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View Full Version : Defensive meta and 50% player base quitting



Jossiwales
03-09-2017, 06:26 AM
http://i.imgur.com/6fO7Awq.png

Let's talk about how annoyingly NOT fun the defensive meta is and why 50% of the total player base has quit the game already:

Let me start off by saying this: I do not consider myself to be some scrub who sucks at the game and doesn't know what he's doing. My overall KD is 4.11 and my win% is 74.24. My Orochi is rep 8 and my Warden is rep 6. These are my opinions on how to improve the game to the average player.

When the game first launched, players didn't know about the "defensive meta" and actually played the game and attacked one another. Now that players are learning the mechanics and playing in rep 10+, all I see are players that sit still and wait for parries or two players who feint each other until both are out of stamina. This isn't fun. Nobody wants to attack first in fear of getting parried > guard block > heavy attack which is incredibly punishing. This game rewards the defender far too much and ultimately rewards players for just sitting still. Hell, I've seen two last men standing and all they do is feint, guard block, and stare into each other's eyes and nobody takes damage until it's down to the final 30 seconds when they begin to get careless...

Furthermore on that note, SOME classes have advantages over others when it comes to initiating combat with amazing feint combos and unblockable first strikes. For example: A Warlord doesn't want to attack a warden because he knows he'll get parried so he feints a heavy and his opponent begins a parry, sees it's a feint, and feints his heavy. The Warlord can then just headbutt, which is an insanely fast unblockable attack, into a light. He doesn't get much damage off he drew first blood after both of them burnt threw a decent amount of stamina achieving next to nothing.

One way I feel this can be mitigated is to disallow guaranteed guard break after a parry. Instead, if you parry a light attack, you get a free heavy and if you parry a heavy attack, you get a free light attack. This is still rewarding and grants the reward based on the difficulty of the parry achieved. If you land a parry and follow it up with a guard break, the most you are guaranteed is a throw in a direction. The defender will be given an opportunity to block the incoming attack if you choose not to throw. Furthermore, giving all classes an unblockable engage option will create a far more balanced field of play. I only say this because while 2v1 and 3v1 is fairly easy to survive with revenge gear, when a player comes from behind and spams unblockables, it becomes nearly impossible. Especially if the player with revenge is a raider with high attack/revenge attack gear. One of the 2/3 players ********ing him may get the parry of but not likely before he hits at least 1 of them dealing LOADS of damage.

Reactive gameplay is only SO fun. Pro-active gameplay is by far the better option in sustaining a fun gameplay environment. If these changes aren't for you then that's okay. Maybe it'd be better if more character's had more options to engage. Initiating combat is the most difficult obstacle in higher-tier gameplay so more options to initiate combat is going to be key to making For Honor great again!

Mind you, my ideas are just that. Obviously I'm open to alternative suggestions and feel that this is an important topic that needs to be discussed because I do believe it will be the ultimate downfall of this game :(

TL;DR Defensive meta is an overall boring gameplay mechanic and if you think about it, will make an e-sports scene even more boring to watch.

Zyrusticae
03-09-2017, 06:31 AM
Frankly, I just want something, ANYTHING, to address the ridiculous state of play and horrifyingly bad balance at this point. Something to boost the bottom half of the roster, and something to make parries far, far less of the go-to-at-all-times option (hell, even removing them outright would be great!).

I still think guard breaks should be almost impossible to counter, and environmental kills should be impossible against targets that aren't exhausted (they should just turn into normal wallsplats instead). That would be a great one-two punch against turtlers while also preventing the ridiculous one-button kills we're still seeing today.

But I'll still settle for something to address this crap. Something to make it better. As it is? No fun. No fun at all. ESPECIALLY if you're playing one of the bottom-tier classes. May as well drop the controller and let the enemy have their way with you. It'd be about as much fun.

guest-fov4N50H
03-09-2017, 06:58 AM
For me it's quite simple. I bought the game for the combat system and characters(thankfully used so ubi didn't get any of my money for this crazy disappointment). The combat system overall lives up to my expectations(just needs a few tweaks especially to multi person combat), but LITERALLY EVERYTHING ELSE in this game undermines it. The stupid amount of ledges/hazards on maps, feats, buffs, gear stats, and revenge mode do not belong in a game with this combat system. What's the ***ing point in using skill and getting better at fighting when every other tactic is more viable? running away to stack all the buffs, calling in a catapult, or throwing someone into a hazard or off a ledge is much more effective and safe than actually fighting someone. Even if you do find yourself in combat with someone the best tactic is still "not fighting" and waiting for your revenge bar to fill up. This game had so much potential, but they ruined it with a bunch of stupid gimmicks. Also, connectivity is horrible. Also, also, the story mode garbage.

