How to fix Darktide's #1 Problem: Gear Progression

Arguably, the current state of the Gear Progression/Itemization/Crafting System is the biggest systematic issue that Darktide has.

Here are my suggestions regarding how to fix the problem.
Enjoy the read.

To make a progression system that feels good and rewarding, i think it is important for players to:

  • gain power through successfully finishing missions (not by being lucky with an rng store)
  • have agency over the outcome of crafting or an upgrade (minimal to no rng)
  • have the feeling of being rewarded for self improvement by having the power of the equipment grow with the player’s skill and the difficulty that is successfully played on
  • be able to maximize the stats of any given item, through time and effort

I will divide the following suggestions regarding itemization and crafting into three parts:

  1. Early game
  2. Mid and Endgame
  3. Dismantling

1) Early Game:

  • Learning the class basics while leveling to 30.
  • Experiencing the arsenal of available weapons.
  • Learning the basics of weapon stats, perks and blessings.
Click here to display full explanation of suggestions regarding Early Game itemization, and resulting player experience.

Suggested Early Game Progression:

The early game is there to introduce the player into the game (the player can not yet make well informed choices), so it is good to:

  • have limited choice regarding item selection (hourly store and mission rewards).
  • be able to upgrade obtained items (quality upgrades, maybe only up to purple).
  • have access to limited customization (randomly reroll 1 perk and 1 blessing).

The system we have in game right now is mostly fine for the early game.
However, it is missing two things:

  • Players should get a free version of a weapon, when ever it gets unlocked (regarding item lvl, it should always be an upgrade from the previously owned items).
  • Players should be able to randomly reroll 1 blessing per item.

Reasoning and Resulting player experience:

New weapon unlocks would feel like a reward for leveling up, and give a feeling of progression, because new weapons can be tested right away (if unlocking a weapon only means that it now has a low chance to show up on the rng shop, the mentioned feelings of reward and progression are removed).
This also supports the curiosity to try out new and different things, and increases the awareness and general knowledge about the different weapons that are available in the game.
Upgrading the quality of an item and rerolling 1 perk (lvl 1-2) and 1 blessing (lvl 1-2), are a reasonable amount of customization for players who are new to the game and who are getting a potential replacement for their current weapon quite frequently. If 1 blessing per item can be rerolled randomly, that causes players to test out different things, instead of just picking one blessing which they think they might prefer.
In this stage of the game, getting power upgrades through items from mission rewards or the hourly store, is completely fine, because it happens quite frequently at this stage of the game (rate of item rewards for missions should be increased, at least until lvl 30).
It also further increases the likelihood of trying different weapons while leveling up.

Summary - Early Game Progression:

  • Obtain items from mission rewards (more frequently) and the hourly store (as is).
  • When a new weapon is unlocked, that weapon is automatically obtained.
  • Ability to upgrade weapon quality (as is).
  • Ability to randomly reroll one perk (as is, but only lvl 1-2) and one blessing (only lvl 1-2) per weapon.

Once the character is leveled to 30, a different system should follow (for Mid and End Game), in order to give players the feeling of being rewarded with progression for the time spent playing the game, and to keep people playing.

2) Mid Game and Endgame:

  • Gaining a deeper understanding of how to play the class,
    then mastering the class.
  • Figuring out, which perks and blessings to use for which build,
    then perfecting the items used in the build(s) of choice.
  • Beginning to build up an arsenal of weapons to play with,
    then completing the arsenal and optimizing all available weapons.
Click here to display full explanation of suggestios regarding Mid and Endgame itemization.

Suggested Mid and Endgame Progression:
The player now has a basic understanding of the gameplay and systems.
There should be meaningful progression as a reward for playing, as well as a gain of power based on player choices and personal skill progression.

I suggest that once a character has reached lvl 30, each successful completion of a mission on difficulty 3/4/5, should award a token (something like"inquisition token" or “token of the omnissiah”), which allows players to modify and upgrade their gear without involvement of RNG.
Each difficulty (3/4/5) should award a different tier of token.
(The upcoming diff 3-5 token breakdown is followed by a full explanation).

