1. #1

    Open discussion: Art of battle system.

    This is mostly going to be a ramble. But I want to start a dialogue that could maybe lead to some rough ideas on how to turn the game around. But before we can really get to that we have to briefly touch on the problem that effects every single player. And what makes for honor unique. Feel free to leave your own comments about what you think on this post or potential ideas for change. Keep in mind these changes need to be big. Bandaid changes will not do it anymore. So what makes for honor Unique?

    The art of battle system:

    So what is the art of battle system? It's the specific way blocking, parrying, guard breaking, and feinting all work together. Many other fighters have these aspects in them but not in the same way. The way this system set up makes things sort of a fencer. What I mean is in fencing you position yourself to be the most protected but also positioning yourself to have the best chance at landing a blow. In fencing you typically only land one blow to end a fight. That might sound boring, but it's actually not because of how they try to mind game their opponent into making a mistake whilst also trying to understand their opponent so they know when they're being tricked so they can properly defend a potential on coming attack.

    In for honor (at least in team fights/ganks) one mistake can often lead to death. feints/soft feints specifically exist to trick you into opening up so you can get hit. Parrying is a way to expose the player. both players potentially. And the games defense is designed in a way to let you be defending but also be able to attack. So as you can see, very similar to fencing.


    The problem:

    Unfortunately as cool as all of this sounds it quickly falls apart. Because of this the devs have to go over the top with certain tactics in order to try to keep the dream of fencing alive. At low level play this just turns out to be a frustrating mess of practically guaranteed damage (for all intent and purpose) and in high level play it's the only thing you can do. Or worse the mechanics end up being used in an unintended way essentially breaking the fight system JUST so something can be used. (example unlock play.) Only mid tier players like myself even some what get a glimpse of the intent behind the changes. But it's very clear. The higher you climb up the latter in regards to becoming a better player the less and less things become viable. This is exactly counter opposite of other fighters. Where the higher you get the more the game opens up thus the depth of the game starts to shine.

    So what's the cause of all of this? The foundation. aka the art of battle system. (hero design too but it's effected by the system so.) So what's wrong with the system? it's simple. It's far too simplistic for it's own good. There is no actual depth to the mechanics. They do a thing. And that's it. And this is what the developers need to fix. And fixing it is no easy task.

    So lets break down each piece of the system explaining it's current issues. Then i'll finish off the thread post by briefly talking about hero design and what needs to happen there in order to go forward.


    Blocking:

    Let's start out with the easiest part to talk about and arguably one of if not the biggest reasons things are so screwed up. Blocking as is is a BIG problem. It's far too easy to do. It allows you to be defended whilst also attacking (aside from reflex heros.) And because of this it breaks offense. You effectively shut out offense from just one of the 3 sides just by your guard existing. Going forward blocking needs to not be as strong as a base mechanic. This would mean blocking shouldn't really be a passive thing anymore. Blocking should also not shut someone out from attacking. Meaning combos should be happening wether you're blocking or not.

    Blocking as is is the reason why bashes and unblockable attacks are crutched on. Blocking is why attacks have to be insanely quick. Blocking is why guaranteed damage is so important. Until blocking is actually fixed For honor will not go forward. And the frustrations people have with the games "spam" will only continue to exist and be added on to.


    Parrying:

    Parrying in itself is not a bad mechanic. The problem is practically everything in the game revolves around parrying. Because you can't reliably get damage in VIA attacking parrying is relied upon. Because offense in itself is pretty risky to attempt outside of very strong attacks/mix ups parrying to get damage is better. Because parrying is safe ish and nets you free damage it's always the better bet to wait and parry if you don't have a good mix up. Guard break only functions usefully because parrying exists. Going forward parrying needs to be far less important. the base parry action shouldn't give free damage. Most of this will likely be fixed on it's own once the rest of the game is fixed. As parrying is only so important now because the rest of the game's problems exist. But parrying's own problem is guaranteed damage. And that has to go.


