Cataclysm 2.0

Probably not going to be called that,

two of the difficulty mods out there right now to add on top of legend are onslaught and death wish, using these as examples for what the next difficulty could be, I would personally prefer something along the line of onslaught myself.

I would much prefer more pressure from a mass of enemy’s to the same number of enemy’s that hit a lot harder and turn in to bullet sponges. But this is just my opinion and I’m not suggesting the other option is lesser in any way.

If the heightened level cap will also make our power level higher, I’m hoping that the new difficulty will compensate for it and cataclysm 2.0 will not just be the “new legend”

What do you people want from this new difficulty?

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Dragons, game needs moar dragons.

I’m happy with any increase in difficulties. But, I kinda hope they don’t increase the power cap for heros.

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I’m a little concerned that the new level cap will, as you said, just make it into a new Legend difficulty. I think my chief concern with it is how it will be affected by the new Support-Special who can make units invulnerable… that alone could be a party-wipe mechanic under the right circumstances of Legend, and adding another 50-60 slave rats per wave seems like it might instantly overwhelm a lot of parties. Then again, what do I know :stuck_out_tongue:

I think onslaught would be a great fit for the new difficulty; the additional enemies is more interesting than beating on a Mauler for 2 minutes. Perhaps they could tweak the damage of slave rats and northlings just a wee-bit to better overcome temp-health, but I would want huge damage/health increases.

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I would like:

Tighter windows of error as well as heavy reductions in stagger as and some more cleave resistance.

HP increases wouldn’t be horrible but there are some fun and fair builds like WHC with rapier that can pull of a SV oneshot with the fully charged rapier headstab (skill) that I personally think are a fun thing and shouldn’t vanish for enjoyment reasons. You can currently still spec higher so slight increases wouldn’t be a problem and it’s also not impossible for FS to rebalance weapons alongside it a bit.

I also wouldn’t mind redoing that dodge window to tighten the margin of error making all enemies quite a bit more dangerous as well as disabling talent row 20 completely on the new difficulty.

Taking away temp hp (from offensive output, kills etc.) really is the thing they could do to turn the difficulty into a real challenge because small hits can’t just be taken they add up over time. Offence won’t be the best defence and teamwork will be encouraged. No enemy will be a med pack ever again and the relentless of the dark forces will return once more to this series.

I would 2nd cutting down the items found on a map by ~1/3 as well.

I wouldn’t really change the unit composition on maps because I think Legend already has a good one except for patrols. I wouldn’t mind making them a lot more dangerous, increasing the CWs back to 8-10, SV back to 20, adding berserkers and even specials to them (glob, special ai gunner).

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The devs actually addressed Onslaught specifically on the stream they just did, near the end. Basically, they sold the game saying what minimum specs were. And Onslaught could not necessarily run on those specs on any graphical setting. So they can’t make it an official new mode without violating what they said to consumers could be used to play the game. That’s kind of a big deal.

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Strange…
I’m kind of a historian myself and I don’t think that statement ever mattered much before. You can ask the dedicated servers if you want clearance.

Also you can “run” onslaught as much on the lowest settings as you can hyper twitch deed so…

One thing I currently “feat” the most: An increase in enemy health completely throwing weapon balancing out the window and everyone just rolling with crits and attackspeed (which is what is happening with Death Wish and Onslaught right now), tightly narrowing down not only weapon specs but also what weapons are useful. Not saying it will happen, but as of now, weapon balance is in a good spot.
Without pointing fingers and being mean, FS doesn’t exactly have a good recent track record when it comes to weapon balancing, and the thought that every weapon has to be re-evaluated for higher enemy health (and possibly: cleave mass) is giving me the shivers. :smiley:

Things like you’ve said with rapier on WHC and such, I’d like for them to stay. Some weapons derive their “legend viability” to a very large degree from being able to hit certain break points, especially those that go from “2 hits to kill” to “1 hit to kill”. If everything takes multiple hits even from the stronger weapons, the meta will, so I fear, shift even more towards fast swinging, high mobility weapons.

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Well, the dedicated servers weren’t exactly a promise… were they? I actually don’t know, I’ve never particularly cared about dedicated servers enough to track the issue.

