This is a general guide for new players or anyone who's curious about various elements of Vermintide II.
We'll begin with the characters. There are five characters in the game and each has three careers, on the surface they may all seem to be the same aside from their appearance but this is not the case. Each of the characters in each of their career paths has a unique trait/perks & career skill and weapon options.
It is important to read everything and understand what your character contributes to the party. The perks and weapons you choose will effectively assign you a role in the group and whilst the age old traditional roles of tank/DPS/healer do not appear to be present in Vermintide II they actually are, they're just not obvious at first.
You define your role by building your character around a concept and choosing perks and weapons that support it; I will give you an example. Lets say I wanted to build a support character for my party:
- Viktor Saltzpyre <Witch Hunter Captain>
- Disciplinarian Perk
- Healer's Touch trait on necklace
This is a very basic example for you; Viktor Saltzpyre's class trait will make any tagged opponent take +20% damage from all sources.
The perk Disciplinarian will cause my character to heal nearby allies for 20% of their maximum health and it clears the wounded status.
The item property Healer's Touch gives me a 25% chance to not consume a healing item upon use. The career skill for Witch Hunter Captain allows him to stagger all opponents within a decent radius and gives +25% critical hit chance to allies.
All in all, I would now have a character that can stagger any opponent type in a sizable area of effect, drastically increase the parties damage output, more so against a single opponent, heal the entire party for twenty percent of their health and if the skill on the necklace activates, forty percent of their health.
Understanding the options available to you will allow you to turn a good character into a great character, with the right build. Each one of the characters and their careers offers different options so take the time to learn and understand all fifteen careers and build an effective group.
Your bots will use the build you used when you last played them meaning whatever gear/perks and weapons you used are what the bot will use.
So the first point was do your homework and have a build concept in mind. Now lets look at group play either with friends or a group in a public game.
If you join a public group and are going to run more than a single map with them, take a moment and discern who and what they are playing. We have just learned about designing a build, perhaps they have done precisely that so try asking in chat or looking their character over and see if you can spot a weakness in the party composition; again, here is an example.
Lets say I join a public game as a ranger and I see a way watcher with paired swords, a witch hunter captain with a rapier and a huntsman with a sword and shield. There would be an issue here because that party has no effective anti-armor…
They may be relying on ranged weapons for armored enemies but that is not a good idea so I would change career from ranger to iron breaker to provide a tank for the group and I would take a two handed ax as my melee of choice because it is great for wedging right through armor to hit 'em where it hurts.
As you play the various characters in their various careers you will become more familiar with them and as a result you will be able to foresee oversights/weaknesses in groups.
Vermintide II is a game about teamwork… Killing stuff and something about the end of world is in the mix too but it's about teamwork. So try to play something that augments the team and brings what is necessary to the party and if you are not in the mood to play whatever is required to fill that gap, simply ask the group if someone would mind switching character or role with you as you may be surprised and they might agree to do so.
We've covered build concepts and filling a role so lets look at the meat of the game which is combat:
- Clicking LMB will perform a basic attack
- Holding LMB will power attack
- Holding RMB will block
- Clicking LMB whilst holding RMB will shove
- Holding LMB whilst holding RMB will parry strike
Combat in Vermintide II is simple, there's not a lot to learn at all as this game is more about mastering the core mechanics than memorizing a dozen button combinations.
Having said that, there are a few little tips you can practice to up your game and they are as follows.
Get familiar with the weapon you choose. Not all weapons have the same attack speed, reach, recovery speed after parrying and other such so learn the timing of your weapon.
Understand which attacks are useful for specific situations. Parry strikes are great against opponents with shields because a parry strike is a shove that is rapidly followed by an attack; she shove may knock the opponents shield aside leaving them vulnerable for a brief moment… Just long enough for you to get that hit in.
It can be tempting, at first, to relentless power attack against shielded opponents but in most cases, not all, it will get you no where. If you are playing on a higher difficulty and facing two or three shielded storm vermin, they will stack up and block for one another and you will be unlikely to get through their defenses but they will chip away you with attacks whilst you are trying to wind up those power attacks, that's not an ideal scenario.
Parry strikes are great for breaking their guard, getting a quick hit in and not risking too much damage from leaving yourself open to counter attack(s).
Power attacks are ideal against armored targets. Some weapons have native armor penetration meaning they do not require you to perform a power attack in order to overcome the foes armor but these weapons do not represent the majority of weapons in the game, on top of this you deliver more damage per blow with power attacks so you will find yourself performing them regularly.
The issue with power attacks is they are slow but there are ways you can compensate for this. Evading or sliding is done by pressing the jump key whilst moving in any direction other than forward and it is possible to charge a power attack whilst sliding which is a skill I cannot recommend enough.