    Guard breaking:

    Guard breaks themselves are not broken in a powerful way. quite the opposite. It's more of an issue that guard breaks themselves are not useful without other things. Guard breaks are this games throws. It being easily techable or techable at all really isn't the problem. It's that guard breaks can only functionally be used during GB vulnerability phases. i.e when they can't be teched. Guard breaks/throws instead should be things that you threaten with during combo string mix ups. Traditonally speaking throws are the things that guarantee damage. The thing we need to do with guard breaks is allow them to be more accessable. And then we need to decide what we want out of a throw. Do we want the potential for combos? Or do we want guard breaks to be a sequence of attacks that do damage but end the combo (see soul calibur)


    Feinting:

    Last but not least feinting. Feinting like guard breaking isn't broken because of a strength. Rather feinting is too basic. It's far too easy to tell a feint from an attack attempt. Soft feints are the only kind of feints that really end up working out. But because soft feints are very limited and don't often lead to more mix ups or combos it's just a one off. where you get your damage and then go back to neutral. Going forward feints need to be a lot harder to tell. And feints need to be more incorporated into move sets. They shouldn't only be things to try and trick someone from neutral.


    Things to consider:

    Before I get to hero design real quick I just want to give you guys things to chew on before you write suggestions. You need to remember that for honor is a 3d fighter. Meaning you're having to defend from 3 possible sides instead of two. even soul calibur only has two directions that you worry about at a time. You also need to remember that this is a team fighting game first and foremost. Meaning you have to think on how your changes will or will not work in an external situation. You also have other smaller factors that you need to think about. We have a stamina system that determines how aggressive we can be. We have revenge which throws that way. We have an out of stamina state. we have attack indicators. etc.


    Hero design:

    Briefly we will touch on hero design. The main issue behind hero design really is quite simple. Not all kits are created equal. This game originally was heavily class based (and who knows maybe we can revive that some how whilst also fixing all the other issues.) There are fundamental things each and every kit needs. This is to ensure everyone starts off being capable. And from there hero designs can be built upon. So what are some of these fundamentals? Getting a heavy on guard break, having some kind of dodge attack to deal with external situations and committed to bashes. many many many more combos for each hero and probably longer combos. A decent zone attack for basic option selecting. And some kind of opener. It's already very clear that if you're missing any of these aspects in your kit you struggle if not out right can't compete in high tier.


    Final thoughts/summing up:


    To conclude For honor is in a state of flux. It has the potential to be a very good and very unique entry into the fighting genre. But it's own trade marked system is what's currently choking the game out. It is certainly not possible to continue to play in this current state of the game. And you can forget about the game ever moving forward if drastic change isn't made. The scary/difficult thing is it might not be possible to retain most of what makes for honor unique by making such drastic changes. I personally believe for honor will still be for honor so long as it keeps to the same style and being a 3D combat fighter. We might even be able to salvage most of the game and not have to go full blown corner juggling combos or super long strings of attacks. But we will have to lose some of what for honor traditionally was. And as sad as that might be I would rather the game continue to thrive for many years to come. As nice as it was to first jump into this game and have the really cool stare down games where reactions were enough alone to get my heart pumping those days are gone. And can't ever come back, not really.

    Thanks for reading. I look forward to the discussions!


    EDIT: to tack onto this I think we also should look at indicators and stamina's role in this game as broader points of discussion.
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  2. #2
    Jazz117Volkov's Avatar Senior Member
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    Before we get right into dramatic changes to the design, I think it'd be worth evaluating the existing incentives and dangers and properly gauge how they balance out. For example, feinting doesn't work because blocking is too safe; that's really the cause, you don't lose enough for refusing to engage with your opponent. Dodging has been nerfed into the ground, and for good reasons, but the dodge mechanic itself should be a treebranch with a lot of leafs, unfortunately most characters can only do one thing from a dodge, which they can't feint (assassin's and some hybrids can do more but deflects don't branch from a successful dodge, they're a unique attack mechanic that hijacks the dodge if the timing is right), and dodging on it's own renders you extremely vulnerable: guard breaks, external damage, combos (because guard switch lock on dodge) and tracking attacks. Standing still and ignoring everything that isn't unblockable, waiting for a safe parry is still the safest option. Has the number of unblockables increased? Of course. Is the problem solved? No.

