Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alex Wiltshire)

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the difficult journeys they ve taken to make their games. This time, Warhammer: Vermintide 2 [official site].

In designing Vermintide II s melee combat, Mats Andersson ran through the same preset level 50 times a day for two years. This hodgepodge of the game s most distinctive areas, enemies and swarms makes no sense and it looks terrible, but playing it about 100,000 times was what it took to ensure face-to-face brawling would be rich in heft and detail.

Andersson knew how fast he could clear that level, how much damage he should take, how many kills he should be getting; yardsticks by which he could measure each run, and it s how clicking to swing your hammer feels like it s caving a skull in, and why your sword feels like it can split a rat s stringy carcass in two. It s very much home to me, he says. (more…)

Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide

I played Vermintide for a couple of years without mods and liked it plenty, but when I finally installed a few (via this modpack) they immediately became essential. With better bots and the ability to drop the HUD at the press of a button, I can turn it Vermintide into a game about photographing the Old World. A squad of competent AIs protects me while I wander around setting up perfect angles on Tudor houses and twin moons, something no human players would ever put up with.

At the other end of the spectrum are mods like the Stormvermin Mutation, which upgrades enemies so that what would have been slaverats become clanrats, clanrats become armored stormvermin, and every special is replaced by a rat ogre. The first time I tried that I wound up facing two ogres and a pack of stormvermin simultaneously on a narrow bridge. It didn't last long. 

And there are plenty of other mods available for the original game, many in the same collection. There's another difficulty increase called Onslaught, sound replacers, UI tweaks, cosmetic changes, and even a separate mod that adds a playable chess set. Because why not?

Image via mod creator IamLupo on Steam.

Official mod support was planned for the original Vermintide but is yet to appear—it's still there, grayed-out and "Coming Soon!" on the launcher's menu. Fatshark's technical director Robin Hagblom tells me it's still coming, "but Vermintide 2 is top priority at the moment. Hopefully we'll open both workshops simultaneously, but no promises."

It ended with John Cena's theme music playing when an ogre showed up

Aussiemon

The initial lack of official support didn't dissuade modders, of course. According to Grimalackt, who maintains the Quality of Life modpack, it began with cheats. "Modding in vermintide 1 started as a DLL injection," he says. "Its first uses were very clear-cut cheats. 'Win game' buttons. Adding all the items to your inventory, god mode, etc." 

As he explains, they were designed to mess with the code in the middle of a game. "The possibilities given by that are obviously beyond game-breaking, especially since a lot of the game was at first coded with the assumption that the other clients were running exactly the same code as you were." He gives examples of potential malicious uses like kicking hosts out of their own games, impersonating other players in chat, or crashing someone else's game without even being in the same lobby as them.

The mods that became popular weren't the ones that let you cheat or troll other players, however. "I think the biggest reception was to the various sound replacers I made," says modder Aussiemon. "This was one of the types of mods made possible with Fatshark's assistance, as nothing like it had ever been done before. I wrote a script to play the 'headshot' sound from Unreal Tournament 2k whenever a special skaven was shot in the head." People started sending him requests for things like the MLG airhorn playing when gutter runners attack and soon he became the go-to guy for all your audio mod requests. "It ended with John Cena's theme music playing when an ogre showed up, and that silly balloon hammer mod." 

Nowadays the most popular mod is Grimalackt's Quality of Life  collection, with its toggleable options like third-person camera, the Stormvermin Mutation, and those bot improvements I l like so much. Some of these things were made possible by Fatshark giving modders access to their SDK tools, creating a Steam community for them, and answering questions directly. "We'd post about an issue we were having, or access to an uncompiled file for reference, and Robin would reply within the day with a suggestion or reference file. These discussions led to the first custom models, textures, and sounds in Vermintide 1, and we definitely would never have gotten that far without Fatshark's insight.

The first priority will obviously be to transfer everything from Vermintide 1 that is still usable in Vermintide 2's context

Grimalackt

"It wasn't just their advice though," Aussiemon continues. "Fatshark gathered our suggestions and thoughts on mod support to form a plan for Vermintide 2. I think a not-so-insignificant part of the official mod design will be the result of a collaborative effort between Fatshark and the modding community."

