Warhammer: Vermintide

Suggestion: Balance Brace of Pistols By Making Them “Burst-Limited”

Executive Summary:

Make Brace of Pistols hit very hard and very fast, with no reloading. Balance them by limiting them to "burst fire" only. E.g. You can make 9 shots quickly, but then you have to wait to re-plenish your available pistols in the same way that heat weapons have to wait to cool down.

The Problem:

With the BoP going through some more changes atm, I thought I'd bring back a suggestion that I made waaaay back during the game's original beta and that was subsequently lost in the great Fatshark beta forum wipe of 2018. Here are the problems with BoP as I see them:

  1. Brace of Pistols, by rights, ought to be a hard-hitting close-range weapon system with very limited ammo sustain. They're basically dueling pistols that you shoot once and then drop.

  2. Having Saltz pull 30-odd one-shot pistols out of his underwear is among the most WTF? things in the game. It doesn't make any sense even in a world of gods and sorcery. Saltz despises magic. Is Sigmar slipping him guns on the sly?

With those things said, games are supposed to be fun first and "realistic" second. But maybe there's a way to make the BoP both more fun and more realistic at the same time?

The Sisyphean challenge of balancing the current (pre-balance patch) BoP is that if they hit really hard but have low ammo… they're not fun. You spend most of the map either hoarding ammo for a CW patrol or running around empty. If they hit really hard and have 30 shots, they're OP. Every move you make on this axis (trading off damage against ammo) has problems. Stacking abilities and potions on top of this system can also "break" balance in difficult-to-manage ways. It's not that balance is impossible, only that it will always be precarious.

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The Solution:

Break out of this balancing merry-go-round by changing the way BoP ammo works to be more realistic. You have 9 pistols strapped to your chest (a.k.a a brace of pistols!). You can fire them like a swashbucking badass but you've got to make your shots count. Once you hit zero, have the ammo slowly replenish back up to a count of 9. So they effectively behave like heat weapons: you can burst but then need to wait for your capacity to replenish. The replenishment represents Saltz re-cuperating and re-loading his pistols on the run over the course of the mission. Unrealistic? Yeah, kinda. But more "classic video-game unrealistic" vs. "Saltz keeps 30-guns-in-his-colon unrealistic". Ideally I'd like to see BoP ammo represented as 9/45 or something similar. So it has sustain despite being burst-focused but you can still run out. Perhaps hitting "reload" could accelerate the replenishment in a way analogous to venting.

Not co-incidentally with the BoP implemented in this way they occupy a unique niche in Saltzpyre's arsenal: Xbow is slow but deadly and accurate at range and has ammo-sustain for days. Repeater pistol is spammy and mobile and quick to reload, a skirmishing weapon. Volley Crossbow is burst-focused, slow to reload, not armor-piercing. BoP is burst-focused, badass, armor piercing, but can't reload on demand.

Finally, waaaaaaaay back in March or so when I first proposed this idea it turned out that Mats, one of the main Fatshark action team guys, had already been thinking along similar lines. Obviously the devs have been hella busy in the meantime but with the current beta balance underway I thought it could be a good time to strike up this conversation again.

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