@Fatshark: This game has the potential to live a long time, but WILL DIE if the basic gameplay loop isn't fixed and fast!

So my friend told me something interesting today. The reason Darktide isn’t receiving “real” updates is probably because the company wants to see if the player base will die off fast if the game isn’t constantly receiving updates. Having an active playerbase is kinda mandatory in a co-op game after all. Basically if the gameplay loop is good people will keep playing the game even without constant new things being added. This would validate the company spending more time and resources on the game.

The problem here is that the gameplay loop isn’t good, or at least it isn’t “working” without updates to fix it. Most people agree that once you get into a match the game is great, but the problems are outside of that. Many people for Vermintide-2 that played the game for hundreds or sometimes even thousands of hours, were constantly trying out different classes, weapons, and feats(talents). Essentially, just swapping between different loadouts and playstyles was creating hundreds of hours of replay-ability by itself. The issues Darktide has correlate to just that.

There are less classes than Vermintide, which isn’t too bad by itself if there are lots of different obtainable items available to compensate, but the feats that are available with the current classes have problems due to being too weak, bugged, don’t perform in a useful way, or are too dependent on gear which I will get to in a bit. Items and stats are required to try out different builds and playstyles. It is currently almost impossible to get exactly what you want on some items, even without amazing rolls, because of the restrictive item system. Crafting curios isn’t even a thing. If someone wants a specific weapon for it’s blessings that combo with certain feats, then they have no reasonable way to just try it out. Blessings have similar issues to feats. Many blessings are bugged, interact in useless ways, are way too weak, or are way too strong and make others feel terrible to use in comparison. Some weapons are even garbage without specific blessings, yet are overpowered as all hell with the blessing. Shredder Autopistol with Pinning Fire is one example. Any damage/cleave/stagger blessing is completely outclassed and therefore useless on a weapon that can just roll Slaughterer, which gives all 3 in the form of “power” instead, as another example.

The game NEEDS update patches to fix these problems or players are going to keep quitting regardless of new content or not. If a massive part of the core gameplay loop isn’t functioning properly, then even with constant content updates, less people will want to keep playing and the game will rot.

If fixes to these issues come out, then at the very least me and my friends will play the game more, and will always come back if new content drops. I am the most hardcore Darktide enjoyer in my gamer-group though, and with the current state of the game even I would not be excited if a new map, gamemode or weapon is added, simply because I can’t bring the builds I want into my games, just the ones that I can actually acquire or that function.

Darktide can survive and potentially thrive despite it’s rough start, however, this game needs bug fixes, balance fixes, and most of all item acquisition/crafting improvements fast, before the the playerbase is eroded to dust. Waiting and seeing if it’s worth it, is in itself, not worth it! If the gameplay loop is fixed players will stop quitting the game. At that point anytime a big content patch is dropped/advertised people will give the game another try after hearing it’s better now and actually stay around that time.


If they just had an option to spend material to remove locks that would mostly solve it for me and I would put a couple thousand hours into this game. Otherwise it’s not going higher than 250 hours.


EXACTLY my feelings. I have a bit over 300 hours and am burnt out as hell and am definitely not going to buy any DLC or skins with the way the game is now. The game wont survive like this.

A random example of balance fixes for me too:
If they made the Psyker’s 10% chance to brain burst on hit (15sec cooldown) feat only activate on Elite/Specialist/Boss enemies, and not be “wasted” on basic enemies, I would spend 50 hours from JUST that playing Psyker trying out different things with it.


That’s the main reason I don’t touch the game. It’s not looking like FS are fixing the game, but if they actually do make DT more of a game and less of a slot machine with a touch of inventory management, then I don’t want to be burned out before I start enjoying it.


Well, in fact, you should aim for 1 perk you want at T3 and the other you need at T4. The other one is not really important. If it is a good perk, you’re lucky, if not…

When I have read the title, I have think that you could write about the current problem of Darktide… the content.
Well, I will react to this tittle and your post then.

