A closer look at the demon (Patch review)



  • As the most recent patch was not really well received by the community. As some time passed since it went live I decided to make a little more detailed review from my perspective with recent experiences in mid (in contrast to just judging the patch notes). I left out some changes not worth mentioning especially bugfixes that worked (Thanks for fixing Torn Banner!) and did not go into too much detail as the list is already very exhausting.

    Here we go:
    @Slygoat:

    King instantly respawning after death

    Still happens to Malric. At least sometimes.
    @Slygoat:

    Random class assigning players to classes over the max amout on class-limited servers.

    Some kind of this is still possible. I have seen Archers on No-Archer duel servers.
    @Slygoat:

    Sprint causing you to slide forward during dodge and reload animations.

    Still happens sometimes with Crossbow reload.
    @Slygoat:

    Removed some potentially abusive console commands.

    You can still switch to an abuse 3rd person mode even on servers that disabled 3rd person.
    @Slygoat:

    tapping kick will perform a quick knockback and daze with no damage and a lower stamina cost

    The quick kick does deal damage.
    @Slygoat:

    Attacks cannot be feinted in the last 200 ms of windup (attack grunt will play at the start of this window).

    A good change as it made feints more readable and feinting with a fast weapon slightly harder.
    @Slygoat:

    Unable to parry for .4 seconds after a combo feint.

    The most controveral and unneeded change. Why remove the (in my opinion) best use for feints? If its too powerful just increase the stamina cost on a parry in this period. Disabling this makes the game feel clumsy.
    @Slygoat:

    Parries can now be combod into from an attack release the same way as attacks are combod, for 10 stamina.
    Now able to parry in attack recovery - costs 25 stamina and does not allow counterattacks.

    In my opinion quite nice features. They make parrying easier but come at a cost. Still no proper replacement for feint-parries as they don’t allow to interupt an already queued attack in favor of a quick block which kinda dumbs down the feel of fencing.
    @Slygoat:

    Being hit while wielding a ranged weapon no longer flinches, only cancels the attack.

    This seems to cause the problem that Crossbow reloads can’t be interupted by ranged attacks. Which is an unneeded buff for crossbows.
    @Slygoat:

    Ranged weapons can be swapped away from or have their attack canceled at any time.

    Finally!
    @Slygoat:

    Chase boost now only activates against enemies with their backs turned.

    Good job making the chase code working as intended.
    @Slygoat:

    Chase boost activates from further away.

    Not a good thing in my opinion as it makes catching running enemies too easy.
    @Slygoat:

    Bonus stamina regeneration from crouching removed, base stamina regeneration increased.

    A very good change. People sitting down mid fight to regain stamina was a very stupid looking feature (bonus point as their positure wasn’t exactly relaxing). Now fights look and feel much better as people trying to regain stamina just disengage and circle/move back.
    @Slygoat:

    Alt swings have a .1 longer windup.

    At first I disliked this but it kinda makes sense as you need to bring your weapon to the other side first. Also helps making alt swings different/unique and not just swings tthat come from the other side.
    @Slygoat:

    Special daze length from 1.5 to 2

    A very good change that really makes stamina management count again. Finally you are able to punish enemies for poor stamina management even when using a slow weapon. The value feels odd for fast weapons though (2s stun because a dagger hit your tower shield?) so maybe make it specific to the weapon used? I also think this punishes using a shield too much. I suggest compensating for this by decresing the stamina cost on shield blocks.
    @Slygoat:

    After being flinched or parried, sprint is disabled for .5

    A change that makes sense too as the fighter is pushed off balance. Diminishes the effectivity of dancing and makes it harder but not impossible to pull off. As such it counteracts the Vanguard buff.
    @Slygoat:

    Buckler animations redone to block less screen space.

    For me this change only affects the Knight with Flail. Men at Arms and Javelineers still got that far too big screenblocking buckler.
    @Slygoat:

    Enemies have slightly larger collision than allies.

