General Feedback Alpha #08



  • Alpha #08

    I want to open this feedback up on the importance of movement in Mirage. In this build wall jump arc and distance was changed again, and much to the detriment of the game in my opinion. What stands out particularly for Mirage in terms of the melee gameplay is how players express themselves with movement. Back and side dodging, wall jumping, abilities that have mobility properties attached to them. These all add many exciting new options to engaging in the melee combat of the game. By reducing the efficacy of some movement properties (the recent wall jump change) you are also harming what makes this game unique to the melee genre. I feel it is very important to focus on movement and how players express themselves with movement.

    I would argue high mobility is imperative for this game to stand out amongst melee titles. It’s what feels so incredibly different from other upcoming melee games like Mordhau, Of Kings and Men, and Bannerlord. The two most defining characteristics of Mirage combat are movement and abilities. By lessening the impact that these factors have on the gameplay, inadvertently the game feels more muted and less unique. Without these powerful influencing characteristics, Mirage melee is not very distinct from Chivalry, which will become stale quite quickly.

    Movement

    Wall jump - Please consider reverting to long horizontal wall bounces. The jump distance made the movement feel so fluid and quick, like a hybrid melee / arena style game.

    • Arguably the side / back dodges have a greater effect on the melee than the occasional wall jump.
    • At the moment wall jump feels weak enough where I ask “why would I bother doing this?” As all it does is slow you down significantly without providing any significant advantage or opportunities.
    • Having multiple wall jumps before you hit the ground may also be something fun for the wall jumping enthusiast.

    Suggestion: Sliding - Ducking in Mirage is pretty rough considering different classes have differing heights. Maybe there could be an alternative sprint style duck in the form of a slide. The animation for vypress slide kick could be repurposed so all classes have access to a low slide performed by hitting crouch when the player has enough momentum (ex: off of a wall jump or when sprinting for some time). This way taller characters can get roughly as low as some of the smaller characters by sliding. May look silly though. Insurgency features this powerslide here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wg0V00sqzw

    General:

    Main menu - The art in the background looks phenomenal, but the green warping overlay is ugly. I would rather see the artwork unobstructed (potentially an option to toggle off the warping green overlay effect?)

    Spawn walls look kind of ugly, doesn’t give the vibe of a mirage or something ethereal, but is rather artificial. Perhaps because the effects of the spawn block volumes at their edges are too well defined; it should be more like smoke diffusing into the atmosphere than an obvious rectangular shape.

    Water - The water in Mirage is quite pretty, but has some weird issues.

    • Player weapon model directly effects the water on your screen, the water will warp and distort with your weapon. To replicate, stand by the waters edge and look at your weapon, and feint some attacks. Notice how the water is interacting with the weapon? More noticeable when in motion. Screenshot for reference.
      0_1471806532485_water.jpg

    • Another issue is viewing angles. When looking straight down into the water vs looking straight ahead, the water loses many of the beautiful reflections of the environment.

    Melee combat:

    Melee combat continues to improve, the level of accuracy and minimizing of desync is noticeable.

    • Taurant lookdown overheads are largely parryable now, though your reaction has to be spot on otherwise you’ll be hit with incredible speed.
    • Vigilist spiral spear has some very strange speed related issues. Feels far too quick for a weapon with that kind of length. Imo weapons with great speed should only be smaller, with larger weapons generally being slower. Speed + reach is a lethal combination for online multiplayer games when factoring the effects of latency.

    Parry duration feels too long. Is it 400ms or 500ms? Drags feel functionally useless with long parry window.

    Feints - Can offensively feint when out of stamina. Not a good thing. It would make sense if feints were available for defensive purposes when out of stamina (things like FTP are huge quality of life), but having offensive feints available at 0 stamina does not bode well for gameplay.

    Late feints still produce a grunting attack sound.

    Audio:

    • Character death screams do not follow ragdoll location. Particularly noticeable when the body goes flying but the scream is heard from the location that the death strike occurred.
    • The new voice menu makes no sense coming from Chiv. Why wouldn’t the voice menu just cycle the voice commands around instead when I press X or Z twice? This binding to multiple number inputs thing and the noticeable delay afterwards is rather weak compared to the efficiency of XX5 for you’re welcome (instead of Z44 in Mirage). Unless the delay is coming from the server fetching these sound files so everyone hears the same voice command (which is important), this mode of input is inferior.

    Maps:

    TO_Bazaar is great! Beautiful map with fun objectives, good layout and design, and simple easy to follow goals. Could easily be the Dark Forest of Mirage. Kudos on optimizing the Azar spawn on the docks, the framerate on my GTX 780 i7-4770k setup is roughly 80 fps on average this build (previously this was about 50 fps). Much improved!

