Tomes and Grims are miserable

There is a similar topic here, and perhaps it is inappropriate to create a new topic. I want to, anyway.

Fatshark, my friends: I never played Left for Dead or Vermintide 1. I just started playing Vermintide 2 when it went on sale on Steam and I am absolutely in love. Absolutely in love. Everything about it is perfect when I’m in a particular type of mood. When I just want to wreck stuff and feel cool.

The levels are amazing, the combat is amazing, the characters and all the dialogue, all the classes. Crafting sucks ass, but I’ll set that aside, because it really doesn’t matter. The gameplay is what matters, and the gameplay is amazing.

Except for these god damned tomes and grims.

And here’s why: They are SO disruptive to the very essence of everything that is great about the game. The high-speed, high-stakes kill fest is so much fun and then BAM, you hit a brick wall, while you and some strangers struggle over asinine jumping puzzles.

The adrenaline drains, the endorphins drain, the “fun meter” starts going down the moment we stop what we were doing (playing a fun game about killing rats) and start doing this other thing (trying to make hard, frustrating jumps).

It is SUCH a kick in gut that I felt compelled to come talk to you guys about it. I’m far from one to complain about video games and I rarely post on forums. But Vermintide 2 is SO MUCH fun to play, that the juxtaposition with the fast-paced feeling-cool having-fun slaughter-fest and stopping everything to repeatedly derp over some jump you can’t make is astounding. I have literally never encountered a game that is so well designed and yet hamstrung so severely by such an asinine, unenjoyable thing.

It would be one thing if the tomes were optional, but they -basically- aren’t. Like, we definitely want the additional challenge of the tomes and grims. We want to be able to incur a penalty (no potions, less health) in exchange for a tougher fight and greater rewards.

The problem comes exclusively from how -much time it takes- to obtain them and how disruptive it is to the entire flow.

These are the suggestions I would make:

  1. Make it a thing you select at the beginning of the round. Halo had a system like this, with their “Skulls” . You basically opt-in to a harder version of the map, with nothing to stop and collect along the way

  2. Make the tomes and grims secretive and hidden and out of the way, but NOT dependent on jumping puzzles. If I know where a tome is, or if I can see it, I want to be able to instantly grab it and keep the action going. If I don’t know where a tome is, then that’s what I get for not knowing where the tome is.

I really implore you to strongly consider removing the jumping puzzles entirely. They add so little, they cost SO much. They are so highly disruptive to what would otherwise be a pure 20 minute block of good clean fun.

I think you have built and balanced an amazing game and I want to play that game. I want to play the rat murdering game, and I want to participate in the progression, as does everyone else. Please don’t tie the progression system, though (i.e. the better loot and XP that comes from tomes) to a system that disrupts the very essence of what is fun about this game (high speed murder).

I would honestly be surprised if anyone said they genuinely enjoyed games where they know what they need to do, intellectually, but can’t pull off the jumps physically, with their keyboard and mouse. That is such a frustrating experience that I would genuinely be surprised if someone said they actually enjoy that challenge.

To note, because I have never made a video game before, I naturally assume you game developers are much more thoughtful about this type of stuff than I could ever be. I would love to understand what I’m missing, or get the perspective or argument that these jumping puzzles are a positive thing. I’m very open to understanding what’s enjoyable about them because I find them so un-enjoyable.

Also real quick - A simple counter argument to my argument would be “So just ignore them”. I do, eagerly. But my team mates don’t always, and I can’t leave my team mates. This isn’t an optional objective I can ignore in a single player game. The presence of tomes and the mechanism they introduce almost ensures someone in the party is going to make us stop to fetch them.

Again, I say all of this not to critique blindly. I can only imagine how many hours of discussion your development team put into the design of the jumping puzzles, and how the weight of that compares to a single forum post saying “I hate it” . But Vermintide 2 is literally some of the most fun I have ever had playing any video game ever, and it is literally a sort of artistic tragedy that a near-perfect game (in terms of concise, reliable fun) would be so severely crippled by a single (what I consider) “bad” design choice.

