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View Full Version : Progression of AC game combat (description of AC to ACB, and a question about ACR)



obliviondoll
11-15-2011, 10:23 PM
So... we have Assassin's Creed games. Awesome.

You know what first drew me to the original game? The combat system. I knew most of the controls and how to fight before the game came out. I expected to be capable of treating the guards like playthings once I got familiar with actually using the controls. I was right. Unfortunately, I was also wrong. I expected to need to think strategically and be careful if I wanted to make the guards look helpless. Problem is, they really ARE helpless.

The combat system for the first game was, and still is, brilliant. Everything is balanced, every action has a counter. Every counter can also be turned back against the user. If they had at least SOME intelligent guards who you had to work harder to beat, that would be nice. Don't try and say the Templars, they were no smarter. I wanted enemies who were INTELLIGENT, not just "idiot with heavier armour." The fact that you needed to learn the timing for your counters and combo kills was great though.

Bring on AC2 - the pre-release stuff looked promising - they were diversifying enemy types, and that meant you needed to use different tactics to beat them... right? RIGHT?

Guess not. Enemies are still all stupid. There are just several different TYPES of stupid now. And they broke the balance of the combat system while also removing the requirement to actually time your attacks. You can just mash the button and get the combo kill. Awesome "improvement" there. Ruining the entire basis of the combat isn't a good way to make it better. And there's no guard-break. In AC, you had the step-in attack to get through an enemy who was blocking (and it also ignored counters). In AC2, there's no way to harm an enemy who's blocking permanently without picking up a special weapon (halberd/spear from a "seeker" or two-handed weapon from a "brute"). The only saving grace was that enemies were too stupid to sit and block everything. When people suggested multiplayer vs. combat for AC, everyone said "you'd just have everyone sitting and blocking, and the first one to attack would get countered and killed" - in AC2, this would actually be true. In AC1, it never was. That tactic worked in single-player because enemies were incredibly stupid. A sensible opponent would use a guard-break attack. The guards very rarely did guard-breaks in the first game, but they'd knock you off-guard, then stand around and watch you recover instead of actually DOING something about it. In AC2, you don't have guard-breaks to worry about. And any enemy who can hurt you when you block is countered by switching to unarmed and stealing their weapon.

Then we move to ACB. Great news! New enemy types again! This time, I was skeptical. They had "tough" enemies. The Papal Guard.

Basically, these guys have all the advantages of the AC2 archetypes, but they also BLOCK ALL THE TIME. All this does is force you to use the stupidly overpowered guard-break. In trying to fix the balance from the previous screw-up, they instead unbalanced the game just as badly in the opposite direction. Now, instead of the block function having no counter, your kick has no counter. It's the fastest attack in the game, and there's LITERALLY nothing anyone can do to avoid it or prevent it from connecting. It also knocks people down with repeated uses, leaving them helpless for a few seconds. And unlike blocking, which is passive and relies on enemy action to get anywhere, you can spam the kick button and use it aggressively.

So, my question for ACR players, since I don't have the game:

Has this been fixed? Have Ubisoft given us enemies (even if it's only a couple of bosses) who are capable of posing a real threat WITHOUT RESORTING TO CHEAP TRICKS. By cheap tricks I mean the first game's boss having the ability to one-shot you unless you use a specific tactic to counter his magical "you have no health" ability. Or the ACB option of giving the final boss immunity to ranged attacks without any explanation, and leaving him literally immune to all but a single attack. That's not "smart" - it's just a Papal Guard with a bigger healthbar and no option to just shoot him and be done with it.

I want an enemy who I have to actually THINK when fighting. And I want a combat system which is FAIR and BALANCED so that can happen.

Is that the case? I'm expecting not, and I'm still hoping a cheap downloadable game comes out using the first game's combat system for single-system 2 player duels. That wouldn't restore my lost faith in Ubisoft (which is more about ACB's epic MP failure since March than the single player, but the deterioration there hasn't helpes), but it would make me willing to spend money on their products again.

obliviondoll
11-15-2011, 10:23 PM
So... we have Assassin's Creed games. Awesome.

You know what first drew me to the original game? The combat system. I knew most of the controls and how to fight before the game came out. I expected to be capable of treating the guards like playthings once I got familiar with actually using the controls. I was right. Unfortunately, I was also wrong. I expected to need to think strategically and be careful if I wanted to make the guards look helpless. Problem is, they really ARE helpless.

The combat system for the first game was, and still is, brilliant. Everything is balanced, every action has a counter. Every counter can also be turned back against the user. If they had at least SOME intelligent guards who you had to work harder to beat, that would be nice. Don't try and say the Templars, they were no smarter. I wanted enemies who were INTELLIGENT, not just "idiot with heavier armour." The fact that you needed to learn the timing for your counters and combo kills was great though.