What's next?

Fatshark is aiming to add Steam Workshop support to Vermintide 2 in late April. "Though even past this it will still be an ongoing project," Hagblom says, "improving the tools, adding more functionality and adding access to more parts of the game so it won't be a fire-and-forget release."

They've made a Discord channel to connect modders and share information, working with them to map out how to best implement it. "It's really paid off for us too even without the actual mods," says Hagblom, "because they've in turn helped us finding repro cases for bugs and reported when they've found things that haven't exactly been working as intended."

Bringing everyone together before mod support goes live means that when the Steam Workshop goes live there will be plenty ready to fill it. "The first priority will obviously be to transfer everything from Vermintide 1 that is still usable in Vermintide 2's context," says Grimalackt. "Since Vermintide 2 still shares a lot of code from the first game, the task is usually not too difficult, with some mods sometimes working after a simple copy/paste with little to no adjustments. Third-person for example falls in that bag. It was already made functional in Vermintide 2 within days of one of its betas, although obviously can't be shared yet until official support comes around."

Third-person mode. Not as helpful as you might think.

As well as third-person mode he says visible damage numbers and health bars, chat blocking, bot improvements and crosshair customizations mods will all make the leap to Vermintide 2. Aussiemon is already working to bring over Fashion Patrol, which turns stormvermin white, as well as his mods for skipping cutscenes, freeing up hat cosmetics so anyone can wear them, scaling the UI for 4k, and adding more mission stats.

Pub Brawl was a fan favorite though, so I bet we'll see it make a comeback. When it does, I'll have a mod.

Aussiemon

Following the transfer of old mods, Grimalackt predicts UI improvements will be the focus. "Any of the complaints about any of the UI screens that Fatshark doesn't fix themselves, and that are within modding powers are going to get fixed by mods." 

Aussiemon agrees. "Some people want detailed weapon stats. Some people want faster endgame screens. Some people want us to port over the UI from Vermintide 1. Working with the UI code isn't easy, but this will probably be what people will focus on first anyway. UnShame is already working on a 'weapon stats' tab at the equipment screen, in fact. I'm sure Fatshark will eventually implement some of the common suggestions themselves, but there'll always be ideas for modders."

And then, of course, the stranger ideas will flow in. Aussiemon says that after texture, model, and sound replacers, "eventually the Vermintide 2 tools will let us make new items, animations, cutscenes, and even levels." In the first game he managed to turn the Pub Brawl, a limited-time event that let players biff each other up in the Red Moon Inn, into something players could enjoy whenever they wanted. Now he's working on a follow-up.

"I've written a mod that allows friendly fire in Taal's Horn Keep," he says, going on to explain that without access to bespoke animations like those the first game had for Pub Brawl, like fists and Lohner pouring flagons of Bugman's ale, it won't be exactly the same—unless Fatshark does something like Pub Brawl for Vermintide 2. "Pub Brawl was a fan favorite though, so I bet we'll see it make a comeback. When it does, I'll have a mod."

A barricade against cheats and trolls

Modding Vermintide 2 won't be a complete free-for-all, of course. Some players will want to hog-wild while others would rather stick with the vanilla game. "To cater to both these things we will be splitting the game into two realms," Hagblom says, "the official realm and the modded realm. So if a player is playing in the official realm, they will be able to know that everybody else playing are playing legitimately. Though, since we've had a lot of mods for Vermintide 1 with QoL improvements, more advanced UIs and the like we still want this to remain without forcing these players to play in the wild west of the modded realm. To solve this we will allow mod creators to apply to get their mods vetted for 'sanctioned' status. We will then go through the mod, make sure it doesn't contain any cheats or unfair advantages and if everything checks out, clear it to be played even in the official realm."

...no Lord of the Rings mods

Robin Hagblom

As Grimalackt says, "Those who want to create absolutely ridiculous mods will now also be able to share them more openly, since there will be an 'untrusted' realm with separate matchmaking where everything is permitted, at the cost of loot not carrying over to the trusted realm."

