These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: PAYDAY: The Heist
Abridged Arena Array: First World Bank is the most common level played online due it being the easiest level and having a secret vault that has so much gold inside that players can easily level up several dozen times in one session. Diamond Heist used to be the only level anyone ever plays just to level grind (due to the valuable red diamond on Overkill difficulty) until the First World Bank had the secret vault. You'd be lucky to find game lobbies in First World Bank that aren't for the cache of gold.
Base Breaker: The secret vault in First World Bank. The requirements needed to get to it when it was released shook up the fan base, but after the developers made the vault open to anyone regardless of their rep level or masks, game lobbies that are set for First World Bank skyrocketed and veteran players are angry that they can't play a round of First World Bank that isn't for the secret vault and are also upset that new players are now Level Grinding with so little effort that they reach high rep levels without the skills to back it up, which can be a disaster in games that are on Overkill 145+.
Breather Level: Panic Room, at least compared to the previous Heat Street. Careful planning, hunkering down, and Sniper awareness helps make this level somewhat easy. Plus, civilians are few in number, but sufficient, are in safe cover and out of the way, and none of them are female.
Diamond Heist and No Mercy can also become this when the stealth portions go off without a hitch.
Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Most players will use the Bronco .44 (revolver) as their sidearm since it's extremely powerful and gives the player a lot of firepower to use should they go down. The Rienbeck 880 (shotgun) is usually everyone's main gun since it's absurdly powerful and can hit targets from a fair distance away. Another main gun people use is the Brenner 21 (machine gun) since it has good stopping power and a massive ammo size, allowing for More Dakka before reloading. For secondary weapons, nearly everyone uses the Mac-11, a submachine gun, since it has good stopping power and works at nearly any distance, plus it's silenced, making it good for levels requiring stealth. If you take the Wolf Pack DLC into account, then you will see people use the AK (assault rifle) for range and power and the GL 40, which is a Grenade Launcher.
Both games have elements of stealth and some heists can be done fully in stealth mode without alerting anyone. Expect people who are trying to stealth to say "suicide" when the stealth fails since there's no other way to restart the level.
Creator's Pet: The Wolf character seems to be a big favorite among the developers. Compared to the background of the other characters (they're in the heists for the thrill and money) Wolf's background shows he snapped after his business went under and lost everything, causing him and his family to become homeless. The DLC heists also has Wolf as the only character with new lines while the other characters use lines from heists that were planned to be used, but became scrapped. Wolf is also voiced by one of the game developers, modeled after said developer, and has the character hailing from Sweden, just like the developer. When PAYDAY 2 was previewed to the public, Wolf was one of two characters used in the demo.
Tasers: Bulky armored SWAT units with bright yellow stripes on its shoulder pads. Can paralyze you with its taser which also shakes the screen and forces you to fire your weapon, making you waste ammo. The Taser doesn't stop tasing you until you go down or one of your partners kills him (or you get lucky with your uncontrolled fire).
Bulldozers: Heavily armored SWAT unit that has a powerful shotgun which can down you in two hits in close range. Only its face is the weak spot and despite its big size, it can run pretty fast when it needs to. They may also appear in pairs, threes, or even fours on higher difficulty levels.
Overkill, in their time-honored tradition of making things even harder, added another Bulldozer with a skull decal on their facemask in the new Death Wish difficulty. In addition to being even more heavily armored, they also come packing a light machine gun, making them dangerous at long range as well.
Shields: An upper level SWAT unit with a shield that can withstand everything short of an explosion or a high level Enforcer's melee attack (assuming he took the skill). What's particularly annoying is that if they are fixated on you, they will always point their shield towards you, necessitating another player to flank it. If you're playing with only AI, you're in for a pretty bad situation. It doesn't help that the police can shoot through it while you can't shoot back.
The Murkywater Mercenaries, while not working with the police, are absolute nightmares in the Slaughterhouse level. They have the same armor as a Heavy SWAT (minus the head, which is exposed), but unlike the SWAT, Murkywaters have extremely high accuracy and reaction times. It is not unheard of for teams to have their health reduced to the red by the time they even reach the slaughterhouse because of the mercenaries.
Ensemble Darkhorse: Old/British Hoxton from the original PAYDAY, who had some popularity in his debut.
