View Full Version : Horses and Agony

The Buggman
11-23-2010, 11:17 PM
Dear UbiSoft,

The horses in Assassin's Creed 2: Brotherhood make the game extremely unpleasant to play. Is there any way that I might be able to remove horses from my game? The horse AI, functionality, and controls are so painfully limited or ill-conceived. The fact that horses cannot be killed coupled with enemy soldier AI actively seeking out a horse only serves as a constant annoyance. The horse combat is neither fun nor exciting when having to deal with them in this manner all the time. The way the horse AI is set to follow the player indefinitely plus the soldier-horse mindset means that the player is hand-delivering a headache to themselves. This might not be an issue if your intention is to play the game with limited conflict, but the idea is counter-productive when set up against the numerous combat challenges you have placed in-game. It's perfectly fine that there are soldiers already riding horses and those soldiers will jump into conflict the player has started, but it is in no way fine that soldiers will constantly mount the nearest horse just because it's there. If that was to be the idea behind enemy AI, then there should be a way for the player to stop their horse form following or at least allow the horses to be killed so as not to be of further use to the enemy. A alternative step would be to just remove the enemy's thought that they have to be on a horse to fight. There is no greater disruption to the flow of the game than that. It's surprising to me that horses were made such a large part of this game considering their limited functionality in the sense that they do not jump where or when you want them, neither can you seem to gallop with them outside of chase sequences, nor do they really assist the player very much in combat. The unstable movement controls on horses doesn't even serve well for navigation through the city or make very helpful/accurate vaults to high ledges on buildings or platforms. So, I ask again, is there anything I can do to remove this scourge from my, otherwise very thrilling, gameplay experience?


P.S. I don't mean to sound like such an ***, but my in-game frustration was recently compounded when I came to this website to ask for help and accessed the front page's Twitter wall. The very first link I clicked on the Twitter wall (on my very first visit to this website) spoiled a major part of the story for me. I think if you're going to have a Twitter wall, you should definitely have spoiler cautions attached with a prominent link redirecting the eyes to the forum.

11-24-2010, 12:41 AM
It's a horse. what functionality and AI you can really add to horse? yes they are somewhat limited but they are great help when you need to travel longer distances in city or open fields. In matter of combat, I find that those horse to horse assassinations are great and well executed. and when you are finding hard to deal with horsemen in combat then just juse counter attack with sword equiped, or use crossbow.

The Buggman
11-24-2010, 02:20 AM
You've proven my point in a manner of words. The horses lack functionality, but you can find them everywhere throughout the towns which is unnecessary considering you can call a horse for yourself whenever you like. I suppose it was a big complaint amongst the masses to have the ability to ride horses in towns, but in actuality, they only serve to clutter the town's streets. As far as the AI is concerned, you'd suspect a horse to behave like a horse. If there is fighting and gunshots, real horses get spooked and run long away. These horse will stand nearby or allow itself to be dragged into the conflict. Another example of horse ability is bucking. If a horse has a rider and simply doesn't want to be there, a real horse would buck. Bucking could also be used offensively for the rider. Moreover, enemy AI in the game shouldn't be actively seeking out the nearest horse as though they were all warhorses with battle sense. Come to think of it, it would have been nice to see the ability to attain a horse and train it to higher functionality as it would have played in well with the guild faction and assassin training. I don't mind at all having horses to use as vehicles to travel longer distances, but they are sorely lacking the ability to gallop when you want them to gallop. None of this is to say that it's terribly difficult to kill horsemen. I just find that when an enemy goes to hunt down a passing horse just to so he can use it in battle is rather ridiculous and greatly diminishes the flow of the game and the combat; and the flow of Assassin's Creed is what I admired most about it. It's where nearly all of my enjoyment was derived. It feels like UbiSoft went out of their way to make horses a larger part of the game without fully exploring what that meant. I hope that at least the enemy AI (stopping them from sprinting after a random horse) as well as the horse AI (stopping them from continuously following you) can be patched in this game to relieve the issue. Maybe, if the next game will include steeds, they'll be equipped with better controls/animations and have some actual horse sense.