    Prevents facehugging but feels a little odd especially from behind. Probably a little bit to large.
    @Slygoat:

    Broad and Thrust Dagger size increased by 20%

    Finally you can hit omething with the dagger without having to facehug while standing on even ground.
    @Slygoat:

    Hunting Knife size increased by 40%

    Same as above but in my opinion a little bit overdone as it gives the Hunting Knife (the fastest weapon ingame) a reach comparable to most primary onehanded weapons.
    @Slygoat:

    Thrusting Dagger overhead damage from 45 to 50 and stab from 40 to 45

    The good thing: It made the Thrusting Dagger viable. The bad thing: It made the other daggers almost obsolete as the Thrusting Dagger is just plain better now.
    @Slygoat:

    Saber slash release from .4 to .375 combo from .6 to .575 and damage from 40 to 45
    Saber overhead windup from .45 to .4 release from .4 to .35 and damage from 45 to 55
    Saber stab windup from .4 to .45 and release from .4 to .35

    Put the saber in a nice spot and a viable pick for Archers and Men at Arms (if they didn’t pick a sword as primary).
    @Slygoat:

    Javelin shield punch attacks windup/release/recovery all .35/.3/.5.
    Short spear stab windup/release/recovery from .45/.3/.55 to .4/.3/.5 and damage from 45 to 50
    Javelin stab windup/release/recovery from .4/.3/.65 to .425/.325/.55 and damage from 55 to 60
    Heavy Javelin stab windup/release/recovery from .5/.35/.7 to .45/.35/.6 and damage from 60 to 70
    Javelin throw windup from .4 to .6
    Javelin reload from .9 to .6
    Small spear throw windup from .3 to .5
    Small spear reload from .8 to .5
    Heavy javelin throw windup from .5 to .65
    Heavy javelin throw recovery from 1 to .65

    Also good changes. Javelins are quite good melee options now and their throws feel more natural (before you had this ultra short windup and your recovery lasted for ages).
    @Slygoat:

    Crossbow projectile speed from 7500-8000 to 8500-9000
    Crossbow reload from 3.5 to 3
    Light Crossbow projectile speed from 7000-7500 to 8000-8500
    Light Crossbow reload from 2.5 to 2
    Heavy Crossbow projectile speed from 8500-9000 to 9500-10000
    Heavy Crossbow reload from 4.5 to 4

    Most of these changes were just unecessary. The Light Crossbow needed a buff but this was overdone, the Standard Crossbow might need some compensation for the headshot change but this was overdone. The Heavy Crossbow didn’t need a change but was still buffed.
    @Slygoat:

    Crossbow head multiplier reduced to 1.75x from 2x (Heavy Crossbow will still one shot Knights to the head, but normal Crossbow will not)

    A good change as it gave the Heavy Crossbow a better niche and also reduced the number of ranged weapons that are able to oneshot a Knight.
    @Slygoat:

    Longbow movement speed when drawn from 60% to 75%
    Shortbow movement speed when drawn from 75% to 90%

    Positive changed that opened up some uses for the other bows.
    @Slygoat:

    Bodkin Arrow damage type from Pierce to PierceBlunt

    In my opinion a unneeded damage type change (Bodkin arrows now explode heads). On the upside this made it easier to differentiate between the arrow types. Kinda meh but not really bad.
    @Slygoat:

    Shortbow Broadhead damage from 55 to 60
    Shortbow Bodkin damage from 55 to 62
    Longbow Broadhead damage from 75 to 83

    Changes in the right direction. It feels like this wasn’t enough to make the smaller bows viable but maybe its just because:
    @Slygoat:

    Warbow Broadhead damage from 105 to 100
    Warbow Bodkin damage from 105 to 116

    WTF Torn Banner? You take the most powerful ranged weapon that dominates most of its competition and buff it? The Broadhead change was ok as they are still doing what they are supposed to do (oneshotting Archers) while causing less damage to the other classes. The Bodkin change just made a DPS monster a ultra-DPS monster. My suggestion: Nerf it to 95 damage - still the same hits to kill if you don’t hit the legs and far less over the top damage.
    @Slygoat:

    Sling reload from 1 to .75
    Pebble minimum windup from .5 to .3
    Pebble minimum damage from 25 to 30
    Pebble max damage from 45 to 50
    Lead ball minimum windup from .7 to .6
    Lead ball max damage from 55 to 70
    Lead ball minimum damage from 30 to 25
    Lead ball ammo count from 20 to 25

    Nice changes that made the sling usable. I like them!
    @Slygoat:

    .3 cooldown on dodge.

    Makes sense and disallowes UT-style dodge frenzies.
    @Slygoat:

    Dodge disabled during windup and release.
    Attacking disabled for the first half of dodge (attacks will queue instead.)

