So at first let me say: I’m disappointed. I was very hyped and looking forward to C:MW, since I really liked AoC, but damn that game had some lag and glitch issues. I was never more than an above average player in AoC and I’m pretty sure I would not have “liked” the glitchy high level play. But then I got into in the high level play of C:MW and really liked it. Until the patch that shall not be named. The patch that utterly destroyed the (EU) comp scene. But I don’t want this to be a rant, I want to point out what went wrong and where improvements can be made to C:MW2 (or something like that, because let’s face it, C:MW won’t see such drastic changes anymore).
1a. Plan ahead
The first step to a fun pvp game is to design a working, functional and fun combat system. C:MW’s combat system was very obviously just trial and error, nobody ever designed nor planned it properly. Best evidence? A shield counter was obsolete for many patches and so was a dodge counter (cftp was a glitch, remember?). Without cftp MaA would have dominated everybody. So next time please create counters for every move. Nothing feels worse than KNOWING you can’t do anything against what your
opponent is doing right now. The combat system should be fleshed out during the beta, so you don’t have to make changes that split your community after half a year and 10 patches.
1b. Consistency of your combat system
With C:MW you have created a combat system which is primarily based on timings (unlike for example M&B). Everything is timing based…attacks, parries, dodges, combos, feints, etc. BUT then you added in shields because well, what would a medieval warfare game be without shields? Shieldblock was not timing based. This fact made it overpowered until a counter was introduced later on. If I had
to implement shields within the timing based system properly I would create 2 types of shieldblock, 1 working like a parry for melee (timing based, with recovery time) and 1 holdable block so can use shields as protection against ranged weapons (however this type of block cannot be used in melee reasonably because of: high stamina drain, blocked vision, stun or whatever comes to mind). But what I truly want to say:
create your combat system with everything in mind. Do not try to create the “basics” and then try to squeeze the rest in somehow. Let C:MW’s shields be a lesson for you.
2. Balance in every situation
If you want a competitive game you need a working 1v1 AND XvX balance at the same time. 1v1 balance in C:MW is pretty much non existent, except for the case of Vanguard vs. 2h Knight (and mirrors obviosly). ANYTHING else is so far from balanced it hurts. Group combat balance is pretty ok, though.
3.Keep the skill ceiling high
Give the player as much control as possible. In the sequel you should include something like cftp from the very beginning, let me explain: This game was WAY more fluid when cftp was still in the game, because you could REACT to anything instead of having to PREDICT it. With cftp you could attack someone and after that react to whatever his mate does to you. Without cftp you have to predict the moment you hit someone what will happen in the next second around you. While this works fine in a 1v1 (because there is no one else to react to…but C:MW was not balanced for 1v1, remember?) it is pretty much impossible to “predict” (read: guess) what will happen in the next second when you are in the middle of a 5v5. Good players are target switching all the time, but even if you KNOW AND EXPECT this, predicting this 1 second ahead is nothing more than a guess. And it feels HORRIBLE (atleast to me) to see that blow coming from a mile away but you are not ALLOWED to do anything to defend against that attack because you guessed wrong a second ago.
This is a fast paced action game, not chess. Let me react to stuff I can humanly react to and don’t
artificially force me to predict how the combat will evolve tomorrow.
I never had a problem with Archers in AoC. But I do in C:MW. In AoC the damage was fine. Crossbows killed the heaviest class with 2 (body)shots, Bows with 3. But in C:MW Archery got MUCH more damage without any other drawbacks. They are also easier to aim due to crosshairs. Think about it: why is the hardest hitting weapon in C:MW not the Maul (super slow, short range, can be parried, wielded by the slowest class) but instead the Heavy Crossbow (can’t be parried, highest range in the game, even more damage and the best part: you can attack other players without fear of retaliation). Ranged weapons should really not out damage melee, at least not as long as its that easy to hit people with ranged weaponry. But to get to the actual point why C:MW’s Archery harms the competitive aspect of the
game: its skill scaling is very one sided. The better the Archer gets, the better his odds of beating an opponent. It doesn’t matter if you are the best MaA in the world and your rank is over 9000, Heavy Crossbow to the body and you are dead. Nothing you can do. That is poor design imho.
This has to change in the sequel. Let people parry projectiles or whatever…but that simple point and click adventure for Archers must go. It is simply not fair. And definitely not competitive.
In pretty much every fps (there are exceptions of course) the community chooses a mode which grants every player only a single life (aka no respawn) as competitive mode. But C:MW’s LTS is totally not suited for (fun) competitive play. Since the best tactic is to take a easily defendable position and then staying there. Just too bad that 2 teams following the best tactic cannot meet each other. In a real game it looks like this: the Archers shoot each other while the rest of the team hides in cover (incredibly fun for the melees). The team whose Archer dies first than has to give up their defensive position (because they would loose when the time runs out) and attack the other team which now has superior numbers and can keep their advantageous position. Given equal skill, the team with the dead Archer looses 9 times out of 10. But atleast we have TO as a competitive game mode.