Diff 3 token upgrades:

  • Upgrade all Modifiers up to 80%.
  • Upgrade both Perk slots and both Blessing slots from lvl 1 to lvl 2.
  • Select Perks/Blessings from list (lvl 1-2).

Diff 4 token upgrades (unlocked for items with finished diff 3 upgrades):

  • Upgrade all Modifiers from 80% up to 90%.
  • Upgrade both Perk slots and both Blessing slots from lvl 2 to lvl 3.
  • Select Perks/Blessings from list (lvl 1-3).

Diff 5 token upgrades (unlocked for items with finished diff 4 upgrades):

  • Upgrade all Modifiers from 90% up to 100%.
  • Upgrade both Perk slots and both Blessing slots from lvl 3 to lvl 4.
  • Select Serks/Blessings from list (lvl 1-4).

Tokens should be exchangeable for higher tier tokens at a rate of around 5:1 to 3:1.
The tokens should also be backwards compatible so that nobody is forced to play on a lower difficulty than what their skill level is. (alternatively, the system could run on simply getting 1 token for diff 3, 3-5x as many for diff 4 and 3-5x that many for diff 5)

  • diff 3 tokens can only be used for diff 3 upgrades
  • diff 4 tokens can be used for diff 4 and 3 upgrades
  • diff 5 tokens can be used for diff 5, 4 and 3 upgrades

Full explanation of token upgrades:

  • Upgrade item Modifiers (weapon stat bars)
    → effect: +5% to one Modifier of choice (repeatable until reaching Modifier limit for the type of token used)
    → cost per 5% upgrade: 1 token from diff 3/4/5 + average Plasteel and Diamantine amount obtained from 1 successfully cleared mission on diff 3/4/5
  • Upgrade Perk/Blessing slots
    → effect: upgrades Perk/Blessing and unlocks access to Perk/Blessing selection for the slot (repeatable until both Perk slots and both Blessing slots are upgraded; in case of Blessings, access to lower lvl Blessings should also remain)
    → cost per slot upgrade: 1/2/3 tokens from diff 3/4/5 + average Plasteel and Diamantine amount obtained from 3/4/5 successfully cleared missions on diff 3/4/5
  • Select Perks/Blessings (upgraded slots only)
    → effect: change a Perk/Blessing of choice to a selected effect of choice (select from a list, repeatable indefinitely for both Perks and both Blessings)
    → cost per selection: 1 token from diff 3/4/5 + average Plasteel and Diamantine amount obtained from 1 successfully cleared mission on diff 3/4/5

Daily store (spending the weekly currency)
Items in the daily store should be of purple/orange quality and have stats, based on the difficulty that the player successfully plays on (display the requirement for higher quality inventory in the store).
Success on difficulties 3 and 4 should unlock the chance for items from the daily store to have bonuses, which are higher than the bonuses available through upgrades from tokens of that difficulty.

  • 10 successful missions on diff 3 → daily shop weapons with Modifiers 70-85%, Perks and Blessings lvl 2-3 (mostly 2)
  • 10 successful missions on diff 4 → daily shop weapons with Modifiers 80-95%, Perks and Blessings lvl 3-4 (mostly 3)
  • 10 successful missions on diff 5 → daily shop weapons with modifiers 90-95%, Perks and Blessings lvl 3-4 (mostly 3)
  • 20 successful missions on diff 5 → daily shop weapons with modifiers 90-95%,
    Perks and Blessings lvl 3-4 (equal chance)

Reasoning and Resulting player experience:
Power should be gated behind certain difficulty in order to keep players engaged and challenged. If there is a reward for it, people will try to self improve and successfully play at higher difficulty.

