What happened to Vermintide 2?

I stopped playing (due to life commitments) just as they introduced the challenge chests and have come back to play again recently. I was really looking forward to playing through the game again on legendary before buying the expansions to play through. Previously I was playing legend with a friend with probably about ~50-60% success rate depending on the mission halescourge/skittergate notwithstanding, the combat felt very involved and exciting. We came back thinking i was going to get my ass handed to me for a few hours until i got back into the flow and relearnt the attack animations and muscle memory.
First map feels frantic, feels goodman but we’re surviving surprisingly well, specials seem to be less of a worry than i remember and die a lot quicker, to the point i’m questioning myself did i put this on champion by accident? 2nd or 3rd map was halescourge and we steam rolled though it - which i was horrified at, muddled our way through the boss encounter without anyone going down at all, without any established tactics on a boss fight which could quite easily be a death sentence previously on legend.
My weapons seems stronger. stagger seems to last for an aeon. Every melee weapon can seemingly cleave and hold a horde at bay, specials seem a lot easier to dodge and docile and what an earth happened to the chaos patrol?! Patrols were something to be feared and a chaos patrol could easily wipe you. By the 6th map we were actively engaging them for some challenge and fun.

My impression of the game after coming back is it feels like the skillcap has been dropped through the floor to the point 40% of the player base can do legend instead of 10%. I was looking forward to the challenge un-rusting myself and trying to greatly improve as a player from previously but i found myself actually playing lazier, being bolder and taking more damage just because i could.

Melee combat is dull due to the cleave and stagger, doesn’t feel like i have to do anything specific movements to dodge anything now apart from bosses, even the polearm on Kruber could outreach a grabber?! Chaos warriors are dull and non threatening, Is there more health drops too? (although i might just be remembering it differently) and more stamina shields for my weapons? even the jumping challenge changed for the grim on that acid pool summoning mission.

It feels like Fatshark have done a ‘Chivalry - medieval warfare’ and adjusted the game to be so casual it’s boring. We stopped playing after a couple of maps on the second night, genuinely disappointed and that the game has been soured.

What ever nerfing and buffing has gone, it’s killed the replayability currently for myself, i can’t be the only one who feels like that and annoyed that this great game has lowered its standards.

I see there is a new difficulty coming out but i suspect it will just be an increase in mob numbers/toughness and not a change to OP brainlessness mechanics of the melee weapons and lobotomised behaviour of the mobs and specials - although i will check up on it to see

I noticed there is mods available now, I don’t suppose there is a vanilla mod in the works that anyone knows of?

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Most of the game play breaking bugs/problems were fixed, weapons and skills are more balanced, that happened. For a coordinated team, Legend is a breeze.
Go play pugs, you’ll up the difficulty immediately. Do deeds, play the weekly challenges, unlock and play Fortune of War in the 2nd DLC.
If still not enough, play mods like Mythical Vanguard, Onslaught, Deathwish or their combinations.

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Thanks for the reply. Perhaps i will check them out when the new dlc drops. Hopefully they are still tweaking melee etc, just feels cheap atm put a downer on my return.

Perhaps i am of the minority of opinion that legend should only be a breeze for a very tiny minority of the player base by default without me intentionally having to gimp myself with deeds and choosing bad talents and equipment.

Definitely got overhead chopped twice through a wall still by a stormvermin though lol still that bug knocking about

The reason you lost Legend rounds was hardly ever owed to the game being “hard”, but due to the AI director either pulling the plug or because of bugs or other shennanigans. You could argue that things like removing those ice-skating CW and maulers, instant 180 elite overheads or increasing the dodge window made the game “too easy”, but it evened the playing field alot between weapons and carreers, at least to a certain, rather wide degree. Legend in a coordinated team was never that hard, losing was just alot more random than it is now. Alot of stuff also got nerfed rather noticably, things people claimed made the game “too ez” (ranged temp health, Scrounger ammo generation, wigglemancer, cooldowns for “no skill” abilities like burning head and trueshot volley got increased, dual axes got their push attack nerfed, dual daggers got a huge nerf to their heavy attacks). Weapon balance is at an all-time high, carreer balance has never looked this good (still alot to be done, some are a little stronger than others, some like BW are still not up to speed, but overall, stuff is in a good spot), Lords cannot be permastaggered anymore, Burblespew has become alot more nasty. Legend is now as hard as it is supposed to be, at least from a point of view where difficulty doesn’t stem from randomness, bugs and daft design choices anymore. Of course, for the veterans, Legend is usually a cakewalk, even with deeds. The DLC weapons are wideley considered OP (though imho, it is not THAT bad. Dual hammers are maybe a tad bit too much, as they do make 1h hammer obsolete, mace and sword is in a good spot, axe and falchion is MAYBE a little too strong - though I think the blame is to find more in Zealot’s overall kit than necessarily this weapon - crowbill is only good because Sienna’s melee arsenal is very sub-par), though that certainly doesn’t make such a big difference.

