Hello all, these are just some thoughts and suggestions I have been thinking about after playing for a couple of dozen hours and…. Well, more with Vermintide II. I’m going to try to not write too many things, but I ultimately do not know how long or short this will be, but here we go.
-Toughness: this is one I’ve seen a lot of mixed thoughts and feelings about, I do not much like this current implementation. Toughness scales, the less of your max toughness you have, the more melee damage will bleed through, the bleed through is the main issue in my opinion. At low HP, even with max toughness, a hit can potentially outright kill you (particularly evident with Zealot) and this just does not feel good. My suggestion is just a simple one, have Toughness fully block all sources of damage and have no bleed-through save for leftover damage after breaking Toughness. My reasoning is that Toughness is a replacement for THP (Temporary-Health-Points) from Vermintide 2, THP acted as a buffer between damage and permanent health once you have already lost some permanent HP. Right now, Toughness not being able to fully shrug off melee damage means that you are more inclined to perhaps stay at range to pick off targets than throw down in melee but this doesn’t work all the time as you’re going to get stuck in most of the time, so you have a system in which the player is slowly but surely ground down and will eventually die as they’re not able to get a buffer going. Corruption lowering your Max HP also does not help, especially with it having more sources in this game. One last thing is I think Toughness can stand to maybe have a little more efficiency, particularly against ranged as those guys can just rip it to shreds and this can be very problematic if you’re stuck in melee.
-Blocking and Pushing: Blocking is not very efficient save for the Slab Shield. Blocking being drawn from the same pool as Sprinting can be a very big problem. Dodging also stopping stamina regen is also a very serious problem as Dodging is the only real viable way to avoid melee damage in my opinion, though feel free to correct me. Ultimately, you’ll find yourself low on stamina, if you have any, which means you won’t be able to push and block. Making dodging not stop stamina regen will make Blocking and Pushing part of a melee rotation again, sprinting having its separate resource could also be another solution but this one could perhaps be too much of a sledgehammer solution, but still worth some consideration.
-Dodging; Dodging is the one key aspect of avoiding damage when in melee, it is also useful against ranged fire and particularly important when trying to avoid Specials. Fatshark recently wholesale nerfed Dodging and I think this is a bad call since it remained the only viable way of really avoiding damage as you get up in difficulty and now it just feels sluggish with the new regen timing. Dodging should be brought back to the level of Vermintide2 or what it was before the nerf, so that we can dodge dance a bit more reliably and not feel sluggish. Making so that dodging does not stop stamina regen is also ideal in giving you more options, such as blocking and pushing, to make space and thus not need to rely on dodging as a crutch. Dodging is also very useful offensively as it can allow your sweep to connect with more members of a horde, thus meaning that dodging serves both a defensive and offensive purpose, so nerfing it does hurt more than just one aspect of the player.
-Suppression and Ranged Damage: This is one that I’m not entirely too sure about. On one hand, I understand that suppression is there to counter ranged play from the players, but on the other hand, it kinda seems to force you into range to ultimately counter it, since you have to slow down and pick off enemy range since running up to them melts your toughness and HP, whilst also breaking Sprint and Staggering (chain Stagger if you happen to be very unlucky). I think the issue here may just be ranged damage in general and it could perhaps be toned down, maybe the players could get a buff like “Maelstrom of Battle” in which the player gets a chunky range damage mitigation when they’re stuck in melee with a bunch of horde enemies.
Utility and QOL:
-Glossary: Simple. I want to know what the symbols mean. Just add a glossary so we can identify what each symbol means and also an explanation regarding their effects. Something simple, nothing too fancy.
-End of Round Rewards: after a match, we should always get an item, those items should also be of good quality. Vermintide II gave us chests that gave us 3 items and, depending on your performance and exploration, guaranteed higher quality items and better odds are reds. Darktide should go to the formula of 3 items to the player and scale their rarity depending on difficulty and overall performance/secondaries met. Whatever the case, the player should get some gear as the store is not particularly good.
-The Store: frankly, I don’t like the store timer thing. I just don’t. The store should just be a system in which you have access to all the gear types you have unlocked and be able to buy them up to a certain rarity. Can increase prices to compensate for this convenience. The store timer can instead reset attributes. For example, you have 3 Chainswords on the chainswords tab and they have set attributes for that hour, on the next reset, they now have different attributes.
