Back 4 Blood

Gave this a shot as well tonight. Wasn’t really feeling it with a PUG, but would be open to trying again if the opportunity presents itself (I’m Thraeg on Xbox, and generally on around 10pm to midnight pacific)

Playing with people who communicate (and who aren’t total idiots) is absolutely the difference between this game being horrible and great.

Good lord, the Evangelo bot is a special kind of terrible. He glitches out on geometry, gets in the way and kills… well, nothing as far as I can tell.

This is more or less my experience so far with friends. I’ve watched him just stand there while I get dragged away.

My guess is all the bots are that bad.

The bots are minimally viable, and that’s about it.

Bot kills aren’t tracked. They will always show as zero even though the bots are definitely getting kills. I have no idea why the developers insisted on showing zero kills, though, because it reinforces the perception that these bots are useless.

Which isn’t true, by the way. The bots are weird. As near as I can tell, they’ve got cooldown timers that let them heal you or heck a grenade every now and then. But they’re effective in that they stay with you*, they’ll serve as willing ammo mules, they’ll revive you, and they’ll do their fair share of killing stuff. But the trade-off is that you’re opting out of the card play for each slot you fill with a bot. And the card play is the foundation for playing at harder difficulty levels.

In other words, as is the case with similar games, the bots are fine for getting you through the game at the easiest difficulty level. They’re a good way to explore the levels and especially to learn the effects of the corruption cards. But they’re never going to replicate how gratifying these games are with human players who are communicating with each other.


* This is what makes them more useful than the average rando human player.

Ah, that explains why that zero keeps popping up! Madness.

Okay, I think we’re going to need to grab another (decent) player then because I feel like we’re struggling with that lone bot on veteran…!

Edit: and veteran has been infinitely more interesting than recruit difficulty. We’ve really had to focus, communicate and co-operate to pull through.

@tomchick can we get a cross over podcast where Kelly Wand discusses this game?

I’m pre-cringing for his take on Doc.

there’s a way to say this in 1 syllable

So how damage calculation works is super confusing.

If you’re trying to claim that “gratifying” and “fun” are synonyms, I would invite you to consider a dictionary more closely. There are several online even!


It seems like a lot of the confusion is people not understanding that “weakspot” is basically the same as a critical hit? Or maybe I’m just not following the conversation (thanks, Reddit nesting!)? But this infographic from the comments section was pretty helpful.


That does help. Now can someone tell me what bullet penetration does?

Literally what it says!

I wondered about this as well. It’s a significant stat in World War Z, where you’re often firing into a roiling mass of zombies. When you do this, you want weapons that will damage more than just the single zombie your bullet hits. That’s where the bullet penetration stat comes into play, because now your round won’t just stop with that single zombie. By also hitting the zombies behind him, it’ll be a gift that keeps on giving.

(I believe World War Z even applies the penetration stat to shotguns to represent pellets hitting multiple zombies, even though a shotgun would have virtually no penetrating power. This is how they make shotguns viable for peeling away the huge zombie stacks that build up, which seems weird, but otherwise, I have no idea why that game’s shotguns have a positive penetration stat.)

I assumed this was how it worked in Back 4 Blood, even though you have fewer situations where a round will hit multiple targets than World War Z. But then I came across this card, which all but confirms that’s what bullet penetration does:

I do find myself as a sniper trying to line up angles that will get multiple kills, and penetration is key for this. As for whether or how penetration works with armored zombies – you’d think penetration would directly counter armor – I don’t know.


@tomchick right, so I get that but, what does +25% penetration do?

I assume it is better than +0% penetration, but in what way?

Does more damage carry through? What damage carries through, is it “remainder” damage after killing the first target hit. Is there a range limitation?

And so on…

Minus any other information about how damage works, I’m assuming +25% penetration means a quarter of your damage passes through to the next zombie, and then a quarter of that damages passes through to the next zombie, and so on. What else would it mean?

(I’m not asking that to mean “duh”, but because I can’t think of what else the numbers might mean. I really hate how different shooters make different assumptions when it comes to their terminology, which then leaves me to make my own assumptions…)


Actually, it just occurred to me that you can easily get a penetration value in excess of 100%. So what does that mean? Surely it doesn’t increase damage to the zombie standing behind your target, so does that mean there’s a cap on penetration? Or that penetration is doing something different than I was assuming?

Ugh. I really hate that you can’t get a look at your overall stats in this game. A screen full of each card’s artwork isn’t really helpful once you get several cards deep into a run. I’m supposed to mouse over all those teensy images and add up the math myself? Hey, Back 4 Blood, why can’t you just tally up my bonuses and show them to me in one convenient place? And while I’m at it, can I please see what the other players are doing as well?


I’m guessing weapons have a base penetration value and the modifier applies to it. So it doesn’t give penetration to a weapon, but increases its inherent ability to pass through to the target behind. Not a helpful answer I know.

Now the question this raises to me, how does this work with friendly fire? Can you damage a player by shooting through a zombie?

Haha , I got you guys talking about damage stats and penetration, in a game I am pretty sure I don’t like. :P

Can you damage a player by shooting through a zombie?

Yes, you can. I have had this happen to me and from me.

That makes sense, but if so, it’s entirely under the hood.

I’d also like to know the answer to this. Asking for a friend who freezes up a lot when one of this buddies is getting dragged away by a stalker.