Warhammer: Vermintide

My 2 Cents on the Beta

chivalry screenshot1 - My 2 Cents on the Beta
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BACKROUND: I have about 250 hours on VT1 and was able to regularly beat cata with everyone but Sienna (I'm a terrible wizard). I mostly played Bardin and Witch-Hunter. I'm by no means an expert at the game but I think I'm a seasoned enough player to give my 2 cents on the beta. I got about 10 hours on beta atm.

PROS:

  • The core combat of VT1 is still there and mostly untouched. Swings and slashes are still meaty and satisfying. Dodging and blocking your way through a horde of Ratmen and Chaos feels and looks great.

  • Graphics and animation got a boost from VT1. The environments and characters look great.

  • There are TONS of new Specials and fodder enemies in general. It was very common to play through missions without certain enemies or even factions appearing at all. This greatly increases replay value and makes repeat missions much more chaotic and random as you have no idea what you might face.

  • Multiple monsters have the same effect and vary the gameplay.

  • To my surprise activatable abilities are not too game changing and complement the combat quite well. They are used more as a utility and do not change the flow of combat to much from VT1.

  • Talent trees and passives help to make classes fell unique and tailor your playstyle without being to obtrusive. Some could definitely go through a balance pass (Wood elf's passive regain makes her immortal in the hands of a skilled player) and some are very situational but overall, I like their inclusion.

  • Ranged weapons in general have smaller ammo pools, making shots count much more. I found myself frequently running low on ammo and having to decide if I wanted to thin out the horde a bit or save ammo for specials.

And now for the real meat, the CONS:

  • Separate hero levels are the single worst thing to happen to this game. It forces players to stick with one hero and use them as their main while the rest are left in the trash as level 1. Remember how in VT1 if the elf was taken in pubs people would immediately disconnect? Multiply this ten-fold in VT2. I had pubs frequently disconnect and found it much harder to find a leveled, coordinated team. Granted it's the first day of a Beta to a new game, but as time goes on and the playerbase lessens I can only see this issue getting worse. Finding teams for higher difficulties is going to be a nightmare get it guys, nightmare? over the lifespan of this game, and if you're like me and enjoy playing multiple heroes it's going to take you ages to get to that point. One of my favorite aspects of the first game was how your level was more of a representation of your playtime, rather than your skill. In VT1 it didn't matter what level you were, if you were good at the game that’s all that mattered. I played with several people over the course of VT1 that were hundreds of levels below me and still carried my ass. Why would I ever vary my hero or playstyle if I'm actively going to be punished for it by playing a statistically worse character? The logic for this change is nonexistent and I have no idea how Fatshark took this far of a step backwards.

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  • Classes should not be locked from the start. I should not have to play 8 hours to unlock a playstyle. If I'm grinding for anything it should be loot, not how I want to play the game. I see this being especially discouraging for new players or those with much less time on the hands. The way classes are presented in the Beta makes it seem they are locked due to them being more powerful, rather than an alternative option.

  • Loot is a much more liner progression than in VT1. The power-level quickly becomes the only thing you care about. Why can I get two blue weapons but one has a power level of 100 while the other is at 70? You're going to use the sword that’s a higher level even if you don’t want to so you're not using a suboptimal build.

  • The loot system has also been overhauled to give you more items, but what it results in from my experience is the same slow RNG progression while you're giving hordes of crap to smelt.

  • "Hero Power" is a terrible stat and addition to the game. Why should higher level player be statically more powerful than lower levels? It also nonsensically gates off higher difficulties making switching hero's even more of a pain because now you have to go back down to normal. Its also just plain boring.

  • Trinkets are much blander from VT1 with most just giving a baseline "Hero Power" increase rather than interesting traits. Talent trees sort-of fills the role trinkets had in VT1 so it's not too much of a loss I suppose.

  • Skaven from my experience are too easy compared to Chaos. I don't know if this is intentional or not but I think the hordes need something to make them less of a joke. Perhaps more Storm-Vermin during Skaven waves?

TLDR: It's still Vermintide and its still fun to play, but that gameplay is hidden under grinding for grinding's sake power-creep and loot systems giving loads of trash items cluttering your inventory. I'll reserve my judgment until release, but in my opinion, it feels like a Shadow Warrior 2 situation of adding RPG elements and loot grind to a game that was already grindy and didn't need nor want it.

EDIT: Spelling and Grammar


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