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Brother-Olrad
01-30-2017, 05:37 AM
[Edit as of 2/12/17 at the end of the open beta: my views have changed immensely since the creation of this thread. please disregard much of this thread, some points remain valid but i have moved on my stance for most. Considering making an updated post in the future.]








Hello there, Brother Olrad here, the following is my perspective on balance within the mechanics of combat including disparity between classes or other general mechanics such as parries and guard breaks etc.


Let us begin with the general mechanics:


Guard breaks

Guard breaking is often used excessively because of its relative reliability in scoring free damage, the reason being that the window for guard breaking is very small. I have been practicing counter guard breaking and have come to a conclusion, the reason it is so difficult is because you both have to wait for the proper window, but also not let it pass you by, most of my failed guard break counters are because I actually try to counter too early. It seems to me that one shouldn't be punished for high reaction time in a game like this. This mechanic is abused by some more than others (looking at you peacekeepers) to quite destructive effect.

The solution here feels like extending the counter window into earlier frames, thereby making the maneuver more attainable while not nerfing it into oblivion. Also the guard break kind of propels itself forward in a lot of positions and tracks very well, many times I have attempted to dodge backwards or to the sides only for the guard break to track and close with me. The guard break should not be a rush in my opinion.



Parries

Parries are less common but used by experienced players often to gain a footing and open up combos or often score a free hit after. The problem with parries comes down to how the mechanic interacts with different classes. I will be doing more testing on this in the future to discover specific interactions, I have mained conqueror for this test and I often notice when I parry, the animation and time it takes to actually throw out an attack is slightly longer than other classes like say a warden. When a conqueror parries it is often not enough time to land a heavy attack. If a warden or orochi parries, they often land a free heavy attack before you can put your block up again. I begin to wonder if the disparity on this front comes from the animation for the class who is parrying, or if its simply the time it takes to throw out a heavy attack for that class. One or the other, or both. The other thing I have noticed with parries is the stamina damage it inflicts. Again from the perspective of a conqueror, I have fought multiple capable players who parry often. Here is an example: On several occasions fighting a nobushi my conquerors heavy attack will get parried, while im recoiling they will combo with a poke into kick. From full stamina, that one heavy attack getting countered does a MASSIVE amount of stamina damage, followed with the kick, I actually run 100% out of stamina, opening me up to a flurry of blows from which it is very difficult to recover. TLDR: Literally throwing a single heavy from full stamina can lead to complete drain against a capable player. Again, I need to do more testing on this front to see if the stamina damage values vary from class to class and attack to attack.

I do not feel comfortable suggesting any fix for this without extensive testing, but at the moment I will loosely say that parry stamina damage should be lowered in general, and that all classes should benefit the same amount from successfully using a general combat mechanic, as such the animations and time it takes to be able to attack after parrying should be the exact same for all classes unless the class is specifically supposed to take advantage of this mechanic more than others.


Rush Attacks

In general I think rush attacks either need a reduced hit box or tracking. Think of the conquerors notorious shield rush spam, the wardens iconic shoulder rush spam or the warlords headbutt. These attacks are sometimes dodgeable, but even when you dodge, they either track or clip you from the side and the combo continues even though you made the correct input. Sometimes it will work, but its not consistent. This to me seems like a problem that must be questioned diagnosed, and solved.




Class Mechanic Disparity

Alright, so this is the touchy subject, there are many perspectives. You have the perspectives from each individual classes players, and beyond that you have the perspectives from people of many different skill levels. Some classes excel against people still learning the game, but become drastically easier to fight after developing more of an understanding. Similarly, there are classes that seem perfectly fair or even underwhelming, but in the hands of an experienced player who knows how to work the mechanics you can get something that is extremely difficult to find an opening against. So, as a player who has been through 3 tests and gotten to at least prestige/reputation 2 each time, this is my perspective.

This is a game where speed is key, that is the nature of the combat in this game and others like it, having a kit that will either help you make the enemy slip up, or having access to movesets that are fast enough to score free damage is king. On this point I will move to the next section.


Assassins

The assassin classes are the strongest selection you can make within the mechanics of this game. Damage avoidance on these classes converts directly into damage, whereas other classes do not have this option. This is the core of what makes the assassins so strong. Offense is the best defense and if you can turn your defense into offense as fluidly as the assassin dodge mechanics allow, you have a massive edge. Throwing light attacks at assassin classes and chipping them down is much safer than throwing heavy attacks. Heavy attacks are dodged and then immediately countered without the chance of blocking before the open up even more of a combo on you.

Assassins also boast the most mobility in the game, as an assassin should. But coupled with the speed in combat they already possess, a skilled assassin player will completely control the pace of combat, ducking in and out of combat as they see fit, and even in combat, their high speed yields higher probability of damage. They are essentially the ultimate counter attackers whilst simultaneously being the most powerful in straight combat. I shall now continue into specific class thoughts.

Orochi

Orochi has the strongest kit in the game in my opinion, light attack oriented, fantastic engage and disengage, deflection into free damage, high damage guard break (heavy up finisher), dodge mobility into free damage. This kit is extremely abused in the hands of the capable. There is no opening to attack, at best you have a situation where there's a lull in combat and you get to wonder if they will try to open with a guard break or a physical attack. You have to wait for the orochi to make a move, otherwise he will side dodge and open into a combo, that or try to engage with a light attack if you don't have a good gap closer. Even then if you do hit he can easily dodge the next part of the chain or deflect. Which also begins another combo. I also believe the damage on the Orochi is too high for what it is. I have been in duels as a Conqueror where both me and an orochi are low hp. (The low hp after you regen a bit of health - The Last Stand resovoir if you will) I've landed a guard break and gone for the free side heavy attack, its not enough to finish him. He guard breaks me, does a heavy up attack, I die. This is ironic considering the conqueror is described as "Strong Defense and Heavy Hitter" in game where as the orochi is "Agile and Counter-Attacker"

I believe that the damage of the Orochi should be reduced somewhat. But I do need to do more testing to figure out what other things could be done. It seems to me that the very core mechanics of this class are the real problem, but it's still a fun looking class to play and it has its roots in what its supposed to thematically be, finding a middle ground between what it wants to be and being balanced is difficult. I may edit this post in the future to revise or add thoughts.

Peace Keeper

Weaker than the Orochi but in combination with the needed tweaks to the guard break mechanic, still very very strong. A peace keeper takes all the general problems of the assassin classes, and then adds in a guard break attack that is fairly easy to preform, but does damage that is highly disproportionate to the difficulty of the maneuver. The design idea could be something like "Well its a damage over time right? So it should be more total damage because you have to wait for it!" This might not be a problem except coupled with the disengage and speed of the assassin classes in general, there is no way to close with a peacekeeper while they wait out the damage. The answer is guard break counter, which is easy in theory but difficult in practice with the other stimuli in the game you have to worry about.

Either the bleed needs to be reduced, or the guard break window should be increased as described above, the two factors together make for something that is generally too powerful. Especially with the peer to peer connection and the possibility of latency ruining an otherwise successful counter guard break timing.

Berserker

The berserker is the most balanced of the assassins, it can still abuse the dodge into side attack spam, which is often easy and free damage, but can be countered to an extent by light attacks. Other than that, the Berserker kit is okay, in fact, if you were to nerf the ease of the side dodge attacks,I would say this class would probably need a buff.


Assassin overall:

I believe the side dodge into attacks are too easy to pull off in general, but they should definitely be a mechanic and it fits well with the classes. I feel like they are just too forgiving on timing for what they are. Something should be done to tone them down a little bit.



Vanguards


Warden

I believe overall the warden is in a good spot. Balanced all around, but the kit is lack luster, not in any balance perspective really, but it feels as though its missing something, not enough combos, or moves to really be all too engaging in the long run. I have heard many wanting the addition of some sort of gap closer, but it seems to me that the shoulder rush when charged is fairly capable of this. The warden is balanced more aless, just a tad on the boring side, this comes from many conversations with Warden players and a fairly limited time playing warden myself.

Raider

Fairly balanced overall, the overhead poke stun is what makes or breaks this class in my opinion. I could be mistaken but it seems like in this test the stamina damage inflicted by this attack has been increased substantially, i didn't really notice it in the previous builds. It inflicts A LOT of stamina damage for such a fast attack. You can keep an opponents stamina reserve very low and apply lots of pressure on the resource, in turn limiting their short term options for offense, and by extension allowing yourself time for a furious assault without fear of as much of a reprisal. Getting guard broken and rammed into a wall by this class is almost always going to end with you getting hit with that side unblockable attack.. I HAVE parried it... Once. It's possible. but barely. This wouldn't be as much of a problem if guard breaks were more counterable, again, please see the above thoughts on the topic. The side unblockable is the best unblockable in the sense that dodges pretty much don't work, dodging backwards still puts you into its range even despite it looking like it will miss. I did manage to dodge it once by dodging right but it seemed buggy, dodging left does nothing however. This means that the attack pretty much must be countered with a parry, and there is no other way unless you have some sort of special class mechanic that allows it otherwise. This in contrast to the kensei unblockable makes the kensei look comparatively weak vertical unblockables are very easily dodged, and I very rarely get hit by them but I really enjoy the idea that there are attacks that can only be countered with parries at the same time. All and I I think the raider is fairly well balanced and doesn't need much, if any work.

Kensei

I wish I saw more Kensei to be honest, I feel like I can't give a good diagnosis for this class because of lack of experience fighting them and I personally have not played them. Fights against Kensei have always felt fair when I DO find them however. All around a respectable class. I ask any kensei to reach out to me and share some experiences or thoughts, maybe I will revise this section after some testing.



Heavy


Warlord

This class strikes me as very strong but I'm still developing more of an understanding of it. It's ability to score free damage is pretty intense, though the damage inflicted is less than other classes that can do similar things. The class specific light attack parries are a very powerful tool in the hands of the capable, in addition to their iron solid defense its very difficult to exchange with this class. Your attacks will be reversed and you will be hit with free light attacks without good mix ups. The headbutt is very spamable and tracks quite well and also covers a fair distance, and the resulting stagger on a foe allows for the free attack and possibility of a continued combo. Fighting warlords usually comes down to a lot of guard breaking and environment usage. A very skilled Warlord is tough to take down, but it is possible, but in a straight up fight without using guard breaks to throw them into walls its nearly impossible to find an opening in the defense.

I think the class is fairly balanced, the points of conflict are probably the headbutt rush attack, which travels too far, and tracks too much which leads to too much free damage. I feel like I can't say much more about this class because I need to experience it for longer and collect data. Like the kensei, feel free to reach out to me in regards to this class and experiences you may have had.


Conqueror.

My home boy since my first test. I am quite familiar with him. I believe there have been some fairly large changes since my first test using this class. The heavy attack into shield rush combo is the bread and butter of this class. It is both the source of its power and its weakness. I feel that the conqueror is a one trick pony, and this is coming from a current reputation 2. You always know what a conqueror is going to do. It can do only one thing as far as a cohesive combo that can compare to the free damage other classes get. The heavy shield rush spam is extremely stamina intensive, as it should be. parrying the first heavy attack assuming it didn't come after a successful guard break completely throws a wrench into the combo because the stamina damage is O V E R W H E L M I N G. The rush does not travel very far but has a fairly large hit box, and tracks pretty well. Too well sometime, sometimes it cannot be dodged, which brings me to my next point. For some inexplicable reason the shield rush seems to stagger some classes more than others or has some sort of variable that decides the stagger time that can change or something. I have done 2v2s where I fight both opponents and the rush works to different effect depending on the class im fighting. For example: I fight a warden or a raider, if i begin the combo, it seems like 95% of the time, they cannot dodge to the side to escape the pain train combo, however using the same exact combo/move on a berserker or a peacekeeper seems to result in them escaping about 60% of the time with a side dodge. Do assassin classes stagger less than other classes or is this some strange instance of RNG effects in the game? I don't like using this combo because it feels unfair.. if it works... and if it doesn't work then you're pretty much out of luck... unless you can use the conquerors secret "heavy attack parry" reliably, which coupled with its superior block stun CAN lead to free damage. I say CAN because it doesn't often work, sometimes it works just fine, sometimes ill release the trigger as i block the attack and am still in block animation and it achieves nothing, and gets blocked anyways, but the speed CAN trip people up. I guess its not free damage,but it is surprising, which is a big step in the right direction. The conqueror is kind of a strange beast. It feels like he needs more abilities or mechanics to make him feel like less of a one trick pony, and what he does have is less effective than a lot of the other classes in the current build. By comparison, the Warlords light attack parries apply 100% of the time if used correctly, whereas the conquerors heavy parries do not land reliably when used correctly. Aside from that ability, the conqueror has the infamous heavy shield rush, which I fear is what the future of the class is doomed to be, he has so much more potential than that.

