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View Full Version : A detailed analysis of unblockable "body charges", and the coded issue they have



default91
02-12-2017, 03:04 PM
Anyone who has played For Honor for a decent amount of time is familiar with how difficult it can be to sidestep an unblockable "body charge" from the Warden, Conqueror, and the Warlord. I call their unblockables a "body charge" to help distinguish their unblockable attacks from other unblockables in the game that don't actually push the attacker's entire body forward with the attack. The Nobushi kick forward moves her body forward somewhat, and so it shares a bit of the coded properties of a "body charge", but the forward movement is significantly less than that of the Warden, Conqueror and Warlord. Consequently, this move is far easier to sidestep.

Why are these "body charge" attacks so difficult to avoid compared to other unblockables? It isn't the range itself that is the problem. You could have a class with an unblockable lightning bolt attack that shoots at you in a straight line with unlimited range, and you'd still be very easily able to sidestep it. The problem with these "body charge" attacks is that you need to sidestep the charge immediately upon the attack's execution, or else you will not completely move out of the way of the wide hitbox of the "body charge". If you sidestep midway through the charge attack, or just before the attack hits you, you're hit with the "body charge". This mechanic for "body charges" is the ONLY case in For Honor where timing a defensive move like a dodge or a parry at the instant you are being hit is punished. Against all other attacks (not guard breaks) in the game, if you dodge or parry at the very instant an attack (even an unblockable attack) is about to land, then you are matching the timing perfectly and doing exactly what you're supposed to do.

When you combine the ability to feint a "body charge" with the Warden (cancel the charge attack in mid attack), this creates a huge disadvantage for the defender of the Warden's "body charge". The defender now is faced with a coded trap with no reaction possible to the attack other than a guess on what his opponent will do. If the Warden does a "body charge" you need to immediately sidestep to avoid it, but if you immediately sidestep and the Warden cancels into a guard break, you get caught with an unbreakable guard break. If you try to attack with the assumption the Warden will cancel the charge, then you will get hit with the charge if the charge isn't canceled. If you are playing a class that allows you to attack during a sidestep, this is your best option, but yesterday I fought a Warden player that would cancel the "body charge" into nothing, and then parry my sidestep attack (followed by guard break), which left me in the same guessing game.

The problem with these "body charge" attacks is the fact they do not allow defenders to use a defensive ability just before the moment of the hit, like every other attack in the game. If these attacks were changed so that they could be avoided at the last moment before they connect, this would solve the charge spam problem we see on conquerors and warlords, and it would help tone down the hugely advantageous Warden mixups (although imo Warden should not be able to cancel the charge, especially with so wide a cancel window). When you take online lag and latency into account, this provides even more of an argument towards why these attacks need to become more consistent with the other attacks for defensive timing.

In response to those players who don't want to see these attacks changed, it is true that For Honor already rewards defensive play enormously, so if these "body charge" attacks lost some of their potency, it would be even harder to break the defense of other players in a match. However, while I agree that this is true and that the defensive focus of the game can be problematic, I don't agree that the solution should be to rely on the three attacks in the game that (possibly accidentally) aren't consistent with the For Honor defensive system.

MrSpiffypants
02-12-2017, 05:08 PM
Firstly that's a well thought out and put together post, so I don't mean to nitpick but are you taking into account distance? You mentioned it in your second paragraph and I just want to be clear here, are you taking issue with a "body charge" being used at close, mid, or long ranges from you?

Conceptually it's very interesting what you're talking about here, because it's an advance maneuver: #1 Ability, #2 skill cancel into an attack and #3 reacting from that attack.

It's #3 you're having difficulty with? Also what character were you using?

Altair_Snake
02-12-2017, 05:12 PM
Only the Warlord's seem very fast, but the damage he deals with teh stab after it is pretty small. The others seem like are veryr eactable with some practice and some anticipation.

ExSiNz
02-12-2017, 06:25 PM
Only the Warlord's seem very fast, but the damage he deals with teh stab after it is pretty small. The others seem like are veryr eactable with some practice and some anticipation.

Against every character even the Nobushi he can Close the gap between you while starting the charge out of your max range then cancel into everything he needs to stop your reaction to his shoulder bash. Even if you COULD sidestep it easly it doesn't mean he will go the full animation. Also some attack does not stop him from charging and he will still hit you despise you doing damage to him. But thats not all Right now Guardbreak is bugged on the Xbox One. I tested it with a friend of mine for 1 hour straight. I tried the Super Fast Smash X tech. Ended up Countering Guardbreak 1/4 of time 2/4 of time my enemy guardbreak me and the 1/4 I saw myself try to go a guardbreak (the animation) while my enemy already grabed me and is currently throwing me off a cliff.

