Can we get a discussion going about the quickplay system and ways to improve it? Haven’t seen any threads about it for some time now, and I’d hate for fatshark to think that just because people stopped complaining and are living with it means it’s a good system.
Carrot, or whip?
Outside of deeds and hunting for specific challenges (like completing all the maps for all the careers), mostly everyone is playing QP because of the added loot bonus. But in which direction does this go, do you see it as an added bonus to queing QP? Or is it rather a deterrent from playing non-QP games?
Does anyone actually feel rewarded for playing QP and getting that bonus loot chance? Or is it more that people feel punished or that they’re missing out if theyre not playing QP?
Maybe compare it to World of Warcraft and the experience bonus you get when you haven’t played in a while. In this game, when you’ve been away/offline/whatever for long enough, you get bonus experience for the next X amount of experience earned based on the time you were away. That seems like a nice bonus, right? That’s because it’s intention is somewhat cleverly masked. They first incorporated a similar mechanic to this, where they gave you less experience for playing through content if you had played for a long time without taking a break. This was to make speed leveling harder, but it wasn’t exactly well-received by the community. So instead, they did this fantastically clever thing where they nerfed experience gain all across the board, and instead gave you bonus experience for being away for some time, effectively accomplishing the same thing, but instead of feeling punished for playing a lot, you just felt like you recieved something nice when you returned instead.
They took their punishment, and cleverly disguised it as a reward.
What other game do I know of that tries to implement this system, but just makes the experience awful instead? Oh yeah, it’s this one.
I don’t play QP because of that fantastic feeling I get when I see the quickplay bonus get added to the bar at the end of a mission, I play it because if I don’t play QP and see the bar being halfway short to an emperors vault because of the QP-bonus being greyed out, I’m gonna feel like I was cheated for playing the map I wanted. That’s not a reward, that’s just straight up garbage.
Why should I get less rewards for playing a specific map that I wanted to play? It’s the exact opposite from Vermintide 1, where you had contracts from the board incentivising playing a specific map, but it wasn’t like it removed one of the dice from ranalds bones if I wanted to play another map anyways. I felt rewarded for playing what they wanted me to play, but I sure as hell didn’t feel cheated on because I wanted to play a quick black powder or whatever instead.
“But it’s not actual punishment, you’re just getting on average a little less loot, it’s not the end of the world you entitled brat”. It’s not even the fact that I’m somehow getting less loot for playing specific maps that triggers me the most, it’s the fact that they flaunt it in your face every time you play a map without QP. “Well would you look at that, you were just a little short of the next loot tier, guess what would have pushed the bar over the edge? That’s right, the quickplay bonus sitting there all greyed out and lonely. Do you feel bad yet??”
The entire loot system is designed in a way to be as addicting as possible with the way it resembles loot boxes, the way you watch the pretty animations of the boxes and the bar exploding when you reach a new tier. That’s my biggest problem with it. I have more than enough reds by now, I don’t shed any tears over a “lost” emperors vault. But the system is literally designed to make me want that bar filled all the way, and it’s very much in the same way designed to make me feel bad when I don’t get all the “bonuses” that I should, thereby incentivising me to go play QP.
And to top it all of, their weighted algorithm for the QP map selection is the straw that breaks the camels back. Why would you rig your system to send people off to maps that they have lower completion rates for? Where and how is this fun for the player? So I just queued up for my 4th QP blightreaper in a row, and because of how boring I find the map, I’m gonna keep abandoning/jumping into the water at the start after completing it once for the day. But that just makes it more likely that I’ll get it again?!? So it’s basically, get a map of the AIs choosing, sit through this map (doesn’t matter that you had it thrice already today, bless RNG), and if you don’t sit through it, the AI is gonna cram it down your throat until you do!
Maybe I should start intentionally losing on the maps that I do enjoy so I’ll get to play them more often?
Because I haven’t really seen that many screaming bells or righteous stands lately, because those maps usually go better than the rest. That also sounds like good design, making players get to play less on the maps they do well on. For what? Making them less likely to receive loot because they would be winning more often if they got to play those maps? Thereby letting them acquire veteran items faster than you’d like? I really see no other reasonable argument to be made for it.
I realise as I’m writing this that I’m probably coming off as pretty salty and bitter, but that’s because there’s really no need for the system to be this way. I very much love playing vermintide, both the first one and now the second, but seeing these reverse QoL-changes just boggle the mind with how they sour the entire experience.
So, what can be done about it?
Well, I’m gonna go ahead and assume that Fatshark isn’t just gonna go ahead and remove this system, no matter how silly it is, because that would negate time and energy spent on implementing it or whatever.
But there could be at least some QoL changes to make it feel less shitty, even if you don’t want to fix the entire system.
Make it an option to remove the post-match loot bar entirely. The box/vault you get is determined before the whole flashy animation anyways, just let me skip ranald stopping the bar just before the next loot tier like a sadistic prick and just put the chest in my inventory right away, whichever it may be. This would at least reduce the frustration.
Let me put a couple vetoes up for maps that I genuinely don’t want to touch when I’m queuing for QP. I would again rather you ditch the entire system, but at least letting me put a veto on whatever map I just ran twice in a row would help, because I don’t trust your supposed negative weighting system in the slightest.
I’m sure there are other suggestions and ways to improve the system if we are going to have to continually suffer through its existence, so please share any and all feedback and improvements you might think of to make it more bearable.
All right, thanks for reading, and I hope that anyone from Fatshark who reads this knows that the critique comes from a love for the game, and you wont ban me from being overly salty or whatever.
TL;DR: Please just remove QP and all of its suffering from this game, or at least do something about it.