Warhammer 40K Darktide Patch 13 Preview and Q&A

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Warhammer 40K Darktide was originally scheduled to debut on Xbox Series S|X only ‘shortly’ after the PC version (which landed on November 30th, 2022). It turns out Xbox players had to wait for nearly a year, but the game is finally launching tomorrow on consoles, and it’s also receiving major improvements.

In late January 2023, after an underwhelming launch, developer Fatshark announced it would focus on fixing the game before releasing any new content or launching the game on Xbox Series S|X.

Since the PC outing, Warhammer 40K Darktide received twelve patches improving the first-person action game in many ways. However, Patch 13 is arguably going to be the biggest one yet. Wccftech attended a preview event organized by Fatshark to share all its details.

The studio’s original plan was to release a new class each quarter. Obviously, that didn’t happen.  Fatshark is now making up for it with a much bigger overhaul of the entire class system. The developers understood that the classes felt relatively stale and didn’t have nearly enough player agency when it came to experimentation.

With the class revamp launching tomorrow, Fatshark reckons Darktide features three class specs per archetype, or twelve classes in total. However, it is even more freeform than that in practice. For example, in the Veteran class, you need not go all-in with a Sharpshooter build or a Support build; you can also go halfway with each, and that’s just one possibility.

Each archetype features 6 abilities for a total of 24, of which 16 are completely new. On top of that, there are 12 new talents, 3 per archetype. Once a character has reached the max level, it’ll have 30 talent points to spend in the specialization.

Talent trees include the following skill types:

  • Blitz ability (grenade slot)
  • Combat ability (Ultimate, limited by cooldown but very powerful)
  • Keystone (iconic talents that drive playstyle)
  • Talent (interactive buffs tying in the core gameplay loop)
  • Aura (team buffs spreading through the Coherency bonus)

The build experimentation will be completely free. Players may respec their characters at any time when outside missions. They can even inspect other players when in the lobby and choose to tweak their talents accordingly, thanks to the previously introduced loadout system that also saves talents now.

The developers remarked that the new system would have the indirect benefit of allowing easier tweaks whenever needed, thanks to its flexibility. Speaking of the Xbox launch, the following specifications were shared by Fatshark:

  • Xbox Series S: 1080p 30fps
  • Xbox Series X: Graphics mode at 4K 30fps and Performance mode at 1440p 60fps

Warhammer 40K Darktide will support full cross-play between Steam, Microsoft Store PC, and Xbox version. However, cross-save is restricted to Microsoft Store PC and Xbox. After the presentation was over, Fatshark kindly answered a few questions in a roundtable format.

[WCCFTECH] Are there any performance improvements coming to PC with this update?

Yes. Since we were working a lot on performance to get it to run smoothly on the Xbox, both S and X, all of those improvements are also coming to the PC.

Of course, depending on your system and what your bottleneck was previously, some of them will do more for you, and some of them will do less, so it’s a bit hard to say exactly.

But there’s definitely been a lot of work on the performance side of the game in general. It’s like a free bonus that you get like now that we are releasing Darktide on Xbox. I can’t guarantee that on every system you will see improvements.

But on a baseline, there should be improvements across the board. And it’s a continuous sort of work that we will keep on doing, for sure.

The new class system looks really exciting, but do you worry about having created a massive amount of future work for yourselves in terms of keeping so many different builds viable?

We hope so. Of course, it is a scary proposition being so free with the system. Of course, there are going to be meta builds and whatnot, but the good thing is that we built this system in a very robust and very flexible way, so it will be really easy for us to go in and mix it around, something we did already. We had a pretty extensive community testing on this with our hardcore community of players. We were able to, on a daily basis, give them updates to the system.

I’m not saying that we’re gonna be doing that all the time. We would try to keep it maybe quarterly or something like that since you don’t want your build to be messed with too much. But at least the system is built in a way that allows us to do that. We are really looking forward to being able to be very flexible with the classes in the future. There’s a lot of things we can do here that allows us to tweak and fine tune the builds that were really hard to do previously because the previous system that we had was so much more rigid.

So yeah, it’s scary, definitely there will be builds that we maybe haven’t found yet that are insane. And there might be bills that are just sort of not viable, but that’s part of the fun.

We have a long term commitment with Warhammer 40K Darktide, so we’re we’re looking forward to see what what we do with the community on this one.

[WCCFTECH] Did you tweak the amount of aim assist for controllers on both PC and Xbox compared to the original PC release?

Yes. It’s actually on a per weapon basis, but yes, we have looked over the entire sort of controller setup that we have in the game. It is very much tweaked and improved compared to when we launched the game. At that time, we had the basic functionality for for controller, but it wasn’t tweaked as it would be for a controller.

You now feel like you can actually enjoy this experience natively. We also have a bunch of different control setups. I think we have five or something like that. Also, we made it easy for you to switch into a different controller configuration.

It’s a much improved experience on controller and gamepad that you had it before in Warhammer 40K Darktide for both the PC and consoles.

How many builds can you make with the new system? Also, can all classes support all the roles, like DPS (damage per second), support, et cetera, or are they restricted to specific classes?

There are three straight up builds that are sort of the apparent builds. But then we had as a goal to at least have eight builds that we knew about when we created the system. I don’t know exactly where we landed on. Probably a a number that is the actual number of every permutation.

But I would say that it is, I don’t even know probably around 20 different builds, and then it’s just going to be smaller and smaller changes. But at least there are three super clear and very easy to understand builds that are in each tree and then at least minimum eight builds that are variations of those builds.

And then we give you five different loadouts that you can hotswap. So if you hop into a game and you see there’s other variations there, you can swap with without without any additional cost.

Another aspect of this as well is that it opens up a lot of new avenues for old and new blessings, because we have some new and improved blessings also coming with this patch, where they all of a sudden become more viable.

As an example, I love playing the Ogryn. There is a blessing that you can get which, every time you crit, takes ammunition from your reserve and puts it into your clip. This allows you as a gun combined with one of the talents that, every time it procs, doesn’t consume ammo.

With those two combined, you can shoot for like three minutes straight without having to reload or anything. If you combine that with having a friendly veteran, you get ammo from him too, so you can just go around shooting everything you see all the time laughing and throwing gigantic bombs at them, it is just amazing. I love it.

The combination of the blessings, perks or traits, different weapons and all of the different talents that you have, really opens a lot of new tinkering space in the game that was not present before. That is the exciting part of this update.

Those synergies are so much easier to find now. I really like the Psyker, but before on your blitz ability you had Brain Burst, which basically focused on a single target and popped their head.

But now you can choose, for example, a crowd control ability that basically electrocutes in an area of effect. And you combine that with an Ogryn shooting everything on their path, and then you can have a Zealot with a prayer ability that gives everyone the toughness back so you can be super tanky, be crowd controlling and also be shooting everything at the same time, so it’s really cool.

[WCCFTECH] Does the Xbox Series X support ray tracing in the Graphics mode?

It does not.

Thank you for your time.

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