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View Full Version : No Small Weapon/Dagger in ACIV? Bigger Problems with Combat.



GreySkellig
10-12-2013, 11:42 PM
I remarked on this several months back when the very first trailers and concept art had come out for Black Flag, and now it seems my concern may have been justified.

I've always been a big fan of the small weapons category in past AC games. It felt like a good compromise between the speedy lethality of the hidden blades and the safety of a long sword or heavy weapon. When I needed to dispatch a small group of guards with haste, a dagger was always my go-to. Hidden blades were a dicey option as it was easier to miss counters, and swords had nowhere near the speed to get them all down without drawing attention. So small weapons filled a niche.

Unfortunately, though ACIII had small weapons--heck, the tomahawk was Connor's signature weapon--it actually removed the need for them, in a move which I think oversimplifies the entire combat system. Namely, the new counter-windows. Don't get me wrong, I love the slow-mo opportunity to choose exactly what your counter will be. But between extremely generous counter-windows and big red flashing "I'm attacking you!" signals, countering in ACIII was almost impossible to muck up, and counter-kills were exceptionally easy to score. This led to two problems related to weapon stats:

1) Huge counter-windows meant that the parrying ability of a weapon was irrelevant. You never had a reason to assume a parrying guard, and the opportunities to score a counter-kill were so massive that any minor tweaks in that window from weapon to weapon were hardly noticeable. Parry stats: pointless.

2) Since you could insta-kill enemies almost every time with little difficulty, you almost never had a reason to actually engage an enemy in a real duel unless you were starting a kill-chain. Even supposedly tougher archetypes, like the Captain or Brute, meant to break up chains, could be easily circumvented with any number of gimmicks. (My favorite was always the rope dart yank.) Damage stats: pointless.

That really only leaves one useful stat: speed. Or does it? Connor moved much faster than Ezio or Altair, making it possible for him to leap from enemy to enemy, flurrying blows at such rate, regardless of weapon (with the exception of the axes and clubs) that it made little enough practical difference be it knife, hidden blade, or sword. Sure, the small weapons were speedy, and I enjoyed that...but it was never really needed the way it had been before.

Obviously these changes were not made randomly--they were quite necessary to make it feasible for one protagonist to take on dozens of gun-wielding troops at a time without being massacred. They did, however, obviate the need for such a variety of weapons. And with so many additional gadgets and gizmos at Connor's disposal--pistols, bow, smoke bombs, trip mines, snares, poison darts and rope darts to name a few--it's no wonder many fell by the wayside, and developers this time around seem to have found themselves saying "Do we need all this?" Edward, in service of that observation, appears to have fewer bits of equipment hanging all over him--notably, no small weapon is in evidence. And, in some ways, I think that simplification is a good thing, though I will miss the small blade.

But I have to wonder--when it became apparent that there was no important function for some of these weapons, was it the right idea to strip some away? Or should the developers have wondered "Why are these suddenly useless?" To my mind, it is because combat, while not less complex (Connor and Edward have number of new and useful moves, like the corner-kill) is less nuanced. Choice of weapon or gadget didn't matter much in ACIII, because it was easy to succeed with any of them. I really hope that the next AC game, hopefully operating without the demands of gun-related combat (because really, enough guns), will incorporate in some way the more diverse, deliberate combat of previous games.

So that's what's been on my mind--what do you think? Agree, disagree? Why?

NOTE: I'm quite happy to be corrected about the actual nitty-gritty details of combat stats. This is largely based off of my IMPRESSIONS and OPINIONS of the last few games.

Stealth Gamer92
10-12-2013, 11:55 PM
I think as a "pyrate first, assassin second" character Edward would have more use for cutlas and gun than dagger, BUT he sould have one even if not for combat anyone on a sailing vessel would have one just in case it was needed. I agree guns and assassin's creed aren't the best of combos. An assassin should use stealth and information to get the job done, not just shoot the problem full of hole's.

Wolfmeister1010
10-13-2013, 12:05 AM
There are small weapons like daggers. You just can't shealth them. You can take them from guards and stuff

Sushiglutton
10-13-2013, 12:09 AM
To me the decission to remove small weapons (if that is the case) is a sound one. I don't think the mechanical difference between them and the other weapon types was big enough to justify the extra animations. A better priority would be to add depth and combos to the sword/hidden blade/unarmed combat (I'm not sure if they have done this though). I guess you are right that the difference was smaller in AC3 (I think they could have skipped swords in AC3). But even in the earlier games, with combat being as easy as it was, it was negligible.

