Disclaimer: this information is based off of 20 hours of beta play and is subject to change upon final release and future patches.
Blocking has been overhauled and improved for Vermintide 2. In V1, each weapon had a set amount of stamina that was appropriate for its mass, with shields having the most stamina and daggers having the least. All weapons could block and push enemies in a 360 degree circle around the player, meaning you could be entirely surrounded by rats and knock all of them away with a single push. Now things are a bit different. The blocking and pushing systems have been tweaked, and a new form of defense has been added: parry.
First, let's talk about block/push angle. Each weapon has a block/push angle associated with it noted by a shield in a circle with at the filled in part of the circle indicating the block/push angle. Shields, for example, have a 180 degree block/push angle, whereas most other weapons have a 90 degree angle, and lighter weapons like rapiers and daggers have about a 45 degree angle. This angle represents the area in front of your character where you can effectively block and push enemies. But this doesn't mean 360 degree blocking is gone; you can still block attacks from behind you, but the block will be less effective and you will lose more stamina per block outside of your weapon's effective block/push angle. 360 degree pushing is gone, however. Now you can only push back enemies that are within your effective block/push angle. There are certain talents and traits that will increase your effective block/push angle, and because they are percentage-based it is best to pair these talents and traits with weapons that already have a large angle.
The newest defensive tool in V2 is parry. Everything from this point on is conjecture based on my 20 hours of beta playtime, so preface everything I say with "it seems that…" Parry is a new mechanic that allows you to block attacks without using stamina. You can only parry attacks that are within your weapon's effective block/push angle and if the attack does less damage than your weapon's parry threshold. The parry threshold is the amount of damage your weapon can parry before it becomes a block and uses stamina. Weak fast attacks, such as from berserkers or slave rats, can be easily parried whereas strong slow attacks, like those of a Stormvermin or Rotblood, cannot be parried and will always cost stamina to block. Remember: you cannot parry an attack outside your weapon's block/push angle, so attacks from the sides or the back will never be parried. Shields have high parry thresholds and most other weapons have low parry thresholds, but almost all weapons can block the fast light attacks of berserkers so long as they are in the effective block/push angle.
These are my findings on block, push, and parry based on my time with the beta. If you have anything to add, or if I got anything wrong, please leave a comment below.
© Post "Blocking, Parry, and Push" for game Warhammer: Vermintide.
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