Weapon and Equipment Properties could use a revision

People have noticed issues with equipment stats a very long time ago. Probably even before the first DLC was released, folk had been pointing out, that loot system in the game isn’t really appealing.

And while the topic of random lootchest system has been beated to death, resurrected, and then beaten to death again, there wasn’t as much discussion in regards to equipment properties (not traits).
This is partially due to how much of it is hardcoded into the game and the risk of messing up already existing equipment, but there is stil lsome wiggle room for brainstorming. So here is my handfull of shillings on the subject.

Currently, weapon properties can be split into about 3 groups:

  1. “Must Have” - without these properties on your equipment you are actuvely handicapping yourself without gaining as much in return.
    Examples of this: +20% Max Health, 33% Curse Resistance (when in Quickplay).
  2. “Build-dependant” - these properties depend on what build the player is using, allowing players to tweak their equipment for their playstyle.
    Examples of this: +10% Power vs X, +2 Stamina, +30% Block Cost Reduction, +5% Attack Speed.
  3. “Bad/Useless” - these properties are too niche and don’t provide a meaningful bonus when compared to other options. The only people who are actually using them on their equipment are usually either newbies or intentionally do everything to not take the game seriously.
    Examples of this: +10% Damage Reduction vs X, +30% Respawn Speed.

In my personal opinion, while the big majority of the properties themself are fine, presense of “Must Have” and “Bad” ones really hurts the gameplay, player’s freedom and the ability to have fun.
Because of that, I would like to adress these categories and make a suggestion on how to fix the current issues.


Let’s start with the “Bad”:

Respawn Speed
The core idea behind this stat is not bad - reduce the respawn timer for people when the die, allowing them to get back into the fight quicker and spend more time actually playing the game.
BUT
It is actually quite pointless, because it actually preferable to take a property that would help you avoid dying in the first place (like Curse Resistance), making Respawn Speed property a rather pointless crutch. The only theoretical use for it I can think of is for the underleveld “weakest member” of a Discord party, who knows he will die less than a minute after being picked up, but doesn’t want to stay dead from start to finish spectating teammates.

How to fix this?
Make this property more survival-focused. Change the effect fro mreducing the reswan timer to something like “damage reduction while incapacitated”. If I recall correctly, this effect dates as far back as pre-release days, because Ranger Veteran had a talent called “Curl Up”, which provided this exact stat. (We also have this effect as a Boon in Chaos Wastes)

Why would it help?
In higher difficulties, one of the common problems is dying as soon as you go down, this is one of the reasons why Barkskin is so popular in Legend and especially in Cataclysm and above - it gives you a bigger chance of getting picked up when you go down and surrounding enemies start all stomping you to death.

How should this be implemented?
This is actually somewhat simple, but requires a bit of footwork.
Because each piece of equipment in Vermintide applies a hidden buffs (with the values provided by the item properties), I wonder if it is possible to just try copying a piece of code responsible for the Boon in Chaos Wastes and replacing with it the code responsible for respawn speed buff. It would be a bit tedious, but from a quick look into the Vermintide 2 source code, I feel like even I could do it, if given enough time and freedom.


Damage Reduction vs X
This property has multiple problems.
First - the value provided is too small. 10% damage reduction is just too insignificant, when compared to 20% Max Health.
Second - it s 3 different properties with situational effects. Why would anyone run 10% damage resistance agains Skaven/Chaos/Area of Effect damage, when a versatile 20% Max Health exists, providing it’s bonus agains all 3 threats equally?

How to fix this?
There are multiple options.
№1
Stat bonuses could be massively increased, to make them more lucrative in comparison to 20% max health. But how much? 20% resistance? Max health is still more versatile. 25%? Maybe, but then people would likely just roll Max Health + Damage Reduction vs Chaos and call it a day (because Chaos covers both Rotbloods and Beastmen).
№2
If the stat bonuses provided by these properties get changed, the numerical increase could be much less ludicrous.
New stat bonuses could be Damage Reduction (flat), Dodge Distance, Stagger Power. Which would probably be VERY competitive options, granting players a lot of choice.
BUT
This is an even harder option, both because of balance and implementation.

Why would it help?
Having 3 “dead” choices in the necklace slot really hurts the build variety for people, because at the moment, there are essentially only 2 viable options. Max HP + Stamina and Max HP + Block Cost Reduction. Any other property combination is just a direct handicap on the player, making them more vulnerable. Having options to provide yourself additional safety would really help.
Especially with the option №2, as it gives players the ability to focus on different forms of safety - passive damage reduction, reactive dodging, or proactive staggering.