    • Regarding spawns, all attacking spawns need to be overhauled in Bazaar. Single entrance with severe chokepoints is bad for attacking team. Consider separating spawns and alternate routes out.

    Sunken city is a really well designed open layout map, but could use something defining or unique such as a setpiece item in the form of a monument / statue, strange weather, or lore relevant banners / signs that show faction loyalty. Something to ground this location in the world of Mirage.

    Classes:

    Tinker

    • Hookshot and Mine graphics look amazing. Great work.

    • Saber now has a red colored center rather than torquoise, looks alright. Would prefer a purely steel material throughout as a weapon skin choice - similar to the Vypress saber. The Vypress saber post texture changes to make the weapon look more grounded in reality is far more visually stimulating.
      This suggestion also applies to Taurant weapon texture, with the indentations being a less than impressive torquoise texture of unknown material. Kind of looks like lava with a hue shift towards blue.
      Not very impressive imo. Screenshot for reference.
      0_1471807065293_weird material - taurant weapon.jpg

    Vypress

    • Her pauldrons look like plastic due to the way light plays off the material. Reminds me of the shoulder pads from Power Rangers. They need some attention from the art team.

    • Still cannot use pounce off of a wall jump or ledging attempt.

    • Pounce: Currently it offers a unique ability: You can lurch forward suddenly while attacking, much like a dash attack but one you control. However it’s very obvious what is happening when the Vypress suddenly lurches forward. The graphic that appears is cool; I think it’d also be of benefit to the ability that a smoke screen appear slightly behind the graphic, masking the Vypress who is flying forward towards your position.

    • This is me being nitpicky: The high heels look stupid and offer very little positive to the character design. It also brings questions like “who would go into battle in heels?”

    Taurant

    • Rage: I see this ability is one of the locked abilities. I believe this is a very bad thing, as it’s an ability that adds nothing interesting to the game, isn’t particularly fun to use or to have it used against you. It’s a boring stat change with really bad balance implications.

    • Leap slam canceling feels so cool!!! Love it. Perhaps disperse could have the same treatment?

    • Charge feels underwhelming at the moment. Could an additional effect be added? Something like if you hit a player into an object you do extra damage? Ex: Charge a player (who didn’t parry the attack) into a pillar or a wall.

    Alchemancer

    • Needs a dagger so he can stop being such a bad class. I understand the desire to want to have a purely ranged class, but when you have 6 classes and one of them is purely locked from melee, melee players like myself will not want to play him at all. This means to me, the game only has 5 potential classes to play, because the 6th isn’t actually a melee class. I’d give up my levitate / teleport slot and the ability to spam those annoying fireballs just to be able to wield a dagger with him.

    • Loads of desync issues with Alchemancer fireball atm. When pressing and holding LMB I will often perform a cast animation without the fireball spawning. If I don’t release the LMB when this happens, and keep combo’ing it, I will perform no attacks but will continue animating as if I am.



  • Definitely agree with the part about Taurant/Vigilist the most. I suspect that for the Taurant at least, there are some massive handle tracers and that’s why it feels so quick. The best way I can describe the Taurant overhead is ‘inconsistent’. Sometimes it seems like a very reasonable attack that I can react to, but other times it hits almost instantly. Vigilist feels the same, although fighting Vigilist I get more of a “attack hits before the animation” kind of feel. I really feel these two classes need their weapons tweaked quite a bit, whatever the reason for these feelings are.

    Otherwise, the patch has felt great, parries are a lot better and I noticed desyncs have been cut down a ton, in my 1 or 2 hours playing on this patch I have only desynced once.

    closed beta soon tm



  • I still find the parry boxes a bit of an issue, due to them not leaning with the chracter.
    0_1471814241712_20160821230755_1.jpg

    The screenshots are taken at 120 fov.
    From my perspective if I crouch and look up while parrying this is where my parrybox is located, it’s really far off from the actual weapons that I parry with, meaning attacks that I’d assume would hit the weapons and therefor the parrybox will not get parried.
    0_1471814253568_20160821230902_1.jpg

    From this direction I would not expect to be able to hit through the parry due to where the animation appears. However I would actually be able to do so.
    0_1471814303919_20160821231141_1.jpg
    0_1471814268495_20160821230954_1.jpg

    This is very clunky and confusing when you play the game, as the visual parry isn’t where the parry actually occurs.

    Other than that I agree with Gauntlet about everything.



  • Co-signed on everything, in particular the part about mobility. I think we all want to pull off stylish moves and look cool while fighting, and mobility is a key factor in that. Wall-jumping added a dynamic to the combat that could really test the improvisational skills of players in the middle of combat, so direct nerfs to this ability could really downplay the most exciting part of this game.