    If the numbers were juggled a bit, I think heavy attacks could be promoted to best and optimal offense. They do good damage, they lead to executions, and they can be feinted. Boost chip damage way up for heavies, reduce stamina cost, especially when you're parried, and make the feint animations more convincing. I think these would all be good improvements. Furthermore, I was kicking an idea around recently with Warden; what if your heavies (from at least one direction) were like slow but devastating lights (think Centurion's neutral heavies and how they're considered safe). To access your stronger but slower heavy, hold the attack button. Dark Souls III implemented this style of heavy attacks, and some heroes in For Honor already utilize it (again, look at Centurion). This would give you a third attack option from neutral, a new way to mix-up your combos, and ultimately grant you an attack with all the advantages of a heavy but almost the safety of a light. If this became standard across the cast I think the need for this 400 ms noise would resolve on its own.

    Lastly, I don't actually agree that unreactable attacks are necessary. I saw zero craig's bit on it and I'm just not convinced. 400 ms lights seem to be needed because of the state of the game, however, from a logical perspective they fall under the pure 50/50 umbrella that made everyone rage at Warden's guardbreak soft-cancel. They're an option that not every hero has that no player can react to; you have to "read it". I don't think that's how For Honor should be played, and I think arguing an favour of it is a mistake. But of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion. My opinion is there's enough mechanics on the table already that you should be able to reliably achieve damage by playing smarter than your opponent, not so fast that they can't play back. I think unreactable moves change the chemistry of fights too much. For Honor should be about set-ups and punishes, neither of which should rely on or frequently involve light attacks. I've been hearing talk that light attack damage should be dramatically decreased. Maybe this is a good idea. Incentivize them in a way that their employment is normally an inferior option. 500 ms lights are fine, they're not good openers all the time, but maybe we shouldn't be opening with lights.

    edit: a thought regarding combos. What if, as part of some combos, you could optionally perform "fake" attacks that would briefly cause the indicator to display two threats from one opponent. Like, this could be a terrible idea, it might just feel really wonky, but it does make sense for someone like PeaceKeeper, who has two weapons, to threaten with one while actually attacking with the other, Lawbringer too, he's got a lot of options with the poleaxe, and obviously Warden, you could threaten with a top heavy when your attack is actually a crossguard strike from the side. These could be interesting ways to get reliable chip damage and minimize the threat of parries while keeping your combos more than two inputs long.
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  3. #3
    @Jazz117Volkov

    To avoid a giant wall quote for replies i'll just take segmented parts from each and put them in quotes and then put my reply in bold. Apologies if this format is annoying.

    "For example, feinting doesn't work because blocking is too safe; that's really the cause, you don't lose enough for refusing to engage with your opponent."

    I think that's part of feint's issue. But I still assert that feint itself is underutilized and is too easy to distinguish currently.

    "Dodging has been nerfed into the ground, and for good reasons, but the dodge mechanic itself should be a treebranch with a lot of leafs."

    I'd be curious to hear how they could utilize/expand on dodges from you. I personally don't think dodges are weak right now. More I think heros without dodge based attacks for countering are weak.

    "Boost chip damage way up for heavies, reduce stamina cost, especially when you're parried, and make the feint animations more convincing."

    I can get behind this mostly. The only one i'm stuck on is changing the stamina cost from being parried. As heavies are as versatile as you say. Meaning there should be proper risk associated with them. But I guess I might be able to get behind this if I knew what parry changes were going to happen and what stamina based changes would happen. If neither change from your perspective I can't get behind the stamina change.

    "Furthermore, I was kicking an idea around recently with Warden; what if your heavies (from at least one direction) were like slow but devastating lights (think Centurion's neutral heavies and how they're considered safe). To access your stronger but slower heavy."

