My feedback so far on Voice commands in Chiv2 and why they're important

  • Thanks to the Torn Banner team for working on this and for inviting me to the alpha! Having good fun overall with the game so far. I have around 600 hours in Chiv 1 and still play most days.

    I feel that most of the players left in Chiv 1 are split into a few different player types. Players that take PVP seriously and community players who I would describe are more playing more for fun and and more interested in banter and cooperation with other players. I would categorize myself in the latter group.

    Voice commands in Chiv 1 act as a tool that enables in-game communication which enables things like tactics to be organised, actioned, group coordination - all of which leads to more interaction between players and more interesting, funny and varied gameplay.

    Although voice is implemented in the alpha in a similar way to Chiv 1, there are a few things which currently act together to limit the kinds of social experiences that voice enables in Chiv 2 when compared to Chiv 1. Overall my feeling is that those kind of social experiences are largely muted which I feel will limit Chiv 2’s longevity. I believe this might be due to the following reasons:

    1. the voice commands are slower to execute compared to Chiv1 using either the wheel and numbers selection methods. personally I use voice all the time to comment on different scenarios during combat. cannot do this currently in Chiv 2 because the hand gestures interrupt combat and also because interacting with the voice UI (after pressing x for example) prevents the mouse to be moved thereby impeding your ability to voice while combat
    2. servers stop voice spamming but enables scream spamming so most of the time all you can hear are repetitive screams as people spam c
    3. the voice commands can be interrupted with new voice commands. this makes communication less coherent
    4. the voice acting, especially for MAA is not as funny compared to Chiv 1. The Man at Arms voices for both Agatha and Mason in Chiv 1 were hilarious and help to establish and differentiate the character as kind but also a troll / prankster / jester which is why MAA is preferred by community type players. The Chiv 1 MAA voice actor is present in the game so I was disappointed to learn that he wasn’t used for the new MAA when testing out the voice commands

    Few other general observations:

    1. The opponents hurt boxes feel a little loose / unpredictable somehow. For example: although Chiv 2 is more forgiving with the time you have as a defender to block an incoming attack, it feels harder to predict precisely when your opponents hit and when your block will land. Feels a bit loose and quite like Mordhau frankly. I prefer Chiv 1 because its more predictable when blocking and hitting. tight combat with superb netcode should be Chiv 2’s source of differentiation over Mordhua for PVP imo. Another feeling which may be related was that your opponents feel a little out of range even when they’re seemingly close to you. Stabbing using scroll up feels like it should have more range with most weapons. If you have a small secondary weapon like the Archer has, you basically need to be right beside your opponent to land a hit.
    2. Although the archer is feeling OP right now, projectiles could be faster - especially the catapult, javlin and crossbow. the impacts could also be more impact-full. maybe this is sound design but when you land an arrow now, it feel soft and doesn’t give you the same kind of positive feedback that you get with chiv 1.
    3. the objects like rocks, barrels, etc could be buffed with more damage or stun or I fear they would be viable to use during combat. there are some spots on maps where landing a rock from a castle wall above will basically do nothing to the opponent. what I was hoping for as a new player in that scenario (especially given how hard it is to land a rock) was for the rock to basically crush or down the opponent if landed cleanly
    4. it was fun to see explosives used to destroy one of the objectives where when it blows up, everyone goes flying - great fun and a shame that it’s not used more. I’m thinking like explosive traps or grenades that could be set. more of this would help to differentiate the game.
    5. the catapult appears designed to encourage two-person cooperation - one reloading, aiming and firing while the other reloads. for the player reloading the rocks, I don’t think anyone would bother so then you’re left with one person loading and firing which makes it too time consuming to be viable. separately, and maybe this is more that I don’t understand how to use it, but my it felt that the rocks couldn’t be fired that far and that you couldn’t control the distance which compounds my preference to just not use it. firing your teammates is a cool idea. instead of upright and landing on their feet as normal perhaps it would be more rewarding if they could fly head-first with a stabbing action to land an instant kill like a torpedo. the firing player would be rewarded with the kill and the person being fired with an assist. if the firing player could control the shot better, this again would make for a better overall experience I think. would be great to fire other things like enemy bodies to demoralise the opposing team as they are running out from spawn and other large random objects like heavy iron that have the potential to bowl over multiple opponents like bowling pins or bury a player if landed from high
    6. the auto run at start mechanic is great to keep the game flowing
    7. the theme music played when the time is getting low is epic and helps to raise the tension at the final moments
    8. the game can be brutal during combat. great to see more gore, pickup heads, downed opponent, etc.

    Looking forward to playing more! Thanks for your hard work

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