DT Should have smaller hordes the V2. Yes really

Be honest - when 10 rats are so close together that they look and act like 2 rats, and when you kill all 10 with one swing anyway, what’s the difference between 2 rats and 10 rats?

Hordes are fun gameplay element but they are a 1-trick pony. They also actively interfere with any other gameplay elements, and force the entire game to merely be “horde” type gameplay. This is because hordes are spatially restrictive to the player. They body block you and prevent you from making other counter moves or strategies. A SV is not especially hard, but surround him with slave rats so you physically can’t dodge the SV and now he’s a major threat. Except… that just means it’s the slaves that are the real threat, so all the gameplay ends up being focused around the horde and there’s no room for creatively made enemies or a variety of gameplay.

Case in point? Beastmen. Fast, brutal, with new moves, new weapons, new strategies. They were absolutely overpowering to the point that V2 was ruined by them, and Beastmen have been constantly nerfed. The sole reason is that there are too many of them! A enemy that dodges is nothing special, an enemy with a long spear is not a game breaker, but 50 of them are. Because the game spaces is physically filled with foes, changing tactics and counterplaying the new enemies was not possible. They would have been perfect as patrols, or hunting parties, or ambients, but as a horde they literally broke the game.

Hordes also downplay teamwork, since it only takes a few body lengths of distance to be physically cut off from your allies, making the game “solo with friends” and not a true team game.

The optimal horde-game design would have smaller hordes, allowing for more flexibility in both design and gameplay. Or it could have less frequent hordes, with other encounter types in between them.

Therefore, please, make DT have smaller (or less frequent) hordes then V2 so the other mechanics of the game have a place to shine.

Also there are performance benefits, let’s not forget that.

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This is contradictory, getting cut off from your team and having a special grab you is exactly why you should stick together and work together as a team

I think the game would get incredibly stale quite quickly if you’re only fighting 3-4 enemies at a time… (with guns mind you)

These mechanics only shine if you’re under pressure, a single hook rat is no big deal, but a hook rat in a horde with plague monks bashing your skull in… now that’s a threat!

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A SV isn’t a threat. 2 SV isn’t a threat. 4 SV isn’t a threat. 2 SV surrounded by slave rats? That’s a threat. But why is it a threat? The SV are not any more dangerous then before. All that’s changed is now you can’t dodge around them - at least, not without dealing with the slave rats first. Thus the optimal strategy in V2 is always to deal with the horde. It’s always the anti-horde aspect of the game that’s dominant. Always.

And that gets boring.

The fact is that SV and the other elites MUST be trivial on their own, because they are literally never on their own. How limiting. I’d love to see more enemies that are as tough as CW or worse (but not as tough as bosses), but with a screen filling horde every 2 minutes you can’t have them in the game without making it impossible.

No don’t get confused, I’m not saying NO hordes. I said SMALLER hordes. 4-5 rats instead of 10. Break them up into groups. Leave room on the battlefield - I mean literal physical space - for other ways of playing. It’s literally about making space for creativity - as Beastmen failed, DT could succeed.

Hordes are fine too. They can stay as an encounter type. But they should be less frequent to make room for other encounter types. Imagine a stealth hunting party that stalks the map looking for you. A sniper squad that crawls on the ceiling. A formation of armored foes that stand in a shield wall and dare you to face them, or that form a turtle phalanx. None of these things would work in V2 because, when added to a horde, they are too much to handle.

For the future sake of the game, and for the sake of the Dev’s creativity, make hordes less dominant. That’s all. Not gone, just less dominant.

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Just adding more thoughts.

Your feet are soaked, the fetid swampwater squelches between your toes. It’s cleaner then the vermin blood covering your boots though, so you don’t mind. The bell tolls.

If you weren’t cold and wet already your blood would run cold. The tone is flat and dull, like the bell is cracked, but it pierces the soul in other ways. They are coming.

