Some ideas to fix feints and shields.



  • It’s no secret these are all hotly discussed topics on the forum recently. Feints are too strong and tend to make fights a quick guessing game. Shields counter that, but they also tend to counter every other attack and turn the user into a brick wall that is incredibly hard to overcome. While mostly they are problems in duels and not TO, I still have had annoying moments with these issues in TO games once in a while, and recognize that something must be done. I have come up a few solutions that would make the game a whole lot more interesting and balanced.

    1. Allow players to cancel parries by feinting.
      It occurred to me that attacking is so fluid and satisfying because you can feint to switch up your attacks or quickly parry. TB should apply that reasoning to defense as well, and allow an early cancel of a parry if it wouldn’t do anything or would be mistimed. Then, if you realize the opponent has been winding up longer than usual because he feinted, then you could cancel your current parry (at the cost of stamina) and immediately parry again to block his feinted attack. If the opponent just feints over and over, you too could just feint over and over until you can backpedal or sprint to a distance where you can properly react to his attacks. This solution would solve the luck-based combat, make non-shielded builds much more viable, increase the skill ceiling of the game, and make the game feel more realistic and flexible when it comes to defense.

    Just make sure you can’t parry-feint-attack directly after getting flinched or blocked. Attacks should still be disallowed for the duration of the flinch, regardless of how many parries or feints you do in the meantime.

    1. Allow players to parry with their weapon while holding a shield; shield block can be set to alt + right click.
      This opens the door for much more variation when it comes to defense. Shields can become much more situational than they are now if you still had the option to quickly protect yourself with your weapon. In addition, I really like the idea of the quick counter following a parry, and it would make fights involving shields much faster and interesting if someone using a shield still had the option to do that.

    2. Make large shields much more unwieldy, but more defensive.
      TB has already started on this; the beta patch makes post-blocking counter attacks much slower based on the size of the shield. If shield users could parry as well as block, then TB could go much further than that. Tower shields could take much longer to raise up from the idle position (0.3 seconds or so), and have decreased movement and turn speed while defending. In return, large shields could have more benefits, such as an even larger blocking area than they have now. Another idea is make their stamina costs depend on the compared size of the attacking weapon; a maul should take a lot of stamina to block, while a dagger or short sword should take barely any stamina to block AND the attacker would recoil as if they hit a wall. A tower shield should be something difficult to use, but make it something that enemies really want to avoid hitting.

    3. Disable shield blocking when out of stamina.
      Another addition if players were allowed to parry when holding a shield. If you are dead tired, I imagine it would be difficult to raise a heavy shield in time to block an incoming blow. Realism aside, this would make shielded players have a much harder time with defense if they run out of stamina and suddenly become very vulnerable to feint attacks.

    Minor additional things:

    1. Add multiple parry stances; have players who are parry-feinting switch between stances, so it looks like they are waving their weapon in front of them to ward off attacks. It would look much better than holding a sword still, in blocking position, for a few seconds.

    2. Increase parry recovery time, but allow combos from missed parries. This would add even more fluidity to defense; right now it feels way too rigid and slow when the enemy misses my parry and I’m stuck in parry recovery so I can’t hit him back in time. At the same time, with the suggested buff to parries in this post, I think the vulnerability time when you do miss a parry should be increased to punish mistakes more.



  • @RushSecond:

    1. Make large shields much more unwieldy, but more defensive.
      In return, large shields could have more benefits, such as an even larger blocking area than they have now.

    I strongly disagree with this. The model of the shield is the shield’s actual blocking area… I would assume you wouldn’t want invisible force fields in the game? Or do you mean the developers overhaul the entire tower shield model and make it larger? I get that you want to add ‘usefulness’ to shields, but they’re already enough of a pain in the ass without force fields.



  • I think the feinting is fine right now; sure, 1v1 fights do boil down to a guessing game, but I think that’s where true skill comes in. Anyone can learn the mechanics of the game and adjust their attacks to increase their chances of scoring a hit, but not everyone can actually analyze a player’s habits, utilize spacing, and make accurate reads based on player’s habits.

    As for shields, I agree they’re a bit too strong. Instead of changing the nature of shields, I think they should be made less viable as an option in combat, probably just by increasing the amount of stamina taken away from blocking an attack with a shield. Actually, it would be pretty cool if the stamina taken away on a block was directly proportional to how long you were actively holding your shield out; this way people would be punished for just holding their shield out indefinitely in the face of adversaries.

    Although I haven’t tried the beta, I thought switching your attack starting point with alt would be a good counter to shields, as attacks originating from the left side of the attacker can more easily get past a shield’s guard.


  • Global Moderator

    Its fine how it is. Your just trying to defeat the purpose of feinting and using shields. Changing the core mechanics of the game.

    You can go over or around shields or kick them down. Its not hard. And some people like me are really bad at feinting. There are only a few that are good and you don’t come across them very often. And if you out of stamina and you use a sheild you get bashed quite far away. It should break your sheild block like a kick does though.



  • @Slaughtervomit:

    The model of the shield is the shield’s actual blocking area… I would assume you wouldn’t want invisible force fields in the game? . . . I get that you want to add ‘usefulness’ to shields, but they’re already enough of a pain in the ass without force fields.

    The problem is that currently it goes the other way, and most weapons are able to clip through shields if the tip of the weapon is juuuust outside of the blocking area. You can only watch the lower 60% of a Zweihander go straight through a tower shield so many times before it starts to get annoying.

