A relic of the past (take the post with a gran of salt)

First of all everything here is my opinion, everyone have different taste & my view is not right it’s just my preference. With that said I’ll write this in a way that make it sounds like it’s a universal fact that’s stronger then every scientific facts combined. So take it with a gran of salt(z), here I go.

Hero Power & Item Power is a relic of the past that we should let die when it comes to Horde Slaying games.

I know what you are thinking “Oh all knowing God what else can there be?”.

Thank you for asking but let’s not jump the gun. First let me explain why this is the case.
It’s borderline impossible introducing friends to the game.
I have 1500+ hours in Vermintide 2 & have individual red items for all careers, I miss some weapons but I’m set for life. I don’t need necks, charms or trinkets.
A new player start from scratch & if I play with them I’ll just ruin the fun for them because I kill everything in a instant. What I can do is equipped all the blueprint items & go down to 355 Hero Power. But even then I might ruin the fun so I have to hold back & walk in the background while I let my friends enjoy & learn the game, only jumping in if a lose is imminent. That takes away all the joy of the game for me & it only works up to Champion after that I need to put on my red gear or just random orange gear but even then I’m steam rolling through everything.
To summarise, it’s a pain to introduce the game to friends.

So what better system can be used? I’m no game designer so I don’t have a answer. I can however give examples from other games that I think have better systems. But let’s start much much closer. The Chaos Waste in Vermintide 2. A great example of a system that work much better. Hero Power do not matter that much so it’s a much more even playfield despite me having unlock all the talents for my career.
Another example is Back 4 Blood. Another Horde Slaying game that will release this month. Instead of Hero Power & Item power you unlock cards & build decks. After retching a checkpoint you draw a few cards & choose one, receiving whatever buffs the card have making my character stronger the further we get in the campaign.
So if I introducing the game to a friend I can build a deck with less powerful cards & be on a more equal power as my friend making it a more pleasant experience for both of us.

What I want to say with this is that I really hope that Darktide do not follow in Vermintides footstep & continue using an old system whose place is in a museum.

Know what horde slaying game has even better progression system? Left4Dead. Easy to play, easy to balance, easy to make and balance Versus from get go. The rest is history.
I’d say ditch that whole power thing, but that’snever going to happen in VT anyway, and I don’t really care about DT.


Left4Dead sadly have very little replay ability for me these days. It was great when it came out but it’s very little variation. That’s why I’m looking forward to Back4Blood. The card system, especially the corruption cards, keeps the game interesting.

B4b is trading core gameplay for gimmicky card system It’ll last even less long.

For you maybe but not for me. The core gameplay in L4D is stiff & repetitive,
B4B opens up for different playstyles & a option to create your own challenges adding more to the game.

That all sounds good on paper, I’ve been through the beta closely, and it lacks a lot of the elements that separates a great game from a meh one. But that’s for a different topic entirely. Point is, progression makes you jump through arbitrary hoops instead of actually playing the game.

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What Orson said. Progression is just a mechanic that mirrors the idea of the player getting better. It’s not something that should be in all games, it’s something that makes sense in a game where your character has a very complex moveset or quirks that you have to learn. So they’re introduced one at a time, over time, so you can more easily learn how to properly use them.

In VT, it’s just “you don’t have core parts of your kit until you grind long enough”.

Re: card games, though, I always find that weird and immersion breaking. It’s very much a gamey mechanic, rather than feeling like “my character brought extra things” - though I suppose this is just a stylistic complaint. I don’t know precisely how it’s implemented, but even though I loved Left 4 Dead, I find I have no interest in B4B - it just looks off, to me.

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honestly in b4b everyone just chose the same cards over and over because they were objectively better than others. Stack the deck with OP cards and gg, very boring mechanic, if it wasnt for the nostalgia factors of l4d b4b game wouldn’t even be considers b tier.

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I agree that everyone used the same cards at the beginning of the game when you had not unlocked that many cards. Later on when you get more weapons specific, mobility & economy cards it opened up for much more variety. I can see myself playing around with different decks or just use the basic cards as a challenge.
I understand that it’s not for everyone but B4B stand on it’s own legs. In my opinion it was a mistake of the marketing team to play the L4D card as much as they did. It gave people the wrong expectation.

I get what you mean & I completely understand that B4B is not for every one especially if you looking for immersion. I want fun game mechanics that I can play around with & experiment with & I can see myself doing that for a long time with B4B.