WHC’s balance is not a pressing matter, but for discussion’s sake here’s a take at it that tries to increase weapon diversity, make WHC’s damage less excessively safe and help struggling talents. I will exclude thp and stagger talents from this discussion as I believe they are a universal balance issue. There is a condensed list of the suggested changes at the end of this post.
Before you read on, please note I’m poor at math. Keep in mind it is the ideas that are important. The exact numbers can be decided by Fatshark. The ideas listed would be big changes, so I don’t think they are likely to happen even if I think it would be great if they did, but for discussion’s sake here they are.
- To increase weapon diversity and reign in overperforming weapons, WHC’s Killing Shot should be changed to a damage increase on critical headshot, and WHC’s headshot damage bonuses should be changed to damage increases on headshot.
Rapier, Billhook and AnF are WHC’s meta melee weapons. This is because the Rapier and Billhook have high headshot damage bonuses on their attacks, and because AnF has high single target damage with Flense. Flense itself is overpowered (more on that later) and should be nerfed. In the case that it justly gets nerfed, even AnF would not be good on WHC, leaving just Billhook and Rapier. This is because Saltz’ other melee weapons do not have good headshot damage bonuses, making Deathknell and the unlisted passive scale poorly with them.
I think this is an unsatisfactory and unnecessary situation. If someone wants to play Deathknell headshot WHC with Greatsword, why shouldn’t they be able to? Currently if they do, the headshot damage reward is meagre. This also applies to the 1h Axe, the Flail, the Falchion’s heavy attack and light 3, and the AnF’s axe attacks.
The question is, why the headshot damage bonus instead of just increasing the damage dealt on headshot? I think Huntsman’s One in the Eye and Shade’s Exquisite Huntress should receive the same treatment as Deathknell does in this post. It is possible that the headshot damage bonus is the way it is to prevent excessive damage scaling, but considering the existence of Assassin I do not believe this is the case anymore.
- “Enemies tagged by any player take an additional 20.0% damage from Victor for 15 seconds. Does not stack with similar effects.” Name changed to ‘Templar’s Knowledge’.
Now only benefits the WHC. Witch Hunt is blatantly overpowered. It enables strong breakpoints for many careers and gives too much value for how easy it is to make use of. Changing Witch Hunt this way allows for interesting changes to Templar’s Knowledge as well. The name change would reflect the default self-only aspect of the passive.
- “No block cost from up to 10 light attacks from the front. Light attacks are any attack that would take 2 stamina or less to block.”
Eternal Guard scales into hyperdensity a bit too well. Adding a high cap of 10 attacks should have little effect on most normal gameplay while preventing WHC from having too strong of a raw stamina defense in clutch situations and prevent WHC from blocking hyper-density.
- “Critical hit headshots deal 30.0% increased damage.” Name changed to ‘Weakspot.’
Killing Shot is problematic because it is high dps with high safety. It encourages light spam and not taking risks, while also favouring certain weapons over others and de-incentivises some weapons. To fix this, it could be changed to a 30% damage increase on critical headshots. This would scale off of each weapon’s damage and attack speed rather than just a weapon’s attack speed for crit fishing. Renamed to “Weakspot” as it would no longer be an instant kill.
The result should be making WHC more skill reliant and less all about light spam, more about optimising usage of a weapon and respecting the characteristics of each attack, instead of almost always exclusively favouring attack speed and crit chance.
Please keep in mind that WHC’s technical dps is already quite good without Killing Shot at all. Killing Shot is often overkill or too late, and not a team friendly perk. WHC is still useful by simply doing large amounts of damage to numerous enemies. They do not need to land the last blow to be of value to a team.
Power of Sigmar (unlisted passive)
- “Melee headshots deal 15.0% increased damage.”
