Warhammer: Vermintide

A proposal on how to save Vermintide 2

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There's a lot of topics addressing the declining player base and V2's glaring issues. I don't want to repeat those points here, but I would like to discuss a potential solution.

Ideally we want a balanced and stable game with plenty of players. Fatshark wants to reactivate, maintain and increase the playerbase for further monetization. The game is good and deserves more than what it gets now, but it's hindered by a number of things which I won't get into too much here beyond the higher level. Better players have described these in enough detail already.

What I will point out is what I believe turns players off from the game as it is and how to attract and retain new players so everybody can get what they want.

1. Fix the broken game

This is obvious and what is being called for most. This is about issues such as enemy stacking, insta turn bosses hits, ghost hits, game crashing, etc. These are issues which make losing a match unfair. A good skill based game should always feel fair when you die or wipe. I have to be able to think about what happened and think "Next time I should do this differently". Current bugs deter from that, causing frustation instead.

2. Scrap hero power

Hero power was not received well in Destiny 2 and it hinders Vermintide equally. It is a scaling method which doesn't add anything besides artificial barriers.

V1 did not have hero power and did not need it. Everything worked fine with difficulties, because it relied on player skill complimented by weapon properties and traits. Difficulty was not increased with enemy hero power, but with the amount of health they have and damage they do. I believe FS should go back to this base system.

Maybe it's hard to scrap this from the code, so just set it at a fixed value of 5, 100, 300 across all characters and enemies or whatever doesn't mess up the system. Then hide that number.

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But what about progression? My answer is that weapon properties, traits and career talents (unlocked by levels like now, with maybe a special reward at level 30) offer enough progression. Beyond that, the real progression of Vermintide has always been player skill and coordination.

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This would level the playing field in a fair way. Any player can step right in and know the game is open to them from that point onward. If you feel confident enough to start your level 1 character with white weapons in Champion or Legend, go for it. Why not?

When playing together with friends new to the game the game becomes more accessible and it's easier for people to play together without feeling over- or underpowered.

This step may not be strictly necessary, but I believe it would help a lot for accessibility and making the game less grindy.

3. Make it free to play

This will only work if the first point and probably the second have been correctly addressed. The game sold well and with luck a sleeping player base remains which would reactivate with new content. But it could very well be the majority of these players have given up on the game for good. In both scenarios the player base will keep declining and further monetization will be impossible.

V2 needs a boost in player base. Other games which went F2P got a huge boost in player numbers. What worked really well for Evolve was to make it F2P and give current game owners some bonus content. Admittedly, in the end it didn't work out for Turtle Rock, but that was because it seemed impossible to balance the actual game. That was a PvP game however in which balance is far more important. Of course balance is desired in PvE and should be addressed, but it is not as urgent as it won't ruin a game when some careers or weapons are better than others.

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Why would Fatshark do this? They want to monetize further with DLC and cosmetics. Giving away the base game for free now might not sit well with their shareholders, but who is going to buy the game when things are as they are now? Without an active player base further monetization is impossible. The F2P model works for other games and I believe this could work for V2. But again, only if above issues are addressed first.

It is not my prefered pricing model for a game, but like many here we love the intense melee (ahum) combat and at this point I want this game to be saved from further decline into nothingness.


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