Ramblings of a Vermintide 2 veteran lost in the year 40,000

Some background before I begin. I’ve played Vermintide 2 on and off since release. Well over 1000 hours played, including completed all maps on all careers on Legend difficulty(not that most of you will care). I’d also like to preface this with that I want this game to succeed. You have an absolute gem of a core game here, but it is bogged down with so much fluff that actively disengages your players that Darktide is one of the lowest rated games in my Steam library. This is an amalgamation of my complaints and suggestions, as well as those of my friends who picked it up on release, but then put the game on the shelf in the hopes that updates down the line will change the direction the game is going in.

To start with a positive, I’d always said that you could lift the systems from V2, reskin it, expand ranged combat and I would be happy with the gameplay. That seems to have been the case, and I gotta say, the gameplay is great. Weapons feel good to use(on the most part) and the combat is satisfying. There’s very little out there that can compare to cutting your way through a horde and seeing limbs flying off where you’ve cut them. There’s also things that point at the devs being able to see some of the V2 mods as an improvement and implement them directly. Two of my favoured V2 mods, Crosshair Kill Confirmation and Numeric UI, have been at least partly rolled in to the core game for Darktide.

What isn’t great is the number of areas where development has taken a step backwards from V2 when just dropping them in to Darktide would’ve been perfectly acceptable.

Crafting is sticking out like a sore thumb. Most of you will be aware of our gripes with the incomplete system and as we don’t know for sure what will be included I will leave it out on the most part. One hill I’m willing to die on for the Emperor is that crafting materials should be account-wide. There is no reason I can see for them to not be shared between characters other than trying to get us to play the game more, whilst sharing them will allow for more freedom in how you want to play the game. Let’s say I want to upgrade my Sharpshooter’s weapon, but I feel like playing Zealot today. I now have to shelve my Sharpshooter goal if I want to go for the option that I think I’ll have more fun with.

There is also some weight to arguing that ordo dockets should be shared too. V2 handled this well in that not only were crafting materials account wide, but you could play one character whilst earning gear for another character(for the uninitiated, mission completion and level-ups would award a chest and the chest would give weapons for whichever character you were on when you opened them). I understand that V2 was much more limited in that you couldn’t play with multiples of the same character on the official realm, but when three of the four classes share a good number of common weapons it leaves a sour taste when these can’t be shared between characters. Curios add further fuel to this fire as being unable to share them between characters stinks even more of “we want you to play more”. Getting that perfect curio is a bittersweet experience as you probably won’t get the same on your other 3+ characters, so ultimately what’s the point in pursuing it at great lengths like we’d pursue red items in V2? There’s already a level-lock system in place for weapons, so I don’t see a reason why that couldn’t apply to weapons and curios you can share across classes.

The current ability to reroll an item attribute but it locks the others works in games like Diablo where equipment is thrown at you by the bucket-load and it doesn’t matter too much if you ruin an item as you’ll probably get something similar soon. It doesn’t work so well in Darktide where items with desired combinations of attributes are pretty rare and subject to a crazy amount of RNG.

While weapons and curios are at the forefront I’m gonna say this plain and simple: The time-gated stores are a huge detriment to the game in their current state. They lead to disappointment far more regularly than they lead to anything positive regarding the equipment sold there. Not only is it a bad experience to unlock a new weapon for your class to discover it won’t be in the shop until the shop resets, but wait, it gets worse. There is a fairly good chance that the weapon won’t be available after the shop resets. Will it be there after the next reset? Who knows? …but you better come back in an hour to find out 'cause there’s no guarantee it will be there when you next decide to fire up the game.

The shop mechanic is literally throttling the player’s experience for little more than “we want you in the game more often”, and it is further soured by the fact that you have to run past the microtransaction store to get to the main armoury. Whether that last bit was intentional or not doesn’t change that it stinks of “if they run past the store more often then they stand a higher chance of opening it, therefore giving us more money”. My solution to this that doesn’t rip out your entire store infrastructure would be ensure there is a range of each weapon available at every reset. It doesn’t have to be many, maybe 3-5 of varying qualities, hiding the ones not unlocked yet, but just that alone would alleviate most of the awful bottleneck that’s inflicted on players by the time-gated store. I also think that gifts of the Emperor should be rewarded every mission rather than just a chance, cause right now we are starving for equipment where there is an abundance in V2. Melk’s store doesn’t suffer as badly, but most gear there doesn’t reflect the time investment needed to get the currency to buy. Unless the stars align the store that should be offering the cream of the crop priced at 75% of your weekly mission earnings are middling at best.