It currently increases headshot damage bonus by 25%. It would be changed to increase the total headshot damage of an attack by 15% (the reason it is 15% is because 25% of just the damage dealt on headshot is more than 25% of the headshot damage bonus). By changing it to a simple damage increase from an increase that scales off of a weapon’s headshot damage bonus modifier, it evens the playing field between non-finesse and finesse weapons on WHC. The value of 15% results in weapons like Greatsword doing more damage than they do now on headshot, while keeping the damage nearly the same for Saltz’ finesse weapons like Billhook. This has a neat bonus of being far more intuitive to new players than increased ‘headshot damage bonus’.
While Deathknell should still affect ranged attacks as it is not a freely given passive, Power of Sigmar shouldn’t. It affecting ranged attacks is a part of what makes WHC better than BH. I’m assuming it would look something like 30+(30*0.15). It would also be listed.
Sigmar’s Charm (unlisted passive)
This is an unlisted 5% crit chance passive. It would be changed to be listed.
- “Blocking just as an enemy attack is about to hit causes your next attack within 2 seconds to be a guaranteed critical hit that instantly slays man-sized enemies on headshot and your next push within 2 seconds to be 50.0% stronger.”
On top of what it does currently, after parrying, the first push made’s stagger strength is 50% stronger. This would be useful for regaining initiative and frontlining, providing WHC a way of dealing with mixed hordes that is not just another flavour of dps. This would also be helpful for teams when on their backfoot. Riposte’s crit would retain Killing Shot’s manslaying aspect as without it, Riposte becomes too dangerous.
Receives the same treatment as Power of Sigmar. In Deathknell’s case the value would be 30%.
Note: To prevent the Rapier becoming arbitrarily bad vs superarmour (as it would deal less damage on headshot with these changes), the Rapier’s non-crit superarmour penetration would be made the same as its regular armour penetration.
- The damage of each bleed dot could be decreased by 30%. This value results in Deathknell being higher single target dps in most cases at a decent headshot % (roughly 25%) even with light attacks for finesse weapons/finesse attacks.
Flense is higher dps than Deathknell even at a 100% headshot percentage with Rapier light attacks. Flense wins even more easily on Saltz’ other melee weapons. This is clearly imbalanced. Even the 1h Axe does more damage with Flense than Deathknell.
This would mean Flense would still be the best overall for total/horde dps, but would be worse for single target damage, still very poor vs Chaos Warriors and would still not have the immediate advantage of frontloaded dps that Deathknell has. Note I do not want Flense to be killed as a talent, simply for it to not be flat out superior to alternatives.
- “Victor’s allies now deal 10.0% additional damage to enemies affected by Templar’s Knowledge.” Now called ‘Witch Hunt’.
This essentially restores half of Witch Hunt’s current effect for allies. The reason for 10% instead of 20% is to prevent Templar’s Knowledge from becoming a must pick, as it certainly would at 20% or even 15%. The name change is to reflect that it is now giving the Witch Hunt effect.
- “Templar’s Knowledge grants 5.0% increased critical hit chance to the entire party for 5 seconds when an enemy affected by Templar’s Knowledge dies.”
This is effectively a needlessly free buff that outshines Heretic Sighted which is a decent talent. It could be changed to only reward the 5% crit chance to the party when a taggable enemy dies while tagged (currently it requires no tagging whatsoever). This is a very minor nerf.
- “Increases max ammunition by 30.0%. Whenever a special enemy spawns, 25.0% or 1 shot of Victor’s ranged weapon’s magazine is reloaded whichever is highest. Can only trigger once every 2 seconds.”
The ammo talents are very weak. In addition to its current effect, it now reloads 25% or 1 shot of Victor’s ranged weapon’s magazine whichever is highest whenever a special spawns, with an internal cooldown of 2s. This would be 1 shot for the Crossbow (as 1 shot is higher than 25% of 1), 2 for the Repeater Pistol, 3 for BoP and 4 for Volley (depends on how the game rounds numbers up and down). The 2s cooldown is too prevent WHC from having very long periods of ceaseless firing/excessive scaling into Cata’s higher special spawn rates and up.
