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View Full Version : Faction War is making the game worse



BobThePirate764
03-14-2017, 06:42 PM
The implementation of faction war has been beyond abysmal, and the lack of transparency around it only makes things worse.

People have constantly defended faction war by saying that it isn't the game's main feature, but any cursory glance at the game would indicate otherwise. Faction war is the only part of the game that offers exclusive rewards, the map is front and center of the multiplayer UI, the current war status determines what maps are playable at any given time, and the season and round data is visible from the main menu without even going into multiplayer. Even if it wasn't intended to be the game's primary feature, its certainly presented as being significant to the player.

Now lets talk current player perception of faction war. The following are things I've heard from many For Honor players both on these forums and outlying communities such as reddit:
1. Absolutely none of the faction war matters except the last day of each round, perhaps even the last 12 hours of the last day
2. It is better to be losing when this last day arrives so that you can get a defensive advantage.
3. The faction war is rigged to create more dramatic outcomes (closer games, last minute turnarounds) and players' contributions don't actually matter

The third of these is mostly just conjecture, but its conjecture that will continue to spread as long as Ubisoft doesn't tell players how this feature works. Nobody hides features of their game from the people playing it without a reason. Until Ubisoft comes forward with a valid reason, players will assume either that Ubisoft knows Faction War is broken so they're hiding the details of the broken feature, or its rigged and they want to create the illusion that it isn't. Regardless of whether either of these is the case in reality, they're the message Ubi is sending to players loud and clear with their lack of response.

By far the most damning problem with this is the natural logical conclusions of items 1 and 2 on that list: If the faction war only matters at the last minute and the best way to win is to be last when that minute arrives, the best thing you can do is not contribute for most of the war. That means if you're a viking and you want vikings to win, the best way for you to help make that a reality is to not play at all for 13 days of the 14 day season and then binge the final 2 territory updates.

Its hard to say exactly how to fix whats wrong with faction war when the #1 thing wrong with is is that nobody is 100% sure how it works, so far all we have is observations drawn from a very slow moving system. Ironically, the problems with faction war form an almost perfect allegory for the game's most well known problems -- the meta that revolves around turtling up because attacking puts you at a disadvantage, and being behind being an actual *advantage* as you'll get revenge and 2 shot whoever was beating you.

As for solutions, here are some possibilities.
-Fewer contested territories or more total territories -- this reduces a team's ability to go from 7 territories to first place in 2 territory updates, during both of which they have a massive advantage that literally guarantees victory on all fronts
- Rework the rubber banding -- Give factions a small advantage on deployment to territories based on how close those territories are to their stronghold instead of giving factions overwhelming bonuses that apply to all fronts. The current system *rewards* a faction for losing.
- Make the middle matter -- Having the board's final state be the only thing that matters when the board can turn around completely in 4 territory updates means that nothing but the last 4 territory updates objectively matters. The rounds could be shortened to 1 day without having any impact on their outcome. The middle of the round must be made to matter somehow. This can be done by changing the scoring system so that performance all through the round and not just the final board state matters, or it could be done by making it so that winning over the course of the round lends to an advantage during the last few updates.

The state of this is frankly shameful. Nobody that calls himself a game developer could be proud of a feature as full of holes as Faction War currently is. Change it into something that actually works, and then tell us how it works so we can play it. A broken system that nobody understands and yields victory to the players that put in the *least* is just a frustrating experience for everyone involved.

The_Blockade
03-14-2017, 07:02 PM
Making the game worse? The faction war has 0 influence. Yeah wow, somebody gets some gear crates.. Who gives a damn lol

Wolf-Heathen
03-14-2017, 07:17 PM
It is more an issue of an unfinished feature, with seemingly random elements thrown in. Like so much of this game, it was a great concept, but was barely functional at release. It's quite apparently that Ubisoft doesn't give a **** about quality, they just release games that can barely run, and then plan to deliver what they promised with a skeleton crew over 12 months post-release.