I think the Conqueror (and rush attacks in general ((ie warden shoulder rush - warlord headbutt etc))) needs less tracking on the rush... that or smaller hitbox, or some combination of the two. I also feel like the inability to feint hurts him DRASTICALLY as a possible competitive character. His speed is too slow and his reach is too short which makes players rely entirely on the heavy shield rush combo to apply damage and keep a foe engaged. He has no decent mix ups and his entire kit is oriented around heavy attacks which are pretty much just parry bait. Basically the conqueror feels really strong early game when people are just learning the game, but against anyone who can parry reliably, the conquerors offensive options are DRASTICALLY limited. For this reason I feel like the conqueror is overpowered until you know how to counter his one trick, and then laughable when you do.



Hybrid


Nobushi


Again this is a class that I feel that I need more experience with before passing any judgement, I've fought them and won, and fought them and lost but never felt like anything was out of my control, I always noticed I had made mistakes. I do believe that their attack speed is very high considering that they can stack those bleeds, but I don't know if I would call it TOO FAST. Again, I will need to get more data on this character. As said before, any nobushi players or anyone wanting to share their experience fighting nobushi, feel free to contact me with your opinions.




Conclusion:


After the games release I intend to do some digging in frame data to get to the bottom of some things and see if these perceived disparities are fact or fiction. I hope the thoughts here have been able to help everyone develop a decent understanding of the state of the games balance. I tried to remain as unbiased as possible. I hope that I achieved that goal. I have looked forward to this game for a long time and I really want to love this game with all of my heart, I intend to stream it and make videos often. I also hope that Ubisoft finds this message helpful.

I am at anyones disposal for comments questions and other feedback.


Cheers.

Black-Briar
01-30-2017, 06:39 AM
I played mostly PvP-Duels (Rep. 1 Lv 15) in this Closed Beta and I can totally agree with your points. Especially the Guard Break "issue" and the Assassins.
As I mentioned on Reddit these days, Assassins are pretty strong because they are way faster than the other classes, and at the same time, they don't have downsides. Orochis and Peacekeeper (and to some extent Bersekers) can just dodge-hit you forever, winning without even using 50% of their kit, and that's because they are overpowered in a way. A "bad" player can still give you a really bad time with these classes, since they can "spam" dodge and light attack giving you no hope for a block whatsoever. You will attack, earlier or later, and when you will do it they will just dodge it and light you. This, plus the Guard Break minimal window of reaction, makes the Assassins not so "hard" at all to use and abuse. 70% of my matches were Orochis and Peacekeepers.

So, as I said earlier, I agree with your suggestions, especially to adjust the Guard Break reaction-time, and the Assassin's damage. Since they need to be the faster amongs all, and that's right, they sure need some change in their damage number.

TCTF_SWAT
01-30-2017, 06:42 AM
GB's beat dodges/dashes.

CEMERDES
01-30-2017, 09:09 AM
I agree pretty much with everything that you said, very good post overall. I played Warden for about 20h and I can contribute to the opinion you gathered, saying basically the same.

As for classes you don't have enough data for, I'd say Nobushi is a very well balanced, decent class, I won some, I lost some. Didn't find anything about them that would not point me towards my own mistakes during combat, which is good. Kensei - I find them also pretty well balanced but one issue I had with every time is their top heavy finisher. It is supposed to be unblockable and deals insane amount of damage but the problem is I dodged it maybe ONCE. I have no idea how to deal with it.

SethUnleashed
01-30-2017, 09:12 AM
good feedback overall and igree to most of it.

guardbreaks:
guardbreaks need some sort of change, either a cooldown or a seperate recourse (like you have 2 guardbreak "points" which recharge at something like 30s per charge, so you can basically guardbreak once every X seconds and dont spam (would make for much nicer games)

parries:
if used correctly, they can shutdown any attacker that isnt making use of feint (which currently almost no one does as fainting attacks is in my opinion a VERY advanced tactic and requires a LOT of coordination to be pulled off in a way that you actually benefit from it, which is a good thing).
i played a fair amount of warden and if you get the parry timings right, you can be more annoying than an assassin who is side-dodging ...
parries are VERY usefull, but i would say that most players still rely on blocks and either dont know about parries or they just arent experienced enough to use them (might be because the explenation for parries is "hidden" in the advanced training, which you need to manually navigate to in a side-menu most players probably dont look into very often.

rush attacks:
agreed on this one... the tracking or the hitbox feel weird at times, but it MIGHT be a p2p issue as well.

deflects:
they need to be reworked because right now the risk/reward of them is soooo bad that youre better off sticking to parries or dodges.
and unless most players start making heavy use of feint, this will continue to be this way (which isnt something thats gonna happen soon i'd say)

for the classes:
peacekeeper:
the guardbreak bleed should go as it isnt needed (i've played 5+ hours without using it at all and still won 95%+ of the games with smart counter-play, BUT the rest of the peacekeepers damage could use a slight buff in exchange and it could also use one more combo of any sort in exchange for loosing the guard-break-stap.

orochi:
pretty solid class, the charge-attack can be blocked quite easily if you are used to it. the light-attack damage overall should be toned down a little bit.

berserker:
sadly i havent had the muse to play this class a lot, so im not gonna say anything here

warden:
i agree on this one, solid class, but lacks at least one combo.

raider:
the facebash could use some tinkering, dmg output seems ok

kensai:
the range could use a slight nerf. this class is very strong if played correctly, but not a lot of people seem to play it, so its hard to judge it correctly just yet.

warlord and conquerer:
i havent played either of them against players (just some AI matches to understand the mechanics) so i only say one thing here.

nobushi:
the bleed damage needs to be toned down... this class has too many ways that are too easy to pull of to apply huge amounts of bleeding damage combined with long range and very high speed.
the hidden stance is a very cool mechanic but hardly anyone seems to use it, because being fully offensive (or parrying) is easier to understand and harder to be countered.
the focus of attack and defense needs to be shifted towards a more counter-attacking or defensive style making more use of hidden stance instead of "full offensive high bleed".



overall i feel the balance is pretty decent already (which isnt a small feat in a game with this much in-depth mechanics etc) and i applaud ubisoft for making an actually challanging game!
experience and training is the most important thing in this game and i am very much looking forward to the 14th !

Brother-Olrad
01-30-2017, 09:14 AM
Hmm. I've never had much trouble dodging the kenseis unblockable, and when i do get hit by it I know its been that I've made a mistake. The unblockable attacks kind of charge for a moment before the come out, if you dodge them like you'd try to dodge a normal heavy attack, the tracking will still get you. You have to wait longer. At least that's been my experience.

MrFuddyDuddy
01-30-2017, 09:52 AM
I played Nobushi main this past Closed Beta and got to Reputation 1 Level 10, she is fairly balanced I found. Her only determining factor that makes her out of control overpowered is when you apply your Sharpen ability and watch in awe as you chunk someone for a quarter all the way up to a half of there health in bleed damage in a single light attack. I find her very easy to fight with and her keep away game is incredibly strong, usually only losing fights to either 2-3v1 ganks in Dominion or poor positioning on my part as I wasn't always able to keep good distance, or assuming I had the upper hand and failing to predict blocks.(Berserker and Orochi are notorious for whipping my a**, and I learned the hard way my pokes DO NOT beat there light attacks)

Her Shadow stance is also incredibly powerful (which I wish I would have abused more) and seemingly allows her to dodge any incoming light or heavy attack allowing very easy follow up damage. Her retreating attack is also very strong, despite not hitting the hardest it can save you from damage and bleed your opponent at the same time, which speaking of she desperately needs her basic bleeds. By the end of the Beta I was running a purely defensive set up on her, and her damage didn't suffer too greatly but she doesn't neccissarily hit very hard either which unfortunately makes her somewhat difficult to execute opponents with as her light attacks and faint attack are significantly safer options and often times allow you to disengage and just let your bleed finish someone off.

KarmaGator
01-30-2017, 10:15 AM
Thank you very much for this post, it sums up my current understanding of the game pretty much perfectly.

For the Kensei section: (After about 40 hours of playing him as my go-to alt spread over 3 tests, I think I have a good grasp of the class)

The Kensei is pretty similar to the Conqueror in regards to its viability. Against newer players who are not able to parry or evade correctly, this class is ver strong; However, when playing against someone who is even moderately skilled, it is probably the most underwhelming class in the game for reasons I will go into in a bit.

It is a class with a very diverse basic kit, as it incorporates pretty much all basic attack skills from the other classes (e.g. side-evade into light from assassins). It also has very good range and gap-closers built into most attacks (e.g. when an enemy is rolling backwards you can do a triple light attack combo and hit him with the last 2 neatly into the back) . His kit is based around outplaying the enemy with "soft" and "hard" feints, being able to initiate combos with pretty much everything and generally using the full extent of your movement set. If it would actually be like this the class would be really interesting, but alas this is where the fun ends.

For the Kensei's attacks are very, very slow and extremely telegraphed without doing more damage than those of faster classes (and in several cases even less). This leads to him - possibly together with the raider - being by far the easiest class to parry. The (regular) light attacks are not quite as slow and the second in the chain is even very fast, but they are still only slightly faster than most classes' heavy attacks and thus very easy to block.
The assassin-like "dodge into light attack" called "Swiftstrike" (from the sides) and "Helmsplitter" (from the top) are reasonably fast, but still a good deal slower than those of actual assassins and therefore not suitable for regular offense. They also deal very little damage.
Even with this, the most problematic thing has to be the unblockable finisher, its only "special attack". Literally the only time you can use it (or the hyperarmour-heavies you can cancel it into) is once you parry an enemy and throw him into a wall, thus guaranteeing the hit - this is basically the only viable combo this guy has. If you don't do this it is not even worth bothering to try it. It is the easiest attack to parry in the whole game and the unblockable can even be interrupted by a light attack. Both the unblockable and the heavy alternatives you can cancel into can be easily evaded in all directions, because the Kensei has "good range" (sorry for the sarcasm, but it had to be said)., even though most of the time the animations shows the sword going clean through them (yay, these iframes are totally balanced).

All in all, the Kensei has an extensive, interesting and fun basic kit with good range; However, extreme lack of speed, exaggerated telegraphing, lack of meaningful special attacks or really meaningful versatility hold the Kensei back to the point of being unplayable against players who have played the game for more than 20 hours. Everthing he does can be done better and more easily by other classes.
He is very fun to play against light-attack spamming Orochis who are new to the game (aka half the playerbase right now) and pretty fun in general, just don't expect to win a lot once people get actually good at the game.

Moxas1
01-30-2017, 10:37 AM
Sure they can keep doing that, but can't the other classes do the same thing as well?

Like waiting for an attack, parry it > guard break > lots of free damage.

I feel like this game punishes the first attacker too much, that's why you see alot of duels with people just waiting for the other person to attack to get free damage, it's quite silly.

I think there's 2 things in this game that needs to be fixed.

1 - The massive disadvantage of the attacker (Dodge > free damage. Parry > free damage)

2 - Guard break and how hard it is to counter it

So, there's two ways to counter Guard Break

1 - You have an extremely small window to counter it back by pressing Guard Break yourself (It's usually just predicting, as countering it with pure reaction is very rare)

2 - Using light attacks as they completely ignore guard break, but i don't like this, because it will transform some games into a light attack spam fest to avoid getting your guard broken.



My suggestions?

For the first problem, The massive disadvantage of the attacker

Better feint attacks to confuse the defender.

Add a way to counter back dodge attacks and parry attacks obviously would need good reaction times so it would be a battle of the person with the better reaction, maybe have the reaction times get faster and faster with each counter dodge and parry, as they will reach a point when someone will break down to the pressure.




The second problem, Guard breaks

i think theres a few ways to fix this one

1 - the counter back window increased

2 - cost a huge amount of stamina to punish the grabber and prevent spamming

3 - add cool down to it 5 - 10 seconds.

Swifte.
01-30-2017, 11:03 AM
If I remember correctly and without going in to detail, Kensei has been changed quite a bit from TT1 but he is still a well balanced class. If his range was nerfed, it would just be Orochi 2.0, just slower with no real disengage and because he is a big guy, his base movement speed is ridiculously low. I had to stat mine (purple gear) to give him an insane mspd boost just to barely keep up with PKs and other Orochis in Dom.

I mostly agree with KarmaGator but I wouldn't say he's underwhelming at all. Most of it having to do with adaptability (he's tagged that on the character outline when you select your hero).

