Warhammer: Vermintide

More thoughts on and questions for True Solo (part 3)

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This time it's less of a coherent list of questions and more of an attempt to vent without suffering permanent psychical damage. If this is not allowed, I'll take my ban and leave.

I've been spending a good chunk of my playtime attempting to complete another True Solo run, on a different map and without a cheese build, and so far achieving no success, though I did improve at some aspects of the game. Here are some thoughts and impressions from that experience with a few non-rhetorical questions in between:

1. Characters

Kruber:

  • Mercenary (2-1-1-2-1): good killing power, low mobility, low survivability, an ultimate that can save him sometimes – if you can manage to get out of the corner/encirclement when the ult makes everything stumble backwards a bit – but charges too slowly to be a reliable escape tool. Health gain from it helps when you need a bit of buffer to start recovering THP on horde, but not enough to act as an actual heal. 10% extra critical chance from talents in combination with crit chance on weapon and trinket makes critical hits quite a reliable tool to get extra armor damage and horde clear, allowing for some extra weapon options, even if you don't pair it with Swift Slaying.
  • Foot Knight (2-3-2-2-1): much tankier, low killing power, medium mobility, medium survivability. Quick-charging CC-all ultimate sounds like a great escape tool in theory, but quite often the charge gets stopped short by any non-trash enemy in it's path, ruining your plans to get out and potentially leaving you more surrounded if you can't kill too many things while they are getting up. And killing power of FK is lacking a lot compared to Merc – boosted by nothing, Kruber's weapons are decent at best.
  • Halberd: great armor damage (I would say that in the ability to deal with armor it's only second to Slayer's axes), can handle multiple elites somewhat safety, meh anti-horde effectiveness and flesh damage, kinda falls apart when surrounded. Block-cancel helps with horde clear when the horde is controlled (and helps keeping it controlled), but when you are starting to get overwhelmed or surrounded, not being able to kill and block fluently or use push attack to much effect comes into play a lot. Low dodge range makes dealing with assassins and hook-rats more difficult, but not unmanageable. Second heavy attack headshot can oneshot a hook-rat, but it's more risky than dodging. Is there any further trick that makes hordes more manageable?
  • Mace: good armor damage, good horde control, low flesh damage. It will eventually kill everything, assuming you make no mistakes in the process, but it's gonna take a while. Good push attack lets you tank a horde in place if nothing else ends up displacing you, heavy attacks make short work of stormvermin and CWs, but Maulers will take a long time to get rid of and finishing an assassin will take a full combo. Probably a better weapon for somebody more consistent than me.
  • Two-handed Sword (Greatsword/Zweihander): great cleave and flesh damage, relatively fast, low armor damage. However, with Merc crits and extra cleave coming into play, it's ability to cleave armor makes it a surprisingly good solo weapon, allowing you to keep several SVs staggered while dealing damage to them at the same time and clearing out elites in mixed hordes without requiring big openings. Even if the attacks themselves won't do much armor damage, crits will. Still, eliminating a CW quickly just won't happen. Doesn't really work for FK.
  • Handgun: weapon for both sniping and instant elimination of priority targets. Kills shieldvermin, kills hook-rat mid-horde instantly if you can spot it, requires the shortest opening to kill specials. The problem is finding the opening to reload it – FK ultimate helps with it, but Merc would need to clear stuff out first or find some way to slow them down.

Bardin.

  • Slayer (1-1-3-2-1): is kinda nuts. His killing power is just stupid – you can kill elites about as quickly as it takes to walk up to them. But whatever those stubby dawi arms can't reach becomes a problem, requiring you to set up a mini-ambush or use up the ult (and probably take a chunk of damage) to kill a fire rat or a gunner, and leaving blightstormer and gas-rat kills quite a bit up to luck of them coming into reach, which can lead to inescapable death in some situations. Ultimate allows you to tank the horde in place even if your weapon should not really allow that, and in combination with Swift Slaying lets you chop everything to bloody bits in moments. Can also be used as escape, but then will likely take a while to recharge because you won't be hitting things.
  • Dual axes: a weapon with great single-target damage, both flesh and armor, that compensates for it's inability to really cleave anything by being fast as hell. Put Swift Slaying on it, pop the ult and the horde will be gone before it will be able to get up. Oneshots stormvermin. Kills shieldvermin in two attacks. Kills Chaos Warriors faster than they can kill you. Easiest weapon to kill a hook-rat head-on or mid-horde – just a push attack.
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Kerillian:

