I'm posting this here since the mods actually seem to review this subreddit — as opposed to the forums which seem to get very few (or no) responses.
The new mod approvals are great (albeit, coming quite slowly), but I can't help but notice this language buried in the latest post:
A couple of mods (like Health Bars) skirt the limit of what could be judged as an unfair advantage and we still need to test more before giving a final verdict
The devs indicated during one of their prior streams that there are two issues with these mods. First, health bars and damage numbers somehow provide a competitive advantage (supported by their latest post). Second, health bars and damage numbers clutter the UI and break immersion. This second point seemed to be the real sticking point during their stream in July, which is a bit more understandable since we had a damage number mod in VT1 and no one complained about an unfair advantage.
I'm going to ignore their third, tentative argument that they don't want to approve mods that become "mandatory downloads." If that's the case, then honestly the "mandatory mod" should just be a feature in the game. From my point of view, they are taking away the wrong point from this behavior. If nearly all of your players want something (voting with their downloads), then just add it as a feature. It's really not any more complicated than that.
In any event, at this stage, I'm not sure any of these arguments hang together. We now have the Armory mod and in-depth player analysis of the damage numbers and hit thresholds on Legend — so we aren't focused on obscuring game information (which would otherwise offer an advantage). We can also test extensively on the dummy. Adding live damage numbers does not substantively change live gameplay. This was obvious in VT1. If anything, it just provides visual feedback for hitboxes that currently don't have any feedback mechanism — like melee headshots. With regard to immersion, the whole point of a mod is that it is optional and not enabled by default. So the base version still retains the same immersion for new players.
The icing on the cake for me is the approval of the "No Wobble" mod in this last round. This mod clearly provides a "competitive advantage." To be clear, I am not arguing for its removal. It's fantastic and it should stay. However, it does make melee infinitely smoother, dramatically increases accuracy, and allows for accurate ranged/zoomed snipes while dodging. It is a night and day difference for me — with 600+ hours right now. My point here is that I'm not sure I understand what a "competitive advantage" means from FS' point of view any more. If there is any mod that provides a competitive advantage, it's "No Wobble."
So I guess I have a few direct questions for the community:
Do you think health bars and damage numbers provide a "competitive advantage" — whatever that is supposed to mean?
Do you think health bars and damage numbers break immersion (understanding that they are optional)?
Do the criteria for approving mods currently seem arbitrary? Would it be helpful for FS (i.e., Robin) to articulate the mod approval criteria more clearly?
Up vote if you want this to get some attention. At least FS seems like they are actually looking at some of the larger posts on the subreddit now. Maybe they will actually listen if enough people say something. I can hope, anyway.
© Post "New Mods: Damage Numbers/Health Bars" for game Warhammer: Vermintide.
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