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View Full Version : On the topic of parries and punishments (some ideas at the end)



Knight_Raime
04-09-2018, 02:16 PM
Sorry to bog you guys down with yet another heavy read thread but it's early in the morning and I feel like being yelled at again for having bad ideas/understanding of the game. :P Today we're going to be discussing parrying in general with punishments as the extension of the topic as well as discussing dodge recoveries. And at the end I have some rough ideas on how i'd like to make some changes and additions to the core gameplay as we know it.

So parrying. Recently we got a change to how it works. In that heavies now give a light as a reward when parried and lights give a heavy when parried as a reward (some exceptions apply.) I've often seen a lot of people question why parrying something "super difficult" nets them so little. Or making suggestions on parrying rewarding someone greatly for that. I'm going to try and explain to you why I THINK things are as they are. I'm not a developer nor do I talk to them. This is purely speculation based on my experiences and how I see the game as a duelist. I also tend to view the game as a flashy fencing game rather than a fighter. But that's not exactly super important to the discussion at hand. At least it doesn't need to be elaborated on immediately. Anyway.

Lets start with heavies. Heavies are super important to every hero in the game regardless of how much or how little your particular hero can do with them. Why is this? Heavies are feintable. They're your main tool to try to trick your opponent into performing an action favorable for you. They also often allow your hero to perform a technical skill in his or her kit. Such as kensei's top heavies or centurions heavies in general. Finally They also stagger your opponent on block. Meaning you still have the chance to continue your attack or mix up into something else to confuse your opponent. At the very least they give you chip damage. Heavy times also vary much more than light attacks. So with all this in hand you'd think parrying them should give you a better reward due to all the potential they have right? wrong.

Let me briefly take you back to pre season 5. Where parrying a heavy gave you a guard break. Guard breaks typically netted you a heavy. Or an insta kill environment providing. Gurad breaks also are a key opponent in max punishes. So by parrying that one attack you essentially slow the game down and slim down the list of usable moves. Because to put it simply any single mistake was punished harshly.

Now lets look into light attacks. Light attacks I believe function/are considered as "safe poke damage." Lights compared to heavies are far less varied timing wise. Have to be committed to. But are fast and cheap stamina wise. they are good interrupt tools. They're also some what super important with mix ups because they give access to some powerful punishes. Like shamans bleed cancel or wardens crushing counter (which gives a shoulder bash.) So you might ask "Raime if they're far more predictable than heavies why are they punished harder?" I'm glad you asked. I already mentioned that they give access to some strong punishes. But beyond that if lights netted little punishment they'd be spammed. Which tilts things too much into the attackers favor. We want a good balance of both play styles after all.

Now lets get into the discussion on zones and dash attacks. Both of which have been suggested to be punished as a light. Mainly because of the logic "they're harder to deal with so I should get more." But we'll ignore that. So why don't we punish zones as harshly? Zones are incredibly predictable like lights. And while primarily designed to clear minions they have a side effect of being poke damage. BUT the main difference here is the stamina cost. Lights are cheap. Zones are not. If zones could be spammed I could see a higher punishment being made. But that's not the case.

And dodge attacks. They're well..in the middle road between lights and heavies. In that they're easily baited like lights and zones. They don't cost as much as zones either. BUT they're super important to a lot of mix up games. And because of that fact I don't think netting a bigger punish really makes sense. I firmly believe all dash attacks should only reward a heavy parry worth of damage on a parry. So hopefully you understand why light and heavy parry punishes are the way they are. and why zones and dash attacks should only net a heavy parry.

Lets now move on to dashes/dodges. As they're another big part of this games combat. Specifically the recovery. Without getting too specific side dodges I believe exist as a way to avoid a move with potential punish. Forward dashes exist as a way to try to punish a retreat or keep the pressure on. And back dashes are a means to escape a move and lead into a roll to reset the fight to neutral. Currently these times vary quite a bit for heros. And I think some normalization should occur. Because to put it quite frankly it's rather poor game design that some heros can avoid/punish some things. But not others. How you punish can and absolutely should vary. but the oppertunity TO punish should exist for all.

So what should these new dodge times be? Well 500ms is too strong. For anyone. Instead of it being used as a way to press the person it's just used to escape everything. So that shouldn't exist anymore. I believe 600ms side dodge recovery is the standard that should be on all heros. 600ms gives plenty of time to dodge most things. But your timing to do so has to be better. and it gives the person ample time to try and punish you if you messed your timing or read the situation wrong. How about back dodges? I think 700ms should be it. Back dashing should let you avoid some things. But rolling away should be your only option if you want to avoid something entirely. And forward dashes should be 500ms for all heros. I think this will allow people to actually catch people and punish.

