Vanguards - Speed or Knockback?

  • Alright, even as a vanguard, I’m pretty fed up with this.

    Back when “the patch” was released, a multitude of things were changed. One of them was how the vanguard class worked. Firstly, their maximum sprint speed was reduced and their backpedal speed was increased to compensate. This was done for the sake of those who complained about “dancers” being silly, OP, etc. Now that sprint lockout was in place and the vanguard’s top speed was reduced, the vg was in sorry shape. But no, back from the bowels of hell, vanguard weapon knockback was reintroduced. VG knockback allowed for vanguards to keep their distance with their massive weapons whilst catering to the complaints of those who couldn’t catch dancers. However, removing “dancing” actually created more problems and made the game less fun for everybody.

    Wild Knockback - Though knockback is consistent for simple attacks like stabbing with long weapons to create distance, when applied to overheads and swings at short range, strange knockback directions will occur. For example, when a vanguard overheads into a knight to the front of him, the knight will usually end up parrying the handle. The angle in which the handle was coming at the knight can cause an overhead to knock around the knight in any direction - to the left, to the right, backwards, forwards, downwards, etc. This is jarring to fight against. One can’t properly adjust to fighting a vanguard or his teammates if knockback can happen from any angle from any attack. On the flip side, these wild knockback hits can get vanguards killed by flinging enemies behind or to the side a vanguard’s reach, just enough so that the vanguard will not be able to turn to parry in time to catch an instantaneous riposte. This can be unparryable under certain conditions. Due to how hits are registered in this game, there’s probably no way to stop these things from happening, lest handle hits be worked on.

    The “Fun” in playing and using knockback - Actually, there is none. There is absolutely nothing fun about playing against or using knockback. As a vanguard, using knockback to create distance is boring. With ultra long weapons like the halberd, you can use knockback to maintain distance whilst draining stamina. This is boring to do and boring to fight against. Back when dancing was how vanguards kept distance, a bad vanguard would have ran straight into the enemy that just parried him, allowing that enemy to get a hit on him, and likely kill him. Nowadays, the bad vanguard will hit his opponent away from him, causing the fight to remain a stalemate. Comparing the present to the past, in the time it would have taken for that enemy to come within killing distance of the bad vanguard, that bad vanguard would have already been dead. If knockback were to be removed, bad vanguards would have to man up and actually learn how to fight somewhat skilfully in order to win. Ultimately, gameplay would be sped up by the removal of knockback. Playing against a bad vanguard would no longer be the boring back and forth distance game. Instead, fighting bad vanguards would be far easier, and fighting against good ones would be far more dynamic due to the necessity of dancing to create distance.

    Skill vs Knockback - When this July patch came along and supposedly buffed the vanguards, it was actually a huge nerf for the truly skilled vanguards. Dancing was something few people were capable of doing properly. A bad dancer would run in balls deep into an opponent after being parried, turn around, and get hit in the back. Only the really good dancers were capable of hitting someone’s parry and causing their riposte to whiff, otherwise that vg would need to parry back. If you were going to say vanguards were buffed as a whole however, you would be both right and wrong. The skill cap for playing vanguard was lowered (even further.) This means that the average player doesn’t have to put in nearly as much to receive a higher output, but at the same time, skilled vg players are limited in what they are capable of doing. This skill ceiling being lowered by knockback, the implementation of sprint lockout, and the adjustment of vg speed values contributes greatly to the lack of variety in pubs. Everyone, their mothers, and even the kitchen sink are playing vanguard in pubs. If you’re a lone knight playing against 2-3 badguards whom all are artificially keeping their distance with knockback, there’s not much you can do. However, if those 3 badguards were bad dancers, you could kill them all pretty easily because they don’t know how to control their distance properly. Punishing players for their mistakes and rewarding them for being competent is how features should work. Knockback is a giveaway feature that caters to casuals. Enough said.

    So that leaves me with this point. Why would dancing make this game more fun?

    Playing as a vanguard would no longer be like trying to ice skate through mud, and fighting vanguards wouldn’t be like trying to run through a never ending hallway in a nightmare. Increasing the top vanguard speed (not by much mind you) would allow the good vanguards to stay good whilst forcing bad vanguards to actually get some skill with footwork in order to stay alive. Any skilled vet will tell you that dancing, while occasionally annoying to deal with, is easy enough to counter.

