“It is November 23, 2022, and there is only Beta.”
I have 33 hours play time in the Open Beta period so far. I am mostly playing with a full team of friends, but sometimes just random quickplay. I have done some difficulty level 3 missions, and mostly just playing Sharpshooter so far.
The game has many bugs, including crashes and disconnect problems. I am having fun despite the bugs, crashes, and jank. I want to give feedback on design issues rather than bugs.
What went right:
- Feel of many weapons is good, very satisfying. Shotguns and Boltguns feel amazing! Please continue to focus on this feel-good factor.
- Audio design on most weapons is excellent.
- There is a good reason to use most weapons. Weapons Balance is good for the most part, with some notable issues others are spotlighting on the forums.
- You can really feel the difference of individual weapons you equip. That’s cool! ex: find two boltguns with different stats and they feel different in the hands.
- Many character perks encourage good team work. Great! More of this please.
- Able to reconnect to a game quickly after disconnect. This is kind of impressive because many games do this very poorly.
- The 40k-ness is great. Game feels like it properly respects the lore and brings to life the grim-dark world of Warhammer 40k in a full and detailed way. Most of the time in video games we only see this universe from the Space Marines POV. Seeing this dirty underside of the Inquisition is such an interesting angle to focus on.
- Character creation is really cool. I was surprised by how detailed it is, and how much of what you pick for your character’s background influences their dialogue and appearance.
- Can change the character’s appearance whenever. Cool! This will be especially nice as we unlock new cosmetics and get new ideas for how we want our character to look.
What went wrong:
- Penance (Achievements) rewarding cosmetic items is problematic because it means players will focus on these tasks instead of learning to play the game properly. This is like when an MMO gives you a battle-pass that rewards you for doing things that mostly get in the way of you playing the game in a normal fashion, and even worse can get in the way of other players enjoying playing with you.
- The way many penance ask you to perform oddly specific tasks that run counter to good teamwork or skilled play is an Anti-Pattern. This works at cross-purpose to things in the game designed to encourage good teamwork, such as the perks that benefit your team.
- Penance that ask you to perform tasks that your teammates can interfere with either intentionally or unintentionally is stupid. Some of these are very frustrating or basically impossible to finish in random quickplay matchmaking games. I know I am not the only one complaining about this, just wanted to include it.
- Credit for kills of rare enemies such as Monstrosities being only attached to last-hit is kind of lame when it is also part of completing weeklies. I wouldn’t care about this if it did not effect progress.
- Not being able to choose a mission if it isn’t in rotation feels bad. What if I want to play a mission that isn’t around, or at the difficulty level I want? I have no way to know when it will show up again to begin with. This kind of random rotation works well in DeepRockGalactic because the missions are procedurally generated. There is no such thing as doing the “same mission” again in DRG. Darktide has specifically authored maps with only a certain amount of procedural variations, so this system ends up limiting access to content instead of just presenting a decision about what job to accept.
- The UI needs to teach you about the game systems. Many weapons tell you vague stats and symbols, but do not explain how to understand them. Basically this is like having a jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces. It is frustrating because you don’t have enough information to make an informed decision when choosing equipment. Similarly many perks use system keywords without explaining what they mean, such as Cleave or Penetration.
- In the equipment screen, the “Discard” option gives you back credits, this should be renamed to “Sell”
- The mission difficulty display is inconsistent; some places just show you bars (1 to 5) and other places use the titles of the difficulty (Heresy, etc) All UI should use the titles at a minimum, and display the Bars as well if they can fit appropriately.
- It is a little grindy; This should feel better with more content in the game.
- Would be really cool to be able to ‘fix’ problems with your weapons. Maybe the coming crafting system will address this, but it would make sense in universe to be able to modify your weapons. Maybe a gun you get is really good, but it’s accuracy is a little off. If we could change a component so that we trade some stat for another and make it feel the way we want it to, that would help us optimize gear for our playstyle preferences. I know that this is a difficult system to introduce because it would give the players the ability to min-max, which in some cases just makes it easier to gain avatar strength.
- When choosing a class to play when creating a character, the UI should present more information about what is exclusive to the class in terms of equipment.
- Please let me change my character’s name whenever I want. It’s kind of weird that I can change their appearance but not their name. I guess it would be kind of weird to be able to change their name without being able to change their character background story choices as well, but I feel I’m less likely to change that I suppose.
In conclusion: I am really enjoying this game, but there are lots of rough spots to polish. I look forwards to the experience improving and more content coming out. Thanks for your hard work, Devs. Take your time and make the best game you can.