In order to animate players to increase mission difficulty at a reasonable pace, the incentive to try and “leech” through high difficulty missions for power gains, is massively lowered:

  • Upgrade tokens are only awarded upon successful mission completion.
  • Diff 4 token upgrades can only be applied to items with fully finished diff 3 upgrades.
  • Diff 5 token upgrades can only be applied to items with fully finished diff 4 upgrades.
  • Tokens can be exchanged for higher tier tokens at a rate of around 5:1 to 3:1. (This reduces the incentive to leech on higher difficulties as well as allowing everyone to experience the entire progression system without playing a difficulty beyond what is comfortable, although potentially at a slower pace.)

This system would allow players (after reaching lvl 30) to keep using any beloved weapon they already have, and slowly turn it into a full 100% stat beast wih 2 max lvl Perks of choice and 2 max lvl Blessings of choice. Players could also swap around their Perks and Blessings in order to test out different builds.
With this system, each mission success would reward the player with a guaranteed, small power boost that can be applied with 100% player agency.

The time investment required to buy items from the daily store (with coins from weekly quests) is high, so the items should be around (and potentially higher than) the power level of the strongest weapons that the player currently has.
That way, players who are not yet able to successfully play on diff 4 or 5, can still get weapons that slightly surpass the upgrade limitations of the player’s skill limit.
Also, valuable weapons from the vendor, allow players to reduce the grind for upgrade tokens.

This system would create hours upon hours of rewarding grind towards a clear goal, with 100% player agency and absolutely no annoying rng.

Assuming the item starts with all 5 stats at 80%, lvl 2 Perks and lvl 2 Blessings (diff 3 upgrades all done), it would take:

  • 5x2 + 2x2 + 2x2 = 18 diff 4 missions to get all 80% with lvl 3 Perks and Blessings

and then

  • 5x2 + 3x2 +3x2 = 22 diff 5 missions to get all 100% with lvl 4 Perks and Blessings

With around 40min per successful mission, maximizing one item would take around 27 hours (assuming 100% success rate), and almost every single successfully cleared heresy/damnation mission would actually increase your power slightly.

That is realistically 60+ hours of rewarding grind per class, for just one set of weapons.

Put the token upgrade vendor next to the cash skin shop, so that players do not only walk past that thing once every hour, when checking the hourly store, but once after every single successful mission.
That moment would even be associated with a nice, positive feeling, because the player is on the way to spend the earned token on a guaranteed upgrade.

FS could even add a special shiny skin (like Vermintide 2 red weapon skins) that is unlocked when an item is fully „perfected“ (or a weapon glow for a separate slot, so that it does not interfere with weapon skin sales).
Could even add an extra skin, aura, portrait frame or something similar for each class, which is unlocked once a maxed version of all class exclusive weapons is obtained.

Summary - Mid and Endgame Progression:

  • After reaching lvl 30, obtain diff 3/4/5 token currency from successfully clearing missions on diff 3/4/5.
  • Use tokens to upgrade Modifiers and change Perks/Blessings without RNG
  • System allows to fully maximize all Modifiers of an item as well as swap Perks and Blessings at will (at a price).
  • Daily store (weekly tokens) offers items at (or slightly above) current state of progression.
  • Until an item has fully maximized stats, every successful mission (on high enough difficulty) grants all resources needed for a guaranteed upgrade.
  • Tokens can be exchanged at a rate of something like 5:1 or 3:1 to the next higher tier, so that nobody is “forced” to play on max difficulty in order to max out their gear.
    Do not be confused by the “lvl 1-x” under Blessing options. The level of the Blessing should be exactly what you choose (likely the highest one available), but not all Blessings are available at all lvls.

3) Dismantling:

Click here to display full explanation of suggestions regarding Dismantling.


  • There is an imbalance between the ratio of Plasteel/Diamantine gained and the ratio of Plasteel/Diamantine spent. This usually leaves players with an excess of Diamantine, while lacking Plasteel. A change in drop rates, will likely not permanently fix this issue.
  • Most items sold by the hourly vendor are worthless in the mid to late game.
  • After the early game, Dockets (gold coins) are almost useless.

