I realize what I’m about to write will be a contentious post. Please realize the words below express my opinion only (and maybe some of yours?), but not all. I’m aware this may spark debate and have people disagree. I have strong feelings on this topic, and you may as well, and for this reason, I will be leaving this feedback here, but not really replying to it as I hope it fosters discussion and solutions. I hope everyone understands, even if they don’t see my opinion the same way I do.
BIG OLD EDIT, BECAUSE THIS KEEPS GETTING BROUGHT UP: I am NOT saying, nor advocating that VT2 needs to be built around modded difficulties. Powercreep affects these difficulties as well, making hard mods no longer hard. It should not be up to modders to keep creating difficulties so the game scales appropriately to powercreep; it should be up to the devs to scale (back) their powercreep to what the game currently offers. The crux of this post is that this is currently not happening. The combination of nerfs to the game’s difficulties (whether deserved or undeserved) combined with the release of weapons and classes that contain powercreep, creates a trivialized game and takes away what makes Vermintide “Vermintide” (i.e. a challenging game against hordes of rats).
I’ve been in Vermintide 2 for maybe almost three years now. I started out barely able to play the game, arguing with players much better than me in WoM beta test that Cata wasn’t too easy, and was just the right difficulty to be difficult enough for QP, to playing DWONS (ironically with those same people), to now writing this post.
Fatshark has a problem with powercreep, and it needs to be addressed. Before I go further, I want to make mention I am not saying this to stand on a podium to preach or gatekeep, but to point to an overarching problem. My concerns about powercreep are couched in the following:
Powercreep inhibits learning. This isn’t to say that people don’t evolve at their own rates, but if Cata is the upper limit and players can fast approach (and even pass) that limit; is the progression in Verm too fast? Fatshark excels in making a game that is attainable by practice, but what happens when talents and classes that delete bosses in the blink of an eye solo enter this difficulty? Suddenly, team play is lesser (though not necessarily absent), overshadowed or centered around a certain OP pick. Why work together to overcome Cata when one person can press one button and delete a whole room?
Powercreep creates disparities in realms. A very long time ago, I used to say that anyone unhappy with live could go play modded. Sadly, I must eat my own words now. While modded has grown, it’s still not large enough to play with randoms in QP late at night, get cool event frames, or have any level of tangible progression. For me, at least, I like chaotic randoms. Randoms are less chaotic when everyone is playing the new meta. I would like to play with my live realm friends, but live holds nothing for me in terms of entertainment value. Not everyone plays modded difficulties, and those that don’t and reach the upper point, leave. FS has mentioned on some level they are fine with that, and by design, Vermintide is not meant to be played for thousands of hours on end…but I’d say a lot of us on this forum do. Modded realm is a band-aid, not a solve. Right now, the challenge lies between “do I break my kneecaps to play with an underpowered weapon” and “never playing with my friends in a way we all have fun.” Having someone tear through the map while the rest of your team kills maybe a handful of enemies isn’t fun for anyone in that scenario (except maybe loot chasers).
Powercreep kills the idea of obstacles and events meant to be overcome. If we look at Convo, which was just nerfed, the limit or challenge of overcoming things is essentially removed (if at the very least watered-down). Verm is a game built on fostering a sense of accomplishment in overcoming the Tide; and some of these things are hard. They’ve never been impossibly so, but some are hard; very hard. Fort had a nerf, beastmen had a nerf (albiet quite needed), Convo’s had a nerf. Is Nurgolth next? Why are these things being nerfed instead of giving players resources or fostered skill development to accomplish these events? Or, further, why are we given tools that encourages making light of these challenges? The cornerstone of Verm is learning; and further—learning together as a team. A lot of players like to teach their pubs and want to help; overbuffing weapons or classes and overnerfing events doesn’t encourage this for the community.
Powercreep makes it difficult to measure self-development. Have I honestly gotten better at the game, or has the game done the work for me? Powercreep waters down aspects of what a player needs improving on. You don’t care about positioning with Shade or Handmaiden or a BW that staggers everything with a firesword if you just can get out of bad spots without fail. So am I good now or is the career? The world may never know!
Ultimately, I’m hesitant to give solutions as my bias is slanted to how I like to play (DW/Onslaught/B2F/etc.), but I do hope this post sparks discussion for potential ideas to solve (rather than argument).