Fandom Berserk Button: Mentioning a VS mode at all is a surefire way to get fans foaming at the mouth over how the game doesn't need it.
Game Breaker: First World Bank had a desk in the manager's office that players could duck under and camp there because the AI of the cops broke whenever everyone went under there. A similar case happened in Slaughterhouse where people who camped on top of a vending machine broke the enemy AI. Both exploits were later patched.
The secret vault introduced a new game breaker with all the gold inside. Even when playing on Easy, players can easily level up by 5 to 20 levels (depending on their level beforehand) and if someone in the crew is using Noob Lube or Mr. Nice Guy, it makes leveling up even easier. Because of this, everyone now plays First World Bank on Easy to level grind effortlessly.
Good Bad Bugs: The game is riddled with glitches, mostly in the form of the map spazzing out because you got to some place you weren't supposed to be at. Most of the time, the glitches are harmless, but a few others can get you stuck (such as a Shield magically pushing you through a wall) and make the level Unwinnable. One grand example of this trope is at the Green Bridge heist where after you reach the escape zone, you can jump over the barricaded door at the bottom of the stairs and wind up falling off the bridge, something you can't do normally.
Another known glitch are dead bodies that rag doll upon death and then certain parts of the body stretches out to such bizarre lengths.
One glitch involving reviving downed players lets you pick up a friend through a wall if they are close enough to you.
The Shield is the worst of the group due to being invincible in the front and makes narrow hallways dangerous because of this. If you have the grenade launcher, then you can easily destroy the Shield no matter where the grenade hits.
Hilarious in Hindsight: One of the Taxman's passwords is "Starbreezer". Starbreeze Studios would later acquire Overkill to fund Payday 2.
Hypocritical Fandom: The Secret ARG event presented in the first game divided the fan base for a multitude of reasons. Fans are now wanting a similar ARG event (Overdrill and all) for the sequel, completely ignoring why the first event didn't work out too well.
New Hoxton in PAYDAY 2 has also reached memetic status, mainly due to his "Don't act dumb!" and "I had a bad fucking day!" lines.
Internet Backdraft: The fan base exploded after learning about the final conditions needed to be met in order to see the secret that Overkill kept teasing people about for months with extremely vague and possibly trollish clues. In order to see the secret in First World Bank, every player has to be wearing the golden masks, which can only be obtained by beating the first 6 levels on Overkill 145+. From there, everyone has to stand on specific tiles to make a switch appear and using the switch reveals a hidden door that has to be drilled for two hours in order to open it. From there, to open the hidden vault, players have to press specific tiles in a specific order since doing it wrong releases instant kill gas. What was behind the vault? A cache of gold bars (which are useless to most people attempting the challenge since they're maxed out in their rep levels) and a sneak peak at some masks.
It didn't end there. Players who got into the vault saw a message of congratulations from Overkill and in order to qualify for the masks and other possible prizes, they have to send a video recording showing their successful attempt in reaching the secret vault. On top of this, Overkill stated in the forums that players who have not reached the vault yet would only have 30 days to do it or the secret could possibly be Lost Forever. The fan base was extremely pissed off by the 2 hour wait on the drill, players being excluded from the challenge because they didn't have the golden masks but had helped everyone else were find the clues pointing towards the bank, having to record video proof of their success when not everyone's computers can record and play games at the same time, losing progress when they are disconnected from the game thanks to Steam or their internet service provider's not too stable connection, and the fact that a cache of money and new masks was simply not worth the struggle.
The complaints rose even higher when Overkill made a second prize for the secret group, which was (supposedly) a select few people being chosen to attend an event where they would get to see Payday 2 in person and gotten autographed masks. Even though there are quite a handful of people who got in (852 people to be exact), many others are still sour about being left out, including people within the group who were not picked to go to the event or simply couldn't make it.
The fan base exploded into a nuclear cloud of anger when the developers said they felt the game was "complete", meaning all the main content and components are there and finished. Fans declared Overkill to be complete thieves and liars, saying they were promised more levels before release. When the developers also called out on the nasty behavior of the community, the community fired back by saying the developers are not being "professional".
Most Annoying Sound: After what he did to you, you will not want to let Matt go out of sheer spite, no matter how many times he begs for forgiveness.
In Panic Room, it's sometimes easier to simply wait for Assaults to end before clearing the roof. Expect Alex to continue nagging constantly during these times.