The Kensei's heavies also have ridiculous tracking so even though they're slow, it makes up for it in range and glue-like target locking. You also do not have to use the uninterruptable/unblockable, you can also:

1. cancel and back off for space (he's Warlord/Nobushi in the sense that they all control space really well when played properly)
2. feint -> side heavy
3. feint -> side light
4. feint -> side heavy or light -> feint -> guard break

and so on.

The reason why I think he's labeled as adaptable isn't as much for the player. It's more so for the opponent because his kit is mind-game heavy (like other heroes but his especially) because you need to psychologically dominate your opponent with him in order to use him to his full potential. People find him underwhelming because of this.


In general:

I can see where people are coming from when they say the attacker is at a disadvantage but I've played some people who've played relatively aggressively and they manage to take me out because they feint with their toons. If you mix it up, you'll beat a passive player. It's on the passive player to find out what went wrong and adapt.

The game is too new for people to be creating tier lists, complaining, what role (attacker/defender) is the best position to play and trying to find out what's 'meta'.

S1yhunter
01-30-2017, 11:50 AM
I can agree with you on some points, but to give some alternate perspective who played all the heroes to learn them, and focused on Kensai and Warlord the rest of the time.

For the parrying concern you had the conqueror is not great as following up a hard parry as he has to much wind-up, but this is not the case for most other heroes. That is part of the reason the conq has superior guard heavy attacks, which allows you to immediately chain into an unavoidable heavy attack when parrying someone. It says its the same timing as parry, but from my experience it actually isn't. It's the same case for the warlord superior guard light attacks. If timed right the warlord can light attack "parry", but I find for both the warlord and the conq the frame timing for this is actually earlier than the parry timing.

Also the conq. is extremely easy for the opponent to parry, and is very punishable. If a conq. throws out a basic heavy attack that is just asking to get punished.

As for the Kensei, I find it a mid-tier hero. It has a great basic tool-set that makes use of several simple mechanics. However he doesn't have much beyond that. You have to find out how to make best use of these simple tools which synergize with each other. For skilled players this comes in the form of excellent spacing, environmental use, feigning, and their ability to mix-up their playstyle in an instant. tbh Kensei is one of the highest skill ceilings heroes, simply because one has to become so varied and confident with the fundamentals of the game. He doesn't have any flashy combos or gimmiks that many other heros can lean on.

If I had to sum up the Kensei I'd say he is simple and pure, and many will overlook him. As without mastering his basic toolset he seems quite lackluster and clunky.

Dekyde
01-30-2017, 12:01 PM
The Kensei's heavies also have ridiculous tracking so even though they're slow, it makes up for it in range and glue-like target locking. You also do not have to use the uninterruptable/unblockable, you can also:

1. cancel and back off for space (he's Warlord/Nobushi in the sense that they all control space really well when played properly)
2. feint -> side heavy
3. feint -> side light
4. feint -> side heavy or light -> feint -> guard break

.

yeah but this only works when the enemy is near a wall. When they just roll backwards, you can`t do anything... Itīs so much harder to fight on an open field.

KarmaGator
01-30-2017, 12:14 PM
@Swifte The concept of the Kensei is pretty great and he is definitely fun to play.
The problem with feinting atm is that with all the light-attack spamming assassins running around, even if you back up and feint correctly their side dodges and/or integrated gap closers usually just earn you a blade to the face for your troubles (which also interrupt that attack your were trying to do).

Honestly, if they would just go the whole way with the "mind game" concept all would be fine:

(1) All heavy attacks can be soft feinted (cancelled) into heavies (all directions into the other 2 directions), with side ones having hyperarmour. Same with the lights, just without the hyperarmour (because that would be not op at all :D ).

(2) Make the finisher actually good. All directions (both original and the cancels) are now unblockable. The top finisher can't be evaded to the rear and the side ones only to the rear. They are still really easy to parry so that would not be op.

With these (relatively) simple changes (and balancing assassin evade iframes) he would be great. Granted, he would be bloody hard to play at a high level, but this game is about skill so that would be completely acceptable.

Edit: Changing his difficulty from "easy" to "hard" (which is much more realistic tbh) should be a given, even in the state he is currently in. No need to confuse newer players.

Swifte.
01-30-2017, 06:23 PM
Dekyde,

I've had too much experience with Kensei (duels, brawls, dom) to accept that the three basic combos and one intermediate combo I listed as examples only work when they're walled.

That's what the mind games are all about, playing those chains in open fields to remain unpredictable. It gets easier to get them walled for easy chunks.
-------------------
KarmaGator,

Remember what I said about adaptability?

The light spam (read: basic combo) Orochis are ridiculously easy to counter. Kensei is a space character as in he takes it up and creates it and he does it well. Orochi needs to invade that space and you don't need to do flashy feints with them at all. Play counter to their counter and you make short work of them, especially if you can parry and tech really well.

Granted, you can feint with them but that's a low risk/decent reward at best. It all comes down to practice and experience.

I agree that his tag should be switched from easy to hard as well because he is far from an easy hero to even get a firm understanding of.

Altair_Snake
01-30-2017, 08:28 PM
1 - The massive disadvantage of the attacker (Dodge > free damage. Parry > free damage)

2 - Guard break and how hard it is to counter it

So, there's two ways to counter Guard Break

1 - You have an extremely small window to counter it back by pressing Guard Break yourself (It's usually just predicting, as countering it with pure reaction is very rare)

2 - Using light attacks as they completely ignore guard break, but i don't like this, because it will transform some games into a light attack spam fest to avoid getting your guard broken.
Those two problems contradict eachother.

The 1st way to counter GB is a matter of practice. Try to think how good you'll get in a few months.

The second way is fine. A war of fast attack sis fine. That's basically what spacing is. Note that this has nothing to do with spamming. You need to manage your range know who has frame advantage, in order to decide whether to defend or attack. And if you think this is a problem, it also contradicts your first problem above.
____________

This thread is well organized. But if it has any bias, it is simply the bias from a relative beginner. Dudes who had more experience with game have different things to say (not that I am one of them).

sayi51
01-30-2017, 09:03 PM
The "light attack spam fest" as you put it is a very valid tactic. In other fighting games, if you see someone spam grabs, you start using your light punch or kick to punish them into a confirm and a combo or at least make them back off.

As for the "extremely small window", most of the guard breaks come out really slow. Now before you go "********!" let me explain. Most characters don't have a "combo or dodge into grab" that goes perfectly clean. For example:

Peacekeeper suddenly dashes up to you and leaps in your face. The change from dash to leap is instant and seamless. However, if the same Peacekeeper dashes up to you and tries to grab you, she has to wait for a bit for her dash animation to end before she can initiate a grab.

Now what does this mean? This means, just like any other fighting game, you have to learn the "habits" of the players. For example, as PK, I do Dash up leap > follow up and then grab a LOT. I mean almost 90% of the time I leap, I follow with a grab. RARELY people figure that out and counter accordingly. This doesn't mean the grab is broken, this means the players panic a lot and miss their timings instead of keeping calm.

If you notice a player spamming guard break, you adapt and start countering them or light slashing. It's called "punishing" in the fighting game terms. If your opponent is stupid enough to NOT learn from their mistakes and keep getting into your light slashes while they try to guard break... Well, they were not going to give you an enjoyable fight anyways since they can't adapt.

And half, if not more of a fighting game is all about "predicting". It's all about "reading" your opponent, knowing their strings as a character, learning their tactics as a player and adapting a solution to the problem. Reacting only comes to play when "you know the attack is coming, you just don't know when so you prepare to react" or when the battle is in "poking" phase where you fish for openings.


I'm not going to **** on you, saying "git gud skrub". I will instead tell you this. "Throughout my experience with the Beta, I have never came across an opponent that I couldn't figure out a counter for. Every time I lost, it was my fault for not adapting fast enough. Every time I won, it was because they couldn't adapt to me.". If you have seen the video I have posted around in this forum, my 1v1 session as Peacekeeper, Conqueror and Orochi, you will see that I was able to figure out the opponent's playstyle most of the time and immediately adapt a strategy tailored for their habits... Aside from that PK vs PK fight at the start where I got rekt. I couldn't adapt fast enough to that and panicked.

Fighting games take time to master, it really is too early for us to say "x is broken" "y mechanic is stupid". However, I will always appreciate the level-headed discussion threads where people don't **** on each other for using a certain tactic or a character.

KarmaGator
01-30-2017, 09:22 PM
@Swifte

It could definitely be, that my prediction - that the Kensei will be useless once people understand his moveset - turns out to be completely false in a duel between highly skilled players.
Frankly, I would be glad if it does.

I am by no means a god-tier player (though I would consider myself to be part of the top 10% atm - humblebrag :D ).
In retrospect, I think my play could be improved by playing less offensively and regularly reacting to enemy movement beyond parries and gb/tech. Especially feints are something I have to learn, having mostly discarded them as pretty useless halfway through each test. Also my spacing and zone-control could be better. Well, no-one was born a master :D

Not that it would matter too much for my Kensei-skills, atleast not for the next two months or so as then it will be Lawbringer-time again..... :3 (god I can't wait to play my main again)

Stankyfoot
01-30-2017, 09:44 PM
Great thread with some great points. But, on the topic of Assassins, it kind of makes sense that they are the prominent duelling class, as getting kills is their ultimate objective. Ultimately Dominion is the main game mode and I feel like the other classes are better represented there. I really think the class balance, given that its not even out yet, is pretty solid and that Ubisoft should wait a month or so before tweaking it.

Remember, SSBM is still occasionally experiencing shakeups in the meta and that game came out in 2002. Its really hard to predict what exactly players are going to come up with given enough time with this game.

Brother-Olrad
01-30-2017, 09:50 PM
To those of you speaking of reading your opponents and predicting their actions, I whole heartedly agree with that notion... however..


guard breaks come out really slow. Now before you go "********!" let me explain. Most characters don't have a "combo or dodge into grab" that goes perfectly clean. For example:

Peacekeeper suddenly dashes up to you and leaps in your face. The change from dash to leap is instant and seamless. However, if the same Peacekeeper dashes up to you and tries to grab you, she has to wait for a bit for her dash animation to end before she can initiate a grab.

Now what does this mean? This means, just like any other fighting game, you have to learn the "habits" of the players. For example, as PK, I do Dash up leap > follow up and then grab a LOT. I mean almost 90% of the time I leap, I follow with a grab. RARELY people figure that out and counter accordingly. This doesn't mean the grab is broken, this means the players panic a lot and miss their timings instead of keeping calm.


There is a problem with this line of thinking. We are talking about high skill level game play between two capable players. Let's say that both players are the same exact level of skill with the tools of their classes, they both have the same level of skill with reading, prediction and strategy. A fast character like the peacekeeper, as given in the example above would still have an edge against slower classes by a fair margin. Why? Her kit includes more mobility and mechanics. Lets say the peacekeeper started with a grab attempt, but was light attacked in response, or guard countered... The peace keeper might take a bit of damage, but then she can easily dodge away and have time to reevaluate her strategy.

She might be thinking, "well, they know to defend against guard breaks, I have more powerful initiation tools at my disposal with my long dodge range, my upward dodge into leap stab, or i can dodge in and throw a normal melee combo, then follow with a guard break when we get locked in."

meanwhile, her opponent will be wondering still about the skill level of this peace keeper, "All peace keepers usually open with the guard break, many continuously try for them over and over, i will prepare myself for a guard break because that is what most people currently do, the other possibility is that they wont try it again if they're smart, they may try to go for the leaping stab overhead closer."

In this scenario the peacekeeper has more options, because she can dictate range very easily on pretty much any classes outside the assassin category or nobushi. If I had to give both players in this scenario a success ratio it would have to be like 75% peace keeper and 25% for her opponent, its not impossible, you can guess her actions correctly, but thats just what it is, a guess. If you don't know the player, or they are particularly good at mix ups and remaining unpredictable, the edge will always go to the initiator / faster class. That is the problem with this concept. There is definitely room for prediction and reading, but in high skilled play it will only get you so far. That's why this game needs more windows for reaction. That's why assassin classes have the edge that they do. Increase counter guard break windows slightly and the success chance for the opponent goes up significantly, but not enough to shift the balance of power the other way.

Brother-Olrad
01-30-2017, 10:08 PM
Great thread with some great points. But, on the topic of Assassins, it kind of makes sense that they are the prominent duelling class, as getting kills is their ultimate objective. Ultimately Dominion is the main game mode and I feel like the other classes are better represented there. I really think the class balance, given that its not even out yet, is pretty solid and that Ubisoft should wait a month or so before tweaking it.

