1. #1

    General ideas to improve the health of offense and defense

    This is a spitball post, I have been feeling the creative itch again lately on addressing hero balance. Originally this stemmed from me wanting to improve heros the developers have already touched upon. But I soon realized that in order to improve heros a lot more (and the health of the game.) that we need some mechanical changes and additions. So that's the goal of this thread, to introduce ideas as sort of an "index" so people can get familiar with the changes early before I start cranking out hero suggestion threads.

    Stated goals: The overall idea here is to do 3 things. NERF passive defense, BUFF active defense, and to BUFF active offense. To elaborate a little more on each of these points..Passive defense is normal blocking, waiting to dodge, option selects. Active defense is making correct reads and parry attempts/deflecting. Active offense is a bit more nuanced. But is essentially more about taking risks and using a breath of mechanics. Rather than simply focusing on one thing (I.E bashes) and only using that.


    Active blocking:

    What is active blocking? Think like reflex guard, but a bit more nuanced. Essentially what i'm asking for here is this. All attacks will now incur chip damage and continue into chains regardless of it being a light or heavy. Heavy attacks in particular when blocked will chip some stamina away from the opponent. How do you stop this? by blocking right before the attack lands. In doing so this prevents lights from chaining into combos. It removes the chip damage from the light. and you don't take stamina damage from blocking a heavy. This mechanic is essentially what deflecting USED to be as far as timing went.

    I can see two specific questions coming from this.."why not just give every light opener the enhanced property instead?" and "what about heros with reflex guard? This makes reflex even worse defensively." To answer the first. "enhanced lights" would still exist! just slightly different. Heros with the enhanced light property WILL IGNORE perfect blocking and do STAMINA damage as well. This is to sort of keep enemies on their toes and sort of force people to attempt to parry more. As for the reflex question. They get something different in place of a perfect block. Instead of interrupting the attack it auto deflects into a command grab like old berzerker's deflect. But instead of it being a normal gb it's just confirming some chip damage that you can chain into. Think Aramusha's boop he does with blade blockade into light input. Minus the blind effect.

    Finally the idea of doing stamina damage here is to sort of make OOS more prevalent and threatening without actually buffing the state itself. And it also sort of makes going for parry attempts a bit more risky. As stamina management will become more important.


    lethal block damage:

    What is lethal block damage? Simple really, if you are hit with a heavy attack that will do chip damage equal to or more than your current critical health number the heavy attack GOES THROUGH the guard and into your execution of choice. Why this avenue? Chip damage is often a source of discussion, usually people are seeking to increase chip damage to make it more threatening. Kill on chip damage alone was seen as going to far by the developers and thus was not included with removing regen in critical. However I can hear people typing now about how spamming heavies in 4's will be the way to go and you won't be able to defend. Listen, I hear you, this is why it's not as "simple" as I lead to believe. So let me break down the REQUIRED conditions for this to be able to happen.

    So once you hit "lethal critical damage" threshold you start taking stamina damage for blocking anything. lights or heavies. If the next attack you block would put you OOS THEN you will get executed from blocking. In regards to OOS. Attacks to you while OOS will not do stamina damage. But blocking a heavy at any stamina level will still net an execute. Your only way to prevent this is to PERFECT BLOCK. Doing so will also regen stamina to help you leave OOS sooner. But it is a set amount gain. That way you can't simply block 3 attacks from being ganked and instantly leave OOS.


    Expanded moveset/mechanics on block:

    Now that we've laid out the foundation for blocking changes it's time to kick it into gear and make offense shine more. So what am I referring to? Essentially the opponent has to block an attack as the condition for this to be met. We have something like this already. If you block a hidden stance heavy from Nobushi her kick is confirmed. Essentially what I am proposing is more things like this These would essentially be hero specific things for the most part. Here are some hero specific examples:

    -Valk's side light finishers will still reposition the opponent but not do the attacks damage. (chip damage still incures.)
    -Lawbringer would gain access to his shove on blocking a heavy from him.
    -Nuxia's heavy finishers would still grab and reposition the opponent.

