WHC Rebalance/Rework — Take 2

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.

Premise & Goals

  • 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.

— Passives —

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’.

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.

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.

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.

Killing Shot

  • 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.

— Row 2 —

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.

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.

Deathknell
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.

Flense

  • 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.

— Row 4 —

Templar’s Knowledge

  • 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.

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.

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.

— Row 5 —

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.

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.

— Row 6 —

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.

Questions/Discussion Points

  • 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?

Summary

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.

— Condensed List of Changes —

List
  • 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.

5 Likes

A better fix would be to remove hyperdensity from the game.

7 Likes

Not discussing to much of the suggestion.

Just wanted to say that I admire your near endless stamina for suggestions and discussion (mostly around WHC). As well as your ability to being open about being wrong on the core design ideas. It is a trait I miss in myself and lot of other people. I understand why Fatshark sometimes has troubles applying balance changes considering that most users are quite narrow-minded in their perspective leading to faulty balance premises and suggestions.

To the actual discussion of some suggestions :stuck_out_tongue:

I understand the idea behind this but personally I would go to complete opposite side. Enemies tagged by WHC will take an additional damage from any player. And then add a level 15 talent called “Commander” which allows WHC to tag up to four enemies. Would it be tedious as f*ck? Yes. However, it would fit within his “leadership role” and being a captain. Would also give him some more active support orientated style instead of being support just by being there.

I appreciate the idea to remove killing shot for obvious reasons. But just out of curiousity. Which enemies would no longer be one-shotted by headshots with light crit fishing especially if we take “Power of Sigmar” into equation as well? To make it easier let’s reduce it to WHC’s meta weapons. Also wouldn’t the changes make him potentially stronger versus Chaos Warriors?

An interesting approach. However, I think the issue with ammunition talents is not that they are bad but rather that it is far to easy to never run out of ammo on any career (which is depending on perspective either a good or a bad thing). If Scrounger and Conversative Shooter would be less efficient, the talent itself would be good enough. However, it is a global change and would need more adressing. So it is not to helfpul in this dicussion.

Interesting change. Generally, I think that Fervency will lose some charm already if the clight crits do not automatically kill Stormvermins, Bestigors and Maulers. However, some of the underpicked talents simply suffer from PR issues and not from being necessarily weak. So even with the suggested change not many people would chose the talent simply because they are used to ignore it.

In general I think it is wrong to focus to much on increasing weapon diversity on all careers. I’m completely okay with weapons available on a career being bad. Reason is simply that weapons as they are now feel more different on different careers which is a good thing. This is even more an issue if you approach that premise by either balancing the weapons directly or talents available for all careers. If you shift the focus on the weapons and away from the career specific talents to make them good, you will in the long run reduce the overall diversity of careers and playstyles which is something which has to be avoided. The situation is however a bit more complex and you have to consider a few variables. So this as well is rather unsuited for the specific discussion here.

2 Likes

What if killing shot stays as it is but only applies to heavy attacks? That seems a bit simpler, it would discourage light attack spam and it would emphasize the synergy that A&F has with Unending Hunt.

Just my opinion, this change alone would be enough to take WHC from a must-pick to making him very meh. Coupling that with nerfs to his dps would probably make him just bad. At least, that’s true in modded content.

7 Likes

I agree wholeheartedly. It would be the best fix.

Thanks! I have been very close minded about things before however (I was about Chaos Wastes initially), but I’ve been broadening my inputs from other players which has helped. It is a shame Fatshark does have to deal with closed-mindness a fair bit. There were some changes to some talents in the last BBB that I can almost guarantee would have been popular if people had only given them more time (like the cleave ult talent for Handmaiden). I just love this game’s combat.

I appreciate your understanding for Fatshark. I can’t say I’ve been as patient as I should have been in the past.

I’ve been very flippant about Witch Hunt. Making it dependent on the WHC’s tagging is thematic and makes it not entirely free damage, but it also means WHC is still doing crazy things for a team’s boss dps (not a big issue though, especially since BH/Huntsman can do that too).
The other main reason I suggested it like this was so some of Witch Hunt could be put into Templar’s Knowledge, spreading some of WHC’s built-in strength into the weaker level 20 talent.

I’m a more selfish player, so I favour the idea in my post, but I don’t have any qualms with yours. A commander talent would fit into this rework as well, since the tag would be good for a lot of breakpoints.