In AC1 you could only use throwing knives with the dagger equipped, but this was a pretty artificial difference as all weapons were one-handed. Do fewer things, but do them better should a slogan for most of AC and combat is no exception imo.

Lowly Assassin
10-13-2013, 09:25 AM
without reading the OP
removing the small dagger that most of us where used to playing with, it totally changes combat, and our views of combat, no longer can we rush on and get lots of speedy kills, it will changes thte feel of combat, and maybe that is why it has been done, to bring "new life to an old dog"

Farlander1991
10-13-2013, 10:03 AM
In AC1 every weapon was different. Hidden blade - can't block or attack, but is an instant one-kill counter with a very small window, sword - slow but powerful (and with a possible strong attack if you hold the button) and with a wide counter range, short blade - very fast, but weak, with a medium counter window and the ability to throw knives.

However, ever since AC2 all those differences between these weapons really have stopped mattering that much, for two reasons: a) they've actually made these three types of weapons a lot closer to each other, and b) that similarity got even bigger thanks to stats making the weapons of different classes more similar to each other in terms of speed and efficiency.

And in ACB and ACR thanks to kill streaks it didn't really matter which weapons you had, at ALL.

So I don't agree that it's an issue that appeared in AC3, it appeared way back in AC2. Though, AC3 is the worst offender in terms of 'doesn't matter which weapon you've got'

HypeR.tgL
10-13-2013, 11:51 AM
Is it just me or do I hate kill streaks? It makes things fluid and quick, but it makes killing a group of enemies like slicing through butter.. I'm hopeful that in AC 5, not in AC 4: *insert random subtitle*, they redo how combat works.

Hopefully they make combat more difficult in Black Flag, but I'm not too worried, I'm just really excited for stealthily completing missions so that I don't need engage in any combat.

Lowly Assassin
10-13-2013, 12:01 PM
Is it just me or do I hate kill streaks? It makes things fluid and quick, but it makes killing a group of enemies like slicing through butter.. I'm hopeful that in AC 5, not in AC 4: *insert random subtitle*, they redo how combat works.

Hopefully they make combat more difficult in Black Flag, but I'm not too worried, I'm just really excited for stealthily completing missions so that I don't need engage in any combat.
hey, if you don't like kill streaks, dont do kill streaks ;)
but serously yes the kill streaks tend to make dispatching large groups quiet easy, although i tend to get stuck when i come across the big grenadirs and large brute type, ad the jagers tend to end my kill streaks, and occasionally a captain does too, so i'm not to fussed about how easy it is to kill 100 guards, as i try to avoid combat and if i find myself in a tricky spot i always have my assassin comrades to help me out or i can drop a smoke and flee

TheHumanTowel
10-13-2013, 12:09 PM
Basically since AC1 using different weapons has been pretty meaningless beyond getting different animations. The counter windows just keep getting more massive with each game and killstreaks have pretty much broken the entire combat system. But 6 games down the road it doesn't look likely Ubi will ever fix the glaring problems with it's combat system.

Farlander1991
10-13-2013, 12:14 PM
hey, if you don't like kill streaks, dont do kill streaks

I know you've said this jokingly, BUT, if we take this statement seriously... it's ******** and bad design :p

It's one thing to have a balanced system, where everything has a certain amount of value, and even if you don't like certain part of the mechanics (and don't use them) that doesn't diminish everything as a whole. That's alright. It's totally another thing to have a mechanic that is an absolute dominant strategy (ala counters in AC1 and kill streaks in ACB) in which case you don't need to use anything else BUT that, rendering everything else useless. There's absolutely no reason why somebody should force one-self from using a part of the system.

dxsxhxcx
10-13-2013, 12:23 PM
But 6 games down the road it doesn't look likely Ubi will ever fix the glaring problems with it's combat system.

sad but true... :(

Farlander1991
10-13-2013, 12:27 PM
Truth be told, AC3 out of the AC2-ACB-ACR-AC3 bunch has the least broken combat system.

Though, still, the least broken combat system is AC1. All they had to do was to either cut out the counter, make it less powerful, or make it much more skill-based. But they've gone a totally other way. Seriously, try fighting a Templar in a sequence before counter is available to you (so you wouldn't be able to use it at any possible time), it's really intense and awesome.