I would really, really love to participate in a conversation about this that ultimately encouraged the Fatshark team to remove the jumping puzzles.

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Well, the thing is, after you get the hang of it, those jumping puzzles are done while you are basically running. After some time you get the hang of it and something that was almost impossible at the beginning becomes trivial later. Now that being said…

I don’t agree with this… I don’t feel it as a high speed murder. I feel it more as a mass murder :grinning:
Yes, you do run and rush a lot, but there are also tactical pauses when you are waiting for the hordes to come to you, and that also “breaks” the tempo. At least for me, Vermintide is a mix of fast paced hack and slash with some slower, tactical, hack and slash :slight_smile:

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I also hate the jumping puzzles.

Spoilerz for VT1

For those of you who played VT1, the Dwarf DLC where you had to stand on a platform to light the beacon is a great example of how I would prefer the Tomes and Grims to be gathered.

All players either stand on the same platform, which slowly raises a door (revealing the book) or each player has their own platform to stand on to raise the portcullis. NOT standing on the platform stops the door rising but it doesn’t slowly lower. IT doesn’t even have to be so slow, simply standing on the button could trigger a massive horde, or two patrols, or several specials etc. Something that promotes risk/reward decisions. Actually it’d likely only need one player to raise the door so others couldn’t troll the hell out of it.

This would be a survival situation like the end of Righteous Stand, there’d be a co-op element to it, and it’d be more fun to batter the hell out of enemies to get your reward. It might only take a minute to raise the door but it’d be better than idiotic jumping. the 2nd grim in Empire in Flames is so infuriating it makes me want to punch a hole in a mountain and when I am in a PUG that insists on getting it I find myself imagining what they’d all look like without a head. The 2nd Grim in Convocation of Decay comes a close second on the murder-my-teammates-ometer.

You could also have the mechanic of smashing something that opens the door (runestones from Trial of the Foolhardy?) or even burning something down.

TL;DR

Jumping puzzles give me a deep intense rage. Change them please.

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@Argonaut14 These are really good and interesting ideas for tomes and grimes.

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Also something as simple as having the grimoire at the end of a corridor packed full of enemies would be enough. Pull a lever to open a door and plough through a mental-hard load of enemies to get the grim.

just…no

as a l4d, l4d2 and V1 player I would even like to have more possible spots to have tomes and grims, but still the same number… It is enemy intel and getting this should be challenging as ever! It is a decision to make…worht the time u spent on getting it and get better lootboxes or safe runs without higher challenge…

making it possible to have a setting at the begin woulod destroy the time u need to get it…for example Empire in flames 2nd grim (its f*cking easy since last patch), are u ready to take the time and keep the skaven and chaos off or just skip the grim?

tomes: carrying a tome means u cant take endless heal pots with u (endless like everyone got one) especally on boss maps i often wont go for 3rd tome because the team would need a 2nd med kit…the point of getting it ingame is to check if ur ready for hard matches or not…

ur suggestions would destroy the whole stting of tomes and grims in my opinion

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I don’t mind tomes/grims, I do mind that they seem to be the focal point of getting ‘‘decent loot’’ and even with full tomes grims you aren’t guaranteed even level 300 weapons on legendary.

Without any books the loot tends to go completely south, but with aside from praying sigmar holds up two fingers instead of one, doesn’t always feel like it was worth it either. I’ve had some really easy full book legend runs today (bless this ravaged teamwork) and had some chests with 297’s and a number of blues, I still wish they rewarded idk maybe some green dust for tomes and 1 orange dust per grim but that’s just my own ideal view on matters I suppose. I just feel a lot could be done to resolve the green-crisis.

That said I’d hate for any/all platforming to be removed, I love the platforming, if you hate it make friends with someone who doesn’t or let other folk worry about the books and be up-front about the fact that you don’t intend to take it so others can catch-on and grab it for the group.

