Warhammer: Vermintide

Blocking, Timed Blocks, and Parry

warhammer 1 - Blocking, Timed Blocks, and Parry
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I'm going to rattle off some stuff I think I know about blocking and these related topics that are now of heightened interest due to certain Chaos Wastes boon combos. Please correct me where I'm screwing it up.

So blocking: default mapping to right-mouse-button, useable on all melee and one ranged weapons, lets you stop incoming attacks. There's a front angle where blocking generally costs 1 Stamina per light attack blocked, and outside that angle lights eat 2 Stamina. I think I've seen a chart that suggests that some weapons have reduced block cost outside the block angle, but I don't remember where, and that may be entirely wrong. Block angle varies by weapon, is represented by a little picture when you mouse over the weapon in your inventory, and can be increased by push/block angle bonuses from weapon properties and Chaos Wastes bonuses. Heavy attacks from enemies eat more than 1 stamina (6? 8?), and certain attacks (rat ogre two-fist slam, chaos spawn short tentacle slam, bile troll axe overhead) will break all block and do damage. Different weapons have different stamina values, shown graphically onscreen when you're blocking by shields that represent 2 stamina each (1 stamina for faded shields).

(Pushing is outside the scope of this discussion)

Here I'm really starting to do some "intelligent guessing" that might not turn out to be all that intelligent. When you block an attack, it does some stagger to the enemy that attacked you. That stagger value is sufficient to knock things smaller than a marauder back for a couple of seconds, and puts marauders and gors at least in one level of stagger. Timed blocks (bringing up block just as the attack is begun) increase that stagger value a bunch, making it sufficient to break berserkers out of their attack chain. Against heavy overheads, I'm not sure if any sort of block really impacts the attacking enemy.

Parry is a weapon trait that makes timed blocks cost no stamina. If you're good at timing your blocking, this can be invaluable. The more ping you're getting separating what you see from what the host computer understands to be happening, the harder this is. Blocks being "parries" basically means that all blocks count as timed blocks, giving you the stagger benefits discussed above, but, without the weapon trait, "all blocks are parries" doesn't affect the amount of stamina required to block an attack.

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Now, in Chaos Wastes, it's possible to get Vaul's Anvil (you're always blocking, even when you aren't holding your mapped block key/button). That practically means that none of your blocks are timed, but is still pretty good as long as you can keep your stamina shields available. It's also possible to get a boon (forget the name) that makes all blocks into parries. That means that whenever you block you do bonus stagger to the attacking enemy, and that's handy as well, but not as likely to save you. The two together synergize a bit, making your presence drawing attacks into a sort of crowd-control measure all of its own, again as long as you can keep stamina shields available.

You can also get Parry as a trait on orange or red weapons in Chaos Wastes, and with that plus the other two, you're suddenly in golden time: your block is always up when you're holding a weapon that can block; all of your blocks are parries; all parries cost zero stamina. I got this the other night, and found that while fighting a minotaur surrounded by plague monks, I wasn't taking any damage even though all I was doing was light-attacking everything and constantly getting whacked by something or other. I still had to worry about attacks that couldn't be blocked – AoE and ranged stuff – but in melee I was basically invulnerable. If I'd had a high DPS weapon, I could probably have demolished everything fairly quickly, but as it was I got the mino three-quarters down and a rat ogre showed up and together they ledged me. C'est la guerre.

So, what have I misstated, misunderstood, or just imagined here? Is this all accurate? Has someone done a rigorous study of the stagger values of blocking and the effects on various enemies?

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