I think at least we shouldn’t reset weave stage progress unlock if we care casual players…
Few of my friends want to do weave mode. I played few stages with them and it seems Weave is really enjoyable for them. But portrait achievements(40-60, 60-80, 80-120) make weave time grinding machine.
As we know, not everytime we can play with only 4 people. Sometimes, 5th, 6th ~ 10th guy are needed for play weave because there is a life outside vermintide 2. What makes me sad is, If we don’t invest time significantly, some will not get these portrait because of 3 month reset duration.
At new season, they have to play weave from stage 1 and life of cycle will not let them get them.
Also, even if you invest heavy time so you get 80 - 120 portrait, next season will be less fun which means it will be chore if there is weave related portrait or cosmetics. Then… both causal and heavy will likely stop to play weave because they are only rewards that you can get from weave.
So… at least unlocked stage should be kept so Casual players all around world can get archmage portrait.
Personally at a lost thinking about how a seasonal format can both work and encourage the player base to depart with their money.
So, going off the words of a previous comment that said regular map packs requires the devs undivided attention for 3ish months, I’m assuming that a bulk of new maps is just not on the horizon. Does this mean after this month when they’ve concluded with patch 2.1 and say enough bugs are fixed, does that mean they have to spend the next 3 months working on Season 2 to make sure it’s a whole new experience to make the gear reset worth while? Or is Season 2 literally just going to reuse the same assets? If it is the latter how do you get the player base to buy Season 2?
If all of this is so time consuming and resource intensive then does that mean anyone will be left to make new maps for casual players at all?
If I remember the reddit comment correctly, they said it takes around 9 months to pump out new maps. Which they wouldn’t be able to keep up with everything else. They said they are still working on more maps. But weaves was what they focused on for now. Lohners cosmetic shop is supposed to be dropping in season 2. And don’t forget they’re probably working on Versus mode as well. They already started asking for beta players last month.
What struck me weird about that comment, linked here (and also in the Back to Drachenfels post) was how they said how the time it took for them to develop the art and content for a new map pack was about 9 months, which is why they switched to the WoM content model. They wanted to increase the pace of updates.
At the same time, this year was the largest content drought in V2, from my perspective. They also went through the effort of making a really good map, A Quiet Drink, and then took it away almost immediately, which seems like it goes in the face of that comment that the level of work done for that map was not enough to bother them about only keeping it in the game for such a short period. It was the only really substantial content released for the game in the first half of 2019, unless you count ravaged art and weekly events (I don’t).
I feel like that comment really hasn’t been proven correct so far and doesn’t really align with how I measure the success of the older DLCs like Drachenfels and Karak Azgaraz as opposed to Winds of Magic. However, I can only compare by reviews and overall reception to the DLCs, not sales numbers like only Fatshark can internally measure.
I just truly don’t understand the idea behind Winds of Magic itself or why it was chosen as a content model. I guess the idea behind it is that it’s an initial large investment that pays dividends by not requiring as much effort for subsequent seasons, but at the same time, I can’t really point to many players that like the model itself.
Casual players don’t want to spend $20, almost the cost of the entire game, for a DLC.
Casual players don’t want to grind out a challenge ladder mode that they won’t be able to progress through to experience a large portion of the content they paid for.
Casual players don’t want to spend money on a higher difficulty that they’ll never play.
Returning players who got bored of Legend don’t want to spend $20 and grind out 4 maps to see if Cataclysm is fun and worth playing.
Casual/returning players don’t want to spend $20 for each person who wants to try out the largest selling point in the content update, unlike every other DLC in Vermintide.
Hardcore players don’t want to grind out a separate progression system that doesn’t build upon the progression in the base game that they’ve invested time in.
Hardcore players don’t want to be bored with the initial Weaves where they’re splashing around in the kiddie pool until they finally reach the Legend/Cataclysm Weaves. I got that far in the beta, but I can’t be bothered to in the release.
Hardcore players that enjoy grinding for loot don’t like not being rewarded for their efforts. The rewards for Cataclysm and much of the update as a whole don’t seem enticing to me as a player, especially when I can have a blast on Twitch Legend for free and get more rewards than Cataclysm.
Hardcore players don’t usually want to have their progress reset involuntarily. They should’ve added a “prestige” system like Payday 2 did, if they want to toy with a level reset concept.
