VERMINTIDE II: What kills a Rat Ogre? A Minion’s Autopsy.

This post was originally posted on April 10th / 2018 over at IGDB’s old blog. We decided to save it / repost it here. Written by Pablo Masia. Enjoy!

Let’s dissect VERMINTIDE’s most iconic Monster!

Today we open up our new series of articles with the autopsy of a Rat Ogre from Warhammer Vermintide II. Helped by Dr. Lisa Eggman and her synthetic and sarcastic assistant 8bits, we will discover the ins and outs of this over-sized minion.

In a dark corner of the biggest gaming database in the world operate IGDB’s finest morticians. Every day they examine one by one the victims of serial players like you. Receiving bits of minions from all over the world, they have to somehow make sense of your furious clicking and button bashing.

Their mission? To put under the microscope your deadly tendencies in order to improve your gaming experience.

Please, take a seat and enjoy this Minion’s Autopsy.

Illustration courtesy of Vaessili

Larger than Life.

Dr. Lisa Eggman: What is on the menu today? Please don’t tell me that it’s another of these scruffy Rat Men.
Synthetic 8bits: Rejoice Doctor! Indeed it’s a Skaven we will be dissecting today, yet not a mere Rat Man, but a Rat Ogre!

The Vermintide series of cooperative FPS explore the fantasy universe of Warhammer during the Endtimes, as the grip of the Chaos Gods close irredeemably on the Old World. Foreseeing the destruction of all things known, the skavens claw their way out their cities in the underworld to strike a deal with the forces of the Ruin.

In this second opus you’ll have once more the opportunity to incarnate one of the 5 heroes of Ubersreik, but this time picking between 15 unique classes. Who will you choose between the elf shade, master of stealth, and the dwarf slayer, specialist in close quarters, whirlwind of carnage? Maybe you will prefer the witch hunter captain and his wide array of weapons. Make your decision wisely, as the survival of your whole team depends on it. Joined by 3 other players, you will have to work together very closely to best the swarms of the enemy.

Coming in all shapes and forms, the evil minions of the Dark Gods will seek any opportunity to isolate and devour you. But what makes the Rat Ogre of Vermintide so special?

Of Rats and Men.

Dr. Lisa Eggman: Recording. The humanoid subject weighs way over 300 stones and measures about 10 feet despite a hunchback posture. Recording over. That’s definitely one big rat! But wait a second… what is written on his tag? 8bits, what did I say about naming them? We are not keeping it this time!
Synthetic 8bits: Pardon me doctor. You know very well that if my memory cache is not cleared regularly I get very sentimental. It’s just a matter of time before my LED warning system displays a red ring of doom. If that happens, I beg you, recycle me on the spot!
Dr. Lisa Eggman: Don’t be so dramatic. I’ll simply turn you off and on again before the end of our shift.

The vast empire of the skavens is divided into clans, each competing for dominion. Despite their rivalry, the masters of the major clans form an elite of leaders known as the council of thirteen. After bickering for centuries, their unity might signal the doom of the empire of man. They will spare no expense and will certainly have no remorse in sending to the surface even their most feeble minions.

Indeed, the other end of the food chain of the skaven society crawl with countless hordes, slaves who form the cannon fodder of the rodents’ armies. Fighting for survival, your team will have to face a relentless tide of faceless minions, slaying enemies by the dozens. Yet in Vermintide II, some enemies will require much more finesse and even the most seasoned players will squeal in panic at the apparition of a Rat Ogre.

You can also experiment playing on the Skaven side in the action packed 4x TOTAL WAR: Warhammer II.

Green with Envy.

Dr. Lisa Eggman: Presence of rudimentary stitches all over the victim’s body as well as a rustic prosthetic fixed to one of the superior limbs. The device seems powered by a crystalline anomaly.
Synthetic 8bits:
With a cortex this size, it is a fair conjecture to assume than none of these augmentations were the doing of such an individual. I estimate then that these enhancements must have been developed by a third party, someone more capable .

Each skaven clan represented in Vermintide II has its own way to wage war. Some would rather strike from the shadows while others prefer clanking weaponry to do their deadly deeds. The core of the power of the Moulder clan is its ability to re-sculpt even the most insignificant of its servitors into a hulking beast of flesh and warpstone. Well, at least the ones that survive the surgery. This green mutagen is the cornerstone of every piece of skaven technology. It is also the source of all their obsessions.

Dr. Lisa Eggman: Agreed, it has to be the result of some sort of mad experimentation. A random subject taken from the lower class of what barbaric society they live in, metamorphosed then into a super soldier. I would in fact even be surprised if Rat Ogres can use forks and knives on their own. They probably lack any sense of self preservation. This minion must be one of the most stupid we have come across so far
Synthetic 8bits: Speaking of culinary habits, I’ve extracted more than 5kg of half-digested warpstone from his lower intestine. How surprising.

A snack or a piece of jewelry, a precious currency or a radioactive battery, the warpstone is all those things and much more. Also called Witch Stone or Wyrdstone, it’s the ultimate physical manifestation of pure magic.

Surprisingly, Twitch is a character from League of Legends and surprisingly not a Skaven sipping warpstone.

The bigger they are…

Dr. Lisa Eggman: No progress on identifying the cause of death?
Synthetic 8bits: Well, so far I’ve identified that the subject has been on the receiving end of small arms fire. As you can see here, there, and over here, it has been bludgeoned, maimed, incinerated and maimed again. It has been pierced multiple times in the region of the abdomen by what appears to be the standard issue of the Averland Halberd. A double-handed sword was also used to deliver an attempt at vasectomy. Finally, it has even received an arrow to the knee.
Dr. Lisa Eggman: Typical Adventurers….
Synthetic 8bits: And yet none of theses injuries were lethal.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of mankind believe that the skavens are nothing but a myth, a fairy tale. Only a few radical scholars have studied the children of the horned rat. Incidentally, very little is known about how to kill a Rat Ogre.

In Vermintide II, Rat Ogres are still fearsome adversaries. Unless you dodge their pounding fists, you might see yourself flying across the map, be you a man or a dwarf. Provided that you display great teamwork, you might be able to grab their attention and expose their weakest point: their tiny head. Alas the rest of their body is nothing but chunky muscle and thick leather.

The Warhammer license started with miniature games.

…The harder they hit!

Dr. Lisa Eggman: How would you improve those minions to offer an even greater challenge to the players?
Synthetic 8bits: The obvious answer would be to plug it to a better processor and add extra long range weaponry to his upper limbs.
Dr. Lisa Eggman: Another brain and bigger guns, noted.
Synthetic 8bits: I might have dissected a similar subject before, I believe it’s called a Stormfiend.

Stormfiends are the perfect example of how dangerous the Skaven clans can become once they unite their forces. Imagine for a second, a Rat-ogre in an Verminus clan armor, with warpflamethrowers from the clan Skryre for hands. In addition, in order to grant it some sort of tactical awareness, the brain creature sitting on its back is hardwired to its own nervous system. Grim!

Chaos Theory.

Synthetic 8bits: Doctor, I finally identified the cause of death.
Dr. Lisa Eggman: Please, enlighten me?
Synthetic 8bits: Dehydration. Left alone on the battlefield, this poor soul was even too elementary to fulfill its own primordial need.
Dr. Lisa Eggman: What a pity, you are getting sentimental again.

The Warhammer license is a very rich one to explore and the developers from Fat Shark decided to add other little surprises to Vermintide 2. In this opus, the skavens will not be the only plague you have to face as the warrior of Chaos, Nurgle worshippers, come to the party.

If you are searching for a thrilling multiplayer experience in a rich universe, look no further!