Some thoughts on control mechanics in Mirage

  • Mirage brings new features to the melee combat genre with the integration of magic and special abilities activated by the player at any moment. Some of these abilities can force a loss of control on the players in the game, and I think it’s important to reduce the amount of loss of control some of the abilities can force.

    Player using an ability:

    • Once an ability key has been pressed, the player is committed to the attack. The battle changes so quickly that players use other abilities to counter or punish a keystroke where previously they may have been in an optimal situation to begin using said ability.

    This is a loss of control for the player initiating an ability, such as a Taurant boulder, or a leap slam, vigilist disperse, tinker mines, etc. When they activated the ability, it may have made sense to do so, but much like committing to an attack the game can change so rapidly that you are forced to feint to parry out of it, or to cftp after successfully performing a strike. In the same way the melee changes so suddenly, using abilities comes into the same problem.

    Proposed solution - Enable ability canceling. This would put the ability on its full cooldown, stop the ability effect from occurring, and allow for players to maintain control even after initiating an ability. Would also allow for new interactions for some abilities such as Vigilist disperse and Taurant leap slam to be used as a vertical mobility ability (use ability, get the vertical leap, cancel the ability before the slam down to grab onto a ledge). This would reduce instances where players using an ability lose control, and still be a strong punishing factor for those who cancel to defend themselves (ability is now on cooldown without the effect going through).

    Edit: I should also mention that the cancel should have a temporary attack lockout, so that offensive ability feinting does not become a thing. This should be PURELY defensive.

    Player is hit by an AOE ability

    • There are instances in this game where you are forced to parry large aoe attacks, such as disperse, leap slam, iron dome (unreactable), big blast, whirlwind, etc.

    For the most part these aoe abilities are not avoidable, especially when engaging the opponent in melee range. If I strike at a Taurant and he uses leap slam, I will miss my swing and he will land the aoe hit on me, which for the most part isn’t parryable when up close because the slam goes behind your parry box and hits your back unless you gamble a 180° parry hoping the actual tracer lines won’t hit you instead. If successfully parried then you are now thrown around by the impact, the same way you get thrown away by whirlwind, big blast, disperse, iron dome, etc. There are so many abilities that force a loss of control over your positioning that you can easily be forced into corners by ability spam. I think it’s very important to reduce the amount of abilities knocking you out of position. Just two players can toss others around like a ragdoll currently, and force their stamina / parry juice down to nothing before they even swing at their opponent. A common engagement tactic for Taurant currently is to unload his entire arsenal of abilities on one player to reduce their parry juice to nothing before the actual melee fight begins, essentially securing an automatic victory should all abilities be parried.

    Proposed solution - Reduce the amount of aoe on abilities, and reduce the amount of stamina lost from parrying abilities. Iron Dome does not need to be doing damage and knocking players away, it already has the benefit of being near instant and being an anti-projectile shield. As an interrupt it is far too powerful, and winds up being “free damage”, which is a very poor decision for competitive titles. There should never be instant unavoidable damage with forced stamina loss (see: Chivalry kicks). Leap Slam has tracer lines for direct hit damage, but almost no one uses the tracers for damage on this ability, they all aim for the ground behind their opponent for the aoe splash hit. The player on the receiving end of this attack cannot see where the slam will land, and therefore have to guess where to parry. If up close, I will turn 180° and side step to parry the incoming aoe. This will feel counter intuitive to new players who think “I parried, why did that hit me?” as the Taurant appears to launch through them on their screen.

    On a final note, Disperse currently hits way farther than the animation distance played, which feels wrong.


  • +1000 on cancelling abilities. Just allow feint to cancel the attack up to a certain point. It should be like normal attack where you can’t just cancel or feint the whole attack animation.

  • You defo need to be able to cancel abilities, for the reasons that gauntlet mentioned, and most of his ideas as well, not the iron dome to 100% though, I think all it needs is a bit more telegraphing on the windup and it would be fine.
    I think it might require some animations tweaks though, would look silly if you’ve already conjurned the boulder for boulder toss, and then it just vanishes into thin air. For such abilities there could obviously be some “black hole” action where the object is sucked into itself more or less, or just have the animations tweaked so that the projectile itself doesn’t spawn instantly.

    On the parry juice issue, I defo agree, I did a short amount of 2v1 against rumpel and stouty, it worked somewhat fine when they were both tinkers and I was a vigilist, but once stouty went taurant I could only parry a few attacks before I took damage from parrying, which in itself is one of the dumbest ideas ever, taking damage for parrying? no thanks.

    1. +1 for Feinting abilities, I agree more control/freedom of player initiative is usually better.

    2. +1 for not being punished by a parry. If this is the case though, what do you do about people who sit in a corner with a shield up? A stun mechanic like chiv? Or do you split it so you wont take damage from melee attacks, but still take damage from abilities? I agree with you about the mechanic, but I think the above scenario needs to be addressed as part of the solution.

    3. Re: Iron Dome, haven’t played enough to have formulated an opinion on this, instant interrupt/damage is annoying, in chiv at least there is a drawback for kicking (stamina usage). If you wanted to keep the ability as is with the interrupt, would building in more of a drawback be useful? I.e. Vigilist can’t parry for 1-2 seconds?

  • @The Science:

    Regarding the parries, I think as long as a person is able to parry or block every attack they shouldn’t be punished at all, there are ways to get around the parry including feints and drags. The problem might be the vigilist shield, but I think it shouldn’t be holdable.

    You can parry the iron dome, it’s just the lack of telegraphing on the ability that’s annoying, a more graphical windup than the vigilist raising her arm slightly would probably make a huge difference.

  • You can parry iron dome - never even thought to try that.

    Ability Use

    Iron dome has a very long cooldown, using it to interrupt a boulder throw is awesome especially as the class is so defensive. Really makes the class and ability attractive - and hardly OP because minimal damage and Taurant can still throw the boulder a few seconds later.

    Cancelling skills with “feint” sounds intuitive, not really different from being interrupted except no red cooldown. But feinting a boulder might seem a little obnoxious, feinting a shuriken, ugh. I know you said its purely defensive but adding arbitrary lock outs for no reason but balance is not good either.

    Skills are a little different in that I feel you have to really “consider” when you can use them. They are not like melee where you are constantly trying to attack and get a hit in, it is more strategic which I like. Iron Dome is a perfect example, initially you just run to objective and cover it, but later you can support someone extremely effectively using it as a knockback. A lot of things are still off because nobody can parry for long against multiple opponents and the fact classes can just throw projectiles through friendlies is a problem. Even CMW archers can’t do that.

    AOE ability

    For absolutely sure the amount of parries you can do is far too low, it feels like 25% of the amount of parries you can do in CMW. It is far too long before your stamina/parry starts to regenerate. I assume this is WIP. Leap Slam is in a league of its own, almost impossible to parry. I like AOE but you need some defense against it. I dont think you need to reduce the range of AOE, you just need to increase the ability to handle it.

  • Yeah, i’ll agree that the amount of parry juice or whatever the heck it’s called is super low. Considering there’s gonna be alot of projectiles flying around, making it LESS than Chivalry’s seems like an awful idea.

  • id love to see this implemented with spell combos

    i dont see a problem with feinting spells such as taurent boulder, because you can easily read it. however, shuriken feints (for example) should have a lockout so you cant punish the missparry after it.

    Although it would be annoying to 2v1 against someone shuriken feinting a mile away - maybe the faster spells shouldnt be allowed to be feinted

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