    So basically you want to give everyone a chargable attack that turns from a light into a heavy? Why? Charged heavies in this game are notorious for being bad.

    "My opinion is there's enough mechanics on the table already that you should be able to reliably achieve damage by playing smarter than your opponent, not so fast that they can't play back."

    the concept of unreactable for fighting games is to serve as the basis for mind games. If you could react to every single attack/mix up then the top tier of play would have nothing. You need to be able to force reads and apart of that involves attack speed. No hero should overly rely on unreactable attacks. Like Nuxia and orochi. But they can serve to be parts of kits. So long as they don't over shadow the kit design or the kit resign doesn't rely on it. Simply look at tiandi and Shaolin as examples of heros who use unreactable attacks/mix ups. But not rely on them. Reads are the very definition of playing smarter than your opponent.

    "been hearing talk that light attack damage should be dramatically decreased. Maybe this is a good idea. Incentivize them in a way that their employment is normally an inferior option. 500 ms lights are fine, they're not good openers all the time, but maybe we shouldn't be opening with lights."

    Wouldn't change anything for top tier play. Doesn't solve any actual issue. Just draws fights out more. Lights unless stated otherwise for certain move lists are chip damage and gaps between mix ups.

    "What if, as part of some combos, you could optionally perform "fake" attacks that would briefly cause the indicator to display two threats from one opponent."

    So the old flicker indicator problem from the olden days?
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  4. #4
    Jazz117Volkov's Avatar Senior Member
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    Originally Posted by Knight_Raime Go to original post
    @Jazz117Volkov
    Apologies if this format is annoying.
    All g.

    I think that's part of feint's issue. But I still assert that feint itself is underutilized and is too easy to distinguish currently.
    I definitely agree on that second point. Feints are often too easy to distinguish. The very first night of the Warden rework and I was side-stepping the top heavy without every practicing, it was just too obvious when it was committed and when it wasn't.

    I think Kensei and Highlander (and Raider, iirc) have better feinting where they can either feint early (which is useless) or delay the feint. Maybe that's something to look at for more of the cast.

    I'd be curious to hear how they could utilize/expand on dodges from you. I personally don't think dodges are weak right now. More I think heros without dodge based attacks for countering are weak.
    This is true, and in some cases dodge attacks aren't very good anyway. Gladiator has the right idea, trident strike or shield punch. And in light of that, those are the types of options I'm thinking about with dodging. I think the player should have more control over what attacks the do from a dodge and what direction they come from. Like, I think it should be pretty standard to have top heavies chain from a side dodge, so you can still feint them, but you shave a few hundred ms off the startup to get in some pressure and chip damage if not a direct strike.

    I can get behind this mostly. The only one i'm stuck on is changing the stamina cost from being parried. As heavies are as versatile as you say. Meaning there should be proper risk associated with them. But I guess I might be able to get behind this if I knew what parry changes were going to happen and what stamina based changes would happen. If neither change from your perspective I can't get behind the stamina change.
    Well, in my mind the risk associated with heavies is they're slow and pretty easy to dodge or parry, but I agree, installing this into the game exactly as is might be too much, but I would really like to see heavies as relatively safe option. There are multiple ways to avoid taking damage from a heavy, but having said that, I don't think blocking should be nearly as effective.

    It might be better for blocking to only be damage mitigation and not actually save you from death, at least against heavies. It would be interesting to see how things would play out if the killing blow is a heavy, regardless of if they're blocking, you get an execution.

    So basically you want to give everyone a chargable attack that turns from a light into a heavy? Why? Charged heavies in this game are notorious for being bad.
    Not exactly. Chargable attacks are typically bad because of the awkward animations and lack of a feint. However, if we look at Highlander, his defensive heavy and offensive heavy works fine, and essentially it's that input, only, instead of one being UB and the other HA, you'd just be looking at a "medium attack" and a "heavy attack". And maybe not give it to everyone. Like, I'm not saying this is a complete idea, it's just something I thought would help out a few kits, especially ones that lack good mix-ups with their weapons, like Warlord, Warden, and even PeaceKeeper.