How should this be implemented?
And here is where we reach the biggest problems. Due to change in values, there will inevitably be some problems in regards to existing equipment, but that’s probably not that big of a deal, because vast majority of the people doesn’t use these properties. But the issue itself lies in the options themself.
Option №1 is easy, but also lazy and doesn’t solve the core problem. People will still not use Damage Reduction vs AOE, just because they don’t have to worry about it that often. And you cannot roll Damage Reduction versus both Skaven and Chaos on the same necklace, which would lead to a simple process of elemination between two evils. And Chaos would probably win.
Option №2, on the other hand, is EXTREMELY problematic when it comes to code. First off - Dodge Distance isn’t actually a single stat buff, instead consisting of dodge_range and dodge_speed, so the property would have to apply hidden buffs instead of 1. Second - this whole rework would require a LOT of lines of code to be rewritten and would be very time consuming, and on top of that, there is a chance of something not working as intended.
But, in my personal opinion, it would definitely be worth it, because in the end players would get “new toys” to paly with and a very rigid meta would be shaken up without ruining people’s favorite builds.


Revive Speed
This property is in a rather strange superposition of being both mainly useless for the majority of the people, and actually providing a good bonus that has synergy with Handmaiden and allows her to revive people instantly.
I am not sure this proprerty needs to be touched. And don’t know what to suggest here.
If anyone would like tag in with ideas, I would greatly appretiate your input.


Crit Power
While technically a very good property, which should provide a nice bonus, it currently suffers from lack of versatility, due to only relying on crit attacks and nothing else. And because of how Crit Power is coded in the game, it turns out that having Power vs X actually outperforms it damage-wise, making property efectively redundant for most of the people and builds. The only exception I can think of is Bounty Hunter, just because he has access to guaranteed crits.

How to fix this?
There are a few options I can think of.
№1
Increase the numbers. Making the max threshhold 30% instead of 20% would allow people to gain a better return on investing this into their equipment.
№2
Make it affect headshots as well. This would make it a more lucrative option for “finesse” weapons and reward skill on weapon use.

Why would it help?
Option №1 would make it less weak numbers-wise.
While the option №2 would actually make it a very competitive choice on a wide variety of weapons and careers.

How should this be implemented?
Option №1 is as simple as changing numbers in weapon_properties.lua (in properties_crit_boost, variable_multiplier should be higher and that’s it). Though, there might be problems with existing equipment afterwards.
Option №2 is harder, but probably still manageable. Instead of applying only stat_buff = “critical_strike_effectiveness” it should also apply stat_buff = “headshot_multiplier” (with related buff_tweak_data added, obviously).
Edit: When making this suggestion, I haven’t actually considered Warrior Priest and how to adress his 35% crit power talent.


Push/Block Angle
I honestly don’t know what to do with this stat. A long time ago, there was a funny build on Sienna, which allowed her to reach more than a 100% block angle, but now I haven’t heard of anyone actually running it.
That being said, I am probably just woefully unaware.
I am not sure this proprerty needs to be touched. And don’t know what to suggest here.
If anyone would like tag in with ideas, I would greatly appretiate your input.


Now, let’s get to the “Must Have” properties.

Max Health
This is the omnipresent, most powerful necklace property, which everyone runs due to it being the best possible choice in the slot. Due to how important survivability is in Vermintide (especially in higher difficulties), having more health is always a good thing, because it can mean the difference between instant death from a single hit and a chance to survive and recover afterwards. In addition to that, Max Health synergizes very well with damage reduction avaialble to many of the careers.

How to fix this?
There are two ways to go about it.
Either nerfing Max Health property, which means making the vast majority of players unhappy, because their characters would get weaker overnight. Or buffing the alternatives and making them more appealing. I would much prefer the second option, because that means less backlash and conflicts.
You can read my opining on how to buff alternatives in Damage Reduction vs X.


Curse Resistance
This is a very notorious property, which isn’t really THAT essential to play the game, but because majority of the people play Campaign and usually take books, it’s hard to justify not having Curse Resistance on your Trinket.

How to fix this?
I think the main issue with this property is actually much deeper and lies beyond just item property balance. Instead, it is probably more related to loot system in general and should be addressed separately.


Aftertought.