There is still a long way to go till we have something like a rough “global balance” between stuff. But my impression is that all recent changes benefit the game.

And why wouldn’t they? “Casuals” are the ones buying your game. Catering only to “elite veterans” is simply not a good business model. Sure, you have to give people who invest themselves in a game something to strife for, but making a game “more casual” is a smart thing to do. Look at steam reviews, there are already quite some voices that think the game is not accessible at all, that it takes too long to level up and that the game starts out way too hard.

New difficulty is coming up in the first expansion. Until then, just make your own difficulty by playing deeds or playing legend with only blacksmith’s equipment.

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Thanks for the informative reply. Chivalry died a death after they made it more ‘casual’ but i guess it was a pvp oriented game. They do have the hardness categories for a reason though, i think it is a mistake to cater to the people complaining it is too hard, not everyone should be capable of doing the hardest hardness without some work an effort learning the game, otherwise where is the sense of achievement. Completing the game on legendary is now a seemingly average achievement making players have to resort to solo runs and modded runs to earn their epeen.

Casual players don’t stick around and if there is no challenge then the ‘hardcore’ players don’t either. That is the beauty of the tiered hardnesses.

Perhaps it was the harshness and almost unfair nature of the original game i enjoyed battling against

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Like others said, a lot of the game’s balance has been changed during the year it’s been out, and a lot of things have made it more fair. A few of these might’ve gone a bit overboard, and work still needs to be done, but they have more or less directly affected the game’s difficulty.

I’d guess that some of your experience is certainly simple memory discrepancy, but you also apparently got used to the game in its unfair state, with unforgiving enemies and weapons. So now that dodging is easier, many weapons stagger more and Temp HP is more reliable for most Careers, you’re getting off relatively easy. Fortunately, WoM is bringing a new difficulty (let’s hope it’s something sensible), and the weekly challenge brings something different (and usually harder) to the table even if you have no Deeds to play. Twitch mode’s also gotten popular, even without an actual channel, and the more experienced players tweaks its setting from a text file to make it a lot more intense. So there are ways to make even the Official Realm play harder, and if it still isn’t enough, you can always turn to the different difficulty mods.

You’re certainly not the only one who feels that the game feels too easy, even if the ones good enough for that are still in the minority. The biggest part of the ease of the game is still your own skills, not the game’s inherent difficulty. Even if there was a long gap in your play.

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People enjoy a fair challenge. Chivalry had a multitude of other problems and never that mass-appeal of VT2. The online VS market is quite saturated, online co-op isn’t nearly as populated with games.

I think it is a mistake to only cater to either crowd. If the game is too easy and you cater only to those who say it is, you lose your regular crowd. If you make your endgame not accessible enough, people will become frustrated and leave. Elitism is the other side of the balancing coin.
Striking the balance is key and of course, the hardest part. We all have to admit that the game was a glorified beta for the majority of time after release.

Playing games is something you do for fun. It should never require “work”. Learning a game is all fine for higher difficulties, but the way to this point must not be a chore and I think new players who critique the game in this regard do have some good points. A game has to be fair, challenging and fun right out of the box. It’s the same argument people used to make about the more atrocious installments in the Final Fantasy series: Oh, well, the game gets REALLY good after abour 15 hours. Yeah, well, how about the game being REALLY good right now?

L4D series managed to generate a pretty solid following for a long time, so did TF2, and it caters equially well to casuals and pros. Of course, these games do have a vs. and competetive component, but L4D and L4D2 are even easier than VT2.