    Also I don’t want to add usefulness to shields; despite weapons being able to clip through, they are still too strong right now. I just want to make sure that if they are made much more clumsy to use, that they get some sort of compensation so everyone doesn’t stop using them completely.

    @fixedelement:

    I think the feinting is fine right now; sure, 1v1 fights do boil down to a guessing game, but I think that’s where true skill comes in. Anyone can learn the mechanics of the game and adjust their attacks to increase their chances of scoring a hit, but not everyone can actually analyze a player’s habits, utilize spacing, and make accurate reads based on player’s habits.

    Reading and predicting will still be part of the game; in fact, the reason I made this topic is to propose an idea that allows skillful defense while also rewarding prediction. For example, if you correctly predict that the opponent will feint, you can either parry once at the right time (so he used stamina for nothing and now you have initiative) or you could attack him (forcing him to feint again and parry you, using up even more stamina, or possibly hit him if he doesn’t react in time). My suggestion just lessens the punishment for guessing wrong; rather than taking a lot of damage and dying, you just get a small stamina disadvantage that you can make up with skillful play.

    As for shields, I agree they’re a bit too strong. Instead of changing the nature of shields, I think they should be made less viable as an option in combat, probably just by increasing the amount of stamina taken away from blocking an attack with a shield. Actually, it would be pretty cool if the stamina taken away on a block was directly proportional to how long you were actively holding your shield out; this way people would be punished for just holding their shield out indefinitely in the face of adversaries.

    Admittedly, that would be better than the way things are now. I still prefer my idea because increased stamina costs doesn’t make much sense intuitively. Also, player’s who constantly block don’t need to be punished more; the current punishment for blocking forever is that you aren’t dealing any damage.

    Although I haven’t tried the beta, I thought switching your attack starting point with alt would be a good counter to shields, as attacks originating from the left side of the attacker can more easily get past a shield’s guard.

    This is true, however the alternate attacks “counter” parries just as much as they do shields, so the imbalance between shields and parries won’t change.

    @lemonater47:

    You can go over or around shields or kick them down. Its not hard.

    You are mostly right, and I used to think like this. Most TO players don’t use shields, some do but are bad and don’t aim correctly, fewer still do aim correctly but you can fake them out by feinting from a slash to an overhead or other such tricks. But the highest percentile of players can block nearly everything you do, and then it becomes very obvious that shields are too strong.



    1. Disable shield blocking when out of stamina.
      Another addition if players were allowed to parry when holding a shield. If you are dead tired, I imagine it would be difficult to raise a heavy shield in time to block an incoming blow. Realism aside, this would make shielded players have a much harder time with defense if they run out of stamina and suddenly become very vulnerable to feint attacks.

    As a knight this pretty much already happens; if you run out of stamina with a shield up you get locked into a position where you just can’t do a damn thing. Taking an overhead maul on the shield is a death sentence.

    Looking at the realism argument; if you are “dead tired” you are more likely to get muscle lock and wouldn’t be able to lower the shield even if you wanted to. In the same token it would be a bit daft if you could still walk but not hold up a shield when people are poking you with pointy/heavy objects.

    My humble suggestion is that you work on shield counters, no offense intended.



  • Currently, there’s a bug with shields that allows you to go immediately from the shield-up state to an attack windup by attacking while holding your block. That was never intended to happen - the main balancing factor of larger shields is that they take longer to drop and thus longer to counterattack with, in addition to blocking more of your view.

    So, the above is going to be fixed (possibly for next patch, but don’t quote me on that) - that should be a good first step towards balancing shields, especially in making large shields less broken by giving them a real penalty that can’t be subverted by playing in third person or cranking field of view to max. Additional changes might need to be made after that, and most of what you’ve suggested has been discussed already as potential solutions, but it’s best to take it one step at a time. I think after the first major content update (next patch) we’ll see more frequent patches for a while until there’s something big to focus on again.

    Feinting is still being discussed. Don’t expect any changes for next patch to feints, unless the community feels strongly that some kind of change absolutely needs to be made right away - because it’s a tough issue to really “fix” in a way that satisfies everyone.



  • @SlyGoat:

    Currently, there’s a bug with shields that allows you to go immediately from the shield-up state to an attack windup by attacking while holding your block. That was never intended to happen - the main balancing factor of larger shields is that they take longer to drop and thus longer to counterattack with, in addition to blocking more of your view.

    So, the above is going to be fixed (possibly for next patch, but don’t quote me on that) - that should be a good first step towards balancing shields, especially in making large shields less broken by giving them a real penalty that can’t be subverted by playing in third person or cranking field of view to max. Additional changes might need to be made after that, and most of what you’ve suggested has been discussed already as potential solutions, but it’s best to take it one step at a time. I think after the first major content update (next patch) we’ll see more frequent patches for a while until there’s something big to focus on again.

    Feinting is still being discussed. Don’t expect any changes for next patch to feints, unless the community feels strongly that some kind of change absolutely needs to be made right away - because it’s a tough issue to really “fix” in a way that satisfies everyone.

    Well that’s game over for my Kite Shield/one handed Sword of War combo: fun while it lasted. Any chance of adding the heater shield to the knight’s armoury by way of compensation to shield users?

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: a knight on foot without a heater shield is just wrong.