Zakmuffin
03-09-2017, 07:18 AM
I'm just going to link the reddit thread I made here.

https://www.reddit.com/r/forhonor/comments/5y4o5j/blocking_should_use_up_stamina/

Whether you agree or not I think some of my suggestions will definitely make this a more reactive game. I'm an aggressive player and I main a nobushi. Nobushi's passive Way of the Shark encourages a player to be aggressive when they get a bleed on the opponent. I get punished left and right for attacking. Something needs to be done.

Jossiwales
03-09-2017, 07:33 AM
Whether you agree or not I think some of my suggestions will definitely make this a more reactive game.

I think you mean "pro-active". The game already is reactive, as in rewarding the defensive player who reacts to attacks with parries and counter-attacks.

Another fix I thought of would probably be making blocks more skill intensive. i.e. holding a guard button while pointing in the direction of the attack rather than the current system.

Special4ces Dom
03-09-2017, 07:50 AM
I'm getting parried into guard break into heavy attacks that take away like 20% of my health....
This is all because I tried to hit someone with a light attack that wouldn't have even done half of that damage.

This game is screwed.

Zyrusticae
03-09-2017, 07:06 PM
I'm getting parried into guard break into heavy attacks that take away like 20% of my health....
This is all because I tried to hit someone with a light attack that wouldn't have even done half of that damage.

This game is screwed.
Pretty much.

Nowhere in the equation is it even worth trying to attack first. It's nonsense. You HAVE to play one of the classes with lights that can't be reacted to or unblockables to spam, otherwise you just sit there waiting for the opponent to do something first.

Cel nxtlvl
03-09-2017, 07:32 PM
I'm just going to link the reddit thread I made here.

https://www.reddit.com/r/forhonor/comments/5y4o5j/blocking_should_use_up_stamina/

Whether you agree or not I think some of my suggestions will definitely make this a more reactive game. I'm an aggressive player and I main a nobushi. Nobushi's passive Way of the Shark encourages a player to be aggressive when they get a bleed on the opponent. I get punished left and right for attacking. Something needs to be done.

I main nobushi too. Dont get too aggressive even if they are bleeding

psyminion
03-09-2017, 07:50 PM
it's too bad if 50% of the player base leaves because they lack the patience and strategy to stare at their opponent and wait for an opening.

in the mean time I love easy kills on hyper-agressive mountain dew powered salt factories and I will miss them.

I guess we can't all win.

FiveWhisper1745
03-09-2017, 08:40 PM
TLDR: A nonsensical rant about how my opposition didn't play the way I wanted them to. So I took my ball and went home. You should try to bottle up some of that baby formula dribble and resell it

BreakingInMan
03-09-2017, 08:46 PM
Let's talk about how annoyingly NOT fun the defensive meta is and why 50% of the total player base has quit the game already:

Let me start off by saying this: In my experience, when a game hides it's current online players (like For Honor has done from the social menu), it is a bad sign. I say this because in the first few weeks that For Honor was launched, there were roughly 60-70k concurrent players and the activity would read "high" or "very high". Now, according to steam charts, I'm seeing between 7-10k when before it was closer to 30-40k. Mind you, this is Steam alone, not including players who bought the game directly through ubisoft. I just checked and it says "Very High Activity" and there are only 8,543 players online through steam. Here's why I think this is.

When the game first launched, players didn't know about the "defensive meta" and actually played the game and attacked one another. Now that players are learning the mechanics, all they want are parries or unblockable combos. The problem that I see here is nobody wants to attack first in fear of getting parried > guard block > heavy attack. This game rewards the defender far too much. Hell, I've seen two last men standing and all they do is feint, guard block, and stare into each other's eyes and nobody takes damage until it's down to the final 30 seconds when they begin to get careless...

Furthermore on that note, SOME classes have advantages over others when it comes to initiating combat with amazing feint combos and unblockable first strikes. By this I mean the Kensei, Warlord, Law Bringer, and of course, Warden. Unless you really know what you're doing, those classes are going to have VAST advantages over you if they're just sitting back playing the defensive meta. It's been a frustrating downfall because I truly love this game and want nothing more than for it to be a good game but in it's current state, I cannot honestly say that it is.

One way I feel this can be mitigated is to disallow the parry of light attacks so players don't have to fear engaging in combat. As an Orochi/Warden main, I can absolutely punish the hell out of Peace Keepers and Berzerkers who arguably have the fastest light attacks in the game. But when I play against higher rep'd players, they just don't attack once they see that I can block/parry like the rest of them. It becomes a waiting game to see who'll make the first move (and ultimately, mistake).

Opening up light attacks to be parry free keeps room on the table for safe engagement from all players. The only other alternative I can see to this change is to make parry more difficult to achieve. Once you get that down, the game is pretty easy. Unless, of course, you're playing against other players who utilize the defensive meta.

