I appreciate the desired change in direction, but this all still needs a ton of work to be where it should be. My core complaints can be summed as follows: we asked for a new difficulty level, we did NOT ask for the existing difficulty levels to get 25-50% harder.
I understand that with changes that play styles need to change too. But I feel like I went from a 90% success rate on full book legend runs to like a 30% success rate WITHOUT books (especially grims). This is going to make getting high level chests and reds even worse than it already was. I’m assuming loot drop rates aren’t increased.
The issue with difficulty is that there are a LOT more things going on that all contribute to an increase in difficulty
- Nerf to dodge
- Stagger mechanics and increased enemy HP (with maybe broken stagger talents)
- Elites mixed into horde waves
- Increased spawn rate of specials / disablers
- Beastmen general toughness
- Weaker temp hit point talents
All of this combines and makes the game more difficult. Not only are the individual combat mechanics (hitting, dodging, staggering) more challenging, but the overall situation (horde control, special, elites, disablers) are ALSO increased in difficulty. This stuff compounds on each other and you just end up in situations where you throw your hands up in frustration.
Stagger: Like the idea
The idea of stagger is great - but between the possibly broken stagger talents or enemy HP values being much higher than the reported 10% increase (per patch notes), something is really off. Stagger as a mechanic is a cool value-add for high stagger weapons, etc. Whatever is feeling broken here needs to be looked at ASAP
Dodge: Like the idea
Dodge was too strong overall, but right now I still feel like I take way too much chip damage (and THP seems nerfed so no ability to mitigate) due to how enemies are stacking.
Beastmen: Overall like but too strong
The beastmen are overtuned however. They feel like they are 50% more difficult to deal with than other hordes. They need less HP or there needs to be less of them.
Temp Hit Points: WTF happened here?
I don’t even know what happened with these. Game was made harder already, and then these got nerfed more?
Weaves: Completely uninterested
Weaves are one of the biggest “swings-and-a-miss” I’ve ever experienced in all my years of gaming. I have 0.0 zero interest in ever bothering with these in their current implementation. I played them in the prior beta a little and they were cool ideas, but the ridiculous grind (which we get to relive each “season”) and the lack of any rewards/crossover between weave and non-weave gear is flabbergasting. I can’t believe how out of touch FS is with the community her.e
Dark Omens Level: Dull
What happened to the level designers at FS? We got the Pitt/Blightreaper as new maps. Then remade old maps (which were fine, but still recycled design work), and then Dark Omens - which is like the most boring, dull, monotonous map design I’ve ever seen. Feels completely inconsistent alongside all the other maps which feature all sorts of interesting set pieces and aesthetic elements.
One can’t help but look at this expansion, and even the development of VT2 over the past year in its entirety, and wonder what is going on. The things that the community has been asking for over and over again since release, are still unaddressed. In no particular order:
- More maps! Regular injections of new maps will keep people playing
- More cosmetics! Even better would be a cosmetic shop and a currency or quest system to be able work towards specific cosmetics you want (like you know the quest & contract board in VT1)
- Improved deed system - the current handling of deeds is dumb. Ideally, deeds get combined with a mutator system and can be integrated into QP allowing people to make all sorts of cool custom game modes (this would be infinitely better than the weave system). If people want to fine-tune difficulty, this is how it should be done.
- Improved UI and crafting system - how about just rolling all the UI and QoL improvement mods into the base game? Crafting is PAINFUL still. Why?
- Rework the weapon traits so every build isn’t using the same set of 1-2 traits on a given item.
Basically, the above list boils down to this: fix up and improve Quality of Life aspects of the game, and then just pump out more or what we want: content.
It’s all super frustrating. I love this game in so many ways, but how it has been developed and where the priorities are is utterly confounding.