Regardless of whether it was Tencent or Fatshark's idea, the change in direction mid-development to make Darktide a live service has ruined the launch, the legs, and possibly the life of the game

You can identify multiple areas of the game where a decision was made mid-way through development and has been left unfinished: the guns, the crafting, the characters, and the story. And what ties this all together is, simply put, greed. Every change is made to make the game more conducive to selling cosmetics, and the way that is done is to force as much foot traffic as possible past the cosmetic shop.

The guns were meant to operate with an attachment system but that was changed mid-development. /u/Chindasuinth has an excellent write up here that explains why they’re so imbalanced, but the jist of it is that removing the attachment system simply makes it easier to design cosmetics for them.

Increasing the number of base weapon variations also encourages players to return to the shop more frequently since instead of stopping at 1 god-rolled Kantrel or Catachan, players would be on the hunt for 3.

The crafting, of which Fatshark says they ‘ripped it out and started over’ mid-development, is also now driven not by player progression, but again, forcing players past the cosmetic store and with the scope to monetise it in the future. The blessings are wildly imbalanced (e.g. 50% power vs. 3% reload on slide?) - and the reason for this is that it’s simply another form of RNG. Instead of a numerical value like base stats, it’s another pull on the lever of the slot machine to see if you get the blessing you want, and another inducement to return to the shop to see if anything decent is available.

It also explains why materials are so scarce - they’re not rewards, they’re the tokens you use on the slot machine that is Hadron. The scarcity of plasteel is completely arbritary. It’s designed to be low to keep you playing by padding out the playtime so you’re more likely to come back to check the shop on it’s refresh. From the layout of the Mourningstar, it also suggests that down the line they will probably have a store that sells them for Aquilas opposite Hadron. Like the cosmetic store on the route to the gear shop, eventually you’ll be forced past the materials shop whenever you want to craft something.

The dismal hyping up and woeful underdelivery of the story and the characters can also be explained by a decision mid-development to move towards a live service, MTX-driven model. You can tell from the vastly varying quality of voices and writing that initially there was a limited number of pre-written, pre-made characters. You can hear it in the lines they’ve left for some personalities and the pointless background selection.

You can tell the savant Psyker was meant to be a fully fleshed out character because they have a background already fleshed out regardless of what you pick - they were an Atoman enforcer who lives on Tertium. The cutthroat vet is from Cadia and no choice affects that or conversely, choosing Cadia for someone other than the psyker. Some voices are also clearly also put in as an afterthought to expand the customisation choices. The longer you play the clearer it becomes that an additional gender was simply an afterthought. The french zealot is literally the same VA as the french female psyker.

Those decisions were made to increase customisation for the player at the expense of a real story. It’s why they excited about it and why it was a selling point early on in development, and now it’s revealed to be a complete farce - it’s amounted to nothing more than cutscenes of a mute player being told to play more every 5 levels. The reason for this change again, is to simply to sell more cosmetics. Customisation means more attachment to the characters, and more attachment means you’re more likely to spend Aquilas dressing them up.

Vermintide 2 is my all-time favourite game. Fatshark was my favourite studio because of the palpable passion you could feel they had towards it. That’s still there in Darktide but it’s completely overshadowed by decisions that are motivated by nothing more than greed. I was looking forward to Darktide moreso than any other game in history, and now I only feel resentment at what it could’ve been. It’s simply is the best gameplay of any co-op shooter, but the taint of the metagame is destroying it.

And now Darktide’s playerbase has dropped 90% from it’s peak and communication from them has broken down. Moving to the model of exploiting whales will (and possibly has already) ruined this game. I hope it’s not too late to save it, but it’s clear that it’s not going in the right direction.


You write well. It stings to see Darktide flop so hard. To the detriment of their customers, they’ve butchered their game in hopes of maximising monetisation. I’m sick of it.


I agree, one thing i want to say tho if you check the magazines, and the picatinny rails they don’t actually change colors from skins so they could potentially add some customization.

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This. 100% this. I have seldom seen such obvious and shameless greed. The shamelessness becomes even more obvious, because everyone who publicly speaks on behalf of Fatshark is in on the scheme, and they are lying to everyone’s faces to keep the illusion alive that everything is exactly as intended. I say it again: Filthy, stinking liars, the bunch of you. Incompetence is one thing, but this is not it. Incompetence can be forgiven and excused. This is maliciously intended, and they are pretending it is not. I already made the comparison elsewhere: It is like FS is the only other person on an elevator with you, they rip the loudgest, smelliest fart in the world, and then look you dead in the eye and say: “It wasn’t me! It was you! You cannot prove otherwise!”

It is. That is the sad part. They have their obligations to their new CCP overlords, because that is their venture capital speaking to them. They would have to step back from the “live service” model, and that would indeed require scrapping a majority of the game’s code and starting anew. This would be financially unfeasable, and you wouldn’t be able to sell it to your shareholders. The core complaints about the game are irredeemable, simply because they take place on a meta-plain, beyond the pure lack of content, maps, weapons, crafting and promised features.