Reactive gameplay is only SO fun. Pro-active gameplay is by far, more fun. If these changes aren't for you then that's okay. Maybe it'd be better if more character's had more options to engage. Initiating combat is the most difficult obstacle in higher-tier gameplay so more options to initiate combat is going to be key to making For Honor great again!

Mind you, my ideas are just that. Obviously I'm open to alternative suggestions and feel that this is an important topic that needs to be discussed because I do believe it will be the ultimate downfall of this game :(

Also, the community faction war could use a better interface that gives a more clear idea of the progress per round and areas that are under heavier attack, etc. The community faction war is so negligible that none of my friends even pay it any mind. Most players I ask about it don't even drop specific war assets, they just let them distribute automatically by not selecting anything.

TL;DR Defensive meta is ruining the game and community faction war provides so little information about overall progress that most people I know tend to ignore it entirely.


Ah, does the little baby need a hug? Are the big kids acting like big kids again? Poor baby.

Hey, why don't you "sack up" and be a man before crying like a baby on the internet!

BreakingInMan
03-09-2017, 08:49 PM
I'm getting parried into guard break into heavy attacks that take away like 20% of my health....
This is all because I tried to hit someone with a light attack that wouldn't have even done half of that damage.

This game is screwed.


Poor little baby. Are the big kids playing too rough?

Sack up, be a man; or go play Hello Kitty Island Adventure.

ButtR8peArtist
03-09-2017, 08:50 PM
People are quitting, yes, but not for the reason you made up from your imagination.

Some fundamental problem such as connectivity issue, memory leaks, 8 core cpu bug, then balance issues and others.

RLTygurr
03-09-2017, 08:51 PM
The issue is that parry and guard break are currently too strong of mechanics as opposed to your attacking options. Both are laughably easy to perform, especially parry.

The thing is, if you made light attacks non-parryable, everyone would just stick to peacekeeper since her light attacks are so fast. Currently parry and guard break are the only ways to punish a decent peacekeeper, and taking away one of those and leaving guard break as the only option would be a huge mistake. She'd be unbeatable.

On another note, feints are meant to be an offensive tactic but they just aren't too useful half the time because people have learned to just block heavy attacks if they know they might be feints. Half the time, I choose to sidestep them instead rather than risk it. Or if I'm using a quicker character, I'll just attack to counter it.

I agree that the defensive meta gets annoying, but in a fight you're more focused on surviving than defeating your opponent.

In my own personal opinion, the solution lies more in character kits, where most characters lack any legitimate offensive options that are somewhat viable and are thus limited to playing defensive for guaranteed and safe damage. However, running out of stamina does nothing currently. It's worthless as a mechanic and it doesn't do enough to justify the risk of running out of stamina.

Bracus_Maximus
03-09-2017, 09:02 PM
First: Remove the free guardbreak after parry ( which dont applies for all classes lol ). Let it grant only a free light. This and maybe the unparryable lights can move the game away from the pure defensive meta a bit.
If its not enough then make more changes. Come on. I know testing takes time but time passes as well as players. Do something. Its boring at the moment.

Gnarxly
03-09-2017, 09:13 PM
it's too bad if 50% of the player base leaves because they lack the patience and strategy to stare at their opponent and wait for an opening.

in the mean time I love easy kills on hyper-agressive mountain dew powered salt factories and I will miss them.

I guess we can't all win.

50% of who exactly?
Majority of player base always moves on to the next shiny. Most people get bored with new things very quickly. It's a very common human trait in civilisations with high availability of basic goods, and I've been observing it since online games exist.

psyminion
03-09-2017, 09:31 PM
I dunno 50% of who, that is OPs idea. I just ran with it.

https://gamerant.com/for-honor-horizon-zero-dawn-sales/

Knight.Bishop
03-09-2017, 09:40 PM
The whining on these forums is unbelievable.

You have no data to talk about 50% of the player base leaving.

It is a defense-first game, this is not street fighter.

PandaCDN
03-09-2017, 10:31 PM
The whining on these forums is unbelievable.

You have no data to talk about 50% of the player base leaving.

It is a defense-first game, this is not street fighter.

Well, the PC pop is dropping hard. I am unsure about consoles. At peak when the game came out it was at 65-ish according to the ubisoft social panel, there was about 45k on steam and 20k from uplay it seemed. A couple days before the patch it was at 29k-ish with 20k on steam and 10k on the uplay. You can find the screenshots on here somewhere. I am unsure the thread but they were pretty much spot on, ive been keeping a eye out for the pop drop.

