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.
- 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.
- 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.