Lowly Assassin
10-13-2013, 12:29 PM
I know you've said this jokingly, BUT, if we take this statement seriously... it's ******** and bad design :p

It's one thing to have a balanced system, where everything has a certain amount of value, and even if you don't like certain part of the mechanics (and don't use them) that doesn't diminish everything as a whole. That's alright. It's totally another thing to have a mechanic that is an absolute dominant strategy (ala counters in AC1 and kill streaks in ACB) in which case you don't need to use anything else BUT that, rendering everything else useless. There's absolutely no reason why somebody should force one-self from using a part of the system.
i can see how the heavily biased combat system can be viewed as too easy, and therefore not challenging or fun, so i can see how it is people opinion that such a thing needs fixing,
but another way of looking at it, is , its not prince of Persia, we are not meant to be looking to get into battles and fights, we are meant to be stealthy and avoid them and plan are entire path so we do not trigger combat, i do understand how people get upset or annoyed or general dissatisfaction when things become too easy or get changed too much, but i also understand that if things did not change people would also complain about the game being stale or too "samey"

Farlander1991
10-13-2013, 12:36 PM
but another way of looking at it, is , its not prince of Persia, we are not meant to be looking to get into battles and fights, we are meant to be stealthy and avoid them and plan are entire path so we do not trigger combat

Huh? If you are able to kill 10 people in 10 seconds, why should you care about being stealthy at all? I mean, yeah, there's the feeling of self-satisfaction that you get from that, but, still. Risk/Time vs. Reward is broken in pre-AC4 games. You can spend lots of time in trying to be stealthy, which may be very tricky (high risk, high time) OR you could engage in battle and just kick the **** out of everybody (low risk, low time), ALL with same rewards. That's why AC4 is implementing different systems and archetypes, like, you get more money for being stealthy, or at certain spots place enemy types that can kill you in two shots.

Lowly Assassin
10-13-2013, 12:43 PM
Huh? If you are able to kill 10 people in 10 seconds, why should you care about being stealthy at all? I mean, yeah, there's the feeling of self-satisfaction that you get from that, but, still. Risk/Time vs. Reward is broken in pre-AC4 games. You can spend lots of time in trying to be stealthy, which may be very tricky (high risk, high time) OR you could engage in battle and just kick the **** out of everybody (low risk, low time), ALL with same rewards. That's why AC4 is implementing different systems and archetypes, like, you get more money for being stealthy, or at certain spots place enemy types that can kill you in two shots.

i would bother because i don't like fighting jagers, and i dont lik ebeing notorious and having guards shouting at me and constantly chasing me and trying to kill me on site, thats why i bother to be stealthy, and i try to play the game by the tenants of the creed, hide in plain site, stay my blade from the flesh of an innocent;

pirate1802
10-13-2013, 01:27 PM
Truth be told, AC3 out of the AC2-ACB-ACR-AC3 bunch has the least broken combat system.

Though, still, the least broken combat system is AC1. All they had to do was to either cut out the counter, make it less powerful, or make it much more skill-based. But they've gone a totally other way. Seriously, try fighting a Templar in a sequence before counter is available to you (so you wouldn't be able to use it at any possible time), it's really intense and awesome.

Yeah agreed. I'm playing AC1 right now and haven't got the counter skill yet. Even the normal fights are challenging, if not then atleast its not a walk in the park .

phoenix-force411
10-13-2013, 05:55 PM
without reading the OP
removing the small dagger that most of us where used to playing with, it totally changes combat, and our views of combat, no longer can we rush on and get lots of speedy kills, it will changes thte feel of combat, and maybe that is why it has been done, to bring "new life to an old dog"

I agree that they should not have removed it, because Ezio can sheathe two weapons in one sheathe, and so, it would be dumb if they didn't allow us to sheathe a dagger or a tomahawk in the right side sheathe. I just hope you can still choose between double swords and just a sword itself. I hate being limited to just double swords.

Stealth Gamer92
10-13-2013, 06:10 PM
I just hope you can still choose between double swords and just a sword itself. I hate being limited to just double swords.

Agreed. It looks so awful.

phoenix-force411
10-13-2013, 06:54 PM
Agreed. It looks so awful.

Yeah, I mean, taking out Small weapons was already bad enough. Expand one thing, but remove a lot from another thing? That's a taddy bit too much, I can care less about the boat missions because those usually have annoying Sync requirements.

Lowly Assassin
10-13-2013, 06:57 PM
I agree that they should not have removed it, because Ezio can sheathe two weapons in one sheathe, and so, it would be dumb if they didn't allow us to sheathe a dagger or a tomahawk in the right side sheathe. I just hope you can still choose between double swords and just a sword itself. I hate being limited to just double swords.