“A’ight mates, get in position!” You look around the swamp. Not much to work with. You spot a little mound of mud… “There! Bardin use that to divide them, we’ll guard your flanks…”
*

It’s clear from the atmosphere and design of V2 that hordes are supposed to be moments of terror, but they are not. This is due to game design factors. Hordes just aren’t very hard. They aren’t a threat in their own right. In fact, they can’t be allowed to be a threat.

The core principle of V2 is: “More.” (#AgentSmith). If a horde is a major threat, then it’s unstoppable when combined with anything else, and it WILL be combined. It’s just what V2 does. That bell/norscan horn is basically irrelevant. Nobody bats an eye when an ambush comes without warning. Wading through rats is just part of the background.

By making hordes less frequent, they can be buffed up to be a threat in their own right. Position and tactical teamplay would be needed to overcome them, while in V2 by a certain skill level you basically just dodge dance accross the entire level by reflex.

By making hordes smaller, they could mixed in with other enemies that are bigger threats. With physical space to manuever, tactics can change on the fly to adapt to that CW (or worse) charging in from the back. This is dynamic gameplay and what fun is all about.

None of these things are absolute - they are permutations. Make some hordes bigger, some smaller, some trickle in, some a massive wall. For each type, balance the co-spawns as needed so no combination becomes undefeatable. Both hordes and elites will be freed to make into real gameplay challenges, real threats. Make that Skaven Bell (or WH40k equivalent) actually terrifying, because you know that what’s coming is actually capable of killing you.

That’s what I’m asking for.

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While I don’t like having enemies stacked on top of one another and I’d like to see that go too, I honestly feel the opposite. It’s 40k and it’s a hive city, it should be way more densely populated than anything in VT2.

Not to mention if everyone has 40k level ranged weapons there needs to be more enemies in order for hordes to actually close the gap and get into melee. VT2 already struggles with this during balance patches where the lean is too heavily towards ranged weapons, you end up with the melee career standing in the background headbanging while the ranged ones vaporise any horde they lay their eyes upon.

It’s out of place in VT2 but it suits 40k perfectly to be reliant on your ranged weapons first and foremost. In 40k it should be a moment of panic as a normal imperial when a massive swarm of nurgle infused minions or a bloated pus-riddled abomination manages to endure your gunfire and lumber into melee with you.

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That’s the point. If the horde is constant, omnipresent, constantly spawning and respawning, those abominations are either going to be game breakingly hard, or underwhelming (see: CW in V2, which do not live up to their hype). Likewise the horde itself - if it’s easy enough to deal with in combination with some kind of abomination, it will be trivial in it’s own right. It needs to be possible to thin out the cannon fodder, and have them STAY THINNED OUT for long enough for that abomination encounter to play out.

That’s not how V2 is made, it’s literally always (insert enemy here)+A Horde. The optimal strategy is to use the Anti-Horde-Dance at all times and take a swing at the elites when you have a break - and those breaks are typically a second long or less.

Maybe 40k is supposed to be All Hive, All The Time, but tbh that’s boring. Any numbskull can point with a mouse and hold down the trigger. Who cares? It’s the deadly encounters that make or break the game, not the cannon fodder. There needs to be room (by ‘room’ I mean literal, physical space, without being body blocked by wall to wall tyranid drones) for those encounters to take place in or they will get trivialized and washed out they same way they are in V2.

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I want to see smoking arms and legs blown up into the air by my melta gun you can’t do that really with only a dozen enemies coming at you.

I want a wall of enemies getting blown to bits before ripping out my chainsword and windmilling into the fray. Men of Tanith, do you want to live forever?!

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I’m starting to think you people can’t read :frowning:

It’s awkward, because the inclusion of actually good ranged weapons complicates the matter. Add to this the fact that it’s still going to probably be a lot of scripted, linear, claustrophobic stage designs, and it feels like creative enemies or encouraging other styles of play might be off the table. Put another way, shooting things your character’s weapons are good at shooting at is probably the extent of it overall. Which is fine, as long as it isn’t Space Hulk levels of clumsy and awkward, it’ll probably end up being pretty fun in the same way L4D was.

