V1:V2 Comparison and How to Improve V2

Things V1 Does Better

  • Quality Control/Balanced Difficulty: Instead of relying on the AI Director to provide heavily randomized encounters the player might find enjoyable, V1 seems to be better tuned to ensure an overall, consistent level of difficulty that helps keep things fun at all times. In V2, the director randomness can yield levels that are way too easy, therefore boring, or it can sometimes yield levels that are a nonstop slog of hordes and specials, which can still be easy but even more boring because it’s so much slower, or sometimes it can just decide to delete you, which is only fun if it happens so infrequently that it’s a novel and hilarious occurrence (as was the case earlier on in V2). Very rarely does V2’s director hit the nail on the head and achieve a balance on par with V1’s. Further, V1 levels build and build until you reach the end-level event, which is where you are most at risk of dying. In V2, the event is usually the easiest/safest part of the level because of how unhinged the ai director is the rest of the time. This is immersion-breaking and it doesn’t lend itself to a fun experience. The end-events should be the best and most exciting parts of each level.

  • Lore/Immersion: From the lorebooks, to the character callouts, to the random elevator conversations, to the level design, to the Red Moon Inn, V1 just does lore better in pretty much every way. It makes for a much more immersive experience overall.

  • Crafting: No contest whatsoever, V1’s crafting system destroys V2’s overall. “Offer” allows us to reroll traits just like in V2 but Invocation allows us to improve traits without having to re-roll them . This gives us a lot more control and therefore more enjoyment. Dust is used intelligently as well. The green dust situation in V2 is a travesty.

  • Level Design/Variety: For the most part, levels in V1 are distinctly different, each having their own unique flavour, objectives, lore callouts, events, lengths, etc. They feel considerably less linear. There are very few points in V2 where you don’t feel like you’re on rails. The “fork in the road” in War Camp really highlights this shortcoming in V2: There are character callouts making it sound like there’s this decision to be made about which way to go, but we’re talking about like… <100m of forkage. In V1, a lot of levels have multiple points where they sprawl off into different directions either laterally or vertically, helping to ensure the experience is a little different every time. V2 attempts to do this but the branches are just smaller and the director more punishing, so the rails feel considerably more binding.

  • Bosses (ie. Roger): Despite V1 only having the Rat Ogre as a mid-level boss, he’s a lot more fun. Specifically, once you’ve achieved end-game status, he isn’t such a goddamn slog to kill, regardless of difficulty. He’s still a threat just not a, “sweet… guess we’ll drop everything and spend the next lil bit dealing with this annoying bs (eye roll)” kinda threat. He’s squishier, which means you can fight multiple at the same time to create an actually fun situation where you have more control and RNG isn’t so much of a factor (eg. Last Stand, fighting 2-3 at once). V2’s bosses are awesome but they make most classes feel too weak in comparison. It’s immersion-breaking and unfun when you can empty 100% of your ammo into something and barely make a dent. Also, the current post 1.0.6 system of -always- having to deal with a boss + horde + specials is bland, and results in events that are more RNG dependent than quality control would typically permit. If you want to do this, assign extremely specific instances where it can happen and do a better job of shackling the director for the event. You can achieve the effect you’re after by having a few stragglers of slave rats run in… you don’t need a full horde + specials every… single… time… It’s so gd boring and unfun. There’s nothing more satisfying in V1, for example, than seeing all of your hard earned progression at work when you absolutely demolish roger. It’s empowering. V2 is the opposite of that and it breaks the lore.

  • Balance: Characters in V1 are extremely well balanced. Anyone can top the boards in any category and no one feels over/underpowered. Properly geared, you can have a blast with everyone. In V2, there are drastic differences between classes and characters and certain classes just simply do not have the same DPS potential as others, whether it be against a single target or a horde. Some characters just need a buff, specifically in the ranged department.

  • Rewards/Progression: V1 makes you feel like you’re earning your progression. V2 makes you feel like it rolls a dice then slaps you in the face.

  • Overall experience: Thanks to the more even ai director, V1 remains fun even after you’ve gotten all of the achievements and maxed out your characters. V2 feels like a constant slog through a pre-beta director that’s not even close to being properly tuned.

Equipment Traits (Equivalent of Properties in V2) Are Better Balanced: The values attainable for properties in V1 are better. This is especially true for damage prevention equipment, eg. Gas dmg -60% in V1 vs -lol10% in V2.

Things V2 Does Better

  • Class Diversity: What it lacks in balance, it makes up for in variety. V2’s character system is extremely fun and ensures there are playstyles to suit everyone’s needs. There are a lot of changes that need to be made still but this has potential.

  • Speed: Thanks to the addition of powerful classes with unique abilities, V2 allows for much faster action. This is great, and extremely fun when you’re not getting dicked by the game’s bugs or the ai director’s RNG bs.

  • Epicness: While the levels and lore may be blander than V1’s, the increased horde sizes and enemy variety makes for an epic battlefield experience. This is only possible because of how much more powerful the characters are, so I very much hope they buff weaker characters up when balancing, instead of continuing to nerf powerful characters. More power = better potential for epic encounters.

  • Lord Fight Variety: V1 really only has the one Lord encounter, in Reaching Out. Arguably, the White Rat and the pre-V2 level could be considered Lord fights but not quite the same. That being said, the quality of Lord fights in V2 is all over the place. Skaven lord is too tanky when not exploited, Bubblebutt’s splooge is a lil too thick, and War Camp is too easy/boring but the arena is too small to allow for many changes. Skittergate is perfect, though.

