Vermintide 1 + 2

I've been soloing through veteran maps to learn tome locations and catch up on story snippets. Though currently the Halescourge map is missing that dialogue, a bug I think? In the process I've been trying out Ranger and Knight Markus, and testing the other three hero bots. Here's what I've learned:

Kerilian:

- Best setup is Wayfarer with glaive and longbow.
- Anti-armour light attacks and crowd control sweeps make the glaive the best bot weapon.
- Single sword, greatsword or dual weapons are good for mulching streams of light enemies, but since I'm playing as Markus I can easily do that myself.
- Ranged attacks are infrequent so the longbow is best for plinking. Any of the three bows will work for special sniping.
- Vauls quiver is unnecessary in my experience, the bot doesn't shoot nearly enough to deplete herself. I just give her regenerating locus instead.
- The talent that boosts headshot damage is the most useful of the three, she doesn't headshot enemies often with her bow but the magic missile attack almost always hits the head and the talent gives +15% damage.
- Handmaiden with spear and block/stamina talents makes a reasonably good dodge tank but lacks armour penetration and kills very slowly. Might be useful if you play as Victor and the Bardin bot isn't available to tank.
- Shade is the worst class for bots because they use invisibility randomly and never try to backstab enemies. Though she was smart enough to magdump her crossbow into bosses, I'll give her that much.

Bardin

- Best bot is Ironbreaker with shield/axe and drakefire pistols
- The axe shield combo is by far the best tanking weapon, anti armour hits (unlike the hammer) and good blocking angle/stamina
- The drakefire pistols are the bot's best ranged weapon for general use because they fire fast enough to get multiple shots instead of 1 when the bot feels like shooting. The rifle and crossbow are still better for special sniping.
- The flamethrower is fun but not very effective in general, Bardin will randomly blast nearby enemies but won't focus it on hordes.
- Talents are best set up for block angle and stamina regen. The third talent that reduces gromril armour cooldown or gives health back is not necessary because bot bardin very rarely gets hit, better to give him stamina regen so he gets hit even less.
- Ranger Bardin can also be used if you have a ranged class, again with shield-axe to tank. Use the shotgun if you want him to get more than 5-10 ranged kills in a single mission or the rifle/crossbow for special sniping.
- The more ammo drop talent helps if you use a lot, but otherwise the "drop a grenade after every 4th" special is better on most maps because it gives you a reliable supply to deal with bosses and patrols.
- Slayer Bardin with double axes is a powerful lawnmower and boss killer, but something of a glass cannon.
- Slayer bot will only use the weapon in slot 1 but double axes are the most effective anyway.
- Slayer bot's response to any and all specials is a flying axe-tackle, this tends to get him killed.

Sienna:

- Pyromancer is the best bot class hands down. The magic missile special attack can chunk bosses for 20% or more if it crits them in the face and it recharges very quickly.
- Bots should be armed with a mace, the first attack in the chain is an overhead smash that pierces armour. The sword has an armour piercing attack but it's at the end of the chain. Hence Mace bot will reliably pierce armour after a block.
- Bots are not smart enough to effectively use or defend themselves with the dagger and the flamesword lacks anti armour, even if it randomly sets enemies on fire.
- The only staff Sienna uses properly is the Bolt staff. She will use the rapid fire attack often and may occasionally use a heavy attack.
- All other staffs are bugged, the beam staff only tickles targets because it never ramps up to full DPS, and she never uses the heavy attack on any of them. If you don't have a bolt staff the fireball and conflagration staffs have a decent basic bolt attack.
- Since Sienna bot will actually use the bolt staff enough to build up overcharge, talents should be set for overcharge mitigation, I usually run with 1 grim when soloing anyway.
- Battle Mage is just straight up worse than Pyromancer in my experience. Unchained is more like Slayer Bardin, expect her to die a lot.

Huntsman has been nerfed heavily since the beta but this is still hilarious.

Your bot info is very useful, and reflects quite closely the performance I've seen trying to run with bots in champion.

For Kruber I'd suggest handgun paired with mace and shield to balance crowd control with a bit of armor penetration. Most of Kruber's weapons are swords and have terrible damage against armor, but some attacks with the mace/shield and 1H mace penetrate. I think the footknight is probably the best Kruber bot class because of the damage resistance aura and because the ult charges quickly and he'll sometimes use it to stagger hordes and bosses. If you have a level 25 Kruber bot there might be an argument for running mercenary because the ult will do instant revives, and anything that helps the bots revive you is extremely valuable. That said, I don't have the level 25 talent yet to test if he'll actually use it for clutch revives or just waste it when nobody's down (it has a rather long recharge).

There might be an argument for handmaiden Kerillian bot as well, as her revive is mostly uninterruptible. I haven't tested handmaiden bot yet though, as I generally feel the special killing power of waystalker to be too good to pass up in most cases. Waystalker probably eliminates many of the situations where revives would be necessary.

Is there a level you're supposed to get to on anyone hero before swapping to another one in terms of the meta (As in best leveling practice and the like)? I feel like there was but it's been a while and I no longer remember

IHateDRM wrote:

Is there a level you're supposed to get to on anyone hero before swapping to another one in terms of the meta (As in best leveling practice and the like)? I feel like there was but it's been a while and I no longer remember

I read a guide before I started but didn't really understand most of the terminology since I never played VM1. Here's some tips I picked up:

1. Save all of your commendation chests until you max out on veteran difficulty with 200 power items in all slots.
2. Characters unlock the ability to get blue items as drops at level 10, and orange items at 15 ish. When you just start out it's worth rushing one character to level 10 or 15 and opening all crates on them to maximize crafting salvage rarity.
3. You should try to get your main and eventually all alt characters to level 12. This unlocks the third class and also gives you all of the blueprints for crafting.
4. At low levels it is more efficient to open all crates on your highest character, then craft two weapons at the cost of 20 scrap to bring your alts up to speed. This is because all characters share accessories. Later on when all of your characters are 12+, open crates on whoever needs equipment so that you may get an orange weapon.
5. You should craft items every now and then to help raise your item level. A good rule of thumb is to open 5 chests, then figure out which slot has the lowest item and craft a few of those until it's power level is at or above the other slots.