Remember, SSBM is still occasionally experiencing shakeups in the meta and that game came out in 2002. Its really hard to predict what exactly players are going to come up with given enough time with this game.

SSBM is a very different game, I feel like you can't really compare the two at all. For one, a strong meta doesn't have as much meaning in a game with more characters. In this game we have 12 total. As it currently stands, they power/option difference is large enough that I would feel comfortable making a tier list even this early on. I think this speaks volumes. And its made all the more serious considering that with only 12 characters you will be seeing a lot less of those who are on the lower rungs.

As for the idea that Assassins make sense being the prominent dueling class, maybe in lore or theme, but within the mechanics of the game... why would you do that? Just because dominion is the 'main game mode' presented by the game does not mean that is what most people will want to do, many streamers I have watched want to play the game competitively in 1v1s and 2v2s as well. The thought you presented is basically the same as saying, "Well,the biggest pie is cherry, and everyone can have a slice... but the vanilla pie is only for Gary and Joe.... and I like Joe best so he can have this apple pie all to himself." What if Gary or someone elses FAVORITE flavor was apple? They might begin to resent Joe... They might spend a lot of time becoming more like Joe and pay for extreme plastic surgery to just straight up become Joe.. Maybe they might be happy about being Joe now, but maybe they would feel dead inside wishing they were actually just... themselves.

All classes should be competitive in 1v1 in this game, otherwise youll have classes that... can only gank? That's not even the focus of the game. You're all great warriors with different styles, the other classes aren't supposed to just be support and play second fiddle for that orochi on their team. You know? This isn't an mmo with healers and dps and tanks. This is a fighting game, everyone should kill everyone.

sayi51
01-30-2017, 10:18 PM
To those of you speaking of reading your opponents and predicting their actions, I whole heartedly agree with that notion... however..




There is a problem with this line of thinking. We are talking about high skill level game play between two capable players. Let's say that both players are the same exact level of skill with the tools of their classes, they both have the same level of skill with reading, prediction and strategy. A fast character like the peacekeeper, as given in the example above would still have an edge against slower classes by a fair margin. Why? Her kit includes more mobility and mechanics. Lets say the peacekeeper started with a grab attempt, but was light attacked in response, or guard countered... The peace keeper might take a bit of damage, but then she can easily dodge away and have time to reevaluate her strategy.

She might be thinking, "well, they know to defend against guard breaks, I have more powerful initiation tools at my disposal with my long dodge range, my upward dodge into leap stab, or i can dodge in and throw a normal melee combo, then follow with a guard break when we get locked in."

meanwhile, her opponent will be wondering still about the skill level of this peace keeper, "All peace keepers usually open with the guard break, many continuously try for them over and over, i will prepare myself for a guard break because that is what most people currently do, the other possibility is that they wont try it again if they're smart, they may try to go for the leaping stab overhead closer."

In this scenario the peacekeeper has more options, because she can dictate range very easily on pretty much any classes outside the assassin category or nobushi. If I had to give both players in this scenario a success ratio it would have to be like 75% peace keeper and 25% for her opponent, its not impossible, you can guess her actions correctly, but thats just what it is, a guess. If you don't know the player, or they are particularly good at mix ups and remaining unpredictable, the edge will always go to the initiator / faster class. That is the problem with this concept. There is definitely room for prediction and reading, but in high skilled play it will only get you so far. That's why this game needs more windows for reaction. That's why assassin classes have the edge that they do. Increase counter guard break windows slightly and the success chance for the opponent goes up significantly, but not enough to shift the balance of power the other way.


That is why the shield guys have "Full Block" to guard any other openings an assassin could throw and the non-shielded guys have "uninterruptible" attacks to push through an incoming attack. There have been many times that my leap was countered by a Warlord's leap since that thing is uninterruptible. We both took damage but Warlord had the advantage on me as he not only threw my flow right out of the window but got the life lead. Your argument only presents what "Peacekeeper" has. In your scenario, the correct answer for the defender is:

"I will keep my guard on Up since that is the only way Leap comes and prepare for another GB or immediately use Full Block/Uninterruptible overhead if he comes from another side and then bash him/use whatever tool I have for advantage."

Hell some of them can even parry the leap into a grab for serious pain train.

I agree that the attacker has the advantage but that is not a Peacekeeper/Assassin related thing. The initiator will always have the advantage as they do what "they" want and not react to the other side. If you bring the "but Assassins can deflect incoming attacks so they still have the upper hand", I will say "the attacker can also feint to bait for a deflect attempt and then punish"

Again with a Warlord example: Heavy into All Guard into headbutt is a nice deflect bait, not to mention the uninterruptible frames it has.

Swifte.
01-30-2017, 10:20 PM
KarmaGator,

I agree. I still have a hard time believing Kensei will be useless. This is a game about psyching out your opponent. Kensei, Warden and Berserker are the three notable characters that have their move set focused around this. The other classes have them too but it's not as fluid as the aforementioned three.

I'm far from being where I want to be too but that's why we practice. :)

When you get to play next, I recommend you record yourself and look over what you did right and what you did wrong in fights and pay special attention to the losses because that's where you learn best, I've found at least.

--------------------------------

Brother-Olrad,

I think it's pretty interesting because there have been a lot of posts about defensive play being the best option to pick and then you write up that fast characters have the edge.

I can see that faster toons have more options available to them but for now it's about adaptability. Once people get parrying down and baiting through feints, PKs and other fast characters get punished hard.

I said it before:
The game is too new for people to be creating tier lists complaining, what role (attacker/defender) is the best position to play and trying to find out what's 'meta'.

Brother-Olrad
01-30-2017, 10:34 PM
That is why the shield guys have "Full Block" to guard any other openings an assassin could throw and the non-shielded guys have "uninterruptible" attacks to push through an incoming attack. There have been many times that my leap was countered by a Warlord's leap since that thing is uninterruptible. We both took damage but Warlord had the advantage on me as he not only threw my flow right out of the window but got the life lead. Your argument only presents what "Peacekeeper" has. In your scenario, the correct answer for the defender is:

"I will keep my guard on Up since that is the only way Leap comes and prepare for another GB or immediately use Full Block/Uninterruptible overhead if he comes from another side and then bash him/use whatever tool I have for advantage."

Hell some of them can even parry the leap into a grab for serious pain train.

I agree that the attacker has the advantage but that is not a Peacekeeper/Assassin related thing. The initiator will always have the advantage as they do what "they" want and not react to the other side. If you bring the "but Assassins can deflect incoming attacks so they still have the upper hand", I will say "the attacker can also feint to bait for a deflect attempt and then punish"

Again with a Warlord example: Heavy into All Guard into headbutt is a nice deflect bait, not to mention the uninterruptible frames it has.


I don't think the problem is the deflection, feints definitely work on that front. I think the problem is that you're not considering the full scope of what I said. Peacekeeper might try the lunge too but if it doesn't work you can still disengage faster than most classes can keeper you closed. A smart player would probably not even use the lunge however. They would go in like they did before when they tried to guard break but then open up with standard attacks, obviously that might not work, nothing is ever 100%. But they still have the edge. In fact you pretty much already conceded to my point by saying that "the initiator will always have the advantage as they do what they want and not react to the other side. Assassins ARE initiators, the kit is oriented around controlling the pacing of combat to their whim. They can escape, evaluate and then engage as they see fit, easily keeping other classes from being able to get anywhere near them. The edge of prediction goes to the attacker, not the defender, that is my point. Therefore prediction based game play encourages the use of assassin classes, that is why more windows for reaction need to be a thing.

Brother-Olrad
01-30-2017, 10:43 PM
KarmaGator,

I agree. I still have a hard time believing Kensei will be useless. This is a game about psyching out your opponent. Kensei, Warden and Berserker are the three notable characters that have their move set focused around this. The other classes have them too but it's not as fluid as the aforementioned three.

I'm far from being where I want to be too but that's why we practice. :)

When you get to play next, I recommend you record yourself and look over what you did right and what you did wrong in fights and pay special attention to the losses because that's where you learn best, I've found at least.

--------------------------------

Brother-Olrad,

I think it's pretty interesting because there have been a lot of posts about defensive play being the best option to pick and then you write up that fast characters have the edge.

I can see that faster toons have more options available to them but for now it's about adaptability. Once people get parrying down and baiting through feints, PKs and other fast characters get punished hard.

I said it before:


Depends on your class. Conqueror for example, cannot feint to bait anything.

Also options are basically the same thing as adaptability, with a more limited move set you have less answers for things. Compare the warden to the orochi. The warden has a very limited move set, and the orochi has VASTLY more movement related skills. The back step overhead, the side dodges.. the only real edges the warden has that the orochi doesn't are the overhead counter (so you just don't attack up, pretty easy) and the shoulder rush combo. The orochi is still capable of all the feints, parries, and the mix ups that the warden is. The orochi simply has more tools. Thereby in the hands of two similarly skilled users the orochi will have the edge.

I'm not saying the orochi is a monster beast from hell and needs to be nerfed into oblivion. I've seen wardens kill orochis, I've seen every class kill an orochi. I'm just saying that if you look across theoretical averages based on the knowledge that we currently have orochis simply have stronger kits and will therefore be more powerful.

sayi51
01-30-2017, 10:53 PM
While I understand your point, I can't agree to it. Because when I was playing defender classes, this was not a problem that I suffered from. I was able to predict, guard and punish just fine without letting the Assassin classes disengage before I got a hit or two in and then capitalized on the said advantage to force the fight into my pace. So since I lack the experience that let's you have this view, in fact since I have the opposite experience, I can't agree to your point.

To me, playing Defense is actually easier since I can react when I'm a defender. Finding openings or baiting openings is harder in my experiences from the games I have played if your opponent knows what they are doing. In my case, being the defender actually gives ME the advantage since I "personally" am better at reading people and poking for openings. That's why there is no "unbiased" opinion here. The opinions you got are from your battle experiences and the other experiences you have shared. The opinions in this thread are biased too.

You can say "well on average" but that means the arguments are biased towards the average, not "all players from all skill ranges".

What I want to point out is that most of Peacekeeper's tools have obvious tells or initiations that you can learn to read and counter. Because your argument pretty much puts the defenders as "bottom-tier" which is not true. Unless I am understanding it wrong.

Also letting the Peacekeeper pull back after a failed attempt is the defender's mistake. While the Peacekeeper is busy mentally recovering from the fail and rethinking their tactics, you can always launch a counter attack. Hell even as a Defender, you can bait the Peacekeeper into certain attacks to counter. As a defender you CAN initiate and have the initiator's advantage. "Taking the first step" is not an Assassin only deal and their kits are easily baited in the right hands.

Just like how you try to guard break through defenses as an Assassin or lunge at an unprotected side, the heavier classes can overcome the "mobility" of the Assassin classes with their own surprise kits. It's always funny to see a Peacekeeper failed their opening, dash back to recover only to see the Conqueror sprinting up for the shield tackle and body them into the ground for a free heavy.

Again, this is a "fighting" game. It's all about reading and mixups. You can read a fast attacker, you can even read their mobilities. You can read when an Orochi will side dash. Their speed is properly countered by the kits of heavier classes.


Edit: About the Conqueror not having a feint... Excuse me but what is Heavy Charge cancel into All Guard? And the Shield Bash Feint combo as the game calls it.


I'm just saying that if you look across theoretical averages based on the knowledge that we currently have orochis simply have stronger kits and will therefore be more powerful.

You mean the "knowledge that you have". Because according to the knowledge "I" have, Orochis are easy to read.

Stankyfoot
01-30-2017, 11:17 PM
SSBM is a very different game, I feel like you can't really compare the two at all. For one, a strong meta doesn't have as much meaning in a game with more characters. In this game we have 12 total. As it currently stands, they power/option difference is large enough that I would feel comfortable making a tier list even this early on. I think this speaks volumes. And its made all the more serious considering that with only 12 characters you will be seeing a lot less of those who are on the lower rungs.

As for the idea that Assassins make sense being the prominent dueling class, maybe in lore or theme, but within the mechanics of the game... why would you do that? Just because dominion is the 'main game mode' presented by the game does not mean that is what most people will want to do, many streamers I have watched want to play the game competitively in 1v1s and 2v2s as well. The thought you presented is basically the same as saying, "Well,the biggest pie is cherry, and everyone can have a slice... but the vanilla pie is only for Gary and Joe.... and I like Joe best so he can have this apple pie all to himself." What if Gary or someone elses FAVORITE flavor was apple? They might begin to resent Joe... They might spend a lot of time becoming more like Joe and pay for extreme plastic surgery to just straight up become Joe.. Maybe they might be happy about being Joe now, but maybe they would feel dead inside wishing they were actually just... themselves.