Speaking of weeklies, they aren’t in the best state. Once you hit 30 most of your weeklies are long tasks. I’ve ended up with an average of about 20 minutes for a lower difficulty mission. The “complete 25 missions” weekly will take over 8 hours to complete at that rate, and that’s if I don’t venture to the higher difficulties. I might be able to do it some weeks but most weeks I won’t have the time to commit so I just ignore it. Same goes for the scriptures. Yeah, you can get up to three a mission but not only is that dependant on whether or not your group can find them(I’d actually put my average at somewhere slightly below 2 per scrip mission) but they’re also dependant on the awful RNG of the mission select screen. This leads to a situation where I just don’t engage with one of the game’s systems and stores unless I know I’ll have the time that week and actively choose to play little else other than Darktide.

The way I would fix this is to create tiers within the weekly objectives that award partial progression rather than just the all-or-nothing approach we have now. We know you have tiers already baked in to the system as the weekly missions you get when you first unlock them require less objectives than at 30. Using missions as an example, you could offer part of the 25 missions reward for completing 7 missions, another part for a further 8, bring it to 15 total, and then the remainder for another 10 missions. The completion bonus could also be similarly tiered. A reward for all tier 1 completions, etc.

Another suggestion that leans more towards “play how you want” and currency sharing on the account would be to increase the cap on the number of weeklies you have based on the number of characters that has them unlocked. Make the weekly currency and objectives account-based, offer the completion reward at intervals of 5 but allow completed weeklies to be replaced by new ones up to the afore mentioned cap. Combined with adding tiers to the weekly missions adds a lot more freedom for people to play the game how they want rather than being forced in to certain characters because they want that weekly currency for them.

Another of my gripes is mission select. V2 achieved some rough narrative by having missions linked, and each act had you working towards a goal of taking down one of the generals of the big-bad. It wasn’t anything to write home about but at least there was something there, even if we ended up in wildly different environments for each mission in an act.

There is nothing like that for Darktide. We’re just fighting a faceless enemy because someone tells us to, leaving us as little more than mercenaries who drop in, do the objective and leave, only to be disappointed by what we can requisition when we get back to the base ship. There’s nothing there other than some one-sided cut-scenes where several members of the ships retinue tell us we’re not trusted, we need to prove ourselves, and that everyone is under suspicion. This climaxes in someone getting executed, but this is in isolation from any actual missions.

This disconnect is then furthered by the mission select system. That kind of system works in games like Deep Rock Galactic because the missions are procedurally generated and the game doesn’t restrict your access to equipment behind objectives that are reliant on side missions that are themselves dependent on mission select RNG to show up. That RNG just removes any consequence to missions that remained after the narrative decided to call a no-show. It amazes me that you had Dan Abnett for the “story” and then put out a storyline that any 10 year old WH:40K newbie could have come up with.

My final note is on seasonal content. There’s been mention of seasonal content coming, but no mention of what it is. Seasonal content used to be interesting missions or content that would show up at certain times of the year. You’d get a winter-themed event with winter-y missions around December, something around the game’s anniversary or maybe even something based around some game lore. V2 achieved this well with the halloween events adding night-time to the game, and objectives that added sections to the map or just straight up new missions like A Quiet Drink.

The big “BUT…” staring down at us is that a lot of developers have started to take seasonal content as some form of battle pass. This is passable to charge for if it’s a F2P game, or a game at a lower price point, but to include a priced battle pass in a game where you’re already charging real money for skins that are little more than a re-colour as well the potential for future DLC in the form of new weapons and classes, you will sour the playerbase even more. I’m not saying I expect everything for free, but you have to be considerate as to how you want to tap in to your players’ wallets because if you keep trying to chip away to get in there people will just move on to other things. You’re probably well aware that the microtransaction store going live with the game’s launch when the game still wasn’t feature-complete has had a lasting negative effect on the community, as it was mentioned that no more microtransaction skins will be added while the other parts of the game were being worked on.

Going back to Deep Rock Galactic, their battle pass is completely free and just something additional to do in the game that will earn you rewards. Dead by Daylight balances this fairly well as they have a low initial price for the game, a bunch of DLC that adds substantial content and then a priced battle pass filled with cosmetics that will be released in to the game at a later date that you can purchase after making progress in it.

My final request ties in with seasonal content and the nature of the in-game stores, but please, for the love of the Emperor, ditch any FOMO-inducing plans you may have. It’s fine to have seasonal cosmetics that only show up at the relevant times of the year, but repeatedly preying on FOMO to drive people to play the game only results in people walking away. You’ve already seen some of the results of it induced by the time-gated stores.

