Warhammer: Vermintide

Player Retention and You – Vermintide 2 Edition

chivalry screenshot1 - Player Retention and You - Vermintide 2 Edition

So a little about me. I've been playing since Vermintide 1 and have seen the game wither, build upon the bases, and grow on top of what could've been a one-off. So cancelled roadmap came as no surprise, though I had been thoroughly annoyed by returning bugs.

With all this said, there's a problem with Fatshark's line of thinking at the moment. And that's equating player retention as grind loop. Let me delve into it.

If your game is mechanically fun and challenging (which, Vermintide 2 is), your die-hard fans won't need endorphins from loot boxes to continue playing the game. They'll just be happy to play the game, improve upon their skills, and make their own personal goals and milestones in the game. Okri's Dailies and Weeklies implemented so far don't exactly reflect this, but this is merely an issue, rather underwhelming design (which just happens to reflect poorly, seeing as how good the Quests and Contracts from Vermintide 1 was!).

That said, with this new beta in place, it's time to discuss about why Fatshark makes these decisions. Blue runes on Veteran, red items – there are very few people who objected to the notion of receiving those alongside the red weapons we'd craft. Still, Fatshark listened to the minority there. And there are few good reasons as to why they've done this. First, they don't want to alienate their existing player base. Funny, right? I'm one of those existing players who completed their entire red collection with about 50 red dusts – and 15 remaining – and I couldn't give a rat's ass if others who crafted the red weapons got the runes. It's five reds to one, a reasonable, but nevertheless steep conversion rate for those who do not actively play around, and succeed in Legend.


Second – they want to award people… for being lucky enough to receive the right runes on the right weapons. Endorphin releases, loot box mentality and what have you – but this is an effective way to keep the grind going for those who care a lot about looking good. This mentality is the one I have to object strongly.

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Additionally, because blue runes won't be given out via crafting, this enforces more people to pick up Bogenhafen DLC in order to access the weekly chests. Which is… fine, but at this point, with my red collection completed, and friends being rather turned off by the game in general (though I reckon phantom swing fixes will make some of them return)… I'll be stockpiling vaults, and be only opening Commendations (because that's where I'll get the remaining, ultra rare hats from). Because I'm sick and tired of inventory management just to get more dust.

But at the end of the day, I haven't seen a deed drop in 20 vaults, but have seen about 3 – 4 reds. I would like to see an option to enable Deed Drops from Vaults, Fatshark. Make it so that people who have all of the red weapons and trinkets, charms and necklaces possible – will have a toggle option to be able to unlock only deeds from Vaults, Chests, and what have you. Deeds are the Legend + difficulty that players like to access, but are gated out due to shitty RNG.

TL;DR – Player retention should be done through more deeds/DLC releases, not from content dilution and extended grind loop.

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