I’ve been playing both with dumb and good randos. along with my own personal moronic friend group who thinks this game is a speedrun. heres a few thoughts:
Coherency is a mechanic that is supposed to make the team attempt to stay together. this requires:
1: the player recognizes that this mechanic exists (small unexplained status icon in bottom left)
2: the player has an incentive to activate the buff
3: The player(s) have the ability to move to eachother.
If you’ve played this game for a while as well, you might see the issues here. also keeping in mind that darktide is not friendly to splitting up, enemy composition wise, on anything more than difficulty 2.
I’m gonna go trough these 3 points and explain what i feel is lacking with the concept.
First: “1: the player recognizes that this mechanic exists”
Darktide has a lot going on visually. arguably a lot more than vermintide 2, along with the outlines of your teammates being less visually apealling / harder to read fast.
Therefore, reducing an ability that grants you the ability to absorb a lot more damage trough toughness to a tiny (5mm/5mm) icon in the bottom left of the screen, makes the mechanic unintuitive to read.
Since the activation of the effect often isn’t noticed by the player, it is also poorly communicated how and when the coherency affect is buffing you. leading to situations where players may be aware of the buff mechanic, but won’t actively seek to achieve it. since the game doesen’t adequately communicate the effect of it.
My proposed changes would be to make coherency more than just a normal status icon in the bottom left. put it in the top of the screen / change UI color when it activates, and give the players a concrete idea of just how much extra toughness they are getting per level of coherency: (ex +50%, +75%) This would help players understand the mechanic intuitively, and also be able to better understand how to trigger it.
“2: the player has an incentive to activate the buff”
I will be honest. i do not like dodging or sprinting in this game. my big ogryn pal does not either, and my psyker kindred is tired of getting backstabbed. We all are taking toughness damage. and then i hear legendary quotes such as “i don’t even get hit, my toughness is always full. why should i stay close to you losers. just learn to play” from a zealot player 50m infront of the squad that’s getting swarmed by trashmobs and ranged units because he wants to “attack their backline specialists”
The truth of this is that players, atleast some, are egotistical. if the buff does not affect them in their current situation, they are unlikely to seek it out.
My proposal to this, would be to also give coherency a secondary buff. for example; +15% extra crit rate. this would give players additional reason to stick together to maximise their enemy killing efficiency. This would also need to be communicated to the players.
Another factor that is similarly important, are whether your other players have abilities that affect other players near them. there currently is no feedback to this.
add: (why are zealots toxic?)
“3: The player(s) have the ability to move to eachother.”
This really is almost more of a symptom of the before mentioned issues, but it is still meaningful to discuss. Your movement speed can be affected a lot in this game. by suppression, hits, and a much higher amount of disabler enemies than in vermintide (which to my mind is an extremely artificial way to drive cooperation)
In the same way, the sprint mechanic, which is new in Darktide, while meant as an in-combat movement tool. serves to seperate the team from eachother. Since players that are out of combat are able to sprint, and often do so to continue trough the level without looking for their team.
Meanwhile the rest of the team that are locked in combat, do not have any stamina, cannot sprint, and have their movement affected by enemy effects. it does not take long before players are scattered and unable to keep up with eachother.
My proposal to this, is again awareness. and a very simple fix. Add a red flash to a teammates character icon whenever they get attacked. this way other people can quickly identify if anyone is still in combat, and seek them out to help them before continuing.
My proposals are all made from the perspective of giving players the information and feedback to promote situational awareness, rather than artificially punish players for not staying together.
To this end, i also think the effect of coherency should be made less extreme, and should promote groups of 2. while also being fair to the player that gets left behind by an unaware team.
I believe it is extremely important that the game provide as much feedback on cooperative effects and feats as possible. And firmly believe players will face less frustration, and have better conduct, the more clearly conveyed the effects of working together are.
:Too long. ogryn can’t read summary:
Game no tell Rock how cooperation work. Rock think friendship is good. Game should tell Rock how to be friends.