With all that said, I would like to hear other people’s thoughts.
Maybe someone, who knows Vermintide source code better than me could enlighten me a bit and highlight a possible mistake.
Or maybe one of my suggestions has a high risk of making things terribly worse for everyone.

(Edit: Thank you to Arthadaw for formatting advice!)

3 Likes

pretty much spot on, sad really that its all for nothing

Both the power against Skaven/Chaos and Damage vs Skaven/Chaos should be changed toward:

against Elite/Horde/Monster&Lord/Special, just like there already exist for the Charms

There are quite a few characters that benefit more from Crit power:
Pyro: High heat give her a Crit bonus chance (up to 30%)
Huntsman: Crit aura that can be increased to 25%

That one I very much like, even though i wouldn’t make it more useful on Huntsman since his headshot damage is already quite high

It was at some point it was very useful to run it with Sienna’s dagger, since it has a very slim cone but other wise, meh I never really liked it

Formatting help

Because it’s a bit hardto find which is Bad/Build-Dependent/Good, you can simply use a “#” to make it big and bold

# Test

Test

Additionally you can put separators:

---

There actually was a pretty sizable discussion about these in the past. Especially @Adelion seemed to have some strong and good ideas on these but as with anything when it comes to vermintide balance discussion, it tends to get forgotten pretty quickly or debated to death.

My quick 2 cents on this:

  • Revive speed/respawn speed at the very least should be combined, personally i think both could be just removed if no alternative is to be created.
  • Power VS should be more specific, like infantry, elite, special so you can easier target the specific breakpoints you value.
  • Curse resistance could just be removed and make it so grims remove health to the point that current curse resistance does. It is an absolutely mandatory stat for those who want to book run.
  • Max Health and Damage reduction vs X, I remember this sparked some pretty heated debate. I personally think the health is too good and literally a must have statistic currently but simply nerfing it and making DR more valuable would just switch around the problem. I really don’t know how to “fix” this properly but i do see it as a problem.
  • Crit power, I think this one simply creates more problems than good for this game. This is a great example of a stat that nearly everyone who uses it, somehow also seems to not understand how exactly this interacts with your careers damage so either rework it somehow or remove it. Very few careers get more value out of this than power VS stats.
  • Pushblock angle could be maybe combined with stamina to give it little bit more defensive utility.
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This just moves already existing stats around, not really fixing the problem with the existing properties. Also, people seem to actually use Power vs Skave/Chaos, as a “build cornerstone”, so changing it will definitely upset more people.

I honestly never seen many Pyros run Crit Power (partially because Pyro is not as popular outside of Chaos Wastes at the moment). Though I understand your point.
Also, if I am not mistaken, Huntsman Aura is always 5% crit. The talent just gives Huntsman himself a flat +25% crit chance bonus. And I am still not sure this justifies Crit Power over other options since there is too much footwork and high chance to whiff (crit can just not roll until too late).

Crit Power is awaivable for Melee weapons. So, maybe there would be some interesting options with Crit/Headshot Power. :thinking:

(Thanks for the formatting tip!)

Power vs race is really used because its just easy to double dip say skaven and armored if you want some rattling gun breakpoints. If the game allowed say easy access to power vs infantry 30% then there would probably be good arguments to just ignore pw vs race modifiers.
But ye the point is, they are rolled because you basically have to roll them.

1 Like

I don’t think it’s “All for nothing”. That’s a very defeatist point of view.
I think, if people in the community debate such topics more often, reach a “common concensus”, and have a more or less unified answer to the problem, then we can just besiege give Fatshark a more understandable direction to go.

If, upon starting the discussion, everyone unanimously gives the same answer (like “Illusionist needs a rework, because it is too frustrating”, or “Slayer with old Oblivious to Pain was an unstoppable powerhouse”), then the course is pretty much set and laid in!

Since it has been mentioned already anyway: Traits and Properties - Suggestion for adjustments

An earlier time it has been discussed, although it is mixed there with traits as well which probably made it to much for most to understand the whole picture. Concerning the properties the main gist is:

  • Removal of generalist properties/Removal of general balance issues causing properties: This covers for example health increase or crit chance. The first one is to generalist and simply good in every situation, the latter one is among the more problematic issues for game balance as everything simply crits to much. Crit as specialization for some careers is okay but everyone can get at least 15 %. There is a reason no other game has done this. It is not balanceable. Also, Norsca and Beastmen have separated into two separate things so that properties against Chaos are not so much better anymore than against Skaven.
  • Introduction of new properties which covers elements not covered by properties so far as well as revisioning existing properties which do not cover what they intended to do. Example for this is the addition of a dodge counter property for mobility or stagger or cleave or ammo properties. Damage reduction has also been increased but only works against certain threats.