    A controversal change that dumbed down MaA gameplay a lot as it basically removed rush attacks from the game. A poor solution to this issue. Should be revised (not completely reverted though).
    @Slygoat:

    Firepot damage from 7 per second to 6 per second.
    Firepot ground fire now ignites players who walk over it for 2 seconds.

    Firepot is weaker now but better for area denial. A good change.
    @Slygoat:

    Holy Water Sprinkler overhead windup/release/combo from .4/.4/.7 to .375/.35/.6
    Holy Water Sprinkler slash release from .45 to .4 and combo from .7 to .6
    Holy Water stab windup from .3 to .35 and recovery from .4 to .5
    Flanged Mace stab windup from .3 to .35.
    Flanged Mace slash damage from 65 to 64

    These changes put both weapons in a better position without overbuffing them which is a good thing.
    @Slygoat:

    Falchion slash damage type from SwingBlunt to Swing.
    Falchion slash damage from 70 to 65

    Both weakening the Base damage and damage type seems a little too much for me. Good thing is that it made the Falchion less of a slash weapon but maybe a little overdone.
    @Slygoat:

    Quarterstaff counts as onehanded when calculating attack stamina costs.
    Quarterstaff slash windup from .425 to .4 combo from .65 to .6 and damage from 40 to 45
    Quarterstaff overhead windup from .45 to .425 combo from .65 to .6 and damage from 45 to 50
    Quarterstaff stab damage from 40 to 45

    Similar to the Sling these changes made the Quarterstaff usable. Good job!
    @Slygoat:

    Sprint attacks sped up by about 20%.

    They feel much better now! No more gliding Vanguards that are easy to block and stupid to look at. Bardiche feels too fast though as it seems to be almost instantly.
    @Slygoat:

    All sprint attack damage values set to 100.

    I would rather see more diversity thats why I don’t like this change. Its not really bad though. Just boring.
    @Slygoat:

    Increased weapon knockback on all primaries.

    By itself a good thing but overdone. Should be toned down but not reverted completely.
    @Slygoat:

    Sprint attack key can now be rebound.

    Nice. Finally!
    @Slygoat:

    Claymore slash windup/release/combo from .5/.55/.65 to .475/.45/.625 and damage from 75 to 60
    Claymore overhead windup/combo/release from .55/.675/.55 to .475/.625/.45 and damage from 85 to 70
    Claymore stab windup/combo/release from .65/.65/.45 to .55/.625/.4 and damage from 70 to 65

    Made the Claymore a slightly less damaging and faster Sword of War. Good for weapon differentation but feels wrong if you think about the fact that its still the Claymore - a weapon supposed to be a heavy twohanded sword.
    @Slygoat:

    Bardiche slash windup/combo/release from .55/.7/.65 to .6/.75/.6
    Bardiche overhead release from .7 to .6 and damage from SwingBlunt to Swing
    Bardiche stab windup from .65 to .5 and release from .5 to .4

    Tweaks to the Bardiche. Justified from a balance perspective and good for weapon differentation. I still don’t like the fact that a giant axe deals chopping damage with slashes but cutting damage with its overhead.
    @Slygoat:

    Polehammer slash damage from 70 to 80
    Polehammer overhead damage from 75 to 105
    Polehammer stab damage from 65 to 72
    Polehammer overhead windup from .675 to .625
    Polehammer slash and overhead combos from .8 to .75

    Made the Polehammer very viable. Good job. Might even turn out to be a little bit overdone. The bad thing: it pushed the Bardiche out of its old niche.
    @Slygoat:

    Spear slash windup/recovery from .6/.7 to .425/.625 and damage from 40 to 30
    Spear overhead windup from .7 to .725 and recovery from .75 to .725
    Spear stab windup from .6 to .575, recovery from .725 to .65 and damage from 60 to 55
    Fork slash windup/release/recovery from .5/.6/.7 to .4/.375/.6 and damage from 35 to 25
    Fork overhead recovery from .75 to .7
    Fork stab windup from .5 to .475 recovery from .725 to .65 and damage from 58 to 50
    Brandistock slash windup/release/recovery from .6/.6/.7 to .45/.45/.65
    Brandistock stab windup/release/recovery from .7/.4/.725 to .55/.35/.65 and damage from 60 to 65
    Brandistock overhead damage from 90 to 95
    Flag slash windup/release/recovery from .7/.65/.8 to .5/.45/.7
    Flag overhead windup/release/recovery from .8/.55/.85 to .75/.5/.8 and damage from 58 to 70
    Flag stab windup/release/recovery from .75/.5/.825 to .6/.4/.65

