Gameplay feedback - Based on my 110 hours and getting almost all classes to 30

With the game still massively being worked on I wanted to share my feedback on things such as gameplay loop and share how it makes me feel.
I try to refrain from performance and monetization as I believe there are people out there that have covered those things in way better detail then I ever could, but I do think it is important for the whole dev team to know what their playerbase thinks.
This will mainly focus on some of the more negative feelings I have towards aspects about the game, but do know that I think the playing of the actual game is really good! It’s just the things surrounding it and some balances that can give me quite the bad taste in my mouth and are the sole reason why I will be taking a break from the game till I see some more progress that I am willing to support with my time and money.

Currently Preacher doesn’t have anything truly going for it that makes it stand out from the pack, which is a shame and I hope this will change as I think it would be an otherwise great class to stick to with some changes! It just needs a little bit more ‘oomph’ during melee, as currently you are way better of playing Skullbreaker or Sharpshooter if you want to melee a bunch.
Some suggestions I have:

  • Remove bleed through damage on Preacher. It already is in a disadvantage due to needing lower health, so giving it the ability for no bleed through damage to take place would make it an absolute unit exciting to play!
  • Increase the base damage of melee weapons. It takes 3 stacks before Preacher gets in the same realm of melee damage as a Sharpshooter. At least in my experience that is the case.
  • Make it so the stacks actually apply when they should. The feat menu says it gives 1 stack for every 15 damage taken up to 3 max, yet sometimes I am at 30-40 damage taken with only a single stack.
  • Give Preacher a little bit more cleave with each stack. Currently it feels like I do nothing more then push as the cleave (and therefore crowd control) is nowhere to be found with most weapons.

In all honesty, there is not that much I would change as it currently feels like it has a place in the group. It’s mainly just annoyances that comes look at it while playing the class or things that feel like it should have been a given.
Some suggestions I have:

  • Give some more grace towards the stacks you build up with the Brain Burst power. Too often you lose them in elevator rides or other moments where random people decided the blue head is THE target they suddenly need to focus on.
  • Allowing the stack to refresh when someone else kills your Brain Burst target. I understand that due to balance reasons a stack might not be able to go up with this, but with the amount people kill the creature you are targeting and lose stacks feels rather discouraging.
  • More melee weapons on which you can Quell Peril, like you can with the Force Sword. I really like the Dual Sword, but it often feels like a miss when I need to switch my weapons that often to get rid of the Warp Charge
  • The blocks that show a force shield should block bullets, or at least some something cool such as taking no damage from a sniper shot.

I am a person that likes games that show me some nice goals to go for and to continue playing. This however does not seem the case with Darktide, as the goals set seem really really really unrewarding, especially with how though some of them have been made.
Some suggestions I have:

  • Add more cosmetics to them. No matter if they are costumes, frames or insignia, having more stuff to show off is nice and a good way to set you apart from the other players.
  • Spread rewards out better over Penances that have multiple thresholds. A good example is the Insignia you get for doing 50 missions as a class. Although a nice reward for the second threshold, it feels like the next thresholds are weirdly empty and unrewarding. Maybe add a gilded version at Threshold 4 and a new frame on threshold 5?
  • Reward ‘in between’ thresholds with an Emperor’s Gift, Crafting Materials or Premium Currency. Just an easy way to make the others feel more rewarding while going for the bigger thresholds!
  • Make more class Penances that reward specific gameplay styles. As it currently stands it feels a lot are either there to sandbag the team or to tell a person a certain mechanics exists, with the latter one being REALLY nice but often done on a too high difficulty and ending up with yet another sandbag situation like the Psykinetic’s Perils of the Warp elite kills on Malice. This could also be a great chance to add the much needed cosmetics the game is missing, like rewarding a Sharpshooter with sniper cosmetics for getting Elite Headshot Kills or giving an Ogryn heavy armour for soaking up loads of damage over many missions combined!
  • When opening the class menu in the penance list, it would be very much appreciated if the classes would be a bit more to the right. It would be a nice way to tell what is part of the expanded menu.
  • Show the missing missions in Penances that require you to do all mission types. Playing multiple classes can make it quite confusing what you have done already on what difficulty, so it would be really nice that these and future penances like it would show us more information!
  • Add the ability to pin Penances to our menu (or even overlay). It is just nice to have instant access to a penance you are going for.
  • Make consecutive penances lose progress upon failure. I like the idea of seeing what the closest is that I have gotten to a Penance, but now knowing how many more missions I need to do for Flawless Execution and Penances like that feels a bit punishing sometimes.
  • Add a %/# owned on Penances. Not at all needed, but I just like seeing how special a Penance is or seeing at what %/# owned I unlocked it myself.
  • Add some more Penances with good rewards in the Team section that reward team based gameplay! Currently I am seeing a lot of people run off and ignore the team, picking up ammo when others need it, rushing levels, ignoring books, etc. Of course it it anyone’s game and they can do what they want, but I feel rewarding more of the team based activities such as staying in coherency, sharing ammo/health when other people need it more, etc would be a good way to incentivize players from rushing levels when others try to explore a bit more.
  • Add an insignia on the Penance where you need to complete all mission types on Heresy difficulty account wide. It just feels a bit weird I can’t sign to other people what difficulty I have control over in between Malice and Damnation.

