Musings on Darktide's Destiny

My own personal history with Fatshark, and their games has been a little checkered in places.

This ranges from spittle-in-the-corner-of-your-mouth Fanboi to downright petulant child but overall I suppose with almost 4k hours in VT2 I could be considered a big fan of their games and the company.

I’ve seen the highs and lows and the weird patches, the addition and removal of bugs – seemingly on a whim - and witnessed the horribly Bru-Ha-Ha about armour skins with Bogenhafen. This usually quite tolerant and nice community really descended into the bowels of Nurgle’s personal Midden there and if there’s ever any event that needs Saltzpyre to expunge it from the record, that was it.

I therefore have some optimism about their release of Darktide, in the same way as people getting on a fairground ride thrown together with nuts and bolts and duct tape, assembled in a matter of hours by a man with few teeth and an even lower IQ are optimistic.

Am I going to have a fantastic time? I hope so. Am I going to end up depressed, cold, wet, face down in the mud having been flung from the giddy heights to land in a hedge? Possibly but highly unlikely.

And Yet…

Fatshark are not the company they were in 2018 when they launched VT2, to a massive surge in sales and an interest in the game that appear to far outstrip the companies ability to deal with it.

The Launch stream saw members of the company chugging Red Bull so fast the offices of FS boosted the share price of Red Bull by 0.7% on their consumption alone. None looked refreshed, all was frantic. Martin Wahlund appear to age several years before your eyes.

Game launched with some immense sales and some fairly spectacular bugs, Stagger/Cleave not working being a fairly hefty one. Patches came quick and dirty, fixing one thing to break another, Krubers Greatsword broke Keri’s Greatsword. BW was… pointless. Huntsman was loads of fun because you could get the handgun to fire 12 shots like the repeater handgun. Fun times, except for the … you know… actual game balance and stuff.

My therapist says not to talk too much about the character grind because it might cause me to have another one of my ‘red mist episodes’. Neither I nor the UK Hampshire constabulary want that.

Onto Winds of Magic, a thing that really got me excited for the mode, only for my currently hard-won gear to be entirely redundant, and a mode without random spawns ~possibly the greatest thing that keeps the gameplay loop fresh. Baffling.

Winds of Magic triggered red mist episodes™ across the globe. A huge Misstep by FS and in my opinion caused by simply attempting too much at once spreading their team too thin and over-promising and under-delivering. The new stagger mechanic got rid of the dodge meta though, and for that I’m grateful.

You might be thinking this is just a post digging up old troubles, like a lunatic spouse pulling up
Things Wot You Did since 2018. Hear me out.

These are hard lessons learned the tough and painful way, and the company are significantly better now. Things that would’ve been announced from the rooftops as something FS have achieved are now becoming business as usual. This is a good thing.

The most recent remaster patch almost slid under the radar, where a remaster was a big change to the game and would’ve been a fairly large annoucement even 18 months ago.

Nurglings in Geheimnisnacht is another thing that just popped up and happened that would never have happened 2 years ago. Lohner is engaged with the community a lot more after literally years of silence. Fatshark even employed a bona fide VT2 gamer to be a community manager and assist Hedge in fighting on all fronts. Another big step in the right direction.

Warrior Priest was also a fantastic class that was relatively bug free and brought something great to the team from the offset. There is much happening lately to be happy and pleased about.

And so onto Darktide.

Although I’ve got grave concerns about the character progression and making new characters grind from level 1 each time, there’s absolutely mountains of stuff that is now business as usual.

Dedicated Servers, Removal of Weapon RNG loot as you can save up and buy it, Better Key bindings, Character creation, abso-bloody-lutely fantastic graphics and atmosphere, announcement of a crafting system, a community hub area, individual armour skins and the ability to build your own look, all on top of the fantastic gameplay loop we love.

Everything I’ve listed has been screamed about and requested by the community for VT2 since day one in 2018. FS do in fact listen and have seized the opportunity to solve a lot of the deep-seated problems in VT2 so I’m definitely prepared to be far more optimistic than downcast.

I’ve heard DT described by some as ‘This could be my new Destiny’, so that’s the kind of game size and community that might explode when the game launches. No small thing.

There’s still a tiny nagging feeling however, that someone who’s working on this fairground ride is still running around adjusting bolts with the wrong size spanner, holding things together with planks of wood and duct taping things in place to be addressed later, only to be baffled when something important goes boing and the ride grinds to a halt.

So please FS, resist the urge to duct tape something together and throw it out the door[edit] I’m not advocating a delay!]. There are many of us here who really really want you to succeed on a phenomenal level. It could be the game that propels you into the big league.


Well put (entire post, I think).

I recently revisited V2 myself after not playing for many many months. Was surprised to see that we now have variations on the mission intro narration as well as a huge number of QoL updates.

while i agree with you in a general sense, support fatshark, and consider their games to be among the greatest.

i do also recognize that many threads about the beta build are in fact, disappointed players who hoped that fatshark learned these things on their journey.

examples would be the horrendous UI choices,
and lack of information (enemy bestiary, weapon actual stats, and Tooltips)

things the community stepped up and solved sometimes weeks after release
and yet were missing in the beta build as if mods like numeric UI isn’t widely used. wich now that we transferred to dedicated servers can’t be fixed like that, and is more important than ever that fathsark gets it right.

well there’s hope that they keep their promise and support Darktide as a “games as a service” model
and add stuff the community asks for, but we both now that fatshark can be notoriously silent at times


There’s something about their internal pipeline or processes that seems to somehow be unable to incorporate things they’ve implemented in the old game after they’ve started work on the new game.

