First of all: I love Vermintide games. I put thousands hours into them. I was looking forward to Darktide but right now I am just sad how you are downgrading the experience that was the staple of Vemintide 2 which was melee combat and movement while keep doing the same mistakes despite us, you and community, working together in last 4 years to make Vermintide 2 a game that is today. I don’t know who is on balance team in Darktide, how decisions are made but I can’t shake feeling that those are not the same people that handled Vermintide 2 or sometimes I even wonder if they played it. Becasue there are fundamentals in Tide games that made then success they were.
Movement and Core of Melee Combat:
- Vermintide 2 melee combat consists of 4 main actions you can do as player to keep your self safe when you are fighting enemies. Those are: Dodge, Block, Push, Push attack
- The way it was always in Vermintide 2 (and nobody ever complained about that) was that Stamina is tied to Block and Push actions, while Dodge was tied to weapons, that have dodge count and cooldown build in as part of balancing different weapons.
- What it did is make sure you can use all 4 actions in tandem with each other: you dodge while attacking, your stamina is regenerating, so when you need to block you block, avoid stagger, push, keep doding. Dodging while you push attack for extra control, dodging to your down team mate so you still have stamina to block attacks while you revive him. Blocking enemy overhead attack, doding side, get little stamina back, push, get out of clutch situation, resposition.
- The Goal in Vermintide 2 was to make sure you can use all those actions. They work together, not against each other.
- The way you handled It so far in Darktide just makes everything worse: Dodge stopping stamina from regeneration is preventing using Point 3 above. Instead you only Dodge now and no matter how much you will nerf Dodge, we will continue to Dodge because that was beauty of Tide combay system plus when you dodge you stay mobile instead of standing still and blocking while you are getting body blocked and powned to the ground.
- I was thinking really really hard about any reason for that change you made. There is none. All you did was to destroy the flow of your own system without any benefit. Mechanics in combat should work in tandem, together, not against each other. Only then the system work as whole. Currently it does not. It has nothing to do with making game harder, only with making the basic mechanics if your own game frustrating. Please remove Dodging stopping stamina regeneration. It has no place in this game.
Next important thing is dodge count mechanic for weapon balancing. Again, I feel like people that are making decision right now have no idea how their own Vermintide games did it more importantly: WHY the did it.
- The basic logic behind melee weapons dodges in Tide games are: dodge is way to avoid damage. The other way to avoid damage is CC (Stagger) and killing. The logic in Tide games is: weapons that have more CC have lower dodge count, weapons that have less CC but more single target DPS have more dodge count to compensate
- The example in Vermintide 2 is 2h hammer and 1h axe. One has infinite cleave so it’s dodge count is low. Your primary way of not getting hit Is to make sure your melee swipes keep as many enemies in front of you staggered. Low kite capability. 1h axe has pretty much no cleave, but it has high single target and armor dps. So because it can’t keep a lot of enemies staggered (so more enemies are still actively swining at you) you need high dodge count to compensate.
- Again in Darktide it makes absolutely no sense why Dagger, dueling sword, 1h axe were hit with dodge nerf count, when they have abysmal CC and cleave. The whole point of those weapons should be that you need to keep being mobile and dodge around and keep striking because you can’t control enemies. Weapons with good cleave should have lower dodge count as they can allow themselves to dodge only when needed because a lot of enemies are constantly staggerd. Weapons that are in middle (like Chainsword) should have dodge count in between. So for example a big cleave weapon like Power Sword should have 2-3 dodges, Chainsword 4-5 and Dagger or 1h axe 6-10. Why are you forgetting those basic fundamentals of tide weapon system
- The change to dodge cooldown from 0.5 sec in Vermintide 2 to 1.0 second is again without any sense, especially for low dodge count weapons. You are being rooted in place for whole second with 0 Stamina because you were keep dodging the masses of enemies. You can’t block, you can’t dodge, you can’t push. What little stamina start to regenerate because you have 1 sec cooldown on dodges is actively being shattered by horde attacks which now you have to block (with no stamina) before you can dodge again.
