Overall, I liked the beta. I am definitely going to jump right into the game on launch day. Though the beta was limited, there was actually a lot to uncover in regards to what might be in the final game and the new available actions that were introduced. I had a blast playing the beta, despite disconnects here and there, among some issues expected of a beta. Here are a number of things that I thought were issues, improvements, bugs, or general commentary on the beta.
- An issue that has always been present (and possibly a design choice) is the obscurity of “Power Level” vs damage. It is difficult to determine how “powerful” you are with this number, especially when there’s also a damage number that is not tied to “Power Level”. Ex. Your item power might be 298 and you have 3 stacks of Martyrdom (+15 damage), what does this translate into? Will your Combat Axe now 1 shot weak enemies on body shot/headshot or still not kill? In VT, this led to the idea of breakpoints, where attributes that gave +x% was just enough for certain attacks to 1/2 shot certain enemies. The randomized weapon values will exacerbate this issue. I am more in favor for static values for most weapon attributes, especially if power level is already involved, though not opposed to the new system. It is strange that one of the attributes is mobility, even on weapons of the same design…
- Character customization was pretty cool, but definitely not what I play the VT series for. None the less, a welcome addition. (Please include a way to alter/tune the character afterward, in case some fine-tuning is needed)
- Character design. While it’s cool to be able to customize each character, there is nothing that stands out from any character that tells me that are a Veteran/Zealot/Psyker. If they all stood next to each other and held a sword, I would have no idea what character/class they were. Though some fault could be given to UI, ultimately, the character design is at fault. If I look at a character, I should be able to know what they are. This is a major strength of the VT series that was lost by trying to genericize character customization. Maybe this will be different as more clothing is unlocked, but so far, the clothing was not different enough for me to recognize their characters.
- Voice Acting. Phenomenal as always. I can definitely recognize some of the voices from the VT series (and aim to have all my characters use them when possible). Without this dialogue, the characters might just all be nameless slave 69 especially without knowing what end game character designs look like.
- Monstrosity designs. They look very similar, to the point that I would not be able to tell them apart if they came running at me without attacking or the health bar with their name on it. I wouldn’t even mind if one of them were just more green/red or had some effect to show it was different. Currently, they look like spawns of chaos, except in 40k.
- I like the idea of strike teams, but as is, there are a lot of bugs. Strike teams keep dropping in between missions. They don’t go into the same hub world. The strike team chat was missing from the beta.
- I disagree with the opinion that the talent trees offer little to gameplay. In fact, I think it makes a huge difference in gameplay. Although weapon loadout makes a difference is power and playstyle, I believe the talent trees makes the characters/classes more specialized. Although a lot of the numbers are small (ex. 7% endurance per second), they are actually very strong in practice when used properly. Just my 2 cents. I’m excited to test all the possible builds.
- Difficulty scaling/lockout during low levels. This issue was present in the beta, but hopefully gets tuned. I do not see any players new to the VT series at levels 1-4 doing Diff3 successfully without the first survivability talent unless they slowly progress through the mission so they can regain endurance or are veteran FPS players. Please have this locked out at least until the first talent is unlocked so they don’t dive headfirst into other players’ missions who are trying to make progression, cause them to fail, complain that the game is unfair, then proceed to hop into another Diff3 mission. If anything, increase the level up speed from levels 1 to 5, so veterans don’t have issue bypassing the lockout quickly but new players will be forced to try out Diff2 to know if they can even beat a mission before attempting higher difficulties.
- For the most part, the ranged weapons are a major improvement from VT, considering the jump from medieval to futuristic. There are some optimizations/bugs that need to be worked out (such as recoil being either mistimed or just way too strong when firing repeatedly on some guns, and others having perfect aim despite recoil). Overall, the guns (ESPECIALLY the lasgun [How is there a 98 reply long topic about lasgun recoil??]) are well designed and fun to use. (Grumble, grumble, more damage, grumble, numbers…)
- The overall mission types were great for a beta, considering the content was limited specifically for the beta. I think a lot of complaints sprouted from the expectation that the beta was an early access version and not one with limited content or older build. I had fun playing each mission and the desire to play more only gives me more expectations for the final release.
- Enemy design. Although the missions were mostly dark and gloomy, I could tell what most of the enemies were, mostly by the attire/armor that they were wearing. Great work on the design of these characters. Since they are all humanoid, I don’t see any other way to make them distinguishable without ruining the design.
- [Already addressed as a bug] Keybindings/settings not saving. Sometimes the other options, such as sprint on hold, will reset after loading into a mission.
- [Already addressed and should be in at launch] Toggle aim not in settings
- No double tap dodge. I personally don’t use this, but have seen some mention of this.
