Heroic deeds are possibly going through some reworks in the anniversary patch, so writing this topic at this time might be a bit pointless. But this is something that has been on my mind for a long time, and I finally got the spark to type it out, so…
I have two main issues with heroic deeds.
I mainly play Vermintide for the challenge, but I would be lying if I claimed I wasn't partially loot-driven player. When it comes to challenges, I like to feel rewarded for my efforts when I manage to complete them. A good piece of reward amplifies the satisfaction of overcoming a great challenge.
Currently all deeds have poor rewards compared to the relative difficulty and rarity of deeds. Therefore finding a deed from a chest is an unremarkable event.
Instead I would want the player experience to go along the following lines:
- Player finds a deed from a chest. The player is delighted, because deeds are a rare treat.
- Player sees the juicy rewards the deed offers, and gets excited.
- Player is motivated to find a group for the deed, in order to get the rewards and to beat the challenge.
- Player easily finds a group, because other players are tempted by the rewards as well. Players who might normally not attempt this kind of challenge are encouraged to step out of their comfort zone.
- The group fails the challenge few times, but manages to complete it after correcting their mistakes.
- Players will feel satisfied after managing to overcome a great challenge and getting their hands on its lavish rewards. Despite failed runs players are rewarded for their time.
The above description matches how I felt about Fortunes of War around the time of its release. Unique rewards like portrait frames, hats, outfits and paintings are a good motivation for players who like to show off their accomplishments. Even after acquiring a unique reward, some players enjoy helping others to obtain the same reward.
I'm not suggesting unique rewards for all deeds, just for special ones like "Back to basics". Chest rewards are perfectly fine for most deeds, as long as the reward is generous.
An alternative to what I suggested above could be a system, which allows players to choose their own deed modifiers (after unlocking them). Each modifier would increase the quality of loot. This kind of system would be great for replayability, although such system would change deeds from something exotic into something mundane.
2) Deed modifiers
If a challenge is hard for the sake of being hard, it's not fun to play. A good challenge is difficult, but compelling. With that in mind…
Abduction – I will refer to what I just said above. This modifier is the worst offender. If someone dies, they will have to wait until the map is completed.
Sudden death – Sudden death doesn't really change how I play the game, it just punishes mistakes harder.
Nurgle's Rot – The DoT is so small that it's trivial. It also chews through temp health before real health, so it's unlikely that you will even notice that it's there.
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger – I to some extend view this modifier as artificial difficulty increase, although normal legend elites are a bit too weak for my taste. Elites being more dangerous is fine as a concept for a deed modifier.
Vanguard – A good modifier. Vanguard deeds greatly favor anti-armor weapons, but then again each modifier has its own favorites. The game should be balanced around normal legend, not deeds, so the modifier is fine as is.
Send in the next wave! – Personally I find mowing down endless waves of insignificant enemies tiresome. However this modifier has its upsides: Constant hordes force the team to keep pushing forward against the tide, and extra hordes cause difficulty spikes by making threats stack together more often.
Seek and Destroy – This modifier is fine. Although some enemy sound cues are inconsistent, so I do not particularly enjoy dealing with extra disablers.
Deprivation – Fine now that deprivation doesn't remove books. Does deprivation remove ravaged art?
Overall the deed system has a lot of potential, but it's an underdeveloped feature. Fatshark has had their hands full with other things, but hopefully we will see some changes sooner rather than later.
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