  • The game feels SO MUCH better in Melee now. Now that there is significantly less lag for me, I can feel like I’m actually playing the melee game instead of preparrying everything.

    I have to echo the sentiments of everybody who has said that the wall jumps feel worse with the horiztonal distance nerf. To be honest, I really want an EXPANSION of the wall jump mechanic to jump off of multiple walls (which would synergize PERFECTLY with the great verticality on these maps so long as we could test it sufficiently long to get a lot of the possibly abusable areas edited). The effect it had on the freedom of mobility just cannot be stated enough.

    I’m loving the build though. Will write up more feedback when i get back from work.


  • Developer

    Wall jumps weren’t changed because they were too good or anything it was just a really wonky/unnatural movement that was applied through it and the different class’s can’t have the same jump.

    it’s only been balanced around jumping up walls to vault for now and once we can fix up wall jump activation (way too sensitive right now) we’ll bring the movement to its proper place.

    Basically, the activation is too awkward for me to think about it as something to polish up right now, sorry it caused so much concern! We’ll get to it soon enough.



  • @Vesros What is your vision for wall jumping in Mirage? Could you expound upon what makes the activation sensitive and why you don’t think it’s good in its current design? It’s good to read that movement will be revisited. Hopefully with polishing it’ll be far better.



  • Okay. Back from work.

    TO_Bazaar Test Focus:

    Only thing I’d add from what I’ve seen in other feedback is that it feels poor having that bar fill up so slowly. It feels like “So what if I took this point,?I have to hold it for frickin’ ever to make it feel like I’ve made progress”.

    My Suggestion: Change First Objective Progress Bar Speed: I think it is a bit defender stacked anyways. I’m always a fan of First Objectives that are Attacker-stacked slightly, so perhaps speeding up cap time slightly and increasing the rate at which the bar fills up would make the Attackers FEEL a bit more like they are doing more and increases likelihood of reaching the second part of the TO map.

    I’d also echo what I’m sure you’ve heard a thousand times, which is fix the potential spawn camp! If there are a couple good Bashrani, you can just cheesed to death with abilities. Not sure if it’d come up at PAX, but better to be safe than sorry if you have the resources. Potential ways to do this:

    Our dedicated server app has had several memory leak issues fixed; how do servers feel to play on?

    SO. MUCH. BETTER. Thank you so much. I no longer have to preparry things 24/7. I can finally feel like I’m actually playing a game with consistent melee. It made me realize that a lot of what I thought was things going through my parry was actually just my inability to track desync’d animations with the more narrow parrybox. Now that I can actually trust that my opponent’s weapon is somewhere by where it looks on the screen, it makes me like the narrow parrybox SO MUCH (though obviously the parrybox not reflecting torso-bending has problems Xylvion has mentioned that I’d like to echo). I actually feel like parrying takes a lot more skill, which favorably impacts the skill ceiling for the game. The people who come from Chiv to this might be thinking, “This feels weird. This would’ve blocked if it were Chiv.” But I think the VAST majority of people who haven’t played Chiv in the last year or two would be, "Wow, this feels more dynamic. I really have to look at where the weapon is going to connect with me. That’s makes defending more active/fun, and also makes attacking more fun because you get parried less and get to hit your enemy more.

    What’s your favourite character class? Vigilist. I like to play utility/healers/tanks/long-range melee in the games I play if those options are available. She is all of those rolled into one.
    What’s your least favourite character class? Alchemancer. I love the idea of a ranged specialist class, but I will go on below about why I think this current iteration is a bit less than ideal.
    What’s your favourite ability? So many good ones! I’m surprisingly loving the Vigilist Shield Strike and Taurant Shove. They are abilities that feel so right for the characters, but would feel out of place on others.
    What’s your least favourite ability? Any of the Flying Fackoon Mobility abilities, but I’ll elaborate on that in a bit :P

    Open Questions:

    What’s fun and what’s not?
    FUN: A LOT!!! The combat. Wall jumping (last build tho, not this one, though I know you’re workin on movement stuff right now). The narrow parrybox making me actually have to pay attention to my opponent’s weapon. The game looks beautiful. I can read feints (kinda. 100 ping sadlife :( ) easier. Like seriously, this was just an awesome patch.

    NOT FUN: Rat class. Playing as him, it feels like all of his abilities are about damage and just different ways to deliver it. If you’re just gonna have one ranged dominant class, why not take advantage of the versatility that “magic” allows to have him do some really unique things. Ideas:

    Magic that supports Teammates. It hits them, it buffs or heals them. It feels like that is something that the alchemancer could be suited to doing very well. It feels good to help your teammates, and as a teammate it feels good to get buffed. Make his phoenix passing through a teammate increases their speed slightly. Stuff along these lines roughly.

