Sorry if I am repeating anyone.
I personaly do like competitive part of this game, just saying.
I really do not really understand what do you mean competitive and skill based mindset and what makes it different to cooperative mindset especially in this game where equipment choice can greatly differe the outcome of the match.
About PvP and PvE. For me, I don’t really enjoy PvP games, they make me angry, and PvE games not, will not dive into details.
LONG OPINION ABOUT PURELY COOPERATIVE GAME
In my opinion to make purely cooperative game out of DT, they need to make some sort of puzzle game, where every character is a key. Such as Sniper counters shooters but can’t do anything to the hoard, specials or elites(like literally 0 damage), Ogrin kills hoards, Psyker kills specials, Zealot kills elites, also, every character can be picked only ONCE, so no cloning. It’s only one of the many way they can do this, just saying.
So this way everybody will know their role, and there will be no skill(well, besides coordination), only coordinated moves and no competition in parties, because there will be no one to compete with.
But this way they’ll make one off game, played once a year just because.
So, about socializing, that is a problem indeed, which was in vermintide as well. I really have no idea how to solve it other then to break the ice yourself. Also, in matches it’s really hard to start writing or talking with randoms, reasons you already know.
Storytelling is actually here but is mostly ignored by everybody.
Immersion is, also, here dudes call you useless, armory is not limitless, you fly to the mission, the mission board where they give a choice not you and other stuff like character dialog.
Sandbox adventure will probably never be here, but i’d like to walk around on the planet and do some stuff other then run from A to B.
So, as I understand, you wanted to talk with your team in character and to choose the way of action before engaging, I guess? Well, I can only guess how to make a game like this, but in duo situation on 5 difficulty, you would really want to talk to your last teammate >:) . Such fun stuff is near impossibe to find in this game where the end goal is go from A to B.