Feedback on 1.05 live and why I can no longer recommend Vermintide 2

The changes to scaling all feel great. The fixes to talents and so on are great. The atmosphere and level are amazing. Some classes are tons of fun to play, Slayer especially. But after a month of this game being in release I can no longer recommend it as a purchase.

This is partially because a DLC is due in a few weeks despite the base game still being in an incredibly buggy state, but mostly because now it has become clear that the developers are committed to things I thought were bugs or unfinished and would be fixed eventually.

  1. The “fix” for the bad end game loot system was to simply increase drop rates and extend Veteran item drops to Champion General’s chests. This doesn’t solve the problem of unlucky people not opening Veteran items at all (there will just be slightly fewer of these unlucky people), nor does it solve the problem of people opening 4 necklaces in a row (sorry, but after you spend all your green dust getting 2 Stamina/20% HP or Block Cost Reduction there’s no need for any other Necklace really). Having no way to guarantee a reward after x Legend runs or full book Champ runs, when the player has put in the time and demonstrated real skill, shows a startling contempt for your players. The loot system in general is a step backwards in almost every way (except while leveling up) from Vermintide 1, and IMO the whole thing should be scrapped and redrawn, from rerolls, materials, scrapping hundreds or thousands of items before getting anything useful at end game, etc. Back to the drawing board.

But even worse than that was extending Veteran drops to Champion Generals chests. This was intended to release more items into the wild, but the decision has a DISASTROUSLY toxic effect on the community as you will see soon. Before, Veteran items on Champion Emperor chests were pretty rare, and even if you got full books it didn’t guarantee an Emperor. So you basically just played Champ for a bit of fun if you were skilled and didn’t stress too much. Legend was for grinding reds. But now you will see players hate their teammates and rage quit as soon as a grim is lost to a death, because that means the chance at a red is lost too.

That you didn’t think about this consequence before making the change really blows my mind, and you need to revert this immediately, or at least make Veteran items available to some small degree from all Champion chests. Or else you will see more and more players being attacked for losing a grim, players afraid to carry a grim for fear of losing it, hosts/players rage quitting when a grim is lost and so on.

It seems you are committed to making loot very frustrating and inducing team strife. The end game loot system is what keeps people grinding away with random players when their friends aren’t around. You need to think hard about how to design a loot system that doesn’t lead to toxic encounters between strangers.

  1. Refusal or inability to disabler special spam. Your patch notes use terms like “reduced chance” but you need to just disable the disabler spam. Dumping a ton of disablers to wipe a team that otherwise was making perfect runs shouldn’t occur, not even rarely. But it is seemingly your idea of fun now. Probably because you like those youtube videos of ridiculous deaths going viral and getting free advertising for your game. But the actual gameplay experience of this is awful.

It wouldn’t be quite so bad to lose 1 of every 10 games to disabler special spam, if you didn’t also lose 1 of every 10 games to teammate randomly dying or falling through the geometry, and another 1 of every 10 games to gunners shooting you through walls and gas rats bombing you from downtown, and another 1 of every 10 games to host disconnect/rage quit/crash, and another 1 of every 10 games to a buggy chaos patrol or bugged/immune bile troll preventing advancement and so on.

There are already enough frustrating ways to lose the game out of player’s control that having the director actively trying to throw a difficulty spike at you it doubts you can handle is in my mind reason enough to abandon the game, knowing now that this is intentional on your part, that you want us to just lose sometimes to special spam, while all the other game ruining issues are still present. I’ve had evenings where my team couldn’t win at all because of one of the above issues or another even though we all played excellently, the director or bugs just shot us down over and over, whereas the night before we won 10 in a row full books. This is not an acceptable vision for you to have.

The disabler special spam/gasrats and blighstormers and gunners spawning out of line of sight causes another huge problem with random games, because Waystalker and Pyromancer ultimates are the most reliable ways to prevent wipes from this nonsense. These classes are already recognized as powerful and “meta”, and randoms dislike it if you play any other class on that hero, and will kick you to make room for one or both of the special-killer classes.

So long as you keep special spam in game, Waystalker and Pyromancer will be considered necessary to succeed in random games, and will dominate the meta no matter how much you buff battle mage and handmaiden, unless you give them ways to no scope specials across the map as well.

