Its a delicate balance... and, unfortunately, still not there. The playerbase is quickly (and permanently) eroding

Now, I like the game, even at its current difficulty state… but I have 2300 hours in VT1 and over 300 in VT2. I’d hardly say I’m a “regular” player of VT2. Rather, I’m probably one of the more experienced players of both games and a diehard fan… but even I am becoming frustrated and moving to different games.

Steam has VT2 down another 20% playerbase month over month, and imo its because of the ridiculous difficulty for the AVERAGE player in the endgame.

The endgame is (presumably) how FS is hoping to maintain the playerbase (for expansions and for the rest of us to group), but this is primarily dependent on Legendary runs (for red or cosmetic items), with a very small chance on Champion… and legendary is simply too difficult for the average group of random players to have an overall positive experience or maintain a long-term interest… (and the ridiculous drop rate doesn’t help.)

To be clear, in my experience the end game is FAR too difficult for the average PUG… and in general extremely difficult for fun runs of an experienced PUG group of four… to the point where it takes away from the overall fun of the game.

What that means is that the average player will join, play through champion, and then try legendary and quit (permanently) after receiving wipe after wipe. I mean, come on… this isn’t Dark Souls… it’s marketed as similar to L4D in the Warhammer universe. (Yes, if you are a group of four experienced friends, playing as a group and using discord, it is going to be a different experience… and hurrah for you… but, like me, I also expect you are not the average player.)

This issue has been repeatedly raised on the forums… it simply isn’t fun to repeatedly lose dozens of rounds after investing ~30 minutes per map play-period (and then simply salvage anything you received, anyway).

I assume this is going to be fixed, eventually… but the problem is that FS has already released the game, most of the people who have bought it have already bought it, and once they are gone and move onto another game, they’ll be gone permanently… with a bad taste in their mouth. (The “likeability” of the game is hovering at 75% because of bugs and difficulty, and it already has more reviews than VT1… VT1 is down to about 600-700 players now that VT2 released.)

For example, VT2 went from 70,000 peak players immediately after release, with 30,000 average, to <20,000 average players on the Weekend, with 10k during the week, within a one month period, and it continues to quickly erode. There simply isn’t enough content to have staying power, unless you make the endgame obtainable with some regularity.

I like the game… so I’m hoping you do.

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I honestly don’t think the average player should have the expectation of reliably clearing legend. It’s why loot was only marginally better in Cataclysm for VT1 compared to Nightmare, the 2nd highest difficulty is supposed to be the endgame lootfarming one, the highest difficulty is for having fun overcoming ridiculous odds, and it’s okay that that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, that’s what Champion is for. Maybe Fatshark needs to make that clearer, but I also don’t think that’s why the playerbase is dropping, that’s just a thing that happens after release for every game.

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the average pub shouldn’t be playing legend. considering that every time i try to play without friends i’m greeted with people losing 1v1 to stormvermin, walking face first into pinged, called out chaos patrols and completely lacking the ability to kill specials no matter how much space or warning they’re given, i’m going to say it’s far more on the playerbase than the game itself.

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I understand that position, but if that is FS’s position then there really is no “endgame” for the average player. That seems antithetical to game development or keeping your playerbase.

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How is there not an endgame? 5 book champion reliably gets you a chest that can have red/cosmetic gear in it, and as your skill as a player progresses you can push into legend and fall back into champion as needed.

Also, L4D didn’t even have loot or any reward for beating campaigns, and people still played that for thousands of hours. There’s options for pushing difficulty as far as you can go (and heroic deeds too if that isn’t enough), endgame loot accessible on a reliable difficulty, there’s something for everyone, I am not seeing the problem.

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Great… I guess you and I will be grouping up in the future, all by ourselves. Nice to meet you.

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I agree with two things: some players will quit because there are always players in each game that feel required to do the hardest difficulty, and vermintide isn’t going to acquiesce to those players regarding a ‘fair’ experience. That’s on them, and those players certainly don’t make up most of the playerbase. I also agree that there isn’t necessarily enough content to keep everyone going. IMO, the first point isn’t a problem and there will be plenty of players regardless, and the second point will be helped by upcoming DLC.