11-24-2010, 03:04 AM
^^^^ ...so you wanted horses in the game to be like the horses in Red Dead Redemption?

11-24-2010, 03:25 AM
red dead redemption horses were good, but AC:B doesn't focus on the horses so not as important for them to be as detailed

@TheBuggman i'm guessing you don't own a horse or know anything about them, for a good example of the bravery of horses you can look at the bullfighting horses in Spain or the light horse division in the battle of Beersheba.

Can you explain how bucking would be a good thing in AC:B? i more useful move would be the Capriole or Mezair

also, the Spanish riding school take like 4 years to train their horses(same period to train their riders)

The Buggman
11-24-2010, 05:01 AM
@bokeef04 So what you've just stated is that it takes time to train horses. In that case, not every random horse on the street would be able to be used as combat horses in the game. It's true that horses were not a large part of previous Assassin's Creed games, but that is only true for those games prior to Brotherhood. The focus on horses now has become much greater and you see them absolutely everywhere (I even saw one civilian stuck on a rooftop with one!). With such a great focus on horses, it simply does not work from a gameplay perspective for them to be as underdeveloped as they are right now. They don't need to be perfect horse replicas, but they do need to be more interesting than they are currently and the enemy AI should behave more accordingly regarding the horses. It's absurd to argue against the idea of making a game more deeply enjoyable.

11-24-2010, 06:30 AM
I have not played AC:B yet, unfortunately exams have ensured I won't be able to until Dec 13th! But, there is one thing the author has mentioned that I think will annoy me, as it did in ACII. Why is there no way to prevent your horse from following you wherever you go? It frankly ruined parts of my experience of playing ACII. If you got into a fight at times the horse would just stroll into the middle of the fight and stand there like nothin was going on!!! The fact that you couldn't kill the damn thing either made it worse!! Luckily in ACII you could stroll into one of the towns and it couldn't follow you, but judging by what I've read this could turn a niggly problem in ACII into a constant nuisance in AC:B. It's the simplest things sometimes.....

salted onions
11-24-2010, 06:35 AM
Well, at least for me, the horse would stop following me eventually. I just had to run far enough. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

Honestly, even though they said they integrated the horse into the game better and all, I don't see it. In AC2, I easily jumped off of rooftops, onto my horse in the countryside with a little practice, and I thought this would mean it would be even easier in ACB. This was not the case. I feel like the horse is as unwieldy and as boring to use as ever. I've tried many times to jump from a horse to the first story of a roof, but it would just slam into the wall and fall. I've only used that backflip move onto a beam twice in the game, once was by accident. Combat on the horse is terrible, I'd rather just not do that at all. They should either revamp the horse mechanics greatly, or just get rid of them in general. They're good for long distances, but so are the fast travel locations.

11-24-2010, 07:34 AM
I'm afraid I have to agree on all the bad points brought up about horses. It's a glaring blemish on what is otherwise a beautifully polished game. Everyone has already touched on the most salient points: their ridiculous immortality, lack of fear, their horrible handling and thier puppy dog following, but nobody mentioned they don't look very good either. I'm no graphics *****. I just mean they don't look good in comparison to NPC models and the game in general. I guess RDR forever spoiled me and raised my expectations on how horses should handle and react in video games.

The inability to kill them, to me, is the most offensive of their issues. Putting aside the fact that the animation of de-horsing an opponent clearly shows you slicing into the horse which somehow doesn't adversely effect it, the biggest problem is fighting on the ground when there's too many horses around. Just touching the flanks of a trotting horse shouldn't send you stumbling ten feet just to pinball off another horse that's trotting around waiting for it's master to get back on it in the midst of a ten person sword fight. Slashing a horse with a sword should garner some reaction. Oh, and I left out the most frustrating thing: how the horse will jump up onto a three foot ledge, trapping you, and refuse to jump off again.

Ugh... rant over.