Why the general direction of the itemisation system in Darktide is so bad

Since the last dev update, I find I’m increasingly cranky about the direction Darktide is going. My main issues with the general direction FS is taking the itemisation system in:

  • If you get a really good weapon or an upgrade, it’s based on pure luck. You don’t even feel like you “earned” it, you just feel relieved you were lucky. But there’s no real correlation with effort, not even vaguely like it was in Vermintide. Might happen within one hour after hitting lvl 30, might never happen at all. Either way: It’ll never really feel good.

  • Related to the above point: There isn’t really any way to influence your chances of getting a good item, so there is a very big chance that you will not get a good weapon or even an upgrade for long stretches of time. (And with the current droprates, that is very very very likely.) And there isn’t a single damn thing you can do about it in that situation. Play 100 games a day, farm Damnation, speedrun low levels: It literally doesn’t matter at all. Won’t increase your chances one single bit. This is büllshit, and frustrating.

  • Only getting good gear very sporadically and irregularly hinders your build diversity options. Say a player has a decently good weapon of a specific type, and with it they can handle difficulty X in such a way that it makes for fun and bracing rounds. If that player would like to try another weapon for some variety, they are shït out of luck. They will not get a version of the second weapon of comparable power as their best weapon, which means that the same difficulty X might now just be on the wrong side of the fun / hard border.

  • A second effect of the above: It’s a very realistic probability that you can’t even play the stuff you want properly in the first place. Want to play Psyker with a cool and unique staff? Tough luck; you’re only getting a bunch of pistols, and only if you’re “lucky” a very shïtty staff with no bonusses whatsoever. Fun!

  • Also related to that: Some boons and perk combinations on a specific weapon are literally build-defining. You want to play with a force sword that can block bullets to synergise with that talent that lets you block with overcharge? Well; Screw you, the game’s RNG simply won’t let you. (Just an example, but you get the idea.)

And the completely inane decision to split resources and shared items between characters is causing a lot of similar problems; don’t even let me get started on that.

I just can’t wrap my head around how a game studio can on one hand design a game with such fun, skill-driven, and diverse gameplay, and on the other hand designs systems to make it as frustrating and difficult as possible to experience that amazing variety. What the fück is the general design philosophy here?! It’s absolutely schizophrenic.

I honestly don’t care that the release has been a bit suboptimal so far, and that it all somewhat feels like an early release. The crafting system not being functional yet, not all weapons being out yet, even private lobbies not working yet, etc.: I honestly don’t mind. It’s Fatshark; this was even kind of expected. I like them as a game studio regardless (or maybe even because). If they need more time to fully release the entire game so that the fatsharks themselves don’t get overworked in a “crunch” and that everything is really solid once it’s eventually released, they can literally have another year or more and I won’t complain.

But if they really continue the direction of the itemisation system as it currently is, that’s the line for me. I’ll literally just write a bad steam review and I’m done with the game. To my suprise I find I’m really soured by it all. It’s literally just a game, and even if I walk away from it totally I’ll not lose much, so I don’t understand why I’m so aggrevated about Darktide so far. I just can’t really comprehend how FS is seemingly deliberately trying to sabotage a game they evidently put so much love into in such a stupid manner. I’m just flabbergasted.


A competent crafting system, that allowed us to spend resources to modify the various bars, increase the item rating (to add more power to spend on improving the bars) and such would solve a lot of the issues. On top of rerolling traits and such…

I’d love to could proudly say “This is my latrine shovel. There’s many like it but this one is mine!” while smashing heretics in the face with it. All the time, resources and effort invested in that shovel would make it so much more worthwhile to use. Proper feelings of pride and accomplishment.


They really need to explain many system design decisions.

It has to be a reason rather than laziness, like no one makes weapon.

Hope they will have conversation with players and to gether build a better loots and equipments system for more people like to play…shouldn’t be that hard.

normally, service games make these sorts of decisions with their game economy because they want to sell solutions for the problems they create. We’ll know once the full crafting system is out.


They deny they are going to use the Aquillas to solve this but I don’t trust them on it at all. All signs point to it.


have they explicitly said they will not be putting anything in the cash shop? afaik they have only said their mtx is not “bolted-on” which is by definition “added to something easily without needing any major changes” and leans more towards a confirmation that they would argue a detail such as this instead of explicitly saying something like “the crafting system will not use any monetary transactions, will not use currency that can be directly or indirectly exchanged for real money, and will be completely free and devoid of any cash shop engagement either directly or indirectly.” and even then it’s just the word of some community manager guy, they could just add it anyway and then fire him for “giving the wrong information.” Community managers are just an extension of marketing. In a corporate context their purpose is damage control and narrative control and nothing else and they expendable and easy to replace.

Just made a screengrab for ease of use going forward.


only currency that is only purchasable with real money can be considered premium currency and does not refer to any other currencies in the layer stack that can be “earned” through gameplay but also exchanged for.

That’s what the Aquillas are. I think we might have our wires crossed here.

but what if they include a new currency for crafting that can be obtained in gameplay, but allow you to exchange aquillas for it? That currency would not be considered a premium currency.

That’s seriously a big “what if”, and we have no indication FS is planning something like that. No need to be upset with FS for something they “might do”. Especially since their track record has nothing on it to make us suspicious that that’s the case.

I honestly don’t care much about the cosmetics shop either. I also feel like it was set up blatantly predatory and based on FOMO and unfavorable exchange rates, but if that’s the only bad part about the game, it can be ignored easily enough. As long as the further game was any good. Which it isn’t, because of the bad itemisation / progression system. And that’s where my problem lies.


yeah, it can only be a what if, because they will either do it or they won’t. One day it will just exist without warning, or it will never exist. They’re calling it a service game however, so I am using all of my previous service game experience to gauge possibilities. I would like it very much if they do not add pay to convenience or pay to win or any variation of this in any way shape or form that technically evades being called either aforementioned thing so that marketing can doublespeak about it.