After the patch its harder cause they removed the total players from the PC version. Its down to about 12k-ish on steam, lets say maybe 6-8 k on uplay. So 18-20 k players. So from Feb 28th when the patch hit, its lost 9 to 10k. Probably due to the disappointment of the patch not fixing much. We wont really see where this game lies till the first big patch. Hopefully that doesnt take too long, unless they just want this to be a console success.

As for the defense first game, devs already have been quoted defense is too strong right now.

Zyrusticae
03-10-2017, 12:09 AM
The thing is, if you made light attacks non-parryable, everyone would just stick to peacekeeper since her light attacks are so fast. Currently parry and guard break are the only ways to punish a decent peacekeeper, and taking away one of those and leaving guard break as the only option would be a huge mistake. She'd be unbeatable.
This is a class balance issue, and one that can be addressed on its own.

Either lights need to be normalized to the slow speeds seen in most non-PK classes and made safe, or they need to be unsafe but all as fast as the PK's lights. Either way, light attacks being this game's equivalent of jabs, they should probably not be so trivially easy to defend yourself from.

Reign
03-10-2017, 12:12 AM
it's too bad if 50% of the player base leaves because they lack the patience and strategy to stare at their opponent and wait for an opening.

in the mean time I love easy kills on hyper-agressive mountain dew powered salt factories and I will miss them.

I guess we can't all win.

LOL! Spit my beer all over my tablet, this comment is gold I approve wholeheartedly!!!!

Xanthus730
03-10-2017, 12:34 AM
http://i.imgur.com/FU7cndt.png
Doesn't really look like a 50% drop...but I'll take your word for it.

MrBullky
03-10-2017, 01:10 AM
Just removing the uncounterable GB after parry, so with this system you can do the parry but the following Gb is NOT GUARANTEED

XORaptor0
03-10-2017, 02:16 AM
This game is the worst game in my Steam library right now.
I used to love it before all the problems jumped right out at me all at once.

I don't think I can bring myself to play another game. Not when Warlord can spam headbutt, land it even though I dodged to the side, then poke me with an unblockable attack.
That's just not fun in my opinion.

PandaCDN
03-10-2017, 08:43 PM
Doesn't really look like a 50% drop...but I'll take your word for it.

You posted the wrong graph...got to go to concurrent players. The screencap im trying to post isnt working. But its on the same site.

Edit - http://i.imgur.com/6fO7Awq.png

Jossiwales
03-11-2017, 04:36 AM
Doesn't really look like a 50% drop...but I'll take your word for it.

Wrong graph. You have to look at "CONCURRENT" players. Good try, though.

Jossiwales
03-11-2017, 04:43 AM
I love how much hate I'm getting for attempting to post suggestions to make the game more fun for players who aren't as competitive. I consider myself a medium-high tier player and I haven't been 3-0'd since the first few weeks of playing. In game, under my profile in the social tab, it says my win% is currently 74.24% and my overall KD is 4.11. So if you think I'm a "baby who needs his bottle before posting online", then consider this. Are you Rep 8+? Or are you rep 1-5 still playing against similar players? When you start playing against higher reps like 10-20 you'll start experiencing nothing but turtle meta players and THAT is where the fun lessens. Don't devolve into the typical Call of Duty fan boy who jumps to insults before even considering being useful in a discussion. Thanks.

Maaci
03-11-2017, 04:48 AM
Doesnt matter what your k.d is or your winrate, dont take the bait, never. You come up with suggetsions and they flame you, just ignore them.
All iam gonna add here is iam sick of the gameplay aswell, this starring contest and feint fest. I dont care what my winrate is either the gameplay is just boring

TCTF_SWAT
03-11-2017, 04:55 AM
Just removing the uncounterable GB after parry, so with this system you can do the parry but the following Gb is NOT GUARANTEED

then there's no point in doing a Gb then since it will most likely get teched.

Honestly, just make parries how the LB does it.

Parry a heavy, get a free light
Parry a light get a free heavy

GB either allow one light followup or nothing and Gb is scrapped and replaced with just a throw that can be teched.

Xanthus730
03-11-2017, 05:50 PM
You posted the wrong graph...got to go to concurrent players. The screencap im trying to post isnt working. But its on the same site.

Edit - http://i.imgur.com/6fO7Awq.png


Wrong graph. You have to look at "CONCURRENT" players. Good try, though.
TBH, I think this is the wrong graph to look at. There's a lot of variance in the concurrent players graph because of:

People binging on the game when it first drops
Weekend vs weekdays
People mixing in other games rather than going only For Honor after the first few days.


If you look at the 'active players per week' or per two weeks, it's barely dropped. People are still playing, they're just not ALL playing AT ONCE. So yes, concurrent players has dropped, but that doesn't mean those people quit, it just means they're not playing as much.

If you look at the graph I posted, the number of people buying the game and logging in on a week-to-week basis looks pretty healthy.

Edit: Obligatory "nice try, kid."