Wouldn’t it be a legal issue if the minimum specs they released weren’t enough (if only because they also have it released on Xbox and PlayStation)? I am sure that it wouldn’t matter for most cases, but if it cripples the ability for gamers on consoles to actually play the game can they actually change the minimum specs?

Another part to that is: if you are on the minimum specs, I don’t think you can run onslaught with minimum graphical settings. I’m not sure because I don’t have a minimum specs rig to test with, but I think it would seriously struggle to run. Theoretically, that is :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t know for sure if minimum specs constitutes a legally binding sorta thing, or perhaps they just worry it will alienate too many players. Perhaps there are rules/laws about those sorts of things.

As for the dedicated servers, they said they wanted to, it was in the road map, but I don’t feel like that was a technical guarantee. Just a “we plan to try and implement this” sort of thing.

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Now I’m just moking them alittle I honestly do not care that much about dedicated servers and personally don’t think that they will magically make everything better. Here is Vermintide.com pre launch.

But I care very much if something isn’t going to be done all of a sudden on the basis of a promise/add/term that wasn’t lived up to ever before.

But even more importantly I don’t want this game crippled because of people not willing to use a properly powerful PC (don’t get me started on peasants). Adding an additional difficulty that is more challenging is not taking anything away from them they have the choice to upgrade ascend to godhood any time they want.

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Feels good, man.

Most of the time, I don’t think it’s willingness that’s the problem for PC gamers; it’s cost. So many people can’t quantify the cost for something they don’t use 4 hours a day every day.

Needless to say, I agree that I don’t want minimum specs to be the issue… but it’s not the worst reason they could have for not making an ‘Onslaught’ mode.

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Oh, if it only was that simple. If it’s in the game, people want access to it without too much hassle. Having to pump too much time, effort and money into it will make people feel excluded from content they paid for. Not saying that’s how it should be, but that’s how it is.
Besides, it’s also very wise for them from a BA point of view to be careful with that. They already have made some very questionable statements in the past (iirc correctly, “it’s not the end of the world” used to be a Meme here and for good reason imho :wink: ) that could have cost them more. Essentially giving your player base the middle finger by saying “ah, well, you cannot play the new mode because it requires a better rig” is… well, not very consumer-friendly.

Apart from that, you simply have to consider a legal point of view. You have to remember they are a EU-based company and that the EU has very homogenous consumer rights requlations that are very much in favour of the consumer (rightfully so imho) and that retroactively changing system specs for software you already have shipped (be it because they do so on the store page or simply by virtue that it cannot be reasonably played with those specs) and people WILL have a case for a refund, there is absolutely no question about that - and giving people a reason to refund a game more than a year after launch is a very bad idea. I also think Valve won’t have much of it since refunds would also affect their profits and they don’t like the idea of having precedence. Like it or not, outside of the USA, vast parts of the Steam EULA wouldn’t hold A SECOND in most European courts (especially in countries who have a historically very consumer friendly jurisprudence like Germany, France, Austria and - yes - Sweden), especially clauses that pretty much allow Valve or the software developer unilateral alteration of the product without the consumer having ANY say in it (the good old “it’s their software, they can do whatever they wan’t with it, you agreed to it” won’t fly, I absolutely guarantee you, before most European judges).

Not saying that this is the reasoning behind it, but it is definitely something to consider when making such changes.

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The difficulty needs to be SKILL based to make it worthwhile and meaningful. Good luck with that.

The challenge for FS is that any increased difficulty will increase the awareness of workable effective meta-builds which will make all lower difficulties for seasoned veterans obsolete, but will make any higher difficulties into almost the “new legend”.

Making something harder based on a players skill is very very hard. Adding in harder hitting or tougher enemies is already a mere bagatelle for many players (Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger) so now we’re talking about … how do you see if someone is good at dodging? Or blocking at the right time? Or Block-Stabbing?

FoW is a perfect example of how ramping up the spawn rate and generally mobbing the player can be overcome. in fairly short order… I think @Fattigkussen even pulled off a solo legend run on this map, I’m sure that person will correct me if I’m wrong :stuck_out_tongue:

Difficulty is hugely subjective, and also based upon the team composition. I play often with my brother and we’re VT1 cata vets and we cruise through Legend with Twitch for a laugh. Go onto simply legend as a PUG and the difficulty ramps up because you are playing alongside a Huntsman with a Sword and Shield who can’t land headshots (Or as I like to call them, Mr Waiting To Be Rescued).