It seems like the update revolves around some overlap between Vermintide 2 players and Diablo/WoW players who enjoy this type of content and grind. I don’t know how much overlap there is between those games and this one, but it doesn’t feel like a lot.
Yeah, Quiet Drink was extremely fun. And challenging. It seems that making a new map just for the event wasn’t that huge of a deal. And unlike Bogenhafen, this map was well thought out, interesting, complex, had a great pace , afew difficulty spikes nd had a lot of variety in it.
IMO FS shpuld also consider adding another ending to Bogenhafen, so the end event is actually intense and interesting and not “get bored, grab a sword, walk calmly out of there, kthxbye”.
I mean, these maps had potential that was never really realised due to how bad the ending was.
Yes, exactly! It was a new map that expanded on an old map while adding completely new and interesting mechanics and places to fight. Somehow there’s two contradictory facts being held in Fatshark’s mind (or at least one expressed by Robin and the other expressed by the actions of Fatshark) about maps:
“We simply couldn’t keep up with how fast our players wanted new content with that model … upping graphical fidelity in VT2 means making new maps takes even more time” with regards to the effort it takes to develop maps.
They made a fun-as-hell throwaway map that you play for one or two weeks before it’s gone from the game for a year, so surely that wasn’t a super-duper large time investment or otherwise they would’ve been hesitant to sink so much time into something so limited in scope.
Obviously there isn’t a one-to-one comparison between them. A Quiet Drink is built heavily on existing assets arranged in a new map, while the V1 DLCs all revolved around entirely new settings with new assets.
There was significantly more investment to make Drachenfels, for example, because it required a lot of new assets to make the spooky new castle theme. However, that’s an investment because we know the new assets can be reused in different contexts. For example, the spooky castle arena in the Winds of Magic showcases assets that could be reused in Drachenfels (or any other spooky castle). Another example: development of boss AI could be reused for different bosses (like Krench’s AI from Stromdorf probably was the framework for Skarrik and Bodvarr).
I just get confused by Fatshark logic, even though the post is certainly the views/opinions of Robin himself, not of Fatshark. It still gives weird insight into that type of thinking, at least to me.
There’s a saying “preaching to the choir” where someone tries to argue a point at people who already agree with them. I’d say it works in this case, but I don’t think that quite captures the level of intensity, so I’ll say you’re “preaching to the Pope” who wrote a 4000 word essay with video links and detailed pictures about how Fatshark should go Back to Bögenhafen (Fixes + Content Update Suggestions).
It’s a good read if you have the time. There’s good ideas not just from me, but from others in the comments. It’s the original essay post similar to that Back to Drachenfels one linked earlier that I think you didn’t really like because of the whole vampire mumbo jumbo lol.
The Diablo theory is a great point. Look at Blizzard now, they are a bit of a joke dev with withering respect among PC gamers. I really hope that FS do not go down that route.
Diablo 3 could have been superb but it was pretty lame in the end and seemed to cater more towards a console audience than it’s true fanbase on PC.
I’m sure it has been mentioned before but I believe that the Payday 2 model would be the best way for player retention - loads of maps and player made (dev sanctioned) cosmetics. Not grindy pointless game modes with leaderboards.
And I don’t think the comparison to Diablo 3 is a perfect comparison. The Weaves game mode was inspired by Diablo 3’s Rifts, which were well-received by the community. I didn’t like Diablo 3 on release because it was a mess, and it made me sad remembering Diablo 1/2. But, from what I hear, the game has been turned around and working well since the Reaper of Souls expansion and they got rid of the dumb auction house crap they were trying to pull originally.
The issue with Blizzard and Diablo Immortal is a separate initiative, I think, that doesn’t really reflect that game itself. It’s merely a cash-grab to benefit from name recognition of Diablo, and I think it backfired tremendously because it showed a lack of creativity. I don’t think it’s an apt comparison for Fatshark really.
I think taking inspiration from Payday 2’s content model is ideal, while also learning about the landmines that Payday 2 had along the way. Some things that jump to mind, in no particular order:
Content droughts are not good because it’ll really get people frustrated and overhyped for whatever happens to be the next thing to be scheduled for release.
The playerbase will be way way way way way better than any of the developers can possibly be, so the highest difficulty probably can’t even be beaten by the devs. The highest difficulty needs to give these people a challenge and something fresh.