All three problems (useless Dockets, resource imbalance, useless vendor items) can be fixed in a pretty easy way:

  • Instead of giving the player only Dockets for dismantling an item, give them Plasteel/Diamantine.
  • Dismantling different types of items, should produce either mostly Plasteel or mostly Diamantine (for example: melee weapons dissolve into Plasteel, ranged weapons dissolve into Diamantine).

Resulting player experience:
An imbalance between owned Plasteel and Diamantine (making the abundant resource effectively worthless) can be covered by spending Dockets (otherwise worthless) to buy items from the hourly store (otherwise worthless), and dismantling these items.

Summary - Dismantling:

  • Dismantling an item should additionally award Plasteel and/or Diamantine.
  • This fixes the imbalance between Plasteel and Diamantine, keeps Dockets valuable and keeps the items offered by the hourly shop useful.

Edit: Added “token exchange” option to the section “Mid and Endgame”.
The goal is to not exclude anyone from any part of the progression system as well as incentivising people to not leech through higher difficulties, while keeping the reward for players who are comfortable clearing higher difficulty missions.

Edit 2:An addition to the loadout menu should allow to save the same weapon with multiple different Perk and Blessing combinations in different loadout slots. Switching between loadouts should include an auto swap of Perks and Blessings.


idk maybe variable stats on gear is a bad idea in the first place


The claim of “fast and op gears” is contradictory to the statements in the post you replied to.

Ad hominem.

Go troll somewhere else.


Fast?! grinding for many hours to get good gear in my opinion isn’t “fast”.

Making it personal makes it kind of hard to take you seriously…

I agree that it is absolutely possible to consistantly win Damnation runs with the current gear. But before I bought this game there was a Promise by the devs to include a full crafting system in the game and this is just a sugestion on how to improve opon the current system.

By the way, let’s say 100% is never achievable (just like it is now). Why would the devs then make the maximum achievable stat be 80% and not 100%… If you think about it, you might change your mind on the matter :slight_smile:


Great write-up


How would that work, if you have to play damnation to get to 100% in the first place?
If you are going to “discuss” the topic, please try to make sense.

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I must definetly agree. This would make the early game a lot more enjoyable for many new players.

Generally a good post, but I don’t agree that high grade tokens should be restricted to level 4 and 5 missions, because that creates a situation where if you simply can’t beat those difficulties you might as well just stop playing.

Lower level missions should just award fewer tokens, so that people can work their way up to more powerful gear without having to master the highest difficulties of the game.

Generally it creates a conflict of interest when you make the progression about beating the game at the highest difficulty, because at that point you’re essentially saying that that is the goal for everyone. That leaves no room to have difficulties that are genuinely there for people who are looking for a challenge beyond the ordinary.


It is quite common for games to reward the best items only for beating the hardest content.
Many of these games are quite successful and the “top tier gear from top tier content” does not seem to be a problem there.

The system i suggested, allows the same customization of perks and blessings for anyone who can beat difficulty 3 (which is realistically everyone) and above.
Everyone can upgrade their items.
Just because there is an actual reward for playing on higher difficulties (getting higher values on the items), that does not mean, that anyone who can not beat the highest difficulty, has nothing to do in the game.

A piece of content being part of the game, does not mean that it is the goal for every player to complete it. If someone struggles on higher difficulty, there is still the low intensity modifier.

If this was Vermintide 2 and the system would require you to play on cataclysm difficulty, i would probably agree, but that is because cataclysm difficulty is part of paid dlc.

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That’s exactly why it’s a bad idea to cut off people’s progression if they can’t beat the higher difficulties.

If progression is the thing that keeps people motivated to keep coming back and playing why would you want a system that excludes people who aren’t enjoying the higher difficulties from progressing further?

It’s contradictory. You can’t identify lack of progression as the reason the game isn’t retaining players and then instantly turn around and suggest that any player who isn’t playing level 5 missions should not get access to the full range of progression.

By all means, throw in some bragging rights cosmetics for playing level 5 missions, but if you gate the full progression system behind difficulty you’re only fixing the game for 1% of the players.

