It makes for a weird comparison anyway since the development cycle was a bit different. Vermintide 2 dropped heavily during the summer of 2018 (late July, early August), had a large but temporary upswing with Shadows over Bögenhafen releasing mid-August and then dropped again shortly after and stabilized at 5 - 9 k player peak for quite some time. For reference I think Xbox release was in July or thereabouts.
Since the pos-Bögenhafen drop the player count has been fluctuating mainly between 4 - 10 k but with higher peaks around anniversaries, events and new content. That still goes for Fall/Winter 2022 and Winter/Spring 2023 (northern hemisphere seasons).
Looking at @Mayson 's numbers, they are pulled out of a dark hole (same pattern as other posts), as VT2 player count didn’t drop close to those levels until shortly after Winds of Magic was released (August 2019). Lowest I can find is just over 3 k players in October 2019.
Speaking from personal experience, I know a few people who simply quit VT2 when WoM dropped, and never came back, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s reflected in the community as a whole.
And he just refers to numbers “1 year after release”. Which I found kinda hilarious, as Darktide hasn’t even reached this point.
He’s just spreading misinformation to put Darktide into a better place than it is.
FS is not ‘burying’ this game, at least not yet. The content rollout has been painfully slow though, which is odd considering this is supposed to be the culmination of the work on the Vermintide series and their golden 40k goose. 5k daily peak players is not groundbreaking, but not at the level where the game could even remotely be considered ‘dead’. The question is can FS retain it’s core player base and attract more players given the current timetable they seem to work off of.
I feel this portion was a casualty of the last-minute changes during development. They threw together the bare minimum to make it playable and it’s been like that ever since.
The crafting system is undoubtedly poor. The community has been pretty unanimous on this. Then add injury to insult, it doesn’t even include even minor weapon customization. Turns out min/maxing a spec sheet via a random slot machine system isn’t fun to most people. Weapon crafting should produce unique and game-play altering options people are excited to experiment with
I checked the numbers again, because people keep saying it never dropped to ~2.5k but I was sure I had seen such a number before. And no, I am not spreading purposefully misinformation, but I was absolutely sure I had seen those numbers. I wasn’t entirely wrong, but I was in the wrong category. The peaks of VT2 never reached the 2k’s. Only the averages did.
So I took a look and want to post the honest results that I found.
The numbers below:
Directly compared: VT2 vs Darktide (all decimals rounded up to 1)
Going by these numbers the result:
Vermintide 2 started with ~30% less players overall, but had a higher retention rate.
Vermintide 2 has mostly higher daily peak players.
Darktide has mostly higher averages for players throughout days, but much lower peaks.
Darktide’s numbers have a much higher volatility than those of Vermintide 2 in the measured timeframe (up to 6 months post-launch).
Compared to Darktide’s numbers, you guys are actually right. Post-launch in the “same timeframe” after launch, Vermintide 2 has the better numbers with Darktide’s numbers having dropped more sharply and quicker.
So I admit defeat on those numbers.
That said, I’d describe neither game as dead. Both games have a niche, albeit healthy playerbase and it’s possible to find a game at all times.
These numbers are Steam numbers solely and do not include the numbers of Gamepass or VT2’s Console Launch.
Fair enough. The steamchart numbers do show 2,5 000 averages when looking on at it on a monthly basis.
The numbers still seem to follow the same pattern I described in my post (based on peak players), and I do want to underline that statistics should never be taken at face value.
Vermintide 2 had a 10 day(?) pre-release beta period which is why we see a ~80 player average for February 2018 and a peak of almost 13 000 players. The pre-release purchases were likely made by people who knew the franchise from before, or like me, was hot for a new fps co-op.
Darktide had a slightly longer pre-release beta of 12/13 days with an average player count of ~42,5 000 for November, compared to the average 31 000 for December. That’s an average of 42,5 000 players, despite the game only being playable for ~45% of November. Compare that to the 31 000 average in December (31 playable days, likely player drop-off and gains from the holidays) and you see how major the drop-off actually was.
These numbers are far from exact, but they surely show that Darktide has been leaking players from the start and rapidly so. Assuming the stamchart numbers are somewhat correct, the actual average play count for those 12/13 days in November should be more than twice as much as the listed average.
If we want to play around more with the numbers, we can note that Vermintide 2 has a consistent ratio where average players make up for about 40 - 45% of the peak players for the first couple of months, including it’s release month. In December and January Darktide has a ratio of ~35% when comparing average to peak, and a 50 - 60% ratio for the following months (February onward). That too is quite telling, especially if we also note that you have an incentive to add to the statistics in Darktide because of the “progression” system (log on to check shop/purchase). Vermintide 2 didn’t have any dailies or weeklies until way later, when the in-game shop was launched (WoM?).
