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We.the.North
09-02-2019, 10:52 PM
Making this post to clear up common misconceptions and give Ubisoft some ideas to drastically improve Shinobi player's fun without requiring much resources from their development team, here goes :

My credentials :
https://fhtracker.com/profile/pc/We.the.North/heroes

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Shinobi's Identity

Don't take it from me, take it from Roman himself : https://youtu.be/XUWlvhHW3rU?t=2347

" We wanted him to be like an elastic, deadly at long range, [...] hit you, be in your face, do some damage, dodge back, be at range, grab you, pull you up to him, do some damage, etc.. "

Gameplay wise, this translate into two things :
- Attacks from range should be able to close the gap between him and his target by either a) pulling the target to the Shinobi or b) rolling toward the target.
- Attacks from melee should be able to create distance between him and his target by either a) pushing (ex : kick + ranged heavy) or b) hit + back flip

That is Shinobi's identity. A Shinobi does not stay in melee range. He constantly creates distance and closes the gap, moving in and out. With superior speed and better movement options, he dictates the pace of the fight. People complaining they can't catch a Shinobi don't understand that's exactly the way the designers intended it to be ... and it's a good thing to have some characters able to do what others can't, it diversifies the gameplay. Shinobi is weak on many, many other gameplay aspects, so why would you expect him to stay and fight where his opponent is at his strongest ? Please Shinobi, stop moving so I can vortex you to death.

TLDR : Shinobi is an elastic creating and removing distance between him and his target.

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Problem #1 : It's hard to access the "roll-in" move to make the Shinobi truely "elastic" as intended

The "roll-in" move is only usable after a Shinobi successfully lands a ranged heavy attack :

Frame data :
Side Heavy Ranged - 700 ms (max) / 500 ms (point blank)
Top Heavy Ranged - 600 ms (max) / 500 ms (point blank)

Based on frame data, neutral ranged heavies are easy to react to. Thus, they become unusable unless you use them after your opponent commits to something he shouldn't have and is stuck in recovery frames when the ranged heavy lands. In team modes, smart opponent focusing on your teammate will just go into defensive mode blocking every external ranged attack you might want to do ... and a blocked ranged heavy can't be followed by a "roll-in".

As a result, the only reliable way to guarantee a ranged heavy is to land a double dodge kick. Unfortunately, from neutral, the double dodge kick is also very reactable. Used as a counter attack, it works on some heroes ... but with all the reworks giving characters a 2nd hit in a chain at 400 ms, and with the lost of kick's hyper armor, Shinobi gets staggered by the 2nd hit in the combo chain. As a result, Shinobi becomes the only "counter-attacker" unable to dodge+counter-attack.

TLDR : Roll-in needs to be more easily accessible by :

- Allowing the Shinobi to feint his ranged heavy attacks to mess up opponent's parry timing, and / or ;
- Allowing the Shinobi to perform single dodge + kick so the kick lands before a 400 ms follow-up attack, and / or ;
- Allowing the Shinobi to roll-in after his ranged heavy attack is blocked, and / or ;
- Allowing the Shinobi to roll-in while he's charging a ranged attack by simply dodging forward.

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Problem #2 : What are Shinobi's offensive options ??

Shinobi melee offensive options are as limited as the ranged options meaning they are mostly way too unsafe to be used aggressively and there are no "vortex" moves.

Frame data :
Any Light - 500 ms
Zone Attack - 500 ms
Side Heavy - 1000 ms (700 sickle rain)
Top Heavy - 900 ms (700 sickle rain)

First thing that jumps right out of the screen, Shinobi has the slowest heavy attack in the game that can't be soft feinted into something else (like Shugoki charged heavy into Demon's Embrace). Shinobi's neutral heavies are so slow, even feinting them gives your opponent enough time to attempt a parry and cancel the parry attempt in time to be able to react to anything the Shinobi will do afterward. In short, neutral heavies are extremely rarely usable.

Zone is a decent option .. but at 500 ms, it can be parried, which drains all the Shinobi's stamina. A Shinobi without stamina is a dead Shinobi. Unusable.

