Stagger seems reasonable in concept, and not hard to keep track of in your head - at least until you start taking into consideration the talents. Like, I get that they let you specialize, but the interactions can lead to such a wide possibility for damage bonuses that it honestly makes the system just even more confusing, as I brought up here.
Seems like it’d be much less confusing, and would probably aid in balance not having that many extra variables to balance around.
I think I said this back during the closed beta. Just have the stagger balance there as a bonus, but don’t changed the game around it. And I’d go as far as limiting it to heavy and shield weapons. So they have a built in bonus for using them. The lighter weapons were already in a decent spot after a year+ of balance tweaks. It was really only shield weapons that were a meme pick. The talents make it even more confusing.
I think they should start another beta right now and test 2 options. 1st removing it completely and balancing weapons that sucked, like shields/some low performers and 2nd try adding it as implicit one stage feature on shield and some very heavy stagger weapons.
Maybe 3rd option could be trait.
It’s all confusing for players, especially with other changes because now people think woooow those shields, so good, cool now. But they don’t see that it’s because of mobility buff, ability to block unblockable attacks, new better talents on classes like Footknight which use the shield… and it’s not about stagger mechanic, which is doing close to nothing for the shields. Especially now that every weapon can stagger anything, nobody is getting any bonus in the end. It’s just flat global 40% multiplier kind of…
Yeah, limiting it to just some weapons has always been my preference, but they seem so determined to keep it on everything. At least if it was consistent across all weapons, it’d be a little less of a fustercluck.
If I remember correctly one of the closed beta builds (hurr durr NDA) had severely nerfed stagger talents (capping at like 10% or so?) and that’s probably why Cata feels easier to me now than I remember it from the beta builds.
I get why people are confused by the talents and their tooltips but that could be fixed by simply making the descriptions more clear.
To my understanding, these talents are supposed to actually make the game easier WHEN YOU PLAY IT RIGHT. They are supposed to promote good habits and what I 100% believe was already meta before and always said so - a proper melee frontline providing enough melee stagger to render even a super dense horde with mixed-in elites nearly harmless for the team as long as they stay somewhat close to each other. And you don’t even NEED heavy/shield weapons to achieve this, simply 4 people next to each other swinging their little sticks is enough in most cases.
The lack of frontline and lack of understanding of this was painfully obvious during the blatant ranged meta period where people were just straight up wiping to stupid skaven hordes because they refused to play (melee) aggressively and were too concerned with keeping their distance. This is also why I don’t think the stagger dmg should be only exclusive to heavy/shield weapons, those should simply achieve a roughly one stage higher stagger perhaps (?)
You mean that one weekend build, right? That was probably the best the game felt since they began this silly mechanic.
I’ve always been for this mechanic being limited to just heavy weapons where it makes sense, or just removed altogether, but FS seem like they won’t even consider going back, so my suggestion in the top post is just for a potential balance between the two ideas. I agree that ranged meta was silly and people were so reliant that their melee skills were bad. Dodge meta was a problem, but really only at the highest tier of gameplay where we could kite any number of enemies endlessly, and the main “challenge” was simply the patience to whittle them down.
So I’m fine with dodge changes, I think it feels good. I even liked how enemies were a bit more stagger resistant in Legend (until a few days ago, at least). If you’re not playing with Beastmen, then it’s actually quite fun! Skaven and Chaos hordes felt more meaty, but not unbalanced. Now it’s back to a joke because everything is functionally nerfed . . .
But balance is still garbage. And damn! We were so close to good balance. If enemies had gotten just a little bit of a stagger resist buff in Legend, and maybe - truly - a 10% buff in health, I think we’d be in a really good spot. Shields would be good just because they can block boss attacks now and they actually have some mobility at all. I seriously think that was all they ever needed (though Hammer/Mace+Shield might need a little more love, but Axe/Sword+Shield feel really good, but the former two still feel crap with stagger so they didn’t really benefit, and all of them are outclassed by things like Glaive and XSword). Two steps to the side and five back . . .
You’re right that staggering hordes was already meta - realistically players push and dodge and block quite often prior to this. Especially in serious modded difficulties like Deathwish or Onslaught, you needed control. Of course, those difficulties still had breakpoints that meant something and not a dizzying array of potential damage bonuses. At least getting rid of the talents would make it all so much more straight-forward; and if it was, miraculously, restricted to just certain weapons, it’d be nice to see the option for some indicator that they’re debuffed.
Yep, pretty sure it was one of those, close to the end of that beta period.
I get why this being limited sounds appealing and it would definitely create a clear role for heavy weapons but I’m also all for any feature that promotes good plays in general and there’s a MASSIVE difference between playing with 3 randoms who are too passive or having just 1 more player on the team who understands the importance of melee frontline and pushes through the horde with you when and where it makes sense. It feels like a completely different game then and the team’s pacing is 666% better and I just wish more people started doing this - I was kinda hoping the stagger mechanic would teach them that buuuuut, looking at how “outraged” people who refuse to learn are now, I was clearly naive
Really wish they would have done one experimental build without stagger mechanic, and the old health values and stuff. As @flisker says, that would not only be simpler (from the player’s end), but it really might be better. And if it wasn’t, Fatshark can at least say they tried, and maybe we who wanted it would say “okay, yeah, stagger is an improvement”.
I can’t honestly remember having a group wipe at the end of the ranged meta. If you had a talented Sienna, huntsman, BH or WS you could literally stand there headbanging while they killed everything in Legend and it wouldn’t endanger the run. It was ridiculous.
The problem is that it doesn’t promote teamplay. Teamplay in VT2 with its weight of numbers enemies means often hitting different enemies coming in from different angles and having good situational awareness so you don’t get swamped, the only time you’re hitting the same is if you’re in a chokepoint (which anyway trivialise hordes) or there aren’t that many enemies around (not much danger either way).
What having blanket stagger values on all the weapons in the game does however, whether you like it or not, is create inherent balance problems, as some weapons have great single target damage but no CC, others have CC but bad damage output (first and foremost, shielded weapons) and finally, the group that benefit the most from the mechanic as it is atm, some weapons have good damage and CC (exec, dual hammers etc.).
There’s also the problem that we can’t change loadouts while joining to adapt to our team, so if the game becomes too reliant on certain compositions to win it’d effectively kill the idea of QP.
Really what most promotes teamplay in line with what VT2’s combat has been like up until now is the AI director being punishing and hard, or having enemies that punish positioning more.
I’m all for having Legend be harder and Cata at least should be much harder a difficulty than the others, but it needs to be in a way that’s balanced and enjoyable.