Fatshark, we need to talk

Before getting into the (probably lengthy) nitty-gritty, let’s get a few things out of the way. I am a Fatshark apologist, and both V1 and V2 are a couple of my favorite games of all time. I have about a thousand hours in both games and am a legend/cata player. When I say that I have some experience with the Fatshark patch history I mean it. I was there for V2’s strange and wonky launch, complete with completely underpowered or downright useless classes and Kruber one-shotting bosses with a single arrow. I was there for Winds of Magic and all the extremely “happy” players that came with it, and I was there for the implementation of the surprisingly not totally terrible cash shop. I have always loved the games (even looking at you WoM) despite some questionable patches and choices. I already have 400 hours in Darktide, and despite the things I am going to bring up, I genuinely love the game.

To start with, the gameplay is great. You guys honestly knocked it out of the park with the way guns feel and despite the repeating environments, they still look amazing (The sheer amount of 40k terrain pieces that look pulled off the table still make me smile). Transferring Vermintide melee into 40k works great, and despite a few problems with scabs being no-scoping giga chads (C’mon guys, didn’t you already solve this problem with spear boys in WoM?) and wonky dogs (They’re still flying to the moon btw) the gameplay is top notch. I have no doubt that as time goes on, you will fix what little issues there are in this sector (and probably create new ones and then have to fix those lol).

Now, obviously you guys don’t have control of every development decision that gets made, but that doesn’t mean the player base can sit back and take every bad or poorly implemented choice lying down. For me anyways, this mostly comes from a place of love, as I genuinely want to keep playing your games but we need to talk about the stuff that is clearly making people upset or downright angry.

The real issues with the game start showing when you’re not in a mission. As I’m sure you’ve seen with hundreds of other posts and reviews, the biggest red flags stem from the way you’ve so far implemented the real time rotating shop, the lack of crafting, the weekly quest rewards being extremely lackluster, and of course, the cosmetics (oh boy talking about the cash shop is gunna be a doozy). There’s a few smaller problems as well, like not being able to pick missions you want, or the obvious ones that are already on track to be added (questionably late) like solo missions.

Let’s start with the rotating weapon shop. This one is a real odd implementation. Whether or not it’s actually based on the goal of having players log in to check the shop on a regular basis or just a poorly implemented way to try and do away with loot boxes, I think we can all agree that it’s @#$%!@ annoying. In V2, we had to deal with loot boxes, but to some extent because of the way crafting works, we always had the power to end up with a perfect weapon or trinket with time. Power was slowly increased as you leveled and did higher difficulties, and every bonus or perk could be changed out and rerolled. Now this was never really perfect and I’m sure plenty of people can find stuff to nitpick about. For me the biggest problem was a lack of control over what type of loot you got, a good example being that when I started playing Salty, the main thing I wanted was a red pair of pistols. It ended up getting every single other red weapon before I got my pistols. On the surface, you would think a rotating shop would be a good way to solve this kind of problem, but the way it’s implemented, we have even less chance of getting what we want, as we can’t “fix” or upgrade a weapon like we can in V2. The new norm is hoping that you find that magic grey rarity weapon with big numbers, and even then, since the crafting is yet to be fully implemented we’re at the mercy of the random blessings that could make that beautiful 380+ gun a useless hunk of metal. As for the hourly rotations and “player engagement,” I think there’s been plenty of threads or topics about this and we can move on.

Let’s talk about Melky Melk’s shop. On the surface this one seems like a no brainer. Do weekly quests, get sweet weapons (that rotate daily). Nope. Let’s be honest here, Sire Melk’s stock sucks. I think out of the 400+ hours that I’ve spent in this game, I’ve seen 2 good weapons across all 4 classes (checking every characters shop daily). And once again, we’re at the mercy of the RNG gods (I’ve seen staves on my psyker maybe once a week, and one of those “good” weapons I was talking about? Well, it was a lasgun I would have killed for on my vet) Maybe if we had a way to reroll modifiers, this would be a good shop, as the blessing combinations are sometimes interesting. As we already know all of the (currently) to be implemented crafting features, this isn’t possible. Until the base modifier numbers go up in this shop, weekly quests are almost not even worth doing (other than to save up for later when the shop maybe works).

Time for the elephant in the room: cosmetics and the cash shop. What happened here? When you guys first announced you were adding a cash shop to V2, most of us were pretty worried. We all knew why it was happening (no judgements), but the player base was understandably worried. But you proved level headed and implemented a cash shop with decent prices for some unique helmets, and shillings, which were at least a great (albeit slow) way to make it so we could buy all kinds of interesting stuff without cash over time. I even bought a couple helmets just to support one of my favorite developers (the Sienna skull was quite nice)! And even without the cash shop, there were cosmetics that would occasionally drop from loot chests to keep things interesting. But what do we have in Darktide? The Penances (one set for each difficulty, minus damnation), some recolors (and not even for all the “cool” pieces), and a cash shop that looks like it came straight out of a battle-royale. Where did the shillings idea go? Where are all the cosmetics that are in the game files and promotional material? Why do I feel like I launched Apex or Fortnite when I open the cash-shop?