Problem is not crafting, perk or blessing locked or even feats.
The feats permit lot of configurations and several gameplays. So the subclass are good enough. Off course we need more subclasses… and here we return to the main problem, content.

In my opinion, Darktide lacks of content. We need subclasses (that will come) but, more important than anything, we need more missions, more place to visit and, I would hope, new enemies. Only one boss, is not enough. Two monstrosities, is not enough also.

About weapons, there’s a need of balancing all of them… There are like 3 weapons OP, and several that need some love… About blessings, there’s a need to fix blessings that are really bad. But, let’s be honest, few blessings are really bad. However, several are game changer, but not the pinning fire of the autopistol. I would say Power Cycler or Deflector…
The list of what I think is really bad as blessings:

  • Speedload: they should remove the sliding part of this blessing
  • Limbsplitter (Axes): well, even with their change of the last patch, this blessing is bad. They should remove the malus of the chained hits
  • Surgical: delay to get the bonus needs to be lowered a lot…
  • Shock & Awe (thunderhammer): they need to make this blessing somewhat interesting. Maybe with a period time that lasts more than 0.5 s… I would say something like BM
  • Decapitator (Axes): What is “Enemy One-Shot”? I would say that you should get a rendering bonus without it
  • Blaze Away: for weapons that could not benefit of it… They need to make it working if you continuously fire with the weapon (Kickback, if you don’t stop to fire-reload-fire it should work). Did not test it, but I have seen a bug report about this.
  • Perfect Strike (heavy sword): I tested it… I don’t see any real effect of… that.
  • Opening Salvo: should be a bonus for the first hit on an enemy
  • Sustained fire (and punishing salvo): it should not be limited to second and third shots, but all shots in a salvo. Bonus should be lowered
    There should be several for the Ogryn. I have one level 30, but I do not play it enough to talk about them. Same for psyker. But, when you think about it, lot of blessing have an utility.

About perks, they need to remove:

  • +X% experience
  • +X% chances to get a curio
  • +X% ordos (curios should not give a bonus on mission rewards)
  • They need to remove certain perks for weapon that are inefficient against. Example, lasgun should not get +x% against carapace
  • They need to balance weapons

However, these changes are balance changes… and do not address the loop problem.

The loop problem is more about playing always same missions… I proposed something some time ago, but it would take time.
How? to use mini maps as tiles and every mission will link 4 tiles.
First would be the start tile. The tile will finish or by a lift, or by a locked room
Second and third would be middle of the mission. Each one would start and finish with a lift / locked room. The game would place it at random so you could walk on this tile from one direction, or from the other one.
Last tile would determinate the mission type (assassination etc.)

Every tile could have different condition, like high intensity, low intensity, power failure etc.

You would choose your difficulty and the “random mission” and the game would generate the mission. This would permit to break the loop part of the gameplay. Cause, the problem is that there are few missions in the game.


I honestly don’t see too much difference in the gameplay loops between DT & VT2, what the older game had that DT doesn’t was the sheer amount of maps, missions, gameplay modes, & classes, which gave players just SO much more variation to try out before it started getting boring.
With 4 classes and what…5 maps? There’s just not many combinations there before you’ve seen and done it all.
I agree with the blessing and feat problems though, in VT2 you really felt like you could change each class to a particular Playstyle with abilities & weapons - in darktide it just doesn’t work, the feats& blessings are too inconsequential to make any difference and if you want to succeed you have to take the meta builds.


Unfortunately it has become obvious that the system designers at FatShark have fallen in love with outdated and universally hated mobile gacha RNG mechanics as a way to extend playtime and retain players. It’s also obvious that the system is actively stopping people from playing and enjoying Darktide. Like, really obvious, and yet these designers refuse to see it, and refuse to change the systems.

