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

If we are being honest here, that is not how it works in most cases.
At least not in most games i have played.

So you always play with people of the same power level and your power level relative towards the enemies stays the same all the time?
That sounds like an awful system with no actual progression.
They just make you run on a treadmill, instead of letting you get anywhere, showing you bigger numbers with no actual impact to give you the false perception of progression.

Like raids in WoW for example (once you have a base level of gear)?
Where the best gear also only comes from the hardest content, and not everyone is expected to beat the hardest content?

Btw, if we are looking just at the damage stat of an item for example, the difference in damage between 100% and 80% stats is about 6%.
Ofc, some items also have first target, penetration and finesse modifiers, which would further increase the damage.
But do you really think that having a few % extra damage would suddenly become a problem in a game like darktide, where the most important things are player skill, movement and positioning, and where the damage you take is not rly affected by your gear at all?

Who suggested to gate high difficulties by gear? Not me.

Yeah, I agree with most of it.
You may want to check this from a while back, to cross check on the ideas:

Seriously? That is exactly how it works in most cases. The vast majority of games that are built around progression as the primary driver of long term engagement use an illusion of difficulty where enemies are hard to beat until you get the equipment to make them easy, rinse and repeat until you’re playing at the highest “difficulty.”

I gave the specific example of World of Warcraft and i am not entirely sure, how it is nowadays, but i think that it still follows the same principles as it did back in the time of Classic to Cataclysm:

  • Multiple different pieces of content with different difficulties.
  • The top tier gear comes from the top tier raid from the current expansion (hardest content).
  • Beating the raid is mostly a skill issue, but gets slightly easier with better gear.
  • Some raid bosses or entire raids have an extra challenging mode (hard mode or heroic mode), that rewards exceptional gear to players who are able to beat it.

The basic version of the raid is cleared by relatively many players, who are then rewarded with pretty good (but not THE BEST) gear, but not every player is able to beat the hard mode/heroic mode and get the best gear that the game has to offer at the time.
That is not a problem at all.

And i think that it would also not be a problem in Darktide, especially since the skill aspect is much higher than the gear aspect in this game.
Also, in Darktide, higher difficulty content is not unique content, but the same content, just with higher difficulty, so you can also not really make the argument that anyone gets locked out of any content (due to difficulty).

Of course, in WoW, the next expansion (or tier) makes the content of the previos expansion (or tier) pretty easy, but within an expansion (or tier), it is (or was) not really like that at all.
As long as Darktide does not get expansions or tiers like that, this does not matter at all.

I think that all it comes down to is, if people who are unable to beat top difficulty content, would be able to live with being rewarded according to the difficulty they can beat (meaning they will not be given the beast gear in the game).
Or if they would feel entitled to get it , despite their own lack of skill.

I personally think that certain rewards should be gated by difficulty/skill, but some people might disagree and this is a very subjective issue.
Some people might prefer it, if playing on higher difficulty simply shortens the grind (or does not have any benefits at all), so that everything can be obtained without any skill, by simply grinding on low difficulty.

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Darktide’s number one problem is the constant crashing. The gear system is annoying but not that big of a deal.

I have crashed once this year and do not know how bad crashes still are for some other people.

Crashes are a bad thing for sure, but they are a stability issue and not a problem in the sense of game design, which is what i meant in the title.

Can we agree, that if the crashes are generally fixed, the itemization is the biggest issue that remains?

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The different difficulty settings that exist for WoW raids now are not an example of a well developed endgame system. They are an example of a game trying to compromise between its original design philosophy and a new design philosophy when it comes to the accessibility of content.

The original WoW was not designed so that every player would experience every piece of content. It was simply designed to be a vast open world where if you engaged with any piece of content for long enough you would unlock access to new content.

The increase in difficulty from one region to the next or from solo content to group content to raid content was not the point of the game, it was a gating mechanism for actual content. Getting the best gear that was available at your level went a long way to opening up new areas of the game. Getting that gear usually involved building groups and going into dungeons. Everything the game did was to prepare you for what came next, both in the power of your character and in teaching you how to play.

Not completing the raids wasn’t considered a problem in the original game. People were never left with nothing to do. The reason they weren’t in the raids was because they were still dealing with some other obstacle for getting to the raids. Probably the biggest reason why this changed was because once expansions started dropping people realized that there was a time limit on completing content if you didn’t want to just run through it overleveled with no real challenge.

So the design philosophy for WoW changed. They wanted people to experience all of the content over the course of an expansion. Leveling became extremely fast and even skippable. You could queue for dungeons and raids and they were changed to be so easy that you’d be practically guaranteed to beat them without ever even having to talk to your team mates.

So, WoW was originally built around the idea that not everyone would complete every piece of content, and that the gear you get for completing content would enable you to attempt the next piece of content. Then they abandoned that philosophy and and instituted difficulty modes and some largely irrelevant gear rewards as a conciliatory nod to the people who played all the way to the end in the original game.

