Beating a Poxhorse - A letter to Fatshark

So, Fatshark, I think I know what you want out of your weapon system. It’s just that it’s at odds with what the players need.

You want players to have to play a long time to get what they want for player retention, and I think also you want everyone to have “unique” weapons. One person’s chainsword is better against armor, someone else’s is really nimble. That sort of thing. I think I understand your logic.

What players want is to be able to use different builds freely. Many older games did this sort of thing, making EVERYTHING available from the start, and are timeless classics. Optimally we should be able to reset and build our weapons like our talents - in addition to having multiple copies, for trying new ideas. You’ve put a lot of cool things into the game and we want to play with them. Sure, it’s fine for it to take some time and work, but once we unlock a weapon at a certain level we should be able to buy as many copies as we want that are actually useful, without grinding.

I know, some people out there will say there needs to be PROGRESSION. The progression in 'tide games has always been about your skill - that is the real crux. It’s not a number on a stat chart.

At this point in the game’s lifecycle, you should be wanting new players to be able to get into the groove of things as quick as possible. Making them have to grind dozens of hours to level up only makes sense in getting them to learn the game mechanics. Beyond that, it reduces their desire to play.

I’ve given multiple copies of VT2 to friends, because I love it so much. None of my friends have kept playing it, because they nevere got to get a real taste of it. I kept promising them it got better later, but later took dozens of hours.

They did not get to look at the cool assortment of weapons and pick a loadout they wanted to try - they got so few options through playing that they lost interest. Those same friends will spend hundreds of hours in other games that don’t lock so much content away.

The awful RNG weapon hunt is only hurting your games. Whatever reason you decided to put it in in the first place, I think that reason is no longer valid.

P.S. - Why can’t we name our weapons? That would be great too.


It’s been said once, and again. Then another 2000 more times, or so.

Yet the gacha gambling remains. So we repeat ourselves. Ad nauseum.

They lose players during the holiday season. Wonder why?

We keep telling them, but no no no. You think you do but you don’t attitude strikes again. “Do you not have phones?”


Hey, look at that. We’re on that constant downtrend again! Let’s shoot for 2k players this time and hopefully finally reach “mostly negative” on steam.


at the end of the day, these types of gameplay barricades are just bad game design and flat-out laziness. them not wanting to bother bringing in a constant supply of new content, whether it be weapons, maps, game modes, etc., would be the actual fix, but pretty much no dev wants to actually put in that amount of work nowadays, even if it’s paid dlc. tbf, that’s just the way the industry is now, so i’m not saying fatshark should suddenly be the only one to change.

that being said, the easy way out is to bar progression that only the most hardcore of fans will even bother to do, and/or have rng, but at the end of the day, it still comes down to most devs being lazy and not wanting to put in the effort to have enough content to keep players busy. not saying they need to make everyone work overtime and start introducing a bunch of free/paid dlc, but some simple, basic variety goes a long way. i think (lack of)variety is often overlooked in this game in favour of s**t-talking the crafting, which is understandable and warranted, because the crafting is complete ass.

if your game is fun at its core, then you generally don’t have to worry about this kind of stuff, and while darktide is fun, the map rotation and lack of variation make it stale after a while. maps could/should be more dynamic with their objectives and pathing. we already know they recycle locations, so if they’re already doing that, they should be utilizing them more in terms of per-map variety. like randomizing what happens during missions that will make you take a different path or completing different objectives than last time. i know we have smoggy and dark version of maps, but let’s be honest, they’re bogus and most people don’t even like them, because it trades in actual fun, for, being difficult for the sake of being difficult.

as it is now, you know exactly where to go and what to do, and with how poor the randomization of quickplay is, you could end up playing the exact same map multiple times, which completely kills the fun; despite the director’s best efforts, you can only play the exact same map so many times before it gets boring.

if each map had 2-3 randomized instances that branched off into different paths and/or objectives, that’d probably be more than enough to keep things fresh indefinitely, and would probably take a lot of heat off the horrible crafting, too.

we have some opposite hannah monatana action going on here and are getting the worst of both worlds.


I don’t have any particular experience with game development but I’m a subject to it enough to understand the difference between good and bad development. This is one the bad examples like you said, and I agree. They have a full studio and even financial backing by tencent to be proactively “bettering” the game but they roll out content updates only every month and a half.
Some people aren’t gonna be happy for the typical wait of 45+ days just to see that they introduced 2 new weapon MARKS, not even new weapons. Not only that but the lack of communication from fatshark has always been abysmal and atrocious. Real professional & considerate studios communicate and provide things like roadmaps so that people have something to look towards to- instead of a void of if the next update will be good or not type of thing.
A good example of a development cycle & studio is Green Hell by Creepy Jar Studios. They work on roadmaps and are always interacting with their playerbase and taking in constructive feedback from the community instead of shooting it down, Fatshark could take a hint from CJ studios and learn a few things


It’s a great frustration given how good the core gameplay is. Creating a good back end is an art but it’s not a rocket science - and it’s been cracked! The annoying, and the frankly exploitative (though it’s near-universal in games nowadays) gacha/unlock/grind systems do not serve consumers, only shareholders.

Stop it. No one wants to play this game because of the in-game progression system. They play it because the gameplay demands skill.


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