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News video games 01 December 2022, 17:03

author: Jacob Blazewicz

Darktide Shocks With Aggressive Monetization; Players Feel Cheated

Warhammer 40,000: Darktide has been attracting and delighting crowds of gamers, but the game's launch was spoiled by technical problems and microtransactions.

The release of a new game from the Warhammer 40,000 universe has gone well for the developers. At least at the beginning, because now Darktide has started to collect much worse ratings from Steam users.

A glance at user reviews on Steam and the game's subforum on Reddit is enough to find the reasons for the sudden outbreak of discontent. One of them are the recent updates, as after the release Darktide seems to work worse than during beta testing.

When the beta works better than the full version...

Players complain that instead of the promised optimization fixes, updates numbered from 1.0 upwards introduced a lot of bugs, and on top of that, the performance significantly dropped compared to the beta. There are also complaints about the game crashing.

What's more, for some reason Darktide does not enable us to disable ray tracing. The option is available in the game's settings, but even after unchecking it, the app still uses this feature. Perhaps this is the reason for the sudden fps drops.

As we read in a thread by user Firestrike9 on Reddit, the only way to fix this glitch is to modify the game's configuration file.

1. While in the game, we set all graphics options to low or turn them off completely.

2. Close Darktide and look for the "user_settings.config" configuration file in the user's data folder (C:\*Usersername*AppData\*Fatshark\*Darktide), which we open in Notepad. CAUTION: we recommend making a copy of the file before modifying it!

3. Edit the settings of the file according to the following formula and save the changes.

  1. rt_checkerboard_reflections = false
  2. rt_light_quality = false
  3. rt_mixed_reflections = false
  4. rt_particle_reflections_enabled = false
  5. rt_reflections_enabled = false
  6. rt_shadow_ray_multiplier = 0
  7. rt_transparent_reflections_enabled = false
  8. rtxgi_enabled = false
  9. rtxgi_scale = 0

From the comments, it seems that the above way actually improves performance, although even this does not make Darktide work as well as it did during beta testing.

No action, only microtransaction

However, technical issues are by no means the main reason why Internet users are not thrilled with the release. The bigger problem turned out to be changes to the store and microtransactions in Darktide.

The game's subforum on Reddit is full of threads whose authors criticize the game's post-release monetization system. Especially since it and the three missions are all that the 24-hour technical break and the 7GB patch released after it brought.

On top of that, we were supposed to receive, among other things, an item crafting system and scoreboards for the launch. None of these novelties have yet made it to the game, unlike the premium store.

Math for the rich

One of the practices that has outraged the players, are the strange packages of premium virtual currency. In-game skins cost 2,400 aquilas, and what purchase options does the store give us? 500, 2100 and... 4500 and 7000 coins?

So if a player wants to purchase a single skin, there is no way to get only as much currency as it is worth. So there will always be some leftover, which, Internet users suspect, is designed to encourage further spending so as not to waste the remaining funds.

As if that wasn't enough, Reddit users have noticed that items in the premium store have time limits. This is another mechanic designed to encourage purchases before the coveted skin disappears from the offer.

Complaints and invisible enthusiasm

Many people are all the more disappointed by this intrusive monetization because, in their view, Fatshark's earlier work - Vermintide 2 - was more fair to players in this regard. There are voices that the developers cheated players by making "95% of the game available without a premium store" in the beta.

Some Internet users cite examples of relatively healthy microtransactions from, among others. Sea of Thieves, in which there is, among other things, the option to purchase items directly with money, without dabbling in packs of digital coins.

Coupled with complaints about technical problems, one gets the impression that everyone has suddenly grown to hate Darktide. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the game still has quite a few fans. The game is in first place on the bestseller list on Steam and ranks 20th in the list of the most popular games on the platform.

Enough to take a look at the most popular threads on the game's subforum on Reddit. Especially the one dedicated to the "retreat" of players enjoying the game despite numerous problems at launch (which even the biggest fans do not deny Darktide) and a comment that interestingly explains the relatively small number of Reddit topics from enthusiasts:

"Too busy serving the Emperor to write a positive post."

Jacob Blazewicz

Jacob Blazewicz

Passionate about video (and other) games for years, he completed an Mba in linguistics, defending a thesis about games. He began his adventure with Gamepressure in 2015, writing in the newsroom, later also covering film and – oh, horror! – technology (also contributor to the gaming encyclopedia). He started with platformers, which he still dearly loves (including metroidvania), but he's also interested in card games (including 'analog'), brawlers, soulslike games and basically every other type of game. Don't ask about the graphics – after a few hours of exposition, he can be delighted with pixelated characters from games that remember the days of the Game Boy age (if not older).


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