If you stand stationary in front of an opponent and attempt to power attack they may move at the last moment, shove you which cancels your attack, beat you on the draw with a basic attack or unseen opponents, behind you for example, might kill you whilst you are vulnerable.
If you advance on a foe, begin charging your power attack then slide past them or beside them and release the attack the moment you get into melee range you can deliver devastating blows whilst minimizing your own exposure.
Rot Helms are a great opponent to practice this skill on because they have a huge wind up when preparing a power attack and it's clearly visible because they will walk up to you with a colossal ax held overhead. Try holding down LMB and charging up your power attack when you see them begin to wind up their own attack and as they swing for you, dodge aside and unleash your charged attack. Mastering this skill will take an opponent that probably terrifies you presently and turns them into clumsy rust buckets that you almost feel guilty for mauling.
The next combat tip is evasion and shoving; these things are far more efficient that blocking which should honestly be a last resort. Try to avoid getting into the habit of relying on blocking as a form of defense because it really isn't.
When you block, you will see some small shield symbols appear toward the bottom, center portion of your screen, these shields represent your stamina and when your stamina is depleted the effectiveness of blocking diminishes entirely, you can be staggered by opponents preventing rapid movement and you cannot parry strike.
Even if you have a very defensive build and six, seven or even eight stamina you will find that it can all vanish in the blink of an eye. The stamina cost of blocking attacks is proportional to the power of the attack blocked and other factors but a shove costs just one stamina and can prevent the majority of attacks you're going to experience in the game.
It is far, far more cost effective and efficient in general to rely on shoving and evasion to survive. I am not saying you should never block, sometimes it is precisely what the situation calls for but it should never be your default mode of defense.
I guess we should discuss resources next.
This is pretty straight forward and requires nothing more than common sense; don't be a hog. If you need something then use it but maintain awareness of your party. If you have fired your ranged weapon twice and have twenty rounds remaining and someone else in the group has a bow symbol next to their portrait that is yellow or red, that means they're either really low on ammunition or have entirely depleted their reserves so press T or whatever you have tag keyed to and mark the ammo for the other party member.
The same can be said for healing, don't use it if you're not quite low on health unless everyone else in the group is very healthy or the item would otherwise be left behind or you're carrying a grim.
Again, the same applies with potions too, strength/speed or concentration. Just use what you actually need and make sure you mark everything and/or put a message in chat to ensure the party is aware it's there.
The next important pointer is situational awareness and teamwork. Stick with your group, no one likes a Johnny Rambo in their party and the only person you're impressing is your imaginary waifu.
Move with your party, mark enemies and supplies, if someone in the group is smart and uses a natural bottleneck to mass murder rats don't be an ass and run out into the open to try and score glory kills, just get into the doorway or other such with them and do your best.
Despite popular belief, ego really has no place in gaming let alone teamwork and the scoreboard does not matter so don't play like an as*hole. On champion and legend difficulties friendly fire is enabled and one of the worst habits the general player base has is trying to kill-steal.
This means firing ranged weapons through another player in order to try and kill the mob they're engaged in combat with and it's unnecessary… I have slain literally thousands of every enemy type in Vermintide II bar bosses, I doubt I have killed a thousand Chaos Spawn for example but that is not the point – when it comes to something like Rot Helm, if you are playing on champion or legend it is EXTREMELY unlikely that the player locked in a brief 1v1 with that thing wants or needs your help, I can dodge their attacks with one hand, with a cat biting my big toe and a girlfriend in my ear telling me about whatever Jenna Marbles has just done so I do not need people shooting through my torso to 'help' me and I'd wager almost every other player on those difficulties feels the same way.
You should definitely help your allies… Without setting them on fire or harming them and there are many ways to do it. Now, on the off-chance that someone is thinking it doesn't matter seeing as the friendly fire damage is typically quite low, I am here to tell you it does matter.
If that party member is playing an iron breaker for example, you probably just triggered their Gromril armor which, when it triggers, negates the damage from that attack entirely. Now imagine if an iron breaker is taking on multiple storm vermin and slave rats then a party member triggers their armor save and immediately afterward a storm vermin lands an overhead power attack on that dwarf… That's an unhappy Dawi, see below:
(C -_-) __VVV
^ Unhappy Dawi
- Design characters with a build in mind
- Understand your gear
- Try to compliment your party with your character
- Be a team player
- Fight smart not hard
- Don't rely on blocking
- Be alert
- Don't be an ass
If anyone has bothered to read all the way down to here you're insane but thank you for taking the time to read it, I appreciate it because I took the time to write it.
This is a very fast and loose guide but I have enjoyed typing this up and if it gets any attention I could be convinced to flesh out a full guide.
I want to wish you all the best of luck in Vermintide II and I hope this type-up helps you in some way.
© Post "A general Guide for New Players" for game Warhammer: Vermintide.
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