Light attacks damage is "over tuned", but I find it balanced considering this very big weakness : The 2nd "guaranteed light" has to be input before the first one lands to count within the chain. It's fine if the 1st light is blocked since the chain ends. But what happens if your opponent dodges the first light attack ?? Then, the 2nd light will be a regular light attack coming at 500 ms from the exact same direction as the first light attack. This means : Any opponent who dodges a Shinobi first neutral light attack will most likely receive a 2nd light attack from the exact same direction as the first in exactly 500 ms for a light parry punish. This also means one thing : a Shinobi can't deal 100 % of his damage with only light attacks because his opponent will start dodging on reaction and the light parry punishes will kill the Shinobi's 110 hp before the Shinobi "over tuned" double light attack damage will kill his opponent's bigger hp pool. (Also, consider the Shinobi's attack chain ends after the double light attacks, while your opponent's light attack parry punish is just the beginning of his "vortex").

This leaves us to the only "real mix ups" the Shinobi has : Double dodge kick / Quad dodge kick. First, with the removal of hyper armor, the Quad dodge kick wont even work against a lot of opponent's performing dodge attack after the first 2 dodges, countering the mix ups completely. Second, the mix ups itself is so stamina intensive to our stamina pool of only 135 (Centurion has 160, gladiator 150, ...), it creates delays between any attempt where the Shinobi simply stay out of range waiting for stamina to regen. This is not fun for either of the players if that's all the Shinobi does (since the rest of his offensive arsenal is too limited).

TLDR : Shinobi needs better offensive options to be able to dictate the pace of the fight (instead of never committing to anything)

- Speed up neutral heavies so they can be properly feinted, and / or ;
- Allowing the Shinobi to "roll in" from neutral would open a new mix ups potential of Sickle Rain / Feint into GB or Double Light / Kick, and / or ;
- Since Shinobi dictates the pace of the fight, he needs way, way more stamina to remove those "between attacks delays" where he just regens stamina out of harm's way while his opponent watches, unable to catch him ;

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Problem #3 : In team mode, ranged GB often punishes the Shinobi

This is a huge personal source of irritation. I have often voiced my concern where a player should be rewarded for successfully landing a GB (ranged or not) ... not the other way around !! But, this problem becomes most apparent in the case of a Shinobi player since his main ganking potential comes from landing a ranged GB during your opponent's recovery frames.

Here's the problem : A Shinobi lands a ranged GB and inputs a Sickle Rain as the ranged GB lands. Unfortunately, as it landed, the opponent Revenge becomes available. Depending on the distance of the ranged GB, sometime the game WILL NOT let the Shinobi cancel his Sickle Rain. Thus, his opponent easily activates revenge and knocks down the Shinobi. Buffed by revenge, a Raider can just delete the Shinobi on the ground. Other characters like Orochi or Shaman can get 2 heavy attacks while the Shinobi is trying to get up. Shinobi having maximum 110 hp, he's out of the fight or dead already.

Other characters sometime experience similar frustration. For instance, dodging a centurion's leap attack grants a free guardbreak on him. That guardbreak can proc his revenge and whoever landed his guardbreak needs to quickly cancel his punish or else he receives the punish. Contrary to the Shinobi, other character's punish after guardbreak are usually much easier to cancel than a point blank ranged GB sickle rain.

The best solution for Ubisoft would be to globaly deal with the situation by having a guardbreak attempts (successful or not) put a buff on the victim so the next attack grants +100% revenge. As a result : successful guardbreaks will never proc revenge anymore, but the following punish is twice more likely to make your opponent reach full revenge meter.

The 2nd best solution would be for Ubisoft to simply allow Shinobi players to cancel their Sickle Rain attempts waaaaaaaay later into the animation. Again, a successful point blank ranged GB into a Sickle Rain cannot be cancelled in time after the Shinobi's player sees the opponent's starting to flash yellow. The game's client simply wont let it happen.

When a Shinobi attempting a Sickle Rain gets knocked down by revenge because he couldn't cancel it, the feeling is very simple : The game is cheating the outcome of the fight.

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This whole post is just about making the Shinobi more fun to play and to play against. Obviously, the big problem is when Shinobi turtle / doesn't commit to anything while his opponent can't reach the Shinobi because of his superior movement tools / speed.

Shinobi have other deeper problems that would require a lot of ressources from Ubisoft to solve, like the Shinobi's ability to option select while attempting a parry. Other aspect also needs reviewing for balancing purposes like hp, damage numbers, etc. I'll let Ubisoft figure those out.

P.S. My primary language is French, try to overlook grammar issues. Thank you.

Valoredramack
09-02-2019, 11:47 PM
Well Done!

I have a Rep 36 Shinobi, this thread is probably the most accurate description that I have seen thusfar about the current state of this hero. Seems to be only post that I agree with 100%.

A lot of people like to claim that the Shinobi light attack damage and deflect damage are "over-tuned" without even taking into consideration all of these other factors that you explained.