    Vanguard fights would be much more fluid. Instead of knockback creating artificial distancing and increasing the time it takes for enemies to engage a vanguard, the enemy could, with skill, engage immediately with no wait time in-between. This would also mean that, say, a good knight could actually take on multiple poor vanguards due to knockback not causing fights to be stopped dead in their tracks. If a vanguard’s weapon gets parried and riposted, he has the option of trying to dance away from that attack, taking it like a man, parrying it, or any combination of the 3. The knight wouldn’t be pushed so far back that his riposte wouldn’t even be able to hit like it is now.

    In the case of Chivalry, mechanics which take the fight out of your hands are not fun. Knockback is such a mechanic. At least with dancing, your own skill with footwork and parrying determined whether or not you as a vanguard were any good. Knockback is just a giveaway. Dying to a vanguard would be a death that you deserved, because dancing is not an out of the package feature like knockback is. Dancing is an acquired skill that not everyone has.

    In short, the vanguard class should be about skillful maneuvering with long weapons, not creating artificial distance with long weapons. Knockback takes away from the flow of this game whilst making the class unnecessarily easier for newbies to play and simultaneously hampering good players, vg or otherwise. Knockback adds nothing fun to this game at all. Even as a vanguard from launch I fucking hate this feature. I’d rather see knockback removed and maximum vanguard speed increased, even if only by a slight margin.

    I should also mention that some testing would need to be done in regards to vg speed should knockback be removed. Because all patches are bound to cause different changes, leaving vg speed as is and increasing vg speed should both be tested.

  • I think there should be a distinction between sword vans and pole vans. One of the problems is the lunge being different swings all together. One is a stab lunge - much harder to land and the other is the 180 swing lunge - noob easy and can take out 4 people or double hit one even if it is parried to the side.

    Another distinction between these two sub classes is the damage and range. Sadly several swords are longer and faster than several of the pole arms and do more damage. In the case of the halberd being under powered, cannot 1 shot an archer unless it is a perfect stab lunge attack to the head, very hard to land and it can take up too 4-5 swings to kill a knight if they are torso or leg shots. So the blow back while harsh, can help against a knight with a spammy weapon. Where as the longer sword can 1 shot an archer at a greater range with a swing and another with an overhead.

    SO in this debate I would consider the differences between the sub classes as being more of a deciding factor.

  • Remove knockback and slightly increase vanguard speed. Along with that…increase knight speed slightly. Hopefully, sprint lockout and the bubble will be removed/reduced as well. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone say knockback is good or fun. It’s just annoying.

  • Retsnom, I think I should mention that I’m referring primarily to knockback from regular attacks. Charge attacks, while they have knockback, aren’t the main problem I’m talking about.

  • @DerFürst:

    Retsnom, I think I should mention that I’m referring primarily to knockback from regular attacks. Charge attacks, while they have knockback, aren’t the main problem I’m talking about.

    Yes I know, I added in the lunges as well. But my main issues still hold true about the differences between the sword van and the pol van. With the exception of the brandi, swords > pole arms. Because of this, there would have to be a lot of changes in the game to totally remove blowback. Sprint lockout removed, bubble removed, increase of defensive abilities and a better balance between the two van sub classes.

  • so nobody else think the vanguards are already too fast? so if you reduce the knockback but increase the speed, isn’t that like… counter productive?

    vanguards are like as fast as man at arms and they are the best in running around in stupid circles zooming around the map like a crack addict.

  • @50ShadesofClay:

    so nobody else think the vanguards are already too fast? so if you reduce the knockback but increase the speed, isn’t that like… counter productive?

    vanguards are like as fast as man at arms and they are the best in running around in stupid circles zooming around the map like a crack addict.

    They were too fast before July as well. Until they’re slower than a handcuffed turtle with adhesive boots dragging around a boulder, they won’t ever be slow enough.

    Douchery aside, I don’t think so. The combination of their current speed in conjunction with knockback is what makes them so annoying to fight. If a vanguard had no knockback but was even just slightly faster, the average vanguard could actually be seen as worse off than he was before. Dancing properly against skilled people isn’t easy. CFtP coming back will also make vanguards easier to parry for the skilled. Granted, dancing can be annyoing to fight against, but so is everything that gets you killed. The point is that fewer people can actually do it and it’s all skill based. Every vanguard with knockback has been given knockback. It’s not like they earned it. I’d rather see a vanguard be annoying to fight because they earned the right to be so instead of it being handed to them. Dancing is a technique that has to be mastered whereas knockback is a feature.

  • @50ShadesofClay:

    so nobody else think the vanguards are already too fast? so if you reduce the knockback but increase the speed, isn’t that like… counter productive?

    vanguards are like as fast as man at arms and they are the best in running around in stupid circles zooming around the map like a crack addict.