Started playing Champion tonight. When you first set foot into this difficulty you feel the same "culture shock" that you do when playing Veteran for the first time with 100 power items. Enemies can tank way more hits and your cleave power is greatly reduced. Other than that it plays mostly the same as veteran, just with bigger patrols and more specials.

Had a funny moment when we almost wiped on the Screaming Bell mission. Three of us went down to the rat ogre at the end. So Emmes became the worst slayer ever and ran to the exit, using his slayer leap to flee faster. He even passed Cayne and AnotherCasual on the way, there was no time to rescue them.

IMAGE(https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/930430858288159800/8A7A26D2480AEEE29EAA95CF7EFC84B1A54EA909/)
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I take two nights off sick, and now the board is talking Champion!?! We went from “I guess we could TRY Champion” to “I run Champ with bots one handed while doing my taxes.” Sheesh!

Seriously, though, it’s fun to read all of the analysis being provided, and glad to see everyone is enjoying the game.

I’m looking forward to giving Champion a shot, since I’ve heard that’s when weapon choices, etc, really start to matter with your play style, and playing the fun weapons will get you killed. For example, no more Swift Bow spam because it’s fun, I’ll have to start running a bow that doesn’t end with Roger looking like a character from Hellraiser.

Vermintide 1 is $7.50 right now.

Is it worth it for someone who's going to be playing exclusively single player? (My reference is Left 4 Dead. The first one was much better for single player than L4D2)

It might be... It is very much a multiplayer game and most of the joy comes from working as a team, but there is some satisfaction in playing with bots as well. You might ask in the keys thread or the Humble Monthly thread too, as it's been in the Humble Bundle and there are probably people who, now that VT2 is out, realize they'll never get to playing VT1. If you plan on playing single player with bots I highly recommend installing something called the QoL modpack posted in the Vermintide subreddit. It will make your experience much better.

Even with the mod playing with bots is sometimes frustrating, as they sometimes have pathing issues that will cost you a run (at least on the higher difficulties). I played a fair bit with bots and usually had fun, but I was more committed to the game than most. I'd recommend you get VT2 and play with us, but I assume you have your reasons

You should know that there is no way to pause the game, even in single player. It is also dependent on your connection to Steam. If you lose internet or Steam goes down for maintenance it will abruptly end your game, even if you're playing single player.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

Vermintide 1 is $7.50 right now. Is it worth it for someone who's going to be playing exclusively single player? (My reference is Left 4 Dead. The first one was much better for single player than L4D2)

Curious to know too. AFAIK the two games are very similar and it's a lesser/older/buggier version of VM2 with different maps.

Been doing some champion bot runs as Mercenary Markus to test more mechanics. Outside of the usual pathfinding and logic stupidity bots can handle champion most of the time, where they really fall flat is on bosses. Sometimes the boss will spawn in a bad location and they will refuse to follow you to a better one. Also they don't use ranged weapons on bosses which loses out on a lot of DPS. The troll is the worst boss to face, they usually struggle to cut the trolls health to half on the first down.

I've unlocked Markus's level 20 and 25 traits. The level 20 traits are the same for everyone.

- Critical hits give temp health is the first one, this is obviously the best one if you have a crit build because it triggers on all crits including those against bosses.
- Kills give temp health is the best pick in general for any class if you plan to stay on the front line and mow down weak enemies. This is also the most practical way of regenerating yourself if you use nature bond.
- Boss kills grant health could be useful in the right situation. The health you get back is 50% and is permanent instead of temporary. Essentially this gives you a free potion after every boss kill. But overall I think the first two picks are more reliable.

The level 25 traits are also similar for all classes. Reduced cooldown, amplified effect or additional effect.

- Reduced class ability cooldown doesn't increase your recharge rate. Instead when your bar is full and you use the ability, it only consumes 66% of the bar instead of 100%. This gives you the best recharge rate for boss-staggering abilities.
- Amplified effect for mercenary gives you 50% temp health to all party members when using the shout, instead of roughly 30%.
- The last trait option makes you revive allies when shouting. This can be very good or very bad. Very good because it's an instant cast and heals them in the process. Bad because you might revive someone under attack only have them get hit and killed instantly.

I also tested out +healing effect traits. You can get +30% healing from class traits or from a necklace trait. Potions heal 50 health but overwrite temp health, so you may want to hold off on using them unless your next down is death. Health kits heal 75% of your missing health and convert temp health to full health. With +30% health kits will reliably heal you to full after every use. With +60% potions will heal you for about 80 points.

Healing effect traits don't affect any other form of healing, just healing items. So no regeneration or class abilities.

Tamren wrote:

- The last trait option makes you revive allies when shouting. This can be very good or very bad. Very good because it's an instant cast and heals them in the process. Bad because you might revive someone under attack only have them get hit and killed instantly.

Keep in mind that it's coupled with an ability that staggers or knocks down all enemies except bosses, so it's probably a pretty safe bet most of the time, no? I just got access to the talent myself so I haven't really been able to test it under pressure.

It appears that the revive radius is the same as the temporary health radius, that is to say much larger than the knockback.