Sorry, dude, but you’re a minority here. Tomes and grims is a genious invention imho. They allow you to tune difficulty level very precisely and they make the mission harder as you progress, not only because your HP gets lower, but because you carry less consumables. And you can even revert the difficulty in critical situations by throwing grims away. And this also works as an automatic difficulty adjustment: if a person with grim dies, the game makes the difficulty lower for you, cause it’s obviously too hard for your skill level. Also these books promote player communication, cause you have to decide who’s gonna carry them.

And even their difficult to reach spawn locations is another great factor. Firstly, you have to communicate on who’s going to get them. Secondly, this slows you down, which will result in more hordes, so picking them up fast is rather important and you have yet another factor when deciding whether or not they are worth getting. Thirdly, this is another way of promoting teamplay. I’ve seen so many times like parties wiped, because they didn’t cover those, who went for grims. So even such minor factor adds even more teamplay to the game.

Yes, some of the puzzles are overly complicated, like those at Empire in Flames, Festering Grounds and Convocation of Decay. But things get better. For example the latter one got fixed and is now is even too easy in my opinion. The other 2 might have been also fixed - didn’t get to play those maps yet.

So yet again - I think grims and tomes is one of the best features of this game, as well as puzzles connected to them and their remote locations. Moreover, they’ve been in this game forever, since VT1. So people either like them, or learned to not care about them, and I never heard anything bad about books from more experienced players, aside from some of them being too hard to get.

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I looked through the thread you linked and read what you posted. Some interesting points were brought up. I think the biggest one was a lack of options for players to opt out of books, as nearly every game will have players wanting them. The idea of a different kind of challenge to achieve loot was also an interesting idea. That is to say, don’t remove tomes and grims, but rather expand the options available to players. There is also no way for players of similar goals to hook up easily. Like if you wanted to find others who don’t want to do tomes and grims, then you have no way to do so without asking people constantly, which is tedious.

I do think puzzles are interesting and enjoyable, but only when the physical execution of said puzzles are reasonable. Some of them have or have had such little room for error that it was frustrating and annoying. You knew where it was and how to get to it, but physically doing it was difficult. I’ve just done them enough times that I can do them all fairly reliably, but the journey up to that point was painful for some of it. Fat Shark has made improvements and have made it much more reasonable to acquire the harder tomes and grims.

For the time being, I think tomes and grims are fine so long as the subtle improvements to acquiring them are continuing to be made by Fat Shark. Eventually, another option or mode for acquiring loot would be interesting to see. Even a check box for the part of the community that wants to opt out of tomes and grims would be potentially nice to have eventually.

You have a lot of good input in your post and seem to have really thought about it. It’s nice to see and the suggestions for alternatives are good. I don’t think the complete removal of puzzles would be the right direction to go though with it.

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Lots of great feedback and insights all around. I do appreciate that I’m in a minority here, and I trust the judgement of the developers and that they have a pulse of what the majority of players enjoy.

The best thing I can do to improve my own experience is to just get really good at all the tome grim locations, so that I can rapidly grab them and still maintain the pace I want to keep.

My aversion to the jumping puzzles obviously affords me little practice at them. If I keep avoiding them I’ll keep being frustrated by them.

I think I was a little unclear in my original feedback. There is nothing about the tomes that I dislike, and I don’t mind puzzles of the mind. It’s puzzles of the keyboard that aren’t fun for me. By all means, put them in weird secret places you have to do weird jumps to get to.

Ultimately, my complaint is simply “Some of the jumps are frustratingly hard, so I’m pouting.”

It’s specifically scenarios where all 4 of us are repeatedly trying, and failing, to land on just the right pixel for upwards of a minute or two. We know what we need to do but no one can pull it off. It is a “challenge,” by definition, to make these jumps, but the challenge is not one that appeals to me. I would rather be challenged, like some other people are suggesting, by combat challenges or something like that in exchange for the tomes.