    the concept of unreactable for fighting games is to serve as the basis for mind games. If you could react to every single attack/mix up then the top tier of play would have nothing. You need to be able to force reads and apart of that involves attack speed. No hero should overly rely on unreactable attacks. Like Nuxia and orochi. But they can serve to be parts of kits. So long as they don't over shadow the kit design or the kit resign doesn't rely on it. Simply look at tiandi and Shaolin as examples of heros who use unreactable attacks/mix ups. But not rely on them. Reads are the very definition of playing smarter than your opponent.
    Well, not always. Sometimes playing smarter is positioning yourself so their back is to a hazard, and side parry with Lawbringer. They's was dumb. Still, I know what you're saying, but I don't like the way unreactable attacks pollute the game. Maybe they do have to be there, but it's like they said on the den, the kits that have outstandingly effective moves really only use those moves: glad zone, conq sb, zerker light, etc.

    Wouldn't change anything for top tier play. Doesn't solve any actual issue. Just draws fights out more. Lights unless stated otherwise for certain move lists are chip damage and gaps between mix ups.
    Maybe, maybe not. I've seen high level play; it's more about range than speed. Wait long enough and the other guy will initiate, but you know the attack range so well that all you need to do is light attack forward with Nobushi and cut through his feint, because of course it was feint, because no one actually throws heavies. It's not very exciting, tbh. Waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting, ZONE ATTACK...cancel, back dodge...waiting waiting waiting...

    You're right, it wouldn't change much.

    So the old flicker indicator problem from the olden days?
    I wouldn't say briefly means flicker. I was thinking more about external block and how that plays out. idk, it was half an idea I was having. Long combos are just parry bait at the moment. Has anyone actually every used Gladiator's light chain? Like, it ends once you get blocked.
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  5. #5
    I like the idea of semi charged heavy attacks, it would in theory solve many of the safe block and parry issues. If the heavy were made with a changing parry timing and longer feint window it would be harder to correctly predict when to parry and make it safer (again in theory) to throw the heavy. Although I think that the faster you throw the heavy attack the less damage it should do since this happens in real life (I actually own a katana and there is a threshold where it's just the right amount of speed and strength to give out the most of a blow, to increase speed there is less strength involved and more use of sudden movements instead). This kind of heavy makes it safer to feint and attack since as I have painfully found out with Shugoki that pressing the heavy to parry someone and accidentally charging it will get me utterly screwed, making the charged heavy a strength and a weakness at the same time.
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  6. #6
    Vakris_One's Avatar Senior Member
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    Originally Posted by Knight_Raime Go to original post
    "Furthermore, I was kicking an idea around recently with Warden; what if your heavies (from at least one direction) were like slow but devastating lights (think Centurion's neutral heavies and how they're considered safe). To access your stronger but slower heavy."

    So basically you want to give everyone a chargable attack that turns from a light into a heavy? Why? Charged heavies in this game are notorious for being bad.
    There is merit in this idea of having two tiers of heavy attack. It would provide players with access to varied milisecond increments for attacks which would reduce parrying as this one stop shop tool for deleting your opponent's offensive options. And it would put the focus away from adding any more emphasis on 400ms attacks.

    Combine it with feints being made less obvious and all heroes being given an opener of some kind and it could be something quite nice. A technique you learn at lower level but one that stays relevant all the way up to the highest level. Deepening along with the player's understanding of mind games. I'm just not sure how varied heavy attack timings would work for characters like Highlander or Shaolin who have to hold down the attack button to get into their stance change.
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  7. #7
    SpaceJim12's Avatar Senior Member
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    I like the idea of semi charged heavy attacks, it would in theory solve many of the safe block and parry issues.
    Centurion do not agree with you.=) People block fast heavy and pretty often parry charged one. It's just the matter of time when timings will be learned and become useless.

