Looking at what in Darktide can be improved #1: Map Selection UI and Matchmaking

Over the past few months I’ve taken a bit of time looking into what the most common issues are and gathered an insightful amount of ideas on what to possibly improve upon, in this Topic it will be on what could be improved with the Darktides Mission Selection and Matchmaking.

[Disclaimer] The Screenshot shared in this topic has been edited to visually highlight individual suggestions that could be implemented for both clarity and transparency to improve the general player experience of navigating to and from the mission board.

To start things off strong, here is a visual representation of a potential set of improvements to the mission board:

  • 1: Sector wide rotation pool.
    One of the most glaring and a frustrating to play around issue I’ve found with the rotation pool is that they feel incredibly inconsistent and unreliable. With weekly Mark challenges that requires players to venture into specific sectors, this lack of transparency on which sectors on Atoma Prime is playable at the time is by all means unhealthy for the sector and mission specific challenges.
    To keep players informed on which sectors is accessible for play within the hourly rotation, I suggest that the previous Global Announcement is reinstated with its new function is to issue news regarding the active condition of the deployment zones, keeping the many strike teams informed which sectors within Atoma Prime is inaccessible for the time being due to heavy firefights by the deployment zones, thus preventing the Inquisition from sending in reinforcements in the affected areas.

  • 2: Removal of the old Quickplay button.
    Time to mention the elephant in the room, the current Quickplay button is unfortunately nothing more then unnecessary clutter that takes up a portion of the mission selection screen that could be reserved for at least 2 more possible missions. The very moment players reach Trust level 11 and gain access to the Weekly challenges, this “any mission” button is almost completely forgotten about, so i would greatly suggest removing it and relocate it to a more simplified and cleaner button which I’ll follow up on with more detail in the upcoming suggestion.

  • 3: Quickplay, Host and Join session browser in one place.
    Followed with the removal of said Quickplay button in suggestion #2, i believe a more nuanced and expanded way on how players want to play the game, allowing players to host their own sessions from the start or join active sessions of their choice, reducing que time dramatically.
    Trough the “Quickplay” button players can join any active sessions of their choice, with extra preference options to decide if they want to only que into games within a specific sector, with specific conditions and with specific secondary objectives or if they just want to join a game that is about to start.
    “Hosting Mission” button is exceptionally good for players who want to play any mission that is Atoma Prime offers without having to force players to wait several hours for a specific mission to become accessible (this feature would be invaluable for players who want to try out new maps right away, rather then having to wait hours for a chance to play it, an issue of which we got with our first new mission added to the game last year). This host feature can also offer the preference option to decide if the hosted mission requires one of each class or allows multiple of the same classes in the same session to join, as some players would very much love it if they can play the game with all 4 classes in the same strike team and not just have 2-4 of the same class in all of their games…
    Lastly for this segment is the “Active Mission Browser” and it is very much on the nose on what its meant to offer, it is essentially a server browser that allows players to filter out specific missions, difficulty, special conditions, secondary objectives and region the server is hosted on to find any active missions of their choice that they want to immediately join and play, allowing players to jump straight into active or about to start games right away.

  • 4: Universal Difficulty slider and simplified Mission briefing.
    One of the most glaring issues players have is the lack of choice in which difficulty we all can play these missions on, higher leveled players are forced to play the game at a lower difficulty they can play on in order to complete their weekly challenges and it also makes difficulty specific Penance challenges more dragged out and frustrating to accomplish, to resolve this issue I suggest the removal of the randomly set difficulty setting for active missions and allow players to select any difficulty they want for the mission the want to play, and to simplify the UI i would also suggest moving the objectives up a peg so players can access the difficulty slider at any time. Allowing players to actively play with the difficulty setting of their choice and also allow experienced players to try out any future missions and special conditions added into the game at their skill level right away.

  • 5: More Transparent and informative Secondary Objectives
    One if not my most personally frustrating issues with the mission selection is the lack of clarity and information on which missions secondary conditions are currently accessible, requiring players to select the mission first and read out the its secondary objective before assessing if its the mission they want to play or not… This issue is also most annoying when the active missions with secondary objectives at the time only offers the recovery of Scriptures or Grimores when the players need the other for their weekly challenge.
    To resolve this issue i would highly suggest and recommend to replace the current secondary objective marker with the objectives specific item icon, so that players can see which missions onboard the Morningstar currently offers Scripture, Grimore or any future secondary objective runs that can be added into the game. I would also suggest a specific hard requirement for the mission board to always offer at least 2 missions for each of the secondary objectives so players can either play with or without these secondary objectives in their sessions (sometimes a player might just want to play trough the mission and not worry about passively taking corruption damage down to their last wound from the pair of Grimores the other players want to complete their weekly challenges after all).

  • 6 Designated Special Condition list and optional tooltip feature
    Due to the suggested changes from suggestion #4, I suggest that all information for currently accessible in the rotation pool and future special conditions can be shared from its own designated button in the Mission tab instead, with a check-mark option to have enable tooltips to appear when players hover over their unique icons to the right side of the missions, and the tooltip box can appear underneath the selected mission for players that is playing Darktide on the console ports of the game.

These are a couple of well founded examples that I firmly believe could improve the game drastically, at the very least greatly improve the matchmaking experience for all parties. And more constructive feedback like this one is sure to come within the following weeks.
Any other suggestions regarding this particular topic are welcomed here as well, so if you have any suggestions that i didn’t cover or you think i overlooked, feel free to post them here so we have them all consolidated into one place.

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