For today’s blog, we will outline some of the features and changes we are actively working on in our next major patch and discuss how we arrived at making some of these changes in detail.
An Update on the Shrine
Before Darktide’s launch date, we brought an update on the different features we were working on for the game's crafting systems.
The functionality of these crafting features was completed in December, and internally we began playtesting how they functioned, felt, and fit within the game. This led us to identify key issues with our features surrounding Blessings (Earn Blessing, Fuse/Combine Blessing, and Re-Bless). We were not happy with releasing these features to our players in their current implementation. We are going to explain further why we arrived at this decision.
Throughout the launch period for Darktide, we began to receive feedback from players playing the game in its entirety. One of the loudest feedback points we saw was exposing issues in our acquisition methods for items. We identified that these issues for item acquisition would be further compounded by the Blessing crafting features we had implemented. It would result in a frustrating experience for players. We decided to hold back the additional crafting functionality while we revisit our item acquisition systems to alleviate the would-be strain on the crafting system. With that choice in place, we set ourselves upon the task of reworking some of our sources for item acquisition, and we will cover these topics first and then dive into the changes we are making for crafting moving forward.
So, how will crafting change from Vermintide to Darktide? In Vermintide crafting was focused around creating, salvaging, and modifying items obtained through reward chests and through the crafting of blueprints. There are some similarities between the two games with the modification options, yet Darktide will carve its own path when it comes to crafting. Instead it is centred around modifying weapons rather than weapon creation, and will have a heavier focus on acquiring exciting items of different potential through many sources in the game.
Equipment in Darktide
For Darktide, we wanted to set a different direction for the items characters will choose to equip. We want each weapon, and curio players find in Darktide to have a distinctive difference of potential within. The foundation we set with Modifiers, Perks, and Blessings changes how each weapon can potentially perform. The combination of these offers an exciting array of variety, and we want players to continue acquiring many variations in pursuit of interesting build diversity. This build potential exists today, and as a teaser for our next major patch, players can look forward to easily saving and loading preset builds that they can customise!
This direction for items having exciting hidden potential is where our sources for acquiring items in Darktide come into effect. We consider the armoury Exchange to be an expansion of the mission completion phase, where the dockets players receive allow them to choose their own reward from this store or save them for a more interesting option should they find one later. In reality, we acknowledge the feedback that players desire further agency within the Armoury Exchange. We will release a new feature to the Armoury Exchange where players can acquire any weapon type by its mark (Mk) that has been unlocked by achieving the minimum level required. This will be made available in the next patch to Darktide.
Acquiring weapons through this new requisition system in the Armoury, will give players a common (Profane rarity) weapon of a varying item rating according to their character's current level. It is worth noting that Profane weapons in Darktide have the most potential of becoming powerful weapons in combination with their base modifiers and via upgrades through crafting. To accompany this new feature, we will improve the selection of items in the hourly catalogue in both the base item rating range and their potential.
Further changes to Item Acquisition
To accompany these changes to the Armoury Exchange, we will make further changes to the other sources of acquiring items within Darktide.
The Emperor’s Gift, which was occasionally received upon successful mission completion, will now be granted upon every mission completion without any limit by time, as was previously the case. In addition, the Emperor’s Gift will be influenced by several factors: The difficulty of the chosen mission and the conditions and side missions completed. Both factors will improve the chances of receiving an item with higher potential.
Sire Melk’s Requisitorium is another source of item acquisition, and we will also be implementing some changes in the next patch. We are reducing the amount of work each contract asks of players and increasing the reward (Ingots) players will receive for completing the task. The collection of Grimoires and Scriptures will be collapsed into a single contract for completing these collectible side-missions. We will also add a couple of new contracts for collecting both Plasteel, and Diamantine.
Importantly, in addition to these changes to the contracts offered, we will be improving the quality of the weapons offered by the daily catalogue and through the mystery acquisitions.
Shortly after the Winter break, we re-evaluated the direction we were going in with crafting in the future. This set us up to ensure that any changes we made now in the short term would set us on the best possible path to and synergize with future features and content. A significant part of this work was confirming the direction for weapon blessings and where they will fit in the future. While we are excited about the direction we chose to take blessings, we will save that discussion for another time. Having the future direction affirmed, we could make the necessary decisions and changes required to release the final parts of the crafting system.
The first major change from the previous crafting implementation we discussed is that we will not be implementing the Fuse / Combine blessing functionality. Instead, earning a blessing will permanently unlock the ability to re-bless with that blessing at any time. We made this decision as it compliments where we will take blessings in the future, and it greatly alleviates the number of items that one would need to acquire, not only the ability to re-bless but also what you can re-bless with. As stated in the previous section about equipment, we expect players to switch and try out new weapons as they discover different and exciting potential combinations and builds. Earning the ability to permanently re-bless allows for a far more enjoyable and less time-consuming experience and an easier time experimenting with interesting builds for your characters.
In combination with this, we are also improving the other aspects of crafting. We have implemented a cost scaling system that will change the total material costs required depending on the weapons item rating, for all actions at the Shrine of the Omnissiah. Let’s recap all the available crafting features, including what will be present in the next patch:
Upgrades the rarity of Weapons and Curios. Upgrading Profane & Redeemed will cost Plasteel, and after that Plasteel and Diamantine are required.
Refine a single perk on an item to roll for a new perk selected at random by Hadron. The perk that was not chosen to be refined will become locked for this weapon.
Surrender the entire weapon to Hadron, thereby losing it in the process. Players can then select a Blessing to earn the right to permanently re-bless other weapons with the earned blessing. Blessings are shared across different weapon marks of the same weapon type.
Players can choose to replace a single blessing on the weapon with a blessing of choice they have earned the right to use. The other blessing that was not chosen will become locked.
Patch #4: Blessings of the Omnissiah
As mentioned previously, the next patch to Darktide will include these changes to the crafting system and item acquisition. We will continue to monitor feedback once it is in your hands, and we will continue to make adjustments and changes if necessary.
There are a number of additional new features, changes, and improvements to come in this next patch which we’ll be discussing in our next Community Comm-Link.
We greatly appreciate both the passion and feedback we have received so far on Darktide. As we continue to work on addressing many of these areas brought up by our community, we will continue to welcome the ongoing discussion to further shape and evolve the game for many years to come.
Thank you all for reading, and we will see you again in the next Comm-Link.