All classes should be competitive in 1v1 in this game, otherwise youll have classes that... can only gank? That's not even the focus of the game. You're all great warriors with different styles, the other classes aren't supposed to just be support and play second fiddle for that orochi on their team. You know? This isn't an mmo with healers and dps and tanks. This is a fighting game, everyone should kill everyone.

Is it really that bad of a comparison? When it comes down to it both are games where the objective is to beat a live, human opponent. It doesn't matter that the mechanics are different, it could be Star Craft or Overwatch for instance, all that matters is that approaches and tactics will inevitably develop that none of us can reasonably predict at this point. Even in this very thread there are people preaching the viability of Tanks and theres literally a thread calling for every class other than the Warden to be nerfed. We should give it a little time before we start begging for adjustments.

Brother-Olrad
01-31-2017, 12:13 AM
While I understand your point, I can't agree to it. Because when I was playing defender classes, this was not a problem that I suffered from. I was able to predict, guard and punish just fine without letting the Assassin classes disengage before I got a hit or two in and then capitalized on the said advantage to force the fight into my pace. So since I lack the experience that let's you have this view, in fact since I have the opposite experience, I can't agree to your point.

To me, playing Defense is actually easier since I can react when I'm a defender. Finding openings or baiting openings is harder in my experiences from the games I have played if your opponent knows what they are doing. In my case, being the defender actually gives ME the advantage since I "personally" am better at reading people and poking for openings. That's why there is no "unbiased" opinion here. The opinions you got are from your battle experiences and the other experiences you have shared. The opinions in this thread are biased too.

You can say "well on average" but that means the arguments are biased towards the average, not "all players from all skill ranges".

What I want to point out is that most of Peacekeeper's tools have obvious tells or initiations that you can learn to read and counter. Because your argument pretty much puts the defenders as "bottom-tier" which is not true. Unless I am understanding it wrong.

Also letting the Peacekeeper pull back after a failed attempt is the defender's mistake. While the Peacekeeper is busy mentally recovering from the fail and rethinking their tactics, you can always launch a counter attack. Hell even as a Defender, you can bait the Peacekeeper into certain attacks to counter. As a defender you CAN initiate and have the initiator's advantage. "Taking the first step" is not an Assassin only deal and their kits are easily baited in the right hands.

Just like how you try to guard break through defenses as an Assassin or lunge at an unprotected side, the heavier classes can overcome the "mobility" of the Assassin classes with their own surprise kits. It's always funny to see a Peacekeeper failed their opening, dash back to recover only to see the Conqueror sprinting up for the shield tackle and body them into the ground for a free heavy.

Again, this is a "fighting" game. It's all about reading and mixups. You can read a fast attacker, you can even read their mobilities. You can read when an Orochi will side dash. Their speed is properly countered by the kits of heavier classes.


Edit: About the Conqueror not having a feint... Excuse me but what is Heavy Charge cancel into All Guard? And the Shield Bash Feint combo as the game calls it.


You mean the "knowledge that you have". Because according to the knowledge "I" have, Orochis are easy to read.


I think am beginning to perceive some level of salt in your words.

Riddle me this, if Orochis are so easy to read, and you think playing defensive is actually easier than offense, what would you think about a parrying/counter attacking orochi.? Sounds like your experience has probably been against a lot of people who used the same play style. Saying that you have the knowledge that Orochis are easy to read completely disregards a lot of very good players out there that i'm certain could throw you for a loop.

I'm going off of my personal experience from the culmination of the last three tests. I've gotten to reputation 3 3 and 2 during those times. I have an awful lot of time in the game. And I've done very well for myself a majority of the time, but I don't think that my opinion alone is law. I've talked to quite a few players discussing many mechanics and classes in that time as well. You are entitled to your opinions but I think I can tell we are not going to see eye to eye on this.

I like playing defensively too, mained conqueror after all, but I'm telling you now that a good peacekeeper is pretty much impossible to lock down as a conq. I think it kind of funny how you describe the scenario "While the peacekeeper is busy mentally recovering from the fail and rethinking their tactics you can always launch a counter attack." like they've been awestruck or literally mentally dazed for a time and somehow unable to take any action. Have you seen a peacekeeper button mash dodge? You cant keep up at combat pace, you can unlock and sprint, but so can they in kind, and they're faster. So that's kind of a silly moot point to me.

The note on the conqueror is an alright point except for the fact that they're so slow and the stamina cost on the shield rush is pretty ridiculous and wouldn't leave you much room for a combo, and even after preforming the combo if you did you hit with anything that inflicts stamina damage there would be a very good chance that you completely run out. God help you if they parry.

I looked at the other thread/write up you posted. Saw you played up to level 10 Conqueror and top was a prestige 1 level 15 peace keeper. You've brought up a lot of points that quite honestly don't make any sense to me at all, though there are definitely some things I agree with. Seems to me like you're trying to defend your class and or e peen or something. But I don't know you and won't jump to that conclusion.

I feel like I can't debate this with the current information available. Like I said I plan on collecting frame data in the future which should shed some light on this. Otherwise it will just inevitably be people ramming their opinions into each other.

Mjolnir1337
01-31-2017, 12:19 AM
I feel like I am late to the party. My disclosure: I am a noob. I have logged maybe 12 hours in the beta this weekend.

I have a question, and after seeing this thread, wonder if this could be a very possible balance proposal as well. Or, again, maybe im just bad. But here it is.


Something I noticed when learning the game, was I would often get hit by an Orochi, and because my initial reaction is to press a button to block (rather than merely hold a joystick in that direction) I found myself not blocking but being hit all the time. I eventually got over this, but something I just cant help but get over is that when I get hit with a light attack, if I am initiating a light attack of my own, my attack stops, and I get hit. Further, lets say the Orochi, or pick another class, light attack combos me and then (because I am a noob) I go to quick attack him back, it (again) stops my attack when I am hit.

I get help but feel like RATHER than my attack "stopping" we should merely "trade blows" with the attacker. Maybe this is already in the game. I have done this OTHER times and even once had my opponent and I kill each other at the same time. But ONE of my points in even writing this - none of this is clear or taught in any tutorial or video and even to a seasoned PVP gamer who logged 10-12+ hours in this beta, some of these little nuances are still not clear to me.

Heck, a good example of this is me learning AFTER the beta ended that you cannot guard break while your opponent is mid-attack as a way to stop his attack. I cant even tell how many times this killed me. I never received "feedback" from the game that this didnt work, I just thought I did it wrong, or wasnt close enough, etc. Why? Well because in almost any other game I have played, a quick "grab" (if it lands first) overrides an attack and stops them from attacking. Same with IRL. Guy swinging a sword, I run up and grab him? Kinda hard to hit you with a sword if I am holding you... You get my point.

Things like this, IMO, are what make it very new player unfriendly.

MY POINT and TLDR: What if light attacks and combos didnt stop someone from attacking. Then the Assasin types, you could merely "exchange attacks" with and maybe outlive them with a superior HP pool. It would atleast give you an option. If you are getting hit with a 3 light attack combo, you COULD choose to (instead of block) hit them with your own 3 attack combo and merely "trade damage" OR, maybe decide to try and get a heavy hit off while they are stuck in light attack animation, forcing a feint attack into a block/parry/dodge.

This is the type of thing that seems it would add more skill, but also be more new player friendly....

Thoughts? Am I just being a total noob about this game?

Brother-Olrad
01-31-2017, 12:20 AM
We should give it a little time before we start begging for adjustments.

I agree with this. I don't think anyone should be super hasty about calling for radical changes. I mostly made this thread to check with an even broader audience and have a discussion.

There are some things that I still need to test when the game fully releases, some things could definately change my opinions on things. We don't have anything concrete yet, that is going to take data and time.

Brother-Olrad
01-31-2017, 12:31 AM
I feel like I am late to the party. My disclosure: I am a noob. I have logged maybe 12 hours in the beta this weekend.

I have a question, and after seeing this thread, wonder if this could be a very possible balance proposal as well. Or, again, maybe im just bad. But here it is.


Something I noticed when learning the game, was I would often get hit by an Orochi, and because my initial reaction is to press a button to block (rather than merely hold a joystick in that direction) I found myself not blocking but being hit all the time. I eventually got over this, but something I just cant help but get over is that when I get hit with a light attack, if I am initiating a light attack of my own, my attack stops, and I get hit. Further, lets say the Orochi, or pick another class, light attack combos me and then (because I am a noob) I go to quick attack him back, it (again) stops my attack when I am hit.

I get help but feel like RATHER than my attack "stopping" we should merely "trade blows" with the attacker. Maybe this is already in the game. I have done this OTHER times and even once had my opponent and I kill each other at the same time. But ONE of my points in even writing this - none of this is clear or taught in any tutorial or video and even to a seasoned PVP gamer who logged 10-12+ hours in this beta, some of these little nuances are still not clear to me.

Heck, a good example of this is me learning AFTER the beta ended that you cannot guard break while your opponent is mid-attack as a way to stop his attack. I cant even tell how many times this killed me. I never received "feedback" from the game that this didnt work, I just thought I did it wrong, or wasnt close enough, etc. Why? Well because in almost any other game I have played, a quick "grab" (if it lands first) overrides an attack and stops them from attacking. Same with IRL. Guy swinging a sword, I run up and grab him? Kinda hard to hit you with a sword if I am holding you... You get my point.

Things like this, IMO, are what make it very new player unfriendly.

MY POINT and TLDR: What if light attacks and combos didnt stop someone from attacking. Then the Assasin types, you could merely "exchange attacks" with and maybe outlive them with a superior HP pool. It would atleast give you an option. If you are getting hit with a 3 light attack combo, you COULD choose to (instead of block) hit them with your own 3 attack combo and merely "trade damage" OR, maybe decide to try and get a heavy hit off while they are stuck in light attack animation, forcing a feint attack into a block/parry/dodge.

This is the type of thing that seems it would add more skill, but also be more new player friendly....

Thoughts? Am I just being a total noob about this game?


I'd say have some patience, give it some time and maybe try to actively talk to people or record yourself.

If everyone could just lay into eachother and cut themselves to ribbons... well... that's not exactly engaging gameplay.. and it would actually make assassins weaker than they should be.

Maybe look into classes that have some hyper poise moves like the berserkers leap attack. Some attacks in the game will allow you to swing through enemy attacks, but you usually have to set them up. But hey if thats the playstyle you're looking for, its kinda there.. though focusing on that in particular would probably be pretty much the most risky i could think of considering its usually pretty telegraphed. I'd say the best option is just take your time and learn to block, if you're really struggling, maybe start with conqueror for his superior block which makes peoples attacks bounce off his shield, will probably help you get into the motion of it, then apply what you learn there to other classes and mechanics.

sayi51
01-31-2017, 12:33 AM
I agree with this. I don't think anyone should be super hasty about calling for radical changes. I mostly made this thread to check with an even broader audience and have a discussion.

There are some things that I still need to test when the game fully releases, some things could definately change my opinions on things. We don't have anything concrete yet, that is going to take data and time.


Agreed. It's one of the reasons I keep pushing against your opinions and arguments. We can argue all day but right now what we have are just experiences and opinions, not raw data.

Also I'm not really defending my class as I do think Peacekeeper(My "main" class though I was slowly sliding toward Conqueror and Orochi near the end) could use some nerfs here and there. What I'm defending is not a class but the idea that the currently, in my experience, characters are relatively balanced.

But of course, I do not have your extensive experience as you put it with the earlier tests. However, don't let my levels fool you, I've spent about half of my game time in custom matches with Conqueror and Orochi as we repeatedly threw the same characters against each other, testing their "advantages" and how to counter them. Stopping and discussing how we would counter a certain tactic and testing it out.


Edit: If the rumored Open Beta is actually thing, I would love to test things out together with you. I do enjoy the data gathering immensely.

Brother-Olrad
01-31-2017, 12:47 AM
Agreed. It's one of the reasons I keep pushing against your opinions and arguments. We can argue all day but right now what we have are just experiences and opinions, not raw data.

Also I'm not really defending my class as I do think Peacekeeper(My "main" class though I was slowly sliding toward Conqueror and Orochi near the end) could use some nerfs here and there. What I'm defending is not a class but the idea that the currently, in my experience, characters are relatively balanced.