Some players can’t dodge. this is skill based. Some people can’t land headshots as anyone - let along Handgun HS - this is skill based. Some people can’t land DD backstabs with a shade - more skill based stuff. Some people think a FK after the BBB is ok with a 2h hammer. This is more knowledge based, and you possibly might be effective with a 2h hammer as FK but no one even plays FK anymore so who knows…

[TL;DR] TO make a difficulty that isn’t either; Mobbing the player with hordes or swamping the player with Elites and specials is going to be very very difficult - so I suspect we’ll get one or the other.

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In regards to the level cap…
Are we going to have to collect all new gear to obtain max total power?
I sure hope not.
Hopefully you can obtain max total power just by
leveling up.
What would you guys prefer?

What I want and the reasoning for it touches on many of the things commented here already, but @Haxorzist’s ideas were closest to mine for now.

I think that the damage breakpoints should stay the same as they are currently on Legend (or very close), as while shifting them would certainly change “the meta” somewhat the most significant effect would be of obsoleting half our current weapons, and practically forcing us to reroll everything. As @Kekmaster said, making the enemies even tougher (and harder-hitting) would also likely move the most effective stats even more towards just getting as many hits out as you can, obsoleting even more Properties and Traits.

And as some others said, just increasing the enemy amounts is kind of out of the question too, as it would increase the hardware requirements significantly. I also feel it wouldn’t really do anything that could be done otherwise, and might indeed make the game more tedious as all the challenge we’d face was more of the same.

As for making the enemies hitting harder, well, several enemies’ attacks can already down a character in one hit on Legend, and getting more attacks to that category would make the gameplay quite unforgiving - and reduce the significance between different amounts of base Hit Points or Damage Reduction, quite easily to the point where either would be moot for the lower differences. It also would make the gameplay into a no-mistake one, punishing every mistake horribly and likely staring a failure spiral very easily. I don’t think that’s good design in general, and especially I don’t think it’s a fair way of making things difficult.

So what would I like, then? First, enemies’ mass could be increased, effectively reducing our stagger and cleave. This would likely make the hordes feel larger as we couldn’t butcher them with a few swings, and lower-stagger weapons would be more dangerous to use, requiring more care. I think it would also shift the effectiveness of weapons with different amounts of cleave and stagger, still letting us (or making us) learn some new things. Second, the intensity of the action could be increased. For now, we have pretty long intervals between hordes and waves so there’s plenty of room to advance and relax, usually an area can be cleared of Elites (and others) before a horde arrives and pulls them in, and even Specials generally come in very manageable numbers. Increasing the roaming enemies and Specials (particularly the maximum amount out at once, but also the frequency) and decreasing horde timers would already make the game significantly more intense, especially combined with the increased danger from stagger and cleave resistance.

Also, like Haxorzist said, tightening the margin for certain things (dodge timing, primarily) would also add to the skill requirement and danger of certain enemies without adding to their sheer lethality. I don’t quite agree with removing temp health Talents, but their effectiveness could certainly be halved or so, making us rely far less on temp health but still allowing its use (and not just blatantly disabling our Talents).

And yeah, less resources to use, including reducing the end-event preparations to topping off two or three characters instead of everyone, would also be a thing to do.

