What mission select gets right

There’s quite some hate on the mission select screen. Personally, I think this design choice has some advantages. There are ways to do it better, but going back to lobby browser as a default would be a worse design choice. Feel free to discuss, but please stay polite.

I think the biggest advantages of the mission select screens are:

  • Keeping queue times low
  • Giving players a realistic chance to play all maps, difficulties and mission modifiers over time
  • Opt out of stuff they don’t like
  • Total guesswork: It might also be used to improve performance by having same mission instances share ressources on a dedicated server

A “lobby browser only” approach has several disadvantages.

The biggest one is that it tends to lead to concentration of the playerbase on a small subset of the maps/difficulties/gamemodes. It’s a self-reinforcing loop, even if players generally like most options. Players play what’s is available and has low queue times. So less players are playing other options, so queue times there increase, reinforcing the effect. Traditional problems are that the beginners have a hard time finding games, as most of the players have moved on. And some game modes being simply dead, because hardly anybody wanting to sit in a lobby for 20 minutes to signal other players that there might be an option to play this if enough others congregate. (Arma is a prime example for this.)
Realistically, lobby browsers tend to give you less choice in practice, as a lot of content options don’t have enough playerbase most of the time.

There’s a reason why pretty much all modern shooters intruduced some form of quickplay or another. But Quickplay alone gives little agency.

Darktide is a game that intends to grow and do a lot with mission modifiers. Even at 16 maps, 3 book options and 5 mission modifiers, that would be 240 options. A lot of them would hardly ever see play in a “lobby browsers only” approach. And things would get worse the more content gets released.

So having a default rotation that funnels players through all game modes over time, while giving them the option to opt out of stuff they don’t like, imho isn’t a bad thing.

Personally, I think the mission select should be more responsive to player choices. So if a lot of players consistently sign up for damnation with high-high intensity modifier, than that should be more likely in the rotation. Or an additional mission select slot could be created. But keeping such a system from self-reinforcing loops is not that trivial. Even right now, queue times Malice and Damnation are low, but on Heresy they are getting longer. So some Heresy players are already tempted to play on Malice or Damnation instead. Reducing their choice further would reinforce the effect.

Just wanted to get that out there. Feel free to discuss. Personally, I’m curious how your improvement ideas look like.

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@HenchAnt

If a person chooses T5 match making with dog spam and another person chooses T5 match making without dog spam. They end up in different queues. It will split match making pool and increase wait times. Maybe it won’t or it would add too much additional overhead on servers to maintain additional queues. That’s just consideration. I mean personally I would love condition choice and used to select missions to avoid dog spam, but I just said to myself to get used to it to keep things simple to jump in and out to get into full squad quicker.

If they added checkboxes say I tick T4 and T5 then it will match make on whatever comes first. Means wait time will be lower as I am open to more difficulty settings.

Sometimes you come across a great team and you want to play with again. Add a vote to remain to re-match make/map vote at mission end. Anyone who votes no then rest of party still remain together.

Most players aren’t picky with maps. So no need for say match making then map vote at mission start lobby.

But I like the idea that stats are collected over a period and map, difficulty, conditions are rotated in a way to favour demand. As long as not to leave out lower difficulties for new players.

I’m not picky with maps, all very similar in environment. Vermintide is great in the sense environments per map felt more distinct.

The only problem on this forum is that we all discuss these things, but don’t know how much or how little feedback is taken in.

1 Like

My only problem with the mission board is that It limits you when you want to do one specific thing:
Examples:

  • I want to grind one mission type, for penances. If the map is only available on Damnation I might not find a full party for it, if it is only available on Sedition I will bullrush through it and possibly cause frustrations for lower-level players.
  • Some ppl feel that they find the game lacking challenge because the only thing they can enjoy is Damnation + HiInt + ShockGauntlet, but the mission board does not always have that.

I think the mission board is not bad, even good for the casual “Let’s purge some heretics” session, but I do not always have that in mind.
I think a lot of negativity would disappear If there would be a way to create the missions we want. No need for a lobby browser, if I set a custom match public Quickplay might find it for other players, private games cannot be joined anyways so no need to change that.
True this might cause some ppl to run the same 3 maps, but those ppl might just shut off the game if they don’t see those 3 maps on the board now anyways.

P.S. And Quickplay could use some filters if nothing else for modifiers, that way the ppl who want to play in absolute darkness + tripe all specials/elites + 8 Ogrins in every room + Demonhost AND a BoNurgle at the same time, can find such missions … and other ppl who prefer loInt can stay away :smiley:

My issue with the mission board is that the only thing I want to play is hi-int STG. I don’t care about map selection since, outside of a few cases, they all play almost identically.

I just want that mod combo. When it’s not there, chances are pretty good that I’m not playing.

5 Likes

I don’t mind map selection but I would like a better quickplay system which could actually rotate around the maps. I think it will help a lot

And maybe a garanti hi int gauntlet for those who need it even if I won’t have a use for it.

I do not really care about map selection all that much.
Also, i do not really care about mission type.
But i would like more choice regarding modifiers.

Diff 1 and 2 are so easy and so basic that they do not really need any modifiers at all. People who play on that diff, are so new to the game that the maps themselves are exciting enough.
1-2 map choices each for diff 1 and 2 should be fine.