BushPilot wrote:

It might be... It is very much a multiplayer game and most of the joy comes from working as a team, but there is some satisfaction in playing with bots as well. You might ask in the keys thread or the Humble Monthly thread too, as it's been in the Humble Bundle and there are probably people who, now that VT2 is out, realize they'll never get to playing VT1. If you plan on playing single player with bots I highly recommend installing something called the QoL modpack posted in the Vermintide subreddit. It will make your experience much better.

Even with the mod playing with bots is sometimes frustrating, as they sometimes have pathing issues that will cost you a run (at least on the higher difficulties). I played a fair bit with bots and usually had fun, but I was more committed to the game than most. I'd recommend you get VT2 and play with us, but I assume you have your reasons

You should know that there is no way to pause the game, even in single player. It is also dependent on your connection to Steam. If you lose internet or Steam goes down for maintenance it will abruptly end your game, even if you're playing single player.

Thanks.

I'll probably give this one a pass until it hits an irresistible price during a seasonal sale. It's not like I'm lacking for things to play right now.

Tamren wrote:

It appears that the revive radius is the same as the temporary health radius, that is to say much larger than the knockback.

I never would have guessed that, and would have pushed into all sorts of bad positions to try and pull it off. Thanks for the info!

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

I'll probably give this one a pass until it hits an irresistible price during a seasonal sale. It's not like I'm lacking for things to play right now.

There is also the possibility that they might do a L4D2 and port the original campaign into the sequel.

A list of currently broken talents: (All the ones that raise hero power)
https://www.reddit.com/r/Vermintide/...

I definitely notice Vaul's quiver helping on my Kerillian bot. If they're at half ammo or less, they'll only shoot specials.

I think the executioner weapon may be broken as well. If I swing it a lot in a short time it feels like the weapon "phases out" and no longer hits enemies. Visually as well as mechanically.

I've never seen my Kerilian bot fall under 80% ammo. Bots very rarely shoot at all, even Sienna who has no ammo to worry about. It's possible that bots with +ammo talents would be programmed to shoot more.

I have noticed that on rare occasions with the executioner's sword as well. I just assumed I was aiming a bit to high going for the heads, but there we're times where I was _sure_ it should've hit. Maybe it's an animation bug when the weapon runs out of cleave?

As for bot ammunition use, I find it varies a lot depending on the map played and the playstyle. Bots have a range over which they'll engage in ranged combat, but they'll generally switch to a complete focus on melee once enemies are inside some radius (there is a different radius for specials, I think). If you play a relatively open map, they'll use more ammunition. If you progress through the map relatively slowly, aggroing distant enemies and letting them come to you and pausing in spots to figure out supplies, they'll use more. It can take the bots a long time to 'clean up' melee combat, so once they're engaged ranged combat is pretty much out of the question until you've cleaned the enemies off of them. If the added ammo doesn't hep you with the way you play with bots, take something else that'll help more — there's no correct build. All that said, I think that bots are probably intentionally limited in the amount they'll shoot in general. They pretty much never miss, so they'd be killing machines if they could just unleash ranged fire. I'd bet that soon there'll be a mod that'll allow you to change how likely they are to use ranged weapons, there was a mod like this for Vermintide 1.

I also discovered something new the other night. For 'dash' abilities like the footknight's charge or the handmaiden's dash you can stop the dash at any point by hitting block. You can even charge in place just for the stagger, if you want. It makes them so much more useable if you don't have to put yourself out of position or launch off of cliffs.

Re: XS

It's bugged, there's two forms of it:

Oh, that explains a lot.

Some random info I learned while experimenting with Huntsman:

- Sienna's beam staff has a third attack mode, if you hold down LMB to activate the beam and then click RMB she will fire a hitscan bolt down the same path as the beam with damage scaling how to how fully charged the beam attack is. This will deal extra headshot damage, but getting a headshot is tough because the beam usually causes the target to move.
- Shotguns fire 10 pellets per shot, I am unsure if they each cleave targets indepedantly or collectively. Requires testing.
- Pellets that scatter onto the head count as headshots in terms of damage multiplier but do not activate abilities.
- If you aim the crosshair directly at a head before firing it will count as a headshot for ability purposes and all pellets will strike with the higher headshot damage. However aiming high like this will tend to partially miss the target so it's only useful at close range. (at long distances this still counts as a headshot for ammo regen purposes even if all pellets miss)
- Against hordes it helps to headshot an enemy in the front row to maximize damage, ideally from an elevated location.
- AFAIK the +30% healing effect you get from talents or trinkets does NOT stack. Even a single +30% bonus will cause healing packs to heal you to full, and potions to heal you by 95%.

Here's some stats I pulled from Markus's ranged weapons. These aren't "to scale" because the item power levels are not the same but you can see the general picture. The ammo amounts listed are the increased pool that Huntsman gets. Damage numbers are against armour, non armoured targets take 2x or 3x more.

Handgun 65dmg, 110dmg headshot, 18 shots
Blunderbuss 6dmg x10, 8dmg x10 headshot, 18 shots
Repeating Pistol 12dmg, 16dmg headshot, 48 shots
Aimed Shot Longbow 31dmg, 70dmg headshot, 41 shots.
Snap Shot Longbow 8dmg, 11dmg headshot

When you plot out the potential max damage done it looks like this:

Handgun 1170, 1980 headshot
Blunderbuss 1080, 1620 headshot (assuming all pellets hit)
Repeating Pistol 576, 768 headshot
Aimed Shot Longbow 1271, 2870 headshot

At a glance the longbow seems like the best overall and the repeater the worst, but it doesn't tell the whole story. For instance the handgun and blunderbuss deal about the same damage to armour with equal power level. The handgun simply concentrates it's damage into one shot instead of 10. However the handgun does equal damage to armoured and non armoured targets, so against most enemies the blunderbuss deals much more damage. Particularly to non-armoured bosses like the rat ogre. Against normal targets the damage looks like this:

Handgun 65dmg, 110dmg headshot, 18 shots
Blunderbuss 16dmg x10, 26dmg x10 headshot, 18 shots
Repeating Pistol 37dmg, 51dmg headshot, 48 shots
Aimed Shot Longbow 59dmg, 101dmg headshot, 41 shots.
Snap Shot Longbow 32dmg, 44dmg headshot

The total damage possible is then:

Handgun 1170, 1980 headshot
Blunderbuss 2880, 4680 headshot (assuming all pellets hit)
Repeating Pistol 1776, 2448 headshot
Aimed Shot Longbow 2419, 4141 headshot
Snap Shot Longbow 1312, 1804 headshot

So TLDR, the handgun is the best for armoured foes like chaos warriors, stormfiends and certain level bosses. The blunderbuss and repeater are better for anything that isn't specifically armoured as well as hordes. The longbow is good at both but struggles to gain consistent headshots because of it's inherent inaccuracy. Some other stuff:

- The -25% shot spread talent is useful for all of the weapons, but is kind of mandatory for the blunderbuss and especially the longbow. The spread for either weapon is too wide without it to get consistent headshots at close range.
- The handgun is not laser accurate when aimed, there is still a bit of a cone.
- The Huntsman class trait grants one ammo for every headshot. You can get the same trait as a talent and as a weapon property, possibly getting 3 ammo back per headshot.
- The trait that recharges your class ability by 2% per critical hit is probably the most powerful, it applies PER hit and multiple projectiles count.
- Markus's longbow works differently from kerilians. You can charge and fire a heavy shot almost instantly whereas kerilian takes a moment to wind up her shot. However if you hold down RMB your camera will zoom in and your accuracy actually gets WORSE when zoomed. This is opposite from Kerilian who has a longer windup, consistent zoom that stays on and laser accuracy.
- Markus can't move while zoomed in with the longbow.
- The repeating pistol has an alt fire that unloads all 8 barrels one by one. This does not affect accuracy because the cone of fire returns to neutral between shots.
- The repeating pistol is not so great for armoured targets, taking 3 hits to kill a champion or special versus 1 for the handgun. The benefit is that you can take out 2-3 between reloads because you have multiple shots and like the shotgun it has much higher DPS against unarmoured bosses.
- Crouching slightly increases the accuracy of hip fire for the handgun and repeating pistol, but decreases the accuracy for aimed shots using the handgun and longbow.
- The blunderbuss has an alt fire bash attack which is useful as a quick "get out of my face" push, reminiscent of the shove that all rifles had in L4D. This is enough damage to kill skavenslaves in 1 hit, clan rats in 2 hits, chaos soldiers (not the skinny ones) in 6 hits and repeatedly stagger a stormvermin, all tested on legendary. Based on the HP spreadsheed someone posted earlier I would guess that the damage it deals is about 7.5. To put that into perspective a 1h sword or mace in Markus's hands does 11 damage.

Some impressions about the Huntsman class itself:

- Fantastic boss/champion/special killer, not so great against everything else.
- Since your ranged weapons can deal with armoured enemies just fine it helps to take a fast hitting crowd control weapon like the greatsword or 1h sword/mace.
- Friendly fire is definitely a problem, especially with the Longbow because it takes time to wind up shots during which your teammates can move. It's less of an issue with the other weapons because they are hitscan, unless people walk through you from behind at the wrong moment.
- The class ability cloaks the player and grants them a big damage bonus, roughly 150%. All attacks during the stealth deal higher damage, so I could for instance headshot an enemy three times for 250 damage before the effect expires. It may also affect crit rate as well, but without visible stats it's impossible to tell.
- Activating stealth will also reload your weapon if it isn't already, potentially giving you free ammo. It also reduces reload times for the duration.
- Stealth attacking is obviously great for bosses but can also be used to annihilate surprise patrols and specials as the need arises. The instant reload is most helpful in this regard.
- The level 25 talents that provide regeneration during stealth and increased power during stealth are broken and do nothing.
- Strength potions affect ALL types of damage dealt, including grenades, I suspect that huntsman stealth works the same way and the two probably stack.
- They fixed the Hunstman FOV bug but there is still another one that causes the gamma setting to go crazy and wash out the screen.

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I'm still struggling to learn dodging. I'm fairly competent at dealing with chaos warriors, but I'm still forgetting to use dodge against champions and regular hordes. Since I recently hit item level 300 I went around my alts and cashed in all of the old redundant items. While I was doing that I datamined the dodge distances for each character.

These numbers are not scientific, I measured them using a line of paving stones as a ruler. All numbers are rounded, a dodge rating of 12 is roughly 6 feet of displacement.

Markus:

12: 1h mace/sword
10: 2h weapons and ranged weapons
9: 1h and shield

Bardin:
12: 1h hammer/axe and dual axe
10: ranged weapons
9: 2h weapons, 1h and shield, both drakeguns

Kerilian:
12: 1h sword, dual weapons, shortbow and hagbane
11: spear
10: glaive, greatsword, longbow and crossbow

Victor:
11: axe, falchion, rapier
10: flail and ranged weapons
9: greatsword

Sienna:
12: all melee weapons
10: all staves

Based mostly on Vermintide 1 wisdom:

  • Light, fast weapons usually have slightly longer dodges than heavier weapons
  • Light weapons have a higher effective dodge count than heavier weapons
    • Your effective dodge count is how many times you can dodge without pausing before your dodges get very short and ineffective. This can range from as few as 2 on shields and heavy two-handers to dozens on dual daggers and rapier.
    • It only takes about 1 second of not dodging to reset your effective dodges, but that second is important because it's time you're very vulnerable. The time it takes to reset your dodge count is about the same as the amount of time it takes to fully execute a jump.
    • In general, the more your run speed slows when you block, the fewer effective dodges you get and the shorter they'll be
  • You can dodge while blocking and this doesn't change the effectiveness of the block (it does slow you down between dodges)
  • You can steer your side-dodges. If you don't move your mouse, you'll dodge in a straight line. If you move your mouse to keep your reticle on something, you'll dodge in a circle around it (a tight circle if you're close, and a broad circle if you're far away). This is useful for circle strafing a target or small group.
  • For some enemy and attack types (even non-bosses/specials), only a back-dodge is reliable, while for others only a side-dodge is reliable. Don't try to back-dodge a packmaster grab. It's usually best to side-dodge a stormvermin or mauler cleave attack, but you should usually back-dodge their sweep attack.
  • Having dodge and jump on the same key is workable, but can result in you jumping and taking damage when you really wanted to dodge, particularly when you're trying to chain dodges together.
  • Side-dodging a bit and staggering enemies in multiple locations is one of the best ways to maintain a space and keep yourself from getting surrounded. When fighting at a choke point, it can be difficult to find a balance between keeping the front-line melee players safe using this technique and leaving room for ranged players to shoot around them.
  • Repeated back-dodging, starting another strike while moving forward, then back-dodging again is also a very useful technique for some weapons (particularly large slow attacks like the charged sweep of the 2H hammer). This is often called "jousting."
  • Dodging bosses may require different dodges based on what attack they are initiating. This is difficult to learn and difficult to execute off-host, but very valuable if you can get the hang of it.

Great tips guys, lots to learn.

Bots are really good at jousting, I've been learning by just watching what they do. They can easily stonewall a boss by dodging out of reach and darting back in before the attack animation has finished. But bots have zero ping and I'm pretty sure they cheat because I've seen them dodge bosses even when backed into a corner with nowhere to move.

I think I read somewhere that dodging reduces the size of your hitbox, it may be that bots also get invincibility frames too. It wouldn't be the first time bots have different mechanics, they don't take damage from the pool in the convocation finale for instance.

Here is a spreadsheet with the melee damage numbers. The numbers listed are for power 600 characters and also shows the damage when cleaving through 2-4 targets. It doesn't have ranged weapons or player ults yet, but it does have stats for the shield bashes and other attacks that don't trigger on the training dummies. And for further reference here is the chart with enemy armour types and HPs. You can figure out a lot by comparing the two spreadsheets.

EDIT: Bushpilot pulling a Mary Poppins.
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Also this happened to B33f of MWO fame.
https://clips.twitch.tv/ViscousRelia...

Picked this up on a lark even though I'm in a far different time zone than most of you. Zero research beyond hearing that it was fun. Delighted to find that there are bots, as I was really concerned about not being able to fill out a party. Started out with the mage, and I'm finally learning not to explode myself with enthusiastic ranged firing. Totally crap player, but smacking Skaven around has been delightful thus far!

Here is another damage chart that I forgot to post earlier. The other damage chart is a modifiication of this one showing 600 hero power damage values. This chart displays the raw values and multipliers, including the amount of damage you gain per power point.

Some thoughts on mercenary Markus:

Spoiler:

- Mercenary Markus is a good swiss army knife. His class talents gives him extra attack speed when he hits 3 enemies in one swing, higher cleave values for weapon strikes (how much higher no one knows) and a bit of extra crit chance. His ability is an AoE knockdown shout that gives all party members 30% temp health. Most enemies will get knocked on their ass, bosses and specials will be staggered for a moment. The one notable exception is shieldvermin who can block the shout.
- Since his ability only activates when you hit 3 targets in a row, he much prefers large 2h weapons with horizontal swings. The greatsword and executioner being the epitome of this type, though the hammer and halberd also have horizontal swings in their combo chain.

Level 5
- I prefer crit chance for his first talent. Stamina regen is always useful but when you combine blocking with dodging you shouldn't ever run out. +30% healing will make all healing items heal you to full, but you can get this trait from a necklace later and it doesn't affect any other forms of healing.

Level 10
- For the second talent a 25% damage reduction when <50% health is amazing, however the value drops off a bit once you get to level 20 because you will be getting piles of temp health and this talent doesn't activate if your combined health is above 50%. It also doesn't activate unless you are already <50%, which makes it better against small hits because large hits will wound you past the 50% mark and not trigger the bonus. I would recommend this for general use unless you run a crit/attack speed build in which case your temp health gain will be so high you will almost always float above 50%.
- Increased power by up to 15% when outnumbered is situational, at 600 hero power that is +90, but it only amounts to +.3 or +.2 damage per 10 hero power. This may be useful for reaching certain damage breakpoints on Legendary once they fix these talents to actually do something.
- Reduced attack interruption time by 35% sounds good on paper but I'm not sure how the mechanics work. I think this is the "stun" that results when you get hit and take health damage. It may also apply when you get shoved by a stormvermin or heavy hits that stagger you when blocked. My uninformed opinion is that damage reduction is better because this only applies when you get hit and there are many ways to avoid that, not the least being dodge.
- NOTE: When running double grimoire your health is cut to a third, and the damage reduction talent only activates when you are half of that. So it becomes nearly useless on treasure runs and you should use attack interrupt instead if you plan to collect the full set.

