Let’s start by saying that I love VT2. It’s a great game, one of my favorite right now. Not as good as VT1 yet, but it is amazing. I’d even venture to say that VT2 is my favorite Early Access game on Steam. Bear with me on why.
After 114 hours of game time, I’ve decided it’s time to share my experiences. I won’t waste time by saying what’s right. Let’s discuss what’s wrong. Welcome to the Compendium of Shortcomings. Fatshark, I only write this because I know this game can be perfect and you’re willing to listen. Let’s start. This will take a while. No TL;DR, no shortcuts. In-depth, subjective, personal and honest. When I will mention balance issues, they will mostly be about Champion and Legend difficulties, so bear that in mind while reading.
HUD and User Interface
It’s uncanny how much of a step backwards the HUD has been since VT1. This has been discussed many times, but, thankfully, most of these issues can easily be fixed by mods. That being said, it would be reassuring if the devs were proactive in this field.
No special ability readiness indicators on teammates - FIXED
An oversight. A pure utility downside which mostly hurts really high-level play on top difficulties.
Fixed in 1.0.5
Top right corner kill-feed is unintuitive and hard to track
A much more serious offense. Most of the gameplay happens in the bottom two-thirds of the screen. Looking at the top right of the screen is detrimental to maintaining flow and even simple situational awareness. At the same time, the information displayed in the feed is crucial to quickly making in-game decisions, especially concerning positioning and safe travel distance from the team.
No clear indication when the class special ability is charged
This is especially noticeable on abilities with long charge times. It is not always possible to check the meter mid-combat. A simple audio clue would be enough to fix this issue.
Size differences between player and teammate health/ammo on the HUD
Makes making informed decisions on who to heal / leave ammo for harder.
No ammo indicators when melee or items are drawn
A minor annoyance, but can make the difference between life and death in longer encounters. Knowing how much ammo you have left would allow you to make better combat decisions.
Placeholder item/interaction descriptors
Self-explanatory. In poor taste, but in the end of the day just a symptom of the overall lack of polish.
No numerals in skill and attribute descriptors
A lot of offenders here. How much health do you get on level 20 skills? How much damage does Searing Focus of the Pyromancer give you additionally? How much does the Dance of Seasons on the Handmaiden grant you?
End-game animations and downtime too long
Why does it take so much time for the boxes to generate? Why can’t we skip the experience screen? All of it detracts from the pleasure of winning and makes a loss even worse.
No end-game mission select or retry buttons
Baffling, their absence, given how handy they were in VT1.
Damage Taken stat highlights the most, not the least damaged player
Probably an oversight.
No inventory management system
It’s bad enough that I cannot sort my items automatically: I cannot do it even manually. In a situation when I need to scroll between pages to see all my items for a character, this is unintuitive.
Background of red and orange items is the same tint
Unintuitive. Heightens the risk of salvaging reds unintentionally.
No way to alter (salvage, re-roll properties and traits, extract and apply illusions) items that are equipped on one of the classes. - PARTIALLY FIXED
This is especially bad for Charms, Necklaces and Trinkets, which can require up to 15 manipulations just to alter an item. Unintuitive. This leads to the next issue.
1.0.5 allows you to re-roll properties and traits on equipped items, but still not salvage them
No way to unequip an item from all characters.
Cannot change class while the bridge of shadows is active in the keep through quick access buttons
You can, of course, track to the skull on the 2nd floor to do so, which makes the situation even weirder.
No sum level / power indicators for other players
Leads to levelism (and, no, I’m not saying it’s fine to play any difficulty on any level). The quality of the community is deteriorating because of this.
No + levels indicated on the classes you overleveled
On the other side of the spectrum, an annoyance, but of low importance.
Dash indicators (when holding F on a class with a dash ability) don’t accurately represent dash distance.
Missing gameplay information on classes
For example, there is no info that Ranger Veteran’s smoke bomb increases your ranged damage, Which Hunter Captain receives a massive passive HS damage boost, the fact that Shade’s Infiltrate increases hit damage.
No host country information in the lobby browser
I have certain preferences (which are, mostly, to avoid my fellow countrymen). A step backwards compared to VT1. Other that, it’s detrimental to estimating ping, which forced me to leave a few games I’ve joined so far.
No numeral ping indicators
Just baffling. I don’t know what those red/yellow/green gems in the tab menu mean.
I don’t really want to get in-depth on this point. It’s controversial and a work in progress. I, for one, find Ranger Veteran, Hunter and the Handmaiden to be amazing, whereas many find them underpowered, so I will stick to the two class balance issues that are glaring.
Witch Hunter Captain - FIXED
The active ability takes too long to charge and feels underwhelming. The skills are interesting and the passive HS damage modifier is huge, but, overall, this cannot compensate for the rest of his weaknesses.
1.0.6 EDIT: The various balance changes made a difference. It is now very much Legend-viable and extremely powerful at that, if not popular.
The concept is interesting, but the execution is lacking. The class needs more ways to be the heat-dispersing monster it should have been. Passive Earthing Rune from VT1 would be one way to approach the solution of the BW problem.
