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:
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
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.