Very few would be. Rapier crit light headshots actually don’t do that much damage (would be around half of a Cata SV’s hp instead of all of it if you also take Deathknell, and the lights still wouldn’t one shot berserkers on headshot). This is also true for Billhook and AnF. Rapier light crits don’t do enough damage to one shot Marauders even with Deathknell, unless those Marauders are also tagged. Ergo decent I Shall Judge You All synergy.

As far as enemies that would still be one shot (with Power of Sigmar, Deathknell & 10% vs Chaos):

  • Rapier lights:
    • 1 shot headshots all infantry up to and including Gors, nothing with higher health.
  • For AnF lights:
    • 1 shot headshots all infantry, no elites.
  • For Billhook lights:
    • 1 shots all infantry, no elites except for the push attack/light sweep 1 shot headshotting Plague Monks and Savages.

The above breakpoints are conveniently pretty similar to the ones for Saltz’ non-meta melee weapons.

I am concerned about the Rapier’s partial charged stab because it’s so fast, but I think the values make it only one shot the lower health elites on headshot and not Maulers. Greatsword heavies would still one shot SV.

It does make WHC stronger vs CWs, but not by too much. Rapier would still require Deathknell and the tag to one shot them with a full charge stab. That does save 20% power. Personally I like the idea of WHC’s prowess vs enemies being evened out a bit. If it did prove to be an issue, the man-sized criteria could be added back in.

Yeah I wasn’t sure about it myself. In an ideal game 30% ammo would be useful because ammunition would actually be limited.

I think Riposte would end up being appealing enough as an option. Would be very showy. I really do think the live version of Templar’s Knowledge is bad. I’m unsure about Always Prepared. I Shall Judge You All could be worded differently to be more appealing, like "For Animosity’s duration, Victor gains an aura the size of Animosity that causes enemies to take 20.0% increased damage. ” Would still secretly be the tag effect, but could click better in a player’s mind.

A part of the reasoning for me was Saltz’ not having many melee weapons. It’s a complicated issue, but I was mainly wanting WHC’s kit to be more about the player’s skill with headshots rather than the weapon’s secret/hidden inbuilt modifiers.

This would work as far as balance is concerned, but I think it would force a heavy attack playstyle onto WHC. It would encourage artificial attacks like using Greatsword heavies on single elites instead of push attacks.

Rapier would still be meta since it has the fastest, 2nd most mobile charged attack of Saltz’ melee weapons and high damage with it, but with the idea I’ve suggested it doesn’t benefit a whole lot more than something like the 1h Axe which does more damage per hit with lights, that being a proper speed vs damage tradeoff (not that makes 1h Axe good, but it at least takes its characteristics into account).
AnF would be meta as well because of the synergy you mentioned. Billhook might be worse off but I don’t think that’s enough to really make WHC’s weapons more diverse.

Well, at the risk of sounding arrogant – Not in my hands. Y’all just need a bit of git gud here and there.

Besides, that’s only really relevant to DWC3. A lot of the time on C1 Killing Shot is overkill, so WHC’s dps would still be decent, just less safe. It would make WHC bad relative to some other careers, however, I also think careers like Merc and GK need to be looked at. There’s a lot of careers that I think need looking at. I don’t think this version of WHC would be all that bad compared to something like Merc with Bretonnian Longsword. It just looks unfavourable when we’re talking Mace & Sword.

I’m not convinced a set of changes as significant as the ones in my post are genuinely necessary for WHC (though I think they would be good). I understand it would be a notable departure from current balance, I just think it would lead to more interesting gameplay.

2 Likes

Has nothing to do with the player unless the player can only play WHC for some reason. You’ll get more survivability and dps out of zealot with you’re proposed changes.

3 Likes

You said it would make WHC just bad. That very much has to do with the player. This version of WHC would still be good enough to handle Official and modded content. It would just be harder.

Edit: The quote was also a joke statement. There’s no need to focus on it.

As compared to other careers. Removing class’s primary utility and lowering dps output doesn’t really make sense. It doesn’t really overperform in dps currently.

If the value of tag is only relevant to DWC3, then your nerf to tag is likewise only relevant to DWC3.

Edit: let me say I really like a lot of the other changes assuming tag is left. But if you rip his primary utility away in addition to dps nerfs, I think it’s too much.

4 Likes

What’s the benchmark/comparison point?

The dps changes were to make WHC less excessively safe. It’s difficult for me to wrap my head around this discussion fully because I have a lot of hours on WHC and I think I’m pretty good (though to be honest I haven’t been sure about this for a long time) at playing it (logically that means I’m biased, so I have to compensate and assume that what I think WHC should be is a bit stronger than what it really should be), and because on one side I have a lot of people telling me WHC is too strong and on the other side I have a few telling me that WHC isn’t too strong (referring to experiences outside of this thread as well).

