Payday 3: Fiddling While Rome Burns


There are so many idioms in the English language that describe the state of payday 3 in the so-called operation medic bag. I was actually spoiled for choice when it came to this title: fixing a leaky faucet in a burning building, putting lipstick on a pig, rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, or simply polishing a turd.

It's tough, man, like it's genuinely tough for all involved. At this point, the designers and developers can conjure up a completely positive update full of solid additions to the game and yet be met with complete ambivalence, and the worst part of it all is that no one can seriously blame the community for being ambivalent, because this is what they've been conditioned to feel after the past half year of nothing for payday 3.

It's a losing battle, and unless you're suffering from Stockholm syndrome, it's hard to even feel sorry for Star Breze at this point. However, this article isn't going to be a full-on moan. The underlying message from me stays the same. Payday 3 is a rotten shell of a game at the moment. No minor tweaks or additions can fix it; it requires a fundamental overhaul, and I think trying to update around those necessary major fixes is a fool's errand.


But I also believe that I owe it to myself and the people who watch my initial impressions article in good faith to be as objective as possible and offer all the public feedback I can. Being dismissive and purely miserable all the time is doing a disservice to the happy go-lucky version of myself from one year ago who believed in this title, so we march on, and whilst I don't think there's much point in looking at individual upcoming changes in a vacuum as the context behind payday 3's sorry state is crucial at the moment.


I do want to do them with the courtesy of a proper analysis. That said, today we're going to have a look at the new content editions for Payday 3 shared by the dev team that we'll be releasing in the next update, probably later this month. First, where am I sourcing my information from? Well, it's predominantly the weekly blog post-patched game players shared in full, and the community team gets the opportunity to share their previews on upcoming operations medic bag content, as well as the less-spotted dev streams where full post-patched game players shared in full, and sadly, not that many people tune in anyway.

I thought Liz and Mio's stream last Thursday was quite insightful, so that will be the primary source for this article, and I'll be using clips from that stream to illustrate my points. Speaking of points, how about we get seven more skill points for free? This is the first change we know about coming in the next patch, and it's kind of a big deal for payday 3 builds.

After the patch, we'll have 28 points to play around with unlocked at a slightly faster rate, still capping out at level 100 now purely from a game balance standpoint. I have already suggested that this might be too soon. You really won't have to sacrifice anything on your builds now, so I worry slightly that the meta will just become even more fixed as more points just mean fewer decisions to make.


However, don't get me wrong, the game might be too easy, but at least there's a chance it'll also be a tiny bit more enjoyable as those extra points help with the power fantasy that's sorely lacking. Skill lines are the only thing that have consistently been updated in Payday 3 from a Content standpoint, so I can see the core for as new lons keep arriving in the game unfortunately even if you gave me access to every single skill point in the game I'd still pack less of a punch then with just one completed skill treat in Payday 2 so in the grand scheme of things I'm not sure how much this will help but it certainly shouldn't hinder the fun factor of payday 3 moving on let's talk fortitude, and the new adrenaline mechanic it's bringing to the game straight off the bat I think it looks great viable genuinely fun and unique, as I said on Twitter it's probably the CL thing we'll now have in the game to a perk deck actually encouraging a new entirely self-contained play style with different mechanical nuances.


The line reads as follows: Its base skill increases your maximum health by 50 points; whenever you heal above Max Health, you'll gain a refresh of grit by acing that out. Your maximum number of downs is increased by one, and your bleedout time is increased by 50%. The second skill, health siphon, will allow you to heal 40% of your teammates whenever they use your medic bag charges, and if this is above full health, the excess amount is converted to a new defensive resource known as adrenaline.

Adrenaline is a second green-degrading health bar that you gain access to through overheating. When adrenaline is active, it will absorb damage before even your armor disappears slowly over time in the event it isn't completely removed by incoming damage. Your max adrenaline value is equal to your build's total health, and outside of Health Siphon, it can also be tapped into by all players by simply overhealing via first aid kits and medic bags.


Genuinely, I like this implementation, as it might finally give us the chance to play a little more aggressively now that we can temporarily safeguard our precious armor. The rest of the skills in the core tree synergize with adrenaline to make it even more powerful, and yielding will increase your maximum adrenaline capacity by 15 for each down you currently have.

Superphysiological will give you an additional 10% worth of adrenaline for each down you currently have. A walking tour reduces your adrenaline degradation rate by 25% for each held down and allows you to use faks to pause degradation for 10 seconds at a time, finally causing pain asymbolia. Doubles the impact of edge grit and rush whenever you have adrenaline, and you'll take 10% less damage to that health pool.

The Mastery skill stockpile simply grants two additional charges to any deployable bag in your loadout, meaning even armor builds are getting some love with this one overall. I really like the design concept; it takes a bit of inspiration from Perks like Maniac in Payday 2 as well as skills like Frenzy and Berserker.


We're entering a specific state and can buff you while you're hosted temporarily. These are all aggressive, fun-to-play styles, so I'm really pleased that they're leaning into this, and it runs sort of counter to the established armor meta thanks to its interactions with the down system. Of course, because it's dependent on using deployables and faks, it's going to be a bit micro-manag like just about everything else in Payday 3, but hopefully there's still enough on offer by fortitude to make the play style viable and, more importantly, fun to play.

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