    We could also add general mechanics to the pool of this. Here are some specific examples:

    -Kensei's mid chain lights could gain the "enhanced light property" on his next attack if you blocked his previous attack.
    -Shinobi's roll in heavy could become unblockable if you blocked his ranged heavy.
    -Aramusha's next chained heavy could become undodgable if you blocked an attack before it.

    As a note perfect blocking WILL NOT stop these mechanics. Merely remove the chip (if it's a light,) and remove the stamina damage. This is because we're trying to expand the offense here and even if blocking itself becomes more active of a role it should never be so much that it completely stifles one's offense.

    Regarding guard breaks:

    Guard breaks are both an offensive (soft feint) and defensive tool. They need to be updated. So first thing's first. Soft feint guard breaks now exist for every character in the game on AT LEAST opener heavies. Soft feint guard breaks are now command grabs. Meaning they allow you to confirm a throw and some stamina damage. These can't be teched traditionally. You still have your standard guard break behavior with a normal guard break input. HOWEVER we have one additional mechanic. to which i'm dubbing "guard crush."

    Guard crush is inputted by HOLDING GB. What does GB crush do? two things, Firstly. This is how you tech the command grab. Secondly. This lets you "feint" a gb attempt. What I mean is by doing this your character enters sort of a stance. And you can feint out of it by attacking. This also techs a normal GB input from your opponent. In both cases you end up grabbing the opponent instead. The downside? you have no guard in this state. and you still enter a small period of recovery when leaving the stance. This allows the person to punish you for throwing a raw attack with a GB if you throw a particularly vulnerable attack.


    Charge based attacks:

    All heros should get at least one charge attack. Doing so makes an attack unblockable. The reason is to vary up the timings on moves so one has to focus on how their opponent plays more than simply memorizing timings. Some examples of heros getting this:

    -Peace keepers second hit in zone becomes chargable and becomes unblockable for doing so. Can be hard feinted and soft feinted into GB.
    -Orochi's riptide slash charged fully becomes unblockable. Can be feinted.

    I should note that charged attacks gain super armor. So dodging or a properly timed GB is the way to counter. Not to attack/bash them out of it.


    Incorperating delayed attacks:

    So as some of you know delaying you input on many actions actually aids your gameplay. On feints it makes them harder to react to because the feint smoke comes out later. On attacks in chain it makes them faster. Well rather than fixing that inconsistency i'd rather we add them into the game as a full fledged mechanic. How would this work? Properly delayed feints would not give the smoke when feinting. Properly delayed attacks would get a speed buff. Properly delayed soft feints give a damage buff to the attack itself (delayed soft feint GB does nothing.)


    In regards to parrying and deflecting:

    So we're on the final leg of our Journey for my changes. Deflecting. Currently deflects are weird. They don't often feel like they're worth going for reward wise and in the case of side deflects they're far riskier because of the specific timing involved due to lapping with I frames. Parrying in itself is fine mechanically. It's option select parries that are a problem. More so charge parries than zone parries. But still. Anyway, here is what I propose.

    On deflecting. I propose we have a specific combination input. The input would vary depending on the hero's deflect. So like. In Berzerker's case it would be pressing dodge and GB at the same time. Orochi would have dodge and light at the same time or dodge and heavy at the same time. etc. What does this do mechanically? Essentially it ques up a deflect effect forgoing your I frames because you're doing a buffered dodge "attack." This would allow someone to input a deflect on proper timing ignoring the lap of I frames.

    Also deflecting in this manner makes your next attack faster. Why? Because you're essentially risking a lot by not only forgoing your dodge I frames but also risking a parry as well since buffered attacks are easier to parry. You can still deflect normally with timing your input of your attack. This still allows you to take advantage of your I frames on a dodge if you're not sure. In regards to option select parries I have sort of a half solution. Essentially the game is already capable of recognizing multiple inputs. Don't ask me why it does. it just does.

    So what I propose is the game recognizes when the opponent is in these situations, and nets them a different outcome. In zone parry situations if you end up parrying with a zone input you only stun the person as if you parried a heavy. In a held heavy situation if the game recognizes you parried by holding a heavy you lose a zone's worth of stamina upon the successful parry. Both effects should lessen the prevelance of option select parries without removing their functionality entirely. Essentially going for them is a safer option. But it costs you more.


