My Experience Playing Vermintide Through Hearing Accessibility Devices

This is somewhat of my follow-up to this post here on Reddit.

Before I begin this post, I want to say the devs have been incredible on talking with me about hearing accessibility in-game through various channels and talking to me about my experiences, things I think would help, and sitting on some gameplay so they could get a first hand view of what a hearing impaired/deaf player experiences.

As of this writing, I have been playing both with a headset or through bluetooth via Oticon OPN S MiniRITE R’s, trying to compare and contrast the different options available to me. For further context, for those who are interested, here is a graph of my hearing loss as of three weeks ago. The black line that says “normal” is where an acceptable range of hearing would sit.

I am writing this here in the hope others can chime in on their experiences.

Playing Unaided via Headphones

  • Basically how I play the game at base and how I’ve been playing Verm for the past 1k hours on various platforms. It’s comfortable, but not exactly forgiving. I’m unable to hear assassins, footsteps, bolt staff charges, and other various soft and/or high pitched noises.
  • Unable to determine directionality.
  • This is my preferred method of playing right now.

Playing Aided w/Headphones Overtop

  • Best of both worlds (kinda–see below), can hear most sounds.
  • Game is very, very, very sharp sound-wise and can be slightly painful. Hearing aides seem somewhat confused on how to filter/receive sound so in-game noises can become a jumbled mess, sometimes causing slight headaches and a lot of confusion.
  • Feedback present if headphones shift.
  • Uncomfortable
  • Unable to determine directionality.

Playing Aided Via Bluetooth

  • Game is either too loud or too soft depending on what my audiologist tweaks, with beastmen at first being so ear-breakingly loud my ears were ringing for six hours afterwards. After another adjustment, the PC sounds themselves sound fine, but the game itself is too soft. Turned everything up in my Windows settings, tried different audio channels, still can’t get things as loud as I want.
  • Sounds that need to be forefronted are stunted, and everything is kind of just…ducked? I really have no idea how to describe this problem with words other than the “depth perception” is wildly off.
  • Unable to determine directionality.

So Why is This Important?

I’m not sure if the sound is mixed differently, but I have always had an easier time hearing sounds more clearly, to some extent, on console vs on PC. Further, there needs to more levels of adjustment/filtering in-game in order for accessibility options (such as bluetooth aiding, which would be my preferred method for comfort reasons) to reach full potential. I feel Patch 2.0 compounded this problem somewhat, and all the in-game sounds sound as if they have been put into a blender and fed overtop of each other since 2.0 release.

There’s no real good way to end this post, but I want to impress, here, in the hopes it can be sincerely felt, that there has been nothing more heartbreaking to me as a fan of this game to tell my friends and myself, "I’m sorry. I think this is as far as I can go."

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Hey - Firstly, thank you for sharing your experience. I also enjoy this game despite related challenges, and would guess that others would benefit from expanded audio controls as well.

I acquired tinnitus / hyperacusis from some unique working conditions in the first lab I ever joined. It can be a little hard to predict what will aggravate it, but it can be a range of frequencies and noises. As a specific example – bells at the end of a round of boxing, MMA, or whatever reliably set my inner ear to spasm. It is deeply unpleasant.

Volume is a major component. Which is to say music and games are dramatically improved by passive noise reducing IEMs. By blocking out external noise I can keep their volume super low without sacrificing too much acuity. That said – Something I’ve wished was available since day one playing this game are separate adjustment sliders for weapons, dialogue, environment, etc. It would be a godsend to reduce weapon clash without making major hazard indicators less perceptible.

So yeah, I wish you luck. I know from taking a peek at your reddit thread that FS have responded to this in the past, but I figure I might as well chime in (I know, bad pun :sweat: ) and bump this post here for continued visibility.

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