Recruit and Veteran are too boring, and the game forces you to play them

'Ello, I might’ve made a thread of this nature before, I can’t recall, but I definitely know I’ve been of this opinion for quite some time. I’ve noticed it mostly when I’ve brought friends over to play and you pretty much have to convince them that “don’t worry it’ll be really fun once the game lets you play Champion!” and so on.

But, thanks to the massive influx of new players due to the new Chaos Wastes game mode, the free weekend, and the 75% off sale, I’ve been reminded of this fact by reading quite a few threads from new players who seem to share this opinion.

Recruit and Veteran difficulty give a very weak first impression of the game. *

This is the main core of the problem, people start up the game and get met with Recruit difficulty, which is essentially a tutorial difficulty. Except, until hero power 115, they cannot play anything other than recruit. The game forces you to grind for item power and levels in order to upgrade to Veteran difficulty. This issue is even worse when you consider that, since gaining power through levels is much faster than gaining item power, the game discourages trying out multiple characters, because if you wanna switch to another, level 1 character to try them out, woop, back to Recruit with you.

Veteran difficulty, meanwhile, while very good for players who are just starting out, is still a very easy difficulty that new players could (and often, do) easily outgrow. But once again you’re met with a power requirement before you’re allowed to even touch champion. This power requirement isn’t as bad or damning when compared to the requirement to player Veteran, but it still discourages players from trying out different characters.

So, at the very, very least, I’d ask that the power requirement from Veteran be removed entirely. Ideally? Remove power requirements in general. Trust players to choose their own difficulty for themselves. Turn the ‘minimum’ power requirement into more of a ‘recommended’ power requirement so players can have a point of reference to guide themselves, but that’s about it.

*Stole this line from @Rebel, really good way to put it.

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For completion’s sake:

Friend quit because it was boring (recruit mode turns away players) :: Warhammer: Vermintide 2 Helmgart Keep - General Discussions (steamcommunity.com)
First impressions, game is walking simulator :: Warhammer: Vermintide 2 Helmgart Keep - General Discussions (steamcommunity.com)

I think the leveling system has some place. However, some restrictions could either be changed or removed. I think at least for PRIVATE games all limitations should be completely removed (and be replaced with a word of warning if a new player thinks he is hot stuff and starts a Legend run on first try).

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Removing power requirements completely would be unhealthy in my opinion. You already have so many clueless people joining Legend and Cataclysm because their power level allows it, and they are usually dead by the first horde or first drop-down point. Playing with random people is part of the game, but constantly getting 2-3 of these in a group is not exactly fun, neither for you nor them. That being said, a while ago I introduced a friend to the game and played with them from the very start. Difficulties were locked by their respective power requirements, but just playing through Helmgart normally we were able to select Champion by the time we reached War Camp, which was a couple of hours.

I’m not saying that your points are not valid, but if someone’s interest in this game spans for only a couple of hours I don’t really see the point of changing much, while if they’re in for the long term, I guess a couple of hours of easy mode can’t hurt while they’re trying to get the hang of things.

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That would result in new players joining difficulties they are not ready for purposely to be carried for boxes of higher level every big sale or free trial weekend. This is already a case as I’ve seen many myself and removing the power cap would worsen the phenomenon.

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Both of these situations are bad imo. Legend difficulty comes also from damage u receive and deal. New player joining legend would pretty much deal no damage and get killed in 1-2 attacks of any enemy due to the fact his power level and gear is low. Yes I believe Recruit can be a killer for some ppl cuz it might give them a wrong impression of the game, that the game is easy and u just walk through maps. Currently with the power level and gear system locking difficulties behind it is reasonable. Even if u took off the power requirement and made it into recommended it could be bad, new players would still suffer. “I can’t play Legend cuz I die in one shot, so I need to grind Recruit where its too easy”. Changing this would require FS to change power system or make new players stronger. But I believe gettin rid of the block while in private/premade group would be good idea, where atleast one player is geared ( would make it easier for us to play with new players without need to play recruit). Recently my friend started playing the game and I wanted to show him few things. But playing Recruit isnt fun for me and him. Like someone above said, even with the power requirements u can meet new players on Legend that just joined there cuz they met power level requirement while still being clueless of whats goin on, dying easly and dealing no dmg. This situation would require the change of whole power level system, new player experience and recruit/veteran difficulties as a whole.

@Throne_of_Rats
@Myavo

Just wanna address a thingie since both of you explicitly mention Legend: I don’t mind new players being unable to immediately access Legend, I suppose. My main goal here is to open up Veteran and Champion, the rest is all optional.

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A simple fix would be to duly buff the easier difficulties by some amount. I remember when the game was in Alpha they were a lot harder, to the extent that most people would wipe a few times until they got some decent gear from leveling up. Nobody was getting a wrong impression of the game being too easy this way.

@KaelusVonSestiaf
This could work too - it doesn’t really matter except on the hardest difficulties if players don’t know what they are doing. Even on legend as long as one or two players know what they are doing the run usually turns out fine. Cataclysm is really the only difficulty where everyone needs to pull their own weight and since its locked behind a paywall most new players don’t play it right away anyways.

