1. #1

    Nobushi balancing ideas - in depth writeup, please contribute :)

    Just to mention: playing on console!

    So, after a lot of hours with Nobushi, some with Raider, Kensei, Orochi, i would say i have a firmly strong grasp of her - and i do really love how she plays. Anyway, i do not see her in top tier right now. This being the cause, I want to come up with a few changes that would very likely improve the experience of playing her without making her op, and some that might indeed boost her.
    So i will mark my suggestions with "fix" - what in my opinion could be like "no brainers" that are very unlikely to make her overpowered or incredibly strong, with "mild buff" for stuff that she might profit from, and with "buff" for stuff that might really boost her in serious ways.


    I start up with:

    Hidden stance
    fix: Lesser stamina penalty. It does cost a lot of stamina and regeneration stops for a relatively long period.
    Where it hurts? Mainly against classes that have some moves that will already deal some stamina damage, Nobushi is really vulnerable here. Would make for a more friendly use of hidden stance for sure.
    mild buff: Increasing invulnerability frames and / or tinkering with activation time.
    Hard to say where this might lead to, too much iframes could make it overpowered fast, whereas a slightly swifter activation combined with a few more iframes would only further increase the usefulness due to more possible uses and less likely messups.
    buff: Attacks out of hidden stance increase in speed.

    Guard Change
    buff: increase guard change speed.

    Dodge
    mild buff: Nobushi's dodge seems on par with Shugoki. Dunno why, a dodge that is more on par with Vanguard is something i would like somewhat more.
    buff More iframes in her dodge and iframes starting somewhat earlier.

    Side attacks
    buff / change: Making one of her side attacks a dodge attack. That could really boost her and increase her options and kit considerably. I mean: You could now easily counter 50/50-stuff because the guard break wouldnt be guaranteed if you went for a side dodge attack. The way it is now, you can deal with 50/50's in open spaces when you can manage your range (hard), but in confined ones, it is almost impossible. Still, this should not take away from her ability to dodge-cancel stuff and chain together attacks, because this is her identity - even though it is almost impossible to play this way vs strong players.

    Kick
    buff: Speed it up.
    I am .. not sure about it. Thing is: i do not want a warden. I do not want kick to define the playstyle. I think kick is almost fine on console - relatively week compared to the other compareable moves, but still nice in 2on2 or 4on4's due to the lack of indicators for the opponent not targeting you. So i have assassins evading it almost every time. But against lawbringers, wardens or conqs for example, it often works and nets me a light with bleed.
    So possible a very very slight speed up (on console) would be ok'ish, whereas a faster one might lead to a Nobushi-kick-play meta. So that is something i would consider very very carefully only.


    Personally, my careful route to work with Nobushi would be the following:
    Start with reducing Hidden Stance stamina penalty cost, see how good people get with hidden stance and possibly put in more iframes and shorter activation if still some buff is needed. This way, i would keep her identity without any hard changes. Faster and more reliable hidden stance already would boost offense and defence, playing around with a core mechanic that can give a lot of variety due to it's usefulness. Canceling attacks into hs, or just hs out of nothing, or just use it to dodge - and start one of the many possibilities out of it.
    If more change would be needed, i would evaluate where it is needed most. Lack in offence? Well, speed something up. Lack of defence? Guard Change speed is very low, her dodge is kinda bad. So there is stuff to tinker with.


    What do you think? I don't care if you think Nobushi OP, the weakest class, whatever. But i would love for your feedback to be grounded and somewhat backed up by arguments.


    So, now a little bit deeper into "high lvl gaming problems".
    People learned to counter Nobushi pretty hard already. Due to the low guard change speed, all her attacks are predictable. The fastest attacks, side lights, can easily be blocked, even if they come out of hidden stance. I would not advice to parry, that is very hard, especially on console.
    When you further check her kit and the way people play against her, you will see some lights are getting parried consistently. That is kinda all attacks accociated with dodging or with the step back. I am not sure about it, but it could be due to the easy of reading the animation, or simply more forgiveable parry-windows in those attacks. For people that like to try it: have a friend use sidewinder or other attacks you need to initiate with dodge or moving backwards and just try to parry on the indicator. No need to wait on the "parry"-flash; just parry the short red flash and the parry is already very likely.

    This further continues around all her options. Her kick is basically the weakest equivalent to shove/shoulderbash/shieldbash etc. there is - relatively slow, easy to dodge on reaction, nets you 1 light if it hits, gets you guardbroken into heavy if it doesn't.

    Feinting is an issue also. Due to the way all moves are telegraphed and the feint animations being canceled very early, you just can sit back and relax. A Nobushi is pretty surely NOT going for this heavy, and if so, just wait for the parry window anyway; you have plenty of time.
    You might now say: hey, just hs cancel, you can even hs cancel into light. Erm yes, i can. But then?
    Concerning hidden stance cancels: very high stamina costs, easily punishable (light attack or zone attack both mostly easily work) and they don't "force" action. Opponent can just wait it out. Besides, no fear of guard break. It takes some time of being out of hs to be able to guardbreak again.

    So, now i come to the last move i ... dunno, don't really like all that much in duel situations. It is her zone attack. I know, it is powerful. It is incredible with revenge. However; vs a Nobushi, always expect this move. You needn't guard top anyway, because her top light attacks are generally the slower ones.
    So you just use half your stamina to land a hit on an inexperienced player. Or use half your stam to get blocked and possibly punished. Not that i want a buff to this move! It is very strong and zone attacks should not be too fast or not reactable too. Besides, it will even net you some hits against strong opponents. But being forced to use your zone for like 50%+ of the damage you deal in a fight against experienced players .. bah, i highly dislike it.