That’s an issue, but how could you adress it?
The great sales were a bit surprising to me, since this is a niche game at it’s core. And there it’s not a surprise that a lot of people are not staying. Don’t think it’s because devs handle things poorley, it probably has more to do with people who realise what kind of game it is and are leaving it. But that’s just the way it is.
I don’t think current endgame of obtaining cosmetics and veteran items does any good though. Loot orng is not cool atm, and with frustraiting crafting system I feel like big part of the game, which is experimenting with different builds and weapons, is closed for me. And let’s be honest, huge part of the failures goes to bugs, super awkward spawn spots and just regular crushes and stability issues. I had days where multiple hosts I played with crushed in the middle of the run. Improvements are being done, but it would take about a year for game to get in a good state.
But aside from bug fixing, what do you think could help this situation?

It would be interesting to know the exact metrics but if VT2 is similar to other games then the “average” player won’t even hit 30. It seems like you are trying to use the numbers you have gathered to back up your own thoughts on why you are not enjoying the game.

It would be even more interesting to see the amount of legend games played per day compared to other difficulties.

I know a lot of people who played the game for 50 hours and enjoyed it but… really what more is there? I spent 30 hours in the new far cry and felt happy about that.

It is just really dangerous to make assumptions based on metrics then apply your own reasoning to them when a quick breakdown just makes it seem like hyperbole.

This was intended to be a constructive post… not just a complaint. IMO, FS should address it by making the endgame (whatever the Devs want as an “endgame”) to be much more accessible to the average player. There has to be an objective to “grind” and continue playing the game.

(And to be clear, by “endgame” I mean the part of the game which is intended to prolong the game and keep players involved… so FS can later sell them more content as DLC or whatever.) A good endgame is also a good metric for how much you can charge for a game up front, because consumers will pay more for a game that they will play for a longer time period.

So, if the Devs want the endgame to be cosmetics, so be it… if it’s crafting, so be it… if it’s skill trees, so be it…

The problem is that the endgame currently in place is cosmetic drops. If this part of the game is not reasonably accessible to the average player, the game ends (on average) with one run through each of the maps at each difficulty, with the forge at approximately lvl 10, with the skill-tree at level 25, and at Champion difficulty. In fact, FS didn’t even make the players run the maps in order first… rather, you can run them all over the place from the beginning via QP.

I’d expect the game currently ends within a few dozen hours of gameplay (if that!) for the vast majority of players… and then those players forget about VT2 unless they bother to pick up a DLC at a very low price-point.

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To be fair. A chunk of the leavers could be attributed to the repetitive nature of the game, not the balance itself.
You’ll likely see a surge with new levels.

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What would you like the endgame to be? Honest question.

I am still in the cycle of not really having anything to focus on but just enjoy playing.

It is also worth considering what kind of game fatshark wants to make. Alot of devs at try to fish for players with gimiks and faux grind rewards. This might be their vision and going to tune it and improve it to how they see it.

It is hard to judge these threads as some blame the game being too easy for people leaving, some blame it being to hard. Too much crafting not enough crafting and so forth.

“playerbase dropped last month”
It’s been out for a month of course playerbase is still dropping, I don’t think ‘difficulty’ has to do with it, it’s that most players don’t invest hundreds of hours.

I agree with all your points, but to say the game is dying because of it is an exaggeration. The game isn’t what it could (or should) be, but it’s not a failed project. It’s frustrating as hell for some of the more dedicated players, but I don’t think a majority even notices it.

But then again, the devs have put out their last balance patch just days ago and they’ve already promised new cosmetics in an update planned for this month, so you’re really not saying anything new here.

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Who knows… and my opinion isn’t worth any more than the rest of the playerbase.

Probably the most successful endgame model which might fit with VT2 is World of Warcraft… it used “tiered” armor/weapon sets which required grinding progressively harder levels/mobs/bosses and, ultimately, highly coordinated group play. Something which would reasonably fit here with the use of the various difficulty levels and heroic deeds.