If you have smaller hordes then they’re not really hordes any more. And as another person here mentioned, we’re going into hive cities with populations in the millions, not a warcamp with a couple thousand at most.

As for elites and specials being embedded into hordes, that’s what makes the game difficult. To play the game you have to manage both the hordes and the specials and the elites. That’s why you have tanks who can hold the focus of the horde and elites while other players are either kitted out for special and elite sniping or horde clearing. That’s why you use ults and bombs and pushes to knock back enemies to make space. I play a lot of legend and cataclysm solo (with bots) and it taught me to be careful about where and when hordes would spawn in so I could get to strong positions to deal with both the horde and the specials that would spawn in. Difficult hordes are a huge part of the game’s identity and challenge and should not be made smaller at all, in fact playing on PS4 they feel too small often.

As for your idea of more specialised groups of enemies such as a stealthy hunting pack, that I can get behind. Essentially more varied and common patrols. I thought that they were in an odd place in Vermintide 2 because depending on the number of bombs, the location, the type of patrol and the party composition, they could be wiped out in 30 seconds or kill the entire party in 30 seconds. I also didn’t like that they could be completely bypassed where monsters couldn’t, but then that was usually because with the bots I was running and the character I was playing I had to or else we’d all die.

As such I would definitely like to see more consistently challenging and varied patrols as well as less disablers during hordes, but I wouldn’t make them smaller.

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I think what randomlurker refers is diverse events not always the horde in the background imagine that every 2 minutes something happens i.e a horde, a special hunting party, a plague marine with (insert something here) and so on, not always a horde with moxed in elites monks and so on. Imagine your a scout from tanith and you move silently maybe you have a soecial ability which highlights enemies in the dark and you see some snipers taking position, you call it out and the shooting starts you proceed to next area, you hear pox walkers closing the gap and so on and so on. As it currently is vermintide is horde with elites with specials and ambients and sometimes bosses. Imagine instead of only hordes you get more dynamic events. Just my two cents.

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Y’all forget that the game is rather unoptimized and CPU heavy, with 30-40% FPS drops on hordes. If DT is supposed to have even bigger hordes because you can shoot even more effectively than V2, it’s gonna be really bad.
Also the targeting is autistic, the slotting is basically nonxistent and only works on skaven.
The return to V1 scale is much more desired than amping up V2 scale.

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Many are missing the point, some are getting it. Here’s what I mean:

  • Full sized hordes are fine, if they don’t occur along side super deadly enemies.
  • If they ever do occur along side super deadly enemies (eg, spawn timer overlap), their spawning should stop, or at least slow to a trickle, to allow them to be cleared out for the real battle.
  • Hordes should come in a variety of sizes, and with a variety of mixed in other enemies. More elites = less fodder. Variety of encounters = much gameplay.
  • Difficulty spikes of Massive Horde + Deadly Elites would be ok as long as they are very rare. In V2, having everything the game can possibly throw at you on the screen at once is basically the default baseline experience. That kind of thing should be saved for key moments.

This will let the designers make hordes deadly in their own right, and also make elites much more difficult, because they don’t have to balance around fighting everything at once. Everyone wins and we get a much better game.

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Well, to be honest I think it works fine in vermintide 2, mainly because it’s melee based with aoe ults, aoe ranged weapons and so on, so you gotta focus on the specials and snipe them while you are fighting your way through the map, which is fine imo in a melee based coop game, but Darktide will have ranged I think as a based experience so that’s where the flavor of the dynamic comes in with a diverse events in vermintide 2 (archers) are c a n c e r because your ammo count is low and if you don’t have bombs, or aoe (sienna) it’s just tedious or you gotta go around but in darktide I hope that’s not the case.

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