If you’ve got this far, thank you for reading. Emperor protects.


Fun fact, the way the crafting system is directly ripped from The Division 2 made by Massive (another Swedish dev). You’re absolutely correct, in Div2, you’re showered with loot whereas in Darktide, scarcity is the name of the game.

DRG is the gold standard in seasonal content. One thing to add here, to counteract FOMO, once the season pass is done, all items go into the store and can be purchased with in-game currency for no additional cost.

One more thing about DRG, it does have paid premium cosmetics but for less than the price of a single Darktide skin, you get a new skin that can be customized for all 4 Dwarfs.

Great post, that was a fun read. I really want this game to succeed but seeing how slow Fatshark were in adding content and implementing feedback for VT2, I don’t have much hope that Darktide will reach feature parity with the release version of Vermintide 2 in 2023.

I don’t much care about the overall player count, because you really only need 3 other cool people to do content in these type of games. I’m just sad/angry/gassy about “what could have been”


I knew I’d seen this style of rerolling somewhere other than Diablo, but couldn’t remember where. Thank you.

I’m tempted to give Div2 another whirl now :joy:

I can appreciate that V2 has had the better part of 5 years for them to refine the game to the point it’s at now and that any game development isn’t just an overnight task and will take time to bear fruit. It still saddens me that they’ve taken so many steps backwards with Darktide when there was so many advancements made with V2.

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I just re-installed it the other day at the behest of a friend of mine! They’ve added new content back in November, I think. I’m enjoying exploring the game once again!

I agree with you and this is where I may have been unclear. I would like Darktide to have feature parity with Vermintide 2 from 2018, on release.

In an ideal world, it should have feature parity with Vermintide 2 as it was in 2022 but I stopped believing in fairy tales long ago.

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I’m pretty convinced at this point that FS was being intentionally misleading about this. As far as I can tell, Abnett definitely wrote the background lore for the setting (That being Tertium/The Moebian Domain/the heretics) and the actual beat for beat story of the game was written by someone else, unless Abnett completely phoned that part in which, considering the lore writing is on par with anything else I’ve seen from him, would be a weird thing to do.

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Darktide’s designs go against player agency, and totally disrespect the consummers.

Shame on you FS.


Nice write up OP - agree with you on all points. This isn’t meant to be disparaging, but many of us have been saying the same thing over and over and over since before this officially released.

Sadly, Fatshark hasn’t uttered a single sentiment indicating that they intend to do anything to fix these design problems. I’d love to be surprised in a few months when they release whatever it is they plan to release, but given that they haven’t once owned up to these player unfriendly design decisions I seriously doubt they’ll change their tune.

I was a little optimistic reading their “open letter” last week, but stepping back they basically said nothing. They didn’t even offer an apology. They said the expectation was to make a game that “millions would enjoy” and said they fell short on meeting “those expectations.” The words are words avoidance of accountability. “THOSE” expectations. It wasn’t addressed to the players, or the community, or even their employees. It was addressed to some nebulous non-attributable idea. Is rubbish.

Damn it all if the core gameplay isn’t fun. But as I said in another thread, I’m just convincing myself and pretending that this is an “alpha” early access for the next year. The pill is easier to swollow thinking that, instead of dwelling on what could’ve been.


Having played V2 since the early days I wasn’t expecting a super smooth launch to Darktide, but suffice to say they blew that expectation out of the water with certain elements.

That seems to be how they operate. Radio silence until they rock up with an update. It’s not the best but considering how game devs often get crucified on the internet for things they say they want to do, but then it later turns out they can’t deliver, I can understand the hesitancy in saying anything at all.

That was my take-away from that open letter. No actual apology to anyone, just acknowledging that the game was getting a lot of bad reviews. The mention of “we want you to play this for weeks” whist utilising anti-player tactics like time-gated stores and RNG-heavy gear scarcity was an extra blow to what could’ve been a sincere apology, but instead it comes off as “we’re sorry that what we planned didn’t go down well and that the game’s reviews are tanking”.
The additional insult to injury was that the open letter was the community update that had been put off for a couple of weeks, to the point that “NEXT WEEK” literally became a meme.

That’s the annoying juxtaposition about all of this. The core gameplay is amazing, but the game is bogged down by everything surrounding it. Right now it’s a poop-covered diamond. You want to enjoy the diamond but every time you come back to it you’ve gotta wipe all the poop off it.