There is a ton of potential in Vermintide 2, but right now, considering the direction and outstanding issues, it is primarily a toxicity generator that will only grow worse in the coming weeks. My advice is to

  • delay the DLC, fix the pathing and bugs and balance with the current maps and weapons/classes before introducing more buggy content

  • rework the whole endgame loot system with an eye to minimizing frustration and team strife while guaranteeing rewards for skill and commitment

  • disable the spamming of disabler specials, no more 2-3-4 of any one type of special on the map at any time. add more bosses or hordes or elites to increase difficulty if you want, but stop trying to wipe our team with enemies that literally stop us from playing, that take control away from the player. the game has enough auto wipes outside player control already.

The other various issues I can live with and still enjoy the game. But I won’t and can’t recommend buying DLC for the game when I fully expect it to be super buggy and distract from fixing the bugs with the base game, and while the end game reward system is not only sad but also induces toxicity, and while you can just lose repeatedly for no fault of your own.

Spend another few months polishing this up then ask me to give you more money and I’ll be happy to do so.

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Just a random thought what if next dlc will be two maps and ppl who make maps don’t go even close to other devs who work on skills, bug fixes, ect.

Are your sure they should delay dlc and you will not recommend this game anymore?

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You will buy the season pass anyways. The other guy is right, the people producing the dlc maps/weapons are not directly involved in the departments where the game is bugged right now. I dont think they need to delay content when they have it ready. A good thing would be if they would give some priority access to some people so they can do additional testing. If they really have as little QA as the credits suggest it will help a lot fining some bugs exploits that they would miss on.

The design choices revolving loot and gameplay (like specials) is another different matter. I think youre heavily exaggerating on both the impact of the loot changes, and special spawns. Its completely fine how specials spawn imo, as long as there is no bug involved. Its super fking rare to get 3 disablers of the same type simultaneously spawning in. Having Ratlings and Glabadiers hit you through walls is something else, but theyll get to it fix at some point.

Ive run enough very melee focused lineups and think that while specials are quite hard to deal with, you can play around it, and have a great and very refreshingly fun experience. People in pubs will always abuse the most easy and maybe broken character they can find, thats just the nature of playing solo with random people.

Even with its current issues i would 100% recommend it. Its a small price title and for the time you will spend with it if you dig its so worth. I dont think Ive ever before 2015 and ever since played such a fun fps game like Vermintide.

On the topic of Pyro and Waystalker I wanna add that they should have probably never implemented the true flight abilities. Its just garbage to have an ability in a fps, melee focused, skill based game, that flies off to aimbot something or randomly ricochet into the next patrol. Its just fundamentally wrong and shouldnt be in the game imo. It bugs me ever since vt1.

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Guys who make maps also responsible for ratling gunners shooting through walls, awkward patrol pathings and various grafical issues. If new DLC means those are not being resolved, because level creators have more important things to do, I’m going to support @KrazyKruber here.

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Great post my friend.
You covered CORE problems greatly.

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I would like to know why ppl are so obsessed with reds. Beside the broken things and bugs that I understand an complain, the “reds issue” is something i cant really understand. When i play a game, i play for fun. Being obsessed by something like that is childish. What ppl wanna demostrate by having reds? big e-peen? dunno really

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I only really agree with special spam being all out of whack and bugs, oh so many run ruining bugs - BUT i agree on those two things with all of my heart, things are so bad right now that the game is just not fun to play.
And DLC coming out so soon after release while great many issues are still not addressed? And the special spam situation being said to be “working as intended”?
I can no longer recommend this game to any of my friends, but i guess FatShark doesn’t care, they already got a hefty amount of cash out of everyone anyway.

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I think people are confusing “working as intended” with “we will never change this”. They mean it’s not bugged. This is what they wanted to try. They will probably alter it again based on feedback.

I honestly don’t have a problem with the loot system, and I don’t see the things you’re talking about occurring in matches. VT1 was even more reliant on books/grims for good loot, and I never saw much toxicity in that game, either - while we all know it did sometimes happen - some people are just crappy to others and do that sort of thing. This can happen in literally any game.

As for the loot system; random is kinda ‘meh’, but as far as I can figure, the only other option is to let you “buy” them somehow for extremely high costs, which only creates a new problem, in that many people will never be able to grind enough to get them, and you’ll just have lobbies that kick people who aren’t in full reds.

Random drops with increasing odds for better gear via better play of succeeding while handicapping yourself has its downsides, but huge numbers of games do it. Without an entirely new paradigm for loot, I don’t think there is a better option (maybe a combination of both or something. I know I’d save up for a red XSword).