But of course, I do not have your extensive experience as you put it with the earlier tests. However, don't let my levels fool you, I've spent about half of my game time in custom matches with Conqueror and Orochi as we repeatedly threw the same characters against each other, testing their "advantages" and how to counter them. Stopping and discussing how we would counter a certain tactic and testing it out.


Edit: If the rumored Open Beta is actually thing, I would love to test things out together with you. I do enjoy the data gathering immensely.


Sure, hopefully we can pull together some useful data for the community when the time comes, feel free to add me on Uplay.

Mjolnir1337
01-31-2017, 12:55 AM
I'd say have some patience, give it some time and maybe try to actively talk to people or record yourself.

If everyone could just lay into eachother and cut themselves to ribbons... well... that's not exactly engaging gameplay.. and it would actually make assassins weaker than they should be.

Maybe look into classes that have some hyper poise moves like the berserkers leap attack. Some attacks in the game will allow you to swing through enemy attacks, but you usually have to set them up. But hey if thats the playstyle you're looking for, its kinda there.. though focusing on that in particular would probably be pretty much the most risky i could think of considering its usually pretty telegraphed. I'd say the best option is just take your time and learn to block, if you're really struggling, maybe start with conqueror for his superior block which makes peoples attacks bounce off his shield, will probably help you get into the motion of it, then apply what you learn there to other classes and mechanics.

Here is my concern. This game has too steep of a learning curve. The controls and the combat are not intuitive to new players. I am a PVP fiend. I love PVP games. So PVP is not new to me. I am very familiar with an xbox controllers as well as KBM. I pick this game up and spent a few hours just trying to un-train what felt "intuitive"

Most players coming to this game, wont spend hours to learn basics. Let alone 12+ hours to still be told "give it more time". They will quit. Im even not 100% sold on if I want to buy the game or not because the experience just wasnt as FUN as I had hoped. Now... the longer I played, the more fun it becomes. If thats how it will be, this game (honestly) will fail. Itll be a game that appeals to "hardcore" players only, rather than the "masses".

I want to make a VERY important distinction. I am NOT advocating to make it "EZ-MODE" to appeal to noobs. What I am saying is there are a few MINOR QOL things that I consider "intuitive". My example is the above. Allowing you to attack through attacks.

I do not think (based on my experience) this would mean we cut eachother into pieces. A SKILLED player, will merely block, or heavy attack through a light attack forcing a stop to that persons light attack combo. OR he can parry, or merely block. There becomes MANY options in which to counter.

It means that even if you CAN get off an attack, it doesnt mean you will automatically want to continue with a "combo" attack. It means that you need to be ready to feint an attack at any moment, to block, or parry, or dodge if you dont want to merely "trade" damage. It means you might need to try and weave more heavy attacks into a combo, in order to stagger an opponent.


All I am saying is, the current mechanics are not "intuitive" and it feels like you have to spend time un-learning what you would think "makes sense" for something else that DOES "make sense too" but not what most players are used to.

There is a reason that most reviews of this game, by players who play for just a few hours, are they find it archaic and boring and not much fun and they WONT buy it.

Most people dont want to sit through a bunch of tutorials, watch "how to play" class videos.

They want to skip that stuff, then get right to the combat. Get WRECKED many times over in a match because they "tried to attack, why isnt my attack working, WTF he just threw me off an edge?!" and then they quit saying the game wasnt fun.

Atleast HALF of my friends that I convinced to play this beta with me, felt this way.... I know some people LOVE it, it has some appeal to me as well, even with its drawbacks, but the BEST thing this game can do IMO is try to find a slightly better "middle ground" for all players.


I think the bigger areas are with what I mentioned:
- guard break during an attack to stop an attack
- allowing you to attack while being hit with LIGHT attacks only.

Things like heavy attacks and unblockable attacks and what not, can still stagger and do what they do... but it seems counter-intuitive that I cannot (after being hit once with a light attack) counter-attack and hit my attacker with my own light attack as he strikes to hit me. In real combat, this is what would happen, we both take damage. As I said, if I rush you and grab you mid swing... IRL you wont be able to hit me. So people will have to get really good at guard breaking a guard break, as well as fainting attacks, if they want to stop a "light attack combo" so that they can block inc damage.

I think a very valid strategy SHOULD be that I "eat" your light attack, but in the process wind up my own heavy attack to smack you with it. So now you have a choice, you see the heavy attack coming, do you continue with your 2nd attack in your light attack combo and "trade blows" with my heavy, or feint the attack, in order to dodge, or block, or parry the hit which then gives you another opening to attack again.


Players dont like NOT being in control. When you dont allow them to attack, while being attacked, it removes the feeling of control and this is the biggest thing (or one of them) that new players complain about.

The final would be once in "guard stance" the lack of mobility. You cant sprint and movement is really slow.

So those would be my three things:
- Allow for sprint in guard stance
- Allow for you to attack through light attacks
- Guard break, acts as a "grab" and stops attacks.

ALL of these BTW allow for counter play by anyone, so it wouldnt be anything OP and its also very intuitive to new players... They press "attack" while being attacked and guess what... They attack, while being attacked. They took damage, but dealt damage, the player knows what happened and why. Just IMO.

Swifte.
01-31-2017, 01:09 AM
Mjolnir1337,

While I agree that the game has a steep learning curve, I think this helps the longevity of the game. If you look at games like Overwatch, League of Legends, Counter-strike and other big name e-Sport games, you have to notice they generally have a learning curve to them. It's what separates the bad from the decent to the great and the top 1%. Without a 'steep' learning curve, everyone would play like everyone else, there would be one meta and the game would be done.

There's no fun in that.

It's interesting how you said when you first started, you didn't have much fun. I can see why, getting beat on and not understanding what is going on when there is a lot is frustrating but then you said it started getting fun after you spent more time on it. That's life, man. Spend time on something, you gain experience and you get better.

The whole attack for attack trade thing only happens if both people attack at the same time (except super armour attacks > heavies > lights) so that may be where you got rinsed.

This game is very niche and it's understandable that people don't want to watch videos/tutorials on understanding the basics, they want in right now and that's honestly why they get cleaned. They don't spend (it's 10 minutes for the basic tutorial, another 10-15 for the advanced) the time to learn what it is they have to do. It's also the reason why you have to un-learn to re-learn as you put it.

Most of the whole attacking deal just comes down to stop spamming, have patience and reading your opponent. I don't know why more players spend ~1 minute when they match up with their opponent to lock on, size them up and read early no-contact movement because you can start gathering how players play that way.

There have been match ups where I've been ridiculously beat but I didn't chalk it up to 'something with this game needs to change', it was more on me because there was no one or nothing else to blame (outside of the rare times lag was involved).

Brother-Olrad
01-31-2017, 01:43 AM
- Guard break, acts as a "grab" and stops attacks.



Oh god. Please no.

Mjolnir1337
01-31-2017, 02:13 AM
Mjolnir1337,

While I agree that the game has a steep learning curve, I think this helps the longevity of the game. If you look at games like Overwatch, League of Legends, Counter-strike and other big name e-Sport games, you have to notice they generally have a learning curve to them. It's what separates the bad from the decent to the great and the top 1%. Without a 'steep' learning curve, everyone would play like everyone else, there would be one meta and the game would be done.

There's no fun in that.

It's interesting how you said when you first started, you didn't have much fun. I can see why, getting beat on and not understanding what is going on when there is a lot is frustrating but then you said it started getting fun after you spent more time on it. That's life, man. Spend time on something, you gain experience and you get better.

The whole attack for attack trade thing only happens if both people attack at the same time (except super armour attacks > heavies > lights) so that may be where you got rinsed.

This game is very niche and it's understandable that people don't want to watch videos/tutorials on understanding the basics, they want in right now and that's honestly why they get cleaned. They don't spend (it's 10 minutes for the basic tutorial, another 10-15 for the advanced) the time to learn what it is they have to do. It's also the reason why you have to un-learn to re-learn as you put it.

Most of the whole attacking deal just comes down to stop spamming, have patience and reading your opponent. I don't know why more players spend ~1 minute when they match up with their opponent to lock on, size them up and read early no-contact movement because you can start gathering how players play that way.

There have been match ups where I've been ridiculously beat but I didn't chalk it up to 'something with this game needs to change', it was more on me because there was no one or nothing else to blame (outside of the rare times lag was involved).

Overwatch/LOL I have played both those games. I think the beauty of a well made game is that its very easy to pick up, but difficult to Master. Overwatch is a great example. A player can pick the game up, spend 30 seconds learning his limited number of moves, and then play the game. Sure, they will lose, most of that will be based on timing/positioning/team play/etc. But the player wasnt frustrated because he felt powerless. More, he was frustrated they lost but if he was Reinhardt (my favorite :P) he could feel useful, feel impactful, when he pressed a button to attack, well guess what, it attacked. Everything is intuitive and easy to pick up.

For Honor is the opposite. Its hard to pick up and even more difficult to master.

If Ubisoft wants this to be the type of game it is.. Then cool. Its not a "right vs wrong" way its what do you want to accomplish. Ubisoft WILL turn away a TON of players keeping the combat mechanics the way they are right now. How many negative reviews has this game gotten (yes, its also gotten very positive ones too). I have a handful of friends who initially were stoked about it, and after playing a few hours this beta, said they will NOT buy. I will even quote one of them now when I asked his thoughts on the beta: "really disappointed, hope it gets better" I asked what he found disappointing: "everything, the combat, the controls, seemed very 2010". This is from a "Hard Core PVP Player".

Why? I think its because the game is VERY difficult to pick up. Controls are not intuitive. Combat has all these little niche things that require game knowledge to complete.

Imagine playing Reinhardt in Overwatch and if you get hit (even mid attack) it stopped your hammer swing. Well nobody would ever play him because it wouldnt be "fun" it wouldnt be "intuitive". When you click your mouse, or pull a trigger you expect an action to be performed. Sure, there are times in Overwatch where you CAN "counter" abilities like with Reinhardts charge, he grabs them, and it stops any animation. But aside from that, even when someone gets HIT with his big *** hammer, it doesnt cease any attack they are performing and make you learn an "order hierarchy" of attacks.

So I guess that is what I found.


My question would be, how would this change high level play. Personally, I see it obviously changing, but also creating new dynamics of skill. Right now (from what I have watched via very very high skilled streamers) things like Feinting attacks is not all that common - unless fighting a very defensive player and you need to bait them into attacking. With this suggestion: making light attacks not cease animations - The Feinting game would become much more important.

A SKILLED player wouldnt just look for a good "opening" to attack and then perform some uber combo (such as the Pandeago combo for Wardens) you would constantly be "open" to being attacked and need to learn when to strike once, or use a combo, and most important: when to Feint an attack in order to block inc damage.

So I dont see it, by ANY means, lowering the skill ceiling, but it does raise the skill "floor" a little in being more intuitive for new players.

I also think too, allowing for Sprint to be used in Guard Mode, again doesnt decrease ceiling, only increases the floor and the "intuitive" nature of the controls.

So thats what I was looking at: What was NOt intuitive when I played, what could be changed that ALSO doesnt decrease the skill ceiling of the game.


Going back to overwatch as a GREAT example: Easy to pick up, difficult to master. For Honor is difficult to pick up, and difficult to master - that is just a formula for disaster IMO. Pair this with P2P and no dedicated servers, no leaderboards, and I IMAGINE class balance is going to be a hell of a battle for the DEVs... It just seems like the approach to keep it not new player friendly, is a bad idea.... If you want a "long term" success you need a healthy player base to continue to buy content. The Box Price (if lucky) will break even on production costs, then the investors will be looking for a return + cost of DEVs to produce new maps/classes and manage the current ones for balance etc.... All that said, I think alienating players from the get go, in order to try and create a complex combat system isnt a great "business plan".

Swifte.
01-31-2017, 02:53 AM
Mjolnir1337

What?

The skill floor is dirt level. If you don't want to do the tutorial, go into Dominion vs AI, press start to open your skill set and practice on the bots. New players get stacked against level 1 bots. That's the last warning for new players who skip all the tutorials and can't sit through 20-30 mins of learning game stuff to learn what they have to learn else they're on their own. The basic and advanced videos are about 2-3 minutes each if they don't even want to do that.

I rarely play fighting games so when I was picked for the closed alpha last year and went in and got rolled, the first thing I did was quit out, go to the tutorial again, fast forward to the advanced section, finished it, and pressed 'keep practicing' and tried everything I learned and all my moves in my kit until I was confident I understood the gist of who I was playing.

I went into real player matches and I still got beat but I didn't quit because I started to get better and better as time went on.

