The mission board fails at providing any meta-narrative satisfaction as well as the mechanical failings it currently has

So there’s the mechanical problem already where people are frustrated by the inability to select difficulties, modifiers etc., where maps or modifiers or difficulties don’t show up when you are playing because of RNG, but there’s definitely also an issue in how they wanted to use the mission board to present any immersion, narrative or setting.

The mission board as in DRG works because there’s no overall conflict, no overall ultimate goal beyond go down, mine, make money. There’s no overall progress that ties into the setting, there’s no antagonist to defeat once and for all; it’s just a world with minerals with random things happening.

Same with Payday, it kinda works (especially after they added the option to spend currency to play specific levels/difficulties) because again, there is no ultimate objective against any particular antagonist.

Helldivers have you continously fight a war against 3 factions, where there’s push and pull, there are several fronts that has a minimum number of systems each with several planets, conquering a planet or being pushed back doesn’t really change much mechanically but narratively you are making progress towards the ultimate goal of fighting and defeating those enemies.

Even in Vermintide 2 there was an overall narrative where you were striking against the Skaven-Rotblood alliance. You were very specifically doing things that had a narrative effect in the later missions of that mission line. It also doesn’t do anything mechanically, but it grounds the maps better and makes you feel you are doing or contributing to something.

Darktide has none of that. While the mission board tries to generate the illusion of a shifting warzone, with critical objectives popping up, even though there is an ultimate objective (pacify Atoma, defeat the Moebians, purge the Dregs, etc. etc.) against a clear antagonist , there is no narrative or any meta-progression or stakes in the war against the Moebians or the Dregs, the objectives and missions completed have no visible or narrative consequences or effect.

Just like the characters, itemisation and narrative, the missions are very noticeably disconnected from each other and every other system. I would say that it feels significantly less immersive or alive because it’s all so disjointed. Even if they were crutching on the scale of the hive city to handwave a lack of progression, it’s undermined by the fact we keep going back to the same 5 locations. The world doesn’t react to your (everyone’s) collective actions and over time it feels like you are doing nothing.

It’s another black hole for the feeling of progression or satisfaction, and combined that with how bad the itemisation and crafting feels, the loss of agency of being able to pick the mission, difficulty or modifiers, and it’s another reason why players have dropped off as much as they have.


I tried getting my brother, a huge VT2 fan, in on this game at release and eventually he was so dissatisfied with the result that he shrugged and gave up. Wjen i asked him why, he didn’t mention the jank or the poor performance or the lack of content or the obvious disingenuousness from Fatshark leadership.

He said Darktide felt like it didn’t have a soul.

Stuff like this is what that means.


One thing that I wanted to underline here is the lingering sentiment of Darktide’s systems feeling disjointed, as this goes beyond just Characters, Itemization, and the Narrative. This encapsulates the entire game. I am reminded of my “Beta” take on Coherency:

No clue if the above is still relevant but it’s funny how the sentiment still applies.


Yes, I agree 100%.

The overall mission board doesn’t even provide narrative or immersive value since mission layouts are exactly the same. I think having maps be rotated (Corridors turn left instead of right/or different paths to try and show how this is a different section of the Hive city *HL-37-1 and other iterations can be Hl-37- 2) would help.

It boils down to the characters for me, the bland “cuztomizable” character feels detached and REJECTED

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From what I’ve heard they are aware that they missed the mark with the mission board. The original intent was thematic, and it missed both that and being a good mission board.

idc if the board has any meta narrative tbh. Story can be told just fine through plenty of other means.

I just want an effective mission board.

I like the characters a lot tbh, they feel well designed entertaining and are interesting to hear. It’s not a matter of blandness, but that they don’t speak of things that happen outside the mission much, lack of depth basically. We just had a mission with halloette and melk running comms that gave us fifty times more insight into those characters than we have had in 6 months of the game being out.

Literally all these custom characters need to do is talk about interacting with each other on their down time more. Have the cutthroat talk about his friendship with the brawler, them getting into bar fights, playing cards, punching out someone who insulted his ogryn buddy, how ogryn helps with cutthroats ptsd etc etc


My friend works on helldivers 2.
Looks superfun you should check it out when it releases.

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Great post.

Unfortunately you’re a little late to the party. This exact topic has been beaten to death on these forums dozens of times now. At this point it’s safe to say Failshark doesn’t care. If you go through the forum history and pull up all of the major issues that have been brought up you’ll realize Failshark not only doesn’t care they intended every system to perform exactly as it does.

Every system in Darktide was carefully thought out and planned by Failshark. Failshark is greedy, arrogant and absolutely filthy to the core but they are most assuredly not stupid, lazy or incompetent.

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Totally agreed. I’ve been saying from the start that I think it’s a misstep that DT doesn’t use some degree of procedural map generation, which is kind of what I thought they were doing when FS talked about taking a different approach to map design. It just doesn’t really sell the idea that this is a conflict that is slowly expanding through the hive because all we’re doing is going to the same handful of predesigned locations with the same names, like the Nurgle cultists just take it all back the second we leave.

It wouldn’t even need to be fully randomized (I wouldn’t want that anyway because FS’s map design team does good work that shouldn’t just be offloaded onto a soulless procedural generation algorithm). Hive cities are usually an amalgamation of ancient STC construction templates and ad-hoc additions and repairs, you could design the maps around a few pre-built set pieces and finale, then connect them with randomly generated paths, design it around a few different biomes and objectives, and boom, now the Inquisition kill team is being dropped in a much more immersive “Somewhere in Tertium” instead of Hab Dreyko for the third time in a row.

Indeed. Fatshark is very much aware of our issues, they have to be considering we’ve all been repeating the same talking points since “Beta” days. Every single thread that gets posted these days mimics the same complaints we all had during “Beta”. I guess the difference from then to now is that Fatshark made tiny concessions, woo.

I think what puzzles my cranium the most is how Fatshark randomly chooses on what to act upon on. For example, addressing obscure crap that hardly no one cares about*; such as implementing emotes, which by the way was flabbergasting. Or other surface level rubbish like implementing the silly Aquilas pack to ensure the one to one ratio. All that effort could have been spent on meaningful productive changes. I guess there’s better value in gas lighting a community by being dishonest than actually making new content.

*no one cares about - that isn’t to say that emotes or other irrelevant crap isn’t important to others.

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My guess the priority is:

  • Xbox - probably contracts to honour and whatnot.
  • Things that are almost ready to release that can be “polished” up by the skeleton crew.
  • Fixes and changes the skeleton crew can handle.
  • Anything that is part of the revenue stream.
  • Anything audiovisual.
  • Things that are was being worked on before the all-hands for Xbox.
  • Anything else.
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