Level 15:

- These talents all modify Paced Strikes. Reduced damage by 25% when active is amazing. When combined with health-on-kill it allows you to keep chopping your way through hordes while "DPS tanking" by absorbing superficial hits in return. When combined with the other -25% damage reduction from low healthyou can reach -50% in "last stand" situations. This would be my recommendation for regular play.
- Spreading the attack speed buff to all allies is also amazing because you can grant the entire party a 10% attack speed buff and sustain it throughout a fight. However most player parties don't fully benefit from this because you tend to split the party into melee and ranged, or split the party 2 and 2 to cover two locations. I would use damage reduction instead when pugging, but this would be my pick if you have a premade with other melee focused characters. I would also recommend this for Markus bots.
- +10% power for paced strikes is very situational, only good for damage breakpoints. (once they fix it)

Level 20:
- Not much to say here. Temp health on kill is almost always the superior choice until you run an attack speed or crit build in which case health on crits is better.
- Health on boss kill is too situational, even on champion you may only get 1 boss per level until there is a scripted one. I'm not sure because the description doesn't say, but this probably doesn't cure wounds (the black vision) and stop your from dying on your next down.

Level 25:
- Level 25 talents always affect the player ultimate. -30% cooldown doesn't increase charge time, it simply causes you to consume 70% of your charge bar instead of 100%. This effectively reduces the base cooldown of 3 minutes to just above 2. Can't go wrong with this one. In combination with potions this offers the best boss knockdown. I would use this for bots.
- Increased health on use makes you give +50% temp health instead of +30%. I'm very fond of this one because you can save it for a critical moment and effectively give your entire party a potion. It lets you turn concentration potions into a considerable amount of health too. I usually pick this one when playing as Markus, however I wouldn't recommend it for bots because they just shout whenever they feel like it and don't save it for the right moment.
- The last talent causes you to instantly pick up fallen teammates when shouting. The radius is the same as the temp health, which is bigger than the knockdown. There are two ways to use this, one is to fight your way to where a friend is down and then use the shout to clear a space and pick them up. The other is to pick someone up the instant they fall, from an assassin attack for instance.
- Picking up people using the shout does NOT grant them extra temporary health. For this reason I would consider extra temp health more useful overall than instant pickups.

Small addendum to my Mercenary thoughts. It appears that the Mercenary shout is percentage based because it restores the same amount of bar to everyone in the party even though they have separate HP levels. The vermintide 2 wiki now has detailed numbers for class skill cooldowns and HP ratings. I will reference these numbers from now on.

One mechanic I didn't mention before is that your charge bar will fill when you strike enemies and take hits in return. The reason you don't tend to notice this is that taking damage is bad, and most class abilities take several minutes to recharge. A few added seconds here or there spread over the length of a fight will hardly make the bar move. You can see the exact recharge rates for all class abilities on this table. Some things to note:

1. The per-attack values stack if you hit multiple enemies with one strike, so a sword slash and a shotgun blast can hit multiple enemies and give a bigger boost. However spread attacks like shotguns can't trigger off the same enemy twice.
2. I suspect but have no way to prove that this also works with projectile cleave, that would for instance make the shotgun a fantastic weapon for firing into hordes and charging mercenary Markus's shout since he gets extra cleave from his class and each pellet could potentially hit two enemies.
3. Charge on damage taken does NOT trigger if you block it, only damage to your HP counts. Even when you get easy access to temp health at high levels, taking a hit just to charge your ult isn't a good idea.

I'm going to record my thoughts on the Foot Knight too while they are still fresh. I skipped over Huntsman because that class is very bugged right now and I will revisit it later when the talents actually work.

Spoiler:

- Foot Knight is Markus's tanking and control class. According to the wiki his base HP is 150, versus 125 for mercenary and 100 for huntsman. He has a damage resistance aura, which doesn't state the exact percent but the best guess I've heard is -15%. His class ability is a linear charge that knocks down almost all enemies and recharges very fast, only 30 seconds. This renders almost all enemies helpless and easy pickings for the rest of the party. Big armoured targets like chaos warriors and bosses will halt your charge, but be staggered in return for about 5 seconds.
- Chaos warriors and the named chaos boss are particularly vulnerable to charge. Most of the time they will be stunned and go down to one knee, but charging will knock them right on their ass for many seconds.
- Charge is difficult to use properly, it can send you off of cliffs or isolate you from the rest of your party. If you block while charging you will stop, this lets you control the distance of the charge, or even reduce the knockback effect to a conical "shout" while remaining stationary. You can even do this while holding a ranged weapon, but you have to press the button AFTER you start charging, simply holding down block won't do it.
- The best way to charge is horizontally across a wide front or as a short dive into a tightly packed chokepoint. Only go all in if you know you can fight your way out, or remain safe long enough to charge back out of trouble.
- To increase the effect of charge and give you something to do before the cooldown is up, block and shove enemies aggressively to pack them into a tighter bundle.

Level 5:
- All of the talents at this level are excellent. 30% block is always helpful because most weapons in the game have an effective block angle of 60 degrees, this will put you closer to 90 which can cover your entire frontal arc. I always pick talents of this type for bots.
- More HP is always useful and +25% raises you to 188hp, assuming the game rounds up. I usually pick this one when playing footknight.
- 5% attack speed doesn't sound like much but every bit helps. Unlike with crit bonuses the first 5% doesn't have a big impact, you need at least 10% for a noticeable gain. However this talent can be combined with other bonuses if you plan to use a 2h weapon, particularly one with the +20% attack speed on crit trait. Otherwise I would pick HP instead when using a 1h weapon, or block if I was using a shield.