    Errm not quite. Sure they’re pretty quick, but they’re not that bad haha. If sprint lockout was removed with a majority of the knockback from the weapons, then I’d be all for a few tweaks to the movement speed on vanguards.

    DerFürst says it best.

  • dancing IS easy though, swing and run in a circle… what’s so difficult?

  • @50ShadesofClay:

    dancing IS easy though, swing and run in a circle… what’s so difficult?

    You must not remember.

    Average player: run in close, swing, get parried, turn around, riposted in the back, feint comboed, dead.
    Skilled player: run in close, swing, get parried, turn around and jump, turn around again, parry, still alive.
    Very skilled player: run in, hit at maximum distance, get parried, turn around and jump, turn around again, opponent whiffs, attack and hit.

    “Dancing” is not simply hitting someone then running away so fast that the opponent can’t hit you back. There’s a lot more skill involved in doing it properly without getting hit. Unless you’re an ultra scrub who thinks feinting is an exploit and mauls are too fast to parry, you’re not going to have a hard time dealing with these guys. I’ve also got the feeling that people mistake boosting vanguard speed for turning vanguards into v8 sports cars with helicopter blades. Increasing slightly might be a better word for it since the original speed nerf wasn’t very much at all actually.

  • I play vanguard a lot and I honestly hate the knock back. It’s good in a not-fun way for either player. I hate knocking enemies out of my combo range; I feel like I have to get closer to enemies than I should to properly play my superior range weapons just so I don’t knock them back too far. I don’t like the range game when I’m trying to efficiently kill my enemy quickly.

  • @DerFürst:


    i had no idea of these advanced tactics…

  • I’m sure you would agree being able to move out of the way of attacks is much better than trying to parry them, right Clayton? I think knight speed is in need of an increase more than vanguard though, but I’m not adverse to the idea.

    Edit: Knockback is dumb.

  • exactly ranulf, and that’s why i think the vanguards are already fast enough, if you see them running around between opponents in pubs and whatnot and try chasing one down as a knight it’s horrible. Sure in 1v1 you can just watch them. What if they get the first hit on you and they just back off keeping range and knockback against you whilst getting all stamina back. They’re too much of a threat to just let them go while you slowly try and heal, but if you try aggression against them, a vanguard with say a greatsword will decimate you in any 1v1 situation… and i already described the 1vmany situation which they also accel at having more range, more speed, and rivaled damage… plus their ability to stam drain and the knockback being already what it is. There’s just so many things making vanguards currently better at melee combat. Sure… they have less armor, but when plenty of weapons can 2 shot knights, it doesn’t really help as much as you would think. If any speed buffing is done to the vanguard (and even if not) i would say that YES, the knights could use a SLIGHT speed boost. The stamina pool is immensly small as well, the old stam pool was much better. Most of the weapons also have very weak drags as well that are easily countered and parried.

    I know this thread is vanguard, but you talk about say an maa with a holy water vs. a knight, they can stam drain a knight with a tiny stick all the while dodging and sprinting away to the point where they TOY with even very skilled knights. If anything needs a buff right now it’s the knight class. Biased or not, pretty much most agree that the knight is very weak in opposition to the other classes. The BEST thing about them is they MAY be able to take an arrow, or 1 extra hit in fights but that’s not really enough to compenate for a lot of weaknesses to other classes when they are outclassing by so much.

  • Remove knockback, keep them the same speed, and remove sprint lockout.

  • I think knockback should be reduced for all weapons and especially on stabbing attacks. Of course this would hit Vanguards more than other classes but then their weapons are long and come with a significant stamina drain.

    Dancing is a nice tactic for using this. And tactics are much better than some stupid base mechanic to keep people away from you. The charge should probably get a change: You should not be able to charge it up by running in circles. In return both chargeup and performance should be faster (see other topic).

  • they shouldn’t be as fast as men at arms, that’s what I’M sayin

  • @sharkh20:

    Remove knockback, keep them the same speed, and remove sprint lockout.

    That’s exactly it. But I wouldn’t remove it completely

  • A few quick things, for some vanguard weapons the main aspect of the fight is range manipulation. For such weapons knock-back plays a large part in the fighting, otherwise other classes would just move in too quickly, too easily.

    Additionally about it not being “fun”, there is something satisfying about manipulating a person into spikes, pits, or off surfaces using the knock-back.

    Lastly, you can make this poll more valid by adding an option for those who feel that the knock-back should remain unchanged.

  • Knockback, coupled with the current bubble makes hitting vanguards a fucking pain.

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