The Balance Delusion: A plea to the playerbase



  • Allow me to start off by saying that I’m new to this game. I played a lot of aochiv back in 2010, and I more or less exclusively played MaA. I got this game a few days ago. I love it, and I’m also exclusively playing MaA. I’m able to top the charts or come close to it I’d say… 30-40% of the time, as I’m still learning, and I like to think I was pretty good at Aochiv. When I first started playing Chivalry, I rolled MaA immediately and copied what everyone else seemed to be doing which was 1h with no shield (although I leave a shield on my back because I don’t like ranged weapons and archers piss me off). Ignorantly, my first few rounds, I followed the cluster around and worked with the objective as much as possible. I died a lot. I managed to break even most of the time, but I knew that I wasn’t doing my team much good.

    I started playing more as a lone wolf, weaving behind enemy lines and singling out archers and other stragglers. This worked amazingly well for me. I came to the realization that MaA was the type of class that wasn’t meant to be in the cluster. They couldn’t take many, if any hits. They couldn’t dodge as easily due to the swing spams and the overall lack of mobility caused by many people swinging in many spots at once. When I faced smaller groups of enemies, it was much easier for me maneuver around and win fights. I’m using MaA as an example because it’s the only class I’ve really bothered to play extensively.

    Time and time again I see MaA who don’t adhere to this playstyle. They follow the cluster constantly, time and time again, dying, proving to be more or less useless. They play the play style of a knight or a vanguard, except it’s a lesser version of that because they aren’t built for those types of situations. They didn’t seem to realize that wasn’t what the MaA was for. They called dodge useless because they expected it to be the cornerstone of the MaA playstyle, when in actuality it is a situational tool that is potentially devastating when used in the right situations. I tried to use it as a sidestep dodge, and was often caught regardless, so I started using it as a gap closer, a backwards dodge to avoid overhands, and a way to build distance between the enemy and I. This worked extremely well. I was learning.

    The more that I adopted this idea of being a hit and run flanker and an assassin / opportunist, the better I did, the more I topped the charts. After browsing the forums for a few days, I’ve noticed that a lot of players are calling MaA under powered. An equal amount are pointing out the falsehood of this, but the idea that people are actually saying things like “dodge is useless” is not only perplexing, but worrisome and frustrating. To the developers – you probably already know this, but take what is written on the forums with a grain of salt, because literally anyone can post here.

    This happened often. I’ve seen every single class being called underpowered and useless, and I’ve seen every single class being called overpowered by people who don’t play that class. I’ve also seen every class top the charts. I’m not saying that certain classes don’t need tweaking. I am saying that every class is capable of being extremely effective in the hands of a smart player. Please, for your own sake, learn the class you are playing. Identify their weaknesses, identify their strengths, and adapt. Watch commentaries on gameplay and try to go into it with an open mind, because every class has an extremely different play style.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uodyi8bxpp0

    That in particular is a good representation of what the MaA is supposed to do.



  • Good post, I agree fully.



  • Great post, I dont play the class, but now when I do… I’ll be playing with a much more informed style. Thankyou.



  • Yep, good post, very true.



  • The folks who are so quick to judge and yell overpowered or underpowered will be weeded out soon enough. Hopefully, it’ll be by their learning to play as opposed to their just quitting out of frustration.



  • Man at Arms is actually really over powered, especially with the Norse sword. Anyone who says they’re underpowered is just new.



  • @SOC:

    Man at Arms is actually really over powered, especially with the Norse sword. Anyone who says they’re underpowered is just new.

    I’m not arguing that x class is overpowered or underpowered, I’m arguing that people are making these judgments when they don’t even understand the class to begin with.



  • People have a hard time understanding the weakness of a class when said weakness aren’t explicitly explained to them.

    I often see Knight’s using berserker tactics with heavier weaponry. The Knight will almost always lose out to another class in those kinds of clashes because every other class can overpower him with their faster weapons and flinch him. Since the stats on weapons aren’t 100% clear, a lot of people may not realize that running in swinging may get you whacked over the head by a more dextrous foe.

    I think vanguards tend to underestimate their toughness a bit sometimes, and try charging headlong into battle without regard for their health. They are a high damage output class only. They can kill someone just as fast as they can be killed. Although I think people realize this quite often, I still see people running into the fray, only to get chopped down with a pair of quick swings.

    Archers, I see a lot of shotgunning, especially with the jav. People will try to throw javs or shoot up close without realizing there is a delay after shooting which prevents that. Personally, I find that standing back and just pumping out shots is the best way to take advantage of their ranged strength. Archers should be close, but not too close.

    I think all this is temporary though, as players will soon figure out how their class works the best in time. Practice makes perfect.