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  • Handmaiden (3-2-2-2-3): good killing power, amazing mobility, great survivability. Probably the best solo class if built for it. Her single best tool for solo runs is Gift of Ladrielle – it allows you to complete the escape if the dash itself isn't enough, snipe a couple of important targets while they are standing still, and, most importantly, it makes makes those three CWs and their Mauler sidekicks that got inconveniently pulled shrug and walk away. With a conc pot it lets you skip entire sections of the map. And so I don't use it. Another good tool for solo is Defiance – giving you double effective health without sacrificing healing efficiency, and I don't use it. Other than that, Handmaiden is crazy mobile, has a great escape skill on short cooldown that can also be used for damage on hodres and groups of fleshy elites, and does good damage with Eldrazor's Precision.
  • Shade (3-1-3-2-2): a glass cannon who relies a lot on her ultimate for survival. In solo, you won't really benefit from backstab ability outside the ult, but the ult itself works even better, making enemies stop in place (or shrug and go away in case of ambients/patrols), letting you reposition, heal, and with Shadowhunter, snipe all important targets in the horde and still be able to use the boosted melee attack to end the ult. This is the cheese build I've done my first real run with and I do not intend to use it again.
  • Daggers: the meta weapon. The only thing it can't really do is tank a horde in place, but in solo, where you don't have to hold formation and compete for kills and just have to outlast everything around you the bleed kicks in even more and in combination with SV-oneshotting strong attacks it stands way above the rest of the weapons. Replace Parry with Resourceful Combatant and you'll get Shade ult back in seconds. I do not intent to use them again.
  • Glaive (Bardiche/Battleaxe): a slow weapon with good damage against both armor and flesh and quite good cleave, with a very spammable push-light-light combo that can handle mixed hordes on it's own. Deals with shieldvermin quite easily. The only other negative is that I don't like it aesthetically.
  • Spear: fast, good flesh damage, great horde clear and control, bad armor damage. Strong attacks can handle stormvermin and eventually kill a CW, but it requires a lot of precision for the former and time/space for the latter. Heavy stab can snipe SVs in a horde, but that requires a half-decent opening. Second heavy attack headshot can kill a hook-rat head-on, but it's somewhat tricky to land.
  • Two-handed Sword (Longsword/Kriegsmesser): great cleave, good flesh damage, bad armor damage. Basically a non-unwieldy, faster glave that can't deal with armor too well, but still does it better than spear, because the good heavy attack is the first one and you can spam it without any special cancelling required. A lone chaos warrior is not a problem and can be headstabbed to death somewhat quickly, but with adds he becomes a problem. Heavy attack headshot can kill a hook-rat head-on. And the push attack needs fixing.
  • One-handed Sword (Arming Sword/Spatha): basically Kruber's mace with less stagger cleave and more damage cleave. Behaves about the same.
  • Longbow: kills specials with a headshot or two bodyshots, does not require a reload, but requires a short opening to fire a charged shot. Can be set up to kill a hook-rat very quickly with a heavy and light bodyshot.

2. Enemies.

  • Stormvermin: can be a problem in large groups or if they corner you, otherwise easily kited and killed.
  • Shieldvermin: a pain. A nagging, persistent, but not very strong pain.
  • Maulers: other than their borderline impossible to dodge running attack, they are fine, even though they take a while to die.
  • CWs: enemy's disruptor tank that eats your space for breakfast if you don't happen to have a weapon that deals well with them. Much more dangerous with any adds than on their own.
  • Assassins: with a bit of training can be fly-swatted out of the pounce and killed on the spot consistently if you can notice them, even with a horde around. Only become a real problem when you can't see them at all – with a fire-rat or gas-rat covering your vision, for example.
  • Hook-rats: dodgeable and killable somewhat quickly if dodged, but require some degree of opening to be finished off in a horde, so I prefer to snipe them before they reach me.
  • Fire-rats: manageable until you are cornered, but better off dead.
  • Gunners: manageable if you have cover, but better off dead.
  • Gas-rats: eats your space wherever you are, blocking off advance/escape routes. Provides annoying smokescreens. Better off dead.
  • Blighstormers: better off dead before you get stuck between a wall and his storm, unable to avoid damage and probable death if there's anything else around. How do people deal with them without a nice bit of something to kite the storm around?
  • Leech: ignorable.
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3. Maps.

  • Righteous Stand: the only bad part of this map is the barracks section, other than that it's mostly nice and open, but not too long-range. The map I've completed the first run on.
  • Screaming Bell: this map has a very rough start with tightly packed elites and a lot of bad spots you can get stuck in – such as the house or the market – that I can't figure a proper way around, and those damn ambient thunderstrikes messing with your aim. I've grown to hate it already.
  • Empire in Flames: very inconsistent starting section that can have a lot of Chaos elites or nothing at all, but a good open space to fight off anything short way in. Gets close-quartersy further in, but doesn't seem to have too many elite pack spawns.
  • Against the Grain: another mostly open map with the big problem being the first farm and parts in fields where you can barely see anything. Probably quite manageable once I learn it better. Doesn't seem to have much more in terms of problem spots and the end event can be rushed through.

4. Separate questions.

  1. Can somebody please explain kiting properly to me? Most of the time I just end up taking hits from running attacks despite all my dodging. Herding the horde roughly in place with pushes and only retreating a bit seems to work much better in almost all situations.
  2. How do people survive even thirty seconds with a special and horde on screen? I've got advice to leave gas/gun/flame-rats alone and let them kill some hordelings for me, but I just die trying to do that, having my escape cut off and current position compromised. Even if not, the special would still entirely dictate my movement, leaving me much less flexible.
  3. Pulling properly: how do I not end up with 3-4 elites on me for no apparent mistake? Without an aggro-breaking ability I can't unpull them, with out basically being Slayer I can't kill them reasonably quickly and that ends up slowing my progress to crawl pace, frequently leaving me fighting two hordes in the same place, barely clearing anything ahead in-between.

Overall, I'll probably keep at it as doing quickplay is starting to get a bit boring, most Okri's challenges I was interested in I've done already, being a complete social retard I can't ask for a game even people who are already on my friend list and grinding for cosmetics I want (hats mostly) seems to take forever with no visible progress. And I guess I don't really have a right to complain because I'm trying to get through a 4-player coop game alone, on the hardest normally available difficulty, with suboptimal builds and non-meta weapons… and worst of all, I'm incapable of retreating, so I'll keep trying until I do it or I grow to hate this game so much I'll have to quit it entirely.


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