We will NEVER get proper weapon modification (hurr durr this isn’t Call of Duty. Seriously, Hedge, that was a new low, even for you) that was once in the game and intended, and this is a good indicator why the majority of things won’t change. They scrapped a system that was not only shown and promised, it was, quite frankly, to be expected in a modern game that focuses around gunplay.
But why did they scrap it? Because it stood in the way of their monitization scheme.

That’s why things like taking the FOMO-timer from the premium cosmetics store is the most we can expect from them in this regard - and, mind you, they STILL had the nerve to bring out the prospect of removing pages from the cosmetics store in the future, under the pretext that “too many pages might be confusing” or something along those lines.

If you know venture capital business, you know what that means: “The money” allowed them to - temporarily - remove FOMO mechanics and soften them up a bit as a form of appeasement politics, but they still have the contractual obligation to implement the premium store to be on a rotation. Let that sink in: They are, very likeley, legally obligated to have these mechanics in the store, and they will NEVER EVER step down from them in any sensible way. The whole money-making-scheme this game is built around is here, and it’s here to stay. It will not go away, because it is the core of the game’s identiy. Not the gameplay, not the characters, not the story, not the lore, not the aesthetics.

This isn’t a game with an MTX-store built in, it is an MTX-store with a bare-bones game built around.

I agree with OP’s projections of what to come, and mark my words: There WILL be payed for weapons. There WILL be the option to buy crafting materials with Aquilas. There WILL be shortcuts to bypass the horrendous RNG with real money, because EVERYTHING points towards this.

They sacrificed EVERYTHING for the sake of shoe-horning, ney, strong-arming MTX-mechanics into this game: Crafting, maps, convencience, story, characters, cosmetics, variety - and most of all: The player.


if the boosters are paid with real money then its time to say good bye…


Inb4 they announce a season pass…or god forbid more than 1…

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Hey Fatshark ! Explain this please ? <3

How tired I am of seeing all these topics about monetization … All of them seem to be “another” discussion of the Ecumenical Conspiracy, well, reptilians, masons, etc. Are you seriously? What is the logic? Let’s say people are complaining about the bad performance of the servers, hmmm, I’ll go to the store and buy a couple of suits. Or, Dogs act like SUPER DOGS (Fly, you know…), yes, yes, I’ll go and buy leopard pants on Ogrin so that the dogs will be shocked. Problems with classes, VETERAN IS TOO STRONG, this is definitely a trick of the store and its costumes, they give + 1000% to power. Or, the Sharks come to work and their boss says to them: -Guys, we have an Ultra idea to make money, a lot of money, So, Hey James and your team, are you doing netcode with us? From now on, you will work for a clothing store for real currency. Yes, yes, you guys from the public relations department, you are with them too and everyone else follow. Oh yes, Patricia, you are no longer a cleaning lady, now you are working with those guys!
Is that how it works, in your understanding?
Let’s discuss what we have at the moment. Costumes and skins for weapons. Does it affect gameplay? It seems to be not. Are you being forced to buy it? Nope. So I see absolutely no problems with this shop.
Ordinary shop with strange offers once an hour? Yes, here they are, let’s just say… They made an unsuccessful design decision! And this applies to a bunch of other problems that have been described and sucked in a bunch of other topics on the forums. But guys, do you really think this is all to get you to buy leopard pants on Ogryn? I do not think so. Perhaps there were some internal conflicts, etc., I have no idea, as they say, I did not hold a candle.
So let’s discuss only what is now, will not be AFTER, or was BEFORE. Because to argue, what will be there? Well, you can imagine whatever you want. And to discuss what was, well, it was and it was, you can’t go back to the past and fix something, forget it(I meant “game development”).

You’re right but only if all they’re doing is recoloring the weapon. If they change the mesh/texture for a new cosmetic rather than just the color, it would require much more work to account for those attachments (even the magazine, maybe they change the weapon to a bullpup for instance).

That’s why they won’t implement attachments, it would interfere with them pumping out cosmetics for whales.

This is a solidly written post. You explain perfectly why we have the game we have. It’s all deliberate, all intentional, all greed. Utterly shameful.

Do we know that was a mid-dev decision to turn the game into a live service title? I didn’t pay that much attention to the Darktide news in the early stages.

To be fair if Fatshark faced some major difficulties during the development, releasing what is basically an unfinished product was possibly their only option. Software development is hard, some projects just crash and burn and game dev is the most challenging of all of them due to the scale, complexities and work conditions.

Just gonna mention that a attachment system for most ranged weapons would have been so fun to experiment with. If you want people to get attached to their stuff, that’s the way to do it.


I agree. Fatshark is also kind of notorious for info dumping every goal and hope for their titles that they can think of, even if getting to them doesn’t turn out very realistic. It’s a good way to get a lot of high expectations in multiple areas your game won’t ultimately fulfill.