  • Yes, and hopefully the newbish complaints will be drowned out by the actual metagame.



  • A wall of text to say that some classes are good at somethings than others and a generic “whine about whiners” rant?

    Thankfully I only glanced through it.



  • @PornGuy:

    A wall of text to say that some classes are good at somethings than others and a generic “whine about whiners” rant?

    Thankfully I only glanced through it.

    If you only glanced at it how can you jump to the conclusion that you even know what I’m talking about? You actually remind me of the players I’m talking about, lol.



  • Finally a well written thread about balance. Hopefully the devs won’t just listen to random complainers. As I as well play MMA exclusively and know it is NOT a front line class and dodge is a amazing ability. Those saying its a gimmick/useless clearly do not understand its purpose.



  • @Lg:

    Yes, and hopefully the newbish complaints will be drowned out by the actual metagame.

    I’m sorry, did you just support having a meta game? Do you realize how having a metagame in ANY game is bad?

    Here’s an example:

    Let’s take at the world of Yu-gi-oh. ( Bear with me. )

    The game started off as a fun little hobby that people gathered and played using various decks and cards. HOWEVER, almost since the beginning, a metagame was in place. ( For those who know, getting Summoned Skull out in the EARLY days. ) Fast forward to today, where the metagame is so prevalent, that if you even try to deviate from the handful of decks that run 100$ cards a pop that are deemed ‘the best’ you are absolutely decimated. The maker of the cards, Konami, actually supports this behavior and prints cards for explicit use in certain builds of decks and gauges the cards prices accordingly.

    Well, how the hell does this tie with chivalry? THIS COULD BE CHIVALRY.

    A developer of a game should always be wary of a metagame in their game. It is not a good thing. It turns the game into X with X weapon is best, any other choice is shit. What about any other classes and weapons? The metagame stunts creativity for play style and choice, without these the game feels empty.

    YES, players need to think before the complain about another class and say their class is terrible. Do we need the developers to set the game up in certain way such that only one path takes you to success? No. The game is actually fairly balanced as is, while it is also punishing in certain aspects. ( Fast character attacks character with slow weapon. ) While it is frustrating for this to happen, you gotta take a step back and say that it’s really how it is, THAT’S what makes that class unique; you cannot take such a thing form a class for the sake of a metagame, or the metagame getting upset.

    There’s my 2 cents. Yes it’s a long rambling, but it’s better to post now and to stop a shitstorm later.



  • You realize that in any competitive game whatsoever regardless of genre a metagame will always exist, right? It’s literally unavoidable. Everything you said is irrelevant because of that. The metagame is a GOOD thing. This isn’t Hello Kitty Island Adventures. it’s a competitive game with major e-sport potential.

    “Metagaming is a broad term usually used to define any strategy, action or method used in a game which transcends a prescribed ruleset, uses external factors to affect the game, or goes beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game. Another definition refers to the game universe outside of the game itself.”

    It proves that there is some level of definable and tangible strategic value within the game. A game with a metagame = a good competitive scene. There already is a metagame. MaA work best when being flankers/assassins/oppurtunists. Archers work best as support characters are work well in a defensive environment. That is literally the metagame. What’s wrong with that? Nothing.

    You can’t compare some shitty cash cow card game to Chivalry. It’s insulting.

    If you don’t want a metagame you might as well go play Pong or The Sims.



  • @Lg:

    You realize that in any competitive game whatsoever regardless of genre a metagame will always exist, right? It’s literally unavoidable. Everything you said is irrelevant because of that. The metagame is a GOOD thing. This isn’t Hello Kitty Island Adventures. it’s a competitive game with major e-sport potential.

    “Metagaming is a broad term usually used to define any strategy, action or method used in a game which transcends a prescribed ruleset, uses external factors to affect the game, or goes beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game. Another definition refers to the game universe outside of the game itself.”

    It proves that there is some level of definable and tangible strategic value within the game. A game with a metagame = a good competitive scene. There already is a metagame. MaA work best when being flankers/assassins/oppurtunists. Archers work best as support characters are work well in a defensive environment. That is literally the metagame. What’s wrong with that? Nothing.

    You can’t compare some shitty cash cow card game to Chivalry. It’s insulting.

    If you don’t want a metagame you might as well go play Pong or The Sims.

    If a metagame exists in all forms of competitive play and I was only talking about the metagame, where’s the harm in comparing to another competitive game? ….Oh wait, there isn’t.

    The term E-Sport is an abomination as all ‘E-Sports’ are people constantly being competitive, yes, but the scene itself is a joke, i.e. all people do the same metagame strategies. You can look at LoL - if you’re casual enough to play such a game - and how most higher end play revolves around cowering behind towers. You can look at Team Fortress 2 and how ‘the’ comp is Medic - Demo - 2 Solly - Scout - Sniper. E-Sports should literally mean: Adhere or lose.

