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CandleInTheDark
11-07-2018, 12:21 AM
There have been a lot of complaints from the start of the game about quicker attacks, especially from the console playerbase. Having played on console and PC I believe that they are manageable with practice, however there is an argument to be had that this is overwhelming for the casual player base (which let's face it if you balance by the top 2% now and by ranked in the future is anywhere from 50-98% of the player base or the people who don't use ranked in duel or, if one comes, a 4v4 mode) and there is talk of the devs wanting to address the meta being still in favour of the defenders, the issue I see here is are we going to go into more cases of make the game quicker? I am not a game designer nor do I have experience of any kind in this field so this is a matter of this is what I would do as opposed to this is what is right to do, but if no one gives this kind of idea room to be discussed then ideas do not circulate, I am hoping that by posting this here I provoke discussion and people can refine these ideas into something the devs might be able to use if they feel it is beneficial for the game.

So we know where I am coming from from the beginning, I believe that the best rework was that of the Kensei and that the Shaman, Highlander (post buff) and the Wu Lin show a good improvement on design in general when it comes to hero kits. I know that there are a few people who consider these to be op and a good part of this, I believe, is that some characters, especially the older ones, do not have the depth and variety to their kit that these have. In my view the worst rework has been the Warden with the Conqueror being not far behind because they put the bulk of the play on one move and the Orochi because easy chained 400ms lights, especially bearing in mind how much flack the Peacekeeper got from season one for her one 400ms, make them seem overwhelming with one move while not making the rest of the kit viable to use. For example the Conqueror shield bash, the recovery time on that is very quick but the devs don't want to nerf it because it is a pressure tool. Warden's shoulder bash is the same, the tracking on it is ridiculous, I can dodge behind the Warden and he still gets me and the rework, I believe, rolled back nerfs that were very much needed on when he could cancel...but take that away and what does the Warden have?

The benefit of a kit that has a lot of depth to it is that if there is a part of it that is overtuned then that can take a light nerf and there are still plenty of options, the opposite is true of the likes of kits that revolve around a bash or contain easily chainable quick lights, when these become the core strength of the character's kit, then it is very difficult to change this without breaking that character. We have seen how the Kensei has benefited from having a better flow in his kit and how the Shaman alone among the assassins didn't get tanked by the instant guard switch bug. Looking at some of the other characters, Aramusha is probably a good pressure move away from having a decent kit and the change to the Nuxia, allowing her to start chains with a missed trap, has made her trap mechanic slightly more viable as it has increased her capability to pressure the opponent and force mistakes.

Going into the ideas I have, first I will go into the elephant in the room after the removal of gear stats, stamina. I believe that there are a few characters, such as the Nobushi, who definitely need a stamina related balance pass, this is something that has been made much more viable with the removal of gear stats as this change can be made in 1v1 without breaking it 4v4 and I believe that this needs to happen for the heroes most in need of help very quickly. To be honest I think this should have come with the Marching Fire patch to soften the blow of losing gear stats but it needs to be a priority now.

In terms of quick attacks, while I believe that there need to be some attacks on the edge of being reactable, I do not believe that these should come one after the other (like with Orochi or Aramusha) nor should they guarantee further damage. In my opinion 400ms attacks should be chain finishers or should lead only into a slower attack that can be feinted. I believe that with the devs toying with making incremental changes the fastest in chain light should be 450ms. With that being a hard nerf to some characters, they then need to have more options added to what they are able to flow to. I believe that options after being blocked and soft feints are the way to go with this as they increase the capability for a character to pressure their opponent, I believe that a good deal of heavies and slower lights (550 if some go there in the future to 600ms) should have means of changing that into another attack whether that is a bash, gb or an attack from another direction, for the quicker attacks I believe that there needs to be an option for them to go into a reactable bash on being blocked (though this should be beaten by the likes of lawbringer shove on block given that is their bread and butter), these would give more viability to the slower attacks and they would give pressure options when the defending character attempts to turtle up.

If the devs choose to go in that direction then they need to drop this for a bunch of the lowest performing characters at once before then dropping them for characters that are strong but only for one move. I believe that if characters have a means of pressuring their opponent with changes of attack or with reactable options on being blocked would make a good deal of characters more viable without simply speeding up their kits.

DefiledDragon
11-07-2018, 12:59 AM
The real problem the game has is that it's way too easy to defend. This is especially true with static guard heroes. Due to the sheer ease and efficiency of defending the designers have resigned themselves to the fact that they need to grant characters certain moves that overcome defence. This is, in my opinion, the wrong direction to take.