Agreed. It looks so awful.

stop looking at eddiebabies sweet sweet body and try to focus on the scenery and landscape, and you may forget that you have any weapons at all,
yes damn swords why can't we have phasers, and carry harpoons or spears on us, and why on earth was we never allowed to have the broom' fishing rod' hoe' light' wooden crate' pike as a sheathed weapon

but seriously, yes you are entitled to your opinions and although it currently appears that you can only wield double swords, until we get the game in hand we don't know how many or phew weapons we can carry, there is also a possibility that people (privateers and pirates) of that time period always had dual swords on them

xboxauditore
10-13-2013, 07:09 PM
Wait, What?! No daggers? That's outrageous! Knives have to be included! Imagine fighting with one sword and one dagger! Stabby stab!

Lowly Assassin
10-13-2013, 07:11 PM
Wait, What?! No daggers? That's outrageous! Knives have to be included! Imagine fighting with one sword and one dagger! Stabby stab!

well blackbeard has knives (as seen in a trailer)
does the idea of removing knives from AC sound like blasphemy?

i did have a picture of all basic weapon types in ac4 i will go and have a look


all i can see is
dual swords
dual hidden blades
fists

smoke bombs
berzerker darts
sleep darts
pistols
throw money

Stealth Gamer92
10-13-2013, 07:30 PM
stop looking at eddiebabies sweet sweet body and try to focus on the scenery and landscape, and you may forget that you have any weapons at all,
yes damn swords why can't we have phasers, and carry harpoons or spears on us, and why on earth was we never allowed to have the broom' fishing rod' hoe' light' wooden crate' pike as a sheathed weapon

but seriously, yes you are entitled to your opinions and although it currently appears that you can only wield double swords, until we get the game in hand we don't know how many or phew weapons we can carry, there is also a possibility that people (privateers and pirates) of that time period always had dual swords on them

My problem is two swords are 1 too many. He should have a cutlus in one hand the other free to grab punch use gun or whatever you do other than slash and stab.

Jexx21
10-13-2013, 07:35 PM
but dual cutlasses is awesome. It's Edward's Tomahawk.

AssassinHMS
10-13-2013, 07:40 PM
i can see how the heavily biased combat system can be viewed as too easy, and therefore not challenging or fun, so i can see how it is people opinion that such a thing needs fixing,
but another way of looking at it, is , its not prince of Persia, we are not meant to be looking to get into battles and fights, we are meant to be stealthy and avoid them and plan are entire path so we do not trigger combat,


Not really...AC is about choice. The player isn't "meant" to be stealthy. However, the game should make life (a lot) harder for those who don't take their time to plan the mission and avoid combat. The problem is, recent AC games, do the opposite where fighting 100 enemies is easier than being sneaky which is absurd and defeats the purpose of stealth.



i would bother because i don't like fighting jagers, and i dont lik ebeing notorious and having guards shouting at me and constantly chasing me and trying to kill me on site, thats why i bother to be stealthy, and i try to play the game by the tenants of the creed, hide in plain site, stay my blade from the flesh of an innocent;

Assassins use stealth because they need to in order to survive. They don't spend years learning how to move and how to kill silently simply because they would rather not fight jaggers, or because they find a little annoying having guards shouting at them all the time. The main purpose of stealth is survival. If it's easier to just kill everyone, then stealth isn't much more than a waste of time.



I agree when you say that AC isn't about getting into battles and fights, however, most AC's advertisements are all about fights and battles...

Lowly Assassin
10-13-2013, 07:41 PM
but dual cutlasses is awesome. It's Edward's Tomahawk.

so edward does NOT have a boarding axe?
now i refuse to buy the game, (joke)

Stealth Gamer92
10-13-2013, 07:46 PM
but dual cutlasses is awesome. It's Edward's Tomahawk.

That is your opinion. My opinion happen's to be two sword's give him too much....attack power(?)...or whatever it is refered to as.

xboxauditore
10-13-2013, 07:47 PM
Oh well, I didn't use the knife in 3 anyway, (But that is because it had the Tomahawk weapon animations) but I can settle for two swords anyway, Knives seem to have a more torture-theme to them In a pirate game, Plus, as stated, two swords does seem to be Edwards Tomahawk (Signature weapon/s).

Jexx21
10-13-2013, 08:07 PM
I personally have to say that Altair's signature weapon is his short blade, Connor's is his tomahawk, Edward's are his dual cutlasses, Aveline's is her sugarcane machete, Adewale's is is long machete and blunderbuss combo (it seems that way anyway), Haytham's is obviously his sword, but I can't seem to give Ezio an exact signature weapon. My first thought for Ezio is either the hidden blades or the crossbow, as if we compare Ezio to Batman, his hidden blades are his tool belt (arguably his "signature weapon"), but the hidden blades are also the signature weapon of the Assassins in general, but the crossbow is a primarily ranged weapon (but you can use it in melee combat).