The bugs are a different story, but they are getting fixed at regular intervals. Maybe not fast enough, but I would imagine that replicating a lot of these bugs are probably extremely difficult, like the insta-death spots. I mean, in 170 hours (including betas) of play, I’ve seen it 3-4 times, and only died myself from it once. And every single time was in a different spot. Not saying it’s “fine”, just that finding the cause of it is probably a lot more difficult than it seems.

I think a lot of games launch and play and are way buggier than VT2 - but most aren’t also so punishingly difficult even when working right, with such a reward/cost balance for losing team members.

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I’m sorry I cannot agree that this is reasonable for the following reasons:

  • You played this game for over 300 hours. People don’t play something they don’t enjoy for such excessive amounts of time. If they had pulled a Archeage or Marvel Heroes and dramatically changed the core experience I could get behind you here, but the game is the same fundamentally. If you can honestly put 300 hours into a game you don’t recommend, then IMO you should step back from the game and maybe all games and think about if a problem exists you need to work on. This is irregardless of whether said game is $30 or $60. Because that’s not healthy. At the very least stop buying games within 3 months of release. Seriously wait. If the normal growing pains of games bothers you then don’t put yourself through them. Play it later after it’s been polished to a luster shine.

  • The “fix” for end game is not the permanent solution. It’s not all in stone now suddenly. Balance changes and iteration does not simply stop because they made that change. And if we look at V1 they didn’t stop at their initial changes either. As such this falls squarely within the realm of logical fallacy. They will continue to support and iterate on the game, that is their track record, this is not the end and presenting it as that way is disingenuous. This includes the mentioned “end game situation” on a game you put 300 hours into within a month of release.

  • Blaming Fatshark because a small % of players overvalue reds and cosmetics is quite silly. Honestly, these types of selfish “power players” will largely not be here in a couple months because after they exhaust the gear grind in a game that was never about the gear grind they will simply leave. Meanwhile those of us who simply like playing the game, just like Left 4 Dead 2 (the inspiration for this series), will continue to play and have fun in a much healthier and less toxic way. The toxic players and people wanting Diablo style loot chasing will not be missed.

  • Special Spam is just one form of difficulty. People hate every form of difficulty really when they lose. Different people hate different types more. There is no winning this battle. People hate boosted stats when they lose, smart AI when they lose, increased numbers when they lose, they hate RNG when they lose etc. Everything is always unfair or cheap or lazy design. Dark Souls, Monster Hunter, Cuphead, FTL, Darkest Dungeon, the list goes on forever and people have complained about how all of those were cheap and unfair. I’ve even seen many arguments that difficulty settings themselves are bad and lazy design.

  • Similarly people hate CC in every game…when they die to it. This is especially prevalent in PVP games where people complain about CC all the time. But CC is necessary for a more varied and dynamic experience. If all these extra disablers were turned into more damage people would likely also complain about how they die in that experience. As you can see the running rule is “because they died lost to it”. See, when people win despite it they may call it annoying, but when they lose to it then it suddenly becomes unfair. That being said, your comment about Waystalker and Pyro having inflated value because of their ability to kill all specials easily, not just disablers, is certainly something for Fatshark to keep an eye on and take into account during their balancing of classes and enemies.

  • DLC - First of all the guys who build the maps are not the guys who test/fix bugs. QA is a different team and only a small amount of time of the level designer will be spent actually changing geometry from QA testing. Similarly QA can test these new maps while also testing current bugs. The new maps may even help them fix old bugs with new scenarios. Any loss in efficieny in fixing existing issues will be minor at best and outweighed by the value add of the DLC to the average customer by many orders of magnitude.

  • The DLC is not, primarily, for people with 300+ hours, burned out, and complaining about the game. The core gamer literally has like 22 hours a week on average spent playing games, you are an extreme outlier. It’s for the average player who has 20ish hours a week in which they play all games they like. It’ll help keep the game fresh for them for a long time. At 300 hours in under a month you’ll prolly buy the DLC anyways but you need to understand you are a lost cause. It’s not $ efficient for the company to fight for your approval because they literally can’t win that battle in most cases of players with your play time. It’s throwing good money after bad. Especially since again, you will prolly buy the DLC anyways despite what you post here. People’s spending decisions and their expressed social opinions often radically diverge. Ask JC Penny about that when they almost went bankrupt offering fair and honest lower every day pricing like people asked for.