Weapons and Curios:
The current way of unlocking weapons and taking care of your build is one of the worst I have ever seen in a game with some of the most unrewarding progress. This with the exclusion of a finished crafting station and seeing how the next addition will be handled makes me fear for it actively becoming worse.
Some suggestions I have:

  • Give a guaranteed Emperor’s Gift on leveling up past level 30. This will actively reward players for playing higher difficulties for the experience instead of ruining new player’s experience by just rushing difficulty 1 missions.
  • When a class unlocks a new weapon, instantly give them the weapons they unlocked. The amount of luck required sometimes just to try out a weapon you unlocked is frustrating.
  • Give players options to force a refresh in the shop. Having to check every hour is a great way of breaking flow. Maybe finishing a mission forces the shop to roll over, adding to the flow of checking in between every mission instead of having to worry about a timer and rewarding players with more progression when they only have time to play a mission or 2 per day.
  • Allow the shop to have items that are better then what you currently own. This might be a mechanic thrown in force endgame players to only focus on weeklies, but it genuinely SUCKS that there is nothing to spend your money on. Neither total i-lvl or modification-lvl are ever anywhere near what I own, making it a waste to buy them to upgrade them at the crafting station.
  • Re-imagine the weekly missions and daily shop. It is an absolute plague in games where almost everything needs to be locked behind a timer. It greatly discourages players from actually playing the game and instead just log in once to see if they can upgrade. I instead hope to see a bigger focus on rewarding players that can’t spend as much time and giving them a boost to keep up!
  • Allow players to reroll everything except on an item instead of just ‘One Perk’ with the new Refine addition to the crafter that comes next week. This is only really going to be an issue if weapons are truly going to stay as scarce as they are and non of the above suggestions are implemented. Finding the right weapon can already be an immense pain to begin with, let alone that it needs to be as perfect as can be before you decide to upgrade it! It would also incentivize more players actually slowing down the missions to search for crafting materials they need to reroll till they have what they are searching for.
  • Add either a way to buy any weapon you want or a way to select a preferred weapon family you like to see show up and make it so there is always at least 1 of that item in the shop. This is mainly due to it sometimes being absolute HELL finding the weapon you want to try or like using, which sometimes is detrimental when leveling up as only 1 weapon feels nice to play with.
  • Some weapons need a base blessing baked into them. Some weapons are close to useless without a specific perk and this makes it hard to believe people that vouch for a specific weapon. Ex; adding some form of Deflector on the Force Sword(s) or Savage Sweep on a Heavy Eviscerator (although the latter one can be fixed by just giving the Preacher more exciting/unique melee power over the other classes).

Yes, I am aware that there is a premium cosmetic shop and yes I am willing to support this in the future in case it truly becomes less predatory (no FOMO, gambling or anything of that sort) and if the game has enough to offer on itself.
Currently all cosmetics just look the same in the base game, which creates a big annoyance to me personally. As the majority (at least now) is all wearing a version of the copy+paste armour that their class can unlock or you will suddenly see someone stand out like a sore thumb that bought a Premium Cosmetic.
Some suggestions I have:

  • Add at least 3 more unique clothing sets per class. This will not only make people with just the base game able to stand out and truly create their own character special with the $40 they spend on the game, it will also get rid of that monotony.
    And as said earlier also a GREAT way to reward players for a game style that class has to offer, like heavy armour for absorbing damage on Skullbreaker, grenadier armour for explosion kills/use of the grenade perk and ‘berzerker’ cosmetic for dealing with a bleed build!
  • Make any piece you unlock instantly buyable in different colours. This might be me not paying enough attention to the store, but sometimes I get a cosmetic from a Penance I am proud of, but it not only looks almost the exact same as the previous piece I owned, it also is hard to match with other clothing pieces I have bought in the game store.
  • Guns lack variety and would be cool to see more cosmetic versions from them. Let’s take the Skullbreaker’s shield as an example; we can of course not expect a full on gladiator shield or car door to become a thing outside of the cash shop, but allow the players to give it more character by having variations available to earn that have more wear & tear on them or something else then just a colour swap that doesn’t seem to be worth the time.
  • Allow us to change our character’s voice, body type and name. Although maybe not the most realistic thing, but so is changing your whole face and we can do that! Beside it allowing for cosmetics such as character voices to be sold, this would also allow people that might get annoyed by a voice to switch it out without having to spend many unrewarding hours re-building their character!

Although I don’t really have problems with the missions themselves outside of wanting more of certain mission types, I do have some problems surrounding them that make for quite a bitter pill to swallow sometimes and ending up with me turning off the game out of frustration.
Some suggestions I have:

  • Allow players to choose any and all missions on all difficulties with their preferred side missions and mutations! Not only is it frustrating when your favourite map or mission is not there in your preferred or comfort difficulty setting, but it is even more frustrating when so many people join ones with side missions they completely ignore.
    Maybe allow there to be a choice between selecting one that is on the screen for increased rewards while also letting people have a bit more of a choice on a thing they actually want to do without sandbagging the team or ignoring things others are actively going for.
  • Add something to discourage people from ignoring objectives when others in the random team actually want to do them. This is a much bigger problem then I know the answers for, but it surely can be quite devastating when playstyles clash as hard as they do in Darktide.
  • Increase the rewards for Grimoires or reduce the penalty of carrying them. I do not care which of the two it is, but this is a far stretch from the challenge and fun I had in Vermintide 2 with the Grimoires.
  • Too many times have I come across an item or side mission objective only for it to be stuck in the ground with no way to pick them up. There needs to be a way to more easily report this in game when it happens till there is a fix as the time, money and experience I have lost due to it feels quite discouraging.
  • Remove experience being different per difficulty. It is understandable that there needs to be more reward for playing higher difficulties, but often it feels it is even harder due to players wanting to rush their character and the rest of the team needing to carry them. It would be nice if it would just not matter till level 30 if post-30 levels ever are going to be rewarded with a guaranteed (extra) Emperor’s Gift roll.
  • When in the ‘ready up’ lobby with other players, it would be nice to see their other weapons and additional stats. Nothing that would make them targets by other community members, but enough for more seasoned players to notice that they might need to bring a different weapon to offset a need for something that is missing like ranged weapons or crowd control.
  • The ‘Lights Out’ mutation needs a rebalance. It is absolutely the worst moments in game and often ended up turning off the game during the blackouts instead. Adding a flashlight to more weapons would be a nice start, but give some of the ranged enemies more indicators of where they are.

Alternate Characters:
There are multiple classes and currently it is SUPER discouraged to actually go for more then one of them, which is an absolute SHAME.
I am aware that there is talks about what can and can not be done, but this is one of THE major issues I have with the game and it’s longevity.
Some suggestions I have:

  • When in the ‘ready up’ lobby with other players, allow us to switch to one of our other characters! This is for the same reason as what I mentioned in the part before. Just to offset an imbalance that might be there.
  • Share any and all currencies between them. With weeklies being as much of a full time job as they are it is an absolute annoyance to have to do it at least 4 times over! This is just as much of a problem all the other currencies and discourages people going for more variety of gameplay.
  • Share items between them. This, to me, is mainly an issue when it comes to starting and leveling up a new character. Starting at level 1 is rough as you are locked out of difficulties you enjoy and even if you could do them your items are nowhere near able to do the damage required.
    All the Curios you get that increase experience also currently have no use post-30, so kind of a waste how often I have seen that drop post-30 with no character to make use of them!
  • Allow the bots to be your other leveled characters. Not only is it a fun experience seeing your creation walk around (especially if you invested some money on cosmetics), it also is a good reason to actually level AND gear them up in the long run!

This is not everything, but the things I currently thought was worth mentioning the most are all included.
I truly hope that this feedback helps the team creating the game to be the best it can be while also listening to all the other players and their problems.
Darktide can be something really special depending on the choices both the dev team and the CEOs make in the coming time period. With the right choices and fixes this game can completely blow Vermintide 2 out of the water, which to me still is the best horde game ever created. And that is a future I would love to live in!