    @Knight_Raime

    Maybe I see only now, but I'm glad people start to understand that overall battle system in For Honor is quite broken. I spoke about it right before my first break, in the middle of season 5. I understand, how hard could be to fix such a core gameplay mechanic, but without it game will become to something unplayable.
    I should notice, that main problem here is that devs increase the distance between real fencing and Sould Calibur style fencing. For example, blocking. Let's say I'm in the fight with someone. We have swords and equal strength. If I start to hitting again and again from top and my opponent will block it, this not mean I'll lost all my stamina in a second and my opponent will use it to kick me off. When I hitting again and again, I put pressure to my opponent and his guard will be break once, or I could fast switch my next hit to shoulder bash that will be not predictable, cause opponent concentrate on blocking. In For Honor you could easily block attacks from any direction with no stress. Even 400ms lights do not put pressure to your opponent. He even will be relax enough to parry one of your light. If I switched my hit to SB, opponent will easily dodge it, cause he not concentrate on blocking. And in this situation only one person lose stamina.
    Blocking in For Honor works like youe are Neo and your opponent Agent Smith in end scene of first Matrix. It's not a question, to defend yourself or not. If you see sitation is critical, you just block and dodge everything until you get revenge and stupid advantage in fight. Every player I meet nowadays stop fighting on the last bar of the health and become defence god and wait for revenge. Is it ok in real fencing? It's just impossible there.

    The more devs concentrate on attack side and ignore defence side, the more broken gameplay will be.

    And I really want classes will count again. I want to see how LB or Shugo scared four opponents around them as real tanks. I already tired to see Orochi easily parry fourth opponents or Shaolin block every attack even fainted one with this bare hand. Stop to do superheroes. Make players understand, that if they pick up an assassin this should work twice harder in 4v1 fights, than Shugo or LB. And even in 1v1 they should feel lack of defence cause of class.
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  8. #8
    Vakris_One's Avatar Senior Member
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    Originally Posted by SpaceJim12 Go to original post
    Centurion do not agree with you.=) People block fast heavy and pretty often parry charged one. It's just the matter of time when timings will be learned and become useless.
    The problem there is that he has to commit to his charged heavy once it becomes unblockable and that's just far too easy for the opponent to realise when to parry.

    If Centurion could feint his unblockable then it becomes a different matter entirely. Now all of a sudden his varied timing heavies can provide pressure because they will require the opponent to make a successful read in order to pull off a parry rather than simply parrying on reaction to that unblockable glow, which is too easy to do.

    Originally Posted by SpaceJim12 Go to original post
    @Knight_Raime

    Maybe I see only now, but I'm glad people start to understand that overall battle system in For Honor is quite broken. I spoke about it right before my first break, in the middle of season 5. I understand, how hard could be to fix such a core gameplay mechanic, but without it game will become to something unplayable.
    I should notice, that main problem here is that devs increase the distance between real fencing and Sould Calibur style fencing. For example, blocking. Let's say I'm in the fight with someone. We have swords and equal strength. If I start to hitting again and again from top and my opponent will block it, this not mean I'll lost all my stamina in a second and my opponent will use it to kick me off. When I hitting again and again, I put pressure to my opponent and his guard will be break once, or I could fast switch my next hit to shoulder bash that will be not predictable, cause opponent concentrate on blocking. In For Honor you could easily block attacks from any direction with no stress. Even 400ms lights do not put pressure to your opponent. He even will be relax enough to parry one of your light. If I switched my hit to SB, opponent will easily dodge it, cause he not concentrate on blocking. And in this situation only one person lose stamina.
    Blocking in For Honor works like youe are Neo and your opponent Agent Smith in end scene of first Matrix. It's not a question, to defend yourself or not. If you see sitation is critical, you just block and dodge everything until you get revenge and stupid advantage in fight. Every player I meet nowadays stop fighting on the last bar of the health and become defence god and wait for revenge. Is it ok in real fencing? It's just impossible there.

    The more devs concentrate on attack side and ignore defence side, the more broken gameplay will be.