    Spears feel odd now with their slashes and counterattacks that fast and powerful. It gives you the impression of wielding a very long sword that features an alternate stab instead of an overhead. I would like them to feel more spear-like.
    @Slygoat:

    Resistance to blunt reduced by 1% (Mace 2-shots Knights with overhead headshots, Maul 1-shots Knights with overhead headshot)

    Thats the complete wrong way to do balance: Changing a class resistance just to buff two specific weapons. In this case it worked out making both better at headshotting Knights without increasing their efficiency against MaA. Still changes to class aromor are a last resort thing as they mess with a bunch of weapons. Better change weapon parameters because they do not influence as much.
    @Slygoat:

    Knight swords now usable one-handed without a shield. Pressing “1” toggles between 1 and 2 handed, “3” toggles between shield and no shield.

    A long awaited and nice change. Good job!
    @Slygoat:

    Longsword overhead damage from 85 to 82
    Longsword stab damage from 65 to 61
    Longsword overhead windup/combo/release from .5/.65/.65 to .525/.675/.6
    Longsword slash combo from .65 to .675
    Sword of War overhead damage from 75 to 70
    Sword of War stab damage from 75 to 68
    Sword of War slash release from .6 to .525 and combo from .65 to .675
    Sword of War overhead release from .6 to .525 and combo from .65 to .675
    Sword of War stab release from .35 to .4 and combo from .65 to .675

    Was discussed a lot. Pre-patch I perceived these weapons as okay but playing with them post-patch and seeing how powerful they still are made me rethink my opinion. Good changes that increased Knight primary balance.
    @Slygoat:

    Messer slash windup from .55 to .525 recovery from .9 to .8 and damage from 85 SwingBlunt to 99 Swing
    Messer overhead combo/release/recovery from .75/.65/.85 to .7/.6/.8
    Messer 1H slash release from .45 to .4 and damage from 70 SwingBlunt to 80 Swing
    Messer 1H overhead combo from .75 to .7

    I like the fact that these changes give the Messer an unique “cleaver” feeling (it would share this with the Falchion if the Falchions slash damage would not have been nerfed). On the other side I see the problem of the twohanded Messer becoming a slashing weapon as its overhead is simply weaker than the slash in most regards (slash damage buff was overdone).
    @Slygoat:

    Double Axe size increased 20%
    Double Axe slash combo from .8 to .7 and damage from 85 to 90
    Double Axe overhead combo from .8 to .7 and damage from 95 to 115

    Thank you for buffing the Double Axe. It’s in a much better shape right now.
    @Slygoat:

    Bearded Axe slash windup/release/recovery from .425/.55/.8 to .475/.45/.7
    Bearded Axe overhead windup/release/recovery from .425/.5/.8 to .475/.4/.7
    Bearded Axe overhead damage from 87 to 90

    Good changes. A slight buff to the Bearded Axe that also made it feel more natural (windup was too fast before) without taking its flavor (speed).
    @Slygoat:

    Grand Mace slash damage from 90 to 80
    Grand mace overhead windup from .5 to .525
    Maul slash windup from .7 to .65 and recovery from 1.2 to 1.1
    Maul overhead recovery from 1.2 to 1.1 and damage from 125 to 132

    Nice rebalancing of twohanded blunt weapons that helps differentation and also makes the Maul a more attractive choice (it oneshots Knights now). Overall a good thing.
    @Slygoat:

    Flail slash windup from .55 to .5 release from .55 to .5 and damage from 55 to 60
    Flail overhead release from .55 to .4 and damage from 65 to 70
    Heavy Flail slash windup from .6 to .55 release from .6 to .55 and damage from 65 to 70
    Heavy Flail overhead release from .6 to .45 and damage from 70 to 75

    Definitely a step in the right direction and in contrast to many other changes not a step too far. Flails are much better now but still dominated by their rivals on a stick (Morning Star and Warhammer). Now they need some tweaks to find their place on the battlefield.

    Conclusion:
    The patch brought a bunch of good changes to weapon balance and differentiation and stamina management. Sadly this is overshadowed by the poor handling of mechanical issues and the fact that some changes were either unneeded (Warbow/Spear buff) or just taken too far (Vanguard/Crossbow buff). These things really pull down a patch that made the game better in a lot of aspects sadly overlooked by most people. I recommend revisiting the mechanical changes and also making future patches both smaller and better tested.

