Vermintide 2 needs to enable players to slowly, but steadily and without the uncertainty of rng-based loot drops, farm and obtain the red items they want.
On this issue Vermintide 2 has not improved at all compared to the original Vermintide game, and I firmly believe that it will need to in order to maintain a happy, sizeable long term playerbase.
As someone who early on got obsessed with the idea of obtaining reds in the original Vermintide, I have spent over a thousand hours almost exclusively grinding the same maps over and over again in public lobbies, and with a little luck along with the willpower of an angry no-lifer, I finally obtained every single red item in the game, with only two of my reds having been dropped from difficulty mods as well, almost as natty as it gets.
Everyone already knows that the original game’s playerbase quickly dropped drastically due to the extremely harsh loot system, but how did this grinding journey affect me, one of the few out of thousands who actually bothered to go through with it and commit to this atrocity of a game design? I became bitter, resentful, toxic, an all around not-nice-guy to play with, and I began to hate the game I would dedicate hours upon hours of my free time to, a game I once loved.
Fatshark, you have created all of these amazingly blue-glowing items for the playerbase to explore and enjoy, why not let them? As the game stands currently, only an extremely low percentage of the playerbase will ever get to experience one of the most obvious end game goals that you have set for them, because you once again have locked it behind a practically impassable RNG-wall.
The argument for the original vermintide loot system, which will probably still be used for the new, is that it is a reason to keep playing, and that is most certainly true. It is, however, a reason that comes at a great cost, as I have given example of above through my own story with the original Vermintide, and I firmly believe that it is possible to find a solution that circumvents all the frustrations and negative consequences of an RNG-based drop system for reds, while still extending the games lifespan even more than the current loot system ever will.
Do I have a completely balanced and failsafe solution prepared and at hand? No, but i do have a suggestion, an idea of what maybe could be done.
Naturally, people want to get the red versions of the items they already favor and spend most of their time playing with. Currently there is no way to ensure that a player will be rewarded for their efforts in the game with the red that they would appreciate the most at the time. Surely a way to ensure this would lead to a happier playerbase, who would feel more motivated to keep up the grind.
My suggestion is that reds shouldn’t exclusively drop from chests, but rather also be obtainable through playing with or otherwise interacting with relation to the item, whose red variant you want to obtain. Say for example I would like a red two-handed hammer, there would be a “quest”, or however you would name it, in which it would be stated that i needed to e.g. bash in X amount of marauder skulls, or pull off X amount of big swings htting X amount of enemies at once. these tasks would ideally integrate organically into how the player normally uses the weapon, could be multiple per item, and require several hours each to complete. These tasks could also work with trinkets, needing more general requirements for fulfillment and probably more time to complete, but it could easily be done.
There should also be a way to progress at an increasing rate scaling with difficulty, so that farming on recruit wouldn’t be a thing, but an additional benefit of this system would be that players who for one reason or another aren’t able to play on highest difficulty still potentially would be able to progress towards the reds they want.
Through this system for obtaining reds, players would constantly feel that they were progressing towards a goal, it could disincentivize grinding easier difficulties and maps, and it would increase the reward for playing, ultimately keeping people invested in the game for a longer period of time, and allowing them to explore the game freely without the need to always feel grind-efficient.
I don’t expect Fatshark to do as I say, but I do hope that they at least take into consideration what I’ve said here, as I feel like they currently are unaware of the implications that their current loot system has.
Thank you for reading.