It sucks about your friends but this game isn't for everyone and if they spent maybe two hours total out of the three days they had the closed beta open for (just an example), I honestly think it'd be best if they didn't purchase the game because they wouldn't like it anyway.

The beta was also to help the developers find the bugs and errors with the controls but it's the player base's fault for not telling them in the forums or in the feedback survey. The betas aren't a demo excuse.

In the example of a controller (because that's what I use) if I move my ras (right analog stick) to the left in guard, I should block a light/heavy coming from the left. The same way if I press r1/r2 in any of the three directions, a light/heavy respectively should come out in that direction unless I feint. That's intuitive.

For a shooter, if I move my camera to face to the left and there's a target and I press R2, I should hit the target if my aim is on point, if not, I miss. That's intuitive too.

If I mouse over an object and click then there's some reaction from my pov. That's intuitive too.

All of these things have something in common though. It required past game knowledge from tutorials that built up overtime to become 'just what you do' - it became unquestionable common sense.

Of course it requires game knowledge, you pick it up as you play. There's nothing wrong about niche things in the game and there are forum posts outlining how to do certain things. You read it or you don't.

The reason why feinting isn't common at all is because people skip the tutorial and making a forum post about it is redundant as hell. Trust me, if people watched the in-game videos, I guarantee you they would start asking "wait, how do I do that?" and try to learn it because I know I did and I know others have done so too.

Feinting as it stands right now is a hit or miss simply because too many people spam attacks so it becomes risky into baiting them to move. Once people settle down with the controls, timing, spacing, positioning and movement tracking (both themselves and their opponents) it should stop and feinting will become the norm.

Hoars
01-31-2017, 02:00 PM
Orochi

Orochi has the strongest kit in the game in my opinion, light attack oriented, fantastic engage and disengage, deflection into free damage, high damage guard break (heavy up finisher), dodge mobility into free damage. This kit is extremely abused in the hands of the capable. There is no opening to attack, at best you have a situation where there's a lull in combat and you get to wonder if they will try to open with a guard break or a physical attack. You have to wait for the orochi to make a move, otherwise he will side dodge and open into a combo, that or try to engage with a light attack if you don't have a good gap closer. Even then if you do hit he can easily dodge the next part of the chain or deflect. Which also begins another combo. I also believe the damage on the Orochi is too high for what it is. I have been in duels as a Conqueror where both me and an orochi are low hp. (The low hp after you regen a bit of health - The Last Stand resovoir if you will) I've landed a guard break and gone for the free side heavy attack, its not enough to finish him. He guard breaks me, does a heavy up attack, I die. This is ironic considering the conqueror is described as "Strong Defense and Heavy Hitter" in game where as the orochi is "Agile and Counter-Attacker"

I believe that the damage of the Orochi should be reduced somewhat. But I do need to do more testing to figure out what other things could be done. It seems to me that the very core mechanics of this class are the real problem, but it's still a fun looking class to play and it has its roots in what its supposed to thematically be, finding a middle ground between what it wants to be and being balanced is difficult. I may edit this post in the future to revise or add thoughts.

^^^^^^^

1+

And totally agree that the warden seems to be lacking something.

Swifte.
01-31-2017, 06:22 PM
Hoars,

In my experience, the easiest way to play against the Orochi is playing counter to his counter because even though a lot of his moves track, if they miss, they have a decent stun frame rate where you can get a free hit and punish him for being so careless.

Athwaldeacer
01-31-2017, 07:46 PM
Hello there, Brother Olrad here, the following is my perspective on balance within the mechanics of combat including disparity between classes or other general mechanics such as parries and guard breaks etc.


Let us begin with the general mechanics:


Guard breaks

Guard breaking is often used excessively because of its relative reliability in scoring free damage, the reason being that the window for guard breaking is very small. I have been practicing counter guard breaking and have come to a conclusion, the reason it is so difficult is because you both have to wait for the proper window, but also not let it pass you by, most of my failed guard break counters are because I actually try to counter too early. It seems to me that one shouldn't be punished for high reaction time in a game like this. This mechanic is abused by some more than others (looking at you peacekeepers) to quite destructive effect.

The solution here feels like extending the counter window into earlier frames, thereby making the maneuver more attainable while not nerfing it into oblivion. Also the guard break kind of propels itself forward in a lot of positions and tracks very well, many times I have attempted to dodge backwards or to the sides only for the guard break to track and close with me. The guard break should not be a rush in my opinion.



Parries

Parries are less common but used by experienced players often to gain a footing and open up combos or often score a free hit after. The problem with parries comes down to how the mechanic interacts with different classes. I will be doing more testing on this in the future to discover specific interactions, I have mained conqueror for this test and I often notice when I parry, the animation and time it takes to actually throw out an attack is slightly longer than other classes like say a warden. When a conqueror parries it is often not enough time to land a heavy attack. If a warden or orochi parries, they often land a free heavy attack before you can put your block up again. I begin to wonder if the disparity on this front comes from the animation for the class who is parrying, or if its simply the time it takes to throw out a heavy attack for that class. One or the other, or both. The other thing I have noticed with parries is the stamina damage it inflicts. Again from the perspective of a conqueror, I have fought multiple capable players who parry often. Here is an example: On several occasions fighting a nobushi my conquerors heavy attack will get parried, while im recoiling they will combo with a poke into kick. From full stamina, that one heavy attack getting countered does a MASSIVE amount of stamina damage, followed with the kick, I actually run 100% out of stamina, opening me up to a flurry of blows from which it is very difficult to recover. TLDR: Literally throwing a single heavy from full stamina can lead to complete drain against a capable player. Again, I need to do more testing on this front to see if the stamina damage values vary from class to class and attack to attack.

I do not feel comfortable suggesting any fix for this without extensive testing, but at the moment I will loosely say that parry stamina damage should be lowered in general, and that all classes should benefit the same amount from successfully using a general combat mechanic, as such the animations and time it takes to be able to attack after parrying should be the exact same for all classes unless the class is specifically supposed to take advantage of this mechanic more than others.


Rush Attacks

In general I think rush attacks either need a reduced hit box or tracking. Think of the conquerors notorious shield rush spam, the wardens iconic shoulder rush spam or the warlords headbutt. These attacks are sometimes dodgeable, but even when you dodge, they either track or clip you from the side and the combo continues even though you made the correct input. Sometimes it will work, but its not consistent. This to me seems like a problem that must be questioned diagnosed, and solved.




Class Mechanic Disparity

Alright, so this is the touchy subject, there are many perspectives. You have the perspectives from each individual classes players, and beyond that you have the perspectives from people of many different skill levels. Some classes excel against people still learning the game, but become drastically easier to fight after developing more of an understanding. Similarly, there are classes that seem perfectly fair or even underwhelming, but in the hands of an experienced player who knows how to work the mechanics you can get something that is extremely difficult to find an opening against. So, as a player who has been through 3 tests and gotten to at least prestige/reputation 2 each time, this is my perspective.

This is a game where speed is key, that is the nature of the combat in this game and others like it, having a kit that will either help you make the enemy slip up, or having access to movesets that are fast enough to score free damage is king. On this point I will move to the next section.


Assassins

The assassin classes are the strongest selection you can make within the mechanics of this game. Damage avoidance on these classes converts directly into damage, whereas other classes do not have this option. This is the core of what makes the assassins so strong. Offense is the best defense and if you can turn your defense into offense as fluidly as the assassin dodge mechanics allow, you have a massive edge. Throwing light attacks at assassin classes and chipping them down is much safer than throwing heavy attacks. Heavy attacks are dodged and then immediately countered without the chance of blocking before the open up even more of a combo on you.

Assassins also boast the most mobility in the game, as an assassin should. But coupled with the speed in combat they already possess, a skilled assassin player will completely control the pace of combat, ducking in and out of combat as they see fit, and even in combat, their high speed yields higher probability of damage. They are essentially the ultimate counter attackers whilst simultaneously being the most powerful in straight combat. I shall now continue into specific class thoughts.

Orochi

Orochi has the strongest kit in the game in my opinion, light attack oriented, fantastic engage and disengage, deflection into free damage, high damage guard break (heavy up finisher), dodge mobility into free damage. This kit is extremely abused in the hands of the capable. There is no opening to attack, at best you have a situation where there's a lull in combat and you get to wonder if they will try to open with a guard break or a physical attack. You have to wait for the orochi to make a move, otherwise he will side dodge and open into a combo, that or try to engage with a light attack if you don't have a good gap closer. Even then if you do hit he can easily dodge the next part of the chain or deflect. Which also begins another combo. I also believe the damage on the Orochi is too high for what it is. I have been in duels as a Conqueror where both me and an orochi are low hp. (The low hp after you regen a bit of health - The Last Stand resovoir if you will) I've landed a guard break and gone for the free side heavy attack, its not enough to finish him. He guard breaks me, does a heavy up attack, I die. This is ironic considering the conqueror is described as "Strong Defense and Heavy Hitter" in game where as the orochi is "Agile and Counter-Attacker"

I believe that the damage of the Orochi should be reduced somewhat. But I do need to do more testing to figure out what other things could be done. It seems to me that the very core mechanics of this class are the real problem, but it's still a fun looking class to play and it has its roots in what its supposed to thematically be, finding a middle ground between what it wants to be and being balanced is difficult. I may edit this post in the future to revise or add thoughts.

Peace Keeper

Weaker than the Orochi but in combination with the needed tweaks to the guard break mechanic, still very very strong. A peace keeper takes all the general problems of the assassin classes, and then adds in a guard break attack that is fairly easy to preform, but does damage that is highly disproportionate to the difficulty of the maneuver. The design idea could be something like "Well its a damage over time right? So it should be more total damage because you have to wait for it!" This might not be a problem except coupled with the disengage and speed of the assassin classes in general, there is no way to close with a peacekeeper while they wait out the damage. The answer is guard break counter, which is easy in theory but difficult in practice with the other stimuli in the game you have to worry about.

Either the bleed needs to be reduced, or the guard break window should be increased as described above, the two factors together make for something that is generally too powerful. Especially with the peer to peer connection and the possibility of latency ruining an otherwise successful counter guard break timing.

Berserker

The berserker is the most balanced of the assassins, it can still abuse the dodge into side attack spam, which is often easy and free damage, but can be countered to an extent by light attacks. Other than that, the Berserker kit is okay, in fact, if you were to nerf the ease of the side dodge attacks,I would say this class would probably need a buff.


Assassin overall:

I believe the side dodge into attacks are too easy to pull off in general, but they should definitely be a mechanic and it fits well with the classes. I feel like they are just too forgiving on timing for what they are. Something should be done to tone them down a little bit.



Vanguards


Warden

I believe overall the warden is in a good spot. Balanced all around, but the kit is lack luster, not in any balance perspective really, but it feels as though its missing something, not enough combos, or moves to really be all too engaging in the long run. I have heard many wanting the addition of some sort of gap closer, but it seems to me that the shoulder rush when charged is fairly capable of this. The warden is balanced more aless, just a tad on the boring side, this comes from many conversations with Warden players and a fairly limited time playing warden myself.

Raider

Fairly balanced overall, the overhead poke stun is what makes or breaks this class in my opinion. I could be mistaken but it seems like in this test the stamina damage inflicted by this attack has been increased substantially, i didn't really notice it in the previous builds. It inflicts A LOT of stamina damage for such a fast attack. You can keep an opponents stamina reserve very low and apply lots of pressure on the resource, in turn limiting their short term options for offense, and by extension allowing yourself time for a furious assault without fear of as much of a reprisal. Getting guard broken and rammed into a wall by this class is almost always going to end with you getting hit with that side unblockable attack.. I HAVE parried it... Once. It's possible. but barely. This wouldn't be as much of a problem if guard breaks were more counterable, again, please see the above thoughts on the topic. The side unblockable is the best unblockable in the sense that dodges pretty much don't work, dodging backwards still puts you into its range even despite it looking like it will miss. I did manage to dodge it once by dodging right but it seemed buggy, dodging left does nothing however. This means that the attack pretty much must be countered with a parry, and there is no other way unless you have some sort of special class mechanic that allows it otherwise. This in contrast to the kensei unblockable makes the kensei look comparatively weak vertical unblockables are very easily dodged, and I very rarely get hit by them but I really enjoy the idea that there are attacks that can only be countered with parries at the same time. All and I I think the raider is fairly well balanced and doesn't need much, if any work.

Kensei

I wish I saw more Kensei to be honest, I feel like I can't give a good diagnosis for this class because of lack of experience fighting them and I personally have not played them. Fights against Kensei have always felt fair when I DO find them however. All around a respectable class. I ask any kensei to reach out to me and share some experiences or thoughts, maybe I will revise this section after some testing.



