Hello Torn Banner dev team!
Just to be clear before entering into a most likely a fairly long (and opinionated) post, THIS IS INTENDED TO OPEN A DISCUSSION, rather than a COMPLAINT.
First off, thank you for the fine piece of game you have bestowed onto us. It seems to me that this game is primarily focussed on its ‘fun factor’, with it’s epic map designs, satisfyingly gore-filled combat, humorous emotes etc etc. And it is doing this FANTASTICALLY.
I enjoy the notion of adapting a held-block system rather than a timed parry from previous slasher games. I think it’s a great idea to allow everyone at any skill level to defend themselves the minute they step into their first battle. Similarly, the ‘active-parry’ where a player riposting cannot be struck also provides players with a means to counter the assault of several foes simultaneously.
However, it does present to me some concerns in it’s current state.
Currently I see three main methods to land attacks in a 1v1 situation.
- Kicking your opponent’s held block to strike them while stunned
- Accelerating your strike to interrupt your opponent mid-strike
- Footworking your opponents strike to strike them during cooldown
I understand being left vulnerable by an ill-timed kick is intended, however this encourages an attrition based playstyle where players will carry on swinging as there really is no method to stop this other than to hopefully riposte an accelerated strike into them (or often a stab), stopping them in their tracks, which incidentally, is quite difficult for slower weapons versus faster single-handed weapons. This does not support a tactful gameplay in my books. As a result, I think that currently the most powerful duelling weapons are the faster stab based weapons.
A second reason as to why I disagree with the swing-batter-batter-swing playstyle is that it results in a stamina battle, where the player who loses their stamina first is usually the player that will lose the duel. This means that clutching tight situation is immensely more difficult and highly unlikely. I believe ‘counters’ are aimed at helping players to preserve stamina, but in heated slash exchanges where your opponent is just accelerating strikes into you constantly there is hardly the time to line a counter up. Basically, I think duels dictated by who is going to lose their stamina first are ultimately rather dull and not very exciting.
The last point I wanted to touch on was the movement, and footworking aspect. Though all the classes (maybe not archer? Dont really play archer woops) have a dodge feature, in honesty it is fairly useless in its current state. Personally, I’ve never been a huge advocate for dodges in the first place, but since they are a feature I will go with it. However, trying to dodge to avoid a heavy swing as a knight is basically a free hit to your opponent, the dodge distance is barely anything!
Here are some ideas/solutions I’ve had in response to the concerns I’ve discussed above.
Reward Timed Parries: I believe that encouraging players to time their parry while keeping the option to hold a constant block would be a great change. For players that achieve these perfect parries they may receive a faster riposte and a reduced stamina drain. This benefits the player themself, but also the opponent who now has an opportunity to drag their opponents parry and strike them. It add greater depth to the combat, and could see the beloved art of swing dragging re-enter the skill ceiling.
As a side note: I think this would act as a sturdy replacement to the ‘counter’ which to be honest I’m not huge on (since chambering was a thing in mordhau).
Penalise Over-Held-Blocks: (Timed-Parries as discussed above would actually nerf held-blocks, but just for the sake of throwing ideas out) Perhaps a feature could be introduced where the longer a block is held, the greater the stamina penalty is issued to the blocker. This means that the option remains to hold your block, but cannot be abused as much as it is currently. I think if timed-parries were not to exist, this would make an excellent nerf to held-blocks.
Lower HP: 1vX is very difficult since it can take up to 4 strikes to take down a single enemy. It reduces the excitement of being challenged by multiple enemies, when you know the odds of a victory are seemingly miniscule.
To Torn Banner or anyone still reading this, please give me your thoughts! Like I said at the beginning, this post is meant to be a discussion opener, not a complaint. :)
Well done on the game, and I hope it continues to be successful for years to come!
Ive solely been doing duels for the last few days, and the quick single handed weapons are way OP right now. They might be doing too much damage, or maybe its the jab and kick mechanics have much more synergy with the quick weapons, idk. But you can simply just overwhelm people. Granted, that should be their strength, and maybe its on purpose. Quick single handed axes for 1v1s, and big sweeping 2-handers for 1vx’s and team modes.
I also feel that whiffed kicks/jabs need more recovery. Way too many times have I outspaced a kick spammer, only to have him parry after a whiff.
Personally, the dodge works great IMO. Thats where i get most of my attacks in, is footwork and dodges, making them whiff. You can really take advantage of the turn cap by dodging and walking to their back as they are in mid swing.
Between normal attacks, heavy attacks, specials, feints, kicks, jabs, whiff punishment; I feel you can mixup the offensive enough to where the fight doesnt just come down to stamina drain and a swing-parry-swing-parry stalemate. This is especially true for people who are actually good with the counters, you mix them up with the different timings of normals, heavys, and feints. And people want to use counters with tap-blocking because kick is so strong right now.
Although I do appreciate the idea of somesort of “perfect parry”. I too wish drags were more viable. Maybe you only get a riposte if you land a perfect parry. You can still hold parry and counter, but since riposte are so strong, the community would stickly go for the perfect parry as much as they could, making drags more viable. It would also make the timing mindgames of feints/normals/heavys more meaningful.
Idk, maybe thats why they made kicks so strong, to incentivize people to never hold parry, and in time drags will be a thing. Its probably too early to judge the mechanics, people will soon find the meta and this conversation might be outdated and meaningless :p
It’s true that its really early days, so I completely acknowledge the fact that maybe my footworking/dodging skills need work! Are you dodging using the knight/vanguard class or just the MAA class? because I found that MAA dodges are pretty good, I just struggle with the others.
“And people want to use counters with tap-blocking because kick is so strong right now.”
I try to go for this strategy, but I have to admit that many times when I’ve released my block I’m still getting stunned. I’m not sure if this is because of a cooldown period after releasing the block, a server delay or just a bug in the code, but it seems to go against the premise being that you get punished by kicks for over-using block. Anyway, time should tell.
Definitely early days, but still fun to think about. ;)
I try to go for this strategy, but I have to admit that many times when I’ve released my block I’m still getting stunned
Maybe its my mordhau experience coming into the play, so the idea of blocking when you dont need to is extremely obscure to me. Block out of reaction, not anticipation, as I like to say.
BUT, thats not to say that out of habit of blocking an attack, Ill tap-block a kick and get stunned! I understand the mechanic that kicks break a block, but Im “perfect parrying” a kick, feels like that should be a different result. Theyre not kicking because Im blocking, theyre ANTICIPATING a block and just spam it and I, out of habit, try to parry it lol. Just something I need to get used to. I know in mordhau you use kick to stuff a kick, not sure if thats the same in chiv 2… If not, then what we do is just eat the 10 damage kick?
Actually this was another item I felt like pointing out in my post but missed.
The fact that (similarly to chivalry 1): kick damage cannot be negated/blocked if you’re within range of the incoming kick, unless you physically avoid it or interrupt with a strike…
I suppose it works in a circle… kicks beat defence, defence beats attacks, and attacks beat kicks.