In the meantime I wish the dev team the best! Making games is hard and an unfinished game being fully released makes this job even harder.
As for the community and any member reading this, I wish you get exactly what you hoped this game was going to be or close to it!
Here’s to hoping the game will absolutely BLAST all expectations away in a couple months and actually add all expected content in the base game before they start charging for new classes, weapons and cosmetics that look like they should have been part of the base game. CHEERS! :beers:

I question whether you have actually gotten all classes to 30, also did you try every class on 4/5?

Zealot is fine, in fact one of the stronger classes if you ignore the talents and passive that focus on purposely having low hp.

-durability in spades, choose among massive damage reduction, a cheat death that might full heal you every 90 seconds, regen whenever you take health damage, an ult that instantly gives you 50% shields that has 2 end tier talents to make it usable more often.

-damage is great, ult makes you one shot with a heavy attack most enemies, potential for massive damage with the bleed-crit build. The passive attack speed buff makes even single target melee weapons viable.

-Mobility, ult moves a short distance if you tap it, but a crazy long distance if you aim at a target far away and hold the button down. There are 2 talents to make it usable more often and both are amazing if you build for it.

Psyker is the class in a rough spot, most talents do nothing in difficulty 4+.

Brain burst might need as many as 4 uses on a single non-boss target, even dogs take 2 brain bursts.

Quelling could get you left behind bc it cuts your movement to nothing.

90% of your melee weapons don’t interact with your class at all, 50% of your ranged options don’t interact with your class abilities.

As I write this I have Zealot and Psyker at 30 and I have beaten a few difficulty 4’s on each(more on zealot)

Ogryn at 29

Veteran at 23

I personally think psyker needs a big rework so the class interacts with more of their weapon options or the weapons that don’t interact with the class should be largely removed, and the class should scale to higher difficulties.

Ogryn needs a armor piercing ranged option if he decided to use a horde focused melee.

Also all his guns should get an accuracy buff so he can kill a sniper at long range if the situation calls for it(whole team stuck in a horde so they can’t use ranged, but you can charge out of it to get a shot off if only you could hit the sniper…)

With Psykers, Brain Burst could use damage scaling. Taking 4 bursts to kill a specialist is a bit of a chore, its quicker just to pull a gun out and shoot them. Bursting and quelling whilst trying to avoid getting hit in melee is fun.

Preacher THammer i tend to use block push and heavy (with manual release) it knocks everyone over but still only kills 1 at a time. Cleave damage is a bit low.

Zealot is pretty strong but he has many terrible feats and his most powerful build by far is bleed-crit right now. He is a very brainless knife monkey locked into a simplistic button mashing playstyle and I’m not too happy about it. Eviscerator is his next best weapon with much better crowd clear but I haven’t ever gotten one worth using so can’t talk too much about it, but I hear from other Zealot players that it isn’t even close.

I have a level 30 Zealot and Psyker as well and successfully run Damnations every couple of nights. Psyker can be decent but is also plagued with problems. The classes all could use a lot of fixing, even Veteran, but I’m not gonna get my hopes up.

Very few Preachers worth their salt play around Martyrdom or use low health feats at all. Crit build is very very strong and can work with quite a few weapons with the right blessings. Double Ult + bonus impact + toughness regen/extra toughness on kill still works solidly.

Thy Wrath be Swift lets you ignore ranged attack stagger, one of the most complained about features in the game lol. That alone is strong. Or alternatively you can heal when you would otherwise be dead and can be abused pretty heavily with flamer. Also just flamer generally is strong.

There are some dead feats (one or less per column on average) but overall Zealot performs well. Martyrdom stacks should work properly no arguments there. Otherwise a few feat changes would push him from great to fantastic.

I would add that the knife monkeys I see on 4+ don’t just look ridiculous they also feel super bad teamplay-wise as someone who regularly has the misfortune to have them on my team.

They run around, take way too long to kill stuff, don’t agro trash/elites well enough, and basically play solo. They might be good enough with the insane mobility and crit/bleed DR to stay alive, but they are a big minus to the whole team. Evis and even good thunder hammer players feel way more useful.

Only 110 hrs and getting almost all classes to lvl 30?
Boy, you’re not worthy to write a review :smiley:

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