- [Already addressed as compliance with Xbox standards] Swear filtering. This will be toggleable for PC on launch.
- No hotkey for Voice communication. It’s Disabled or Activated only.
- UI is not explained very well. This includes intermediate information for Health/Endurance/Stamina. Arguably, this could be included elsewhere as a static image in some help page.
- No explanation on concepts (such as weak spot, stagger, stun, bleed, agony, peril, etc), wounds (when is death’s door?), weapon statistics, etc. Arguably, these could be included elsewhere in some help page.
- Nothing is shown about blocking, which was a core mechanic in the Vermintide series.
- Nothing is shown about special abilities.
- Although the hub world is visually stunning and open to a larger lobby, it doesn’t have the charm that is the jump puzzle from VT2 or the damage test dummies. #BringBackJumpPuzzle
- There are no hotkeys to instantly open Missions/Shop/Strike Team/etc. The only ones I found were for Inventory and Menu.
- Movement in the overworld is extremely awkward. If you move in one direction and decide to turn, it feels like your character has trouble making a smooth transition. It is definitely realistic, but is completely different than the core gameplay, where movement is unrealistic but satisfying. I can see there being an argument to make this a more immersive experience, but without the above hotkeys, players that are not in for the immersion will feel locked into time wasted instead of playing the game. I want to say to implement movement and actions from core gameplay, but at this point, there doesn’t seem to be going back from this decision.
- Material was in VT (gained through salvage) but it wasn’t really used often, since items were so prevalent. At end game, players had over 1k of basic resources and mainly crafted red items. I hope this system will give some new life into the crafting to make it worth even looking at, but also hoping that it fills gaps instead of exacerbating them.
- As mentioned by others, the missions would be preferably tuned for characters. It would be much more fun to complete missions related to your character/class and promote learning their strengths or specialties.
- Also mentioned by others, but having something akin to a “Training Room”. This can be outside of the overworld (such as the tutorial room).
- Most buffs and cooldowns are not shown (other than warp charges, which seems to show incorrectly, and coherency, which is shown twice through colors and a buff icon with a number?)
- No weapon comparisons in shop or any other UI element. There has been some commentary about Bars vs Numbers, but I think the main importance that both arguments target is the comparison of one weapon to another. Comparing a number is easier than comparing a bar, especially if UI does not do that for you. Implementing a UI comparison (one bar or number is +/- x or x% than equipped) should dispel any immediate concerns about whether bars or numbers should be used and the immediate arguments of why one is better than another due to formulaic calculations or obscuring the actual numbers. Leave this debate for another time.
- Revive/channel meter being obfuscated by camera. If you are not directly angling your camera onto this UI element, you will not know what your current progress on any channeling.
- I have a feeling most, if not all, of the typos will be corrected in the traits/talents trees, but yes, there are some egregious ones…
- Although TAB is set for some sort of information screen, it doesn’t do anything. I assume this is a bug?
- The current call-outs are not horrible, but could definitely be improved upon. The dead zone for this wheel is MUCH too large. It feels like I can walk a few meters before I can complete a simple call out. Also, I would prefer if there is a list of call-outs that you can configure into each slot on your wheel, rather than the default ones. Might be a hard ask, but can we implement player-specified call-outs as well? Ex. Player2 pick up Ammo. This was present in VT2.
- [Addressed] Game scores. I didn’t know it was such a hot topic… I know initially this rose to meme-like status, with people comparing the sought after “green circles”, but the issue is only because of what stats are being shown. The statistics did not show team-centric stats, but just general stats. There was not “team healed” or “team protected” statistics, but rather kills and damage. As addressed, there will be some thought about how to properly implement a proper game score as to not induce toxicity.
- Chat gets disabled during cut scenes and some intermission screens.
- Pretty sure someone mentioned this, but make the grimoire effect more visible in the health bar. This could be some overlayed marker on the health bar to show which wounds were caused by grimoire effect. I saw that the “curse” ticks up over time, instead of being static like in VT, but hopefully this is not a tall order because this would definitely help players understand the effects of a grimoire and that the wounds did not come from a random source.
- Loot feels weird. Upon mission completion, I don’t know if I got a new weapon or unlocked one because they are not distinct enough from one another on top of not being able to view the items during end screen. It does not feel rewarding at the end of the mission to check my inventory to see if the weapon I got is going to the bone yard or the next big thing.
- Pushing has an enormous, non-cancellable animation delay, even longer than most push block attacks. This causes pushes to be extremely weak if not paired with the push block attack, because the attack recovers faster than waiting for animation to complete.