Unfortunately it’s also pretty much guaranteed that they aren’t in fact waiting to produce content to see if it’s worth it. Instead the vast majority of the team is working on the console port, so they can sell this mess to a new group of customers. This is FatShark standard procedure - to release something unfinished and then nearly completely abandon it while they work on the console port. Only after console has been released, will we see any substantial content for the game. They’ve never before released a game so utterly and completely unfinished as this one, however - and unfortunately for us, even when the whole team is working on content, they are glacially slow.

What it means is that in between trying to fix the unfinished bug-ridden hot mess of a release, and working on console port, and trying to work on balance changes, and being a notoriously slow game studio… it is unlikely the game will be actually finished, let alone see new major content, for a very long time.


My biggest problem remains the fact that there is no resource sharing and no bots configuration. I would like to experiment with different setups, classed, etc… but grind is burning me out. And I am under 100h mark. With current state of the game my friends from Vermintide2 does not want to migrate to Darktide, so there is no sense for me to continue my advanture with DT - playing with simple bots or random people is not fun…


Well, in fact, you should aim for 1 perk you want at T3 and the other you need at T4. The other one is not really important. If it is a good perk, you’re lucky, if not…

You can’t just buy random white curios and upgrade them like you can weapons. You get 2 random ones an hour in a shop designed to not give you high tier stats. Also, having no control over 1/3rd of the perks on something even after eventually getting the first stats you want is horrible. That last perk IS really important. As an example; the difference between having some sniper resistance on curios after getting wounded(downed) or on a grimoire mission will literally decide if you get 1 shot or not. Sure, people don’t need it, but people also don’t need to play different builds, spend hundreds of hours on a game they enjoy or spend extra money on DLC classes/skins, but they do.

Doubling a weapon’s power makes it do 2x damage 2x stagger and 2x cleave/collateral.
Pinning Fire turns the Auto Pistol from an underpowered weapon that’s meant to be adaptive as it’s strength, into a monster that can compete with flamers for hordeclear, which is their specific strength. 2x damage AND collateral means 4x clear effectiveness.

Many blessings need buffs or mechanical changes, but a rare few do need nerfing and some weapons that use them need to be buffed to be stronger without them.

Loop implies playing the game over and over. I totally agree that Darktide needs more things like new maps, bosses, and gamemodes, but what makes people stick around once they have “seen it all” is without a doubt trying and playing different builds. That is the gameplay loop I am talking about.

Unfortunately, I personally am not going to give a damn about a new map or hazard condition coming out if I only have access to the few decent/good builds that I’ve already played hundreds of hours with. And why would I come back and play when a new weapon or class comes out if I can’t make the gear I want to go with it? In fact just today (yesterday actually, but I’m a late night person) Fatshark released a new Force-Sword that I would want to use, but the thought of trying to get a decent one with the perks+blessings I want on it immediately made me close the game again.

The gameplay loop is directly tied to having access to different items, and we can only hope Fatshark realizes this and makes changes accordingly, or even if new content is good, it won’t be enough to retain players.


I agree on this… this is part of the balance.
My opinion is that ALL weapons should be viable, even the smaller. And none should be better. This doesn’t mean that the boltgun should do same damages as an other weapon, but that all should have weakness and strong point(s) that makes them all equal in term of gameplay.

Seriously… this is possible.
I have just restarted a vet. In two days I have come from level 1 to level 20. By this time, I used a bad weapon I crafted at level 5. I have just seen yesterday evening that I have earned 13 levels with a shitty weapon and playing on malice with a combat axe that had no modifier above 22%.
And I made lot of damages.
Usually, ONE blessing is really important. For CA, this is the Brutal momentum, for a combat blade mercy killer (for a zealot) or for the one that can’t aim the head lacerate, etc.
Off course you need to be lucky, if you really want the perfect weapon. However if you play enough, one day or later you can find the blessing you want at Merk’s shop.
What I do is that, before I get something really good, I take anything I can find that is close to what I want. I wanted a shotgun with no respite. I had difficulties to find a T3 blessing. I crafted it with a T1 blessing. Guess what? it worked really good.
By the time I have found what I wanted, even if I don’t have yet the shotgun I want…

  • for the vet, I want a +1 stamina / +x% critical hits - No respite T3 / Man stopper
  • for the zealot +x% flak / +x% reload - No respite T3 / Full bore T3

I have all of these blessing that I collected by the time (including the no respite T3 that I had to bought from Merk). For now I have:

  • on zealot: +25% flak / +8% ranged weak spot - No respite T3 / Fire frenzy T3
  • on veteran +20% flak / +1 stamina - No respite T3 / fire frenzy T3

Well, it works, cause the blessing game changer is no respite.