The main idea is obviously that there is no generalist good in everything properties (and traits) which end up to easily as picks for the majority of players. On the other hand, there are way more options for specialization to either cover weaknesses or to double down on career specific strengths which would allow.

But as already mentioned it was weaved together with changes in traits as the two interact strongly with each other and the synergy effects have to be regarded to make sure that ripple effects do not cause something to become useless or something to become stupidious strong as we have it with several stuff in the live balance.

I was thinking about it too. That would solve at least half of the problem with them, but it’s probably not the most elegant solution. Revive Speed has a “Support Identity” to it, so changing it needs to bring something noticeable to the table.

I doubt we will get the access to double stacking Power vs ArmorType. And I feel like they are somewhat working as intended at the moment. People use them to reach certain breakpoints, but these stats are not “use it or you lose it”, since you can often justify taking Attack Speed/Crit Chance/Stamina/Block Cost Redusction instead.

That is probably 100% not doable. Simply deleting a stat from equipment is not possible, so it either needs to be changed to something more universal, get a competitive alternative (like changing Revive Speed to “Damage Resistance/Power when Cursed” or something), or grimoires need to become less mandatory for optimal loot grinding (like adding back a nerfed versions of Blightreaper and Skull Of Blosphoros, with it counting as a Grimoire for the loot)

What do you think of my suggested options? Would it be good to have 20% Dodge/Damage Reduction/Stagger on a necklace?

Yeah, I wish it was a more clearly designed stat. I would love it to just give a flat bonus to the Finesse modifier (if I am not mistaken, it affects both Crit and Headshot damage). That would just make thing.

I doubt it can be just “combined”. Because that would cause problems.
Equipment pulls from a pool of random stats when generating an item. Deleting a position out of it would cause problems. While just adding stamina to Push/Block Angle would just make us have 2 stamina stats in the pool, which is not ideal.

Your proposition was much more ambitious in my opinion.
Especially the part about buffing Swift Slaying to 25% from 20%, and addition of dozens new properties. Especially adding 3 new damage reduction properties to Necklace pool. That would have caused A LOT of problems.

I do agree, that having more new options like “Effective Dodges” and “Cleave Power” on equipment would have been great. I just worry if your proposition was a bit too disruptive to how things currently are.
Too many people wouldn’t like these changes and want everything revered instantly.

Nah I don’t think double stacking will come to the game either but you could easily generalize most of the power vs properties while still achieving the same result. For vets and new people the system is just pointlessly complex and nearly everyone I know checks the breakpoints once on some google sheet and forgets about it.

My big dream is still something what weaves offered in terms of weapon customization. You got budget and you can allocate exactly the amount of stats you want.

Problem really with this is if you buff damage reduction to be better than health then everyone will just drop health and use the other property. You also cannot allow players to roll both, that’s simply too much survivability.
There is also some considerations now that DR’s don’t stack additively that how it works with other DR sources. In the end I just don’t believe the answer is to simply buff damage reduction levels equal to 20% health.

Dodge I believe would probably work better as some kind of trait. I think as a simple property its way too powerful, especially in the 20% range.

Stagger, I really don’t value the stat that much so my comment is simple “I don’t think it matters”. 20% is probably enough to reach some stupid breakpoints so there is that.

Yes and no. I agree that it was probably to much at the same time and “disruptive”. Especially considering that it also targetted braindead meta like Swift Slaying/Crit Chance and endless ammo. So yea, there was certainly an issue with popularity among other minor things. But good balance needs sometimes unpopular decisions. But the game wouldn’t really play that different from now, just that ammo spam would be less and you would need some better positioning.

I do not agree that it would have causes a lot of problems. The changes have been carefully thought through to avoid ripple effects. Obviously, I might have missed one or two. But the result would still have been better from balance perspective than what we currently have. From programming perspective it might have caused issues for already existing equipment. That would be to discussed on Fatshark’s side. While I can “suggest” how this is done, I have no idea how their game code and server side thingies are working.

Also, the Swift Slaying change is not a buff :wink:

I WISH we got the Weave Crafting system instead of what we have at the moment. I wonder why Fatshark haven’t tried to implement it into the base game after so much time.
Everyone I know pretty much agrees on the fact that they want it to be a baseline crafting system.