    Magic that applies crowd control. How about if you get caught in the explosion on Chaos Orb, your base footspeed gets lowered by some small flat penalty? What about stuns? What about vision distortions on the player’s screen? What about smoke screens (that can’t be removed by a remove particles command) that are more opaque to the other team.

    Currently he plays like a mix between a Chiv Archer (primarily proj damage and annoyingness) and a Chiv MAA (ratness). I would mention here that combining the two most annoying playstyles in Chiv for the vast majority of players doesn’t have the same effect as a double negative where one annoyingness cancels out the other…it’s more of an exponential relationship (at least for me :P. I feel it’d be so much less anti-fun if his autos weren’t flinching so often (could have it not flinch but do slightly more damage, or you can charge it up and it’ll flinch if it hits but does less DPS [Adds depth and player decision-making])

    ALSO NOT FUN: Using all your abilities in a fight to the death, dying, and then coming back with 2/3 of my abilities on CD for like 25 seconds. I feel like I can’t go into the fight. It is a delicate balance to strike between the horrible feeling of not having your abilties up and not just resetting CD’s on death since then you could use all your abilities in a fight to kill your opponent, only to basically reset all his CD’s. Possible solutions: Increase CD Charge Rate while dead (a multiplier dependent on average death timer which isn’t something I can test right now). You could also take seconds off CD’s upon spawn.

    Thoughts on the game balance?

    The weapons are currently a bit imbalanced (no reason to use anything other than the Heavy Tabar as Taurant. Other than that, to be honest, the five classes in this build are awesome and have a decent balance for picking up and playing.

    If you could change only one thing in Mirage, what that would be?

    It would be change the Alchemancer as I mentioned above, but I honestly would want that change to be a fleshed out mobility system that includes multiple wall jumps, possibly a wall-run ability for Tinker (which I think would be a real cool F ability, a speedy wall run).



  • Hey all! Thank you so much for the awesome feedback!

    @Gauntlet - We’re happy to hear that to_Bazaar is running better for you (woo!) but we’ve barely scratched the service of our optimization pass! This is our big focus moving forward, specially from the art side of things, so hopefully you’ll keep seeing performance improvements as time goes on.

    @Gauntlet / @HeightofAbsurdity - Great feedback! We have had plans to update the attackers spawn in to_Bazaar for a while now, but we didn’t want to bring that change into the PAX build (just to be safe). But yes, this change will be coming and hopefully it’ll help reduce potential spawn camping issues.

    I know our Level Designers are still trying to balance the capture time for our capture points, always a hard thing to balance though since different playtests have different results. Hopefully we can get our LD peeps to chime in!

    Once again thanks for taking the time to write these amazing feedback posts! Incredibly helpful, concise and always valuable! You all rock!



  • I’d like to point out that the Heavy tabard is massively desynced compared to all other weapons in game atm.

    @HeightofAbsurdity
    Don’t leave me hanging with possible solutions to fix spawncamping like that!

    • Either way, I think reseting the cooldowns upon respawn would be fair. Something I noticed when I did some 1v1 against gremp yesterday was that when we used abilities at the same time, and then I died, he already had all abilities up again while mine were still on cooldown when I went out to face him; mainly due to the fact that his cooldown lasted during my respawn phase, while my cooldowns halted as I was respawning. This could possibly stop spawncamping too, as the campers run out of abilities to throw at the spawners, while the spawners always have their abilities up.

    • Another way to stop spawncamping would be to have multiple ways out of spawn, this way you could increase the movement speed inside spawn by 2x so the campers can’t easily relocate to the other spawn exits before the spawners can run out of them. It would allow the people who spawn to use other pathways. A good example is the Bashrani spawn on the Bazaar dock area, they have 4 ways to get out of spawn, and the attackers have a harder time to run between them all. However the Azar spawn is terrible, as it’s only one exit.

    • A third way would be to allow people inside the spawn to shoot through the spawn walls, that way the campers are under constant fire if they’re too close. Which would hopefully lead to them pulling back and giving the opponents a bit of breathing space.

    • A fourth way would be to add a silence area for the opposing team while they’re too close to an enemy spawn, this way they can’t use abilities in said area, so they’d be prone to stay away from it.

    Personally I think a mix of 1, 2, and 3 are optimal.


    As for cancermancer… alchecancer… rat… alchemancer. He’s simply anti fun. I would suggest mvoing the fireballs to an ability slot and giving him a weapon.
    I’m not 100% on board with the buffs and debuffs that heightofAbsurdity suggested - I wouldn’t mind testing it though - I’m still hoping for effects to take place when someone is hit by certain abilities. For example if a Phoenix kills you your character could be lit on fire, perhaps even if it hits you, but deals no DOT - DOT is awful - something that makes the impact feel like an impact.


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