For V2 the QoL they took from V1 only seemed to be from around the first year of V1, and from playing the beta of Darktide, again, it seems like they’ve taken some QoL implementations from the first year of V2, meaning that overall we seem to be losing 3-4 years of progress for every new game.

I don’t know if their new game teams or their patch teams even talk to each other, because as you’ve said, they never seem to carry the entirety of the design lessons they’ve learnt between games.

Sure, they’re designing ‘new’ systems, trying out new things, but they never seem to maintain a solid UX foundation, their design for a lot of things seem bafflingly player hostile (like obfuscated weapon info, enemy info, keywords and undefined or obscure iconography).



I’m sorry
(this is shamelessly stolen from Darktide r/)


Aw, how cute - an FS love thread :brown_heart:

Also, where’s my fuсking Versus? If only there was uh… THE OTHER new L4D-style co-op PVE game that has just completely butchered their own PVP mode and has now shrunk its playerbase to VT2 sized even on the heels of a hefty DLC. THEN I’d drop this whole versus thing.

Versus is the Vietnam of FS, they will never utter a word about it ever again and pretend it never existed.


Yeah, well. ‘The Internet remembers’. Also it’s the main thing keeping that other game we don’t like hearing about still afloat, alive and kicking the crаp out of both VT2’s and B4B’s Steam Chart numbers.

this would make a lot of sense, i never thought about it this way, as a company with 90peeps you’d think they work in close tandem…

First off, lmao.

I can only claim the view of having 1000 hours in VT2. The “was obsessed for a good long while and then moved on” kind of player. I’ve never been much engaged in the talk of Fatshark or Vermintide. This is the probably the most I’ve engaged with the community. I enjoy Fantasy and really appreciated how Fatshark treated it. But 40k is my bag, so, here I am.

And working in software myself…the fact that they look maxed out is probably very real and leaves me feeling some sympathy rather than outrage for where the Beta was at. Lots of game companies crunch this close to release, and having to work late nights and get up the next morning and do a song and dance for customers, live, on camera?..I live this and it can drain the life out of you.

The state of Beta left me worried though they had over-committed to certain new ideas at the expense of solid, known quantities. That may well still be the case, the 17th will tell.

Software and game development have a lot of “it would be nice to if there was time” going on. One of the first things that nose dives when a company is over-committed is transparency and communication. The second thing that tanks is the quality of the work product. And I feel like in Beta you could clearly see the watermarks between “we’ve put real time into this” and “we’ve put barely any time into this.” The whole Hub and character progression experience felt like that, versus gameplay. So as I tabulated all the things I saw that I knew could and probably should change versus the time they had left AFTER a delay…mmmmmmmm yeah.

All that said…

I think Darktide will do “decent.” I don’t think it’s going to shatter sales records or anything, but I think it will be a respectable return for them and will, after some time, take its place among the top games that people, fans of 40k or normies, think of when they think of 40k. Like how Total Warhammer is now what people think of when they think of fantasy.

And while I don’t always agree with what Fatshark chooses to do, I never worry about a game of their’s just getting abandoned after release. That’s not how they roll. I know that they’ll stick with DT and continue to improve it until they can’t keep the lights on anymore. So I’m taking the long view of the game as recompense for some of the shortcomings of Beta.

For the immediate future, it’s a question of whether the full game will be marginally or exceptionally better than the last Beta. I’m still going to stay positive and say it will be much better, because “bloody in the middle” beta or not, I had a great time. So even if release is no better than beta as we measure it, more to do and get will still keep me engaged for a while. I’m not really going to invest much worry in FS’s financial future. I don’t think this game will be a flop. And because 40k fans are obedient creatures, it’ll do ok just on that basis. And it’s easily the coolest and best looking representation of 40k since Spacehulk: Deathwing. (Honorable mentions to Hired Gun too.)

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Yeah, I agree it’ll still end up being the best of the Warhammer 40k FPS games. It’s got a solid gameplay core and loop, strong visual design and amazing soundwork (when it works). It’s usually let down by technical issues and really odd design choices for almost everything outside of the moment-to-moment gameplay and an allergy to information presented within the game.

Another thing that kinda rubs me the wrong way a bit is the complete lack of modding where the reason cited is “dedicated servers”. Dedicated servers aren’t a reason to not allow client-side mods, a lot of the sanctioned mods in V2 were GUI changes and options or things that don’t directly affect the operation of maps, enemies, weapons, character abilities, etc. etc.

I get that they probably don’t want to devote resources to check the mods for sanctioning, and I do acknowledge they have put in a few QoL features that started off as mods, but again, it seems like a lot of things that were added later in the last game’s lifetime isn’t present in the new game.


i think the reason why there are no mods is are the servers in tandem of the use of easy anti cheat.

EAC would detect that your using different files so they sanctioned the mods in V2 (barely).
i would assume that doesn’t work with both systems at the same time, for some reason?

maybe someone who gets the whole picture can elaborate