    Closing thoughts and TLDR:

    So this is a rough idea to get an idea on how to bring down passive defense and encourage active defense and flesh out offense more. This doesn't go into certain needed things. Like how do you visually communicate some of the above suggestions? This also doesn't cover varied ms increments, hard feint changes, and communicating out of lock stuns. I omitted the prior two things for one main reason. The devs are already working on both in some capacity. And i'd rather see where they go with it and add suggestions rather than come up with my own ideas. The latter is because i'm not sure how to actually communicate that. Which is why I also didn't bother mentioning how things would look visually.


    TLDR:

    -"Active blocking" mechanic introduced. removes chip damage and stamina penalty. Ends combos on blocked chain lights unless stated otherwise.

    -Blocking on the wrong timing sees combos initiate, gives chip to lights, and the player takes stamina damage.

    -"Active blocking" for reflex guard heros gives a confirmed command grab that nets a small bit of damage and lets them chain off of it.

    -"Lethal chip damage" mechanic added. Blocking while critical health starts doing stamina damage. If you're put OOS by blocking a heavy your guard breaks and you are executed. While OOS attacks don't drain stamina. Time your block correctly and you gain stamina at a fixed ammount. Not timing your block against a heavy will get you executed.

    -Expand a hero's offense through their opponent blocking by using hero specific or base game mechanics to "activate" based on their opponent blocking. Perfect blocking does not prevent these mechanics from happening. Only removes the stamina damage and chip damage penalties.

    -Added a new guard break manuver called "Guard crush." Guard crush allows you to tech command grabs (soft feint GB's.) Also techs normal guard breaks (standard GB input.) Can "feint" the stance by hitting an attack button. No active guard while in stance.

    -Giving charged based attacks to all heros. Said attack becomes unblockable and feintable. Gains super armor.

    -Incorperated delayed inputs as an actual mechanic. Properly delayed hard feints remove the smoke effect. Properly delayed chain attacks are faster. Properly delayed soft feint attacks gain more damage.

    -Enhanced light mechanic changed. Enhanced lights ignore perfect blocking's effects and does more stamina damage.

    -New deflect input via pressing dodge and the attack at the same time. Forgo's I frames entirely to always get that properly timed deflect. The attack you chain into from your deflect attack is also faster. Can still deflect in the old way in order to be "Safer" with access to I frames.

    -Option select parrying nerfed. Parrying with a zone input nets you a heavy parries worth reward wise. Parrying with a charge based move costs you a zone's worth of stamina.


    [B]Final note:[B]

    The hero's I will be revisiting post...this post..are as follows and in no particular order. Kensei, Peace keeper, Valk, shugoki, Warden, Orochi. Hero's that have not been touched by the devs yet that I will attempt to fix are... Shinobi, Aramusha, Nuxia, and Shaolin. If the hero is not on the list I do not know enough about them or have not enough experience with them to make suggestions on their behalf. Raider, LB, and Centurion are the exceptions to this. I would rather build off of the touches they make in season 10 for LB and Raider. As far as centurion goes I want to take another long hard look at him. And hopefully the devs mention something more about him in the mean time so I can have a better idea of where to take him.

    Thanks for reading!
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  2. #2
    Definetly some interesting ideas here but quick question on the lethal chip damage part. How would damage numbers be between characters. would it be just a standard set number damage wise or would it vary based off of character. It stands to reason that someone like a shugoki would do more chip damage based off of how hard his heavies would hit rather than say a shinobi or orochi who in comparison would have "less damaging" heavies. No criticism in this post just a little clarification I guess would be cool.
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  3. #3
    Originally Posted by DaytimeRaider Go to original post
    Definetly some interesting ideas here but quick question on the lethal chip damage part. How would damage numbers be between characters. would it be just a standard set number damage wise or would it vary based off of character. It stands to reason that someone like a shugoki would do more chip damage based off of how hard his heavies would hit rather than say a shinobi or orochi who in comparison would have "less damaging" heavies. No criticism in this post just a little clarification I guess would be cool.
    It would be character dependent ideally. Makes the most sense in my book. But I can understand "normalizing" the amount if the lethal executes are happening far too much. I tried to make sure that wasn't the case with adding more conditions besides just being in critical health and it being a heavy.
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  4. #4
    Active blocking would reduce the playerbase of console heavily. We are already struggling at mid to low levels to even deal with 400 ms lights because of input lag and other factors,so much so that parrying lights already is a test of luck and reading rather than skill most times. Active blocking would encourage even cheesier tactics on console and make the overall enviroment of the game unfavorable to the average joe who just wants to play a duel with his main.