The people who do enjoy playing level 5 missions aren’t going to have a better time either, because they will just be inundated with people looking to get carried.


Nobody said that progression is the ONLY thing that keeps people motivated to play. With our current system, you are fully reliant on RNG and aside from the Modifiers being unchangeable, you can not choose the Blessings of your items.
Blessings have a big impact on gameplay and being able to play the way you want is a huge factor for player retention.
Currently, you can not play how you want or test out a few slightly different builds (unless you get very lucky).
And you currently do not get rewarded for completing missions.

Elimination of RNG and being able to use the perks and blessings of choice would be available to everyone and everyone would be able to play how they want, after a bit of straight forward grind. Everyone would be rewarded for completing missions.
The upgrades limited to diff 4 and 5 do not make significant changes to how the items generally work. They only increase the numbers further.

Why not give the best stuff to everyone no matter what difficulty content they play?
Because they have to earn it. Without earning something, there is no feeling of reward.

It is not a contradiction at all.
Currently, we are lacking any kind of progression or customization.
With the suggested system, there is plenty of both for diff 3 players.
But there is more for people who also play diff 4 and 5.

This is addressed in the OP and should not really be a problem.

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This is all i ever want. Quick match damnation is filled with mostly competent players…BORING.
Where tbe noobs at. Please i want to play damnation with bad players. This game needs an incentive for people who dont feel comfortable in damnation to queue for it.

I agree that there should be more reasons to play damnation, but if playing anything BUT damnation becomes pointless for many players the game just becomes less fun for them.

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first of all damnation is beatable with grey gear and no curious so theres no such thing as a NEED to get perfect gear and if these people who want perfect gear are not aiming for it to play damnation then why should they feel the need to play damnation just to get better gear so they can play lower difficulties. when you go lower difficulties the need for perfect gear becomes completly pointless. they can still get the stuff they want on a difficulty lower just for making different builds but the perfect gear should be made in damnation and for damnation/ new more challenging content.

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Something tells me Noobstomper got good rng and is desperately trying to preserve his artificial advantage over other players, and in a pve game at that.


If people aren’t playing Damnation voluntarily, what makes you think the game will be better off if you try and force them to play it?

Looking at something that people clearly don’t enjoy and going “We need to make them play this way” is completely counter productive to the task of getting player numbers up.

What are you on about?
Nobody is suggesting to force people to play damnation, do anything they do not enjoy, or to make people play a certain way.

Right, you’ll just not let them fully progress their equipment if they don’t play on Damnation. Anyone who enjoys progression but doesn’t enjoy the high difficulties can just go play something else, because they haven’t “earned” their fun.

Do you think the same way about all the other games, where the top tier gear is only available from top tier diff content?
Do you also claim that these games have nothing to offer for people who do not play the highest difficulty available?

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The difference is that in games that are designed around gear progression from the bottom up difficulty is gated by your equipment and scales with your equipment.

Like, a recent example is Outriders. Yes, the most powerful gear is only available on the hardest difficulty, but even if you could jump into the hardest apocalypse tier right away you wouldn’t be able to actually kill anything, because it isn’t designed to be strictly harder than the lower difficulty settings. It’s designed to still be challenging when your damage output goes from the hundreds to the thousands and beyond. In reality, the difficulty in a game like that never really goes up. It just keeps pace with your character’s mechanical power.

Darktide’s difficulty is entirely different. It’s not an upscaling of enemies that keeps things interesting when your gear has become so good that it trivializes enemies on the lower difficulty settings, it’s genuinely a challenge mode. A very good player can complete it even with bad gear, and a bad player can’t complete it even with the best gear.

This game is not designed around gear progression at its core. It’s designed around personal mastery of its mechanics. So gear progression in this game should neither be the gating mechanism nor the reward for playing higher difficulties, it should simply reward people for dedicated play, and thereby keep them in the game long enough to develop the skill they need to want to play on higher difficulties.

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