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I’m not a grinder at all so I don’t care about looting systems and reds but that special spam has nothing to do with “gid gud” or “difficulty”.

Its not difficult if you just get wiped out by three stormers that beam out of sight, casting their storms and two gutter runners, who aren’t affected by the storm which means that they just pin your team in or around a vortex while the horde and the troll mangle the last survivors. And thats just one of the many merry scenarios in this game. You are either going down or your group is reinforced with two auto hitter careers who are able to take out specials without aiming or anything by pressing a button. Well thats surely needs skill. Gid gud, play meta and press F. Same with bosses. Running a random meta group facerolling trough skittergate? No problem due to endless stagger and auto aim. Running it without such a group? Well skip it.
There is a difference in skill or tactics based difficulty and brute force that just narrows the gameplay. Its exactly the same with armored enemies and the one or two weapon/s per character that are actually viable because they are the only ones with armor pen.

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While I generally agree with pretty much everything in your post, this thing I take issue with.

You can’t just outright dismiss any criticism of game’s difficulty because “people hate losing, so bad design is never the culprit”, that’s just a cheap excuse. I played all of the Souls games, died countless times, and never felt that is was the game’s fault (unless it was caused by a known and obvious bug). I have close to 100 hours on Invisible Inc., which has an unforgiving difficulty curve, making you fail over and over again (it’s part of the design), and every time I lost, I could precisely pinpoint the moment I screwed up, and what I should have done to avoid it.

By contrast, let me share a scenario of one of my recent games in V2. Into the Nest, the drop before the first tome, horde spawns and as soon as it reaches us, the sound cue for Leech plays (the lengthy one, with creepy talking), while the others are taking care of the horde, the leech teleports near me. I take it down, and immediately get blasted by a warpfire thrower who just came around the corner with some slave rats from behind us. No biggie. As I try to ping it through the flames, I ping a hookrat instead, just in time for it to grab me - he just waltzed through the flames. About that time, one of my teammates get jumped by an assassin. None of the sound cues for the other three specials played. Probably because the sound system cannot handle 4 specials spawning in the exact same moment, and plays the cue that has top priority.

Now I have no problem with multiple specials spawning at the same time, most of them disablers. Sure, bring it. I do have a problem when the game gives no window of opportunity to deal with them because “hurr durr diffcurrty.” It can be done better, I’ve seen it done better elsewhere, and apparently it was better in V1. No reason to expect any less here.

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the buffed drop rate on reds is obscenely high for a supposed rare item. i’ve gotten 5 in 2 days and most people i play with or hang out with on discord are having the same thing, some of them getting 2 in a box if you can complete legend at all reliably you’ll have plenty of them

this is why the special spam is a thing. there is zero threat without it. i agree with you that it’s not a fun form of difficulty and no matter how much practice you have at sniping specials on a dime you can just end up dead in a matter of 2 seconds due to the spawn locations, audio bugs, positioning or just flat out bad luck, but without it there’s nothing left due to the supposed stagger/cleave changes doing absolutely nothing due to whining on the forums when the patch was being tested.

had a dwarf hold a horde earlier at a choke on legend by popping a speed pot and spamming grudgeraker melee. it’s all one gigantic meme without the specials unless you do something like pull a bunch of ambient chaos warriors during an ambush or something, and even that’s beatable because sienna is still staggering chaos warriors with shotgun blasts.

lol i agree with you man

I do find it entertaining that I literally posted a complaint on these forums about the special spam and got flamed by like 7 people without a single person agreeing with me.

It’s funny how you only had like 1 person disagree with you. lmao

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I can understand people not liking the loot progression system, inventory management, etc. There is a lot not to like. Bugs are also obviously frustrating.

What I can’t understand is the nonstop complaining about specials. 1.0.5 has had a significant change (‘nerf’) to special spawns, as well as to certain specials themselves, noticeable in both Champ and Legend. However, the fact is that people with poor awareness will continue to die to specials because the problem often is in them. The situations you describe - with the hook and flame rats surprising you so much that you lose the run - that fault lies within you. I can understand a missing sound cue - but it doesn’t happen every time. It doesn’t happen often. The moment a special spawns, the toons call it, you get a sound cue with the sound coming from where the specials is. Every time a gas rat throws stuff at you, its called out. It could be hard to orient yourself in a chaotic situation - but god damn it, that’s where the heart of the game is.

