So, I’ve been playing this game for a while. And frankly, I don’t think I can be stopped from making ideas for things. Instead of trying to exert my creative potential in making something useful or that will make me money, I’ve decided to think:
What if the Return to the Reik DLC was real, and what would its missions be?
Therefore, I introduce you to… my ideas.
Mission debriefing/load screen 1:
So, we’ve got a bit of a problem down on the River Reik. Turns out there’s a great sodding ship that’s got itself wedged in between the riverbanks. How’d it manage such a feat of dexterity? Not our problem. What is our problem is getting the thing unstuck, 'cause if it isn’t, trade’s stopping, and that means no ale for the lot of you. Get to it- we don’t want anyone being cranky, do we?
Mission debriefing/load screen 2:
Bit of an odd one for you. We’ve been asked to head on down to Carroburg and assist a stuck ship in righting itself. Now, normally, I’d say to get some good diggers and push the thing out, but there’s been reports of the Pactsworn lurking around the area, waiting to snatch up free spoils. The last thing we need is those slimy bastards getting their hands on more ill-gotten gains, so get down there, get some black powder, and get un-sticking.
This mission would be a bit different from the usual Vermintide 2 missions. It would be more of a callback to the original Vermintide- namely, the mission Black Powder. For those who didn’t play the first Vermintide, this mission took place in an ‘arena’ of sorts, with a ship in the middle. The objective was to pick up black powder barrels that spawned in the area and deliver them to Olesya’s ferry in the middle. Once you had enough, you won. Enemies would consistently spawn in the area, giving only a short time of reprieve before swarming on your party again.
Here’s a rough mock-up of how a map might look like:
(This was hand-done in Microsoft Paint. Impressive, I know. I heartily encourage better artistic renditions.)
Black Powder Depots would be present on each side of the map. Paths lead up on each end to the cliffsides, where the Heroes retrieve Black Powder Barrels. Same rules as always- take damage, it blows up. Your job is to get them to the boat (on the black circles on the riverbanks on either side) and place them. If they blow up or are placed down, they’ll respawn after a time. Work with your fellows to keep from being overwhelmed, or its gonna take forever.
Paths lead up to the Depots, and you’ll have to fight off Pactsworn and Beastmen to get to them. They continually spawn, giving occasional lulls to not entirely overwhelm the Ubersreik Five. (Or… Four- it doesn’t matter).
‘But wait,’ you exclaim, finger pointed in the air. ‘If we’re not going through a longer map, where will we get our pickups?!’
I’m glad you asked! Also, put the finger down, it’s unbecoming. This is where I’d implement a fun little thing that we in the business call: ‘Supply Drops’. Don’t ask what kind of business I’m in, it’s not important. By going onto the Ship, you’d be able to ring a bell. After a second, a shutter opens, and a random assortment of Medical Supplies, Healing Draughts, Potions, and Bombs show up. Enough for a couple heroes to fill up, or maybe a healing item for everyone. The actual items that show up are random, though.
Two things about this supply drop: 1) This bell’s on a cooldown, so it can’t be rung constantly. That’d cut the difficulty down way too much. 2) The ship’s a cargo ship, heading down to deliver goods. It can’t use all its supplies on the Five, no matter how hard they’re working to get them out. Therefore, the amount of times you can ring the bell in a single mission are limited! I’m no coder, but I figure it’d be a pain to have different amounts of supply drops for different difficulties, so it’d probably be the same number. I’d leave the specifics to the higher-ups, but the number 4 sticks out to me, for some reason…
Either way, it’d be a nice change of pace from the norm in Vermintide 2, I think! No doubt certain heroes would shine more (stealth, anyone?) but hey, if there’s anything I like about gamers, it’s that they will always, without fail, find a way to shatter expectations.
Speaking of segues, that leads me to:
Mission 2 of Return to the Reik (you didn’t think it’d only be one, right?)!
This one’s borrowing inspiration from the original Vermintide again, but in this case, a mode that they released later: Last Stand.
…You’re not dying here, tug your britches back up.
This mission takes place on one of two places: A particularly wide gap in the rivers… or the high seas. Whichever makes more sense. The River Reik’s pathways confuse me.
Mission debrief/load screen 1:
Good work getting that great bloody boat out from its little cubby-hole. Unfortunately, your work doesn’t stop there. As some of you have realized by this point, the Northlanders are sailors as well as gods-blighted bastards, and they’ve surrounded the cargo ship with raiding parties. To make it worse, the Skaven have set up more of their catapults along the riverbanks. Fight them off, and make sure the cargo gets where it needs to go.
Mission debrief/load screen 2:
It’s always one thing after another, isn’t it? First it’s ‘get our boat unstuck’, and then ‘stop these people from murdering us!’. No gratitude, I tell you. Rotblood longships and Skaven catapults have the boat you just freed pinned down, and they need somebody with a bit more grit to fight them off. You’ll be dropped right on the ship itself, so get ready for a fight! Maybe they’ll even give you a nip for your troubles. Heh heh heh…
This mission focuses around defending the ship from waves on waves of attackers. The entire arena is the ship, so you don’t need to worry about running around. Swarms of northlanders, ratmen, and beastmen will climb up the sides of the ships and target the heroes immediately, trying to mash them into a fine paste. As you might expect, having all your pieces intact tends to be the preferred way of living, so you’ll be fighting them off.
It’s not just a wide-open arena, though. You’ll be able to use crates, barrels, the masts, and different levels of the ship to take cover and get height advantage, so don’t be afraid to keep light on your feet. Bear in mind, as well, that the sides of the ship have minimal railings- you can be knocked off… but so can your enemies. Push attacks and knockback will be critical, but you’ll need to time your dashes and jumps.
Like the other mission, you’ll have supply drops. Ring the bell, and they’ll pop up some healing, potions, and bombs to give you an advantage. As before, this is limited, so use your items wisely! (Or don’t. I’m not your father.)
It’s the last wave that shakes things up a little. Remember Fort rachsenbrücke, and how you need to shoot cannons to take out Skaven catapults? You’ll be doing that again to take down the longships and plague-launchers. Transport cannonballs to the cannons, line up a shot, and turn everybody’s favourite baddies into a pile of splinters.
Once you’ve done that, the Bridge of Shadows will re-open, and you’ll be good to head back to the Keep for some well-earned rest (and complaining, no doubt, from Bardin, for making a dwarf- who are known for sinking, mind you!- go on one of those umgak boats).
Got any ideas on how these might be made better? Have a thought for a third mission to round out the group? Lemme know! I’d love to see what folk have in mind.