    Heroes with nothing in their kits, even with the changes, would get stomped HARDER than they already are. Lawbringer, for example, gets quite literally nothing guaranteed from shove. The only upside is shove on block would make him the best turtle in the game as he would be the only one who has the option of using a move to break up a chain.

    Buffing feints on a console where Beserker mains with any skill can easily shred you is also another nightmare. 400 ms attacks are nearly instant, and cannot be easily blocked unless predicted as is. Buffing feints would lead to characters with already insane feint games becoming the equivalent of Brawl's Meta Knight.

    The Deflect changes are a welcome addition, as I cannot state how many times I thought I guessed the correct timing only to just dodge the attack instead.

    Overall, in terms of PC, it would be a welcome change that this game desperately needs.....but since we cannot seemingly get PC and Console balancing, this change would make console into a cesspit of cheesy tactics, even more beserkers, and make most turtles impossible to maintain in a meta where you must have a very good defense, or an equal offense, to measure up to the blitzkrieg we are seeing currently.
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  5. #5
    Originally Posted by Daubenyfanclub Go to original post
    Active blocking would reduce the playerbase of console heavily. We are already struggling at mid to low levels to even deal with 400 ms lights because of input lag and other factors,so much so that parrying lights already is a test of luck and reading rather than skill most times. Active blocking would encourage even cheesier tactics on console and make the overall enviroment of the game unfavorable to the average joe who just wants to play a duel with his main.

    Heroes with nothing in their kits, even with the changes, would get stomped HARDER than they already are. Lawbringer, for example, gets quite literally nothing guaranteed from shove. The only upside is shove on block would make him the best turtle in the game as he would be the only one who has the option of using a move to break up a chain.

    Buffing feints on a console where Beserker mains with any skill can easily shred you is also another nightmare. 400 ms attacks are nearly instant, and cannot be easily blocked unless predicted as is. Buffing feints would lead to characters with already insane feint games becoming the equivalent of Brawl's Meta Knight.

    The Deflect changes are a welcome addition, as I cannot state how many times I thought I guessed the correct timing only to just dodge the attack instead.

    Overall, in terms of PC, it would be a welcome change that this game desperately needs.....but since we cannot seemingly get PC and Console balancing, this change would make console into a cesspit of cheesy tactics, even more beserkers, and make most turtles impossible to maintain in a meta where you must have a very good defense, or an equal offense, to measure up to the blitzkrieg we are seeing currently.
    I'd disagree. I play console primarily (pc on occasion,) and at my level people can block things pretty well. I'm not even a diamond tier player. Gold at best. Top tier console players are pretty comparable to pc players actually. So yeah, I appreciate your point on platform. But I disagree.
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  6. #6
    I agree in principle with the ideas behind alot of the suggestions and some are similar to thoughts i'd have myself, although the issue i'd find is implimentation

    One idea along this thinking was to give more moves like the cent punch on block - i.e. certain moves only available if the enemy blocks - this could be an effect applied to your next attack (kinda like your superior attacks above). Another i've been toyinng around with is some form of stun bash that applied on block only - i.e. a warlords heavy finishers if blocked causes a stunning effect, some stamina damage, and maybe even something like 5 daamge that can be leathal

    Was trying to think of ways things like your ideas can be implemented without having to reinvent the game

    Overall appreciate the sentiment and many of your ideas

    EDIT: one random one I once had was that parrying was only available within a short window of stance changing.. meaning you would attempt to keep your stance opposite that of your opponent rather than match (i.e. more risk in waiting to parry)