People need to buy headphones, turn off any and all software modifying the sound, raise the volume to max, go in game and just notice how much easier it is to tell EXACTLY where the special is and might come from, to the point where you can tag them through walls, etc, possibly exploiting the game. Didn’t kill that leech the first time? Well, he will spawn close to you (team) in 3 or 4 seconds. Guaranteed. Yes, you need to be fast once he does spawn, but it is nowhere near a superhuman feat. If you keep getting suprised by hook rats again and again, regardless of the situation, I’m sorry that is on you.

So the small window of opportunity you are describing is exaggerated. The game’s soul lies in those sticky situations you are describing. Retreating to a tactical position, holding the front line, Saltz in the mid trying to delete armor, the elf not needlessly spamming her ult at slave rats, but instead paying close attention for sound cues. Learning to dodge leeches, hook rats, etc.

Its trying the execute these tactical ideals that makes it so great and so rewarding. If FS moves too far away from that, the game would lose its appeal to many people. IMO.

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Its about the vast amount of specials spawning, especially on legend. Since specials and elites are even harder to kill in 1.05, the amount of spawning is not justified anymore. Instead, we come to a point where playing with randoms on legend is almost impossible and merely 1% of the runs can actually be finished.

Sure, you can talk about skill now, but when the majority of players cant finish a run properly on the hardest difficulty, without any grims, then something is wrong with the game, because nothing feels rewarding. Every legend run is just tedious and frustrating with randoms, to a point where it doesnt make any sense to play legend at all, because 99% of the runs are a guaranteed loss.

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The amount is nowhere near vast or near what it used to be.

You have plenty of solutions: play with your friends, join a discord group, dedicate yourself to awareness, play a lower difficulty level. I’m sorry, but its called legendary for a reason. I don’t play it for reds or whatever; I play it because its brutal, and that makes it fun. In my experience, the majority of lost games on legend are due to player mistakes, the same goes for champion, where I’ve had runs on the latest patch with significant stretches of time with no specials to the point where I’m asking myself if the game is bugged.

Then I come here and it’s like ‘the vast amounts of specials’ and idk if we are playing the same game anymore.

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And yet alot of other people thought the Souls games were unfair and poorly designed. This is the entire point. Everyone has their own headcannon of what good difficulty is designed based on many factors. Their skill level is one of the biggest factors. The idea people hate losing is one of the biggest factors. Because people are judging almost entirely on subjective emotion no matter how much they may proclaim otherwise. Good example of this in action here in the makings of Borderlands.

This is why it’s so ironic that the Souls game is your example of good design because the response of the Souls community to criticism is literally “git gud”. In essence, you’ve only more clearly illustrated your own personal bias in the matter.

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Who asked for your recommendation anyway? For $30, you logged 300+ hours of game time. I don’t know what world you’re living in, but that’s a lot of entertainment for $30. You sound like the epitome of an entitled millennial.

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Playing on lower difficulty or dedication to awareness arent solutions, because players arent able to get the experienced needed in legend by playing champion, since the difficulty spike is extreme.

The amount of specials spawning in legend is not even slightly compareable to those in champion. As example, in my recent skittergate legend run, we encountered 20+ specials and two hordes even before we went through the gate in the first place. Even so it was manageable, it was still ridiculous and it didnt stop throughout the run. It feels more like a deed than the actual standard. The spawn amount should be the same as in champion, but the enemys should just be alot tougher. Like it was in V1 with nightmare and cataclysm.

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@FlashFuzz

I am sorry, but did you actually read what I wrote, or just defaulted to your “git gud” routine? I guess not, because no where did I write that we lost the run. Only that two of us, including myself, were incapacitated. Kindly, reread my post and address my actual points. Or continue to stroke your ego and argue a strawman. All the same to me.

By the way, plenty of people see major increase in special spawn rate, even in places where specials rarely, if ever, spawned. Similarly, sound cues not playing for hordes, specials and bosses have been reported dozens of times. But since all is working on your end, it must be fine right? Praise RNGesus!

You mentioned Souls first, so I figured I would take that into account in my response, since I have experience with the series. And of course I have a personal bias. The real question is, why do you think that people will not try to lobby for their bias, opinion, believe etc., on a feedback forum? That is literally what the forum is for.

So, difficulty in games is always perfectly designed then, no matter how it is designed? Good to know. Here I thought that game design is difficult. See what I did there?

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Why not join the Fatshark Discord https://discord.gg/K6gyMpu