For each diff 3-5 it would be nice to always have:

  • 1x no modifier (diff 3-5)
  • 1x low int (diff 3-5)
  • 1x high int (diff 3-5)
  • 1x rotating modifier (diff 3-5)
  • 1x high int + shocktroop gauntlet (diff 5 only)

Low int, normal and high int are good for players to slowly up the difficulties.
A rotating modifier allows for a bit extra diversity.
An always available damnation HI+STG provides difficulty for the more experienced players.

Having these options available at all times, should be limited enough to still allow for groups to form quickly, while still offering a reasonable amount of choices and something fun for everyone, as well as a smooth transition between difficulties.

——————————————————————————-
That said, it would be nice, if new maps that are added in the future, would somewhat even out the distribution between mission types.
Right now, we only have one investigation and one repair mission, which really slows down the progress on some of the mission specific penances.

4 Likes

By far my biggest issue with this system is that Quickplay always seems to put me in the exact same map I just finished. If this weren’t the case I’d at least be able to ignore how restrictive map selection is but most of the time I end up having to just pick something at the difficulty I want and hope its not exclusively dog modifiers.

As a concept, I’ve always liked the mission board. I’ve never been fortunate enough to live near a large North American population centre, and I’ve always been at the mercy of 100+ ping in self-hosted lobbies. In the Vermintide days, before things like individual map challenges and the like were added, or once we’d finished them and our deeds, we’d normally just Quickplay a random map on the hardest difficulty anyways, even in a full group 4 of.

In this respect, the current mission board has about the same result and actually lets me have a more reliable connection and also play on my own when they’re not around (I now live in a very, very different timezone) without being absolutely crippled my latency. There’s a reason people begged for dedicated servers back in Vermintide.

This is essentially what I would have suggested, for the same reason Flawless did in his post, although I think it’s okay to have the rotating modifier effect the other three intensity options in an alternating fashion as it does now. None of them really change the experience enough to be worth it’s own slot, in my opinion. So, without changing the 15 mission slots at the moment, I would suggest:

  • 1x no modifier (diff 1-5)
  • 1x low int (diff 3-5)
  • 1x high int (diff 2-5)
  • 1x high int + shocktroop gauntlet (diff 3-5)

With this, I also think it would be okay to take Shock Troop Gauntlet off the regular rotation. I don’t think too many people are excited to play it without it also being high intensity. Ultimate though, FatShark has the data for which modifiers and difficulties are the most popular, so they may be the ones most qualified to make this decision.



That said, the ability to make a self-hosted private lobby with friends and choose exactly what map, modifier, and difficulty to play while still receiving post-mission awards would be extremely beneficial to the overall health and quality of the game. Pre-made groups of 4 have no reason to be limited by a mission board, and it discourages designing things like the mission-specific challenges I mentioned earlier that breathe so much more life into our time spent playing.

The inability to retry missions with the same group and also merge strike teams post-match is also really hurting the current system. Not only does it remove any feeling of community from the game, it deprives us the challenge of tackling the same challenge multiple time to overcome it.

Doing this was one of the most rewarding things in Vermintide 2, and something Darktide sorely lacks. If a player chooses not to retry, they should be dumped back to the Mourningstar, but a new player should still be able to Quickplay into your lobby to fill the gap, even if the mission has left the board.

One issue with this may be that server costs would have to be increased to keep map instances open longer even once they’ve left the board. I, nor anyone else I’ve seen on here, really seems to have a solid grasp on how this works however, but I believe it would be a sacrifice well worth making. If we had to reduce the number of missions on the board a bit to accommodate at least one retry per map, so long as the missions we CAN select are more specialized as per the suggestions above, I don’t see this as a problem.

1 Like

not reading any of this. there is nothing it gets right. all that matters is fun and playability and it has neither. u are out of ur mind if u think this map system is okk

6 Likes

A large portion of why I opted out of playing the bloody game was due to their atrocious mission system constantly giving me only garbage I did not want to play. The system is far too restrictive and obnoxious to be of any benefit to players.

4 Likes

I just play APEX till Damnation + Hi-Intensity + Shock Troop Gauntlet coming up there, looking in Live Mission Board Tracker for Darktide from time to time. So anyway I play what I want but really rarely…

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I actually think youre mostly right. I do not hate the mission select. I just hate being unable to play what i want.

I did have an idea of doing a modifier “buy” system where players can drop by the mission board and spend ordo dockets or something to favor a map and mission type roll. Such a system has obvious drawbacks but would respond to intensity of interest as much as it responds count of players.

I just want hi int and hi shock to be readily available. Thats not asking much.

Here’s my vision for the map board.

There is one map of every type (raid, espionage, etc) on the board, and a second set of maps of each type with at least one of each type of mutator distributed across this set (eg there will always be a shock troop gauntlet choice). Secondary objectives are randomly scattered across all the missions. Global events like fog or lights out would be a further layer that could cut across either set of maps.

When you pick a mission, you then select the desired difficulty AND whether it’s low or high intensity.

This will mean that you’ll have basically 12 missions up on the board, which can be done at any difficulty and intensity. If you need to farm a specific mission type there will always be a choice at your chosen difficulty. Likewise, there will always be a high intensity shock troop gauntlet available).

Added QoL bonus for giving an indicator or highlight to maps where there are already players queuing in a lobby so you’ll get into the game quick.

There’s really no reason to have the same modifier at a given difficulty for more than one mission. The missions will get a spread of players who WANT to play with that modifier but a large portion of players will just not play at that time. Just give us a High Intensity and a Low intensity AT ALL TIMES.

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