Toughness and Chip damage in melee:
- You introduced 2 melee classes in game. Zealot and Ogryn. Both of them already suffer from range enemies knocking down their shields. Their whole kit is revolving about being in melee. To add to that Ogryn has talents for power attacks, meaning long windup, more exposed, while Zealot relies on low HP and regenerating toughness in game when you made sure he will get hit in HP despite having high shields. I want to ask you question: did you ever test that above difficulty level 2? Because right now Zealot is just horrible class to run. You are supposed to get stronger on lower HP, play high risk high reward game. In V2 it worked because of THP. In Darktide it was supposed to work due to toughness. Yet you made sure it won’t work by introducing chip damage. Why? Ogryn and Zealot already have hard time on Diff 4-5 due to range attack aimbot spam. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to avoid being hit in melee. However it is possible to play good enough to protect your HP by keeping your toughness up. But it doesn’t matter due to chip damage. Either Zealot needs to get full rework if you want to keep chip damage or your have to remove chip damage or introduce a mechanic where you can’t be downed if you still have shield up. But then you made sure you introduce flame attacks that INSTANTLY drop toughness to 0. It’s like you actively try to make sure you add things in game that won’t make your own designs to work. I don’t understand why you do that.
The range enemies meta and issues with it:
- Darktide was supposed to have more range combat. That was fine. All you had to do was to transfer melee combat from V2 and add more range combat opportunities. However you are actively trying to turn this game into cover shooter and make sure that your own idea of “hybrid” combat does not work, again introducing mechanics that work against each other
- The amount of range enemies spawns that map can generate is sometimes just stupid. I had many times on Diff 4-5 (even 3) situations where we were standing in a room for couple minutes and just shooting tons and tons of camping range enemies. That’s not fun. I don’t play Tide games to play cover shooter. Sorry to break it for you but tons of games do this better than you because they are cover shooters. The moment Ogryn or Zealot tries to have their fun they are getting shredded to pieces by range enemies who have aimbot and never miss. But oh, that’s why you gave them charges right? To close distant? That’s why you added spring, right? To close distance?
- Then why range enemies cancel your spring and movement. Why they have so low melee switch proximity where they go back 1 meter and keep shooting you instead of switching to melee? Why range attacks cancel ultimate charge? It was supposed to be Hybrid combat, not First Person Shooter. And lets add to that a stunlock when your toughness Is down. Or that 90% of poor Ogryns I play with on Diff 4-5 feel they have no other option that to use Shield weapon because they are getting decimated. Use cover you say?
- Your Cover system does not work. Not only cover does not protect player models as there is no universal player model like in normal FPS games, Ogryn is too big but also your Cover system has no influence on enemies accuracy. Cover system in games works because when you hug cover the enemies start to shoot inaccurate either way above cover, to sides of cover or into centre mass of player that is fully behind cover, so hitting cover. In your game a tip of my head is above cover and obviously enemies aimbot pick that up. They also don’t lose range tracking when I sprint. Which brings me to next issue
- Why is even sprint in this game? You can’t out run horde anymore, you don’t move faster than horde like in CBT where it was viable option to run to your dead team mates to pick them up since enemies are faster and slide/glide on attack to make sure to hit you with magnetized phantom range. Range enemies also do not lose tracking on shooting you when you sprint. In most FPS single player games or co-op games range enemies start to shoot slightly behind you when you use your limited sprint. This makes it viable tool to change cover, move perpendicularly to range enemies etc. In your game it’s just…. Useless.
- Range weapon swtich animations. Tons of threads about it so to sum it up: It’s bad. It should be smooth, even if some weapons would be slower. But when you are in clutch and pressed by Ragers, Horde etc. and you NEED to shoot that coming Flamer becasue he will knock your toughness to 0 and you switch to range weapon and you are lock in to rack slider animation before you can shoot, getting hit during that in melee while being unable to even dodge because you have no stamina left, dodge cooldown is super long and you die. That is not hybrid combat that’s bad designed combat.
Shooter game, range weapons, yet where is ammo?:
- So you made range combat much bigger than in Vermintide 2. Fine. Then why so many weapons have so low ammo count? If you don’t play Veteran many weapons like autopistols, autoguns etc. have so low ammo that it just doesn’t cut on higher difficulties with your current range spam.
- Which begs more important question: why isn’t ammo shared in this game? The issue many times is that people simply steal all the ammo. I don’t blame them with how game currently is. Wouldn’t it be easier and more co-op friendly if ammo on pick up was shared so people could write “nice find” in chat instead of “stop stealing all ammo!” all the time to each other because nobody in this game wants to have low ammo count if next part of map can have 50 lasgunners camping.
