General Feedback Build 52101

  • The most dire game mechanic that needs attention this build are parries as currently they are barely functional yet they are a core combat mechanic. Stabs coming straight at the user were extremely hard to parry, and attackers could guarantee hits behind the parry volume by turning to the side, and leaning back into their opponent in facehug range. This was particularly unpreventable when a player parried an enemy attack and lmb riposted in this way. Clocktower has video of this in action but I’ve been told TBS devs are aware of the problem so it may be redundant.

    Walljumping: Currently feels clunky to use as it requires the user to be looking in the direction that they want to move when wall jumping. Great to use for scaling a wall, but for pushing off of a wall as one would imagine when they hear “wall jump” it does not serve this purpose appropriately.

    • Keep the current press spacebar to scale wall, but implement a secondary wall jump with more horizontal distance and less vertical, activated by double tapping a movement key in the direction the user wants to move away from the wall.
      This kind of wall jump is featured in Unreal Tournament. Similarly, a user should be able to wall jump as many times as they can before they touch the ground. The courtyard pillars are asking for this kind of double wall jumping movement.
      An example of what this looks like can be viewed here:

    • It is also important to separate the walljump key from the ledge key (both currently use spacebar), as sometimes you want to perform a wall jump but wind up performing the ledging animation to climb over small walls.

    • Finally the current wall jump could use some animation. The floatiness is very apparent, and there is no sound of impact when performing a wall jump (provides no indication anything was done). Some changes that might be worth looking into would be leg animations that kick off the wall (see Unreal Tournament example video), and the sound of the boots colliding with the wall or a very short player grunt.

    Falling Damage occurs from relatively low falls in this game. Feels inconsistent with the design of the game (high ledges, movement abilities that grant players great height).

    Regarding camera: The camera should be in the head. Camera in the neck feels weird, like I’m a very tiny person. The sense of attachment is not there. Vypress camera in the current build is the only camera that feels okay to use. Tinker camera in a 6v6 made me toggle third person to see what was happening because I was so low to the ground.

    Map out of bounds kill zones are too close to the fall point.

    • This game, much like Super Smash Brothers, has abilities that enable some classes to safely fall out of the map and return, such as Vypress pounce + dash attack, so if she were knocked out of bounds she may be able to climb back in. At the moment, in Falcon Ridge specifically, out of bounds kill barrier is so close to the fall point that using the abilities needs to occur near instantly otherwise you die.
    • Dying when falling out of bounds / into water is visually underwhelming. The ragdoll is jarring and doesn’t seamlessly transition from your previous character state. When falling into water having some kind of impact with the water would help add to the immersion of the situation.

    Combat music engages when damage taken, including fall damage. To maintain the atmosphere of the game, perhaps consider excluding fall damage as a trigger for combat music.

    Parry: Major issues with parry at the moment.

    • Parry volume is too easy to bypass. Facehug accelerated lmbs while crouching and looking up go behind the parry volume.

    • Intentional misses feels as awful as it does in Chivalry. The parry volume forcing close attacks away is sorely missed.

    • Parry recovery is too short, leaving little room to punish mistimed parries. This issue might be rectified if feints didn’t have a delay between attacks as it currently does (addressed below).

    • Combo parry is gimmicky as it was in Chivalry. If you want to make something like combo parry exist, make it so that on successful hit that the player can parry at any time (without queuing) much like a player in neutral stance could do.

    Feints: There exists a delay on feint to attack that feels really bad for any class not featuring fast weapons like Taurant. Feint to attack should have minimal delay to keep a sense of fluidity and control in combat.

    Friendly Fire: Currently friendly fire operates as it does in Chivalry. I think this is a huge mistake. In a melee based game being able to see what is happening is extremely important. In chaotic melees, sometimes players will swing through their own team to hit an enemy, who could not have predicted or reacted to it because the hit came through a character model, effectively masking the attack from view.