At any rate, thanks for reading and for your feedback, guys. A lot of this feedback does soften my opinion on the subject, and I’m slightly more appreciative of their role in the game :slight_smile:

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I will also add that most of the quickplay games I join, on Veteran, involve very little communication, if any, between the players. The tome and grim locations have been the catalyst for getting people talking, and once one person starts talking then everyone else will join in. Without the tomes and grims, and players having to share and teach each other the locations, there would likely be considerably less socialization in the quickplay matches. The value of that shouldn’t be overlooked, and I recognize it.

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Jumping puzzles are for console gamers.
What’s next? Are they going to make us wear shorts to play the game?

The Tomes and Grims are a key part of getting to customise the dififculty during the run, but ACTUALLY GETTING them shouldn’t make you annoyed. Even though I know the jumps there are still ones that make me go “F THAT” and leave it.

They should be hard to get, but not by having pixel perfect jump mechanisms. Pull a lever, release 2 bosses, get grim on death. Easy :slight_smile: XD

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Have you played on champion and legend so far?

I used to hate all the jump puzzles, but then I started practicing the ones in the keep and asking players who knew the in-game jumps for tips. Turns out it wasn’t too hard to learn them all, and it’s satisfying to be able to do them now.

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I’m definitely a minority here but i actually enjoy these jumping puzzles. I’m usually the one who says “I’ll get the jumpy grim” to make the run more fluent.
I used to be a hardcore CoDJumper back in the Call of Duty 4 days and i wish for more first person games to include some kind of advanced movement (entirely optional).

After a few years of Vermintide I’m inclined to agree, collecting them is an utter chore. There are other ways to approach a penalty to your teamwide inventory. I didn’t care overmuch about the book placements in V1, the only time they were truly obnoxious was in the Drachenfels DLC wherein the maps contained a lot of pointless backtracking.

But in Vermintide 2, they stepped up the map design to be more infuriating and time wasting. It doesn’t even matter too, because the drop rates on anything meaningful are non-existent due to this game being rushed and them not even having some of the art assets done. The most egregious example of antagonistic design in the books can be found in Convocation of Decay: stand here, press the wrong button for a few minutes, then you get it. Eventually. Then, the next one has a randomized key and pixel perfect jump to make that also forces a good minute of backtracking.

Then Festering Grounds, War Camp, pixel perfect jumps or need the Handmaiden or Slayer make some otherwise IWBTG jumps. Doesn’t matter that you get good at making the jumps, it’s still an undesirable investment of time that only leads to infighting because Vermintide has a way of making sociopaths out of people.

An improvement is to set the difficulty settings before starting the mission, you know, which could happen rather than randomizing a bunch of things through rare as hell and superfluous Heroic Deeds. Or, you know, look to a game called Bastion which let you set a variety of modifiers to difficulty and just roll with it at any time.

Highly doubt any of these will happen, but the smartest thing they can do is put all the books on the path to be as fluid as Skittergate rather than force time wasting misadventures that only split the group and artificially lengthen the time of the round for an unrewarding reward.

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One thing I would like to see more of is coaching and helping people learn the jumps. There’s usually at least one person who knows the jumps, but instead of teaching people they just silently grab it every time.

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I agree with the OP.

These types of games are shite for platforming. Put the tomes in oddly seen places, or places where the eye would not look. Dont make us try, for 15 minutes, to get a tome or grim. It kills the pace of the game, and just prolongs the possible and eventual restart of the game. I understand its meant to be brutal and if you wipe, you restart…but if we also spent 15 minutes trying to get tomes, it pisses me off that much more.

I think it’s partly due to complacency with players. I have done every jump in the game and not once ever been asked how to do them. They assume because you can do it, that’s good enough. That there will always be a player capable of doing it in their games. If someone did ask, I’d have little issue teaching them.

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