Cosmetics, frankly, are not a good model, IMO, because no one really cares enough… particularly if it is ultra-rare RNG loot-crate drops.

But, there’s plenty of other endgame models… just look at all the “popular” premium games or games which are popular enough to require a monthly subscription… each uses their own version. e.g. Crafting of high end gear after certain challenges (or steam achievements) are met, or skill level recipes, or high end skill tree skills, or cosmetics (inclulding gestures), or a mixture…

Any of these could fit within the current system. Inexplicably (to me) it’s focused on cosmetics… the least enticing of them all… but perhaps these are the easiest to implement. (After all, it’s only a $30 game).

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tell that to my 30 legend general/emp chests that yielded oranges only,most of them below 300 HP. I gave up on reds and cosmetics after 300 hours, but now I’m even running out of green dust,so yeah,no,there is no actual endgame in this, neither in challenge nor reward. Now I occasionally pop in for a run or two to get that final achievement(equip a veteran item) but I’m pretty much done with the game.

Repeating the same thing over and over, with predictable hordes and set spawns, plethora of bugs (still), no weapon balance whatsoever(it’s sort of a plus because if you get a team with non-cheese weapons and classes then legend can actually be quite fun, you get an extra challenge and don’t feel like you’re playing with a bunch of tools) barely anything to grind for and a laughably low droprate to go with it, talents repeating between skill trees and classes, some of them being useless and/or boring(again,a plus to increase the challenge,because you can get health on crit so your 20% crit can give you 10 temp hp total per horde, while the people using the only useful lvl20 passive get half their hp bar filled with temp hp after 10 seconds with the horde)

After seeing all the levels and killing every possible enemy with every possible weapon in every possible way this game simply gives you f-all. “Co-op” can’t be a diverse experience unless you count the f-ups in your team,but then again you’ve seen all the dumb sh*t people do in game,so even that’s boring…

All in all, like I said,I’m done with VT2, will pop back either in a year or two or after there’s mod support, dedicated servers and a gigantic 20 GB patch alongside a 30 minute read patch notes highlighting all the reworks and significant changes.

Expected more from VT2,hope it becomes an actually good game when(if) mods make it.

I just hope that by the time VT2 gets it’s sh*t together there will be a playerbase large enough so that a solo player doesn’t have to wait 40 minutes or an hour to get a game/full team.

Oh,and I’ll definitely jump in game when FS finally figures out what keep customization was supposed to be and how to make it work without removing the keep floor or crashing players joining your lobby or something similar.

Preferably with developer commentary,something like “so,we made this tower,way,way away from any area you can interact with. You see,it’s actually an easter egg- people can see inside it, get to the entrance using movement abilities and we even put in a wooden barricade in there that looks destructible. Now,the joke is- get this!- there’s no way to access it and there’s nothing in it! We just had this idea ‘wouldn’t it be cool to have a tower in our keep?’, so we modeled it,made the interior, put it in the game and then we kinda had no idea what to do with it so we decided to leave it as is so the players who play the game during their first hours have something to look at and get trolled by while they explore the keep, until they realize there’s nothing to explore and nothing interesting to find and they just f-off to using all menus via hotkeys.”
I figure.

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This. The gameplay is the endgame. Visceral melee combat, intense and exciting Co op survival against the hordes and monsters of the End Times. Gear and crafting are cool and all but serve to supplement the gameplay.

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Frankly i feel like the game is in a good place still. Yes interest is dropping and that is not unexpected. Its not like other games as far as i can tell end game dose not really exist in my mind due to the fact that your only reward is cosmetics and the “Red” items from highest difficulty. The veteran changes were beneficial to pugs weather they know it or not because the only thing stopping them from advancing will be the players themselves and not the game.

Not to mention the interesting Twitch features that i feel are not being utilized enough. How many other games have you played where your spectators control the flow of your game? To be honest this is the first game to do that for me and is in fact a very attractive feature. Frankly i would love to see some of the dev’s themselves play with twitch support on and just kinda chat with the community. or at least some kind of different (Possibly difficult. maybe even just silly.) game mode.