I would also like to add hero level is not an accurate representation of skill. Being max level obviously helps you do well, but it doesn’t mean everything. There’s not really a way a game can take something like player skill into account though.

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The reason the game seemed harder longer when you started years ago, was because you didn’t gain Hero Power via Leveling in the speed you do now.

Thing is, taking the time to beat four lords to unlock a difficulty kinda adds up to accessing it via power requirement anyway. Again, taking the example of my friend going in from scratch and starting off at Righteous Stand, we were able to unlock Champion by the time we reached War Camp, in about ~3 hours or so.

I’m just gonna remove that whole paragraph 'cause that was more a side comment about accessing Legend than anything.

Just watched newbie players streams last weekend. Majority of them were like “aight, I think we’re done with this difficulty” after few runs. But they couldn’t go higher. And they were stuck at recruit.

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I have a friend who is fairly new to the game and whenever I ask if he wants to play champion, he responds “wtf, I’m not doing that sh*t.” Some people are content with the lower difficulties - the only thing I’d advocate for is getting gear upgrades faster like instead of +/- 5 of your highest item level item, -3/+7 or something.

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Opening difficulties up to Champion could be a good thing - it would leave new players with a choice of either starting slow on Recruit to have easier times or jump straight into Veteran/Champion to have harder times. But their power level wouldnt allow that - dmg they do would be a lot smaller compared to dmg they receive. New player jumping straight into Veteran/Champion would be dying quick while doin little to no dmg. To properly play those difficulties he would need to Dodge/Block efficiently which new players dont do alot. You could help with that by setting higher starting power level and speeding up gearing process so it doesnt take days to get to 300 power level. If u just open those difficulties would leave new players with two choices - play recruit and cut through the map with no problem or go into champion and die while struggling a lot.

This is something of a problem; every friend I’ve gotten to try the game, I’ve had to assure them “trust me it gets really good”, because the lower difficulties are such a walk in the park.

Of course, veterans from VT1 know that this was implemented to solve a problem in that game, which is that new players would frequently join into higher-difficulty game modes even when they were unprepared. You couldn’t do it instantly, but it was still very easy to achieve.

Really, there’s no perfect way to solve these problems. I do think that adding the whole hero power thing wasn’t the greatest move; it clearly works better with something like Chaos Wastes, as it allows power to be amped up in both weapons and enemies over the course of a single game. But it’s still a detriment to the game overall and really just confuses things - ironic, since it was really supposed to make things a bit simpler and more direct.

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As far as i have seen it, enemies are not getting stronger throughout an expedition in Chaos Wastes. I am not sure about cata, because i actually used my coins there, but i know for sure that the enemies on legend have the same strength on the first to the last map when i finished a run with grey weapons and no coin usage.

Mmm I kinda disagree. People would also get frustrated when they jump to a higher difficulty before even knowing the core mechanics of the game. Dying and dying again because they insist on hitting enemies without blocking their attacks. The amount of people that I’ve seen getting wrecked by a normal horde in Legend is incredible, that’s something you should learn in lowers difficulties. I’m not asking for them to learn how to dodge lock a rat ogre before reaching champion, but after a few games in there you should know that pushing and blocking are cores mechanics and that ranged weapons are not your main tools (of course there are exceptions).
I do agree that maybe its way too slow for some people, and that the fact that you have to go back to veteran when you want to try a new hero can be discouraging. But I dont think that removing the hero power restrictions completely is a solution.

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As far as I’m concerned you can close the thread, this is far and away the best solution. Two birds with one stone, except I’d be more generous and have it range from +0 - +10 of your highest level gear. This would also mean no more getting <300 power gear at max power.

As others have pointed out, some amount of gating is good and necessary. The only other thing I’d change besides the above paragraph is to remove the power requirement from Veteran. Champion is fine and can stay with its current power requirement. With the gear power changes you will reach it very fast, almost stupid fast if there also happens to be a 2x XP weekend or the like.

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Recruit should just be eliminated entirely. It’s boring and teaches new players bad habits.

Having to level each character separately is also monumentally dumb. If you can handle one class/character at a higher difficulty you shouldn’t be forced to go back to the minor leagues because of an arbitrary power cap on your unlevelled characters.

I really hope none of this BS is in Darktide. Why force people who have been playing cata for years to to grind 20+ hours through the equivalent of recruit and veteran?

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This is already true by virtue of gear power. You should already have higher power charms, trinkets and necklaces at high power, and you can immediately craft a higher power weapon as soon as you start a new character.

So your complaint here isn’t even true and doesn’t make sense. Numerous times when I was levelling new characters I would jump straight into champion at level 1, then legend as soon as I had thp talents (back when they were on the level 20 row).

Being good at one character certainly does not mean you’ll be good at the others. And as I pointed out if you have max power gear you can easily jump into champion at level 1. So what is even the issue?

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You are probably correct about the power based on gear. It’s been do long since I was low level, I can’t remember what difficulty I played when starting new characters.

That said, having to level each character separately is just a tedious grind that makes the game less fun than it needs to be. If i remember correctly, the athanor system in the weaves lets you level all characters simultaneously. This should be the standard progression system.

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