There’s no one actually socializing in the hub, everyone just runs straight to the weapon shop to check if it has updated and then either leave or head over to the mission console. And compared to the Keep in Vermintide 2, where you could do random good stuff like checking damage with the dummies or try out jumping puzzles and such to pass the time, you can only really run around in circles on the Mourningstar… cause anything else requires lengthy loading.
The cynical me can only come up with one single reason and that’s to make people jealous of each-other’s cosmetics, and drive people to the premium shop.
If you want to give the benefit of the doubt…
Darktide is a live service game. While the current social hub has no meaningful social features, it provides the underlying tech to add social features in the future.
The problem is Darktide was rushed out unfinished and novelty social features are not worthy of development time when core gameplay pillars(see crafting) are still unfinished. I also wouldn’t expect to see any social features added down the line as it is hard to imagine a time where it will be worth the effort.
I think developers might also make the assumption that social = good without the need for any justification. As a hardcore introvert I like my private spaces(even in co-op games). Having a private space between rounds is more appealing to me than being surrounded by other players all the time.
Social usually is good. It makes the game feel alive and healthy even if you’re not the social type.
Really all they need to do to start some socialising is increase the number of people in the hub at any one time. I think the max I’ve seen at once is like 7 or 8 and that was all at the RNG store at refresh time. It needs to be closer to 50. It only takes one person to start up in hub chat and others will chime in.
I remember playing WoW back in BC days. There were no social activities built into the hub areas, yet chat was always absolutely bustling with LFG callouts, trade chat, general chatter and whatever fun people could have with the things their characters could do.
People don’t need activities to be provided in order to be social, they just need other people to be around.
It took a few years before Fatshark started looking at keep upgrades (VT2), and I’m pretty sure those upgrades were planned from release as well, or to be implemented soon after release. Can’t swear on it though.
It is there to give you an illusion: That the game is bigger and has more to offer than it already does. If you were the only one in the hub, it would basically just a huge hall with two shops. The goal of the social hub is also to have you encounter other players and see their shiny cosmetics, to entice you to visit the cosmetics store and buy Aquilas.
I mean, have you EVER wondered why the hub is the only part in the game that is in 3rd person? It is precisely for that reason: You see your own character and how shabby they look. Then someone struts past you in their shiny premium cosmetic. “Hot-diggiddy, I gotta buy me some Aquilas to get that kewl new armour!” - and then you buy them, get your premium item and can get immediate gratification to see yourself parading it around.
Just think about it. What other reason could there be?
Literally the only reason they did it this way is because some ape in control has watched a guru presentation on how to make people buy more skins.
They were willing to get rid of cool, customizable, quick to load into and easy to AFK and theorycraft (change gear and classes instantly) in Keep and replace it with a crappy load screen simulator just for the sake of making default losers feel bad every time they see a GAMER wearing a paid skin.
Even this I would say its a failure
Something achieved by time investment >>>> dropping some money for skins
Actual smart design would be to have some skins as mtx and colors/patterns as penance unlocks
That way you can still spend $ on their cosmetics, and still be able to show off by equipping a hard to get color/pattern on the armor piece
Oh it definitely has to do with the Style and Cosmetics. But it also fits the setting. In Vermintide you play the part of a Hero hanging out in their keep as you prepare for more adventure. In Darktide you’re just some scrub on a ship with possibly thousands of other people. This isn’t “your” ship it’s Grendyl’s ship and you’re just living on it. So it’s supposed to feel like there are always other people around. Personally I don’t mind either way. If it were single player then the load times would be less and it would be more personalized, like gathering artwork and hanging painting in your keep like VT2. As it is I have enjoyed seeing other people’s characters, and the nifty outfits. I don’t feel the need to buy anything, but it’s easy to see how that would influence people to do so.
The social hub is the same thing that Call of Duty WW2 did, it was a disaster in that game and they never went back to it, but here comes FatShark!
The crafting system is ripped straight out of The Division 2. It works in Div2 because loot is plentiful, FatShark didn’t think of that at all
The premium currency store is taken from… all Tencent games lol
To answer OP’s question, the social hub is to have players show off their premium cosmetics to other players in order to entice them to buy