos wastes it morphs into a Van Hellsing repeating crossbow which is pure joy.

I like some of your propositions, though I think the weapon itself needs some love too, especially now that Moonfire bow came out and Crossbow has lost guaranteed ranged crit which was one of the biggest reason you would ever use it for.

I’ve been thinking +10% crit chance for alt firing and more armor dmg should do.

I do and don’t agree. The weapon itself isn’t necessarily in a bad place, as it is nearly identical to saltzypre volley (same damage but firing times are different and trades 2 dodges for ~half the reload time). The problem is the kit available to pair with it lacks sufficient crits and power stacking to push it into viability. Volley zealot has power stacking and guaranteed crits from smite. Volley BH has passive crit, open wounds, and/or ranged power with some utility for ranged. These kits provide the crits and power needed to snipe specials and dps bosses. Shade needs some talent synergy to better enable the volley via crits and power. I don’t think tacking on some crit chance and armor damage would suffice, but it would be welcome yet perhaps unnecessary. Along with “fixing” guaranteed ranged crits coming out of ult (pretty sure it’s a bug), Shade has the talents Exquisite Huntress, blood fletcher, and shadow step that could synergize for a more ranged focused Shade. However, I think shade should be a melee career so giving too much to ranged would also be problematic, at least thematically. Moonfire is a whole nother thing.

Moonfire isn’t a whole another thing because Victor doesn’t have it yet Kerillian does. For her ranged weapons to be competitive now they need to have comparative advantage over Moonfire. I don’t see it from Volley atm, yet I may do if it can get more crits like b4.

What I expect from Volley is a good burst dmg with ammo conservation issue. As for now it doesn’t have enough burst dmg to justify ammo conservation issue, and now that we have Moonfire with literally no ammo issue, we should focus more on dmg output of Volley, for purpose of competitiveness and differentiation.

Moonfire is a different beast because it is blatantly overpowered. It has nearly everything, free special breakpoints, horde clear, boss damage, and armor damage (ok super armor, but still does dmg) all with infinite ammo. Nothing should be trying to out compete moonfire, because that amount of power creep is not something I think should be the standard. I want the weapon to feel fun and be viable instead of a detriment to yourself and the team.

As you mentioned high burst damage could be the selling point. Even then, I don’t want it to be so strong you straight up melt a boss. At base, chunking a boss for say ~1/4 would seem reasonable if only hitting the body. Much more if you are headshotting and combining it with exquisite huntress/strength/shrap or other damage boosters. I wouldn’t want the reward to be so high just for a mag dump into the body. But this balance of skill vs reward is just my opinion. Long story short, either modify shade’s kit by tweaking rarely used talents with more crits and ranged power or modify volley damage stat to kill specials with some break points/crits, decent boss dmg burst (unless you fully invest in it), and passable damage to other things with mediocre ammo sustain.

I’m supportive of the mentioned change to Bloodfletcher. I think making Shadowstep more ranged focus is an interesting idea.

However, I disagree that it has no redeeming niche. It bodyshots most Cata specials at close range with 1 alt-fire and is easy to use like BoP. I prefer it over the Longbow because it’s better under pressure.


Huh. Didn’t know volley could bodyshot cata specials in 1 alt-fire… been a while since I’ve touched it. After playing aroud with it, volley is better than I thought. I still think it could use some small buff, like 2 armor damage per bolt to 1 alt fire warpfire/ratling at close range without headshot. After reconsideration, maybe all shadow step needs is to get increased power and crit chance (both melee and ranged, not 100%) for a time after coming out of stealth while sacrificing the melee damage bonus (also keeping first attack crits on ranged and melee). Would enable both melee and ranged play as well as a new tool to play around.

Shade’s backstab playstyle doesn’t really fit that well in Vermintide 2 with the mass of enemies.
Vanish was an attempt at chaining backstabs but it ended up feeling cheesy.

I think FS should give Shade another go, a redesign.
Also, yeah Volley is a lot of fun.

It’s a bit too late in the game’s life to be redesigning half of the bloody careers.

A man can dream :pensive:

But to be fair, I don’t think Shade’s intended backstab playstyle fits that well in Vermintide 2.
Most people end up playing her like any other crit / headshot career, just with added cheese.

Putting a low damage cap backstab in a game with a proximity based aggro system didn’t work out well? Who could ever have foreseen this outcome? :thinking:

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Before the BBB Shade used to have a ult talent that let her fire her ranged weapon without breaking stealth, which made killing monster super fun cause you just spammed alt fire while invisible before landing the final backstab.

Now in the current state of the game, a talent like that would strengten all of her options so it’s not really useful, but I definitively could see some sort of talent rework giving Crossbow an edge… Actually an ult buffing ranged damage/crit chance could work well, since it would buff 3 bolts at once (something that wouldn’t apply on other bows).

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