You are part of a minority of players who enjoy that. Good for you, but not alot of people enjoy being treated “unfair”. If you have to grind through unfairness generated by bugs and ill-designed features, people will most likeley never transition from “casual” to “veteran”. I can honestly say that the recent changes rekindled my fondness for VT2 because it started to get really annoying to that my runs only ended because of stupid crap of which I never knew if it was intended or not and I felt I was never in control of - being in control meaning I had a fighting chance to prevent it. Hookrat or gutter runner spawning in my pocket with their grabbing / pouncing animation already playing was getting annoying. Face spawning patrols are not fun and a mauler sliding towards your teammate and you coming to their aid only for the mauler to switch targets a fraction of a second before hitting your teammate is… well, that does make the game harder, but it doesn’t make me enjoy the game and its mechanics.
Dark Souls is a game met with alot of praise, even though it is a very difficult game, but when you screw up, it is usually your own fault (not saying DS cannot be very unfair^^).

If you have the feeling you are not “losing enough”, that’s a problem you can easily and readily adress yourself: lose more. Use only blacksmith’s equipment and do full book runs. Even though there are alot of ways to make the game harder, I hardly see people who have concerns of the game being “too easy” explore these. It’s almost like when they say “I want to the game to be harder _for me_so I can lose more often”, what they are really saying is “I want the game to to be harder for everyone so everyone has to lose more often.” Which is a kinda selfish attitude (not pointing fingers on anyone, just saying).

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It’s not about us wanting to loose but to be challenged. You said yourself that you only wiped before once sh*t hit the fan now we usually only wipe if we go on greedy rampages or the rest of the team pulls a lot of stuff and get’s rekt (connection can kill as well).

The thing with the white weapons doesn’t work because we don’t want to cripple ourselves in comparison to others.
Twitch is neat but most people just leave once they join because they didn’t sign up for it and that is understandable. So it’s great that we will get a higher difficulty this summer so people like me can hit the queue there.

Difficulties are not per se the endgame content. Everything in this game can be done on every difficulty exept for a few select portrait frames.
Difficulty is mainly there to pick the one you have the most fun with.

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Precisely. Difficulty and challenge overlap, but are not the same thing!

That’s a perfectly fair stance to take and also my position: I want to use mah kewl lewt and still be challenged. All I’m saying is that if someone is REALLY that desperate to “lose more”, there are easy ways to produce that. If you feel too capable, becoming less capable is easy. I think there’s also alot of hindsight bias playing into praising the “glory days” when Legend was “super duper hard”. Yeah, it was. And it still is. But with super optimized builds, tons of hive-mind effort optimizing playstyles, map-lore, muscle-memory and thousands of hours pumped into the game, Legend being anything else as it is now would hint towards the game being difficult for the wrong reasons.
We do need a new playground, that’s no debate from me - and that’s coming up!

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I would say Legend wasn’t “harder” back then…it was just “Cheaper” and “Full of bullsh*t” and “Luck based”. It definitely seems to be the case now that it’s more skill based, and there’s much less focus on Special spamming and more on just basic fighting ability and general competence.

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At the end of the beta they completely massacred the difficulty. Legend used to be constant hordes, too much passive mobs and zero stagger/cleave. They undid all that. Passive mobs barely exist, you can stagger everything like a plaything and everything has been toned down significantly. Legend in the beta was hellishly hard, more like cataclysm. Now it feels like the worst you get is champion mode.

Maybe the DLC that promises a new difficulty will change this. We’ll see.

Ah yes, the good old beta days, where everyone was level 10.000, had complete map-knowledge, completely optimized heroes and exclusively red items equipped that hit every relevant break point and Legend was still alot harder.
Or maybe the perception is hugeley distorted by the fact that to new players, even Recruit can hand their butts to them and the fact that the game was alot harder was partly due to the fact people had not pumped hundreds of hours into it.
I remember how people were absolutely flabbergasted that Left 4 Dead 2 was alot harder than the first installment and that even quite experienced players were surprised. Today… not so much.
That’s not to say that difficulty wasn’t different, but I think there’s alot of hindsight bias going on when discussing “the glory days of yesteryear”. It’s like when people used to say the first game is oh so much harder and ranged wasn’t as pronounced, and then you watch videos how people just roflstomp through the game these days, bombing rogers left and right and shooting stuff with their trueflight bow and their… was it 74 shots the BoP had?

People without hundreds of hours pumped into Legend still regularly wipe. As long as it takes the odd hundred hour or two, I’d say difficulty is in a pretty reasonable spot. It’s a game we’re talking about here, not your job or your PhD you’re working on. Not to say I am not looking forward to see how the “new difficulty” is going to play out, but this whole blabbering about how 31337 this game used to be and now it is ruined for all those filthy casuals seems dishonest or at least heavily distorted to me.

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