Hell maybe have a twitch mode where players get random classes / weapons so they have to adapt on the fly then offer extra rewards for teams that finish. Expand the Twitch users ability to mess with people even more by adding a negative effect that makes it so the group has no ranged weapons allowed for the 1 min duration. If people cant stream it themselves then just make a twitch quick play lobby to join or something. im just tossing out ideas and not thinking about the logistics right now so dont call me on it.

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The Heroic Deeds are a massive missed opportunity for encouraging lower level players to do a little grindy things to get better equipment.

All FS need to do is have the bounty board back, with the deeds rewarding keys towards your chosen loot.

At the moment I think that getting all of the balance fixed and stopping the game-breaking bugs is a top priority. I regularly play at lower levels to help new players and encourage them to stick at it, and also to block and dodge :slight_smile: EVERY lower level “new player” I’ve met is having a blast, and so it appears that the people who are grumbling are the seasoned vets who want all kinds of wonderful stuff. people who have hundreds of hours in game have an apparently vast amount of free time many of us simply don’t have. I might even suggest that if you’ve spent about 25 quid and you’ve had 300+ hours of gaming and you’re moaning about lack of fun you could consider your own expectations of what you get for approx 25 quid to be completely up the wazoo. AND if you are so bloody bored why do it for 300 hours?

Personally I hope the endgame is built around a bounty-board (where you choose what weapon or skin you’re aiming for) and the deeds that reward the keys towards your chosen item. A recruit player might have to complete 10 deeds to get enough keys to get their chosen weapon. A champion player might only need to complete 6 and a legend player 5 deeds to get the keys.

Could it be possible that if some people who were high level went and helped in recruit/veteran every now and then it might actually build the player base?

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Yeah, those chests didn’t give you red items or cosmetics, but they COULD’VE. Similarly, if you play legend, you’re still probably not going to see any reds or cosmetics, but again, you could’ve. The game not being rewarding enough is an entirely separate issue and thread from what i’m discussing here. My point is that you’re not obligated to play legend in order to attempt to chase after these items, and chasing those items provides an “endgame” for some players, so legend doesn’t have to be made to appeal to the general playerbase.

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A freak accident turning every human being into a monkey wearing a Groucho Marx mask, singing “It’s raining men” in Eminems voice also didn’t happen, but it

Similarly, all the matter in the universe didn’t turn into tapdancing dog turds, but it

see

of course you’re not. IF you’re willing to spend hundreds or thousands of hours only to grind one item that might not even be useful or appealing to you.

it might have meant anything if you switched “chasing” with “playing a 1:10000000 lottery to get” and honestly, I don’t see that many people dedicating hundreds of hours for a boring grind to win a lottery in which the prize is a dice roll.

So maybe you’re right, this might be appealing to SOME players, but I figure 100 people with severe OCD who are living off their parents money or social, so they can spend 18 hours a day playing one game aren’t really representatives of either casual players nor hardcore players, because they live in their own little world where winning that 1 to billion dice roll is the most important thing in the world. That’s fine, but it doesn’t really prove a point.

oh,and btw L4D2 is 6 years old and most people play on modded servers(which you join with two button clicks) or with mutations(which you toggle with multiple button clicks).

Meanwhile, a fresh-out-of-the-oven game has all unique and fun activities bared off behind a drop system with a droprate of 1 in 1000, still with chance for unfun duplicates and with their own rarities, where only the highest tier ones are worth considering as a challenge, and to top that off you can’t start them and wait for a group or join a group running one,you need to have an actual full team of willing participants. Not to mention load game-load main menu-load keep-load hosts keep-wait for party to gather-load level-experience host disconnect 90% through the level-get nothing-rince-repeat.

But at least the game doesn’t pause when players are joining mid game like in Payday! PROGRESS!

Why not join the Fatshark Discord https://discord.gg/K6gyMpu