Constructive Darktide MELEE retrospective and criticism


D never felt anywhere near as kinetic and satisfying as V2, it’s just a worse feeling melee animation system, objectively.

everything around animation attenuation from early frames all the way to late animation target hit frames in terms of impact just feels better in v2, making the combat feel better as a result, seriously, try V2 and feel it for yourself.

animation cancel combos are largely neutered in D also.
animations feel stiffer and more constricted in D.

virtually none of the melee system were translated well from V2 to D so lets just forget about weapon properties and how that went from great to terrible, with weapon properties so many more than V2’s that most are just niche and boring, mostly trash stat modifiers.

Try hitting an enemy in the skull with Bardin’s 1h wood chopper and immediately you will know that even smaller weapons from V2 feels like they have more omf behind them than even a lot of bigger and bulkier weapons from D.

This needs addressing and it needs fixing, the melee animations in D feels like they’re animation blueprints from a store somewhere whereas V2’s animations feels like they have been carefully handcrafted, analyzed and playtested to feel a certain way, feeling much more impactful and controlled whereas D’s melee animations feels wispy and linear


i really think ideally this would have to get looked at but alas this game is way above fatsharks heads, i don’t blame them for that really, but it’s where we are, and it’s the situation that we are dealing with.
this is a live service game so i want you to think back on what content and game changes has been like in the last 8 months in terms of content, my hopes are pretty much zero, uninstalled D, reinstalled V2.

If you guys are having fun with D thats a wonderful thing, i hope that magic lasts for you. But V2 feels like the newer game to me, kind of like they took what they learned from D and iterated on it for V2

I wouldn’t be so doom and gloom.

But, yeah, something does feel off about the melee. Was the first criticism my group made before they moved back to V2.

I don’t think it was for any other reason than to make the game much slower than V2 to encourage gunplay

Also just a general lack of power all around in all fields except gunplay. It’s the difference between V2’s 15 - 20 minute maps versus DT’s 30 - 40 minute maps

I’d have to go back and refresh myself on darktide vs vermintide but i had the exact inverse expeirence last time i played. Vermintide felt floaty and i cleaved the world with every swing, in darktide my weapons hit armor and bounce off carapace.

Balance wise melee is under powered compared to ranged for sure. Except the power sword and illisi and deimos of course. I’ve made that arguement a few times.


Half the special actions actively slow you down for no reason, breaks the flow a lot.

animation canceling isn’t a combo, for most of VT2 they were nerfing weapons that took advantage of it unless DLC privledge. and you do that because 90% of weapons don’t even let you do logical combos like L1 → H2 in VT2’s extremely dated format, hence people only using the DLC weapons for the most part that don’t follow that convention. which was used here, because rigid strings of only allowing heavies to combo off each other and vice versa with lights is boring to play. That’s 80% of melees in VT2, with the same 3 light/2 heavy patten splashed all over the place. For the melee game the melee is very limiting. Also no specials beyond like 3 examples.

there was a talented animator in one commentary video I can’t find who said basically that he spent days fine tuning the animations in weight and feel hitting different masses of enemies and armors until they arrived at the finished product. it really did make a huge difference between the usual swinging a wand around a screen melee combat where enemies delete and proper weight of combat. but again by the DLC weapons this wasn’t being done anymore, and they never bothered stream lining truly obnoxious to play combo loops like dagger or falchion.

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If we are talking about non-gameplay thing then it’s cause of SFX mostly, or atleast it’s the most noticeable part for me.

For example:

Another example - 1h swords:

And it’s almost with any weapon - in V2 you can hear different sound effects in the mix - metal clinking and flesh wounds, while in DT there like 1 dull sound effect.


my biggest porblem with DT melee, is the Getting hit responsiveness,
every hit in V2 that goes through your defences is very noticeable, while in DT, im not even sure if the overhead of the crusher did any dmg due to toughness absorb…
on top of that the stamina is way worse a percentile indicator wich is silent gives me 0 information on how many atacks im actually blocking or well the block performed, compared to V2s shields who are very consistent and easy to read in combat flow.

overall in DT i gotta look at my HP pool constantly to even comprehend how combat went.

And from gameplay standpoint - dodge is OP in DT, block is rarely needed compare to V2. You either dodge and spam atack, or hold you block and dodge to kite something. While in V2 “oh shi-” last moment block is a regular thing, very satisfying and adrenaline pumping thing.

Add here how DT range weapon is strong, you can just dodge back swap to range weapon kill some ragers and swap back to melee. Much riskier and challenging in V2 to do this trick when you are under pressure of monks+shield SV’s for example. I mean it’s kinda cool that combat is so fluid in DT, but it’s lacking of stress and pressure. Feels like melee is there just to drag your attention from specials and shooters. Higher chance you will be dead cause of a barrel rather from melee.

Speaking of sound effects: pour one out for the old ogryn club sounds.


New sounds are distractingly weak. My footsteps sound heavier than the club right now

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This is a great post. I think there may be something about the SFX as well for pushing. In VT I felt like I was pushing the world with them, in DT it felt like I was just flailing my arms around and that slapped on enemies.

I’m not sure if it’s an SFX thing like these videos show too. I’d go test it out but I’m on a shitty laptop while I’m moving.

I remember they removed that CRACK sound from psyker’s BB then thanks god added it back.

Enemies in DT are more resilent to push. In V2 you can knock down cultists with one push, marauders with 2 pushes. In DT for poxwalker and bruiser accordingly it’s a different ammount of pushes. I don’t know how push works in DT, probably something with impact numbers (?!) like enemies have some resist numbers scatter maybe, but push effect isn’t the same every time unlike in V2, maybe someone will explain.

Sound is also different, in DT there is no weight in SFX even when you push a whole horde, sounds more like a slap, however in V2 it sounds like a bag punch even if you push one enemy.

I wonder how DT melee would be different with V2 sound effects.

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it’s pretty wild how much the sound design regressed here - but that confirms my thoughts. Strikes in VT2 sound like they have so much more oomph. DT kind of just sounds like slapping.

@FatsharkCatfish would love to know if hit & push SFX (as posted up here) at some point was planning on being looked into for an update? It’s pretty obvious how lifeless hits sound in comparison to VT2.

Anyone here a modder? That seems like something that should be pretty easy to implement but I genuinely have no idea how modding works.

Also, not rly a melee thing, but no crispy scorch sound for burnt enemies.

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Wow. Your opinion on this is way off mark. I don’t have the energy to discuss this, only an off comment that you’ve played way too much Darktide that you’ve forgotten how good Vermintide’s combat is.


Maybe he just doesn’t put VT melee as much on pedestal as you do.


As long as serverdependant input lag doesn’t kick in I personally prefer darktide’s melee. I’m not certain why - just overall meleeing is more fun for me in DT then in VT2.

BUT I only started VT2 after DT and don’t have nearly as much time in VT then I have in DT - especially because I find fighting in DT more engaging.


wtf i hate opinions now


Road to hell is paved with opinionated intentions.