If you’ve yet to read about Vermintide 2 and would like to, you can check out my first impressions review here. I didn’t think I’d be writing another article on this game so soon, but I feel this is worthy of a look. It seems FatShark are holding true to their promises and 3 month plan (I wish it were a 5 year plan just because of the implication) by listening to feedback from players as well as fulfilling the promise of regular updates.
Having not even been out a month they have released a patch to fix some minor issues as well as to change the game in a small but critical way across the board. By tweaking a few things here and there to redress some of the balances and problems regarding difficulty level, heroes, their power level and weapons. Let’s take a look at what I feel are the most important aspects of the patch in regards to possible improvements or let downs.
With the approach FatShark have been taking so far and with what they delivered on release, I’m pretty confident it’s going to be mostly positive. Which is a shame as mostly all my looks at games have been positives, but then I guess I’ve just been lucky or smart with choice of games recently, either that or I’m supremely easily pleased. It’s true, I’m loving Vermintide 2.
If you want to read every little bit of the patch note and digest all the flesh of the words picking their posts’ bones dry, you can do that here.
Anyways here’s my thoughts ….
Difficulty and Hero Power
Overall it seems this patch has sought to make the game slightly easier and less punishing on the grind side of things. Buffing what rewards you can get and giving a greater cap on Hero Power on Veteran difficulty. I feel this was justified and needed as the real test should be the higher 2 levels of Champion and Legend, the leap from recruit to Veteran was just too high as it is. Especially with the kit and equipment you receive at Recruit level. Now rarer item drop rates have been upped, hopefully that should set that issue straight. As it could at times feel like a bit of a slog to get anywhere near strong enough to deal with the onslaught you face at the upper difficulties. .
Why have these changes to make the game easier been implemented?
‘We don’t want Hero Power progression in the game to stop at Veteran. This change makes it less punishing to stay in Veteran to gain Hero Power.’
Thanks for having our back FatShark!
So, the specifics, your hero power has been changed in how it is capped. It is now not capped at all on Champion and Legend meaning you can keep getting stronger which is probably needed if Veteran is anything to go by. Although I’m not too sure on how I feel about this one as perhaps it could make the skill challenge of the higher levels moot? I would hope it won’t detract from the challenge too much, whilst also making it more accessible to those of us who just don’t possess the skill to keep up with the intensity in difficulty. As well as allowing for more progression in the game. There also has been scaling of Hero Power below the top 2 difficulties for a better balance, with a maximum of 300 on recruit and 500 on Veteran. Chest rewards from Veteran will be scaled up from 200 to be capped at 300 hero power, allowing for an easier loot grind to make the top levels attemptable. All this will mean we’ll be noticing some changes to the difficulty at all levels.
It has also been made so that the game will less frequently spawn more swathes of enemy whilst you’re still in the middle of containing another horde or special unit, something that was needed as it became a bit overwhelming at times and was a lot of wet work hacking and slashing. That’s what we are here for at the end of the day. But I felt like I survived a real medieval battle and got a bit fatigued at times when they seemed to be unleashed never-endingly. No one wants to click to the point of tired clicking fingers and we all know nobody wants carpal tunnel syndrome, we’re here for good times only thanks.
Finally, there are now less roaming elites by a slight margin on Champion and Legend to further add to this nerfing of the games difficulty settings.
All-round I believe this was needed, whilst I do admire the challenging nature of the game there’s no reason to make a game too hard to the point that it becomes a chore. So good work.
Useful UI Changes
There has been updates for issues with errors in translations from English to other languages as well as missing subtitles, so good news for those who prefer to have subtitles in their first language. Or those who can’t read English at all, to those of you in that category staring at this page confusedly, hello. Often we native English speakers take for granted the global dominance of our language so it’s good to see FatShark looking out for our pals whose first language it ain’t.
There was an annoying issue where you had to unequip an item to be able to re-roll its’ properties or traits and that’s been solved. You’ll no longer have to backtrack and deselect the weapon or item, this may seem little but it was wearing thin on me, as usually I’m using the item I want to make better as it’s my bestest and most favourite. So glad that’s been solved.
Instead of indicators for amount of ammunition being under a players portrait now a yellow icon appears near them when they have less than a third of their ammo left. An effective way to allow other team members to know who needs ammo when and who should be prioritised when it comes to single use ammo pouches. Making the game slicker, especially when playing with a team of random players who do not communicate. The bar below the character portrait has thus been replaced with a much more useful indicator of how full or empty a players’ special ability is. Meaning you can now know when your pals can use their specials and can call it into play asking them to use it when necessary. Just some small changes to the UI that will bleed into the tactics and gameplay in a way that enhances it I feel.
With this patch the UI has been made more slick and user friendly as well as more functional in-game.
Character And Weapon Tweaks
To put it simply and keep you from nodding off with all the facts and figures of every single of the 5 playable characters’ changes as well as their 3 career paths I’m gonna keep it short and sweet. I‘m just going to state that the biggest takeaway is that they have been buffed overall in many different ways, further making the game a bit easier.
I will say this on the subject, a lot of issues with special moves have been ironed out, for example making Bardins’ ‘Oi! Wazzok!’ more reliably taunt bosses. As well as a wee bit of scaling with their statistics here and there for the sake of balance again.
One major issue with weapons that I had started to notice that has henceforth been sorted is the fact that many enemies were ignored in weapons that used sweeping multiple enemy attacks. Turns out they were using a single target priority meaning they missed enemies that should have been hit. This effects Siennas’ mace, the Elven Spear of Kerillian as well as her glaive/dual-swords/dagger and finally Krubers’ executioners’ sword and halberd. This was a major issue I was noticing, as I got overrun by enemies I had clearly just felled with my swooping halberd so glad that’s done away with.
You can now better switch from ranged weapons to melee weapons for a quicker block, as the devs have prioritised the switching of weapons in the input queue. Now you can better deal with enemies that sneak up on you or charge you quickly whilst using ranged weapons. This is useful in boss battles, particularly when charge attacks are used by the big baddy and you’re trying to keep at range. I was forever getting caught out trying to get back to a weapon I could actually block attacks with.
The rest for the most part is just statistical balance and scaling I feel it positive just not so noteworthy personally, a few rare crashes and level bugs here and there were fixed. Just little specifics that are good but were less interesting to talk about in my eyes.
Overall this patch has sought to fix the balance of the game in the direction of being slightly less punishing. Some may boo, hiss and curse this decision, those who are purely in it to be beaten by the game just as much if not more than they beat it. Sadomasochists!
Some good work from FatShark that goes to show they are serious about that 3 month plan they’ve set up and listening to the input of the people who both buy and play their games. This patch showed that, as well as proving there wasn’t too much of any issue with the game at launch and showing that you can always improve a good thing.
Games can always evolve in different ways and are more than ever, developing entities, this one just ranked up.