Balance: Should characters have a point budget like a Warhammer army?

Here is a thought: What if characters had a point budget the way a Warhammer army does? Anyone who has dabbled with the tabletop is familiar with the concept: Some things are more powerful than others so they have a higher point cost to field. That means you have to make hard choices about what to bring into battle. Even the equipment of individual models in your Warhammer army often comes at a point cost if it’s an upgrade to what the base unit fields.

Currently Darktide exists in a state of balance where everything is only balanced against the other options for its slot. That means a Plasma Gun needs to be equally desirable as a Laser Pistol. A Power Sword needs to be equally desirable as a Latrine Shovel.

If the weapons in the game had some kind of cost that cuts across slots you wouldn’t have to balance them against each other, you could balance them against the overall character build.

Even something as simple as assigning every weapon a point cost between 1 and 3 and allowing players to bring a combined 4 points of weapons into the game would drastically alter how the game can be balanced.

A Plasma Gun can now be a 3 point weapon, and it doesn’t need any silly limitations that try to bring it in line with a bog standard assault rifle. It simply is a more powerful weapon than 1 or 2 point weapons. The downside is that you can only field it alongside a 1 point melee weapon.

Bolters, Flamethrowers, Plasma Guns, Psyker Staves, Power Swords, Force Swords, Thunder Hammers - all of these can be allowed to simply be absolute monster weapons when they don’t need to be equally good as everything else that can go in their slot.

Likewise Las Pistols, Latrine Shovels, Knives, Revolvers etc. can be allowed to just be kind of bad weapons, the way they are supposed to be in the lore. The game doesn’t have to try and create parity between an Autopistol and a Bolter.

This may be kind of a weird idea, and it’s probably way too late for them to even consider adding a system like this, but I think this is the way you’d have to go if you want weapons to have their canonical power levels and really let people enjoy them without having to somehow make everything equally useful.


Warhammer 40,000 Eternal Crusade did this and I absolutely hated it.


That doesn’t feel like much of an argument. What was bad about it? Why is it better to have a game where a bolter and a machine pistol have to be equally good?


It achieves what you want which is “limited” or “strategic loadouts” at the cost of fun customization of your loadout.
in Eternal Crusade literally everything costed points: weapons, attachments, accessories, protection.
This lead to just not being able to use what you wanted unless you sacrificed things. Again it achieves what you want which I think is “there should be a downside in what you take” it just wasn’t very fun.(Apologies in advance in case I’m wrong)
Its the same way I view balance, sure you can balance it, but is it fun and feel great to play?




But what is so fun about a system where a Bolter or a Force Sword have to be made crappy so that they can be balanced against a random Autogun or Knife?

Your loadout is limited right now. You’re not limited by what you can equip, sure, but the weapons you can pick are limited in how powerful they can be compared to other weapons because they all need to be balanced against each other.

You simply can’t have a balanced game where a Bolter and a Las Pistol relate to each other the way they are supposed to in the setting without some external cost to fielding a Bolter instead of a Las Pistol.

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I agree that a Bolter or Force sword shouldn’t be made terrible, and I believe that an autogun should not be performing the same as a bolter, same for knife vs forceword.

However the Variable loadouts right now are not THAT limited, as a veteran player.
A lot of damage my quickplays seem to be taking are from ranged enemies, and none of them are carapace armored. This means you can have diversity:
Plasma → Hyper specialized great for all specials, elites, and bosses. Weak against ranged mobs because of limited ammo and heating.
Boltgun → Phenomenal all-rounder not as hyper specialized as Plasma. Suffers from Jank recoil, pullout time, limited ammo
Lasguns → These are your true sharpshooter weapons imho. a Kantrael MK XII Will do you proper as a guardsmen, You can kill all non-carapace enemies that are elite, special, and the real problems: Ranged trash. The diversity in lasgun category are Recon, Kantrael, and Lucius.(The Heavy Laspistol is not THAT bad, you can take it if you need more dodges while volley fire is active to take care of far targets, has pretty nice ADS too honestly)
Autoguns → They don’t hit as hard as any of the above, but WILL still get you the job done against majority threats that are NOT Carapace! Braced kills hordes and is just fun, The other autoguns you can ADS with can get the job done vs non carapace armored Elites, Specials, and most importantly ranged trash mob. With the recent buff to autoguns they are now capable of barely keeping up with lasguns, which is great!

If you want I can dive into melee weapons too, but the main point is that at the end of the day its up to you what you would like to bring to the fight. I don’t agree with the limitation of weapons due to their power against each other.

