A Loot Suggestion

Cross-posted from Reddit.

So, one major problem that VT has when it comes to loot - Jsat pointed it out in his last youtube video (of him and Grim doing Halescourge in Onslaught mod), which is that finales can’t be too hard, because players would hate to make it all the way to the end and then wipe, losing all their progress.

This gave me a thought; split maps (roughly) into thirds (within the game’s calculations, not a literal split you’d see in-game). If you fail, you still get a chest, but it’s a damaged chest. If you make it (roughly) 1/3 through the map, you get a chest with 1 item. If you make it 2/3 of the way, you get one with 2 items. If you beat it, you get a chest with all three items. You could take into account loot dice (but not grims/tomes) that you’ve gotten until then. On Legend, this would give even failed runs that made it SOMEWHERE a chance to get people their coveted reds, while still giving incentive to win with tomes and grims (since they’ll vastly boost the odds of getting a red). It will also encourage more people to try moving into new difficulties and thus improving their skills - people are often afraid to leave Champ, because they’ve got it on lockdown for grinding, and don’t want to go from a 95% success rate to a 30% success rate in Legend.

Yes, it might lead to really bad players trying Legend, but if they can’t even make it a third of the way, then they’re not getting anything, anyway. And even the worst players WILL start to improve by facing more challenge.

The only major downside is that we’d need even more varieties of chests (And I feel we kinda have too many to begin with), but I can imagine there’s a solution to this.

The game shouldn’t be stressing “win or bust”, but “fight to improve your skills” and “have fun”. Lessening the loss of, well, a loss, is one way to keep players interested and less salty when they fail a run.

CONSIDER CAREFULLY, FRIENDS. What do you think?

6 Likes

I don’t really know what to think. It could certainly be an interesting change, and some people have already asked for more rewards from failed runs (although it’s been a while since I last saw that one). But j_sat’s point would still stand, and I’m not convinced this would reduce annoyance from (especially) a last-minute loss that much.

It seems that it’s half your point, but a bigger concern for me is that it would also make wins be far less significant to the point of near-irrelevance. When you get your first few reds and/or close-enough oranges, loot starts to be mostly trash. Getting two pieces of trash instead of three doesn’t change much (and if you had actually succeeded in that run, the chances are you would’ve lost at least one grimoire, possibly two plus probably some Tomes, so the chest quality wouldn’t have been that great to begin with.

There is some merit though, and the end events certainly feel too easy quite often. So here’s a counter-suggestion: Tweak up the end event’s difficulty slightly, at least by letting difficulty setting and Deed modifiers affect them. Together with that, introduce a single special chest (well, four, actually), containing a single item, that for drop rates corresponds to the lowest rarity chest of that difficulty. I think this would give a small reward of reaching nearly the end and thus lower slightly the frustration that comes with a last-minute loss, but still preserve the meaning of a victory.

I’m aware that my suggestion seems to run a bit counter to my own points, but I can’t really word my thoughts any better at the moment.

If I’ve learned anything from pub players, it’s that this suggestion would honestly just… do nothing?

Most pub players are 100% all-or-nothing. They will not skip books if it’s obvious the team is going to fail. Many quit if they get downed, many more at least wait until they’re dead. Hell, even if you just got through a map 3-2, they’ll leave at the keep 9 times out of 10 even though you’re clearly a team that has managed to work things out. That’s a silent majority of players - in Europe, at least. I don’t think giving them garbage chests for wiping at the boss is going to change absolutely anything, if I’m honest.

All this’ll do for the people who care this much about loot is make them spend more time opening sub-optimal chests they do not care about. This will actually be a worse consolation prize than the piddly amounts of dust you got in V1, because you have to go through the trouble of opening it anyway.

And while I speak from the POV of someone who only really plays Legend… I highly doubt people are any different down below.

Besides, it’s not like shatfark will go through the trouble of making the end events more difficult retrospectively. So really, why bother?

I do expect that the endings could then be made more difficult; since they actually HAVE done such things as create new animations for weapons, tweaking finales doesn’t at all seem out-of-bounds to me anymore. Having more exciting finales would BE the bonus for long-time players (like myself) for whom even reds are more like an “oh, neat, my 5th red hagbane”. I know the recent patrol change-ups have made them a lot more interesting, because I know no longer know their exact paths, thus injecting more unpredictability into a game.

However, if tomes and grims mean NOTHING in the calculation if you die - you will certainly still want to get them and complete for the best chance at loot. Getting any loot, though, with even a slim chance at reds, will also encourage players from not dropping. This is merely a consolation prize so players are 1) less afraid to jump into Legend and get better, and 2) don’t feel they “wasted their time” on a run that failed. It will also help very new players who often are struggling their first few runs, and give up because they don’t feel they can make any progress at all.

Using lootboxes as the gear progression mechanism is a big part of the problem. Another part is that a full book run on a short/easy map will give you the exact same reward as a full book run on a long/difficult map. Even if you do make it to the end and get the lootbox, the most likely scenario is that you’ll just get some more items for the scrap pile. Even if you win there’s no reward most of the time.

Boss fights SHOULD be hard. Gameplay should not be sacrificed because the existing reward system is too rigid to properly motivate players.

I’d rather the crafting system be reworked to give players more control and for the end-of-mission rewards to be entirely crafting materials. Give players the power to work towards the gear they want. Getting a smaller reward each game that gets me a little closer to what I want would motivate me much more than the all-or-nothing system, with the high likelihood for “nothing”, that we have now.

2 Likes

I like this idea.

I agree that boss fights should be hard; unfortunately I feel they were nerfed precisely because you only get loot via a full win, with only the tiniest bit of consolation prize (the small amount of XP that may level you up and get you a commendation chest).

