Long-time player and fan of the game – several hundred hours logged into it, and I really appreciate the care and detail put all over the maps, dialogue lines and combat. But after playing the WoM beta, and with a few of the DLC to take into account – plus reading the comments from the community, I think I've struck at the heart of why the relationship with Fatshark and their decisions has always been a tenuous one, one of appreciation but constant pushback.
Fatshark doesn't realize the appeal of their own game. Let me explain.
I love the original V1 levels and the Helmgart levels in 2. They are all intricately detailed adventures, with proper escalation, clear stakes and real care put into how they are written, designed and put together. The fantasy of the gritty adventure is what sold me on this game – the sheer scale of the levels, the great journey from one end to the next, the way Warhammer Fantasy is truly realized in its environments. The difficulty for me was just a way to make the adventure feel grittier, more earned, and the Deeds worked solely to make some runs more interesting.
You realize at no point I talked about me loving grinding, item obtaining, breakpoints or anything of the sort. Sure, trying different builds is fun, but they could be entirely composed to different toggables like talents do and it'd still be the same end experience – the difference between Shotgun Bardin and Handgun Bardin doesn't care if that was chosen through a talent or rerolling an orange item seventeen times to hit the breakpoints I wanted. I replay these levels because I find the situations they can put me in fun, the random nature of the monsters, horde placements, extra challenge from deeds or whatever else. I wanted more of THAT. Add new flavor to the levels, new random events and spikes.
Hell, a lot of people hated the first DLC, I though it was fine! Sure, it was overpriced at launch, but it actually provided two new levels with their own mechanics that whilst not perfect, still added to the experience. Then came the relaunched levels, which… I'm fine with, they're good levels, but I feel writing wise the whole illusion angle is one of those cracks that shows Fatshark perhaps doesn't get we like feeling like damn cool heroes. Making it a gamey illusion dohoho it doesn't really matter, it's not real! was super contrived but…. this is nitpicky.
But with WoM – and this is besides the dodge change which regardless of your opinion makes playing with any latency as a client impossible – I feel you're adding an even GREATER focus on gameified levels that work on their own internal logic with no new cool lore, dialogue or events, just swarms of enemies through the same levels that somehow have even LESS variance than normal ones so we can… grind for better gear. Seriously Fatshark, NOBODY plays this game to get more red items so they can feel cool. People want red items so they can fight more fiercely brutal levels, NOT the other way around. Nobody cares about how big the number on their weapon is, and we care about cosmetics because they make us look cooler and not just because of the joy of owning an exclusive item.
Stop trying to make this into a grind game. Focus on the game's strengths, the lore, the atmosphere, the scale and the fun and fierce events that challenge us through trying story missions. This is entirely the wrong direction to go, and whilst it's probably too late to change WoM at its core (and hey, we haven't seen the boss content yet!) I really hope that for the next DLC and whatever comes with Vermintide 3 you understand you're focusing on entirely the wrong thing here.
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