“It’s a great tactical , cooperative experience. It’s fast paced, skill based. It could easily be the greatest Co-Op game for years, so long as they keep working on it.” - Me to my brother while finishing Anthel Yenlui.
I was in the beginnings of what would amount to over 650 hours played in VT 2. It was basically all I could think about for several weeks. New item load outs, leveling characters, training your ears to pick up on that assassin-rat-in-training that stabs you in the back. The hours poured in turning a player into an efficient and menacing killing machine. After the “Raining Reds” patch that showered players, new and old in Veteran items, offered a new layer of stat combinations. Players were abuzz with ideas for what stats were the best, what were the worst, and how you can min-max yourself for optimal Chaos Spawn slaying. Although short lived, I even attempted a “Big Game Hunter Bardin” build. Which involved as many Monster slaying buffs I could get a hold of. Which, I think, is adequate introduction into the first of a few reasons why this game is creeping into the grave.
If you’re anything like me, you enjoy smooth and efficient Legend runs. The kind of runs where each one is a rousing success. No hiccups, a few enjoyable surprises, hopefully laughing along the way. For such rounds of domination, however, a certain price is paid. Running the same characters, with the same load out, hour after hour, mission after mission. Unfortunately, when you factor in player skill and ability, there is going to be a Meta for both career and weapon choices. When looking at talents, there is a clear and defining line to which are the best, and which are filler for talent boxes. When sifting through your plethora of weapons for Kruber, you won’t be thinking of what weapon to replace the Polearm. Instead, maybe switching between the handgun or revolver, just for momentary bouts of enjoyable shooting.
Not only does this meta exist, it’s chasing off the hardcore player base. It gets pretty boring knowing that any time I try to switch a weapon, or play a different career, that I’m significantly hurting my chances of completing legend runs. When my brother would (I say would, because he’s pretty much stopped playing till DLC or changes are made) take the executioner over the pike for a mission. His damage output is cut in half, and ended up taking twice as much damage as before. Actually having to revive him once or twice when otherwise he’d be reviving the two pugs. Or when a Waystalker decides it’ll be fun to go Handmaiden only to have their elite and special kills just about disappear, in exchange for higher rates of taking damage and being revived. The same idea applies to item traits, talents, careers, etc.
The player base would undoubtedly like to see more diversity in load out customization. While still being just as effective, if at the very least in different ways. Side note, is making armor into an actual item a thing? Different armors conveying stat bonuses like dodge, or health, etc.
Speaking of customization, can we talk about cosmetics for a moment? I don’t just mean the actual Cosmetic items, cause’ there needs to be more of them as well. I mean the actual look of equipment. The whole re-skin of the same outfit was lazy as hell. Albeit that’s a fine baseline, if you had about a dozen other armors for the characters. I also understand that the lower rarity weapons need to look like gardening equipment that was left out in the rain. But I can envision these five champions as glimmering, exalted warriors of their age. Given the best of the best gear that their patrons can offer. Shining weapons with elegant edges. Freshly etched and rune bolstered armors. Of course, I speak mainly of orange and red rarity equipment. Simply rewarding the players with a look that shows their level of dedication and ability. Side note, when I got my first veteran 2h hammer for the dorf, I just about lost my @#$% over the fact that it was the basic hammer with some minor glowy effects and a WOODEN handle. Unless it was made out of whatever Thor’s axe handle was made of, I don’t want it. So pretty much, new weapon and armor designs that actually look like they’re worth something. Also, didn’t VT 1 show the trinkets you had equipped? Hanging off the belt or something? Just a thought.
All of the aforementioned issues might also be forgiven if there was some more progression to get into. There are a number of players who’d still be playing if Hero power wasn’t hard capped, or if you could “upgrade” item stats. Example being that for 100 orange shards you could upgrade your Crit Chance by 1% on an item. I know that the game is being balanced around what is currently available, and increasing hero power or item stats could throw off game play. But if you’re concerned about the dying player base, it may be worth a shot to see if it sticks. Adjusting difficulty might not be as difficult as trying to run out new DLC every other month to keep people interested. Personally I can see allowing players to upgrade their health for legend runs, if they’re willing to dump the materials into it. Sigmar knows most of them NEED it.
Lastly, for the love of whatever the Elf Gods are, make some decent quests with decent rewards. VT 1 had a more in depth and varied mission board.
So in the end, I can think of a few things to keep this game from going into the bargain bin for steam sales. To elevate it to the majestic, and ultimately time-less classic it’s destined to be. More weapons (both type and aesthetics), More armor looks (possibly converting them into actual statted equipment), Trinkets being displayed on character, Broad range of useful (possibly strong) talents, Weapon/Item buffs across the board as to keep the game free flowing instead of a stagnant meta, furthering character progression through hero power or possibly upgrading items. Take them for what they’re worth, ideas. Ideas to lure the player base back into your clutches so they’re ready for some of that sweet, sweet DLC that the Road Map refuses to show.