Noob Herder requires you to have three teammates with Noob Lube active and clear any heist on Overkill. While perks don't change ingame on levelups, you lose Noob Lube at level 5, pretty much requiring you to get it in one shot or else have everyone else drop out, reset their stats, and try again.
Don't Lose Face requires you to have beaten every heist on Overkill with no hostage trading. See that block of text immediately below this? That is what has gotten in the way of 99% of the people gunning for this achievement.
On a lesser level, I Pushed The Button And Lived can be irritatingly hard to get, due to the amount of sheer luck involved. The mission? Diamond Heist. The requirement? Enter the vault with the Overkill-only secret door still accessible, get the diamond from inside it, and escape with nobody in custody. Some people have gotten the Don't Lose Face challenge for this mission before this achievement.
Overdrill (formerly known as Tester) is the most enduring and painful achievement to obtain that requires players to meet several requirements first. The team must play the First World Bank on Overkill 145+ difficulty and each player must stand on specific spots in a room to trigger the secret. Once the secret door is revealed, the team then has to use the drill on the door and wait for 2 hours until the drill finishes. After the door opens, the team then has to enter and press specific tiles on the floors to open the secret vault. Pressing the wrong tiles releases gas that instantly incapacitates everyone. Get the vault open and you will have access to tons and tons of gold bars (if your rep level is maxed out, then the money is worthless).
The secret vault was a part of Overkill's Alternate Reality Game that took months to crack. People who gotten inside the vault, recorded it, and sent the video to Overkill Software for verification would get access to the Secret masks. Despite the fact that information on the steps to do the secret are openly available, only 800+ people have actually gotten the secret masks. Previously, players needed to have the gold masks in order to trigger the hidden door and wait 2 hours for the drill to finish. Since the ARG event is over, the drill was changed where it only takes 30 minutes to finish and players can trigger the secret without needing the gold masks or having to play on Overkill 145+.
You have to use saws on four prison transports in an open environment with cars as your only source of cover, meaning you can easily get flanked, and you will. Repeatedly.
You have to locate and escort ONE specific prisoner to a tower and he will refuse to move if there are cops nearby.
You have to release one or two balloons so that a plane can pick up the prisoner. It is here that most people get fucked over ON NORMAL, the easiest difficulty allowed for the mission. Since you rarely can prepare for the plane picking up your target on the first attempt, you have little time to react and move as the escape countdown begins. Basically, once the target is picked up, the finale of the mission starts and the assault waves are programmed to be endless. Because of this, it's much easier to prepare when the plane comes by the second time instead of the first.
Snipers will spawn in once you reach the tower. Unlike other levels, the snipers are very damn far away from you, making it almost impossible to hit them if you don't have a weapon that has enhanced ADS.
You then have to move to the boat on the bridge and then further down to the extraction point, IN THAT ORDER, after the prisoner is picked up, on a timer with an endless assault. If you stop for any considerable amount of time, you will not survive.
Instead of defending an objective like other levels, much of this heist involves advancing through endless police forces with inadequate cover, wasting most of your health and ammo in the process.
The relatively minor problems of Matt (the guy you have to bring to a certain location) not wanting to go in the right direction half the time (though this has become mildly better through updates) and the shootout of endless police at the very end.
Trying to get to Matt is extremely difficult compared to other levels even on the same difficulty. Early on there is a street you need to get through which is swarming with police. Being a chokepoint, there is no other way through and must be pushed through while being shot losing valuable health in the process. By the time you get to Matt much of your health and ammo will be gone.
Once you get to Matt you have to burn him out of his hiding place, a lengthy process which may take multiple gas canisters depending on how generous the game is. There is little cover to hide behind and enemies come from every direction, making it very hard to survive against. When the fire runs out and someone needs to relight it, if an assault is in process one can very easily be downed in the process. Once Matt gets out the level can continue, but at this point you probably have used up all of your ammo and medical bags, yet you still have 35-40% of the heist to go.
The civilians in this level are basically suicidal lemmings who don't care if you shoot them. Because Heat Street is so wide open, civilians will be running all over the place and will gladly get in your line of fire during the shootouts. Naturally, the cops will exploit civilians by shooting through them to hit you. It's possible to lose several hundred thousand dollars in penalties (or even several million dollars if playing on Overkill 145+ difficulty) if you clear the mission because of all the innocents you shot.