Darktide is an entirely different animal. It never had a system of having to unlock content through progression. It was built from the ground up around the idea that every player gets to experience all of the game at whatever level of challenge they feel comfortable with. You can see all that Darktide has to offer without ever leaving Difficulty 1 or even getting to Level 30.

There is no need to make your character more powerful to see new content in this game. So the progression system in Darktide only has value as an expressive system. That’s why people are reacting so negatively to how shallow the progression and character customization is. The reason why you want to increase the power of your character in Darktide is because that’s how the game acknowledges that it understands how you like to play and that it supports that playstyle. Consequently it’s very frustrating to people when the game doesn’t seem to have their back on what should be a very obvious build idea, like a glass cannon Psyker. It’s also very frustrating when you can’t get the build you want because of randomized items.

So expanding the progression system is a huge deal to making this game better, but it needs to be done with an emphasis on the expressive quality of the progression system. Trying to style it after a progression system for a game where progression used to serve to gate content and then got later relegated to difficulties because the developers decided that players need to be chauffeured though all of the content without much effort doesn’t make any sense.

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So quite similar to playing lower difficulty as preparation to play the higher difficulty, once you have built up enough skill.

The expressive quality (picking perks and blessings and ironing out the weak stats on an item) is what i suggested, should be completely included for players who play on diff 3.

You are focusing on many parts of the game i used as example, but not so much on the specific part for which i used it as example.

The whole reason i brought up the example of WoW is, that there is/was content that not all players could beat, which would give you slightly more power.

You said that there should not be any power upgrades that are locked behind higher difficulty, because it is problematic.

So i showed you an example, where top tier gear comes (or came) only from top tier content.

That is not entirely true. There are a few things that are unlocked by leveling, and you can not experience your class at its full potential without leveling it to 30. Also, there are no proper hordes on low difficulty.
(I might have misunderstood you here. Maybe you meant that you can play all maps that darktide has to offer without leaving diff 1 or maxing a char.)

Do you not think, that because Darktide is made the way you say here, it would be absolutely unproblematic, to simply give some extra power as reward for being able to deal with higher difficulty?

I’m saying you’re trying to imitate a system that only exists as a legacy mechanic in games that used to gate content with progression in a game that has never gated content with progression.

Progression in Darktide should be an expressive system above all else. It should aim at keeping people engaged by giving them a way to tinker away at creating their perfect character while playing the game in whatever way they like best.

There is simply no reason to copy a system that is a vestige of a whole other style of game that this game has no relation to.

Your so focused on people who only play low difficulties. What about people like me who have no choice to make the game harder. Vermintide 2 allowed expression and allowed us to create almost limitless difficulties. This game completely fails at that and there is no reason to perfect a build when there is no battleground challenging enough to express it in.

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I seriously don’t like… What I like in this game is exactly what you dislike.

I like that we get fast to level 30 and that there is no limitation etc.
The actual progression is not a problem for me.

What is a problem is the Merk store that has always shitty weapons, the store that make your search for a good weapon too hard, the difficulty to get a good weapon with the right blessing, the impossibility to ameliorate a weapon.

All of these points have to be solved by:

  • implementing the crafting system. The one they described is enough good in my opinion… except I would like to be able to change all perks, or at least 2 on curios
  • The shops need tweak. Special shop should only get 340+ weapons with GOOD blessing (not tier 1, not the worst blessing we can see). The normal shop should be refreshed after a mission success.

I don’t search for a game that is blocking me in my options. What I like in this game is the fact that you need skill and that there is a learning curve to be good with a class. I want to be able to test weapons and take fun in the missions. I don’t care of what is around, except if we can’t get decent weapons (actual situation).
I prefer they implement things like random mapping, mission generator (with random map tiles, random objective etc), new environments instead of something to simulate a progression. The actual system is enough good. At lower levels, you get the worst weapons that you will never use again… Well, that’s fine and sufficient.

I can add that they should remove the contract system to replace it with a progression in objectives like, successfull missions, killing scabs, killing dregs, killing monstruosity, finding grims, finding scripts, etc… Each action should a little of the currency needed for the merk’s shop. The reward could be dependant of the difficulty level.


So it would still mostly have garbage items with low modifier stats.

It is so „good“ that pretty much nobody likes it and any of the rng that is involved.
You are suggesting to keep the random modifier rolls and no way of upgrading an item in that regard, which is a widely disliked feature of the current system.

Unless i misunderstand you completely, you are suggesting to replace the contract system with a virtually identical system (only difference being, that you get coins for each step of the overall progress, not only for completing the overall task).
I think that getting the coins in smaller portions, instead of only getting any if you finish the whole task, is a good idea, but there are still other problems with the weekly system.