Bring on AC2 - the pre-release stuff looked promising - they were diversifying enemy types, and that meant you needed to use different tactics to beat them... right? RIGHT?

Guess not. Enemies are still all stupid. There are just several different TYPES of stupid now. And they broke the balance of the combat system while also removing the requirement to actually time your attacks. You can just mash the button and get the combo kill. Awesome "improvement" there. Ruining the entire basis of the combat isn't a good way to make it better. And there's no guard-break. In AC, you had the step-in attack to get through an enemy who was blocking (and it also ignored counters). In AC2, there's no way to harm an enemy who's blocking permanently without picking up a special weapon (halberd/spear from a "seeker" or two-handed weapon from a "brute"). The only saving grace was that enemies were too stupid to sit and block everything. When people suggested multiplayer vs. combat for AC, everyone said "you'd just have everyone sitting and blocking, and the first one to attack would get countered and killed" - in AC2, this would actually be true. In AC1, it never was. That tactic worked in single-player because enemies were incredibly stupid. A sensible opponent would use a guard-break attack. The guards very rarely did guard-breaks in the first game, but they'd knock you off-guard, then stand around and watch you recover instead of actually DOING something about it. In AC2, you don't have guard-breaks to worry about. And any enemy who can hurt you when you block is countered by switching to unarmed and stealing their weapon.

Then we move to ACB. Great news! New enemy types again! This time, I was skeptical. They had "tough" enemies. The Papal Guard.

Basically, these guys have all the advantages of the AC2 archetypes, but they also BLOCK ALL THE TIME. All this does is force you to use the stupidly overpowered guard-break. In trying to fix the balance from the previous screw-up, they instead unbalanced the game just as badly in the opposite direction. Now, instead of the block function having no counter, your kick has no counter. It's the fastest attack in the game, and there's LITERALLY nothing anyone can do to avoid it or prevent it from connecting. It also knocks people down with repeated uses, leaving them helpless for a few seconds. And unlike blocking, which is passive and relies on enemy action to get anywhere, you can spam the kick button and use it aggressively.

So, my question for ACR players, since I don't have the game:

Has this been fixed? Have Ubisoft given us enemies (even if it's only a couple of bosses) who are capable of posing a real threat WITHOUT RESORTING TO CHEAP TRICKS. By cheap tricks I mean the first game's boss having the ability to one-shot you unless you use a specific tactic to counter his magical "you have no health" ability. Or the ACB option of giving the final boss immunity to ranged attacks without any explanation, and leaving him literally immune to all but a single attack. That's not "smart" - it's just a Papal Guard with a bigger healthbar and no option to just shoot him and be done with it.

I want an enemy who I have to actually THINK when fighting. And I want a combat system which is FAIR and BALANCED so that can happen.

Is that the case? I'm expecting not, and I'm still hoping a cheap downloadable game comes out using the first game's combat system for single-system 2 player duels. That wouldn't restore my lost faith in Ubisoft (which is more about ACB's epic MP failure since March than the single player, but the deterioration there hasn't helpes), but it would make me willing to spend money on their products again.

PhiIs1618033
11-16-2011, 06:09 AM
The combat is more balanced now, as in that it's harder to kill enemies. The way they accomplished this is by having guards block more and attack more. Otherwise, it's exactly the same experience. It certainly makes fleeing a more attractive alternative.
The kick is back, but not the guard break from AC1 (I love that move). This also means that, yes, you can just keep pushing RT and you won't get hit, unless someone is attacking from the back.

All in all, I don't think the combat system is up to your standards. Far from it.

obliviondoll
11-16-2011, 06:30 AM
So enemies are slightly more aggressive and slightly better at blocking? Calling that more balanced is like saying that makeup fixed a broken nose because it doesn't look quite as bad any more. It's an attempt to cover for the broken combat system.

Can you still spam the attack button to get your combo kills? And can you still keep spamming the button after a kill to do a kill streak?

If they kept the first game's guard-break attacks, and the first game's requirement for accurate timing, and added the kill streaks from ACB/ACR (with those ALSO requiring accurate timing), and the extra weapons/abilities from the later games... if all that happened, more aggressive enemies with better skill at blocking would be a GREAT improvement, instead of just a cover for the progressive deterioration of the series.