But where I agree with you is what you said at first. There are blessing too good… or… I would prefer to say that they are blessing totally bad, and blessing that needs a little love.


Biggest problems I see are mostly lack of overall content, lack of variety in content, a serious overhaul needed to the blessing / perk systems and obtuse systems outside the gameplay that just need to go.

Starting with only 4 classes and no subclasses seems like a pretty big misstep. I really doubt they are going to hit the “new class/ sub class every quarter” goal. There isn’t a ton of maps and you generally do a lot of the same stuff in them as far as objectives go. Not to mention a lot of the areas you end up retreading though are some of the big set piece areas from other missions.

The thing is it’s really possible to run though everything the game has to offer at the sub 50 hours. Mind you in VT2 the game only released with 13 missions total but each mission had variety. I never felt like I was just running the same mission because each area felt visually distinct and you were doing different things. A lot of times if you aren’t paying attention you end up feeling like you are running the exact same thing. I think lack of structure also hurts this but I think the missions overall just feel kind of short? Maybe it’s a symptom of going though the same areas over and over but comparing something like even the hab block investigation to something like Athel Yenlui the missions just seem super short.

The perks and blessings are in pretty bad need of a reworking on a lot of weapons and on curios. From ones that have like no impact to one’s that just don’t work. I don’t think a single person as ever gone “oh boy +xp!” Because it’s a waste of a slot.stuff like surgical taking an age to kick in or blaze away on a weapon that just can’t reasonably proc it.

I’m not going to waste time listing it all out but crafting sucks, we know why it’s sucks, it has a million threads on it and it makes trying out or building towards anything an awful experience between locks and perk re-rolls.


Looking at VT2

  • Seeing how there isn’t any more depth in Darktide’s classes than in VT2’s careers, it’s a huge difference (for those playing all content) between 4 archetypes * 1 class on the one hand and 5 characters * 3 careers on the other.

  • Adding the samey missions vs. unique missions is not a big thing to me personally. I think it’s smart design to re-use assets, but I also think that the game would be way better off if you could at least tell in which map your current mission takes place (as you mention). Obviously more content doesn’t hurt and mixing things up with new mission objectives is also great unless tthey’re really poorly implemented.

  • I think the weapon/gear potential in DT is way greater than VT2, it’s just that we can’t reliably try them out. I mean, we can now, sort of. Personally I didn’t bother much with modifications and gear in VT2 until I had a red weapon of the type I wanted. If I had more than one build involving the weapon I’d definitely craft a second weapon before rolling it and I don’t think I need to explain why. Point is that the potential for mixing things up is definitely hurting from the way weapons are interacted with as well.

Tl:dr; Don’t pre-purchase FS games and don’t buy them on release. Bring some popcorna dn watch the forums until you grow tired of it. Pick the game up when it’s on sale 2 years later. Profit (in theory - in practise they would probably end up closing down the studio).


The real reason is much more likely that they are finishing the console builds and don’t want to waste all their premade dripfeed content on an already evacuated PC playerbase. As much as it irritates me its probably a good decision from a business perspective because they can do one big advertising push and PC players might return when console players get inducted.

To the rest of your points i am going to say i agree that crafting is tedious in the extreme and a concrete demerit to retention. The thought of “grinding” for a new weapon in slotsclick is completely unappealing. Enough so that i am actually not very excited for the new weapon patterns that were announced even though i normally would be. At the same time another redesign would hurt the part of the game that i, personally, believe needs attention right now and that is core content. More maps, classes, archetypes and enemies would do far more to drive interest by focusing attention on the part of darktide that is good and drowning it in content to offset what is currently a bad weapons system. A bad weapons system that i believe we would all begrudingly tolerate IF the content was there to keep us busy.