After that I tried to be reactionary without him telling me when he'd do that. About the same result happen. 2/4 of the time I got bugged.

Then he made a countdown to when he would guardbreak (Arguably the easiest to do) Guess what? The same result happen.... Half the time It bugged.

What you see on screen : You Character Try to guardbreak while the enemy is already guardbreaking you, that animation actually do nothing for you.

That my friend is GAME BREAKING. Also you cannot change keybinding (At least on xbox one) so your doomed to press X (Which is far from the best tbh) in order to counter guardbreak whilst you have to keep your thumb on the joystick in order to block sucessfully.


To be honest, this game is great the combat mechanics is also great but there are MAJOR flaws in it. For exemple Conqueror and Warden both got an Infinite Combo that let you get 2 free light attack in without ANY counter play since the opponent cannot block the light attack (He's staggered at those moment) and he also cannot dodge it on some maps.

But what makes me sad the most is how a claymore, A war axe, a flail or even a shoulder or shield bash all have more range than a ****ing Spear?? That is (In real life) physically impossible.....

default91
02-12-2017, 06:36 PM
Firstly that's a well thought out and put together post, so I don't mean to nitpick but are you taking into account distance? You mentioned it in your second paragraph and I just want to be clear here, are you taking issue with a "body charge" being used at close, mid, or long ranges from you?

Conceptually it's very interesting what you're talking about here, because it's an advance maneuver: #1 Ability, #2 skill cancel into an attack and #3 reacting from that attack.

It's #3 you're having difficulty with? Also what character were you using?

Thanks for the reply and questions.

Regarding distance, my analysis of the "body charge" being a threat is at any range where the "body charge" would fill or pass the space where the defensive target is standing. For example, if the charge begins at short range (right in front of defensive target) and the defensive target dodges it, the charge will definitely pass through the space where the defensive target is standing. This is also true at about medium range, where if the defender dodges the attacker's "body charge", the attacker will now be standing approximately where the defender was just standing. However, at long range where the "body charge" would still connect with the defender by just the front of the hitbox, this range is not as big a problem because the wide hitbox for the charge attack now behaves much like the Nobushi's unblockable kick, in that the hitbox is only using the very tip of the attacker's body. This makes the behavior of the charge attack similar to a regular weapon attack, because the threat area that flags hit detection (hitbox) is not sweeping widely through your space. If you imagine the hitbox of the attacker to be a flat circle on the ground that is rushing towards you (I'm guessing its a circle, or something not box-shaped, despite calling it a traditional "hitbox"), that means the smaller edge of the circle is all you need to dodge if it stops just slightly ahead of you, as opposed to the full width of the circle flying right through you if it takes up your whole position, or passes beyond your position.

While I did bring up the charge cancel for the Warden, the intent of my post is not a simple case of just trying to say the Warden charge is OP because you can cancel it. The three "body charge" attacks all suffer from the same issue of not following the For Honor defensive system. The Warden's version just provides much more advantage because it can be cancelled, and it was important to highlight why the advantage is so great with the cancel. The cancel isn't just great because it's a cancel, but because the charge attack itself has an uncharacteristically advantageous coded property that becomes exponentially more advantageous to the attacker with a cancel attached to it.

Your reply asks me if the problem lies in reacting to the attack. I think I've done a decent job in my previous post of explaining how you require to dodge the "body charge" attacks at roughly the very beginning of when the charge begins to be successful, rather than just as the charge connects. Taking online lag and latency into account as well as the fact that the faster you need to respond to an attack, the more difficult it is to react to, the answer is yes, the charge attacks are more difficult to react to. However, as I pointed out in the Warden section of my post, there are more complex issues at work when you introduce the idea of someone needing to commit their defensive card in advance of an attack connecting, as opposed to during the window when an attack connects. This is also true to a lesser extent for the Warlord and Conqueror, as forcing the opponent to look out for an immediate unblockable charge helps with the mixup game of doing other attacks instead. And while I realize that the whole point of the charge attack has always been to be a mixup (like all unblockables), these attacks can still be a mixup move by being unblockable, but would just need to have their reaction window fall in line with every other attack in the game.

The two main class choices I use in multiplayer are the Conqueror and the Peacekeeper, for reference in where my greatest experience lies.

TCTF_SWAT
02-12-2017, 06:59 PM
I do find it a little odd that the warden is the only character able to cancel his dash moves into something. No other character can do that as far as I'm aware. Doesn't really make sense.