Thanks for the reply, but I wish there was SOMETHING in this game that was good news.

xCr0wnedNorris
11-16-2011, 08:46 AM
Basic guards are easy-peasy. The Jennesaries(sp?) are kind of the Papal Guards of AC:R. They block your attacks, avoid kicks, take multiple counter attacks to kill, won't die if you hit them in the middle of a kill-chain, will break your guard, will drop back and use their guns like the papal guards, will only be hit once after doing some sort of dodge then attacking them, afterwards they start blocking. I've found that fighting a group of them is like fighting a group of Templars (The uber ones, not the regular ones) in AC1. The other archetypes have their own specific counters and nothing else but the killstreak and ranged weapons works on them. Some enemies are in these "Balconies" or kiosks that make it to where only ranged weapons work on them. All in all they did a good job scaling the combat difficulty with the different archetypes.

obliviondoll
11-16-2011, 06:02 PM
Oh good, so there IS something that can break your OP kick and kill streaks. That makes things less broken.

Sounds like they've made them into cheap minibosses instead of fair enemies to fight though.

And can you still land a hit and mash the attack button to do an instant-kill attack? Because in the original, landing that kill required you to TIME the button press, not just mash it. THAT was the biggest failing aside from unbalancing the combat with the removal of guard-breaks and the replacement with OP kicks. And it was the part which annoyed me the most.

xCr0wnedNorris
11-16-2011, 08:31 PM
Yeah you can still do that.

obliviondoll
11-17-2011, 06:17 AM
Thanks for confirming that it's still not fixed.

I'll stick to wishing for a downloadable AC arena based off the original game's combat system.

Or ACB multiplayer being fixed. Either one of those might help restore my faith in the possibility of Ubisoft not continuing to gradually run a great series into the ground.

PhiIs1618033
11-17-2011, 07:29 AM
Indeed, killstreak-spamming still works. >.<
An easy strategy for more resilient guards is dodge, attack, dodge, attack. It gets rid of them pretty quickly.

Lass4r
11-17-2011, 08:45 AM
Wow someone got up on the wrong leg... why do you have an ACR multiplayer sig if the MP is so bad? And if its only ACB MP that is somehow broken, why not just play ACR?

luckyto
11-17-2011, 08:54 AM
Yes, it is just as screwed up and unbalanced as Brotherhood. And the kick is just as invincible as before, you are not the Assassin ... you are karate kid. You are too powerful, guards are monotonous in their approach, and kill-streaks are too easy to execute.

The only thing that feels different is that counter-kills take a little better timing. Of course, it's early yet and I may change my mind on that after some gameplay.

The "kill moves" animation has taken a turn for the worse in my opinion also.

I think the move to guard types was a huge mistake. At least in AC1, there was a probability that any guard would counter me, grab me or otherwise.

Combat has moved downhill from release to release in my opinion So has AI. So has map size. And stealth is less and less necessary. Which is a shame, because those are critical game elements.

On the plus, if you like exploring, Constantinople is fantastic and the graphics are better than ever. Story is stronger than Brotherhood too. And there does seem to be more guards. In the end, you are still going to be wishing for a true sequel to AC1.

iN3krO
11-17-2011, 04:21 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by luckyto:
Yes, it is just as screwed up and unbalanced as Brotherhood. And the kick is just as invincible as before, you are not the Assassin ... you are karate kid. You are too powerful, guards are monotonous in their approach, and kill-streaks are too easy to execute.

The only thing that feels different is that counter-kills take a little better timing. Of course, it's early yet and I may change my mind on that after some gameplay.

The "kill moves" animation has taken a turn for the worse in my opinion also.

I think the move to guard types was a huge mistake. At least in AC1, there was a probability that any guard would counter me, grab me or otherwise.

Combat has moved downhill from release to release in my opinion So has AI. So has map size. And stealth is less and less necessary. Which is a shame, because those are critical game elements.

On the plus, if you like exploring, Constantinople is fantastic and the graphics are better than ever. Story is stronger than Brotherhood too. And there does seem to be more guards. In the end, you are still going to be wishing for a true sequel to AC1. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

As i said several times, every new mechanic of the game from ac2 to acB and R is useless unless they balance them -.-

obliviondoll
11-18-2011, 12:50 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Lass4r:
Wow someone got up on the wrong leg... why do you have an ACR multiplayer sig if the MP is so bad? And if its only ACB MP that is somehow broken, why not just play ACR? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
ACR hasn't fixed what's broken about ACB MP. And it's got SERIOUS issues where the devs made stupid decisions. Feel free to pop into the multiplayer forums if you want to find plenty of people who agree with me, along with examples.

As for the sig, I'm one of the leaders of a clan from ACB (many of whom are playing ACR). I'm not supporting the GAME. The game has continued missteps from previous titles and added new screwups. But the CHARACTER in my sig looks awesome and was my favourite in the beta of ACR, which I DID play. And which helped to encourage me NOT to buy it straight away. I'll be back when they actually start FIXING things.

Don't see why a long-time paying customer should be insulted (yes, "someone got up on the wrong leg" IS an insult) for thinking the older products had less faults when that's simply a provable fact.