Personally I am very pessimistic considering the pace and priority of development so far. The game has been out for almost 5 months and in that time we managed to get mostly bug fixes, a bunch of largely (in my view) meaningless balance tweaks including a series of bizzare nerfs to things that needed buffs, two new weapons, one new map (which i like for its difficulty at the mid and endpoints), and the crafting system that was promised by the end of decemeber and not delivered until well after. Oh and Brunts. Which could not possibly have taken more than one competent developer more than 1 or 2 sprints to achieve. And look, I don’t know what’s going on over there. Maybe they’re building a sweet array of content and going to magdump it all over us come Xbox release like a veteran with an autopistol. But i doubt it. Frankly im shelving this game until at least a new map is released. I have not played in a week and whether I return to what could easily have been my new Warframe, for hours sunk, will depend on content.

Oh and the cosmetics suck. I was planning to be a good little paypiggy and buy lots of them but they’re totally disinteresting. I saw the teased cadian shock troop armor and its asymmetric which does not appeal to me. The zealot stuff looks fine but I really want the crazy stuff all the art of 40k has to offer. Where is my cathedral hat? Braisure backpack? This is 40k GO HARD. Currently the best cosmetic i own is the zealot’s shoulder pauldron with the candels on it i got as a penance.

Those are my thoughts. Be well.


That some wild “logic” there. The game can certainly get its redemption arc, this wouldn’t be the first title, but it is sad it needs one in the first place.


I completely agree with all your write (obviously based on my own similar criticisms!).

The sad part, which I know you routinely bring up as well, is that they could buy themselves a lot more time and goodwill if they just backed off on the ridiculous RNG itemization. Just add an option to spend a 1,000 diamanthine (or whatever) to remove a blessing or perk lock. That alone would make a HUGE impact on people’s ability to tinker and experiment with bots while we wait around for more actual content to arrive.

Next up would be to break down the resource silo’ing between characters. If we can share currency, share curios, and share blessings (which we already do) it would be amazing for player retention too, because I wouldn’t feel bad about playing alt-characters because all the winnings and progress is going into the same pool that anyone can use. And if I play an alt, I’m keeping the gameplay fresher feeling and not getting overly bored of the doing the same thing with the same class.

It drives me insane that Fatshark doesn’t get this. The community survey I ran showed overwhelming support for these kinds of changes.

If the console port takes another 3-6 months, and if nothing substantive changes with the itemization, more and more players will walk away in frustration and/or boredom. Which is to say that I agree with the OP as well. Fatshark is sitting on a gold mine but their progression-system design is tying a noose around its own neck.


I would even be ok with spending resource to SWAP a lock from one blessing to another so the locks remain, but you can move them around (a bunch of diamonds or whatever).



I want to elaborate as well.

If the goal is for Fatshark to retain players AND grow their base, so as to prompt more MTX spending, word of mouth sales, positive reviews, etc… then they need to consider two audiences: the hardcore 'tide fans as well as casual players (that include a lot 40k fans).

Casual players are inclined to show up, play the game, run through all the missions at a comfortable level of difficulty, say “that’s it?” and then peace out. They are driven by achieving tangible rewards and just “completing things”.

Hardcore players want to press themselves at the highest difficulty, gain mastery and skill, tinker endlessly with builds and mechanical nuances, etc. They are driven by continual self-improvement and expertise.

To keep growing the game you need it to be engaging for both groups, and ideally have systems in place to turn casuals into hardcore players. You want casual players seeing the cool stuff that hardcore players have accomplished (and been rewarded for) and say “I want to do that too!”

To me, this suggests a few things.

#1 - Need to address item RNG and inability to tinker with builds (per my prior reply). If you don’t do this, you’ll loose your hardcore audience over time.