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The only problem I see with dabbling with the dodges now is that it inevitably will hit low-dodge-and-dodge-count, heavy weapons more than the ones with high mobility. One of the reasons you see alot more people running weapons like 2hhammer, 2haxe (even though it’s completely pointless, but that’s another story :wink: ), pickaxe, 2hsword, xsword and even the shields is the fact that the game is more forgiving with dodges. All 1h weapons and dual weapons and weapons like spear will then reign even more - because if dodges become tighter, enemies hit harder and the heavy weapons cannot demolish the way they do now (simply because everything takes alot more hits), there will be very little reason to not use high-mobility, fast-swinging weapons. If not getting hit becomes more important and tanking the occasional hit becomes less of an option even for tankier carreers, then they become pointless.
Right now, the biggest benificiaries of what makes Legend “easy” (which it arguably is only for elite players) are low mobility weapons and carreers. The high mobility carreers benefit, too, of course, but that’s kinda their shtick - can’t tank hits, gotta be mobile.
I am too very curious what they are going to do, as with many things, they kinda backed themselves into a corner with some game mechanics that simply cater to a certain playstyle more. I just like to give my impression that as of right now, it has been ages since I’ve seen so many different weapons used in the game so frequently on so many different carreers. There’s still alot to do in terms of carreer and weapon balance, but overall, stuff is in a pretty good spot. Even shield weapons are not TOO far off from being where they need to be (sword n board is actually a pretty solid choice on FK and can even be quite nice on HS, due to its quirks and favourable attack patterns), except maybe mace and shield and this is pretty much only because of the attack pattern being too cumbersome (shield slam should always be the first attack in the charged pattern, and there’s little reason why the weapon needs sweaps on the light attacks and the heavies. Just put the overhead on the 2nd heavy and put the wide sweap on the push attack and we are all set, but I digress).
I don’t really now how they could make a new reasonable difficulty. If we were honest for a second, enemies already hit like a truck on Legend. Eat a running attack, boom, half of your health might be gone, and that is a running attack from a rather basic enemy. I hope the new difficulty is more or less the deed rework system, as in: It’s not gonna be Cataclysm 2.0, but Legend+, just a slight ramp up from the difficulty without “new loot tiers” or stuff like that, but stuff you do for the challenge. Put cosmetics behind that new difficulty and not “hard” content and we are all set.
Because as others have stated, the prospect of having to reroll EVERYTHING is giving me nightmares already :smiley: . Same holds true for a possible “power vs. beastmen”. Seriously, FS, don’t do this. If Beastmen only get pretty much one small set of regular enemies, one elite, one special and one boss, they don’t warrant an additional set of “power vs.” to begin with and it will completely bust weapon balance and the meta, since the possibility of a 3rd faction showing up on any given map pretty much means we will see attack speed and crits and more attack speed and more crits. While it is true that putting them into “chaos” (where they do beling imho) would make “power vs. chaos” more useful than it already is, my suggestion would be to simply flesh out Skaven more. You hinted at unused Skaven enemies. Take a look at those and bring them in the expansion after Winds of Magic.

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@Haxorist - I totally get why people might be upset about the dedicated servers - and you’re right, there it is on the page. I hadn’t remembered that, I thought it was just something they said more casually later and had on the roadmap. While I can understand why they’re not doing it now . . . yeah. They did say they were gonna. :confused:

I think the tech issue with onslaught still makes sense, though; the game stresses even pretty high-end machines already. You’d have to have a monster of a machine to ever expect Onslaught to run smooth, not just a “decent” or “good” rig.

I think @Kekmaster has some really good points - and I agree fully. I think there are other ways to make the game more challenging that don’t have to just make enemies health sponges (I’ve never been a fan of that), or cause us to have to change up everything we have. One way to increase difficulty would be through new content; adding new elites and specials, adding new pickups to take up the pools that aren’t as strong, or require different techniques to use - either way, adding in more methods of playing will increase the skill cap. New enemies could have tactics that render infinite dodging less powerful; a fatigue aura or something.

These are just random thoughts, but basically; I’d love to see a new difficulty that is difficult because of mechanics, not just upping numbers on quantity, health, and damage of enemies.