    Finally, Nobushi defence. I will leave out guard change speed, because it has been discussed enough.
    However, the dodge is some real problem here. Nobushi has a lot of attacks that utilize some movement, but those attacks seem to lack the dodge property from the dodge they start from. That leads to Nobushi being forced "standart" dodge (without attack) against any kind of 50/50, what will lead her to being guard broken every time she guesses wrong. And guessing wrong is fairly easy, because your iframes in dodges seem awful. Not that you can't in theory dodge everything other classes can too - it is doable against bots. But in the "real game", with some added latency, it is incredible hard. You have to guess almost every time.


    So in the end, we have a class that has a super nice moveset, incredible core mechanics, but a flawed execution of all of it when we look into top level play. I really, really hope for some change there that makes my favorite class a little more competetive without turning her into a warlord 2.0 or some other "noob stomper" or whatever.
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  2. #2
    I'm ok with most of it. But side attack is good like it is, i do not think she is mean to dodge since she can keep the enemy far. Maybe a fast retreat move backward.could be useful.
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  3. #3
    The kick should be faster and as for guard change speed ALL characters should be the same.
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  4. #4
    Hm, you were early :3 anyway, responses like this, are why i put this thread up. I am really unsure what would be best. I am no expert on balancing and stuff, and i can of course only tell you about some ideas and how it might influence gameplay. Well, that's the reason i do see this side attack thingie in a critical way myself, because it would be some hard change that could be some game changer for her and a lot of encounters. So likely waaay too much when trying to fix her with a careful baby step approach.
    Thanks for your thoughts

    edit: will put in kick speed up consideration into top post, thanks for reminding me of this ^^
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  5. #5
    Nobushi only needs a guard change speed and thats it.



    She is entirely viable and fine the way she is except for her inability to defend herself properly.Any other nerfs will render her greater than she needs to be. She is one of the FEW heroes that only need a minor tweak and thats it.



    It will only create a balance issue further down the line if anything more is done.
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  6. #6
    Originally Posted by CoyoteXStarrk Go to original post
    Nobushi only needs a guard change speed and thats it.



    She is entirely viable and fine the way she is except for her inability to defend herself properly.Any other nerfs will render her greater than she needs to be. She is one of the FEW heroes that only need a minor tweak and thats it.



    It will only create a balance issue further down the line if anything more is done.
    Hmm, your opinion is kinda interesting. Reason is: i came to view as the guard change as a design specific inherited weakness. So something of: hey, you use a long pole weapon, accept advantages and disadvantages. Overall, your approach is exactly like mine - do not overdo it. But a slight hidden stance buff might be way more suited to achieve it. Not only would it retain the class specifics and feel, but even promote a more diverse gameplay, strategies and ideas. Only thing is of course: It might fall "short" in comparision to a guard change speed buff.
    Buffing guard change speed would mean i could relatively easily start to outplay Valks and even Peacekeeper to some extend. There is no "plan b" needed, no "how do i keep my range and trick my opponent for this to work". Just like with Kensei - block, block, dodge block punish. Of course, Nobu can't dodge block like the Kensei, but the approach to more variety and diversity would seem preferable.
    Nevertheless, it is way (!) harder to implement and balance. That is for sure.
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  7. #7
    Originally Posted by Herbstlicht Go to original post
    i came to view as the guard change as a design specific inherited weakness. So something of: hey, you use a long pole weapon, accept advantages and disadvantage.
    I view it as a "this is how long the animation takes and we were too inept to realise the gameplay ramifications".
     1 people found this helpful
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  8. #8
    Originally Posted by Herbstlicht Go to original post
    Hmm, your opinion is kinda interesting. Reason is: i came to view as the guard change as a design specific inherited weakness. So something of: hey, you use a long pole weapon, accept advantages and disadvantages. Overall, your approach is exactly like mine - do not overdo it. But a slight hidden stance buff might be way more suited to achieve it. Not only would it retain the class specifics and feel, but even promote a more diverse gameplay, strategies and ideas. Only thing is of course: It might fall "short" in comparision to a guard change speed buff.
    Buffing guard change speed would mean i could relatively easily start to outplay Valks and even Peacekeeper to some extend. There is no "plan b" needed, no "how do i keep my range and trick my opponent for this to work". Just like with Kensei - block, block, dodge block punish. Of course, Nobu can't dodge block like the Kensei, but the approach to more variety and diversity would seem preferable.
    Nevertheless, it is way (!) harder to implement and balance. That is for sure.


    Nope you would be wrong. The ability to protect oneself should be universal in a game like this. The fact that Nobushi is unable to protect herself against 70% of combos is BS and should not be allowed. There are alot of stats that should be varied like Range, Attack speed, damage etc etc but Defense should be universal.


    No one should be getting destroyed simply because the game does not allow them to defend themselves.



    Other than that weakness Nobushi is overall fine. Onece she is able to properly defend herself she becomes a formidable hero again.
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  9. #9
    You do know that you can speed up her recovery frames?
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  10. #10
    yeah, i wish her dodge attack was actually more of a dodge, like basically every other dodge attack in the game ( all the assassin's dodge, even kensei and valkyrie dodge during the dodge attacks)nobushi seems to not move an inch during the dodge attack, and the timing is a bit strict so if you try to actually dodge and do the attack it won't come through as a dodge attack
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