We’re at the end of the first week of the Darktide pre-order beta and there’s still a lot to add to the game. Fatshark has explained the changes (opens in new tab) it’s rolling out week after week with a somewhat vague recap of the features we’re getting leading up to release, but right now there aren’t enough unlocks to be worthwhile.
Over the weekend I maxed out my Zealot Preacher to level 30 just to see what features are in the game and if there were any noteworthy or secret unlocks. Except the cosmetics (opens in new tab) you can go through penances, a few cutscenes, achievements and weapons for you class (opens in new tab), there isn’t really anything else. If you think you’re only going to be leveling up one character during your time with Darktide, I highly recommend waiting for some of the other features to be added.
It’s pretty clear from the cutscenes, like at rank 11 with Sire Milk, that meeting certain characters will unlock their respective shop or feature for the player, but those features aren’t in the game just yet. That said, there are weapon unlocks, and some of them are particularly good. For example, the heavy chainsword for Zealot is one of the best weapons I think Fatshark has ever made, and using the flamethrower to melt a horde of unsuspecting smallpox walkers is a joyous experience.
The problem with unlocking weapons right now is that we don’t know how the crafting system works and what implications it will have for rerolling or even acquiring weapons. Each time you get a cutscene you also unlock some new weapons that can appear in the Requisitorium, but do you also unlock them to craft like in Vermintide 2? Curiosities are also a bit of an unknown. You can buy or acquire them through the curio reward chance you get by equipping curios, but are they also craftable? I contacted Fatshark for some clarification on crafting and cosmetics.
It’s all pretty unknown at this point, but the one thing I do know is that I don’t think it’s worth grinding to level 30 at this point. In the coming weeks we will have more missions, weapons, systems and the cutscenes could make a lot more sense. While I am really enjoy the fight (opens in new tab)I think if you want that sense of progression that isn’t just jumping into missions to kill things, you should probably wait.