10 days ago - /u/ - Direct link
A lil somethin somethin: You can find the details for this event on the announcement page here.
Greetings Heroes and Pactsworn,
My name is Joakim, Design Director on Vermintide 2, here with a game update recap just in time for the summer.

As you all know, we started this year with a Closed and an Open Alpha Test for Versus, we celebrated the 6th Anniversary with a Quiet Drink and then wrapped up the Karak Azgaraz storyline with A Parting of the Waves - where Kruber’s team building excursion led to an encounter with a new type of Chaos Warrior.

A bit over a month ago, for Warhammer Skulls 2024, we released a big Chaos Wastes and Things™ update where we introduced Weekly Expeditions with new boons and rewards. Per popular demand, we added a loadout system to the game as well as the (even more requested) option to equip weapon illusions outside of Weaves. Both game modes saw some quality of life- and bug fixes, which increased their popularity and hopefully set you up for some fun games over the summer.

As for the Skulls event itself we once more had you collecting daemonic skulls and killing enemies - this year we set the aim for 1 billion kills, which you reached on the last day of the event. We did notice an issue with kills not counting correctly for losses in Versus or Chaos Wastes and we mitigated that halfway through the event in honor of some of the more devout pilgrims of you (Shoutout to Lancerkils and his 113 Cataclysm attempts in the first Weekly Expedition! Cousin Okri would be very proud indeed!)
Also, being able to purchase last year’s frame and weapon illusions with shillings during the event seems to have gone down well, so we’ll take that into consideration going forward.

Halfway through Skulls, we booted up the Returning Alpha Test, or RAT, where just over 25000 Steam players kill-slayed together in over 16000 games of Versus. Compared to the last test, the GOAT, the test ran for a bit longer and introduced the playable Bile Troll boss, pre-made Hero loadouts, and the PvP version of Against the Grain. Based on previous feedback we addressed the hotjoin hero picker, tweaked and tinkered with balancing for some of the Pactsworn, as well as adjusted some Hero temp HP gain and decay.

The survey made an appearance again, and the responses show that you’re still happy with the way Versus is progressing, giving it an 8.38/10 rating, with the score increasing for every test we do. Pactsworn are still perceived as more fun (no surprises there) but the Hero side is lagging behind. Part of this is due to class- and talent-specific balancing and tweaking, but other big requests relate to preventing speed running, onboarding & practicing, as well as clearing up objectives and scoring; some being specific to Against the Grain while others apply to the mode as a whole.

Speaking of Against the Grain - it does play quite differently compared to the previous missions and we were really keen on seeing what you’d do with the open fields and long sightlines. So far the feedback is a bit mixed, but now we can compare your opinions on the Screaming Bell, Righteous Stand, and Against the Grain missions. Aside from being popular Adventure missions, they represent a cross-section of Vermintide’s environments, map lengths, and topologies that will guide future PvP mission work.

The Bile Troll was generally perceived as a good (although squishy) addition to the game mode that made boss-killing Hero careers more relevant; the Bounty Hunter, Outcast Engineer, and Zealot made it into the top 10 list for the first time, with weapon preference staying mostly the same apart from the addition of the Blunderbuss. On the Pactsworn side, the Globadier is still strong and the buffed Warpfire Thrower got a better rating in RAT.

As always - a huge thank you to everyone who participated in the test, to all of you who filled out the survey (we got nearly 750 responses to read through), as well as everyone posting videos, streams, and thoughts on social media, discord, and forums. We can’t do it without your invaluable feedback!
We’ll be looking over all the feedback and bug reports to see what’s feasible for the next iteration - but as a lot of you wanted more mechanics for the Pactsworn side we’re looking into if we can expand their gameplay with some form of ability. We’re also making progress on matchmaking to pair up similarly skilled players for the next test, but we’re saving up on a Versus progression and reward system for release.

We are of course working on other things as well outside of Versus. As a fun teaser, here’s an animation reference prop for a potential upcoming weapon. Care to guess what it is and who it is for? You might win a pumpkin, you lucky bleeders.

Vermintide will take a bit of a break in July, but keep an eye out for updates and be hyped for an exciting autumn. By Sigmar, the Hammer, and the Empire - have a very pleasant summer!

Joakim, and the Vermintide team