Something we probably won't see is rebalancing to make the game easier, much as I'd like it if mid-level bosses like Bile Trolls and Chaos Spawn had about half as many hit points on Recruit difficulty. Grimalack calls it "very unlikely" that custom difficulty rebalancing will make it through the new system. "The bot improvements will likely still make a comeback, however," he says. "The only complaint the devs ever really had about them was their sometimes ridiculously accurate aim, so that part might have to be left unimproved, but their handling of tomes and grimoires will almost assuredly be changed just like in the first game."

As for making the game harder, "Vermintide 2 is already significantly harder than the first game. Some of the heroic deeds are also heavily inspired by the first game's difficulty mods. The 'Vanguard' modifier, is effectively what Stormvermin Mutation was, as it directly turns clan rats into stormvermins, and slave rats into clan rats (and does the same to Chaos equivalents), just like the Stormvermin Mutation once did. It doesn't turn all specials into bosses, however, so I guess I still have something to do.

Lines will be drawn at mods that infringe on intellectual property. "So for instance no Lord of the Rings mods," Hagblom says. "When the Mod SDK is released it will have a EULA specifying the exact dos and don'ts."

Grimalackt is looking forward to the fact he won't need to maintain the equivalent of his Quality of Life modpack for Vermintide 2. "Every modder will be responsible for uploading and maintaining their own mods, and won't have to go through me to have me include their work in my package. I'll be able to dedicate more time to creating my own mods instead. Fear not though, the QoL modpack will eventually still live on as a Steam Workshop list of recommended good starter mods, sometime down the line."

He already has ideas for what he'll do with the free time he'll have. "One thing I also definitely have to do sometimes soon is turn everything into plague monks. You don't see enough of those guys around. I can already imagine the screeching from a horde of monks…"

Left 4 Dead - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Natalie Clayton)

vermintideleft4dead1

I d wager most folk around these parts devoured Left 4 Dead back in the day, just as I did. Valve s 28 Days Later with your friends infected my life for a good year, and a bigger, better sequel one year later only strengthened the disease. But as Valve haven t really been in the business of making games for a good few years – hopefully, that s about to change – and while it felt like Left 4 Dead was going to change the world back in (oh no) 2008, for a long time nothing filled the rotten hole where my heart used to be.

That is, until Fatshark s rowdy rat-smash, Vermintide. The four vs the world setup and the UI were highly reminiscent of Left 4 Dead, and what are Gutter Runners and Pack Masters if not reskinned Hunters and Smokers? But there was much more to that game than swapping out zombies for skaven. With both series now/still on their second games, let s look at how Vermintide ran with the legacy of Left 4 Dead, while managing to forge its own identity.

(more…)

Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

warhammer-vermintide-ii

I don’t tend to think about how many things I murder in a murder-related videogame. I just remove whatever obstacles are in the way and move on, in the time-honoured tradition of solving problems in action games. In co-op online stabber-shooter Warhammer: Vermintide 2, I’m unusually conscious of the body count. It is, if you’ll forgive a little early-90s melodrama, extreme>. That’s just one reason why Vermintide 2 successfully escapes the shadow of ‘it’s just Left 4 Dead but with Games Workshop’ faint-praise damning that its predecessor stood within.

(more…)

Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

Warhammer: Vermintide 2

Rat season has officially begun. Following directly on from Vermintide 1’s bombastic finale-as-free-DLC earlier this week, the sequel – due for launch early next month – is letting players in for their first taste of next-gen first-person Skaven-squishing starting today and continuing over the course of the weekend.

Closed beta access is primarily for those who pre-ordered Warhammer: Vermintide 2, but those who picked up the Humble Jingle Jam charity bundle are being granted access as well, plus folks who snag beta keys at PAX South recently.

(more…)

Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

Vermintide

We may be just two weeks from the release of Warhammer: Vermintide 2, but studio Fatshark are supporting the original game right up until the bitter end. In fact, the latest update for the game adds that bitter end for you to experience first-hand.

Released as part of a free update, yesterday’s Patch 1.11 adds one final mission to the game, entitled Waylaid, which sets things up for the sequel in surprisingly dramatic fashion. Lohnar has a job for you, so it’s back to the Red Moon Inn for one last round.