“Slow” does not mean substantial or strong. I can take a trip across a desert and it’ll be long and slow and hardly substantial. Darktide is like that but the only time you actually progress besides intitally leveling and then playing a terrible, terribly terrible RNG system.
Is that even “progression” at that point? You’re not even progressing, just playing a metaphorical lottery until you finally happen to stumble on what you want. You’re barely even making any decisions on what you get, the game is doing it for you.
What does this have have to with Darktide’s crafting system being poorly designed? You’re comparing Apple to Oranges, if not even that.
A few “rerolls” Oh yeah, let me just;
Find the correct weapon that I desire out of the dozens of other weapons and their MK variants (If not, you gotta wait an entire hour!)
Hope it has decent weapon stats that aren’t complete garbage. (You literally have no say in the matter.)
Hope the weapon properties and not a terrible rank (Hope to god at least one of them are at least decent and you’ll have the privilege of clicking reroll at least a dozen times (if even that, saw a guy had to a thousand rerolls for the property he wants) or just throw the weapon out entirely!
Hope you have the right blessings and of the right quality (Good luck with that LMAO) or… you could sunder a completely different weapon so you can apply it to another weapon- if you even get the chance of applying it to another weapon worth using.
And all of that, all at once for one single weapon, A single variant. You need either a lot of patience and waiting in the morning star or lady luck herself to bless you to actually get the weapons you want. Hope you’ve got enough plasteel to spare.
Oh, Yeah. Such a great loot system, definitely respects my time. I totally love waiting for the stars to align so I can make my weapon a bit better or actually make it worth using.
I ain’t here to get stuck into relative numbers and player base etc.
I think there’s a much bigger difference between DT and VT2 in that DT has dedicated servers that obviously incur a cost. whether DT continues is likely based upon the financial tipping point where it becomes too costly to keep the servers running. IF they’ve adjusted their forecasted income based upon them knowingly launching an incomplete badly optimised game and have factored in playerbase losses to match where we’re at now and across this year, they’ll likely be keeping the servers going for some time while they work like lunatics to try and rescue the game.
IF they were forecasting 8-10k players concurrently (anyone who’s into comparing numbers might find L4D2 and Deep Rock number to compare) and they’re simply not generating enough income then this game could go the same way as a slew of other “live service” games over the last year/18 months; Servers closed and support stopped.
It could be this simple a decision - Tancent just say “Stop it, it’s not worth it - there’s no more money for you”.
Speaking for myself, there was a lot that VT2 did well to encourage and reward leveling up all of your characters and completing harder content. Not so with Darktide.
Here are some specific examples:
You got a minimum of three weapons for reach mission completed, and those weapons could be scrapped for crafting material to make new weapons. Darktide’s guaranteed one weapon is a step in the right direction but still falls short.
Overleveling in VT2 rewarded you with bonus chests that could give you weapons or possibly even appearance items! Darktide gives bupkis, and to add insult to injury, hey rub it in by giving you +EXP as a perk on Curios, even though it’s useless in the current game after attaining level 30.
Accessories in VT2 could be shared with all of your characters, so if you already leveled up one of your characters, your other characters benefited from your pool of crafting materials and accessories to help them level faster, granting you a domino effect. In Darktide, nothing is shared…I don’t play what I want, I play the character that needs the most resources at any given time.
Perfect weapons were reasonably attainable in VT2. Completing a Legend difficulty (Heresy) yielded a 16% chance of getting one (~1 every couple of days of regular play). Getting max stat weapons in Darktide requires no skill, just the patience to camp the stores and hope one appears, and unlike VT2, are not visually distinct from every other weapon.
All weapons were infinitely customizable in VT2. In Darktide, we’re forced to choose the lesser of two-three weevils.
Darktide’s paid appearance item store is more expensive than VT2, and they don’t look as good.
I guess the obvious question is, if VT2 was so much better, why don’t I just go play VT2 instead? Because I enjoy Darktide’s gameplay more. I love all of the nifty ranged weapons. I like sliding and climbing over obstacles. Because after 3,100+ hours of VT2, and having conquered everything the game has to offer at the highest difficulties, I was ready for something new.
I’ve been playing Darktide for 6 months and have mostly worked around the flaws. Do I wish that the things that made VT2 great would be carried over to Darktide? Absolutely, but I’m not holding my breath. Instead, I take what I can get, enjoy the game for what it is, warts and all, and hope that things continue to improve and hope that the fun isn’t nerfed out of the game.