The only thing that has ever genuinely bothered me about money transactions in any game is when the economic model is creating problems to sell solutions. When companies do this, the game feels like work, and if you spend money, it still feels like work so now you are paying to work. I don’t have a problem with an in-game rng progression system as long as no real money is involved. RNG doesn’t annoy me at all when it doesn’t exist to make money but just as a game element.

But that’s like suspecting somebody of going to commit a murder because they might or might not commit one, and nothing else. There’s already so much to be critical of here, and it’s completely nonsensical to accuse FS of things they might or might not do in the future. Don’t get me wrong: I completely agree with your distaste of microtransactions-to-make-the-game-function systems, but it’s unfair to accuse FS of such a thing right now, or even imply they plan to do that.


I do not like the current itemization either, as it is pure RNG.
The announced “crafting” is an other system designed to be inconvenient, by allowing to only reroll ONE of the perks on an item.

Aside from the widespread demand for gear and currency to be shared across all characters (please do it, FS), i think there is a good solution to the RNG mess:
Three different upgrade currencies as a guaranteed reward for clearing missions on malice (3), heresy (4) and damnation (5) difficulty, with no limitation on how many of these can be spent on a single item.

The malice (3) currency should give the choice to:

  • select a perk to change to a random effect (RNG regarding effect %)
  • select a blessing to change to a random effect (RNG regarding blessing tier from 0 to 3 lines)

The heresy (4) currency should give the choice to:

  • select a modifier to increase to 80%
  • select a perk to change to an effect of choice (RNG regarding effect %, repeatable to reroll the %)
  • select a blessing to change to a blessing of choice (RNG regarding blessing tier from 0 to 2 lines, repeatable to reroll the tier)

The damnation (5) currency should give the choice to:

  • select a modifier to maximize (100%, as the only way to get beyond the 80% available through RNG)
  • select a perk slot to maximize (max value roll, stays max even if perk is changed)
  • select a blessing slot to level up one tier (up to 4 lines, stays at that lvl even if blessing is changed)

Result if this was implemented (ofc allowing to apply as many modifications to the same item as you want),

  • players at difficulties 1-2: the RNG would be the same as it is now
  • players at difficulty 3: slightly lowered RNG and added degree of customization
  • players at difficulty 4: option to fix shortcomings in modifiers and full customization
  • players at difficulty 5: option to maximize the power of items

Having a good item would be something you worked for and something you earned. This would also allow to actually play with the items you want as well as try out different blessings or perks.
If RNG in gear acquisition is there in order to keep people playing, this system should not be a problem, as it would mostly affect people who play on high difficulty. People who are capable of clearing higher difficulties are typically the ones who enjoy the combat and enjoy it even more when able to use the gear they want to. They are not typically the ones who quit the game once they get the item they wanted.
I would even argue that this upgrade currency would keep people playing for even longer, since it would require 9+ finished damnation (5) missions to maximize just one item and remove the frustrating RNG for long term players.

Also, it would be nice if the destruction of an item would additionally reward a few crafting mats , as this would allow us to buy out the hourly store to salvage the items for crafting mats, which would prevent gold from basically becoming obsolete quite early in the game (aside from buying cosmetics).


Didnt they sa in the beginning you can Hunt for Specific Weaposn? Cant find the Post anymore but im pretty sure they did.

Ye it sucks that you can only reroll one Perk on the weapon. What about Blessings on Weapons?

ALos u need a perfect roll in terms of Blessings and one Perk, then u can sitch the other out. So its no real Improvement i feel like. V2 was then better. Yes you rolled like 100x times but u got what u wanted in the end.

I agree i enjoy the Game, its incrdible fun and Atmospheric. Graphic/ Gameplay & Sound Porn Yammy

Just let us craft (Reroll) What we want and get it over with ^^

I think that the more Classes we have in the end, its more likely to being able to tailor the Weapons like we want. As of now, not so many CLasses, but they are fun and different iMO. So we need some grind in the meantime.


Predatory monetization models are nothing as serious as murder, it’s a bad analogy. Predatory monetization isn’t even illegal in the most profitable parts of the world. Since it’s extremely common in service games, why wouldn’t I use my service game experience to tune my expectations for this service game? To use your analogy, it’s like suspecting someone is going to commit murder because they said “I am going to kill such and such at this time at this place.” Which would be reasonable suspicion to open an investigation.

Hey look at this guy going to concecrate his curio. A level 30 Psycher, i know exactly what this guys needs.

  • Experience
  • Ordo rewards

Uh… Murder was an example for accusing somebody of, not a comparison of severity with a monetisation system at all. And you demonstrated you sort of got my point in the second part of your post: It’s fair to suspect somebody of going to commit a murder if they say they will, but FS has not said that they will use Aquilas(?) for gearing up. They even said the contrary. And comparing Darktide to all the other videogames in the world is less valid than comparing Darktide to the other games from the same studio; namely Vermintide. And in Vermintide the only thing that real money ever bought was cosmetics, maps, classes, and blueprints for weapons. Not crafting mats. So at this point it’s not really fair to accuse FS of wanting to monetise their crafting system.


when they called it a live service game, they fell into the range of expectations.

Where did they call it a live service game?

And even so, my point still stands. There’s plenty to be critical of right now, so getting angry about something they might do - especially about something that they specifically said they won’t - isn’t very productive.