View Full Version : Black Flag Multiplayer Balancing

04-20-2015, 03:57 AM
Hiya, I'm Rye and I've always been a big fan of the Assassin's Creed competitive multiplayer game modes. That being said, while I enjoyed them, I would be lying if I were to say that there weren't certain aspects in just about every installment that has sort of made each game imbalanced in a way. These aspects generally came in the form of one or multiple perks or abilities that had almost no downside to utilizing, and made others inferior in comparison. Now, obviously, some rebalancing has been done through the iterations, but alas, some issues still persist in the latest version, Assassin's Creed: Black Flag.

I want to make clear, I'm very aware that it's doubtful anything will come of this, but I just wanted to put my thoughts in writing.

Now, obviously, the DLC season is way past over in Black Flag, but that doesn't, and really shouldn't, mean that support for the game needs to ends as well. At least until some of its gaping flaws are fixed. As it is, Black Flag's multiplayer is the only competitive Assassin's Creed multiplayer experience on next-generation consoles, and it still has a number of people playing it, though the imbalances in game can deter the experience for some, and push them away from wanting to continue doing so.

What I'm going to do is list two things that would make the Black Flag's multiplayer MUCH more fair and balanced, as I feel that there are two immediate big issues that need to be addressed.

1. Change the effects of the Determined perk

This one is pretty straight forward. There were a number of people who wanted this perk removed before launch as well, but it's obviously too late for that. The reason the Determined perk needs to be changed can be chopped down to simply: it's a crutch perk. I mean, you don't absolutely need it to win, but you'll be at an immediate disadvantage to novice and skilled players alike who are using it. The ability to keep all of your points when contested obviously defeats the purpose of the contesting mechanic in the first place, and the only way that this could even be considered close to a balanced perk as it is would be if most of the other perks were just as beneficial, and frankly, they aren't. It's not just the difference between 200 and 400 points for a kill, but 750 and 1500, and the latter is a HUGE difference in most game modes. As it is, there is no reason NOT to use it, and that's not how it should be.

As I said, it's obviously too late to remove that function, or at least, more effort than it's even worth, but a simple tweak to it's function could balance it, as well as bring it down to the level of other perks. The best idea, in my opinion, would be to make it so that you don't lose points when you go to stun a pursuer, and end up getting killed while contesting. You may see it as rewarding someone for dying, but getting a measly 200 points for contesting a kill is much better than having someone get a full 1500 points when their kill was contested.

2. Change how poisoning works

The Poison ability itself isn't inherently flawed, rather, its lack of counters to it is. Anyone carrying both Poison and a Smoke Bomb can easily get 1000+ points by dropping the bomb and waiting for any potential score bonuses before poisoning their target and walking away. Even in the event that a poisoned target is able to stun their pursuer, they still die moments later, and the poisoner still gets a lot of points for doing so, even if one were to see them coming from a mile away.

Ideally, Poison is supposed to reward players who are able to sneak up to their target, poison them, and either get away or hang around without being noticed. At least, that's how I imagine it's supposed to work, given what my single player experience in Assassin's Creed has taught me. And so, I feel a simple tweak could balance this out a lot more as well. Simply make it so if you stun someone who has poisoned you, either you don't die, or you do die and your pursuer gets no points for it. I personally prefer the first one, as it really forces a player to decide whether or not they want to go in and try to poison someone, rather than just do it because there's literally no downside to it. You can think of it as maybe you retrieve an antidote before you are killed. That could even be a potential bonus in future installments.

So, yeah, I feel like these two things could be easily fixed, and that it would be better for game balancing. That's really all I wanted to say. This is mostly wishful thinking, I know, but one can dream, right?

Thanks for listening,

Feel free to comment or list any additional issues you feel need fixing in Black Flag multiplayer.

04-20-2015, 04:57 AM
You do not keep all of your points with the Determined Perk. I don't know what the penalty is, but there have been plenty of threads about it and the ones who have knowledge on the perk say it is not unbalanced but it is quite cheap. The perk does obviously say that it does not cut your score by half, but you do lose your score multiplier. Remember, the Determined Perk uses a slot on the perk slots, and that's one way to balance things out too. Many other perks could be put at better use than the Determined perk.

As for Poison, it works fine. Offensive Smoke Bomb(OSB) has been complained about since Brotherhood, and it is not game-breaking. It's balanced and if you do fall for an OSB and get poisoned, it is entirely your fault whether you are aware of it or not. As for Poison Dart, that is being abused for baiting by players now. You can use Animus Shield to shield yourself from being killed or affected by abilities.

04-20-2015, 11:53 PM
OSB has been around since forever, if you get poisoned like that you have to ask yourself this question - "how did my pursuer know It was me?". Ubisoft kept it in cos its basically the biggest punishment you can give to someone who can't be stealthy.