Heavy


Warlord

This class strikes me as very strong but I'm still developing more of an understanding of it. It's ability to score free damage is pretty intense, though the damage inflicted is less than other classes that can do similar things. The class specific light attack parries are a very powerful tool in the hands of the capable, in addition to their iron solid defense its very difficult to exchange with this class. Your attacks will be reversed and you will be hit with free light attacks without good mix ups. The headbutt is very spamable and tracks quite well and also covers a fair distance, and the resulting stagger on a foe allows for the free attack and possibility of a continued combo. Fighting warlords usually comes down to a lot of guard breaking and environment usage. A very skilled Warlord is tough to take down, but it is possible, but in a straight up fight without using guard breaks to throw them into walls its nearly impossible to find an opening in the defense.

I think the class is fairly balanced, the points of conflict are probably the headbutt rush attack, which travels too far, and tracks too much which leads to too much free damage. I feel like I can't say much more about this class because I need to experience it for longer and collect data. Like the kensei, feel free to reach out to me in regards to this class and experiences you may have had.


Conqueror.

My home boy since my first test. I am quite familiar with him. I believe there have been some fairly large changes since my first test using this class. The heavy attack into shield rush combo is the bread and butter of this class. It is both the source of its power and its weakness. I feel that the conqueror is a one trick pony, and this is coming from a current reputation 2. You always know what a conqueror is going to do. It can do only one thing as far as a cohesive combo that can compare to the free damage other classes get. The heavy shield rush spam is extremely stamina intensive, as it should be. parrying the first heavy attack assuming it didn't come after a successful guard break completely throws a wrench into the combo because the stamina damage is O V E R W H E L M I N G. The rush does not travel very far but has a fairly large hit box, and tracks pretty well. Too well sometime, sometimes it cannot be dodged, which brings me to my next point. For some inexplicable reason the shield rush seems to stagger some classes more than others or has some sort of variable that decides the stagger time that can change or something. I have done 2v2s where I fight both opponents and the rush works to different effect depending on the class im fighting. For example: I fight a warden or a raider, if i begin the combo, it seems like 95% of the time, they cannot dodge to the side to escape the pain train combo, however using the same exact combo/move on a berserker or a peacekeeper seems to result in them escaping about 60% of the time with a side dodge. Do assassin classes stagger less than other classes or is this some strange instance of RNG effects in the game? I don't like using this combo because it feels unfair.. if it works... and if it doesn't work then you're pretty much out of luck... unless you can use the conquerors secret "heavy attack parry" reliably, which coupled with its superior block stun CAN lead to free damage. I say CAN because it doesn't often work, sometimes it works just fine, sometimes ill release the trigger as i block the attack and am still in block animation and it achieves nothing, and gets blocked anyways, but the speed CAN trip people up. I guess its not free damage,but it is surprising, which is a big step in the right direction. The conqueror is kind of a strange beast. It feels like he needs more abilities or mechanics to make him feel like less of a one trick pony, and what he does have is less effective than a lot of the other classes in the current build. By comparison, the Warlords light attack parries apply 100% of the time if used correctly, whereas the conquerors heavy parries do not land reliably when used correctly. Aside from that ability, the conqueror has the infamous heavy shield rush, which I fear is what the future of the class is doomed to be, he has so much more potential than that.

I think the Conqueror (and rush attacks in general ((ie warden shoulder rush - warlord headbutt etc))) needs less tracking on the rush... that or smaller hitbox, or some combination of the two. I also feel like the inability to feint hurts him DRASTICALLY as a possible competitive character. His speed is too slow and his reach is too short which makes players rely entirely on the heavy shield rush combo to apply damage and keep a foe engaged. He has no decent mix ups and his entire kit is oriented around heavy attacks which are pretty much just parry bait. Basically the conqueror feels really strong early game when people are just learning the game, but against anyone who can parry reliably, the conquerors offensive options are DRASTICALLY limited. For this reason I feel like the conqueror is overpowered until you know how to counter his one trick, and then laughable when you do.



Hybrid


Nobushi


Again this is a class that I feel that I need more experience with before passing any judgement, I've fought them and won, and fought them and lost but never felt like anything was out of my control, I always noticed I had made mistakes. I do believe that their attack speed is very high considering that they can stack those bleeds, but I don't know if I would call it TOO FAST. Again, I will need to get more data on this character. As said before, any nobushi players or anyone wanting to share their experience fighting nobushi, feel free to contact me with your opinions.




Conclusion:


After the games release I intend to do some digging in frame data to get to the bottom of some things and see if these perceived disparities are fact or fiction. I hope the thoughts here have been able to help everyone develop a decent understanding of the state of the games balance. I tried to remain as unbiased as possible. I hope that I achieved that goal. I have looked forward to this game for a long time and I really want to love this game with all of my heart, I intend to stream it and make videos often. I also hope that Ubisoft finds this message helpful.

I am at anyones disposal for comments questions and other feedback.


Cheers.

I agree mostly with what has been said above. I have never had an issue with assassins vs Warlord. I have found it requires a different play style. Instead of rushing in and overwhelming them like I would against a Kensei or Raider, it is best to sit back and block. Orochi will easily be dispatched by counter attacks alone. I personally have a 8/9 record with them 1v1. They get me in dominion, but that is simply due to poison bombs and other powers. All you need to worry about is blocking. The Peacekeeper can dodge attack all they like, but you can easily see what way they moved and get your guard over to that side asap. If the block is successful, you can counterattack every time. Berserkers have their wide arc of attacks and many chain abilities, but Warlords have shields so it is not really a problem. Overwhelm them at the start with a leaping attack followed by a simple light-heavy chain, maybe throw a guard break in there. I personally have never had trouble with the guard break, I seem to time it just right most of the time, though I do agree there might be an issue with hitting it too early (then again I have never really experienced it but I have probably inflicted it). As far as the Warlord is concerned, pumping up your attack damage is a very viable build, right now I have upgraded my damage so I am doing almost twice the normal amount. Getting me almost on par or higher than a raider with passives included. Adding the passive 'Punch Through' (I think that is what it is called) allows me to inflict damage on successful blocks, wearing down the enemy. Coupled with counter-strikes, makes the Warlord a beast of the class in 1v1s, and their charge abilities give them usefulness in dominion and brawls.

Peligrad
02-01-2017, 05:27 PM
I agree with pretty much everything you said.

I especially agree that Orochi has the most powerful kit. Too powerful IMO. Some of the best offense. Some of the best defense. What is this classes weakness? There is none.

I played Conqueror exclusively in an alpha and beta event. I'll be playing something else on release unless they make conqueror legit upon release.
Conqueror is just trash once people figure out how to block the infinite light attack chain and deal with your charged heavy attacks, which is very easy once you are no longer a noob.
Which is sad since I really enjoy his unique flail combat style.
I think if they gave him a decent dodge attack he might be ok. But as it stands he's much too stationary and gets ripped up by the more mobile characters and defense gets harder and harder as players get more skilled and experienced.

Waheed_Smoaker
02-01-2017, 11:49 PM
this was probably the end of day 2 or early day 3 in the closed beta but in pvp dominion mode ( I was around rep 2 level 10) I almost 1 shot a warden because I stacked attack super high from a level 9 blade piece I got. I was playing Nobushi and it was one of those running light attacks

Sharrowyn
02-04-2017, 07:48 AM
Thank you very much for this post, it sums up my current understanding of the game pretty much perfectly.

For the Kensei section: (After about 40 hours of playing him as my go-to alt spread over 3 tests, I think I have a good grasp of the class)

The Kensei is pretty similar to the Conqueror in regards to its viability. Against newer players who are not able to parry or evade correctly, this class is ver strong; However, when playing against someone who is even moderately skilled, it is probably the most underwhelming class in the game for reasons I will go into in a bit.

It is a class with a very diverse basic kit, as it incorporates pretty much all basic attack skills from the other classes (e.g. side-evade into light from assassins). It also has very good range and gap-closers built into most attacks (e.g. when an enemy is rolling backwards you can do a triple light attack combo and hit him with the last 2 neatly into the back) . His kit is based around outplaying the enemy with "soft" and "hard" feints, being able to initiate combos with pretty much everything and generally using the full extent of your movement set. If it would actually be like this the class would be really interesting, but alas this is where the fun ends.

For the Kensei's attacks are very, very slow and extremely telegraphed without doing more damage than those of faster classes (and in several cases even less). This leads to him - possibly together with the raider - being by far the easiest class to parry. The (regular) light attacks are not quite as slow and the second in the chain is even very fast, but they are still only slightly faster than most classes' heavy attacks and thus very easy to block.
The assassin-like "dodge into light attack" called "Swiftstrike" (from the sides) and "Helmsplitter" (from the top) are reasonably fast, but still a good deal slower than those of actual assassins and therefore not suitable for regular offense. They also deal very little damage.
Even with this, the most problematic thing has to be the unblockable finisher, its only "special attack". Literally the only time you can use it (or the hyperarmour-heavies you can cancel it into) is once you parry an enemy and throw him into a wall, thus guaranteeing the hit - this is basically the only viable combo this guy has. If you don't do this it is not even worth bothering to try it. It is the easiest attack to parry in the whole game and the unblockable can even be interrupted by a light attack. Both the unblockable and the heavy alternatives you can cancel into can be easily evaded in all directions, because the Kensei has "good range" (sorry for the sarcasm, but it had to be said)., even though most of the time the animations shows the sword going clean through them (yay, these iframes are totally balanced).

All in all, the Kensei has an extensive, interesting and fun basic kit with good range; However, extreme lack of speed, exaggerated telegraphing, lack of meaningful special attacks or really meaningful versatility hold the Kensei back to the point of being unplayable against players who have played the game for more than 20 hours. Everthing he does can be done better and more easily by other classes.
He is very fun to play against light-attack spamming Orochis who are new to the game (aka half the playerbase right now) and pretty fun in general, just don't expect to win a lot once people get actually good at the game.

once of the glaring problems with the kensei IMO is that fact that as a VANGUARD class, they have 4 bars of hitppoints, where as other vanguards have 5.25 bars of hitpoints.

So the Kensai, starts combat with the lowest HP in the game, has slow attack spd, has very moderate damage output, and has his theoretical RANGE negated because of his slow, highly telegraphed moves.

How did this class every make it as is from alpha to release?

Panty_Ninja
02-04-2017, 10:09 PM
once of the glaring problems with the kensei IMO is that fact that as a VANGUARD class, they have 4 bars of hitppoints, where as other vanguards have 5.25 bars of hitpoints.

So the Kensai, starts combat with the lowest HP in the game, has slow attack spd, has very moderate damage output, and has his theoretical RANGE negated because of his slow, highly telegraphed moves.

How did this class every make it as is from alpha to release?

I agree.
The Kensei has the same health as Orochi actually...
As mentioned: Very slow telegraphed moves that equate to moderate at best damage, and easy parries for the enemy, coupled with his low health he's severely lacking...
Kensei also has very slow sprint speed, which in dominion is brutal for him. As a vanguard he is in a very odd place, because he isn't mobile enough to run to other points effectively with his slow sprint speed, and also lacks the Heavy (tank class) Health Points to be efficient at holding objectives.

Furthermore, he has in my opinion: the worst Zone Attack in the game. It's very slow and only hits in front of him. Its awful at killing soldiers on B, and has no practical use in PvP. I know its Uninterruptible, but for 1/2 stamina cost combined with his already low health pool trading hits against enemy players is that last thing you want to do as a Kensei. So as a Vanguard killing soldiers on B (inefficiently, and slowly trudging to objectives (slow sprint speed). Hes Still a poor pick at holding points with (low health).

Additionally, he has poor choices for Feats in list. Particularly his tier 2 abilities: Inspire is the only valid choice, and its still fairly weak... Long cool down, only buffs ALLY damage(Not his own), and Soldiers???... because that's useful... Cold Stare isn't to bad, but with long cool down, and the problem that it debuffs the target. If that target dies, The efficiency of the debuff is now wasted, and back on lengthy cool down. Smoke bomb... Smoke bomb is just bad.. I wont explain to much in depth, but couple its near useless applications, with his already terrible sprint speed escape isn't likely., it's his worst feat pick..
All in all the Kensei is a very clumsy character right now. In the thick of combat under skilled hands, if your opponents don't just run away (see slow sprint speed) and manages to survive (see low health). Hes actually a well balanced, extremely fun, and satisfying character to play in fights. But with is current weakness's, set backs, and not being able to excel at any roll in Dominion mode. Hes just a bad pick compared to any other class that would do his job better.