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Warhammer Vermintide 2’s new versus mode will start public tests soon

The first closed alpha for the new Warhammer Vermintide 2 versus mode is over, and Fatshark is ready to open it to the public “very soon.”

Warhammer Vermintide 2 versus mode - A Skaven warrior bares its fangs, wearing a red hood and a necklace of skulls.

The new Warhammer Vermintide 2 versus mode is an exciting addition to one of the PC’s most gloriously hectic co-op games, and its initial round of closed alpha testing has gone so well that you’ll be able to give it a try very soon. First teased several years ago by developer Fatshark and finally on the brink of arrival, the versus mode follows in the footsteps of multiplayer greats such as Left 4 Dead 2 and Dead Space 2, allowing you to take on other players on both sides of the asymmetrical conflict between the Heroes of Ubersreik and the Skaven.

“It is always a scary feeling putting things out to players for initial impressions, but we came out of this with the feeling of overwhelming success,” Warhammer Vermintide 2 design director Joakim Setterberg says following its recent closed alpha test. With over 3,600 PC players taking part and more than 6,000 rounds played in the new competitive twist on one of the best Warhammer games, he adds, “You seemed to have a good time, we got a ton of good feedback, the servers were fairly stable, and we did not see any overly alarming crashes or issue preventing play. In short, we couldn’t have hoped for anything more.”

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As such, the next alpha test, which is set to take place directly within Warhammer Vermintide 2 proper (the initial test used a standalone client), will feature a new map, the introduction of premium careers, a match score screen, and additional menu settings specific to the new mode. It’ll also be open to all owners of Vermintide 2, so you’ll be able to jump in as soon as it starts.

Setterberg also gives some feedback on how the first round of testing worked from a balance perspective. He notes that the “overall majority” of matches featured a clear winner, with just 7% resulting in a draw, and matches of its initial Screaming Bell mission typically finished within 20-30 minutes.

The hero side saw a real focus on handguns and the longbow, and Setterberg admits that “high-performing Heroes were outplaying the Pactsworn early on.” That shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, given that players are likely much more familiar with playing as that side of the equation, but he does note, “we did see a shift towards the end of the test as players were getting more familiar with kill-slaying as Skaven.”

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“Matches were often too close in terms of scoring, and the Hero team reached the safe zone far more often than we liked,” Setterberg continues. As such, the Pactsworn specials are getting a bit of a damage buff, along with adjustments to Hero talents and abilities in versus mode specifically.

Setterberg also notes some of the common requests, including the ability to play as bosses and elites, along with a training area to practice playing as the Pactsworn specials and additional abilities and talents to help further customize your abilities on that side of the field. “All of this feedback aligns with our current goals,” he concludes, “and we aim to bring you more news soon on our plans going forward.”

“We’re delighted to announce our next alpha will launch very soon, and will be open to all owners of Vermintide 2,” Setterberg confirms. While there’s currently no date set, he does add that the team is “hoping to get more recruit and veteran players into the tests,” as the early audience was skewed towards more experienced players.

Until then, you’ll find us scurrying around in the best rat games, or teaming up with friends for the best co-op games to play in 2024.

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