It feels to me like the end game of Darktide is meant to be split into two areas :
- Acquiring and upgrading weapons/curios to maximise stats
- Completing Contracts
With the crafting still a work in progress theres not much to be said about how it fits, however Contracts are in fully and in my opinion are very underwhelming
For myself I can split the reasoning into two main areas :
Rewards are lacklustre :
The ‘limited time acquisition’ store suffers from an extreme version of the same issues people have commented on with the armoury. Inside is an extremely limited number of randomly generated items whose stats are no different to those in the armoury. These items refresh once per 24 hours and are VERY expensive. I have now completed 2 weekly sets of Contracts but as yet nothing even close to worth purchasing has appeared in Melks shop.
The solution :
Weapons that are generated for this store should always have a base stat line between 350-380 (when @ level 30) and what weapons are selected for the store should be based on player weapon usage. If I use a Purgation Flamer and Eviscerator almost all the time, these two weapons should have a greater chance of showing up in Sire Melk’s shop.
Each character should have a single ‘hold’ slot within the shop to hold an item they wish to purchase later. This item is separate to the rotation and will stay indefinitely until the player buys it, or replaces it
That way instead of relying on RNG to create an Eviscerator, RNG to create a high base stat one, and then RNG to give it good Perks and finally RNG to give it good Blessings I am just relying on RNG for perks and blessings 90% of the time
Contracts do not promote player focus :
The contacts themselves that you do each week are very generic, kill x, complete y, collect z. There is no real change to how you play when completing these, just repeat games playing as normal until they are done
The Solution :
A complete rework is needed in my opinion. When you visit Sire Melk he should have a large list of contracts you can acquire and these contracts range from generic ones like we have now to more specific ones such as Kill a Plague Ogryn with ranged damage on Heresy difficulty during Ventilation Purge. Kill a mutant in melee after 2 players have been thrown by it. One-shot a rager with a special attack while in melee range of 3 or more enemies.
The player loop should be : head to to Sire Melk, select a contract you want to attempt. Head to the Mission Board select a mission that works and then complete the contract.
The list of contracts should always be updating according to the missions that are currently available, and only the contract currently activated by the player does not change.
The more contracts a player completes, the larger a bonus they get. Say complete 5 get 500, complete 10 get 1250, complete 20 gets 2500 complete 30 get 4000 or something like that
This way players get to decide what they want to do in a mission and gives them specific goals for each run they do. Players that want more of a challenge can choose some of the harder ones and get more coin quickly, while other players can do easy contract after easy contract and build up their coin that way.
Currently Sire Melk feels like an afterthought. When the reset comes I go to him, swap out the crap contracts until I have the super generic kill x, complete y, gather z ones and then forget about it until they are all done.
Once I day I check his shop, get disappointed by the selections and wait for the next. He really adds nothing of value for my gameplay loop as it is