- No cues for block success. The only time you ever know that you’ve blocked is if the enemy recoils from the block and you see your stamina change (but since you’re running or pushing most of the time, you stamina gauge is a weak indicator of this success).
- While dead or waiting for rescue, the character swap only allows “Next player” transition instead of forward and back. This is also very jarring when selecting an alive character (No UI with their perspective) into your alive character (With UI and 3rd person free camera).
- I like the variety of weaponry, but it definitely seems that some weapons have gotten a lot more attention than others. Like some people have already mentioned, some special attacks for weapons are not viable at all, even when attempting to weave them into combos. In most cases, it is more efficient and even safer to not use the special attacks entirely. Example of some weapon disparity: Sword is fast and has amazing heavy attack cleave (first target might die on weak spot and rest will take some damage) and moderate damage, even against hordes. 2h hammer has amazing heavy attack cleave, but extremely weak multi-target damage (first target might die, but the rest take little to no damage) and extremely slow, making it good at crowd control, but ultimately weak against hordes because the damage for area is too low.
- Psyker. Very cool class. The head burst tactical skill is pretty awesome and gratifying to use. It hits the right notes for creativity and fun with the lock-on ability with left click and the pre-emptive charging on right-click.
- Sprinting/Dodging/Sliding. This is another amazing addition that I personally love about the gameplay. For the VT veterans who have mastered dodging, this gives a new element of gameplay and mobility that VT was lacking. Some very interesting avenues that this adds is the ability to sprint and/or slide while charging an attack or animation, allowing you to bridge gaps for attacks. For sword/weaponplay, you can dodge to the side/back and crouch to slide, to gain significant distance compared to the normal dodge (bonus points for charging an attack while doing all this, then sliding forward to close the gap again). As a Psyker, it is much better to charge your head burst and side dodge into a slide for cover, rather than spamming dodge (not explained anywhere and carried over from VT, but dodge does have a soft limit, that reduces dodge distance after a certain number of dodges in a short time).
- Not sure if this was tuned during the beta, but enemies with projectiles went from having IMPECCABLE aim (hitting you with perfect precision on every shot, even behind cover) to baby’s first day with a gun (standing still in front of them and they still miss). Just me?
- Taking damage vs Endurance. From what I noticed, taking damage from melee (and some other sources) causes damage to your Health and Endurance, while most ranged damage only damages your Endurance (until that runs out and take Health damage). I feel like this needs to be tuned to only do endurance damage until it runs out because the current system introduces issues with survivability. Without sufficient ability to heal, you will always be faced with the possibility of getting downed/killed by a weak enemy who hit you once, even with full endurance. This is especially counter-intuitive to zealot gameplay, where you are actively trying to remain low on health. After your ability to resist death complete, any melee attack you take will down/kill you (without the passive to regain health per melee during resist death). There is already a system in place to gain wounds outside of getting downs, why also lose health while you have endurance?
- Some spawns could be tuned (especially specials/elites). Nothing screams “Vanilla VT2 issue” like 6 gunners all spawning in perfect harmony to blast your eardrums along with your entire team.
- As someone already noted, some animations (such as reload) do not line up with actual action. In some cases, you can reload 2-3 bullets before the animation shows or completes.
- Enemies are too “chunky”. Not sure if this is due to the power level that I reached or just the enemy mass, but in general, enemies felt really chunky. A weak enemy will make a heavy weapon recoil as much as the strongest enemies in the game. I didn’t test this extensively, so I’m not sure if this is just me.
- As some others have mentioned, no way to cancel/target the special moves (especially dashes).
- Honestly, I’m a little bummed out that the scriptures and grimoires are now subtasks, instead of being present in every mission. That was one of my favorite parts of the VT level design.
- Classes: Only 4 on launch. This is going to be hard to swallow for many players, but if the track schedule is for one new class/archetype per quarter, it might be easier to down. Personally, I think only 4 classes at launch is fair for a $40 game in 2022, assuming that DLCs are on schedule and fairly priced. Side note: This brings back memories of VT2. Whenever a new class would release, every lobby would fight for the character to get a chance to try them out. I can definitely see entire strike teams with the new class/archetype in every game, on launch.
- Premium Currency: Please, PLEASE, do not implement premium currency. If DLCs are package or per item, then it doesn’t make sense to implement premium currency instead of normal purchasing. This is definitely a red flag for consumable boosts and will give the game a bad reputation for corporate greed. Brought to you by Raid: Shadow Legends.
- Mods: Please implement mods like in VT2. This was a source of creativity and fixes for bugs that never got the attention that they deserved in VT2. Without this community, I don’t believe a lot of the running tournaments and bug fixes would have ever been created or explored.
Excited to see the final product and if any new design/technical decision will be implemented or revealed by launch.