    From my perspective earlier Mirage builds handled this appropriately by stopping all attacks that intersect with a friendly hitbox. In this way a player cannot use their teammate as a sacrifice to hit an enemy who has no ability to understand what is happening behind the player they’re engaged with. You can even keep some team damage from these swings to further solidify the importance of being careful with your swings.

    Queuing errors: Currently queuing is far too generous, and remembers inputs from before you were flinched. If I queued a swing and became flinched, the swing would begin playing after my flinch time was over, requiring me to double tap the parry button to feint to parry.

    General review of melee gameplay this build without being able to pinpoint exactly what is going wrong, everything feels desynchronized.

    • Occasionally melee attacks where my weapon intersected player models would not register (might have something to do with character mini-dodge movements).
    • Sometimes when I’m pressing ability keys I become so desynchronized from my own inputs that I can sit perfectly still and watch my character try to “catch up” with my most recent input. This usually occurs when I’m being flinched and queueing abilities. This is a rare bug that I’ve encountered only a few times and is hard to replicate.
    • There are also some abilities that you can perform after being flinched to interrupt a players combo. Taurant whirlwind comes to mind as one of those abilities because he is uninterruptible when the ability enters the swing stage of that attack.
    • Playing in a 7v7 environment, there are so many abilities being used with minimal strategy employed. Abilities have no limiting factor other than cooldown, which causes players to use all abilities when they are off cooldown. In 1v1 scenarios ability use is not such a large issue, but the moment there exists at least 5v5 the ability spam becomes overwhelming. Dialing back the amount of AOE on abilities would be one useful step. AOE is largely anti-skill, it requires very little aim and should be used very sparingly because everyone has to cluster together to fight in a melee focused game like this.

    To finalize my ideas on the current state of gameplay in a 6v6 environment, I would urge that abilities have some limiting factor in place other than cooldown. Tying abilities to stamina might be one avenue worth pursuing, as it takes stamina to parry ability attacks that are largely unavoidable in many situations. Players unloading their entire arsenal of abilities becomes far too chaotic in team fights.

  • Good read, a number of your major concerns are already WIP beyond what you’ve tested.

    You were in on the large playtest yesterday, and it was my first time playing with you.

    So I’d be interested - Are you able to speak towards some of the more positive/constructive elements you experienced? What parts of the gameplay you like? Your feel for the flow of the game?

  • Mirage is easily going to be one of my favorite melee titles because it’s breaking from the norm of medieval melee brawler which have become more popular in recent years (partly I believe from the success of games like M&B and Chivalry). The free form movement, introduction of z axis elements, and implementation of unique ability interactions are key to Mirage standing out from other games of the melee genre. I think emphasis on these interactions are the main selling point of the game from a purely gameplay perspective. Utilizing Vypresses dash kick to evade incoming attacks by going under or above them is intensely satisfying. Phasing through players and running deep into enemy lines creates panic and dissent when being pressured from multiple angles. A tinker using her hookshot in inventive ways such as assassinating key targets, pulling them into mine traps, or even pulling a player off the map as you fall are prime examples of the kinds of interactions that are at their core; satiating of the x-factor in video games that is fun.

    The atmosphere of magic with strong Middle Eastern and Indian inspired architecture, characters, and story are also top notch and the little details in each map (Manta rays floating in the clouds in Academy, the “awe” voice commands, seeing the ruptured Mountain in the distance) are reminiscent of the kind of detail that Blizzard entertainment are notorious for. Great work in this regard.

    Abilities feel very strong, because they are strong, and there is a lot of weight in the windup before the release of the attack. I think this segues into my general feeling of gameplay in a team environment.

    The melee, abilities, movement, all come together in a very fast paced brawler with lots of opportunity for players to create their own play styles. I tend to be biased towards purely the melee aspect of the game and have less interest in abilities that do not require skilled input to be successful in using, or do not in some way augment the way I interact with the melee aspect of the game. Good examples of abilities that augment the melee would be dash attack, dash kick, phase, pounce, dervish, etc. Anything that can be chained from melee into a combo attack. Being able to utilize abilities for mobility is also exciting. When escaping with a Vypress I’ll perform a wall jump -> phase and exit with a dash attack all while aiming for some perch high above the action.

