The core game of Verm 2 is brilliant. Despite all the bugs and balance issues that persisted for months, I still easily would have put it as my GOTY. I have over 450 hours in Vermintide 1, which I absolutely adored, and over 500 in Verm 2.
But I must say, I much more appreciated the direction of the DLC for Verm 1.
There's the debate of value, which certainly comes into play, but the quality of Verm 1's DLCs varied a tad too so I'd just like to talk about the direction. 4/5 V1 DLCs were just new mini campaigns, all taking part in an either a completely new setting like a Dwarven hold or at least including some memorable set pieces like the boat ride in DotR. The 5th DLC was Survival mode and I think most players would agree it was relatively boring and uninspired.
I honestly really liked this direction for the most part: new parts of the Warhammer world to explore, new stories, dialogues, and atmospheres to take in, and new maps to break up the monotony of rotating the stock ones in and out. The extra weapons didn't hurt either. I would probably have continued to buy these packs if they continued releasing them for V1. In fact, the Pub Crawl was probably my favorite addition to the game since launch. It came with a really fun, interesting mechanic in drinking, had an *interesting enough* part of Helmgart to show, and made me want to keep replaying it just to hear everyone's dialogue.
Then we get to V2's DLC. Bogenhafen was a pretty weak first attempt. More expensive than Karak Azgaraz, one less map, no new weapons, and even the cosmetic rewards were either just lame reskins or unlocking hats that were already in the game purposefully withheld. The campaigns had some nice dialogue but the maps were yet MORE Empire city streets with few unique set-pieces and no new mechanics. Someone here said correctly I feel when they said it feels like there was supposed to be a third map. The threadbare plot just ends immediately.
A lot of people criticized Bogenhafen so I feel they were too eager to forgive when Back to Ubersreik came out. That, and I don't think nostalgia helped either. Three ported maps, which is ridiculous to charge $10 if you want my worthless opinion, but the new weapons were fairly cool at least and I liked that they had an in-universe explanation of repeating them. Still, hardly qualifying as "new" content.
Now, I've tried Winds of Magic. I'm fairly disappointed. The new weapons, again, seem cool, but we had trailers and marketing hyping Beastmen. What the beta delivered is like 10% Beastmen, 90% "Weaves." Weaves are just a facelift of the failed survival mode with some arbitrary score attack element tacked onto it. Even more disappointing is that the stages are just the old levels laced with new furnishing. This is the first time we get a "faction" DLC, and the Beastmen I've seen hardly change the dynamic of the game at all. They feel like scene dressing more than a new threat. The Beastmen have enough of a roster to be alone in their own levels, but tossing them in with *and* Chaos just feels like splattering all your paints on the canvas hoping people see something they like. I was expecting new campaign maps with a host of Beastmen specials and generic enemies to kind of mirror what the Skaven have.
I think something Vermintide had over its sister co-op horde games is a sense of atmosphere, immersion, and story that games like Payday and Killing Floor just assumed no one cared about. These honestly made the game for me. New gameplay elements are definitely cool, but context for these elements really keep me and a lot of players invested. I really wish the game just continued on the path of showing you more of the HIGHLY expansive Warhammer world and maybe gave you some new stuff to kill along the way. These DLCs for me either haven't been giving enough content or have been giving me something completely out of left field I couldn't care less about. I haven't played the game since Bogenhafen and I probably won't anytime soon.
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