I think giving SOMETHING (even if it’s lesser) will help encourage players to keep going - at least within the bounds of this current loot system.

I gotta be honest, though; before release I was really hoping for a crafting system more along the lines of what you’re talking about. Even just having some kind of currency and a merchant (say his tongue has been cut out, then you don’t even have to voice him!) from whom you would get the option to buy new weapons or whatever.

Good idea but Legend is far too easy in my opinion to justify it especially boss fights are usually not that hard.

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With this is place, I would hope we could make finales and events actually challenging, instead of snooze-fests.

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This is a tough one, and it’s not just a vermintide issue. Every game I’ve played with some kind of a loot mechanic has this problem, once you play the game a lot then most of the loot you get is junk.

2 Likes

Yeah, there is no easy solution, either. If you have some kind of resource sinks, the balance is super-hard. People with varying levels of commitment will have massively different amounts of resources to throw around. You can make it so the things at highest cost are only cosmetic - but I think (generally) casual players are the ones who care in the largest numbers about such things. If it’s some kinda gameplay boon, people who have less time on their hands will be annoyed.

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To add to this: I think this is why bosses were made to drop loot die. There are a few problems with this as a solution though:

  1. It doesn’t change anything. The reward is still a regular old lootbox, so we’re still stuck with ‘all or nothing’ as a reward.
  2. It’s redundant. If you beat the boss, which you have to do in order to finish the mission, you get the loot die. It’s not like the books which make players choose between an easier run for a lesser reward or a harder run for the chance for a greater reward.

There are ways to address this. Think about what WoW did with XP gains. While you’re offline, you would build up a buffer in your XP bar. When you log on and start playing after some time off, you get a boost to the XP you gain from playing until you hit the end of the buffer. After that you gain XP at the normal rate. The reward in the end is the same for both hardcore and casual players, and it acts as a motivator to get players to come back after a few days off. A similar system could be applied to crafting resource or currency rewards so that casual players would have reasonable levels of access to the same things that hardcore players would.

An XP bonus only gives you more loot boxes, though, which (in practicality) just means more crafting materials, which you don’t need after a bit.

Vermintide is not fundamentally a loot-based game, with an endless cycle of adding new tiers of gear so you wanna grind some more. Some people do take it that way, however, and folks feeling “cheated” out of their loot by dying at the end has led to a gradual changing of finales to be a lot easier (in some cases, this was a thing from the start, like Brachsenbrucke).

So how do we get people out of the mindset of rage-quitting the second they lose a book or a run looks like it’s going to wipe? That’s what I was trying to address; on Legend, even the lowest-level chest has a chance at a red; if players can make it at least as far as a third of the way into the map, they get a “stake” in the outcome as far as loot is concerned. Yeah, the odds will be much worse because you won’t get tomes/grims and it’ll be 1 or 2 items instead of 3 - but still, it’s something to help prevent ragequits.

And meanwhile, this means we can get finales tweaked to be more interesting and not snooze-fests . . . Just earlier I was doing a Legend run on War Camp, and once we dropped down to the battering ram section, I realized my mentality shifted to “well, we’ve won now”. That’s just wrong; the whole ram section, the inner camp, AND the Lord fight are practically foregone conclusions at this point. I’d like to see them be more interesting in a way that won’t drive hordes of angry loot-seekers to the forums demanding nerfs.

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Junk loot just need to open something else - forging keep decorations with scrap, or using scrap and dust to make your own deeds and modifiers. At least there is some player-driven value to the 999+ of shyte I’ve got.

Oh and, I’ve got so many duplicate Bogenhafen Bangers, I could have my own gang bang. (see what I did there).

3 Likes

Punish droppers by handicapping their Ranald Bonus in the next map? Although D’C-ing could punish people via the same mechanic.

Rather than giving people participation trophies for “at least you tried” and dying, have another method of getting higher tier chests at the end. Tomes and Grims are kind of all-or-nothing at the moment, so maybe combining chests in the keep to get top tier chests? Converting 3 General’s = 1 Emperor’s might help, but it’s just more pointless button clicking in the keep to get some more RNG rubbish.

That’s a problem with the way the lootbox and crafting systems currently work. The bonus system I mentioned doesn’t have to be focused on XP. I was just using that as an example of a method for giving casual players access to the same opportunities as hardcore ones to show that it is possible.

You’re right, it’s not. The star of V2 is the gameplay. An RNG-heavy gear/reward system works in games like Diablo 3 because the gameplay over there is as deep as a puddle. There’s no satisfaction in mastering it because there’s so little to master. That game is essentially a glorified slot machine disguised as a videogame, and that’s fine because that’s why people play it. That’s not why I play V2 though. I play V2 because, despite it’s quirks, the core gameplay is exquisite. I’ve never played a game that makes melee combat feel so good.
This is why I’m calling for a shift away from RNG loot/gear towards a system that gives players more control over how their hero is set up. The existing gear/crafting/reward systems feel somehow seperate from the core game. What I want is to bring them together so that these systems to accentuate and enhance the core gameplay rather than have it be a tacked-on, diablo-esque gear chase.

I get that and I’m not arguing against your suggestion. I’m just thinking that if ‘gear as mission reward’ is at the root of what’s causing people to leave games, then we should consider looking somewhere else for an answer.

On the topic of suggestions that could work with the existing system, you could encourage people to stay in a party by giving a bonus to players who play consecutive games as a group. The bonus might add to the lootbox upgrade bar and reset if you leaves a party.

It would certainly help me to get rid of the hundreds of unopened chests I have piled up.

1 Like

I think that’s fair. I’d love a full overhaul of the loot system.

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