Gethseme
02-12-2017, 07:58 PM
You'll just get flooded by the same "git gud" regurgitated trash OP, no one wants to admit they rely on these cheesy tactics and they'll defend them to the sword.

I admit that I abuse the shoulder bash and shield bash whenever I can: I main Warden and Conqueror and few people can save themselves against it.

The fact you can cancel the shoulder charge as Warden into a gb is insanely powerful, and that is something 90% of people cannot defend against, including me: they dodge and cant counter the gb, and then I can hit them and the circus starts again.
The greatest detail? You can shoulder charge and cancel it AFTER you move as long as you are still moving forward: you can let the shoulder charge bring you forward and when they dodge you can cancel into a gb that cannot be countered and has bonus range.

My main tactic is parry-gb-double light-shoulder bash-double light-shoulder bash cancel into gb, double light-shoulder charge cancel into either gb or parry-side heavy or throw: win.
Assassins can save themselves but if they dodge and don't attack I cancel into gb, and if they do I cancel into parry and then ...

Vanguards and Heavies are pretty much dead in the water, I don't have to worry about dodge attacks so its simpler.

The counter window should be slightly larger and more consistent with the rest of the game, and the warden should not be able to cancel the charge after he starts moving: like the Orochi could with their side charge heavy.

Not gonna say "git gud", but the warden DOES give something up compared to the warlord and conq in regards to the SB mixup where it can cancel into a GB. The Warden's SB range is MUCH shorter when uncharged, short enough where you can actually dash BACKWARDS and not be hit unless they charge it. This can end up ruining the Warden's day because if they short charge and DON'T use the mixup to keep attacking and instead opt to cancel it into a GB, the GB will whiff and, in addition to the high stamina penalty from both the feinted SB AND the whiffed GB, they're wide open for a counterattack.

The Warden's SB mixup is a real and true mixup, it has 3 options. Sidedash if you think they're short-charging the SB and punish, backdash if you think they're short charging OR feinting into a GB, and if they are just short charging, you can't punish usually because they'll continue attacking after they miss the charge, OR if they charge the SB then you have to wait. If you side dash or back dash and they CHARGE it, you're screwed since a charged one will track your dash up until the released SB. Dodge early before they finish charging and you'll get knocked down, and that's a free heavy, and an overhead one at that if you hit a wall first.

sayi50
02-12-2017, 08:19 PM
I'm only miffed about Warden's shoulder charge because it is a 50/50 where you either try to side dash and get caught by an uncounterable GB(since you can't counter Guard Break when caught mid-dash) or you prepare for a GB but get hit by the shoulder bash into two lights.

The only counter I can see is a perfectly timed light attack which would interrupt the bash or can't be grabbed by a guard break but how do you even time that? You can't rely on Zone Attack speed since you'll lose more stamina than the Warden and eventually he'll be able to charge you without a worry. How would one time a light attack against it? The best option is to use your fastest light attack since it counters both but I have not reached the skill level where I can reliably do that. Not to mention slower characters are shafted since their light attacks are also slow.

Gethseme
02-12-2017, 08:50 PM
The range doesn't matter when half the heroes need to be incredibly close to have a chance to hit: and that's without considering a good Warden will parry, do and uncounterable gb then double light then shoulder charge: close enough to get you.

And if you dodge backward he can cancel into a gb which you cant counter and that has bonus range: not much but enough.

Never had a Warden cancel a shoulder bash into a GB and reach me after I've back dashed, and I play Conq, but your mileage may vary.

default91
02-12-2017, 09:48 PM
Never had a Warden cancel a shoulder bash into a GB and reach me after I've back dashed, and I play Conq, but your mileage may vary.

Warden can get a free GB on an opponent's back dash if the Warden cancels late (to get the full range of charge before GB), but a back roll will avoid the GB. Problem is that you need the space to back roll, and it isn't practical to back roll every time you see the charge due to stamina and space requirements.

Gethseme
02-12-2017, 10:04 PM
Warden can get a free GB on an opponent's back dash if the Warden cancels late (to get the full range of charge before GB), but a back roll will avoid the GB. Problem is that you need the space to back roll, and it isn't practical to back roll every time you see the charge due to stamina and space requirements.