For example, I hate soft feints and bashes. The reason I hate soft feints and bashes is that they are so low effort to perform and are one of the most difficult things for your opponent to deal with. They are cheese. I know many believe them to be necessary and with defending as easy as it currently is, it's an easy case to make. In my view, what they should have done is make defending more difficult and something that you improve at with practice.

You could argue that defending is easy in other fighters and in terms of control input, it is, but other fighters have ways of negating defence like throws, command throws, cross ups and such. The difference between those defence nullifying techniques and the ones in FH is that they require the attacker to create the right situation to pull it off. A throw has to be performed within range of all of your opponents offensive strikes and getting into range for a basic throw is a risky move. Command throws (like Zangiefs piledriver) are situational and also require skill to perform. Cross ups require precise positioning and timing on the jump along with the right kind of attack. The defence nullifying techniques in FH require nothing more than a button press following an attack or dodge in the case of a bash, or throw an attack in one direction then throw an attack in another to soft feint it. Very little effort, very little risk (essentially no risk for soft feints).

If they want to make the entire roster viable they need to look at defending, not attacking. Personally, I would give all heroes a reflex guard. Non shield wielding heroes would have a reflex guard with a 150 - 200ms decay. Shield wielding heroes would have a static guard that would decay on being hit, meaning that they can position their shield and it will absorb one strike, then they have to re position it to defend against follow up strikes. I would also shorten the parry window on all attacks to 100ms. Opening strikes that are blocked will allow for a follow up strike. If a followup strike is blocked it ends the chain.

I think those changes would make defending challenging, but not so challenging as to be impossible. I also think with those changes implemented we would see a lot more standard offence from players who would be more inclined to throw attacks, even heavies from neutral, because getting parried is no longer guaranteed and you can follow up in the event your opening attack is blocked. it would also free up the designers to create varied and interesting kits that don't have to be carried by spammable bashes, super fast lights or unblockable attacks for each character to have a fighting chance. New players would feel themselves improving over time as their defense and reactions improve and when they do lose, they won't feel like they've been cheesed to death by bashes or "unreactable" attacks.

CandleInTheDark
11-07-2018, 01:34 AM
The devs are already looking into a set of balance changes that they aim to make it less slanted towards defence with though I agree reflex guard would be worth their time to try out and test as would parry timings, but that doesn't fix the issue of one trick ponies, as I said with the Conqueror, they said something like we know there is conversation on it but we can't nerf the shield bash because that is his pressure tool. If Conqueror had pressure options that did not revolve around the shield bash then they would be freer to look at things like 'could the recovery on shield bash use coming down a little' because they can do that without breaking the character.

I believe that soft feints are potentially a very good addition to a lot of kits if the moves connected to them are not lightning quick. The Kensei is an example of this done right, whether it is pommel bash to unblockable to guardbreak throw to unblockable top heavy or top heavy to side light to top heavy to side light to top heavy unblockable to side light (both of these are in his mixups section in tactics) he has options that, without 400ms moves, allow him to pressurise the opponent if a player knows his kit. A kit with depth that has a lot of situational tools puts the emphasis on both attacker and defender to know the kits and they allow a more tactical fight, at the same time, if parts of a kit are overpowered the devs can look at that without breaking the whole character, if a character is underpowered the devs can buff him without making one move oppressively safe. Obviously they shouldn't all be done in the same way the Kensei's is or they all look the same but the Kensei's kit is a lot healthier for the game than Warden's or Conqueror's.

DefiledDragon
11-07-2018, 02:22 AM
True, but if defending from regular attacks was actually difficult and required practice the one trick heroes wouldn't need their tricks. Conquerors shield bash could be consigned to the dustbin because it would no longer be required to apply pressure to his opponent. Same goes for other bashes and feints. I can see the usefulness of soft feints, but for one thing not all characters have them and for another, they are so low effort and zero risk for potentially huge rewards, particularly in the case of feints to GB.

Vordred
11-07-2018, 02:33 AM
i agree, its the defense that needs changing, not just adding tons of unblockables, bashes and fast attacks. but i was saying that back in S1, and the centurion showed where they were playing to go with it.

part of the reason light spam heroes are so good on console is because it's pretty much risk free. and you can just keep on throwing them out. with minimum risk to yourself.

i also agree that everyone should be on a reflex guard.

part of me also thinks that maybe parry should be removed altogether, instead give all characters superior blocks, characters like assassins and vanguards have superior lights and heavies have superior heavies, this makes up for losing some defense with having a reflex guard on a heavy. make the timing quite strict, and you wouldn't need quite so fast attacks, as superiors have to be pulled off much earlier than a parry, so its more a prediction, and one you still pay for if you get it wrong. but also not as punishing as a parry.