Boltgun is strong, no arguing there, but one cannot deny other weapons are just as viable in higher difficulties or just general gameplay(Simply target differences). I am a strong believer that playstyle, and perception of weapons play a huge part in the balance right now. (This applies to powersword vs every other melee weapon as well.)

I believe we should be reviewing these weapons prior to balancing via trial by fire in game in all difficulties before moving to any nerfs or buffs at the moment.(Basically just don’t play boltgun for 20 hours straight and then write off every other weapon unless you have played 20 hours for the other weapons yourself. These guns play differently after all, example: Lucius vs Kantrael.)

I also would not mind trying out your loadout idea if they ever do implement it, I may be traumatized by Eternal Crusade, but yours seem to be more fair if it is only weapon having loadout points. I absolutely appreciate your willingness to introduce a new mechanic though. Stay vocal!


Viability of different builds.

Your system leads to one meta build being undeniably the best and people being toxic if you don’t run it.

Don’t get me wrong, there will always be a meta build, that’s how games work, but I don’t see the reason behind an arbitrary point system that forces you into it.

I’d much rather see weapons balanced around their stats than around “it used to cost 3 points, and now it costs 2”


Exactly that, it will pigeonhole ppl to run the most efficient build en prevent them to try thing by adding a wall. Foe example as a psyker I want to be able to use force sword and al kind of staff depanding of my mood but with point buy that can prevent me to do that that will ruin the fantaisie off the class for me.
And in the table top it is possible to build an IG vet with bolter+powersword so that will add a non lore wall to call fantaisie.
And finally that not a PvP game so balancing is not as important imo. They just should try to make all weapon loadout fun with giving them specific perc that sinergise well with different feat so we are incentivised to try all.


How is that not exactly what we have though? Every single match it’s the same weapons. Bolters, Power Swords, Flamethrowers, pretty much all the way down. The only way they can break this boring meta with the tools they currently have for balancing is to make those weapons infinitely worse than they are right now.

It’s easy to say balance isn’t important if you like playing a guardsman with a Bolter and a Power Sword. If you want to play one with a shovel and a Lucius Pattern Las Gun on the other hand…

Were it my decision, I’d have a comprehensive loadout system, with weapons, carried mags, pouches for max ammo, and the like all assigned a weight value. That would then have to fit inside a maximum weight, or it could instead come with encumbrance penalties if you exceed a certain threshold.

Without that, I’m not for a points system. I don’t want to give Fatshark any more reasons for autoguns to suck.

Yea, having a full loadout system where smaller weapons can beat out bigger weapons on weight would be cool, but that would never account for weapons like power swords that lore wise are simply superior to other swords, but are also supposed to be rare enough that not even every space marine gets one.

That is not compleatly true.
First we don’t have access to fully functional crafting, we don’t know how much we can push a weapon limits with well thought blessing combination, to balance things out some powerful blessings can be denided for example.
Then the biggest problem of the bolter is that is shared between zealot and veteran, and veteran really can nullify most of his weaknesses, on zealot the weapon is less oppressive and i find reasons to pick up some autogans on some builds mainly because of advantage in mobility, readyness to fire and ammo sustain.
Anyway the weapon is overtuned but doesn’t have to get “infinetley” worse to be balanced.
Just less ammo and less AOE radius and damage and the weapon is fine.
The flamer is balanced in my opinion, it’s strong aganst trash mobs and ragers but very weak against evrything else, very slow to be ready and very low mobility (zealot can compensate a bit for that whit his innate extra mobility but that’s fair) and reload pretty slow too.
I have played little veteran so i refrain for giving opinion on power sword.
Autopistol is absolutly garbage and needs buffs unless it has access to some insane overpowerd blessings.
All this is in relation to the power scale that the game currently has, overall all range in this game is very powerful and would need a tone down but this is a discussion for another topic.

We know what blessings exist, and there aren’t any that catapult the lower end weapons that currently nobody uses to the top for usability.

The combat knife has a few special perks that make it a bleed-stack machine and is super fun to use. So, that’s really the only good example of a small weapon really holding its own in the game.

I really don’t like ammo as a balance point because that’s exactly how we got to where we are with the bolter.

The thing that kills you in this game is not the steady predictable trickle of enemies you encounter while everything is going smoothly. The thing that kills you is a horde with three ogryns in it backing you into a corner right before a firebomb lands on top of you and a sniper deletes half your health.

So the best weapon in the game is always going to be whatever can clear the room in a hurry when that happens, not whatever has the ammo to pluck away at enemies that were never a huge threat to begin with.

That’s the problem with balancing around ammo. It just makes it so that you have to pick a low ammo weapon to have the best chance at the critical moments. A high ammo weapon that allows you to kill enemies that were never going to be a problem a little easier but chokes when it counts is never going to be a viable choice even if it is way more fun to play with.