Enemies and patrols spawning within line of sight
Break immersion and creates gameplay issues. Credit to @JLB.
Weapons ghost swings / no hit detection - PARTIALLY FIXED
Some attacks fail to land when the player clearly connects the hit. The weapons affected are: Executioner Sword on the light chain, Two-Handed Axe on the push-stab, Mace (Kruber) on the light chain, the Glaive on the light chain.
1.0.5 makes the situations slightly better.
The Pickaxe, especially on push-stabs, still suffers from this issue as of 1.0.6
Rat Ogre underpowered - FIXED
Chaos Spawn is simply a better version of the rakogri right now. He needs a buff.
All bosses in 1.0.5 are considerably more difficult
Chaos Spawn overpowered
Or, rather, too aggressive and barely counterable on Legend in narrow spaces where he often appears. His health regen is also insane, given his large HP pool.
Poison Wind Globadiers attacking too quickly
It takes them almost no time to aim and lob. Perhaps too little.
Handmaiden revive interruptible
Just plain broken.
Hagbane Bow underpowered
The ammo count is low, it can barely handle enemies above clan/slave rats and rotblood zombies. Credit to @Frostysir
Ranger Veteran smoke bomb deals self-damage / FF - PARTIALLY FIXED
Needs to be made harmless. I’ve seen people die from this. Counterintuitive for an escape/ambush ability
In 1.0.5, the damage is set to 0, but the indicator is still there.
Ranger Veteran smoke bomb cannot be readied
On other active abilities, you can hold F to see the radius or the direction, or simply ready the ability. This is impossible with the smoke bomb.
Handguns take too long to attain steady aim
Making them outclassed by the alternatives with no incentive to actually use (except for fashiontide and personal preference reasons).
Pickaxe outclassed by both the 2H Axe and 2H hammer - FIXED
The light chain is too slow and makes it barely viable from Champion up. Requires a buff.
Great in 1.0.6, Legen-viable
Ranger Veteran: No access to Drakefire Pistols
Counterintiutive, given that he had them in VT1. Also weird to limit the ranged class to having 2 weapons less than the tank class.
Saltzpyre: Axe might require a buff - FIXED
Currently the falchion does everything better.
Great in 1.0.5, even on Legend.
Saltzpyre: Brace of Pistols in an abysmal state - SOMEWHAT MADE BETTER
Borderline unusable on Legend. Okayish on everything below that. Too little ammo. Any meaningful kind of ammo management is only possible on Bounty Hunter, and only if you pick the trait to regain 2 ammo on crit. You are basically forced to pick that ammo retention trait. Potential damage non-comparable to other ranged options. Low piercing, too high range damage drop-off. A sloppy implementation of the new BoP concept that required much more playtesting. The issues are even more poignant on any other Saltzpyre sub-class other than BH. Completely outclassed by literally any other ranged option. Require significant reworking.
EDIT: A slightly higher ammo count in 1.0.6. Made viable on BH, still lacking. Conceptual problems persist. Requires more boss damage and ideally +1 to targets penetrated or less damage dropoff.
Saltzpyre: Rapier Pistol shot delay and general state
The rapier pistol is barely usable at this point. The damage drop-off, the low damage, the fact that any melee attack would be better in any situation, and, most of all, the combat flow-breaking block delay after the shot. Needs to be reworked.
Saltzpyre: Rapier charged attack does not stagger
Counter-intuitive after VT1, where the charged attack’s appeal was in the ability to vary the charge and stop Stormvermin from using their overhead swings.
Sienna: Fire Sword slightly underpowered - FIXED
Requires a small buff
1.0.6. provides said small buff.
Dagger Weapons: Block angles
The effective block angles on daggers compared with low stagger and low targets hit make all dagger weapons (except for Sword and Dagger) make them high risk – low reward. The 5% base crit buff they receive (not sure if this is true for Sienna’s dagger) does not in any way make the situation better. You are basically giving up a big chunk of your combat control for unclear benefits. At least sienna’s dagger is fun thanks to charged attacks and DoTs.
Sienna: Fireball Staff underwhelming - RECONSIDERED
Requires reworking. It does nothing better than the alternatives. Less heat generation could be one of the ways to start making it better (@JLB points out it’s actually in a good state, more testing might be required. For now let’s say the issue of the Fireball is controversial).
Edit: After testing out the staff, I’ve come to the conclusion it’s amazing. Might be only applicable to 1.0.5, but it’s very, very good.
Unchained: Living Bomb cannot cancel overcharge explosion
Making this possible would vastly improve the experience of playing Unchained (which is, to be fair, really fun at the moment).
Battle Wizard: Fire Walk recharge inexplicably long
For a simple dash ability, the recharge timer really raises my eyebrow every time I see it.
Battle Wizard and Pyromancer level 25 heat clear talents
Destroy the heat management system and devalue Unchained’s uniqueness.
Which Hunter Captain: Animosity recharge timer - FIXED
It’s way, way too long.
