Let's talk stamina
Prepare yourselves! Wall of text incoming! Walk it off! :)
So there’s a few inconsistencies I would like to discuss regarding stamina.
1.) What the intent of the mechanic is.
2.) Is the stamina mechanic balanced between different classes and weapon set ups?
3.)How combos function when a player reaches zero stamina.
4.)A suggestion for changing the way having no stamina effects players.
So what exactly is the intent of stamina? It’s clear that mismanagement of stamina can lead to a quick dazed decapitation. So let’s start off by saying that stamina is meant to encourage a balance of aggression and defense. When at full stamina, players are encouraged to play aggressively to gain momentum. When at zero stamina, a player should be encouraged to play defensively….right? Well…kind of. I think the fear of daze has lead many players to continue to play aggressively even when they can’t use combos or feints, which may or may not be a design oversight.
This ties into my 3rd discussion topic slightly, but let’s go ahead and skip the inconsistencies for now and talk about how this applies to different classes and weapon setups. We’ll divide everything up into 3 main categories: 2 hand users (2h), 1 hand users (1h), and shield users (S&B). I want to focus more on the 2h aspect of things, as I feel that is where stamina is largely ignored. But to summarize, I see shield users and MAAs being the most handicapped when out of stamina, while 2h users and archers can still function decently in most situations.
So 2h users are designed around offensive play. So, for the most part, a good 2h user will use their stamina for attacks, feints, hasted parry attacks, and combos. Rarely for parries. This is interesting because of all the weapon set ups, I believe 2h benefits the most from using stamina on whiffed attacks. This is because zoning another player out with combos can be so effective. Vanguards and 2h knights commonly will whiff attacks repeatedly in hopes to bait me into their combo followup. This eats up a ton of stamina…I believe 20 per whiff? Even more if they combo. Vanguards will commonly swing wildly and back pedal. Sometimes they won’t even stop to regenerate stamina.
So in this situation, I, as a shield knight, will typically move in and out of their range to get them to whiff and drain their stamina. When I hear their character wheezing, which is the audio cue for them being out of stamina, I go in. This isn’t always accurate, as sometimes the cue plays too late it seems and they’ve already regenerated enough stamina to avoid being dazed. This also leads me to my 2nd point about inconsistencies in the stamina system.
I’m under the impression that a combo is impossible to perform when a player is out of stamina. Consider this situation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EMzRw3L0cw&t=6m28s
So, Mean, who is a wonderfully talented knight in RK, whiffs a stab that puts him at 0 stamina. You can see he has no stamina and his character begins to wheeze. But then he combos into overhead. Is this a bug or is it intended? Cause it is rather bothersome to hear my opponent wheezing after a whiffed attack only to walk into what I thought was an impossible 2nd attack.
1h users will not usually whiff attacks to bait another player in, excluding perhaps baiting a MAA dodge. I feel that for the most part, 1h users are more mindful of their stamina for an entire engagement. There’s a lot more ebb and flow to the battle, as 1h users will build time to regenerate stamina into their tactics. It isn’t all aggression usually, except in bursts. Each burst lasts about as long as their stamina does, which feels great. So I feel the balance of the stamina mechanic for 1h users is good. It’s very important to manage, but not impossible to come back from if you run out. It also doesn’t allow for continued aggression due to zoning like 2h use can.
Oh boy, S&B. I play almost exclusively with shield. And I have to say….the daze mechanic needs to be looked at. So let’s just talk about the daze mechanic in general. As I understand it, there are two types of daze: normal daze, which lasts 1.1 seconds and applies when someone parries with no stamina left and special daze, which lasts 1.2 seconds and applies if someone blocks a kick or shield bash with a shield. That’s a little convoluted if you ask me.
I propose removing “normal” daze and making special daze last 1.1 seconds. That way, the only way to get dazed is to be kicked or shield bashed while your shield is up. If a player blocks or parries with zero stamina left, they should take partial damage from the hit…a grazed attack if you will. You didn’t fully parry/block it because you were tired. My brother and I actually thought the stab through shields/parries bug was how the game worked…as in, if you parried/blocked an attack with zero stamina you took damage. I’m hoping this would allow the removal of the band-aid fix that is the free 30 stamina when dazed (“stun locking” was no fun, but this isn’t really an elegant fix).
First off, I know exactly what you mean by stamina inconsistencies in this game. For example swinging a giant 2hander takes less stamina than kick, running takes no stamina, successful hits from any weapon takes no stamina, etc.
I think the fear of daze has lead many players to continue to play aggressively even when they can’t use combos or feints, which may or may not be a design oversight.
Actually players are less worried about daze since the devs added a free stamina mechanic. The whole game is just a spam fast now where stamina management has really no significance. I’ve been dazed by just spamming and the majority of the time I end up killing the person who dazed me.
I see shield users and MAAs being the most handicapped when out of stamina
Maybe shield users, but MAA is the least handicapped. Getting MAAs down to 0 stamina is definitely the hardest if they know how to play.
So in this situation, I, as a shield knight, will typically move in and out of their range to get them to whiff and drain their stamina. When I hear their character wheezing, which is the audio cue for them being out of stamina, I go in. This isn’t always accurate, as sometimes the cue plays too late it seems and they’ve already regenerated enough stamina to avoid being dazed.
Even if the person who is spamming combos was worried about having no stamina, he could just start crouching for boosted stamina regen that was added to this patch for no reason.
If a player blocks or parries with zero stamina left, they should take partial damage from the hit…a grazed attack if you will. You didn’t fully parry/block it because you were tired.
That definitely makes more sense than what’s in place now.
I’m definitely not a fan of mechanics that remove control of your character. I mean…that’s no fun, right? To top it off, the daze mechanic works very strangely with shields. There’s been several times where I have been dazed or I’ve dazed another shield user, only to have them block my “free” hit while dazed.
If the daze mechanic must stay, then the shield needs to drop to protect the player’s feet, because right now it seems like it stays raised despite looking like it isn’t. Having a dazed opponent block stabs or overheads to the face is just…strange. And damage from against a dazed player should be reduced, because an entire hit is a bit much. Look at street fighter, if someone gets stunned, the hits in the combo leading up to the daze scale down inflicted damage.
And I’ve seen players who play as you described genocide, but I usually am able to get a free hit if my opponent is dazed. I’m not sure why you look at it as free stamina :?
Glad you like my suggestion! The flinch state might have to be looked at for it to work, because we do want to avoid stun lock situations…as in if someone took partial damage from blocking with no stamina, but got flinched because of it and couldn’t do anything before their opponent threw out another attack.
And I’d really love some feedback from a dev or someone who really knows how the game operates regarding the video example I posted…is that how things are supposed to work? Cause that looks an awful lot like a combo that costs zero stamina! 0_o