At that point after the backdash, if they've charged up, I have enough time to side dash or backroll. Him charging it up gives more time to react, and thus that has plenty of counterplay. I'm more talking about short charging. Short charging SB can be backdashed out of. If you back dash and they charge it, you'll have more time to react after the backdash, whether that means you need to roll or attack or sidedash.

default91
02-13-2017, 02:30 AM
At that point after the backdash, if they've charged up, I have enough time to side dash or backroll. Him charging it up gives more time to react, and thus that has plenty of counterplay. I'm more talking about short charging. Short charging SB can be backdashed out of. If you back dash and they charge it, you'll have more time to react after the backdash, whether that means you need to roll or attack or sidedash.

I think there's some confusion here about the terms being used with the Warden's short/long charging and delayed cancels.

You can do a short charge (not hold the button to "charge" the "body charge"), and cancel the "body charge" early so that you don't gain any distance from the charge, and just guard break immediately. You can also gain more distance on the short charge by cancelling the short charge late and get a guard break at the end of the travel distance (which reaches farther than the short charge would, due to the GB reach forward). You don't need to do a fully charged Warden "body charge" to be able to guard break a back dashing opponent. You just need to cancel late.

For example, if the Warden hits an opponent with the typical double light attack and follows with the short charge combo, but cancels the short charge combo late, then the Warden will be able to successfully guard break the opponent if the opponent does a back dash in response to the charge (even if it is an immediate reaction to it).

Wardensc2
02-13-2017, 04:10 AM
I think there's some confusion here about the terms being used with the Warden's short/long charging and delayed cancels.

You can do a short charge (not hold the button to "charge" the "body charge"), and cancel the "body charge" early so that you don't gain any distance from the charge, and just guard break immediately. You can also gain more distance on the short charge by cancelling the short charge late and get a guard break at the end of the travel distance (which reaches farther than the short charge would, due to the GB reach forward). You don't need to do a fully charged Warden "body charge" to be able to guard break a back dashing opponent. You just need to cancel late.

For example, if the Warden hits an opponent with the typical double light attack and follows with the short charge combo, but cancels the short charge combo late, then the Warden will be able to successfully guard break the opponent if the opponent does a back dash in response to the charge (even if it is an immediate reaction to it).

OK so how about I hit you with my fast lighning attack when you hold your body charge long, sometimes being stupid is the best. Problem solve.

When I meet an opponent like you, I just do first I back dash to let's you know that I know your move and then your second attemp I just hit you after I get hit by your fast ligh attack. Done. Sometimes don't try to become mastermind just try to do stupid things. It's will work. The first time I play, I meet a high skill opponet who consistency doing unblockable. I'm just play dump hit left and right fast attack for the whole time. At that time I win a match, of course I lost the 2 to 5 but I make my opponent change the tactics. He's become more defensive than doing those annoing GB.

Ryumanjisen
02-13-2017, 04:15 AM
It's practically a true 50/50. This game does need more 50/50's, otherwise defending will be more rewarding than attacking... and that's never a good thing.

ReJaCr
02-13-2017, 05:11 AM
My main tactic is parry-gb-double light-shoulder bash-double light-shoulder bash cancel into gb, double light-shoulder charge cancel into either gb or parry-side heavy or throw: win.

This is actually aids to play against. This is the type of thing that needs tuning.

nestharus
02-13-2017, 10:17 AM
I swapped to Warden because I realized that they could do this in the OBT. It is a complete guessing game. I only shoulder charge when I'm right in the opponent's face, be it by a parry or just by being right there. Keep in mind that against most classes, the Warden only has a 33% chance to guess right. I found that if I try to react to what the opponent does, I don't have enough time to punish them. The most I can pull is a normal block or an anti-guard break. If I want to actually grab them parry them, I have to guess what they will do too : p. Maybe with practice Wardens can actually react to their opponent and get them every time. I'm not that good yet ;D.


It is OP and is the only thing that counters the dumb parry meta. If the opponent is out of stamina, they are completely defenseless to this tactic.


I also never do charged shoulder because it gives the opponent too much time to react to it.


When I came across another Warden, we both played each other for 5 hours. Who won was seemingly completely random. I would beat him 3-0, then he would beat me 3-0. Based on our guesses, we would either crush the other person or get crushed by them.



Attackers do need tools to counter parry, but this type of tool is not the answer. This goes back to stupid mind games that you find in other fighting games. We need mechanical responses, not "guess what the other person's going to do" nonsense.

Knight_Raime
02-13-2017, 01:21 PM
warden's GB and cancel tactic is a true 50/50. Which this game sorely needs considering how easy it is to play defensively.
the only unblockable that imo is an issue is warlords headbutt since it comes out waaay too fast in order to reasonably react to. At best your dodge still gets you hit by the headbutt but you can't get hit by the sword follow up. at worst you do.

