Hi heck hello.
After playing each class for at least a few hours, some more than others, I wanted to leave feedback. Let’s start with the bad and end with the good.
Level name design. If you include lore friendly names at the beginning like HL 103-2 or whatever, by the fifth mission I will not pay attention to it, nor will it be helpful to me if I am trying to describe a level to someone. This includes the additional difficulty of figuring out which level is HL 103-2 in the contracts, because it is not distinct enough for me to remember any of those and just confuses me on the game side. I love that you made the effort on the naming, but please, just shorthand or have nicknames for the gameplay elements (looking at you contracts) so players are not confused trying to complete contracts or specify a mission to another player.
Progression and equipment. Either one of two things is happening and I’m not sure which to be honest: One. As I get better equipment I am able to play higher difficulty levels or… Two, the character leveling up is doing most of the work. Either way, I really don’t notice much of a difference between equipment with a value of 50 or a value of 250. Without explanation I have no reason to believe that these numbers do anything. The only reason I can make an assumption about them is having previously played Vermintide 2. I don’t know what the goal of the numbers are at all and if they’re supposed to give me the goal of gaining power, it isn’t conveying that to new players at all from those that have not played previous titles. I’ve asked people who haven’t played previous titles and their response was “I don’t know what the numbers do but I want that flamer and a chainsword.” I would also like to note that the feeling of gameplay grind fatigue came in at about level 10 for my group. If we didn’t stick around to unlock contracts, we probably would have stopped playing at about level 13.
Information. Speaking of stuff that has meaningless meaning to the player at the moment, weapon stats. This has been covered a lot so I’m not adding more than that. Ability trees / achievements on the other hand are abysmal. Let’s run an example: for the Psyker, Wrack and Ruin perk “Killing an Elite with Brain Burst applies 2 stacks of Soulblaze to all enemies within 3 meters of the target.” What is Soulblaze? I’ve played with the perk and see enemies get a blue fire on them. I don’t know what the heck it does. Another example: Penance for the Orgyn, Something in Your Eye, “Kill a Corruptor by hitting it in the eye with your grenade box.” There is only one reason I know what a Corruptor is. A one off voice line that I could have easily missed while playing the strike missions with Corruptors in them. Why do I need to have a voice line explain what enemy I’m looking for? It is very odd to hide this information but also ask the player to do something and not explain what they are looking for. It’s like asking to find a quail egg in a chicken coop and not explaining what a quail/ quail egg looks like, nor what a chicken / chicken egg looks like. All I’d like is somewhere to have an explanation for these things, even if its a huge block of text hidden in the esc menu.
Psyker. So I’m seeing a lot of people talk about this. Yeah… I see that you nerfed the force sword and I already only used it if I was going melee focused… so I guess I’ll just not do melee… Oh wait, what’s that behind me, a single pox walker that somehow showed up? Oof. No range fun time for me as I get hit. So Psyker has to find corners in order to use a lot of the slow ability charge ups and not get hit. Some of you will say “get good.” sure sure, but also, how come the other classes can hit the G key and help clear out a hoard or do dmg when psyker requires me to be in a safety corner for it to even have impact? Don’t sleep on the stun grenade, its saved matches, same with the veteran grenade and the ogryn’s box of grenades. I understand that balancing an “infinite” resource is hard to do since you can abuse it with the right set up, but I’m at the point where the class defining weapons do not feel better than the general use alternatives. I would rather use a dueling sword instead of the force sword since I can just dodge constantly instead of having to play into perils. I would rather use a lasgun than the force staff since the dang staff is only semi accurate at range, too slow firing for hoards, and its charge up ability doesn’t go far enough for me to have an effect before my teammates do. Using it might as well make me second rate to my team since they can do it faster and better. Oh, and brainburst? Doesn’t scale. Do I need it to scale? Well the veteran’s guns scale, the ogryn’s weapons scale. What is the incentive for me to use brainburst at higher difficulty? If you tell me its the perks in the tree then I am existing as a one trick pony and ignoring all other perks that have nothing to do with it. Considering its a beta, why not just play around with psyker to see what feels good to play and can be scaled in difficulty instead of hitting it with a nerf hammer because people “abused” floating around 100% peril?
Toughness and health. What’s the point of toughness? I take a hit and lose half my toughness and two points of health from a weak enemy. Why did I lose health? Why should I care about toughness if its not going to shield me from hits entirely? I’m better off taking skills that make it harder to get hit entirely at that point. I know that toughness is reducing the damage I would take without it but it’s also telling me that a single mistake is punished and I cannot fix it without using a healing station or a health kit. When I look at the items in the shop, if I see one that increases toughness, I see it as significantly worse than most other options. If I can increase my 150 health by 11% or my 100 toughness by 11%, I’ll take the health since I’m still getting my health hit through the toughness regardless if its full or not. Not to mention, grimoires only make this worse by taking an initial chunk of health and slowly corrupting the rest. Took me a while to notice it. I get it, chaos will corrupt anyone. It also tells the players to rush through the level as soon as they touch one. Its counter to how higher levels play by adding a ticking time bomb and adding two grimoires might as well make it a no hit run. I understand it is supposed to add challenge to the mission but if you are going to give me contracts asking me to pick them up, I will change that contract every time and avoid those missions entirely. Scriptures are annoying to find since I never seem to find all three but they’re fine.
Ranged enemies. More of a minor complaint I guess… I can never crouch behind cover to avoid getting hit. I think that has to do with character height? What is the point of the crouch height cover then if the enemies can hide behind it but they can shoot me no matter how hard I try to hide? Oh, also, knockback on getting hit by ranged is really weird. Like getting pulled toward a shotgunner because he hit me with bullets? What? Please revise how the heck that works.
Bugs. Eww bugs. Obviously there is a need for optimization. I imagine that with the beta, the devs have received a lot more bugs due to the fact that there are so many more combinations of PC set ups now that can cause issues trying to run the game. It’s more than I was hoping to see but pretty expected.
The good things. Core gameplay is fantastic. I feel like I’m in the 40k universe fighting off forces of chaos that are unyielding and unending. The lasgun feels like a lasgun but also feels really good to use. I like the different cosmetic designs of the weapons. The POV playing as an ogryn is really weird but interesting and it makes me change the way I usually play the game from other classes. It’s really cool to see an enemy far away, pinning my team down with lots of dakka, and being able to brainburst them. Charging a plague ogryn as an ogryn is really cool to do the first time and be like “hey! You can’t pick on the little guys, thats my job!” The beast of nurgle is terrifying when it wants to eat you, as it should be. I like that there is still progress even when I fail a mission. The low vision missions were pretty interesting. Not always the way I want to play the game but I like it as a challenge.
I want this game to be a fun and fantastic game. I wouldn’t be writing all this otherwise.
If you got this far, thanks for coming to my ted talk.