I feel like we’ve gone backwards here Fatshark. While I understand that you guys have investors to answer to (because that’s the only explanation I can reasonably give that explains what happened here), you folks have a duty to tell them (or yourselves) that this just plain sucks. I know for a fact that player numbers are down as I’m already having trouble with games that never go above 1-2 players in the higher difficulties on a regular basis. Once someone has earned all their cosmetic penances, what is there left to earn? At that point a character generally has a decent set of all orange gear (not perfect ofc), and since we don’t actually get reasonable rewards from doing missions (More plasteel please), what reason do I have left to play other than just to replay (which I do because it’s fun, clearly, but even I’m reaching a point where I’m getting tired of just looking at the shop and joining 2 player damnation games that are doomed to fail)?

TLDR; I love you Fatshark, but you have a rough year ahead of you. I have faith you guys will have an amazing game 1-2 years from now, but you need to take a good, long look at what a big portion of the community is yelling about right now (even though I’m sure there’s a layer of toxic filth to look past).


This is way more level-headed than I expected from the title, :slight_smile: can I suggest you change it to something less hostile?

I expected to just glance over it, but ended up reading it all, and I don’t even own the game

Not a personal attack, just an interesting observation:
You went through all those hiccups with VT1 and VT2 with over 1K hours in both, but this is your first post on the forums?
Maybe if you and others like you had complained about these problems in VT, we wouldn’t have had such a lousy launch of DT.
If you (or others) did, and we are seeing the same mistakes in DT, then what makes you think that FS will listen now?

Yes, 2 years - just in time for a price drop around a free DLC and to hype DT2 for preorders, and then the new cycle of bad launches and bad design choices continues.

Why? Because:

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I’ve always been more of a lurker than a poster in any format. The problems in V2 didn’t make me nearly as mad as other people (minus maybe WoM overpowered enemies on launch).

I love my family and friends too, but that doesn’t mean they don’t irritate the drek out of me on a regular basis (lol).

Perfectly fine, but now imagine if one of those friends started to “borrow” money from you, only hanged out with you if you are paying, never listened, and generally just treated you like a cash cow, meanwhile half-assing anything you ask them to do.

For a company, you have to understand that their primary goal is to make money. Everything else is allowed only if doesn’t interfere with that primary goal. And this is not something that is “bad” about FS or any other company - this is just how our economic model (capitalism) works.
Family and friends (almost) never have such self-centered single-purpose agenda, so I don’t think you can compare any company with people.

And, unrelated to just FS, I suggest not developing any feelings (good or bad) for any company. They only care about money and that is how the whole world functions. The sooner you learn (and internalize) that dynamic, the sooner you can become a more rational actor in the economy and your life.

Man i think you just resumed 200% accuratly what many of hardcore gamers and FS’s supporters from VT1 are feeling after 400hours gaming atm, and, it’s a bit sad.

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I completely agree.

Even small things like the omission of hotkeys for the mission board so we’re forced to run around and look at other players premium cosmetics feels pretty anti-player. Instead of Fatshark making their game more convenient to use, they’ve deliberately excluded a QOL feature that was in their previous games in favor of the chance for gouging us more.


Fully agree. Great post.

To put a bit more perspective on it, in most aspects of the game (aside from core gameplay loop) they sacrifice player agency (control and choice so players can cater their experience to their preferences without negatively affecting others. Something a dev should want to STRIVE toward) for artificially and enforced retention.

From the progression system, to missing hotkeys, to how equipment is acquired to the crafting system.

Design is something that is my lifelong passion. I am professionially trained and it is also something the seeps through my entire being.
This game is…baffling. A lot of the system feel roughly conceptualized, as if they made an early version and then just stopped reiterating/working on them. There is no refinement. No synergy towards achieving player satisfaction.

A lot of these issues concern things they should have already learned more on during the development cycles of especially VT2. Where did all this experience go?

To add to the confusion we have official statements such as this:
"We have learned a lot from our previous choices and gameplay surrounding crafting offered within the Vermintide series. For Darktide we wanted to take those lessons to expand and improve in such a way that crafting would become a central pillar of player progression, while giving more impact and agency to you, the player in your preferred playstyle.

The nature of randomization and repetitive actions sometimes seen within crafting is something that we are steering to avoid in the crafting system within Darktide. Meaningful choices will be made with strategy and goals behind them, as you set your eyes upon that perfect combination of melee and ranged weapons for your class."

Taken from the official darktide crafting blogpost Nov’22.
It is like they said this and then proceeded to do the opposite.

Some more in-depth regarding this perspective here: Unfinished concepts? Deliberate restriction of player choice and control? I don't understand

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