I think making it +20% Universal Damage Reduction is a good middle ground because it is the same value as +20% Max Healt. That way, some characters, who don’t have a baseline Damage Reduction (like Grail Knight) would have access to it, while not getting too much tankier. Also, Damage Reduction would probably apply in a DOWNED state, unlike Health increase, making it a good option.
I am not sure if making it impossible to acquire both at once is an option, because of how the loot system is coded (we would have many people with already existing equipment having both stats at once simply because they were lucky enough to roll them beforehand).
But the “too much survivability” is a valid point. Max HP + DR might become the new “Universal necklace” because of it.

At one hand, yes, at the other hand - this means adding a new trait to the pool of existing ones, which is probably not wise. But yeah. 20% dodge might be a lot (especially when combined with Handmaiden and her talents)…

20% stagger power is a HUGE bonus. Many people spec into multiple Pover vs X just to be able to stagger Monks/CWs on higher difficulties. having Stagger Power available to them like that would make is a great pick for crowd-control builds.

Ugh… I guess. I think my problem really is that some math wizz will figure out the optimal thing in few weeks and then we are back to some x careers run this and others this. It really will not increase variety in the long run.
But really like I said, I got nothing better either. It was already a difficulty topic in the previous thread.

I really don’t know what fatsharks capability is at removing/adding traits, but I would expect adding one is way easier. Also 20% is absolutely massive for nearly any career, which is why I think it should be trait at the very least and even then I think 20% is too high of an value.

Yeah I’m not one of those people which is why I don’t generally take part in conversations regarding stagger. Some shield users like @TmanDW probably better for this.

funny considering, i dunno maybe in the last 100 “vermintide 2 feedback” threads there has been 2 replies from fs staff and if you look at those, they are probably bugs/or not working features that got posted in the wrong thread.

its like talking to a wall and hoping someone is behind it.
is it possible that we influence fatsharks course of action? sure
can we know tho?

This is something that would inevitably happen no matter what changes we do. Even Chess and Tic-Tac-Toe have a meta, where math-masters have already solved everything for everyone.
The only thing we can actually hope is to have “non-meta” options less weak in general. Like we have on Zealot for example, where the general concesus is that A&F is the meta weapon, but going Flail or Greatsword would still yield you great results (not saying he is perfect and balanced, just saying he has options.) Or Witch Hunter with whom can go A&F, Rapier or Billhook.

Well, if anything, Dodge can be left as 5-10% range then xD

Well, we DID make clear that Convocation of Decay needed to be addressed.
And we have probably made clear that Illusionist/Elf is not in a good state either (we will see in the next patch)

Yes, we are currently stuck talking to a wall, but they promised to pay more attention to us this year.
I’d say give them a chance for now and hold the pitchforks for at least 2-3 months.

20% stagger is pretty good. Most important breakpoint with shields is Opportunist + 25% power vs. Skaven and / or Berserkers so you can stagger pretty much everything in the game with a simple push that is not a Chaos Warrior doing an overhead, Chaos Berserker doing a jump attack, or a monster. For example, I like the +25% stagger power talent for Warrior Priest a lot and I find it more useful than the +health talent.

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There is this ahm, some people would call it a meme build, that allows you to oneshot cata CWs with a fulldraw Longbow crit to the head without Prowl. The problems are the usual, like a crit on the second hit on the same target achieving nothing, diminished ammo efficiency because of the necessity of Hunter, the nature of Makin It look easy getting consumed by melee hits when you have to kill the stragglers before continuing to shoot.

The biggest problem crit power faces is, that it straight up lies to the usual player, simply because its not 20% more damage. That makes this stat straight up unusable without consulting a breakpoint calculator, or extensive testing on a puppet figuring out what numbers get actually boosted. Fixing that would end my gripe with properties totally. The whole Necklace and Curse Res property discussion is understandable, but also not a major flaw. You at least get what is advertised.

Traits are another story. One that needs the bulldozer treatment. Tear apart by driving over, and rebuild from scratch.

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Bulldozer treatment is quite likely out of the picture completely.
Redoing absolutely everything from ground up will just create new problems (because there are always other problems when you change something), while spending EXTREME amount of resourses on something that might result in even greater frustration for the players than before.

By the way, I think I had wrote a thread about Traits some time ago…
Nevertheless, we should probably keep Traits out of this specific topic and focus specifically on properties.

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