(more…)

Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide - [Fatshark] Hedge
Heroes

We're sorry for the trouble with Patch 1.11 removing access to 'Death on the Reik' for Vermintide 2 Pre-Orders.

This has now been resolved.

And if you missed it, Lohner has a new task for you back in Ubersreik...
Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide - [Fatshark] Hedge
Heroes!

Welcome to the latest release for Vermintide: Waylaid.

Lohner has a new task for you. No doubt you're off to some forest to kill rats, right? Maybe the old goat "lost" some more incredibly dangerous relics?

Only one way to find out! To the mission table you go, heroes!

See you in the Inn!

We're investigating reports that Death on the Reik is currently not available for pre-orders. Sorry for the inconvenience in the mean time.


New Features
  • Lohner has a new task for you, so jump in-game now to find out what that might be!

Fixes & Tweaks
  • Beam and Drake now prioritise closest enemies instead of at random. (Thanks PropJoe for the inspiration, and J_sat for his faultless persistence!)
  • The Wizard's Tower title no longer intersects the symbol for Trials of the foolhardy on the mission table
  • 2599 dialogue spelling errors, mistranslations and missing subtitles fixed
  • 291 text spelling errors, mistranslations and missing texts fixed
  • Reikwald Forest: Fixed the cliff corner that would instantly claim the life of a player character
  • Reikwald Forest: Correct a jump that would take you out of bounds
  • Reikwald Forest: Fixed a location where players could get stuck in the geometry
  • The River Reik: Fixed geometry so player character doesn't phase into rocks while ledge hanging
  • The River Reik: Bridge between boats no longer traversable before it becomes visible
  • The River Reik: Barrels will explode again if tossed under the small bridge during the boat event
  • The River Reik: Fixed so that players can no longer see the inside of the Skaven boat that has crashed on the shore
  • The River Reik: Corrected so that player character can no longer clip through boat near the end of the level
  • The River Reik: Added a hole to the chimney of a cottage
  • The River Reik: Fixed geometry so that tome could not be grabbed through the floor
  • The River Reik: Stormvermin will once again spawn during the ship battle
  • The River Reik: Added more guidance VO
  • The River Reik: Fixed boat event crash
  • The River Reik: Fixed minor collision issue
  • The River Reik: Fixed minor nav issue
  • The River Reik: Fixed minor end zone abuse
We're investigating reports that Death on the Reik is currently not available for pre-orders. Sorry for the inconvenience in the mean time.
Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide - [Fatshark] Hedge
http://store.steampowered.com/app/552500
Heroes!

We're excited today to welcome all Vermintide 2 pre-orders to the Closed Test!

That's right if you've pre-ordered Vermintide 2 and are awaiting it's arrival on March 8th, you can jump in to the latest test by installing the "Warhammer: Vermintide 2 - Closed Test" app in your Steam Library!

You can provide feedback and bug reports in the following sub forums of the closed test group:

http://steamcommunity.com/app/737010/discussions/0/1693785669850410029/

BE SURE TO READ THE EULA WHEN INSTALLING THE CLOSED TEST - IT CONTAINS YOUR NDA.
  • DO NOT STREAM ON ANY PLATFORM, INCLUDING STEAM BROADCASTING
  • DO NOT DISTRIBUTE SCREENSHOTS, VIDEO, AUDIO OR ANY OTHER MEDIA OF THE GAME
  • DO NOT DISTRIBUTE INFORMATION ABOUT GAME CHARACTERS, ENEMIES, HEROES OR OTHERWISE
  • DO NOT DISTRIBUTE INFORMATION ABOUT GAME FEATURES AND CONTENT SUCH AS WEAPONS OR ABILITIES

This is not the exclusive pre-order beta, progress will be not be carried in to future betas.
Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Tom Sykes)

Vermintide 2

The Vermintide will be coming in on March 8th, developers Fatshark have announced, giving us less than a month with which to sharpen our axes, re-string our longbows, and generally mentally prepare to carve up hordes of ‘orrible ratmen in Warhammer: Vermintide 2. We’ve not covered the co-op FPS since its announcement last year, but since then it’s been made clear that the ratty Skaven have teamed up with those jerks from the Chaos army, meaning we’ll be fighting humans as well as rodents this time.

(more…)

...

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