    In short:

    • too many changes
    • too severe mechanical changes
    • not enough testing
    • a lot of good changes that are now tainted/overshadowed by the poor ones :|


  • Very good overall assessment of the patches.

    @Evil:

    @Slygoat:

    Attacks cannot be feinted in the last 200 ms of windup (attack grunt will play at the start of this window).

    A good change as it made feints more readable and feinting with a fast weapon slightly harder.
    ng.

    This is a very good change I find, but doesn’t actually work consistently. Some weapons, the claymore in particular, seem to make my opponent grunt, but then they STILL feint afterwards. It’s worse than not having any feint cue at all, because I hear the grunt and parry, thinking their attack is coming, only to be feinted anyways.

    @Evil:

    @Slygoat:

    Special daze length from 1.5 to 2

    A very good change that really makes stamina management count again. Finally you are able to punish enemies for poor stamina management even when using a slow weapon. The value feels odd for fast weapons though (2s stun because a dagger hit your tower shield?) so maybe make it specific to the weapon used? I also think this punishes using a shield too much. I suggest compensating for this by decresing the stamina cost on shield blocks.

    I hated this change at first, but something clicked while I was playing the other night and I’ve changed my position on it. This patch features a lot of weird decisions and bad changes, but if you ignore the fact that the new stamina system seems to fuck over shield users, it actually adds a new dimension to fights.

    Duels feel almost like a UFC fight now, where you have to not only be mindful of your own stamina and fight accordingly, but also watch your opponent for mistakes in their use of stamina. If someone is wasting stamina, you can then be aggressive and attack them, because even if they block they’re getting pushed closer and closer to running out of stamina and being punished badly. Before running out of stamina was almost academic, because you could usually just block whatever attack they came at you with and then you had more stamina all of a sudden.

    Identifying when a recovery parry happens is also a big part of keeping track of someone’s stamina. Whereas before if you attacked someone while they were in recovery, you’d just do damage, now you essentially “damage” their stamina. It makes you play a bit of a long game because the damage you would have done to them when you hit them while they were in recovery has now essentially been pushed back to when they run out of stamina. It’s interesting.

    Doesn’t justify getting rid of combo-feint-parry though. In fact, I think these new stamina changes would have been enough to make people temper their use of CFP; because of the high stamina cost it puts you at a big disadvantage should your opponent pressure you and make you lose even more stamina. I’m willing to bet that if combo-feint-parry was returned to the game with these new stamina changes, that the “aggressive+defensive comboer” that people complained about would be much less effective.

    @Evil:

    @Slygoat:

    Increased weapon knockback on all primaries.

    By itself a good thing but overdone. Should be toned down but not reverted completely.

    Agree. Knockback is alright, but right now it just launches you completely out of the fight you’re having. Knockback should be high enough that it pushes your opponent out of their comfortable range, where they feel they can threaten you the most, but not so far that you can’t even hit each other.

    @Evil:

    In short:

    • too many changes
    • too severe mechanical changes
    • not enough testing
    • a lot of good changes that are now tainted/overshadowed by the poor ones :|

    Agree.



  • Was spamming right click to combo feint parry really a skill?

    From the attackers point of view the weapon either teleported to parry position or became weightless and moved at twice normal speed to get to parry. That’s how bad it looked.

    And it meant that you could recover from all your mistakes you made.

    If you make a mistake you get punished. That’s what the game is now and should of been.



  • This is a nice read. Well thought out post, nice! We share many similar positions on the changes. :D



  • @Evil:

    @Slygoat:

    Warbow Broadhead damage from 105 to 100
    Warbow Bodkin damage from 105 to 116

    WTF Torn Banner? You take the most powerful ranged weapon that dominates most of its competition and buff it? The Broadhead change was ok as they are still doing what they are supposed to do (oneshotting Archers) while causing less damage to the other classes. The Bodkin change just made a DPS monster a ultra-DPS monster. My suggestion: Nerf it to 95 damage - still the same hits to kill if you don’t hit the legs and far less over the top damage.

    There was no reason to use Bodkin over Broad. It takes the same amount of hits to kill still. This change was also buffed for the other bows to make them more viable in comparison to Warbow.

    The only viable choice was Warbow Broadheads – before you say nerf Warbow, the perk was to 1 shot archers – the other bows were just crap in general.


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