So I’m pretty confused and I end up changing my mind on this one quite a lot.

I was referring to the Killing Shot/personal dps changes.

It wouldn’t be entirely gone. 10% would be available as a talent choice, and the WHC is still benefiting at least. I can see how the tag change may be too much though. I am more hesitant about the tag change than I am about the Killing Shot change.

I think that is a good goal. Especially the rapier variant of WHC. It’s currently extremely safe and has access to very high burst dps to deal with difficulty spikes. If you have to spam heavies to kill elites, however, I’m not sure how much that lowers his dps. It could be very substantial. It’d just need to be somethin that was play tested. Not a bad idea though.

I was really looking at zealot as the comparison. If you take WHC’s utility and lower his dps to be less than or equal to zealots, I’m not sure why you’d ever bring a WHC.

I was referring to the tag. I’m not sure if tag is high value in Cata Bc idk if it gives BP’s. The reason WHC is so necessary for a lot of comps in dwc3 is because it gives many important special BP’s.

If the talent was 20% and on the same row as DK/Flense, that could be a way to force a choice between dps and utility. However, I’m not sure if that would be too much of a nerf to WHC dps.

Why are we discussing nerfs to a strong but not at all broken class? Rapier is probably a bit too good, but WHC as a class is fine. If rapier gets a nerf though a bunch of elf weapons need nerfs too.

3 Likes

AnF l1 > l2 > block cancel and Falchion light chaining are both comparably safe, with AnF’s chain being easier to headshot with. Billhook has more reach. Without Deathwish Billhook is probably the safest of all because of its push strength during Fervency and crit stagger strength for bodyshots.

I can’t say I agree with using Zealot as a benchmark for balance. Getting a strong feeling we have slightly different standards for what’s good enough.

You think Zealot is too strong as well? Sounds like what you really want is a higher difficulty setting, lol.

1 Like

Did you mean light chaining af and block cancelling Falchion? Regardless, you’re talking about way less damage in fervency/animosity windows due to attack speed. I don’t think either is an issue really.

Bill Hook may well be too safe in Cata, but everything is tbh if you’re used to playing modded to be fair.

Perhaps. I wasn’t assuming you were wishing to rebalance all the careers around a lower threshold of power. If that’s what you’re envisioning, then these changes may be fine. Kinda hard to give feedback on that though as there is no point of comparison.

1 Like

Realistically it’s about 5 kills for both weapons unless getting ideal circumstances like FoW drops or by abusing enemy climb spots. Rapier’s bodyshot dps with crits isn’t good vs armour (with lights).

I don’t see how. Adelion gave quite a lot of feedback. For example, feedback can be given about how the career would play relative to the difficulty, and if it would be too weak or too strong in the hands of an average Official or modded player, or if a team of careers at this level of strength would be too weak for an average player, how the career would feel to play, if it would still be fun or not etc.

Yeah. I have no idea how to gauge that. Balancing verses difficulty is 100% subjective. Player skill is going to determine the outcome far more than character strength. So to answer that I’d have to know average player skill and I just don’t. Do I think it’d be fun? Sure. It would feel almost exalting the same and the game is fun now so I don’t see why not. Removing some OP stuff that doesn’t require skill is also fun imo.

Edit: that is the purpose of a Beta though. I’d be willing to try anything.

1 Like

I mean we can set up some basic reasonable parameters, like if a standard Cata Screaming Bell match is taking longer than 30 minutes for good players it’s probably too difficult/tedious for average players.

Frankly I think you’ve sent this of track and blown these supposed balance issues way out of proportion. I’m not convinced that WHC would be weak at all. The comparison to Zealot, a fundamentally flawed career is illogical.

You’re mathematically wrong about the dps of Rapier vs AnF in the hands of a human during Fervency being ‘way less damage’.

That line of thinking leads to difficulty bloat and spam. SoTT isn’t too strong, the other careers are too weak and the game is too easy. Fine tuning how difficult a game is not a completely irrelevant concept, but next time for I’ll include a rework for every career in one post and a big disclaimer just for you.

Well I don’t exactly think Zealot is weak, or well designed.

1 Like

I guess I don’t get the point of a WHC rebalance thread that is actually a game rebalance thread in disguise. Why not just make a game rebalance thread?

1 Like

I suppose I could, but that would take a lot more time than I have to spare. Besides, I just don’t really think WHC would be worse than Zealot, with the tag change maybe being the only real issue.

Why not join the Fatshark Discord https://discord.gg/K6gyMpu