    And I really want classes will count again. I want to see how LB or Shugo scared four opponents around them as real tanks. I already tired to see Orochi easily parry fourth opponents or Shaolin block every attack even fainted one with this bare hand. Stop to do superheroes. Make players understand, that if they pick up an assassin this should work twice harder in 4v1 fights, than Shugo or LB. And even in 1v1 they should feel lack of defence cause of class.
    I disagree with the last part. All heroes should have enough options so as to be viable in both 1v1s and group fights. Designing a character to only be good in one mode is how we got the likes of Raider and most recently Jiang Jun, despite the devs saying they wanted more heroes to be viable in all modes.

    Kensei's rework is living proof that you can have a hero who can do well in both modes because his power is more or less equally distributed across the whole of his kit - i.e. he is not a one trick pony, rather he has to use his whole kit in order to prevail.
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  9. #9
    A number of players (including myself when I made a thread on it months ago) have noted the way this game lets you block indefinitely is problematic. And the devs wonder why there's a turtle meta?!

    Now we're at a point where so much of the game is based on blocking, that if you change the blocking mechanic you're going to **** up 90 million things at the same time.

    I don't think FH can be saved, mechanics-wise. Everything the devs have done has essentially been fixing/mitigating the negatives of a system that's inherently faulty. I should rephrase, I do think it's possible, BUT I don't think it's realistic. Giving blocking the revamp it needs in order to make fights flow better would likely lead to drastic changes in gameplay, both ****ing up a bunch of other things in the game and changing the overall identity. The devs seem happy with the game's identity overall and just want to make small changes to push play styles in certain directions.
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  10. #10
    @Jazz117Volkov

    "I think Kensei and Highlander (and Raider, iirc) have better feinting where they can either feint early (which is useless) or delay the feint. Maybe that's something to look at for more of the cast."

    I don't think their feints are better mechanically. Just how they're incorperated into the kits are better. Kensei's being held up with his SB on dodge and being able to dodge out of his top heavy for countering and his top heavy mix up in general, Highlander general feints can be utilized along side going into a different form. having 3 main UB mix ups from his ballors might to suit different instances. and raider being (I think) the only hero in the game that currently has a varried soft feint input in the game at this point. I'd say raider would be the minimum for feinting as far as incorperating into kits go. Varied timing is just so useful.

    "those are the types of options I'm thinking about with dodging. I think the player should have more control over what attacks the do from a dodge and what direction they come from."

    So essentially you're asking for everyone to have multiple options off of dodge and be able to chain from their dodge moves? I can agree to that.

    "It might be better for blocking to only be damage mitigation and not actually save you from death, at least against heavies. It would be interesting to see how things would play out if the killing blow is a heavy, regardless of if they're blocking, you get an execution."

    Well people over on the competitive sub have sort of asked for chip damage being able to kill. But due to lights getting chip in OOS people kinda pushed against that idea. I think tacking your suggestion in with this would satisfy that problem and also allow chip to kill. Basically if a heavy lands on block and the chip damage is enough to kill the person's guard is broken (new animation) and you go straight through to do an execution.

    "look at Highlander, his defensive heavy and offensive heavy works fine, and essentially it's that input, only, instead of one being UB and the other HA, you'd just be looking at a "medium attack" and a "heavy attack"."

    Guess i'm still a little confused. Are you saying the act of holding it isn't charging it but rather turning it into a different attack? So you want to give some heros the ability to turn an attack from one version to another. It's interesting. But i'm still struggling with wrapping my head around how that would be.

    "but I don't like the way unreactable attacks pollute the game."

    I should clarify in saying i'm not really looking to increase the amount of unreactable attacks in the game by much if at all. I just mean the concept of something being unreactable belongs in a fighting game. I think zerks unreactable light after heavy feint is a good medium ground for this. As you can't actually react to the attack itself. But because it's telegraphed by a feint beforehad its a bit easier to deal with. And yeah that's true about what they said on the den. But that is an issue because one the attack itself is severely over tuned on it's own. And two because the kit itself (at least in regards to the likes of glad and his zone) is poorly designed. If the rest of his kit was up to snuff more of his kit would be used and the really good moves wouldn't need to be as good as they are now.
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