Level 10:
- 50% damage reduction on revive is good on paper but very situational. It takes most of 10 seconds just for your ally to stand up and possibly drink a potion, if they get hit again during this time things are already going poorly and damage reduction won't help. It might be handy for rescuing allies from a pool of acid, or out from under a boss's nose.
- Counter attack is the least useful talent in my experience. Between charge and dodge you should always keep your stamina under control. My block only ever gets broken by heavy attacks from bosses and elites, and these tend to send me flying across the room so 5 seconds of uninterruptible attack don't help much. However this can be good in combination with 2h weapons, if you get swarmed by lots of weak enemies the rapid attacks can deplete your shields very quickly and stunlock you if you try to hit back. I would use this for bots as they don't handle hordes very well.
- +40% stamina regen over 2 seconds is a lot, your shield bar will visibly inflate like a balloon when this is active. This is especially handy with shields because charged attacks are much faster with 1h weapons and both of Markus's shields incorporate shield bashes into their heavy attacks. More stamina means more blocks and more pushes, and higher regen can make up for a smaller shield pool.

Level 15:
- All three of these talents affect the damage resistance aura. The first giving all allies 1 shield, the second increasing the unknown damage reduction value by 5%, and the third increases movement speed by 5%.
- More stamina is probably the best pick overall, especially in combination with bots. More pushes and blocks mean less damage taken, and most weapons for all classes have 3 stamina or less. Upping that to 4 allows you to fully absorb certain heavy attacks.
- An extra 5% damage reduction is always helpful, I pick this when playing with human players. Extra stamina is less useful in these situations because human players rely much more heavily on ranged attacks and chokepoints where only 1 player can melee effectively. Ideally that player would be you if you are playing footknight, better to protect your allies from ranged attacks and other surprises than just give yourself one stamina.
- The last bonus is 5% to movement speed. Movement speed is one of the least useful bonuses in this game, you are either fast or you're not, and +5% on it's own is nowhere near enough to make you fast. Plus whenever you block your movement slows to a crawl with almost all weapons, and +5% to that is insignificant. Movement speed does help with certain jumping puzzles and may help with kiting bosses. I may change my opinion later once we have more data on player and enemy movement speeds, there may be useful breakpoints you can reach.

Level 20:
- My previous comments stand, but the one case where you could argue for crits over kills is when you are tanking with a shield. Even if you don't have a crit built you will tend to get more critical hits than kills because you spend so much time on blocking, pushing and crowd control in general while your allies get all the kills. This is doubly true when using a shield because the best tanking weapon for Markus is 1h mace+shield. This weapon combo does not pierce armour with any of it's light attacks and has weak heavy attacks, thus you have to rely exclusively on criticals to deal any meaningful armour piercing damage.

Level 25:
-30% cooldown reduction is always handy for any class. But footknight also happens to have one of the shortest cooldowns at a mere 30 seconds, surpassed only by handmaiden. If you pop a concentration potion it will actually recharge the charge faster than it takes you to charge to your full distance. By far the best boss-staggering ability in the game, and if you mess up and take a hit from the boss it may do enough damage to half or fully charge your ult instantly.
- +25% power for 10 seconds is a big power boost, but as mentioned before this talent is bugged and doesn't do anything. Very breakpoint dependant and we don't have the full stats for damage/cleave/stagger yet.
- The last talent choice is an interesting one. -100% cost to block for 10 seconds renders you effectively invulnerable to melee attacks. However if any enemies are left standing after you charge you're kind of doing it wrong. Since you can't combine this with cooldown reduction if you get into trouble and need that blocking ability you will need to defend yourself for a further 20 seconds before you can charge again. This could be of use against bosses as you can stagger them and tank any followup attacks. Though seeing as you can already dodge tank most bosses indefinitely you might as well pick the cooldown talent.

Changes announced for new patch. My favorite: some enemies are getting DECREASED StAgGeR. Oi! Wazzok!

Also, Veteran boxes will now go up to 300 power level. That will really help the new players. I think that’s cool.

They changed a lot of stuff, if everything in the notes is correct it's almost an entirely new game for melee combat. Figuring it out is going to take extensive testing.

EDIT: Oh and they didn't mention it specifically but all things that affect hero power should now be working as intended. In theory. Hero power boosts will also now put you above the power cap in recruit and veteran.

Here's my cliffs notes version of this patch, without the stability fixes and twitch stuff:

- Version 1.0.5 introduces large changes to combat balance. In order to maintain a close-combat focused game, some enemies are now more resistant to staggering. All weapons have also had their cleave tweaked in order to make some weapons more viable than others, against large hordes of enemies. These balance adjustments to stagger and cleave will have a more significant impact on Champion and Legend.

- Chest rewards from Veteran difficulties will be capped at 300 Hero Power, up from 200.
- Veteran item rarities have been changed. You can now receive Veteran items from General’s Champion and Emperor’s Champion chests, as well as any chests obtained from Legend. Their drop rates have also been drastically increased. I'm pretty sure it worked like this before, they just upped the drop rate.

- We’ve changed how Hero Power is capped per difficulty.
-On Champion and Legendary, your Hero Power isn’t capped at all.
- On Recruit, Hero Power above 200 will be subject to scaling. Hero Power between 200 and 600 will be interpolated toward a maximum of 300.
- On Veteran, Hero Power between 400 and 600 will be interpolated toward 500.

- Scaling has been tweaked for damage and cleave (using a 3.5 ratio rather than 3.0). Without hard stats it's hard to know how much of an effect this has.
- On Champion and Legend, the Director will less frequently spawn hordes and specials while the players still are engaged with enemies. Now where have I heard that before...

All hero changes:

Spoiler:

Ranger Veteran:
Last Resort: Increased power boost when out of ammo to 25%, up from 15%.

Ironbreaker:
Oi! Wazzok!: Fixed to now more reliably taunt bosses.