#2 - Need to provide other (i.e. cosmetic) rewards that are relatively easy to obtain if you just put in the time and keep challenging yourself.

The second point is one possible pipeline for converting casual players to hardcore ones. Vermintide 2 did this well with the cosmetic rewards tied to simply beating all the missions on a given class at a given difficulty. “Oh look, I get a sweet skin if I do all the missions on Champion. I’ll work on that!” Two months later they say “Oh look, I can get even sweeter skin if I do it all on Legend!” Now suddenly you have a casual player putting in serious time and effort to get better in pursuit of a nice reward. And if you keep drip-feeding sets of tangible rewards like this, you can sustain engagement much better.

On top of all of this is the question of content and providing “new experiences.” While there is a lot of clamoring for new maps (I’d love to see more new maps too) we really need new content that drives different experiences.

A new map that just presents the players with the same set of challenges we already have (terminal hacks, carrying containers, killing tentacles, etc.) is only going to appease people for a couple of runs, before it will just feel like more of the same, especially for Casual players that will just ask “is that all?”

The gameplay content that’s missing in Darktide are things like massively different events/challenges during a mission, special side quests/missions to engage with during runs, additional mutators and ways to vary up the gameplay more frequently and keep players on their toes. I want to be able to pick a mission of my choice at any difficulty, and then randomly have to deal with 0-2 different mutators (from a pool of like 10+ possibilities) and be guaranteed 1-2 secondary missions (again from a pool of like 6+ different possibilities). THAT would be awesome and keep the experience fresh, even if only playing on the same 5-6 different “maps.” I’d like for these objectives and mutators to be as diverse or more as what we had in Chaos Wastes for VT2. It would be amazing!

Anyway - this is long enough. Thanks for sticking with me :slight_smile:


Dude I was fully prepared to empty my wallet on cosmetics for this game and it drives me crazy how badly FS screwed up what could be the easiest money faucet they could ever get. Just slightly more complexity, maybe something like in the new Ghost Recon games where you have some basic clothes layering, and you’d have a solid 40k dress up system with a lot of potential for unique looks. As it is, the whole system feels so limited and the lack of variety in both premium and non-premium options basically guarantees everybody uses the same handful of outfits.

And the way they designed the cosmetic store apparently exclusively around targeting the biggest whales is really shooting themselves in the foot. If we could earn Aquilas through gameplay I’d constantly be dropping $5-$10 here and there to close the gap when I get tired of grinding, probably at least a couple times a month, but no way in hell am I dropping something like $15 on a single outfit every time I want to buy one. That combined with the absolute bare minimum of non-premium unlockables makes the whole thing feel like I’m being fleeced in a mobile game and resentful of any interaction with it.


Expanding on this a bit.

Darktide uses generic player characters, who basically by definition can’t have as much personality as something like Vermintide’s established cast of player characters, so they way you give these characters personality is by letting the players express themselves with cosmetics. Deep Rock Galactic is good in this regard because there is a huge pool of unlockable cosmetics – I hardly ever run into players with similar looks in that game. Even though all of the player characters in DRG are literally just the same voice actor pitch shifted up or down, they feel more distinct than those in DT because there is so much visual variety, and is one of the reasons I think DRG has more “soul” than DT.

In DRG your team is a bunch of crazy looking dwarves who love to mine, in DT your team is [class voice option 1-3] dressed in one of the few outfits that look like they belong in the game.


After 600 hours in DT i switch back to V2 (1500 hours). Because when i open map selection screen i think “hmmm where i want to go? Industrial corridors or industrial corridors”? Having only one planet - hive world, was a bad idea.

Yeah, characters with meme names, zealots dressed in starting prison robes with silly sororitas alike hearstyle. Very immersive, thx Fatshark. No cosy hub, no chemistry between characters. Fatshark did a stream with V2 voice actors a few days ago, and damn that was something special, such thing can’t happen with DT becuase it’s soulless, it’s a product done by “effective managers”.