RNG here, RNG there, RNG everywhere and Store refresh endgame:
- I fully understand there will be crafting system so I will hold with writing too much here as maybe that will save this RNGtide game from how currently it looks like. But we have what we have in beta so that’s the issue right now
- Store is horrible. Refresh every hour for random stuff. Store should at minimum just have 3 items of EACH WARGEAR you can currently have. 3 days I have been seeing lasguns and shovels. Finally after 3 days I got Bolter.
- Rarity in story doesn’t go up. It should be at least purples at level 30. Also Power does not scale. I have currently ~440/450 Power weapons but Store is keep giving me weapons with Power between 360-400?
- Same with contracts? RNG, RNG. Oh, autguns and legendary-crafted… auto pistol? Ok, see you in 15 hours then. So great progression
- Which brings us to next topic: where is reward for finishing maps?
Lack of mission rewards:
- Lootboxes in V2 were bad. We all know it. You had to finally add crafting for red items because RNG from boxes was horrible gear progression experience for any player that is not hardcore (which like what 90% playerbase?)
- However, at least we were getting guarantee reward from every mission. Also side objectives like tomes, grims, killing monsters, finding loot dices were increasing our reward
- Currently after level 30 there is no reason to do missions apart from doing them? I have “chance for reward”? Again, RNG. So it’s RNG to get reward, RNG what reward, RNG what rarity, RNG what properties, RNG what traits. Do you guys own casinos or something? What is it
- At least give guarantee Blue item on Difficulty 3 with side objective fully made giving big chance for purple. At least give guarantee Purple on Diff 4 with chance of Master-Crafted with side objective done. At least give guarantee Purple on Diff 5 with high chance of Mater-Crafted the more side objectives we do. Sure, it’s RNG what we will get but at least there is reward there, which makes sure people will try to get better.
- Your main argument for lack of scoreboard was that you want to highlight “co-op values” and new scoreboard will show co-op friendly stats that align with your vision of cooperation values
- Yet your Penances are forcing people to play totally in anti co-op way for selfish gameplay that risks the fail of whole game for chance of getting their reward. How is 1. Working with your penances design. Was it ever play tested? I would like to see devs completing some of them with randoms as I hope you realize 90% of players play with randoms without using any voice chat in game?
- Again we have situation from Vermintide 2 where talents don’t feel like reward for progression. Many talents are fillers, have no visible strong impact on gameplay, don’t change enough to justify grinding next few levels. Talents in a row should be competitive, but not in way of all are trash but that all are amazing. It’s not that hard you know you only have 18 talents for each class. It’s not Path of Exile skill tree.
Unlocking Wargear while leveling:
- For the love of god, at least when players unlock new wargear when they level up give them at least white/green basic version of that weapon to their equipment so at least they can play with it, instead of waiting few days to have chance for it to appear in store
Too many changes, too fast. Please adopt baby steps approach:
- Many changes above especially horrible ones to dodge/movement were done behind community back, without any community feedback first. You had the same problem in V2 where instead of changing one small thing little by little and monitoring feedback and how game is changing you are hammering down 10 changes at once, all at huge numerical values up or down without even testing first. The change to Veteran Tier 3 grenade talent where it was changed from 8% on Elite Kill (yes, it only trigger os ELITE enemy, not any enemy) to 5% shows your lack of staying in touch with your playerbase. It was talent that nobody was choosing because it was bad, you… nerfed it. If you had any statistics showing that most players were choosing this talent, it’s actually because your UI for it is still incorrect and says “Enemy Kill” instead of “Elite Kill” so majority was taking this talent thinking it’s on any kill of any enemy. My guess is this nerf of 8% to 5% is becasue even your own team thought it was on Enemy Kill becasue UI says so… I wouldn’t be surprised.
There are of course issues with UI, pox hound, enemies AI, disconnects, crashes, balance of trash weapons etc. but I those things I know can be fixed with time. But the core of gameplay is where you are seriously downgrading your game.
Final words. “Rembmer Who You Are”:
Please kindly take a step back and think why Vermintide 2 had reputation of best First Person melee system. Read them my and others feedback about what have you done so far to it in this game and ask yourself a question: did you make it better? Was there are reason to do that to something that had 4 years of proven recipe? The core gameplay is something that will keep this game floating. Or make it sink. I have seen more negative feedback about core gameplay (not technical issues, it’s beta) of Darktide in last 7 days than I saw in Vermintide 2 for last 4 years.
Remember, I love your games. But so far it’s 50/50 frustration and fun when playing this one. And it’s not because of technical issues.