Slayer:
See it Coming: Increased dodge range increase to 20%, up from 10%.
Oblivious to Pain: Max damage taken threshold decreased to 10, down from 15.
Stunty Saviour: Increased movement speed on last hero standing to 15%, up from 5%.
Unstoppable!: Increases passive buff duration to 5 seconds, up from 3.

Mercenary:
Desperate Defiance: Increased damage reduction to 35%, up from 25%.
Reikland Reaper: Increased power boost to 15%, up from 10%.

Huntsman:
Scavenger: Increased ammunition regained on boss death to 100%, up from 30%, of max ammo.
Makin’ It Look Easy: Increased critical strike chance after scoring a headshot to 25%, up from 10%.
Thrill of the Hunt: Increased reload speed after scoring a headshot to 35%, up from 20%.
Hunter’s Respite: Fixed an issue where the health regeneration from the talent only worked for host players. Now it properly works for both hosts and clients.
Hunter’s Prowl: Cooldown reduced to 90 seconds, down from 120.

Foot Knight:
Bulwark: Increased block and push angle to 50%, up from 30%.

Waystalker:
Daughter of the Hunt: Now activates while above 45% health, up from from 25%.
Kurnous’ Blessing: Fixed an issue where Trueflight Volley returned more ammo than intended. Now returns 20% ammo, down from 50%.
Trueflight Volley: Will now present her equipped bow, instead of showing a plain longbow, when activated.

Handmaiden:
Wraithwillow Stance: Increased push and block angle to 50%, up from 30%
Shadowstep: Increases dodge distance to 20%, up from 10%.
Hulon’s Tenacity: Increased stamina regeneration rate to 50%, up from 30%.

Shade:
Shadowstep: Increases dodge distance to 20%, up from 10%.
Infiltrate: Cooldown reduced to 60 seconds, down from 120.

Witch Hunter Captain:
Charmed Life: Increased dodge distance to 20%, up from 10%.
Marked for Death and Wild Fervour: Fixed an UI issue where the buff icon would not appear when a taggable target was killed - even though the buffs were applied.

Bounty Hunter:
Necessary Means: Increased power boost when out of ammo to 25%, up from 10%.
Blessed Shots: Fixed an issue where its cooldown would be incorrectly reset by ranged attacks when swapping to a melee weapon before the projectile hit.

Zealot:
Flagellant: Max damage taken threshold decreased to 10, down from 15.
Suppress Pain: Increased damage reduction to 35%, up from 25%.
Pleasure from Pain: Fixed an issue where this would replace the attack speed increase from Holy Fervour.

Battle Wizard:
Cauterize Wounds: Increased healing received to 30%, up from 20%.
Burnout: Fixed an issue where attack speed debuffs where not removed when clearing Overcharge.
Fire Walk: Cooldown reduced to 40 seconds, down from 90.

Pyromancer:
Exhaust: Fixed an issue where attack speed debuffs where not removed when clearing Overcharge.
Bonded Flame: Fixed an issue where the talent description and actual amount of health regained did not match up. Now correctly displays and grants 20 temporary health, where it previously stated 10, but gave 35.

Unchained:
Backblast: Increased push and block angle to 50%, up from 30%.
Dissipate: Increased venting damage reduction to 50%, up from 25%.
Conduit: Increased vent rate to 50%, up from 25%.

Enemies:

- Marauders have had their cleave hit mass reduced by 25% (they’ll be easier to cut through and hit an additional target). These are the basic chaos soldier dudes, not the skinny zombies
- Blightstormer and Lifeleech Sorcerers are now considered unarmored, and have been given a headshot hitzone. You mean they didn't have one before?!
- Blightstormer Sorcerers have had their health reduced by a third.

UI Changes:

- Traits and Properties can now be re-rolled on equipped items.
- The bar under a team member’s portrait showing their available ammunition didn’t make sense for all heroes. So we replaced it with something more useful - showing that hero’s ability bar.
- When a team member’s ammunition is less than a third, they will show a yellow icon next to their portrait. When they run out of ammunition, they will show a red icon next to their portrait.
- The number of roaming elites have been slightly tuned down on Champion and Legend.

Weapon Changes:

- We’ve fixed some weapons that were using single target priority while not being single target attacks. This caused some swings to ignore other targets hit during the same frame as the aimed target. The affected weapons are Sienna’s Mace, Kerillian’s Elven Spear, Glaive, Dual Swords, and Sword and Dagger, Kruber’s Executioner Sword, and Halberd.
- We fixed ranged weapon switch priority. If a weapon switch is triggered, it should enter the input queue with the highest priority. Which means that pressing ‘Q’, following by an instant RMB to go to “panic-block-mode” should work better now.
- Increased speed of fire for Elven Repeating Crossbow slightly. The next attack can be chained after 0.5 seconds, reduced from 0.6 seconds.
- Fixed the Beam Staff which sometimes incorrectly saved the number of consecutive hits between attacks. This caused an unintentional damage increase.
- Dual wielded swords have had their headshot multiplier increased.
- Stagger and cleave thresholds on Legends set to match Champion values.
- Stagger and cleave thresholds have been tweaked for all enemies to more evenly match power scaling across difficulties. This affects nearly all types of weapons.
- Added a boost to stagger strength on headshots.
- Reduced friendly fire multiplier to 0.1 on Champion, down from 0.25. And to 0.25 on Legend, down from 0.5.
- Critical strike effectiveness is now added later in the damage bonus calculation. Which means it will have a higher impact, especially on headshots.
- Added an attack intensity threshold of 10 to Legend. This is a limit on the amount of consecutive attacks a player can receive before given a brief grace period to act.

Man, you guys sure play these games differently to me. Reminds me of the Diablo crowd. You guys are calculating percentages, and I'm all "Must burn rats!". I don't think I've ever done math to optimize playing a video game. Hehe.