There will be teens that come home from school and basically no-life the game as a full-time job.
There will be streamers/youtubers who love playing the game and make a living by making content (let’s plays, guides, streaming). They’ll be so damn good that people will watch them play the game to be stunned or to maybe glean some information from just observing.
There will be people who have plenty of time to kill playing games because they already made their money early on and are kicking back to enjoy an early retirement, and they can get good at some video games that they enjoy.
There will be people who just kinda “click” with the game and are good without much effort, due to some natural talent or familiarity with other games, like coming from Mordhau/Chivalry to Vermintide.
Harder/hardest difficulties should be free. I don’t get why I’m paying to make your game challenging or why you would expect the majority of people to pay for a challenge they can’t beat because they’re casual players. The majority of people playing the Payday series weren’t on Overkill 145+, Death Wish, or Death Sentence, unless I’m mistaken. Those difficulties were all free.
Harder difficulties as a “separate difficulty progression” work when they introduce unique mechanics, but there needs to be an intro difficulty to bridge the gap. Mayhem was a nice bridge between Overkill and Death Wish because it wasn’t too crazy and it introduced new mechanics like the map variants and new enemies that only appeared higher up without being punishingly hard. So, for example, with stagger: it shouldn’t really have changed the regular difficulty progression by introducing this new mechanic along with the higher difficulty.
Inter-weave free content with paid content. If you have a paid map, make sure there’s a free map in the pipeline. Paid weapons followed by community weapons later down the road. Community objectives with free rewards to everyone participating are a great idea. Crimefest was always a fun hype-train event which leads me to the next point…
Don’t add lootboxes that you open with real money, especially if they give in-game bonuses beyond cosmetics. See the top post on the Payday subreddit which I can’t like because of the language filter (go to r/paydaytheheist). Microtransactions seemed like a “never-ever” thing for Fatshark, but there’s a lot of things that would surprise me about Fatshark’s plans, so I wanted that to be as clear as possible before they reveal microtransactions for Lohner’s Emporium or something stupid.
Players will gobble up overpowered paid content when it’s released, but it’s overall bad for the game’s health to be that way. A lot of people get turned off from Payday and other games like Dungeon Defenders because the DLC content was overpowered and basically became “mandatory” to buy and get the full experience at higher difficulties. A lot of problems were solved by me paying $5 for a rocket launcher and an explosive crossbow, which I loved and hated because of that.
Limit the scope of paid DLC to be smaller packages, so they can be released more regularly and it’s not as intimidating to buy if you’re only interested in some things about it. Like, if you’re releasing a new character along with a new map like how Payday did it, separate those two packs and release them concurrently (maybe with a bundle discount). There are people who will not buy WoM because they only care about some weapons. There are people who will not buy it because they don’t like Beastmen, or they don’t care about super-hard difficulties, or they don’t care about the new game mode. It also makes it easier to tell what people like and don’t like based on individual sales. Buying four $5 DLCs is less intimidating than one $20 DLC, and it also lets me fine-tune recommendations. I wouldn’t recommend WoM because there’s just so much tied together and I don’t like all of it.
Mobility is fun. Embrace emergent playstyles around mobility, while making sure they don’t overshadow everything else. Dodge builds are really fun to me in both Payday and Vermintide. They were also both overpowered in Payday and Vermintide at various points. I find hunkering down and playing defensively boring, but I’ll do it when backed into a corner. Don’t nerf mobility to the point where it’s less viable and less fun.
Voluntary level resets are fine. Involuntary is not. I didn’t feel the need to go past a certain infamy level in Payday 2 once I got all the stuff I wanted, which was fine.
Wow this ballooned up and I have to go to work now. I really should stop that. Uhh, the tl;dr is Fatshark should learn from Payday, a co-op horde based FPS made by a small (kinda indie) developer based in Stockholm, Sweden, instead of learning from Activision-Blizzard which is… no.
Maybe I’ll make a separate post with some more thought about how they should learn from Overkill instead of Blizzard.
This might honestly be the most important point of all of the above.
My main gripe with WoM ever since I became aware of it was (and still is) simply how cluttered it feels.
Like a bunch of vastly different ideas were taken, mashed together, and just thrown out there.