That’s why ammo shouldn’t be the balancing factor for weapons. A super powerful weapon you can only use a few times during the match is always going to be better than a weak weapon you can use all the time.

Thais is your opinion, kill faster and easier the trash mobs and you suddenly have a lot more resources and space to deal with crushers and specials.
In tide games the singualar enemies are low treath, is the combination of all the low treats that make the treath increase exponentially.
Besides in a situation like you described the bolter, even like it’s now can at most kill one crusher and some trash mobs, not gonna help you with the snipers andof bomber unless they are in 10 meter range from you. And the time you need to ready the weapon can cost you some health, the loss in mobility can make you an easier target for the sniper.
Not saying that removin one crusher and some trash mob faster are not already a big help but for example lower ammuniton may prevent you from spamming the weapon whenever you see an enemy, makes you weaker to the scab and dregs gunners that infest the place.
Balancing around ammo is the same principle as balancing around points like you suggested, you want bigger punch weapon, you need to be careful when you use it.
You want to spam a weapon it stings less.
How is different than you want to have a bolter you can’t use power sword? This way is just less oppressive for players and doesen’t limit build diversity.

Having “more resources” is meaningless if you can’t spend them quickly enough to make the difference when things go sideways.

If your house was burning down, would you rather have 10,000 gallons of water and a fire hose, or 10,000,000 gallons of water and a garden hose?

It doesn’t matter how much water you have if you can’t put it on the fire fast enough.

You are making terrible comparisons mate, maybe you dond’t understand what i meant as “resource”.
The time you take to dodge,the time you take to attack, the dodge count, the time doge reset, the combat ability, the time it takes for combat ability to get up after use, the space that you have for dodging, the cover places that you can take, the amount of attention that you can give to each enemy… are just some exaple of resources that you have in the game.

So to go back at your scenario: 3 crushers 1 sniper and one bomber, a horde and you in a corner, i ask you what threat takes more of your resources?

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I like the idea, even though the implementation would need work. Still, points for the idea.
It’s not as simple as that, though - if the weapons aren’t balanced, but have point costs, it would still end up being an academic choice unless there’s at least one option per power level for each job. It would also benefit a pre-made far more than a random team, and that is already a problem.
Though I would be totally ok with, f.Ex., some weapons just plain being slightly better than others, over all, and then some classes having the odd talent benefitting those weaker weapons somehow.
Or stronger weapons having a slight penalty, f.Ex. an extra -5% walk/run speed on a heavier one or smth. It’s probably some effort to get it just right, so I doubt it will happen.
Tbf, weapons in this game can be balanced by such factors as total ammo carried, handling (switch/reload, etc.), dodge distance, and so on, that aren’t in the tabletop, nor would make sense in a larger battlefield scenario.
So I think it already kind of works - they can just limit the stronger weapons to certain classes, and in the future maybe even limit a weapon to specific feats.

Resources are irrelevant. You either break out of that scenario or you lose the match. The question is whether you have the capability to burn down enough of those enemies quickly enough to not be overwhelmed.

This is largely a thought experiment because they aren’t going to add something like this now, but the game has basically collapsed down to a narrow meta within about two weeks, and all the arguments how to balance it I’ve seen are basically just people desperately trying to justify the existence of all the bad weapons by arguing about ammo counts like ammo on a corpse has any value.

You are contradicting yourself. How do you think you can break out of that scenario without using resources? Yes you have to eliminate enough of those enemies, and how you think of doining it?
I’m gonna speed up this process because is getting late and i see you don’t have much experince in this type of games and give you the answer.

You would probably reply take out my op bolter and delite evrything with it, and you would be kinda right. As the bolter is right now it woud help a lot, especially spammngare into the horde because that should be, your primary target, because they take up the spece without them you don’t even need to kill specials and elite, you can dance around them on infinete hypotetically.
What if you nerf bolter AOE damege and radius, suddenly you eliminate much less of those enemies in one clip, you need to reload and shoot a second salvo, enter the total ammo nerf, you now have very little ammo left, will you have enough to save your ass the next time sh*t hits the fan? Who knows? Maybe now i’m forced to be conservative with shooting so now next time a couple of elite pop up i don’t instantly delite them but let others take care of them, making the game less trivial for them.
And like this you are making a choice selecting your weapon do i want a generalist weapon that makes me remove less pressure but a one more constant rate or a specialist weapon to use only in particular situations? You may still prefer the second option but a lot of others would not i guarantee you, ergo build diversity achived and fun game for evrybody.

This is just your personal opinion, and actually in gaming very often chosen realiability over situatonal.