At the start of the heist, you have to destroy all the cameras and unlike cameras in other levels, the cameras here are randomized so you will never find them in the same spot twice in a row. While this is manageable in Single Player due to the reduced amount of Civilians and only having to deal with 3 Cameras, online play increases the amount of Civilians and the Camera count to 6. Playing with friends? The game will further increase the camera count to 9.
After the cameras are destroyed, you have to keep all the hostages down and make sure they don't run off to hit the panic button. Once again, this is mitigated in Single Player with the reduced amount of Civilians (but only on Normal difficulty) as well as the Civilians only being present in the lobby and a few around the elevator, but becomes really unfair in Online play, where the Civilians are everywhere. Not to mention the hassles caused by the phone (which may summon a Guard, or worse, a Repairman who counts as a Civilian), and the correct patient file being spread around the lobby (there's around thirty total files!).
If the alarm IS triggered at this point, access to the ICU is closed and you have to waste 3 minutes cutting through with a saw, and then spend even more time using the saw on all 3 shutters (one at a time to boot) trying to find the right patient to draw blood from. This can be negated if the alarm hasn't been triggered, and Dr. Erikson will describe the three ICU patients in advance (keep an ear out for any descriptions among the line of "We're slowly losing him").
Once you do get some blood samples, you have to validate them in devices spread out in the area. Because this portion is luck based, you can wind up wasting time because the game decides not to let you have any valid blood samples, forcing you to get more to validate and try again. If you get knocked down while holding a validated blood sample, there's a high chance that your sample will break, forcing you to go get another one!
The majority of the playing field are in narrow hallways, which makes trying to get around Shield SWAT units a pain in the ass and the cops can easily flank you from both sides.
The rooftops are basically hell due to the absurd amount of snipers that are on the opposite buildings across the street and you're forced to run the rooftop when it's time to escape. If the power goes out and the circuit breaker to use is on the roof, you will probably spend more time trying to shoot the distant snipers than getting to the circuit breaker.
The payout for finishing the level is very low. It's below $1 million even on Normal. This is due to "something the players are missing" in the level, according to the developers. Since no one knows what the secret is yet, most people avoid playing Undercover since the payout is not worth the frustrations.
Panic Room is pretty manageable until Alex has to come in to lower the winch from his helicopter. Alex won't lower the winch until the entire roof area is cleared of cops (not including snipers). What many people don't know is you have to kill a set number of cops that keep spawning on the adjacent roofs as they take their positions, but this goes out the window during assaults since cops can keep spawning on the roof unless you have your team go to the first floor and force the assault wave to follow you down there. If the cops start spawning on the roof during assault waves, then don't expect the roof to get cleared out until the assault is over. Until then, expect to hear "You guys need to clear the roof!" over and over again. For added fun, you have to defend the helicopter again in the same circumstances once the magnet is attached to the panic room.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Certain music tracks were replaced with different tracks and people naturally complained about it. The music composer stated that some of the songs they used they didn't have full rights to and they had to change the music because of it.
There were also complaints made when the game had its overall difficulty dropped (including making Diamond Heist and Slaughterhouse playable on Normal as the minimum instead of Hard), which is probably why Overkill 145+ was added shortly after.
The Scrappy: Matt due to how he screwed the crew over, forcing them to wade through a near endless assault waves of cops and SWAT units in the streets, refusing to leave the wrecked van, and when he finally leaves the van, the crew discovers he handcuffed the suitcase of money to his arm. The crew's first idea is to chop Matt's arm off, but due to the circumstances, they are forced to drag Matt all the way to the overpass and wait for their escape chopper to arrive so everyone and the money can escape. With Heat Street being That One Level, Matt is obviously well hated.
The Taxman in Undercover also counts due to how you are forced to yell at him several times before he gives up the passwords to the server and you have to do it 3 times since there are 3 passwords to use. Smacking him around with your gun may speed up the process, but you also run the risk of knocking Taxman out cold for a few minutes, delaying your progress.
Ralph and Giant are also heavily disliked due to them refusing to move along if there's cops around and sometimes they will refuse to move at all until the assault wave ends, which can last for several minutes. They'll also stop moving if a cop is approaching from off screen!
Uncanny Valley: All the characters in the game never blink or have any facial expressions. Their faces are completely frozen.