Why chip damage promotes healthy skill expression and all the reasons why removing it would cause a balancing nightmare

I would like to start out by complimenting whoever came up with this idea you sir are a balancing genius and I hope you see this post because the current system has never been implemented in any game and its a bold new exciting idea to balance range and melee combat in a way that has never been approached before.

With that out of the way I would like to talk about what the game would need to do to rebalance itself in a meaningful way to keep the current level of difficulty in both heresy and damnation if chip damage was gone.

  1. health stations.
    currently every map has the same spawn locations of health stations and if you play each map enough you will know when its almost time to heal and how soon you can be expecting this heal.
    if chip damage is removed each and every health station spawn would need to be looked at and moved around or some of them just flat removed in general because every game all the players would just have more hp.

  2. back attacks.
    this is just a thing. it always has been. enemies will get behind you somehow and assuming the audio queue is perfect every time they always give you enough time to react to them whether its a dodge or a turn and block. now if you take chip damage away all the sudden that 1 small dude behind you isnt as much of a threat as they used to be and during fights you can decide to eat the hit and do something else rather then react to it. to rebalance this they would have to increase spawns all around to keep up the same feel of pressure that you need to react too.

  3. toughness regeneration.
    this would be the biggest nightmare to rebalance. if melee damage did not go through your toughness then even the smallest amount of toughness would eat a melee hit meaning that you could actually trade hits 1 for 1 in melee combat during hordes and never need to block or dodge. kill an enemy or 2 then get toughness from it and take 1 hit from an enemy which leads to a cycle of never taking damage no matter how many times you get hit. to rebalance this they would have to make heavy nerfs to toughness in general maybe just flat out removing toughness gains from melee kills.

  4. health packs
    health packs are a nice tool in a pinch when you cant quite reach a health station in time and if chip damage was removed i can almost guarantee half of these things would be left on the map simply because people cant carry anymore. to rebalance they might just have to remove them completely or drastically reduce the amount of them or replace them with something else entirely because health wont really be a huge issue anymore.

  5. health bonuses on curios
    if chip damage was removed they would have to either massively nerf this stat or just remove it altogether. currently health on curios is a great pick because there is chip damage and it just keeps you in the game longer to protect against any mistakes that are made along the path between health stations.

those are all the things i can think of right now but if chip damage was removed its quite possible more glaring balance problems would reveal themselves as time goes on. if you are an advocate for removing chip damage i would like to hear reasons to remove it that promote healthier skill expression through rebalancing the rest of the game because currently just removing chip damage is a HUGE nerf to the overall gameplay that takes skill out of this game. and please dont give the reason “its not fun”


I have no inherent problem with chip damage, I just want the melee combat to be un-nerfed and brought back up to the VT2 standard. As it currently stands you simply can’t avoid damage like you could in VT2, which exacerbates the potential issues with chip damage.

However, I do want to point out that your 3rd point can be easily dismissed because you’re assuming how toughness and health would interact. Your worry (I think) is that toughness would act like an overshield, blocking all damage to health no matter how big the damage is as long as you have toughness. Simply make it so that toughness and health don’t have any special interactions and this problem is solved. Example: You have 20 toughness and 100 health and you eat an attack that does 30 damage, you are now at 90 health. From there you would balance the actual damage numbers so that toughness isn’t useless. Again, I don’t really care about any of this, I just want my VT2 melee back, but just pointing that out.


its true i dont know how toughness would interact if they rebalanced it but its all hypothetical so it could be like that or it could be like you said. the way you mentioned is just so basic though where currently we have an elegant solution to the added problem of ranged. im still not sure how changing toughness to act like you mentioned brings more meaningful skill expression compared to what we have now.

You’ve got it backwards, currently much of the game needs to be rebalanced/redesigned to adjust for chip damage properly. It could potentially be re-implemented down the road but there needs to be a lot of design changes to make it sensible

  1. Medicae station’s big role is curing wounds. Players can have ridiculously large EHP when revives are considered, chip damage isn’t impactful enough to require any change here.

  2. The number of back attacks is already vastly increased. They are 90% of the time super low impact and annoying (literally being more of a threat in VT2). Removing chip damage allows balancing that upwards. I don’t personally care for the design of death from a thousand cuts they’ve got going.

  3. Toughness regeneration might need to get looked at in niche circumstances, but they already have mechanics to instantly drop toughness to 0. Most toughness stuff is not very useful at present because of chip damage. Many feats instantly become viable if chip damage is removed.