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I dont get why this genre or game does even need any progression?!?
Progression in any game is artificially prolonged like WoW that was mentioned here did with DLC’s for example or other Games do it with Battlepasses/ Seasonal Content and Cosmetics bound to a grind.
So many people cant just play and have fun, but need to have a carrot on a stick in front of them and getting rewards nonstop.
I’m maybe and luckily too old to need that and can just have fun playing a game and enjoying the challenge beating it.
You could give me my Weapons and remove all stats and whatnot and i’d play and purge heretics nonstop, because the core gameplay is fun. I dont need any progression and often i even dislike it.
IF FS had just not implemented any Progression and it would be only about the core gameplay this game would have zero negative reviews and would be just great.

To increase replay value.

Any unlock of anything in any videogame (or real life game) is artificially prolonged unless it is just given to you by default.
Also, what you are talking about here, is not necessarily artificially prolonged progression, but mostly just additional content that is being released over time.
Nothing wrong with keeping people engaged with the game.

Yet i have no idea why you are talking about dlc and battlepasses/seasonal content, since that is nothing that was suggested for Darktide, here.
I even explicitly said that i was talking about the progression in WoW within one expansion, not across expansions.

Yes. Some people like being rewarded for doing something. There is no problem with that.
This is how many games and most things i real life work as well.
Like sports events that give medals to the winner, or any other thing that rewards people for being good at something.

Since you are recognizing that many people need (or want) to be rewarded, you should be all for this, right?
You do not care about it, but if most other people do, it would make the game more popular if people got rewarded, no?

Great, so would you have no problem with a progression system being in place, since you would not care about it and just play the game and have fun anyway?
Or would you try to prevent the others from having fun, because they find fun in something you do not care about at all?

This statement is just willingly ignorant.
You posted here, so you opened the forums. Unless you looked at nothing except this thread, you must have noticed that there are quite a few complaints about this game.

There are multiple issues with the game.
And if there was no progression system at all (no crafting at all what so ever, all items have identical stats) people would likely complain about the complete lack thereof.

If they didn’t have a progression system, I’d still play it, I played L4D 1 and 2 a lot and not versus, either.

But since it does have a progression system, and it sucks, most of us are here to provide feedback on why we don’t like it.


What about people like you? What are you missing out on if people who don’t enjoy playing on high difficulties can earn all the rewards in the game?

If you want a higher difficulty setting ask for a higher difficulty setting. Don’t ask for better rewards for playing at the highest difficulty, because that will only lead to a giant number of people calling for the game to be made easier on the highest difficulty.

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and unneccessary problems that arent really needed.

like “weapon progression” and all the fuss about?

true, but the way it’s done causes more problems than anything else in this case.
So it would have been maybe better not to.

What were the plans about beeing a GaaS in detail, any info’s?
Normally all the games anounced as a GaaS have such things.

Forum full of complains about the “progression system” or the lack of it, the RNG or whatever about it.
It causes more problems than it ads to replayability imo.

No why should i?
People want a lot and i dont see why i also should want it, if i just dont?!?

actually it does the opposite :smiley:

true, i sometimes even dont check the shop anymore as i can beat Damnation with the gear i have, neither above 350 BR nor best blessings or perks, but also not complete crap ofc.

maybe, but would be better than half baked, artificially constructed systems that cause even more complains.
They then could say no progression by design and our games philosophy, play for the fun purging heretics, beat highest difficulty, enjoy and thats it.
People who need more would play once or twice and no further or only when new Maps, Modes, Conditions, classes beeing released and others play as long as it would be fun to them.
Less problems, but ofc less customers.

Does it take away from your experience, when there is a system in the game, that you do not intend to engage with anyway, because you are only there for the gameplay?

Is that so?
Then why do developers ever make games that reward players for their time and skill, if it just makes the games unpopular?
Let’s ask the developers of some of the most polular games in the world, who chose to do that, even though it apparently just does the opposite of what they want to acheive. At least according to you.

not really

to have more customers and get the “i need a carrot on a stick” gamers also.

I talked about DT only.
Who are these Dev’s and what is that most popular games in the world you are talking about?


  • you do not care about the system, would not interact with it and the system would not take away from your experience
  • other people would like the system to be im place, and it would make the game more popular amongst them

You could say “I don’t care if it is there or not.”
You could say “It does not change the way i enjoy the game, but it makes the game more enjoyable to others, so it should be done.”
Yet your decision is to be against it although it would not impact you at all.

That is like not wanting a steakhouse to offer drinks, just because all that you personally ever want to order is a steak.
Also including drinks on their menu, would make the restaurant more popular, but they should not offer drinks, because you do not want drinks. You would not order drinks with your steak. But you do not want anyone else to be allowed to either.

So it does not make the game unpopular, but includes more people in the target audience?

Ok. Then why do you claim that “people getting rewarded” for their time and skill, causes Darktide to become less popular, when that kind of reward is not something that the game currently offers?
What people dislike is the lack of such a system, and that we instead have a mess of layers of RNG.