This follows the theme of a WHC that is always prepared by making their ranged weapon almost always prepared for a special. This talent would reload from your own ammo pool and would not make any magically appear.
I honestly couldn’t think of great ideas for this that wouldn’t tread on BH’s toes. Hopefully this one would work for a playstyle that doesn’t want to be concerned with ammo management. Note that even with this buff to the talent I do not believe it would be better than other two talents on this row. I’m not sure if it would even be on par with them, but it would have some relevancy, and fills that ranged barrage of shots niche characteristic that is represented in some of the cinematics that WHC is in that I believe some enjoy.
I went with special spawns instead of melee kills to make the talent distinct from Salvaged Ammunition. The alternative is something that gives ammo after a set number of melee kills, but I am wary of a talent that lets WHC have infinite ammo.
I Shall Judge You All
- “For Animosity’s duration, Victor gains an aura the size of Animosity that applies Templar’s Knowledge to enemies.”
The strength of this talent is that it applies the tag to horde enemies and has a team-focused burst aspect vs patrols. However, it simply applies the effect on ult usage, meaning any enemy outside of the radius, or the next wave, will be unaffected by it. I believe this talent could have a use as an in-between talent between Fervency (burst dps) and Unending Hunt (over-time dps) as a longer and team-focused burst.
To achieve this, it would be changed so that the applying tag effect would last for the duration of Animosity (6 seconds) as an aura the size of Animosity. Bear in mind the tag itself still lasts for 15 seconds.
- Is increasing weapon diversity on WHC necessary? I feel it is, but what are everyone else’s thoughts?
- With all of the changes combined, does I Shall Judge You All end up being relevant?
It is my hope that this rework/rebalance would result in WHC’s melee weapon diversity increasing, lead to all of the characteristics of an attack factoring into what is optimal at the moment instead of only speed and crit chance mattering and that WHC’s weakest talents would see more use. WHC overall would be more skill reliant and a bit weaker than they are currently, while still being a strong, high damage career with decent support options, stamina defense and mobility.
Witch Hunt – “Enemies tagged by any player take an additional 20.0% damage from Victor for 15 seconds. Does not stack with similar effects.” Name changed to ‘Templar’s Knowledge’.
Eternal Guard – “No block cost from up to 10 light attacks from the front. Light attacks are any attack that would take 2 stamina or less to block.”
Killing Shot – “Critical hit headshots deal 30.0% increased damage.” Renamed ‘Weakspot’.
Power of Sigmar (unlisted passive) – Changed to “Melee headshots deal 15.0% increased damage.” Now listed.
Sigmar’s Charm (unlisted passive) – This is an unlisted 5% crit chance passive. It would be changed to be listed.
Riposte – “Blocking just as an enemy attack is about to hit causes your next attack within 2 seconds to be a guaranteed critical hit that instantly slays man-sized enemies on headshot and your next push within 2 seconds to be 50.0% stronger.”
Deathknell – Receives the same treatment as Power of Sigmar. In Deathknell’s case the value would be 30%.
Flense – The damage of each bleed dot decreased by 30%. This results in Deathknell being higher single target dps in most cases at a decent headshot % (roughly 25%) even with light attacks.
Templar’s Knowledge – Changed to “Victor’s allies now deal 10.0% additional damage to enemies affected by Templar’s Knowledge.” Talent name changed to ‘Witch Hunt’.
Wild Fervour – “Templar’s Knowledge grants 5.0% increased critical hit chance to the entire party for 5 seconds when an enemy affected by Templar’s Knowledge dies.”
Always Prepared – “Increases max ammunition by 30.0%. Whenever a special enemy spawns, 25.0% or 1 shot of Victor’s ranged weapon’s magazine is reloaded whichever is highest. Can only trigger once every 2 seconds.”
I Shall Judge You All – “For Animosity’s duration, Victor gains an aura the size of Animosity that applies Templar’s Knowledge to enemies.”
Despite the strong/absolute wording in this post, I am open to being wrong about any of the points I have made, so please contribute even if you think I have poor ideas.