First post and this longwinded feedback on Weaves is probably over a year too late and preaching to the choir but hey:
Firstly I love VT and VT2, with over 900 hours in the former and 1200 hours in the latter.
Honestly I think Vermintide 2 is the best on the ground experience of the Warhammer universe I’ve seen, all 5 characters (even you Kerillian) are absolutely great and personally I think it’s the best FP melee combat I’ve played, and much of this is that it doesn’t have to balance for PVP and the weird behaviour that can turn up in such games. I’ve likewise had a horde of my friends recently start playing it at the start of this year. So with that gushing praise out of the way…*
I really like the aesthetics and core idea of weaves and it’s a shame that Fatshark put so much effort into what was mostly a good idea for it to then fall somewhat flat.
Once the (somewhat annoying) grind for athanor and amulet is complete and you have a vast pile of essence for the weapons; I’m inclined to say it’s actually a better top level gear system than the main game with immediate if slightly fiddly customisation rather than RNG dust burning.
It’s very opaque for new players (as I explain at length later).
Why do low level ranked weaves exist? Who is the target audience? Are new players going to play it when it doesn’t really help their regular XP and item power grinding?
Some very basic quality of life improvements are overdue, mainly if you’re sitting on hundreds of thousands of essence: being able to level up a weapon to 30 by throwing 22750 essence in one go rather than 30 painfully slow clicks.
The two loot systems should integrate better, there should be some way of trading essence for main game resources like dust or cosmetics and the reward be something else, even if not regular loot boxes. Hell shillings would be something
Likewise I honestly see no reason for the initial equipment athanor and amulet grind to exist and instead just use your existing levels and item power as a base for the Essence to distribute. I know grind and padding keeps people putting hours and commitment into the game but it turns off those newer players who are already doing the main grind and the veterans who want to jump into the hard stuff.
On a side note, I honestly think the grind for item power level was also unnecessary in the base VT2 given that we already had grind to 30 (then 35) with power mechanic entwined to the character level along with talents and careers. Weapon damage just being tied to White/Green vs Blue vs Orange/Red as it was in VT1 I think worked better.
Why do weaves exist? A good idea at the wrong time.
I think Weaves were a good idea to deal with the fact that before WoM the sorta players who were most experienced had gotten bored of chain running full book legend and:
- Players wanted more difficulty
- Players wanted more variety and mutators.
- Players probably didn’t care about loot, even Red items were likely just a tick box of collection.
- Some sort of global rank system for the very best to compete against each other. (On the optimistic assumption people can’t glitch run them)
There was already some existing catering to this
Naturally mods like Deathwish existed as they did for VT1
Deeds already did this but were very limited random drops that are consumed on completion and you needed a premade group, you couldn’t quickplay into them and if you d/ced you couldn’t rejoin it (still a problem I believe)
The Weekly quest got added in 1.5 (Feb 2019) that does this as well but only one type per week.
Weaves almost got this but
It came out with exactly the same expansion as Cataclysm… which added exactly that. So the ideal target audience had a new toy to play with whilst weaves:
Entirely reset your progression and you had to regrind your gear and talents.
Forced to play through essentially the base difficulties again.
So the very target audience who wanted more variety and difficulty of course went to Cataclysm instead of Weaves, despite the fact weaves actually was arguably more tailor made for them.
Why is it so opaque to get into Weaves as a brand new player?
So having lots of my friends starting VT2 at the start of the year and being struck by how the system is completely opaque to a new player
Whilst the optimal way to grind essence in a short time is quick play weaves the arguably a best way to get ready for weaves is to:
- Do Dark Omens as soon as you’ve completed the 13 Helmgart missions.
- Kick over a few ranked weaves ASAP to start generating weave essence from every mission. Early ranked weaves give a pathetic amount of Essence, not even 1000 for a new weapon.
- Then ignore them do the game, progress through difficulties,
- Until far, far later you come back with a pile of essence to upgrade Athanor, amulet and weapons. When you effectively skip the progression grind. This is done whilst yelling at the screen for being so slow about it.
So… you do a few ASAP then ignore them. Wut?
Literally nothing explains this in game unless you go and read it or have a know-it-all experienced player to lead you through it.
And whilst weaves do give XP and quickplay weaves do gives chests, it’s all a distraction from the regular game for most. Only a few new players seem to care about even trying them.
I hope that for Darktide and perhaps Vermintide 3 that Fatshark can take these lessons to heart.