I started writing a lot in response to the new Content Patch/drop, but I felt like I was rambling on with stuff that didn’t fit into a patch reply, so I’m making a new topic instead.
New Weapons and weapon tweaks are nice to get but we need more content that isn’t simply MOAR MONSTERS!! and more ways to delete them. Would be nice with more diversity in missions and level design. I really don’t get why you picked a static level design, instead of a procedurally generated one, which would’ve been more variety and easier to implement more variety, since you’d only need to make more set pieces to scale the biome.
I mean, Warframe had like 4 biomes when it released, with just a handful of different set pieces, but since it was procedurally placed, every mission was different and not like Darktide where we are stuck in a time-loop and replaying the same thing over and over. It actually helped sell the illusion that you were going on different missions each and every time and progressing the narrative/timeline. It helped that they also had a lot of community events where we battled specific threats over a few days, in order to unlock certain things/weapons/mods, which could actually fail. Both of those helped make each mission feel different and less of a grind. Also, they had different mission lengths and types… something that’s missing here… since with Darktide it’s all the same mission but with a slightly different color palette…
Never actually finishing a mission in Darktide and simply time-looping back to never having done it in the first place also devalues the entire setting and has devolved into not even listening or paying attention to anything anymore. Since the lore or “story” has no point, it’s only random/filler while there is no action on the screen.
Maybe you can add actual branching paths in missions? some corridors are blocked or opened? health stations are placed differently each time or not at all?
You already have your set piece objectives, so make a open → closed design loop where each open section between objectives has more branching and different paths. Some missions have these, like the one with all the closed compartments/rooms where you’re following a servo-skull. That’s pretty much the most interesting mission, the other being the smelter. Still I feel like the best part of your entire game are the random monstrosities that can spawn whenever. They are pretty much the only thing that adds variety, everything else is just always the same.
there are a few open areas in most missions, but I feel like they are under utilized simply because you use them as branching for OTHER missions, but the effect becomes the same, as both missions then become static and boring. You should instead make these into procedurally alter their layout. Forcing use to take a detour or a longer way around a section in order to get to the objective. Possibly having certain hordes spark a stop to a certain path, like a bridge collapsing because of a fat monstrosity or large horde. A cogitator exploding and opening up a new section or ruining an elevator that we used to take, forcing us to use the stairs… uhhh. things like that.
I can think of only one piece in all missions that has something like this, and that’s one mission with a monstrosity can spawn by breaking through a wall, that was an epic random thing that’s only happened to me once, but it was amazing, the sad part was that the room he came from was empty and closed off… it begs the questions how the hell did he even get inside the room?.. chaos magic? i guess… but still! the effect was welcomed, more of those types of things.
Maybe make a mission where the point of the mission is to spawn a boss monstrosity? once he’s down, it’s bolt to the ship?
This could be an open section where you simply have to move around the area, triggering hordes and monsters until a certain/random amount is killed and the boss spawns. making the boss fight on different terrain every time.
This would be a good mission to collect crafting Materials, as you’d probably be hunting that while waiting for the boss to spawn, or fetch 3 McGruffings which are randomly placed, on the 3rd he pops.
Or a frontlines type of mission that mimics a horde mode. Were you’re defending on top of the ramparts as hordes swell over and you gotta keep it from overwhelming the defenders. This could be tiers, beginning on the ramparts, if they overwhelm and kill a certain amount of guardsmen then they breach the walls and the frontline moves back. Each wave brings more monsters and no reinforcements of guardsmen.
The mission here would be surviving to the last wave, or until a “boss wave” where killing him makes the horde retreat, giving respite enough for a ship to drop down and evac the wounded and you, or simply reinforcement arrives.
There’s also the idea of a mission with a dual layout, similar to Gears of War, there the group is divided into 2s but pathing along each other. Like above or below, side to side divided by something, so we can help with ranged fire or set piece things, like dropping flaming barrels to help the other team or using servo-skulls or cogitators to enable certain defensive emplacements to help the other team, or a revive skull.
A mission like that might be too rough if it’s the WHOLE mission, but certain sections of its, like the same open → closed loop, where the closed sections are these dual layouts/objectives, or the mission could simply be a short and sweet mission, maybe 5-10minutes only.
I know one of the upper hive missions have one of these sections, but it’s very short and you can’t help those going the other path.
An open world mission that is simply, get the McGruffing to escape, would be nice. Here you might have to go in 2s, or 1-2 might have to defend a section while the other 2 go hunting. Maybe they have to defend the chopper or it gets overwhelmed and you can’t escape. This might happen in waves, so you have to kind of search during the lulls of the waves, then had back to defend the chopper when a horde is incoming, or risk 1 person searching and 3 defending. Might be a zealot’s dream mission come to think of it.
A mission with increased difficulty, this could work with the defensive/front line mission, where the mission doesn’t actually have a difficulty, but staying for longer waves increases the difficulty and reward, similar to Mass Effect 3’s grinding missions.
this would also benefit an open layout, where a new objective is placed and you gotta get to it and fix it or defend it, every 2-3 objects you get the option to escape and end the mission.
Could have a solo or duo type mission, not requiring an entire team. But a way for you to test out weapons or try and survive when it’s much harder.
These could be dressed as a failed mission, your 3 teammates were killed and you have to get back to a safe location on your own, like the tutorial mission drops you into a similar situation actually.
Or a McGruffying fetching mission that seems like it would be so easy that you’re sent by yourself, only to discover… opsy… horde incoming.
Defend the Train, a swooshing train filled with people(maybe not something they’d defend… people are just more hands used for shooting heretics)/ammo/armaments/food that needs to reach their destination. Hordes are swarming onto of the trains at intersections/stations or bridges or from buildings etc. Gotta move along the top of the train from section to section, dodge dangerous obstacles that might kill you and duck into the carts to defend objectives, or keep hordes from uncoupling the carts etc.
This makes dodging a lot harder, simply because a dodge might make you dodge off the train and a lot of small spaces.
I could go on… I feel like more of this is needed. More things where Lore and Story and narrative is at the base of the mission structure instead of simply getting bogged down by number crunching of RNG or when to spawn which monster when, or getting stuck with a single gameplay mindset.
The Lore and setting should dictate what we do and how we do it, rather than simply having a weapon testing simulator like we have now.
Maybe this is all in the pipeline and is getting released soon, I hope so. If not? then hopefully this has sparked something in you and we’ll see improved and diverse mission layouts and mission types in the future.