  • Availability of Weapons: Being able to craft the exact weapon loadout you want is a godsend, and the only thing V2 does better in the crafting department.

  • Better Equipment Trait/Property Variety: V1’s traits/properties can be annoying (eg. Swift Slaying (Normal Attack) vs Swift Slaying (Charged Attack). V2’s trait/properties make life easier and allow for more powerful combinations in a lot of slot. Since values are screwy though, some slots still need work/balancing.

How to Improve V2

  1. Give the AI Director (a lot) more rules and boundaries. I get that you want it to be able to always do something zany and unexpected but the problem is that there’s zero quality control in that. It’s not always fun. Sometimes it’s boring, sometimes it’s outright unfun, and sometimes it can just delete your team. Right now it has Cate Blanchett to just do w/e the hell it wants. It needs better guidance to let it know what it should/shouldn’t do to ensure a match is fun every time. It can still, occasionally, be given Cate Blanchett to go full ham but the probability of this needs to be low enough that it’s hilarious and exciting when it happens, not “oh… this again…”

  2. Buff the weak ranged weapons. Eg. Kruber’s entire arsenal.

  3. Stop nerfing/reducing power. More power = we can handle more crazy stuff (ie. the exact stuff you want to throw at us). Instead of weakening classes/weapons/characters, set the strongest characters as the standard and bring the weaker classes/weapons/characters up to meat that standard. The game is at it’s best when we are decimating the enemy. The game is often boring/unfun right now because it can feel like a non-stop war of attrition.

  4. Fix crafting. Add the invocation option from V1.

  5. Kill the RNG with fire in general. Give us more control over our own progression and destiny. Right now, the game plays us. It’s a slot machine. Let us feel like we’re earning/building/progressing. Bounty should help with this but please make sure it gives us complete control over what equipment/cosmetic we’re progressing towards.

  6. Tone down the mid-level bosses a bit so they’re more in line with V1. The current system is boring and we know exactly what to expect every time. Also, the bosses are too tanky to make fighting multiples at once a fun or balanced prospect right now. Make it so a perfectly geared out group of end-game characters can down them better and you’ll eventually be able to give us content where we’re taking out multiple bosses at the same time. The hordes + specials during bosses just adds an additional unfun layer of RNG when it happens every single time. If you want to do this, you need to tell the AI Director -exactly- when and where to do it. No more Cate Blanchett. Any character should be able to solo a boss without much difficulty.

  7. Balance the damage taken by armoured lords better. A lot of weapons just hit them like a wet noodle and it’s boring af.

  8. Record/add more lore conversations and character development. This should be happening every time we’re on an elevator, for example. Re-add all of Bardin’s Okri comments and add new/original ones. Let us keep getting to know the characters.

  9. Quality control. Everywhere. Always. A lot of what I’m seeing in the game right now feels like a shot in the dark. Like you’re throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. You already know from V1 what works, for the most part.

3 Likes

V1 levels were unique in every way. Especially the Mage Tower. I find that one of the best levels in PC. It was just like old thief levels. V2 levels needs complete rework especially mob spawn points are extremely lazy/fast designed.

V2 levels puzzles could be more innovative. Examples like the auto-aiming cannon could have been manual or turning circles could turn 2 of them forcing you to focus puzzles more. If only we fought with the level as well maybe devs didn’t have to put more than 60 special spawn just to make it more challenging.

2 Likes

Definitely one of the best designed levels of all time in gaming.

2 Likes

I like the maps in V2 more then the launch maps that V1 had, I’m kind of glad we don’t have any half maps like supply and demand or well watchers. That said I agree on spawns being all sorts of fubar and the geometry can use some tightening on brachenbruks and screaming bell, and yes mage tower is like an escher painting made into a level and its fantastic.

Totally agree that, as launch levels, the very short event levels would be lackluster but in the big picture of the completed V1 I enjoy having them there for a bit more variety, even if I don’t play them much.

Cough Integrate VT1 Maps into VT2 Cough :smiley:

Mage tower will always be the first level I think of when I think of Vermintide, along with Enemy Below and the Drachenfels DLC, those were iconic for me.

The level design in VT2 feels… idk… In my head it’s like this deflated feeling of ‘‘Oh… yay the roof got blown off…’’ But I don’t really feel like I get to enjoy it because so many of the maps contain such vast open areas and the map splits hardly feel noticeable at times due to being a bit understated… You’re also constantly overwhelmed at almost every point of the map to a degree where you’re almost anticipating the next horde/boss/special spawn.

For me it stops being a horde when it becomes almost the default manner in which you encounter enemies, and specials stop being special if you see one at every major corner. I almost feel as though I’d rather have had the enemies be slightly stronger and spawn slightly less so that when you do get a horde/etc, that you’ll be able to overcome it and actually get the -time- to enjoy that sensation of ‘‘whew, good job guys that was tense!’’ instead of 5-20 seconds passing and hearing another spawn sound and being neck deep in rats again before you know it.

It gets old, fast, that way; you hardly get time to build up suspense during some matches, which takes away from the atmosphere and turns said matches into a literal horde grindfest :confused:

I’d love it if they integrated VT1 maps but I think they’d have to retune the entire director, and I don’t know if it’s a case of rebuilding the entire maps or porting them over and ‘‘updating them’’

But that wouldn’t address the lack of lore/story, poor crafting experiences, insane RNG combinations, rather lazy boss designs (in terms of gameplay/engagement, you’ve said it, wet noodle
damage etc.) and the sense of the AI director being randomly tuned / tilted based on the host’s computer.

3 Likes
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