Conq's shield charge is pretty easy to dodge if you are an assassin. heavies and vanguards don't have the dash distance to avoid it. Also nobushi can flat out hidden stance to avoid it and other charge attacks (not sure about raiders grab though.)

I believe the reason they have a different timing is to making you learn more than one kind of timing. and it's also probably helping the game direct and connect charges easier. if you could last second dodge on anyone that would just make defensive style even more broken then it currently is.

ZooL-z8l
02-13-2017, 03:45 PM
I did not read through the other comments, just the OPs message.

So what you explain in your post is a guessing game. fighting games only consist of guessing games. So what you discribe i essential to a fighting game. the problem is other characters lack those guessing games to mix up the opponents defense.

Niamak
02-13-2017, 03:52 PM
A video explaining Warden's shoulder bash mindgames also called "vortex" in fighting games : https://www.twitch.tv/videos/121575237?t=07h35m01s

SinfulDaMasta
02-13-2017, 08:54 PM
Has anyone else had a problem with the Warlord's body charge attack when being spammed at close range? For one, I've seen people playing as Warlord get near an edge & bait an enemy nearby, & then when they do their body charge attack and pick up the enemy with their shield, they were able to do a 180 (turn around) without losing any momentum and throw them off the edge. When I was playing Elimination yesterday, I started against the same Warlord player in 2 rounds in a row. The first time, he caught me with 3 body charge so I was next to a wall, then (body charge into wall => heavy attack) three or four times in a row to kill me (I did not have enough time to recover nor quick attack). The next round, he caught me with 8 body charges (only 1-2 attempts at an attack) & on the eighth I got thrown off an edge. I was playing as an Orochi & was only managing to sidestep half the time, but even when doing my sidestep attack, he was blocking it half the time. I couldn't do any other attacks since he kept body charging me, and when stamina got low, he dodged back & hid behind shield for few seconds then started again. Is there some other counter to Warlord body charges that I was missing? & does anyone else see this (being able to do body charges consecutively until out of stamina) as being a tad broken?

TeoHTime
02-13-2017, 11:48 PM
The defender now is faced with a coded trap with no reaction possible to the attack other than a guess on what his opponent will do.

The problem with these "body charge" attacks is the fact they do not allow defenders to use a defensive ability just before the moment of the hit, like every other attack in the game.

This is not a problem. Actually, the game needs a lot more of this. Passively defending in a game where every offensive option can be stopped on reaction breaks the game once players are experienced enough to be able to deal with everything. The lack of any unreactable options at all on some classes can lead to defensive stalemates where neither player is in danger so long as they don't attempt to attack/parry.

The actual problems with Warden charge mixups are that they're true 50/50s against classes with no dash attack, and they lead back into the same mixup with the same reward each time.

Guessing games are normal in fighters, but that does not mean that they can be compared to Rock Paper Scissors. RPS has static risk and reward, so you can play to a stalemate by simply picking options at random. Fighting game mixups are defined by constantly variable risk/reward where the challenge is in weighing those odds on the fly, and this need for some kind of thought process opens people up to reads, creating something comparable to high speed real time Poker. Without those variable risks and rewards, what you have left really is just a mindless coin flip.

Ideally if this were to be changed, we'd want there to be a distinct difference between the guesses. Perhaps you add recovery time to the charge, and then allow that recovery time to be cancelled by pressing light, causing a unique follow up attack. You prevent that followup from being cancelled into charge, and now getting hit by the charge means the vortex can't continue. If you dodge the charge you could eat GB into light charge again, but choosing to not dodge the charge means you accept a possible damage followup in return for ending the sequence. Now you have some actual thought process in there, and players can make reads based on that thought process.

Then give everybody else something equivalent please.

Oupyz
02-14-2017, 09:10 AM
warden's GB and cancel tactic is a true 50/50. Which this game sorely needs considering how easy it is to play defensively.
the only unblockable that imo is an issue is warlords headbutt since it comes out waaay too fast in order to reasonably react to. At best your dodge still gets you hit by the headbutt but you can't get hit by the sword follow up. at worst you do.

Conq's shield charge is pretty easy to dodge if you are an assassin. heavies and vanguards don't have the dash distance to avoid it. Also nobushi can flat out hidden stance to avoid it and other charge attacks (not sure about raiders grab though.)

I believe the reason they have a different timing is to making you learn more than one kind of timing. and it's also probably helping the game direct and connect charges easier. if you could last second dodge on anyone that would just make defensive style even more broken then it currently is.

Are you sure nobushi hidden stance avoid charge attacks , never seemed to work in the openbeta ? Or is their something im missing here ?