In recent months, co-operative industrial nightmare Warhammer 40,000: Darktide has added Chaos Spawn and new missions, as well as crossplay between the Steam and MS Store versions. In the next patch, which should be out mid-August, developer Fatshark is promising quality-of-life changes including additions to the mission board and crafting, as well as sharing the game’s currencies between all of your characters.
As a dev blog explains, all currencies that were previously character-bound—Ordo Dockets, Ordo Ingots, plasteel, and diamantine—will be merged into a single wallet accessible by any of your Rejects. This is a particularly welcome change, meaning that when your veteran hits max level and you start over as an ogryn, you won’t be broke.
Meanwhile, the mission board will be getting Maelstrom Missions that combine new modifiers with existing ones. Fatshark gives the example of a mission with “waves of Specialists, hunting grounds, waves of mutants and players have 20% reduced ability cooldown.” Maelstrom Missions will hand out more XP and Ordo Dockets in return for their increased difficulty.
A separate mission board for high-difficulty missions called “Auric-level Operations” bringing extra-hard challenges that always have conditions applied and are limited to level-30 characters is also coming. Changes to the way missions are generated will apparently bring “a more varied amount of conditions” all round. Maelstrom Missions will be available on the Auric-level Operations board as well.
Other changes to missions include a quickplay bonus like the Vermintide games have, handing out extra XP, Ordo Dockets, diamantine, and plasteel in return for jumping into quickplay to round out an existing squad, who might be halfway through a map. You’ll also be able to manually select which server you connect to, rather than automatically being assigned the one with the lowest latency.
Finally, changes to crafting will let you select exactly which perk you want to apply when refining an item, and two aspects of each weapon (whether perks or blessings) will be modifiable. The same goes for curios. The other two aspects of your weapons will be locked, however. Fatshark explained this decision by saying, “We are aware that the changes mentioned above do not give unrestricted freedom to all aspects of an item. To do so would have a big impact on item acquisition in Darktide, and we want to explore different paths further down the line.”
While some of these are nice improvements, as Darktide’s player numbers drop—presumably the reason behind encouragements like quickplay bonuses—it does seem like the real problem has gone unaddressed. Darktide’s combat remains excellent, it captures the setting’s atmosphere well, and the storytelling in its opening is enthralling. It’s just that after that perfect opening, all that’s left is repeating maps to level up in return for a series of cutscenes that feel like they’re from a completely different game.
Hopefully Fatshark is working on a significant chunk of new content behind the scenes, because additional story missions and classes is what makes the Vermintide games worth returning to—not tweaks to the crafting mechanics.
“All of the above changes are being prepared for our next patch to Darktide,” Fatshark says, “which will release around mid-August. As part of this patch there will be a maintenance period in which you will be unable to log in into the game, we expect it to last 3 hours.”