Feels much better in 1.0.6. Silents fix?
Trait variety too low
We had so many fun, meaningful traits in VT1, and now we’re stuck with such small selections.
Trait quality questionable
Outside of the great choices like Swift Slaying, Off-Balance and, if I’m being generous, Parry, the rest are really underwhelming. Why did great Devastating Blow become rather questionable Opportunist? Where is Hawkeye and Haste on ranged weapons? Why can’t we get the poison effect from the Lustrian Flask trinket in VT1? Why no bomb FF reduction traits (or properties, for that matter).
Necklace properties quality questionable
Damage Reduction vs x, y and z is underwhelming when compared to other alternatives.
Movement Speed property stat too low
5% is not enough incentive to waste a property slot on the most interesting item slot, property-wise. Some alternative would include Curse Resistance, Cooldown Reduction, Crit Chance and Stamina Recovery, all of which vastly outclass the current Movement Speed bonus and, with the exception of Crit Chance, are unique to the Trinket slot.
Teammate assists no longer track you saving others from incoming swings by normal enemies
Not only hurting the sense of camaraderie, but also highly devaluing the already questionable Heroic Intervention melee trait. Currently this only works when saving someone from gutter runners, hook rats and leeches.
Weapon switching low priority in the input queue - PARTIALLY FIXED
Possibly the most infuriating issue. Weapon switching must receive top priority in the input queue, as this leads to horrible results currently, with people getting hits because of a broken input system.
1.0.5 somewhat improves the weapon switching issue, although it’s still not perfect. Some input lag is present, especially when there are many enemies around. Kruber’s Longbow and Bardin’s Drakefires are still culpable of ignoring the weapon switching commands.
No way to convert powders
A lot of people playing on higher difficulties are experiencing severe green dust shortages, me included.
Identical stats and traits on rerolls
No choice between old and new stats and traits
It was so much better in VT1. Now rerolling is always a gamble instead of a choice.
Illusion extraction cost too high
Incentivizes stockpiling suboptimal equipment just to have the option of equipping the illusion at a later date. Much better to have made applying illusions cost resources.
General Quality of Life / Polish / Endgame
Missing Subtitles - SLIGHTLY FIXED
The main offender is Lohner, although many in-game dialogues are also lacking subtitles.
Somewhat better in 1.0.5. Still far from perfect.
Low variety of banter
I really hope this is a trigger issue, as the amount of VO I’ve heard in VT2 is dramatically lower than in VT1. It makes the team look bland, like some pack of generic fantasy system adventurers with no personalities.
Missing keep decorations
Low variety of cosmetics
Let’s hope the patches and DLC will fix this. Good job on weapon skins, though.
Training dummies fail to relay much info
There need to be dummies for every armor class and faction in the game. Furthermore, they should reflect damage from all kinds of attacks, bombs and DOTs included. As of now, it’s very hard to test these things.
No grimoires near the training dummies
Barring us from testing the impact of grimoire-related passives.
No Quests and Contracts
Another step backwards compared to VT1.
No Lorebook and/or Bestiary
No start-of-the-level equipment chests
I would definitely want to equip specific weapons for specific levels. Halescourge would warrant different things than the War Camp, for example.
Red-tier weapon skins confusing - NEW INFO AVAILABLE
I know for a fact that the reds can come in different skins (the red Falchion I received looks different from one posted on Reddit), but these are the already-existing skins, only glowing cyan. Would want to see exclusive red skins, and the glow just made optional or something.
EDIT: it appears that most (all?) weapons have at least 2 red skins.
Red item drop rates - PARTIALLY FIXED
In my 117 hours, I’ve recieved 1 red item. A friend of mine with the same playtime got 2 red items. I’ve yet to hear of anyone within this timeframe amongst the people I know that got more than 3 reds. Given how many red items exist, it would take, by a rough estimate, more than a thousand hours to collect all of them. That’s a bit too much. Credit to @SetaX
1.0.5 is supposed to increase the drop rates. Further testing required.
Make the previous problem even worse. That said, the fact that multiple skins for reds exist, it’s not as clear cut.
No completion banners
Unless the rooms that keep opening up in my keep, like the dovecote, are the new banners. It would still be nice to see the old banners somewhere.
Bland flavor text on items
I remember how excited I was back in VT1 for another orange and red tier item not because of the stats, but because I got to read the awesome flavor text. The current flavor text became too laconic and uninspired. Partial credit to @JLB.
Heroic Deed rarity, quality and reward
Way too rare. Their difficulty is very loosely connected with the rewards. The rewards are just loot boxes. Something needs to change here. The concept is fun, but I’ve seen maybe 7 heroic deeds in 150 hours, 3 of which were from the collector’s edition and one hosted by someone else.
You can add more. You’ve done so before. This might actually help with the endgame feeling so empty.
I’d love for all of you to expand this. Once again, no hate, no salt, just the desire to improve something I’m fond of. Let’s hope @Fatshark_Hedge can make use of our efforts.