  4. We don’t get that many of these in a game, and generally are going to carry them to use in specifically tough fights anyways. There are design flaws here, but it doesn’t much tie into chip damage. You’re low hp? Just go down, don’t waste a health pack.

  5. Ummm, do you not understand you’ve got this backwards, or are at least contradicted yourself? +Toughness becomes stronger if you remove chip damage, +Health becomes weaker.

Toughness is akin to Kerillian’s regen to half-hp mechanic if chip damage is removed.


Looking at this I guess the big misunderstanding is that the impact of chip damage is lowering your HP budget(where toughness can be considered part of the hp budget). It doesn’t actually impact your hp budget that much. Toughness really does absorb a lot of damage already.

No, the impact of chip damage is that it brings players down at inopportune moments. The counterplay is to refill your hp by going down at more opportune moments. This is just bad game design.


The tutorial literally tells you you get health damage after your shield is broken. Devs took the claims of people finding it too easy and kneejerked a quick fix.


honestly I don’t think half of what you listed would have to be changed, as you said in other post the amount of damage from chip damages is quite low anyway and mainly matter when nearing zero hp.

If I had a go on it here is three thing I would try:

  • no chip damage under 10% hp
  • chip damage only when the hit come from behind
  • toughness only block as much as it can (meaning, if you’re on 15 toughness and you take 50 damage then 35 of it would still be dealt to your health).

the first two option are one of the other and would both keeo chip damage relevant to game awareness while allowing people to dive in combat even at low life to try to build toughness or just be relevant in the game.

the second would be a way to balance the bonus and avoid dancing on one monster kill between each strike suffered.

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“because the tutorial says so” is not a valid expression of skill

Allowing stragglers to down you also isn’t a valid expression of skill.


blocking and dodging them and listening for the sound they make when they are behind you is in fact a valid expression of skill

No, you misunderstand. The smart play is to go down to stragglers when you have low hp. This doesn’t take skill.

This is a lot like your misunderstanding of medipacs. Medipacs aren’t primarily a health recovery tool in between fights, they help to make fights easier like grenade spamming bosses in VT2.


the only reason you would feel the need to kill yourself is if you have already made so many mistakes. obviously the idea of high skill expression is to offer gameplay that benefits you when you make few to no mistakes meaning that you wont need to feel the need to kill yourself because you didnt take enough damage to be low hp in the first place. once again removing chip damage offers a get out of mistakes free card that otherwise wouldnt exist.

But the get out of mistake card does exist, it’s called wounds.

Literally the reason we can’t come out of revives on low hp is because of chip damage. The chip damage design means that we have to be revived with more hp than we would otherwise.


cool so what are you gonna do when the next down is your death? just give up and wait for someone to rescue you? better to just not take the hits.

+wounds doesn’t take that much in curio slots and people don’t go down that much between medicae stations. How often has anyone on this forums been in a low hp + all wounds situation?

The interaction between wounds and chip damage right now creates a nonsense balancing headache. Wounds would take longer to figure out a rework for, for now it’d be easier to remove chip damage (which also fixes some feats) and make people come up on low hp when revived.


I dont run any plus wounds in my gear. Its just an unnecessary crutch if your not taking many melee hits and its better put into stats that benifit you in ways that dont have to do with going down.

They’re the best EHP stat. A mix is probably optimal.

That said I’d like wounds reworked but so much of the game interacts with them that it’s not a quick fix.


Building stats for going down has never been my playstyle. If i go down its cus im the last one alive and i failed to clutch. Again even i if that happens the failure is still on me. I could have done something better. This game is amazing because it offers an even greater skill expression then vermintide did and im constantly learning better ways to engage the huge variety of enemies they have compared to vermintide.

Do you acknowledge that chip damage currently makes going down on low hp in between fights optimal though? It’s cheesy and a product of bad game design.

Eliminating chip damage at low hp is another viable fix, but ultimately downing people on low hp seems to be the main impact of the mechanic currently. That “fix” puts it in the position of “why have it at all?”

If the goal is for it to be part of “wearing down resources” over time, the game needs much broader rebalancing because things just don’t mesh well for that right now.


Its true that what you mentioned is a viable strategy. Build wounds, make piles of mistakes, get downed and get your hp back but i wouldnt say that the design of that is inherently bad its just a product of playing the game badly and should be something that people should only rely on as they are learning the mechanics.