    The flow of the game in a team environment is largely chaotic, but I’ll reiterate I am attributing this mostly to large aoe attacks such as disperse, leap slam, boulder, and big blast when combined with no significant drawback to using the abilities. When the players use more melee attacks and less abilities there are far less “interrupt” moments. An interrupt moment I would define as something like a vigilist performing her disperse attack. There are few reactionary choices you can do to this ability being used. If you’re a tinker and were preparing for it, you might be able to pull Vigilist during the animation. If you struck at the vigilist and they initiated the attack, you’re now a sitting duck waiting for the hit to come in and parry it while being knocked away. The aoe is unavoidable in many ways, especially because the aoe isn’t based on the crystals spiking out of the ground (something you can physically evade), but rather an arbitrary radius that effects even the z-axis (players trying to escape above the attack end up getting hit). This is the same as leap slam and other aoe abilities.

    Meant to keep this message short, hope you don’t mind the wall of text.


  • I’d try to add something to this but tbh Gauntlet pretty much put everything I was thinking into writing.

  • Figured I’d add some on the Area of Effect abilities, as I agree with Gauntlet a lot on this point as well as most others.

    I think that some AOE attacks need more telegraphing making them a lot easier to notice, preferably with a loud shout as they’re about to hit.

    If we take leap slam for example, instead of dealing AOE damage it would be neat to have better air control over the attack itself. Because right now it feels like leap slam hits even if you run far behind the taurant performing it.

    Dervish is an attack I really have no major problems with, I do think that the leap itself could need some slightly higher allevation. And perhaps what Gauntlet mentioned making it possible to jump it would be a great idea, but only if you’re further away, otherwise you could jump and hit the vigilist as she’s defenseless.

    Big Blast, maybe the distance should be lowered to what it was a couple of months back. It would require you to really tihnk before using the ability as it’d be hard to hit at long range or even impossible, and with the windup it would leave you vulnerable at shorter distances. The major problem with it is that you can throw it into a group of enemies and team mates with no real punishment for doing so. Maybe not having AOE on any ranged attacks would be for the best.

    The mines aren’t really a problem and make total sense for AOE.

    Whirlwind is annoying, mostly because it can’t really be flinched, but also because you think you parry the first swing, but nope and so the second one comes around and hits you.

    Iron dome isn’t really a problem because there’s low damage, however the telegraphing needs to be improved as you can hardly tell that it’s winding up.

    Also abilities and projectiles should be stopped when hitting team mates, similar to when they hit other obstacles, but without dealing damage.

  • @Xylvion said in General Feedback Build 52101:

    Also abilities and projectiles should be stopped when hitting team mates

    ^ this

  • Great stuff in here that we read up on. Thanks for the follow up

  • @Gauntlet said in General Feedback Build 52101:

    In 1v1 scenarios ability use is not such a large issue, but the moment there exists at least 5v5 the ability spam becomes overwhelming. Dialing back the amount of AOE on abilities would be one useful step. AOE is largely anti-skill, it requires very little aim and should be used very sparingly because everyone has to cluster together to fight in a melee focused game like this.

    Coming back to this, what if all ability cooldowns were reduced but cost from a mana pool, AOE costing more.

    Probably TBS has thought of this, but perhaps that would address the issue and increase the strategic/skill level by making it more important when you fired off your skills. Perhaps a new mana pool is not needed, just use the existing stamina pool. It would also encourage more melee focus which is the main selling point of the game (and CMW).

    The video posted around archers shows that archers (despite being reviled) have a high skill level with their projectiles. I’m not very sure we have reached that in Mirage, mostly it feels like heavy flanking and hitting people when they are not looking. But without playing at least 40 hours team v’s team its really hard to tell.

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