Not only that, but it took a long ass time to make as well (6 months since it was first announced in late February, and they probably began work on it far sooner than this), and even then, it still feels unfinished.
Separating larger scale “expansions” into smaller scale DLCs brings ONLY (and I really mean only) benefits as far as I’m concerned.
They take less time and resources to make than larger scale projects.
They can be released more frequently, ensuring player interest and that content droughts don’t occur (a point you brought up yourself).
Players are far more likely to buy them since they are not only cheaper, but also don’t have a bunch of other stuff the player might not want tacked unto them.
As you mentioned, the developers are better able to gauge player interest in certain DLCs if they don’t include a bunch of things at once.
Absolutely, positively, nothing?
No seriously, I don’t see it.
Winds of Magic is just… frustrating, to me. Because there are some features in it that I really enjoyed from the beta and I thought were genuinely really cool, and then there’s all the other stuff I’d rather just see damned straight to Tartarus.
It’s been released, it’s all done and done, and I know it’s far too late to change anything about it now, but it’s been my belief ever since it was announced that it should’ve been separated into two separate DLCs.
The Children of Chaos:
Dark Omens (along with an actual boss, you know, the guy we saw in the cinematic trailer?).
Winds of Magic:
A standalone, fully-fleshed out Weave game mode.
Cataclysm and the Level Cap increase should honestly just have been released as free LC. Restricting difficulties and progression behind paywalls is kinda silly to me in the first place.
If the first DLC could’ve reached us already in start of Summer or sooner, so I would’ve have time to enjoy it in the vacation, I’d gladly have spent 10 $ on the first, and just pass on the second, because it’s just not the kind of DLC I’m into.
But when it’s clumped together with something else, it’s discouraging to have to spend money on it, especially when it arrives late and it doesn’t feel completely polished.
To use an unorthodox analogy, it’s like if someone offered you the most lit hentai collection you’ve ever seen, but there’s a piece of feces taped to the back and they’re charging you extra for it.
Anyway, sorry for putting anyone through my barely coherent pseudo-rant. I’m crawling back into my hole now.
This has to stop.
They are not indie.
They are not small.
Ghost Ship is small.
They fix bugs.
They produce content their playerbase actually are interested in.
They don’t appease to elitists and speedrunners by introducing cheaterboards in a COOP game.
Meanwhile, a four, five times as large studio (fatshark) can’t add QoL fixes to one of the worst crafting systems I’ve ever seen. Vermintide 2 has more insulting crafting mechanics than any F2P game I’ve ever played, a complete disregard for players time.
I would say if a game developer has their name as Developer and Publisher on Steam, they qualify as “independent”, even if they are partly-owned by Tencent.
I would say that a company with less than 100 employees is small, even though there are smaller companies that do better work like Deep Rock.
In many ways, having a larger team than Ghost Ship without proper management makes things harder. You’ll have more competing visions and have to delegate work to different people that then have to collaborate and sync up regularly. On top of that, Fatshark has a somewhat flat organizational structure, as I’ve never seen someone with their title containing “Manager” other than Hedge as the “Community Manager”. That’s even harder.
So a 100 people are a standard set by you, to qualify as indie? Please.
More to manage isn’t an excuse for poor management and development direction.
And certainly, the influence of Tencent is becoming apparent, even if not directly confirmed. Because it never will, of course. No one would want to admit influence from something like Tencent, but 1/3rd of the stocks?
I mean, compared to a company with several thousand or tens of thousands of employees spread across multiple time zones, yes.
100 people is a small company by most people’s definitions, I don’t care what you think. I’m giving my perspective from the outside as a software engineer, perhaps your opinion has more insight to offer.
Weaves aren’t made for casual players, nor a big chunk of the fanbase.
It is made to appease elitists, speedrunners, cheaterboard chases who want to see themselves as above us other “plebs” who play a COOPERATIVE game for coop and not competition.
WoM started off as a bad idea falling down the bad idea tree, and it is still falling. I doubt that gang of people who want to see themselves as betters, who want to “dominate” the competition in a coop game, will buy enough copies to make up for the shitshow this has become.
No, Fatshark is not a small studio. Unfortunately, there are plenty of much, MUCH smaller, and way way BIGGER companies that are in a completely different tier at managing their goals and development.
Maybe its time Fatshark started ACTUALLY learning something.