-Curios and Attributes: First thing on Curios is improving their UI, it seems kind of finicky which ones you are swapping out and placing, which could perhaps use some adjustments. The curios could maybe receive a pass on their attributes, they seem to be divided into Primary and Secondary slots in which you have things like higher scaling toughness, stamina increase, and wounds on the primary and the secondary seem to have lower scaling toughness and damage mitigation against specific types of enemies it looks. I think all the attribute slots should not have restrictions, stack wounds, and stamina for example. You can give the player fewer slots (master crafted going from 4 to 3 for example) but giving the player an edge isn’t a bad thing I feel, the game can be quite unforgiving and no amount of damage resistance, toughness, health will help you against that trapper that spawned near you and yoinked you.
-Spawning: Please tone down the spawning, I don’t think enemies should be spawning right on the player or too close that the time to react against the specials is very low. Specials need to be a bit farther from the player consistently so they can try to prepare and think, even during bad scenarios. Also please don’t spawn a poxburster in range of a player and have him immediately detonate, That hurts ):
-Special call out and presence: The means of being able to identify a special and tell who’s who has improved from the closed beta but I don’t think it’s up to Vermintide’s Standard. When a packrat was around, you could hear him, when an assassin spawned, you heard him, when a gunner and Flammer were coming for you, you could easily hear them. I believe that the player characters making an observation noting a special spawn a little earlier can help greatly on this front, but again it must be said that this is a marked improvement over closed beta. Those snipers still hurt.
-Special Health: I think that Mutant and Hound have a bit too much HP. The others are all right in terms of punishment they can take, but the hound and mutant can weather far too many blows before they start shredding you. Mutant can turn whilst charging a bit and goes fast, the hound is a fast and agile bastard like the gutter-runner (assassin from V2) but can take a pounding on top of it and still keep charging. I think these two need less health, particularly the hound, so they can be dealt with more efficiently.
-Weapon Swapping Animations: I will try not to linger on this one but I think weapon swapping should be fast and seamless. You should be able to swap to your gun and try to get that special after making some space in melee combat, as of now, some weapons are not capable of doing that and it feels bad. The Hybrid Combat system should entail a smooth transition between melee to range and vice versa for all weapons in my opinion. feeling sluggish just isn’t fun to me but perhaps the balancing would get hit.
-Grenades: I think there should be a quick Grenade throw button. Nothing fancy, just click and chuck the grenade, as of right now the grenades can be too slow and situational. I feel that as I play the game more and more, I see fewer people chuck grenades on my end but it could also just be the lobbies I find myself in and have nothing to do with the overall balance of the grenades.
-Item Power Level Crafting and Type: There should be a way to increase a weapon’s power level to whatever would be your character’s level highest power or instead use another weapon to break down and give i’s higher power level to that lower level weapon you’d prefer to keep with its attributes. Also, I’m not sure if there already is a red tier in this game but there should be a red tier that auto-maxes out the attributes of a weapon so that the player just has less RNG to deal with.
-Stat Bars: Just remove the stat bars. Please. Put something in there that actually makes sense and has a tangible meaning like a % number, or just be like Vermintide in which weapons just all have the same baseline stats. You can have more weapon attributes or such. If going with Percent, Red Auto Maxing should also affect this.
-Challenge Coins: There should be a daily method of getting coins as you could in Vermintide, in which you have a challenge or two a day to get coins, maybe totaling 500. This will allow you to generally buy something every day like a curio but still be able to either save up or not dip into the big reserve so it can be ready when a good weapon finally shows up but you’re just short of coins that week. There just needs to be more means to get those coins as this shop is currently the only reliable way to get good gear and I’ve seen plenty of people miss out on good stuff because they just don’t have the coins for it on that day.
I think I’ll stop here since this is long enough. I will not get into the classes here as those will be a whole other can of worms. One last thing I’d like to suggest is for there to be more buffs than nerfs. If a talent is being picked over 2 others 99% of the time, maybe take a look at the other 2 picks and buff them, or perhaps see why maybe they just don’t stack up in the current game philosophy. Sometimes you may just have the sad fact that you only have one not-so-bad option rather than one good option.