    At present the best attacks are to change direction and mix at a semi random rate. I was hoping to have some way to bait opponents into parry/feint with the purpose of then attacking their guard to open them up for another hit (nuxia traps don't do this and are far to extreme for what I would hope for in terms of bait a parry/feint so you can hit their guard and secure a light etc.)
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  7. #7
    Originally Posted by Sweaty_Sock Go to original post
    I agree in principle with the ideas behind alot of the suggestions and some are similar to thoughts i'd have myself, although the issue i'd find is implimentation

    One idea along this thinking was to give more moves like the cent punch on block - i.e. certain moves only available if the enemy blocks - this could be an effect applied to your next attack (kinda like your superior attacks above). Another i've been toyinng around with is some form of stun bash that applied on block only - i.e. a warlords heavy finishers if blocked causes a stunning effect, some stamina damage, and maybe even something like 5 daamge that can be leathal

    Was trying to think of ways things like your ideas can be implemented without having to reinvent the game

    Overall appreciate the sentiment and many of your ideas

    EDIT: one random one I once had was that parrying was only available within a short window of stance changing.. meaning you would attempt to keep your stance opposite that of your opponent rather than match (i.e. more risk in waiting to parry)

    At present the best attacks are to change direction and mix at a semi random rate. I was hoping to have some way to bait opponents into parry/feint with the purpose of then attacking their guard to open them up for another hit (nuxia traps don't do this and are far to extreme for what I would hope for in terms of bait a parry/feint so you can hit their guard and secure a light etc.)
    Game kinda needs retooling eventually. Otherwise we're going to keep running into hero imbalance issues. Like. Not saying my ideas mean heros will be balanced. But it will loosen the grip on what is and isn't viable. And in general make the game feel far less one dimensonal than it currently does.
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  8. #8
    Havent read anything beyond the first post but i love all the ideas except the delayed input ones. I think delayed input attacks in that form would raise the skill cieling of the game a little too much and the lack of visual indicators on a feint could cause issues in character by character animations. As it stands some animations are easier to read than others. Because of this we have the guard ui that informs us a different way to balance out the inconsistencies in clear animations from character to character, thus IMO the smoke needs to stay.

    Seriously tho other than that one issue absolutely great ideas Raime. I love em all.
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  9. #9
    Originally Posted by Knight_Raime Go to original post
    Game kinda needs retooling eventually. Otherwise we're going to keep running into hero imbalance issues. Like. Not saying my ideas mean heros will be balanced. But it will loosen the grip on what is and isn't viable. And in general make the game feel far less one dimensonal than it currently does.
    In an ideal world, but I have a bad feeling anything too drastic will be parked for relaunch. Call me a cynic & I hope I am wrong (dear Ubi, please prove me wrong )
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  10. #10
    I've read it and I'm not entirely sure what to think from it. I like quite a lot of your suggestions mainly the changes to blocking attacks, however I'm not too sure about your proposition to buff delayed attacks and the change to deflects.

    So if I understand correctly: you can still deflect how it always has been? Dodging into an attack the right time? Then what is the point of adding a new way to deflect? I don't really like the fact that you'd have to input the dodge attack, that'd make it even harder to pull of. The deflects would be on Tiandi's superior dodge attack levels of difficulty because the timing would be more strict due to you having to input an attack on top of a dodge.

    I don't agree 100% with the change to delayed attacks unless the timing would be extremely strict and not something you could mindlessly do over and over or else you basically get a free buff to your light attacks.

    And what exactly is the guard crush? I don't really understand it. You "feint" a gb but still grab the opponent (or attack)? I'm sorry but I don't see the point of this.

    I've been following news around MK 11 recently and 1 mechanic stood out to me. In MK 11 certain attacks have certain requirements to perform whether it be doing certain moves to power up your character (in terms of damage) or moves that can be "amplified" (extend a character's chain or doing more damage by sacrificing something, in MK 11; the power meter) or other things. I'm no expert on fighting games at all, it just stood out to me, maybe we could implement similar requirements in FH to some degree? This way skill and mindgames will come more into play?

    To give an already established requirement in For Honor as an example: Shaman's opponent has to be bleeding in order for her to have access to her bite.
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