Your post doesn't cover everything, but it does address the primary issues and concerns. I also like your ideas for improving the Shinobi gameplay experience.

Only other things I would mention:

1. Backflip should have better range. I think the Backflip nerf should either be reversed back to how it was before, or the Devis should at least increase the distance. You mentioned that the Shinobi should be able to roll-in more effectively as part of the elastic characteristics, but his Backflip is supposed the other side of that elasticity component which is not currently viable.

2. Slide Tackle should be useful. Right now the Slide is too slow and short to be reliably used for offense in 1v1. The Slide can marginally be used on distracted opponents in 4v4, but at the same time it also just seems to fill up the opponent's Revenge meter faster during team fights, so what's the point. Devs should increase the speed and/or travel distance of the slide instead of the move being a joke like the Patch 2.11 Backflip.

Goat_of_Vermund
09-02-2019, 11:51 PM
I will write a longer answer tomorrow, just a quick opinion:

When I played shinobi recently, I used the second guaranteed light based on sound clue, like I usually do with my pk's deep gouge (the guaranteed bleed after any heavy or dodge attack). I did not have a problem getting it consistently when I pressed the second light just at the moment I heard the sound of my scythe hitting the target. I think I also noticed two version, the instant one, and one what is slightly delayed but still guaranteed, again,similar to pk's deep gouge. However, my experience is novice at best, so I believe you if you say for sure that what I experienced is impossible in reality, and I just mistook the whole thing.

For me, I think I can only accept buffs if his absurd damage is gone. 24 damage on two lights is clearly too much, 40 damage on an opener heavy, let it be a parry or guardbreak, is extreme considering it is guaranteed on light parries and guardbreaks too, but the biggest offenders are the 29 damage heavy parry punish, and the God knows how damaging deflect which is also an automatic one (meaning you get your punishes even if it was totally an accident, which is a strong factor considering we are all humans and the window for other deflect followups is too little to do, and they don't beat hyperarmor like shinobi's). These numbers alone somewhat compensate for the lack of a kit, but he also has the highest range (even if very limited in usage) and the highest movement speed (on short distances at least, they usually can't outrun my pk on the longrun).

KingOfThe735
09-03-2019, 12:01 AM
Yeah, really great points you made, with how the character is/was supposed to work as compared to how he doesn't work.

Hope they give shinobi a better, more offensive, more in your face move pool soon. Only couldn't completely agree on kick being accessible from normal dodge and on ranged gb in ganks, but you already knew it.

Great work, I hope you keep playing.

We.the.North
09-03-2019, 12:20 AM
I will write a longer answer tomorrow, just a quick opinion:

When I played shinobi recently, I used the second guaranteed light based on sound clue, like I usually do with my pk's deep gouge (the guaranteed bleed after any heavy or dodge attack). I did not have a problem getting it consistently when I pressed the second light just at the moment I heard the sound of my scythe hitting the target. I think I also noticed two version, the instant one, and one what is slightly delayed but still guaranteed, again,similar to pk's deep gouge. However, my experience is novice at best, so I believe you if you say for sure that what I experienced is impossible in reality, and I just mistook the whole thing.

You might be right. To be honest, I never bothered waiting for sound queue before buffering my 2nd light. Didn't even think about it. However, I do face other Shinobi running into the same problem as I am. In fact, those light attacks are one of the very few in the game I'm good enough to parry, because I know exactly when and where they are coming.

Still, the light attack is 500 ms and by today's standards, it is reactable. Considering the newly added "perk" system widened the HP gap between Shinobi and other heroes, I still dont think the double light is that much over tuned ... especially considering it ends the attack chain and thus, there isn't any other "vortex" following that move.

We.the.North
09-03-2019, 12:45 AM
Yeah, really great points you made, with how the character is/was supposed to work as compared to how he doesn't work.

Hope they give shinobi a better, more offensive, more in your face move pool soon. Only couldn't completely agree on kick being accessible from normal dodge and on ranged gb in ganks, but you already knew it.

Great work, I hope you keep playing.

I'll put in another 2 cents about neutral ranged GB in ganks :

Many players here complain about external indicator not showing up, especially vs a Shinobi performing a ranged GB from off screen AND max range. The "AND" is very important, because from medium range, even from off-screen, the indicator do show up. Here's how I know for sure ...