Wookiescantfly
11-07-2018, 06:05 PM
So how would you implement these systems in 4s in a way that doesn't basically guarantee that getting ganked means you die 80%, if not 100%, of the time? The system sounds feasible and worth playing if every fight was strictly 1v1, but For Honor employs mixed unit tactics in game modes that allow for multiple players (Brawls and 4s). This would ultimately lead to an extreme hangup in the proposed systems where you could literally just overwhelm the defender with sheer numbers alone, and to more prevalence of the deathball strat for the sheer improved effectiveness of it. I don't think a defender should win a gank 100% of the time, but they at least need a fighting chance.

DefiledDragon
11-08-2018, 12:14 AM
So how would you implement these systems in 4s in a way that doesn't basically guarantee that getting ganked means you die 80%, if not 100%, of the time? The system sounds feasible and worth playing if every fight was strictly 1v1, but For Honor employs mixed unit tactics in game modes that allow for multiple players (Brawls and 4s). This would ultimately lead to an extreme hangup in the proposed systems where you could literally just overwhelm the defender with sheer numbers alone, and to more prevalence of the deathball strat for the sheer improved effectiveness of it. I don't think a defender should win a gank 100% of the time, but they at least need a fighting chance.

External guard would function the same, so it wouldn't be much different to when you get ganked as an assassin character currently. Also, it's just as difficult for the gankers to defend as it is for you, so popping revenge and wailing on them like a madman would probably see you drop one or two of them by the time revenge wore off.

Velentix
11-08-2018, 05:40 AM
So how would you implement these systems in 4s in a way that doesn't basically guarantee that getting ganked means you die 80%, if not 100%, of the time? The system sounds feasible and worth playing if every fight was strictly 1v1, but For Honor employs mixed unit tactics in game modes that allow for multiple players (Brawls and 4s). This would ultimately lead to an extreme hangup in the proposed systems where you could literally just overwhelm the defender with sheer numbers alone, and to more prevalence of the deathball strat for the sheer improved effectiveness of it. I don't think a defender should win a gank 100% of the time, but they at least need a fighting chance.

This is just a thought, but I think restructuring the guard around stamina might be the way to go, where if you are out of stamina you either can't guard or take massive chip damage instead. first thing you'd have to do is remove any sort of stamina drains from any type of attack. blocking would take slightly more stamina than attacking. in this way you can still have some unblockables/stun type moves for a free light here or there, but you don't need some sort of crazed spamfest to deal with turtles.

making turtleing a dead end strategy via stamina and chip damage forces the turtle to react more often, this isn't to say that turtleing wont occur, but when it does they'll eventually go OOS and then have either the choice to eat an attack/large chip damage or dodge the move, which just means the attacker can feint the move and GB when his attacker dodges giving him damage anyway. of course, for this to not just lopsidedly favor people with stupid fast flurries of moves like a zerker etc. balance would need a hard look. stamina amounts/management would need a hard look too.

as for 2v2/4v4 situations, this is where revenge comes in, its purpose would be to let the char deal more stam damage/health damage, and hopefully get in at least 1-2 kills before dying. I don't think that it should by any means be easy to anti-gank, and I always feel at least ok about getting ganked if I can take at least 1 of them with me. as for deathballing, the best and really only way to combat that is by really good team work, I just don't see any real way for that to change.

anyway sorry for the wall of text, but its just a thought I won't pretend to have thought out all the kinks in this particular system.

SpaceJim12
11-08-2018, 09:55 AM
The real problem the game has is that it's way too easy to defend. This is especially true with static guard heroes. Due to the sheer ease and efficiency of defending the designers have resigned themselves to the fact that they need to grant characters certain moves that overcome defence. This is, in my opinion, the wrong direction to take.

True. My friend always say how cool it was during beta. He learn heroes, try new moves and every fight was on the edge of a blade. And I always remind him, that it's not beta itself. On first couple weeks of the game people could miss guardbreaks, and even heavies. But this days... Can you even remember, when you could do success GB from netural against equal opponent? I can't. And heavies...only if you parry right or another special conditions.
Turtle meta still here, cause block is so easy and guarantees you revenge.