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I can only point towards how Tripwire handled difficulty in KF2 (arguably, the “elite” community there complains that HoE is also too easy, but that’s beside the point): While enemy health does scale with difficulty (and players present, mind you), it does so in a rather small margin. In KF1, the highest difficulty had a rather large difference in enemy health when compared to the lowest.
Apart from enemies hitting alot harder, being alot more plentiful and not generating as much “dosh” (the currency used to buy weapons and equipment in between rounds) on highest difficulty, they went a different route: Enemies get more aggressive, they spawn closer to the group and in different compositions (larger enemies spawn earlier and alot more), enemies gain additional attacks and special moves and the game spawns more different varieties of the same enemies. E.g., the Gorefast, a lower-end enemy with a blade for one of its arms, charges you more aggressively or spawns as a Gorefiend, which has both arms replaced with blades and that can unleash a very dangerous whirlwind attack. Or the Clot, the basic enemy that is very slow and tries to grab you, may spawn as a Slasher, which is faster, has stronger attacks and can execute an evasive roll, or as an Alpha Clot that is more resilient and has the ability to enrage nearby enemies with a rallying call, increasing their speed and damage. I think this is a very good idea to create a more challenging experience. Not wanting to hate on Fortunes of War, I like to play it every now and then, but it is a pretty good example that just spamming you with enemies is not going to increase the challenge much and the only thing that is truly threatening is when it spawns waves of disablers, simply because if a disabler has you, you can’t do anything about it. Legend has become “easier” simply because alot of cheesy mechanics have been removed or aleviated (I am looking at you, ice-skating CW and 180°-no-scoping-mauler). It only goes to show how difficult it is to create a fair challenge that is not too easy, but doesn’t feel cheap. I mean, there’s people who enjoy those Kaizo-Mario-Levels or “I Wanna be the XYZ”-Type of games, but those are a novelty without mass appeal, simply because grinding the same thing again and again and requiring next to perfect execution is not something alot of people have the time for - and quite frankly, I cannot blame them.
Just think back to the days when even recruit handed your ass to you. I sure know it did to me. But now we are running around with completely optimized equipment and knowing all maps inside and out. You know where to retreat if things go haywire, you know when to push and when to retreat, you know how to kite a boss and how to keep it in slam-lock, you know where items spawn and when to use them. This is not going to change, no matter how much you are going to crank up the difficulty. Tech-knowlodge and meta-game-knowlodge are not going to simply vanish with more and harder hitting enemies.

I also don’t think it is a good idea to change core aspects of the game like dodging from difficulty to difficulty. The whole heropower thing is already questionsable and wonky, same with the access to temp health being tied to a level, but at least those things don’t matter that much and skill you acquire on lower difficulty transitions easily to the next higher tier.
If dodge-windows were touched just for this difficulty, you’re essentially demanding people to relearn something they have acquired during possibly hundreds of hours. To newer players that want to have a try on higher difficulty, this is like throwing them a curve-ball and changing the rules. It’s like running up stairs for 100 hourse and all of a sudden, you increase the height of each step by a few inches. Sure, you can get used to it, but you are going to fall flat on your face again as if you’d never taken the stairs before. I do fear that this might create a level of frustration that not many people would want to deal. Now, you could also argue that the new difficulty “isn’t for everybody”, so filtering out those not dedicated enough is a good thing, but this is a VERY bad way of doing so. Dabbling with established rules and appealing to the “average” player’s tolerance for frustration isn’t going to play out well. At the end of the day “the average player” is the one who is going to buy your expansion. If you market your expansion as a very exclusive thing just for your elite-community, you better be prepared to pay an ealite price for it. Again, I do think from a BA point of view, it would be in FS’s best interest to not dabble with core aspects too much when it comes to the jump from Legend to the new difficulty (whatever form or shape it might take).

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Honestly, while I think temp health has a role in the game, I think the generation needs to be cut in half. With a moderately-cleaving weapon I can just expect to refill most of my bar off a single horde, and get a comfortable lead just off ambients as the group moves along. It should be a buffer rewarded for skill, not a permanent source of sustain. If the generation isn’t cut back, new mechanics should be added that attack it directly.

Cuz I feel a big problem is that chip damage just doesn’t mean anything in the current iteration. If I take a big hit, I’m worried I might go down for all of the 20 seconds it takes me to whack enough things I’m essentially fine again. In VT1, if you ate a big attack, and you managed to get back to full health - well, you were really damn good at dodging attacks, because that meant like ten minutes of solid play without getting touched.

If this one facet was changed, the difficulty of Legend would be noticeably increased, without affecting the early difficulties, because you don’t have THP talents then, anyway!

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Come to think of it, maybe the Beastmen are indeed “the new difficulty”. I mean, they stated that the Beastie Boyz will be very aggressive and “in your face”, so maybe they will be exclusive to a new, more difficult game mode. Not saying it is the most likely of scenarios, but the thought just crossed my mind.

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