Have you heard about "Pixel Bot Script" ?? In short, it's an external program that will input commands when pixels of a certain color appears in a certain location of the screen. In other words :
- IF the guardbreak icon appears in the middle of my screen ;
- THEN input the counter guardbreak action

I've been matched against godly players bragging they were able to counter guardbreak me from behind based on the "sound" the Shinobi makes when attempting that move. However, I do know when you throw a ranged move at the same time the Shinobi passes from uncharged ranged attack to charged ranged attack, then the Shinobi makes a barely audible grunt. In other words, that player was full of **** and probably using a Pixel Bot Programm to counter everything I threw at him. It doesn't help that those counter GB also happened INSTANTLY as I released my move. In those 475 hours I played, I can say I encountered at least 50 different players showing this fishy behavior of godly from behind counter guardbreaks coming out instantly as I released my action.

So while I will agree having external indicator not showing up is a problem and is unhealthy for the game ; on the other hand there are those Pixel Bot Script cheaters running around ruining Shinobi's fun just as well.

I wanted a permanent " realistic mode" to counter pixel bot cheaters for a while now, but I dont think it will ever happen.

Knight_Raime
09-03-2019, 12:52 AM
Honestly I skimmed. I do agree that his supposed playstyle of jumping in and out isn't actually supported and he really just stays at range.
I did do a mock up of some suggestions to improve his kit awhile back. Unsure if you saw it or not. But I can link it if you'd like.

We.the.North
09-03-2019, 12:56 AM
Honestly I skimmed. I do agree that his supposed playstyle of jumping in and out isn't actually supported and he really just stays at range.
I did do a mock up of some suggestions to improve his kit awhile back. Unsure if you saw it or not. But I can link it if you'd like.

I saw it and liked most of it. We did also argue about the loss of double dodge kick hyperarmor and I made an argument about consistency. Basicaly, I think we ended up agreeing the hyper armor didn't need to come back if Shinobi was allowed to kick after a single dodge so he wouldn't be interrupted anymore by those 400 ms follow up (thus, making the dodge attack consistent without having the obnoxious hyper armor in team fights)

Knight_Raime
09-03-2019, 01:28 AM
I saw it and liked most of it. We did also argue about the loss of double dodge kick hyperarmor and I made an argument about consistency. Basicaly, I think we ended up agreeing the hyper armor didn't need to come back if Shinobi was allowed to kick after a single dodge so he wouldn't be interrupted anymore by those 400 ms follow up (thus, making the dodge attack consistent without having the obnoxious hyper armor in team fights)

Yes I really want single dodge and double dodge attacks for him. He is a mobile hero afterall.

KingOfThe735
09-03-2019, 11:31 AM
We.the.north

I understand, dude I also get countered a lot of the time. Only point being, sometimes I don't see the use of ranged gb in the game. You talk about the pixie bots, it's probably a problem I agree with you for sure, but I don't think people get surprised enough to not counter ranged gb. Also the gb counter window is larger in live, I'm not sure but now you can counter all ranged GBs on reaction unless they are guaranteed.

That's mostly the point why I want it out of the game, still want to sickle rain people to death, like you, I just found it a bit unfair, when you don't know, shinobi is here, you try to attack someone, he times range your gb perfectly and you have no way to counter, you can do absolutely nothing. Nothing else than other broken moves can make people have absolutely no options like this.

The double dodge/backflip kick I tried to implement, was your new alternate way to get your ganks in. You just kick, and then pull off the range gb on read. Still difficult to evade, pretty much like warden's sb, but a least your opponent can try to do something. It still would be strong but for other reasons.

But we can all have our opinions can't we. Other than that I think we agree on everything else with the character. I still want double dodge kick not single dodge, but I want it at 400 ms instead. Dev's should also give shinobi a separate single dodge attack, but I already proposed that.

J2skarz
09-03-2019, 12:10 PM
Great post on Shino,though I doubt the char's immediately on dev's radar. Agree wholeheartedly with alot of what you're saying, especially that the char really should have single dodge kick as an option now (due to no super armor).

My one "wish list" item for Shino is being able to mix-up off of his ranged stance, made my own suggestion thread (https://forums.ubisoft.com/showthread.php/2083162-Character-quality-of-life-suggestions) awhile back with my suggestions (for multiple heroes, had a further think about Glad and Shino later in the thread) but to summarise I'd love if Shino could launch the ranged heavy from side or top and be allowed to cancel the ranged heavies into ranged GB (the sickle "hook") or hard feint the ranged heavy.

That or his ranged GB should be reversed in that teching the GB has the reverse effect and Shino gets dragged towards the other char. Almost like tug-of-war so Shino's that abuse ranged GB liberally get dragged into the fight as punishment for it. I'unno, food for thought.