    A game CAN be competitive without a metagame. There can be balanced play with various playstyles offering different benefits, rather than choosing the best and always using them. I don’t think you also quite understand the literal meaning of the word metagame. ( Aside form your superior google skills. ) When I say metagame, I quite literally mean anything that is used and often abused to achieve victory be it a setup or strategy that is superior to all else. (Read above.) What you mention about MaA and archer are mere playstyles, so you are wrong when you say that is ‘the’ metagame.

    Also, who are you to tell me what to play? You are coming off as a try-hard or some elitist foaming at the mouth. :D



  • Why do people post that video so often? He runs around and kills archers most of the time, something any class, even the archer excels at.

    Dodge was meant to be…dodge but it functions much better at gap closing because it’s terrible at dodging. A VG or Knight using a 2hander will smack you when you dodge on their swing through and a pebble on the ground causes dodge to stop prematurely.

    MAA is only doing fine because of the ridiculousness that is the norse sword (shown in your video). Personally, I’d rather have some depth added in with a nerf to it.

    Overall MAA has to play much harder and more tactfully than VG or Knight to achieve the same result, and this only compounds when its a competitive situation where people are on voicechat communicating. That’s not balance, that’s imbalance. Either the MAA needs to become easier to play (no thanks) or MAA needs to have his gimmicks buffed a bit to up the reward that comes with the high risk of playing a low health class.



  • A game CAN be competitive without a metagame. There can be balanced play with various playstyles offering different benefits, rather than choosing the best and always using them. I don’t think you also quite understand the literal meaning of the word metagame. ( Aside form your superior google skills. ) When I say metagame, I quite literally mean anything that is used and often abused to achieve victory be it a setup or strategy that is superior to all else. (Read above.) What you mention about MaA and archer are mere playstyles, so you are wrong when you say that is ‘the’ metagame.

    Games are naturally going to have strategies that work and those that don’t. That’s part of the game, being able to outwit your opponent. Nobody complains that randomly moving chess pieces isn’t equal to a strategy of calculating your moves and predicting what will happen.

    Similarly as in LoL or TF2, you have strategies that are better than others and it’s happened quite a few times that it has changed.



  • @SHOE:

    Why do people post that video so often? He runs around and kills archers most of the time, something any class, even the archer excels at.

    Because it’s a proper representation of the playstyle that works well the MaA. It’s supposed to show that they aren’t meant to fight large battles.



  • The term E-Sport is an abomination as all ‘E-Sports’ are people constantly being competitive, yes, but the scene itself is a joke, i.e. all people do the same metagame strategies. You can look at LoL - if you’re casual enough to play such a game - and how most higher end play revolves around cowering behind towers. You can look at Team Fortress 2 and how ‘the’ comp is Medic - Demo - 2 Solly - Scout - Sniper. E-Sports should literally mean: Adhere or lose.

    That is just… completely wrong, even for league of legends. Ashe is a character that is almost NEVER seen in competitive play, and in a match where a team (I forget who) was against CG, their AD carry picked ashe and they were so unprepared for it because they didn’t expect it that they were thrown off guard and because of the offbeat pick in combination with some smart plays, the Ashe player was able to completely decimate the team.

    I haven’t been following the sc2 scene for a while, but when I was, there was a very skilled player who went by the name TheLittleOne. His entire style was about doing things that were unexpected and going completely against the metagame in order to throw the enemy off guard and do things they weren’t used to dealing with, and he won a lot of tournaments because he would use unconventional strategies that his opponents weren’t well versed in.

    There is a very high ELO jungle mundo guide on solomid, and it revolves more or less around very fast clear times and heavy emphasis on counter jungling. When he came up with the idea for it, it was so unexpected that he completely decimated the enemy jungler until people caught on and learned to adapt. There was also that European player that invented and popularized the early jungle Evelynn build that caused her, a character once regarded as hands down the WORST character in LoL. He completely dominated the high elo charts, insighted a complete revolution in the way people perceived her and played her, and she had to be nerfed as a result because the playstyle he came up with was so unexpectedly powerful and difficult to deal with.

    Adhering to the norms of the metagame and being restricted to it isn’t at fault of the system, it’s at fault of mediocre players who are afraid to be different and try new things because they are either unimaginative or afraid they might lose.



  • @Lg:

    @SHOE:

    Why do people post that video so often? He runs around and kills archers most of the time, something any class, even the archer excels at.

    Because it’s a proper representation of the playstyle that works well the MaA. It’s supposed to show that they aren’t meant to fight large battles.

    Again, Anyone can decimate archers…even archers. You don’t need an maa to fill any role in the game currently