"But Raime now you've nerfed assassins! the people who are supposed to be quick and nimble!" Yes I did. But Assassins are strong as hecky as is. and i've got other plans for them. To more solidify their role actually. So now we've come to the "idea" section of this long post. A good chunk of it is about assassins. But there are some general concepts I want to hash out as well.

So lets start with the assassins. They now are not the fastest dodge wise. BUT they will get the ability to dodge attack 100ms into their dodge. In a sense they get varying windows now. So while they may not be the fastest in the plainest of terms their mobility is different. Another big concept that I want to throw your way is...the removal of parrying on assassins. The constant debate of deflect vs parrying will be gone. In turn though assassins will have better deflects. Not just reward wise but in functionality. Deflects will now work on unblockables and interrupt combos. The start up window will be removed as well. That way they're easier to do. and work in more situations. Essentially turning an assassins deflect into a parry but activated on a dodge rather than an attack. And it's all balanced around the fact that assassins will have to dodge for it. Which opens them up and not be so turtle like.

That isn't all though. IN addition to that I also want to say that when an assassin blocks now they won't stop the combo if it's a light. HOLD IT HOLD IT. Before you climb down my throat or call me crazy let me finish. Assassins will now have a "true block" feature. Where if you match your guard to meet the attack at a precise timing you interrupt the combo. As if you blocked like a non assassin hero. This change means lights would indeed perform minor chip to assassins. And I wouldn't leave shinobi or gladiator with their quicker decaying guards. they would both be brought up to standard assassin decay. The idea behind this is to yet again make assassins not so turtle like. But still allow them to be just as good as standard guard heros when defending. But the skill ceiling is higher due to assassins being stronger damage profile wise (and deflects being stronger damage wise.)

Those 2 major concepts mean assassins are more like their roles. But they don't lose any of the functionality they currently have. They just need to work harder for it. Now if you're still here I have some parting ideas.

Currently we have some underutilized mechanics that I feel like would add to the gameplay overall. Right now standard mix ups/punishes work off of unblockables and dodging. Former for opening and latter for avoiding. We have other mechanics that don't get used enough. We have very few mix ups that work off of block. Bushi getting a kick off of a blocked heavy or landed heavy is one such example. We also have superior block which aside from shield heros not many have. And we have the ability to skip/substitute moves in combos with others. Now. I'm not saying all heros should get all of these methods. But I do feel like any hero that doesn't have one of these should get at least one. Like for example. What if lawbringer could land a shove off of a blocked heavy? What if raider could substitute a move mid combo for stampede? etc.
Just think about it.

Annnnd that will do it for me. As always thank you for taking time out of your day to read this. Hopefully none of you hate me or think I hate assassins after reading those suggestions xD I look forward to your opinions as always~ <3

Draco067
04-09-2018, 07:11 PM
As someone who plays only assassins, I agree for the most part. I left a comment on the the balance thread you did. I still think assassins should have the option to parry as I suggested.

minish4w87
04-09-2018, 10:04 PM
Dodging should cost a decent amount of stamina, enough so to deter people from dodging constantly. Sometimes it seems like people use dodge as their sole means to play defense and since it negates all damage it seems rough. High stamina usage could lead to more variety in defensive strategies. Although, I'm relatively new to the game and perhaps this is a mechanic that has already been reworked several times. I do like your idea for changing times though, seems like a step in the right direction. Also, assassination "true block" feature sounds good.

Knight_Raime
04-10-2018, 10:17 AM
As someone who plays only assassins, I agree for the most part. I left a comment on the the balance thread you did. I still think assassins should have the option to parry as I suggested.

I could see the point you were making. But i'd still like my ideas to be tested.

Knight_Raime
04-10-2018, 10:19 AM
Dodging should cost a decent amount of stamina, enough so to deter people from dodging constantly. Sometimes it seems like people use dodge as their sole means to play defense and since it negates all damage it seems rough. High stamina usage could lead to more variety in defensive strategies. Although, I'm relatively new to the game and perhaps this is a mechanic that has already been reworked several times. I do like your idea for changing times though, seems like a step in the right direction. Also, assassination "true block" feature sounds good.

It's been suggested in the past that blocking and/or dodging should cost stamina. But it's always been shot down because that would just favor things too heavily on the attacker side.
Dodging is heavily relied upon in this game for escaping mix ups. So I don't think nerfing dodges is the right way to go.

Draco067
04-10-2018, 07:41 PM
I could see the point you were making. But i'd still like my ideas to be tested.

Oh, for sure. If it could actually work, if be all for it. I want the classes to have more meaning to their play style, in both 1v1 and 4v4.