This topic alone could fill pages, but I’ll try to keep it short: Due to lag, client side hit detection and not 100% properly working parries there are plenty of situations where it seems like you get hit “through” your parry. Best example: Miss a (1h) stab slightly to the right of your enemy, then drag the attack in. Easy hit. What your enemy sees is this: stab right through the parry. Bugs like these may not exist in a truly competitive game. You have to actually see what happens. Hit detection was one of the most annoying things in AoC: you had to KNOW where the hitboxes (yours and the enemies) are, because what you saw was pretty far off from the actual case.
Some other stuff that I really did not like about C:MW:
-Advertising. Chivalry was advertised as a game, which offers “…a true satisfaction in knowing that you beat your opponent…”(quote taken from the video: “What is Chivalry? - Devblog” http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl … eong#t=176 ). Well tbh I don’t feel that satisfaction when I kill a Knight as MaA…feels more like murdering a fluffy kitten with a machete. From behind. While its sleeping. And neither do I feel “respect” for that Archer that shots me in the back while I melee someone else. Second quote, same video:
“…instead of being frustrated by being shot from 300 feet away, you actually have that sense of appreciation or respect for that person who defeated you…” Let me tell you: the most frustrating moment in C:MW for me was, is and always will be being 1 shot by an Archer. But I’m glad that you told me that this isn’t going to happen -.-’. Tbh I’m quite mad about this. A trailer made by the devs themselves, which tells you the exact OPPOSITE of what is actually in the game? The next time please tell us what is actually in the game, it could sound like this: In our sequel we have deep melee combat, but no 1v1 balance. So if you run around as lonely Knight and some peasant with a weapon(aka MaA) comes along, you die without much of a chance! How cool is that? Oh and we improved Archers: it is now even more frustrating to be shot by an Archer while you are fighting someone in an awesome, cinematic duel! But enough of the sarcasm: This game didn’t sound like an easy, shallow game with fancy hats at first (and wasn’t released as such), but at some point you switched your target audience from core/hardcore gamer to casual. Maybe because of the high number of sales, I don’t know. In the beginning you cared about balance and real issues (or at least it seemed like that to me), later on it was more like “NEED MOAR SALES”. I’m not saying that I do not understand that. You are a small Indie studio and this is your first game. Of course you need to earn money like everybody else does. But somehow I still feel…betrayed. It is not like the new players are going to notice the glaring balance issues at high level play, but fancy hats on the other hand…
-Release times are too long in C:MW. Shorter release times equal less hittrades. And C:MW definitely has way too many hittrades.
-Official servers. The multiplay servers are horrible (as in non stop lagspikes), playing on them is pretty much impossible. This has been reported multiple times by multiple people for a long time. Nothing has happened. It’s a shame that TB doesn’t care about this. And I still don’t get WHY you don’t care about this. Multiplay servers in C:MW are so bad…if I had to give a newbie one tip, it would be: do not play on Multiplay servers, you won’t enjoy it. Atleast do your community a favor and remove the “official” tag from them. That way the poor guys with no clue are not drawn to the worst (by far) servers.
-too many ranged weapons, which caused some to be utterly useless while others are too powerful because they would not be distinct from each other otherwise.
-optimisation. This game runs very badly given its graphics and player count when compared to other games. And CPU bottlenecking.
-you said you listen to your community. Then why was cftp removed if 70% of the players(according to 2 polls) never wanted it removed and 100% of the balance council told you not to remove it?
-bugfixing. How many times has the server browser been “fixed” by now? You really need to make your bugfixing process more effective. And instead of fixing the game we get fancy hats and an expansion :/
-next time you create a game for hardcore gamers, don’t casualize it. Heavily skill based games (like C:MW) are nothing casual gamers stick with. That is imho the very reason why your actual playerbase has never in/decreased much. Of course there’s fluctuation after sales/patches ( http://steamgraph.net/index.php?action= … o=End+Time ), but your “actual” playerbase never exceeded 2k active players, and that 2k are steadily declining. If this game was appealing to casual gamers, then I’m pretty sure more than ~1,5 k players would be playing now after 1,2 million sold copies. Casual players like multiplayer experiences where skill doesn’t matter (much), like CoD. Killing somebody in CoD is very easy so even the biggest noob can kill a very good player. Casual gamers have only a few hours for gaming and want to enjoy these, and getting owned all the time because everybody has invested more time (and is much better because of that) is totally not fun for them. Doesn’t matter that they wanted to play a first person slasher and that it only cost 5 bucks. Heavily skill based games can only be enjoyable for casuals if they can stick to themselves. Like Starcraft 2 for example. But obviously you can’t get that big.
-upcoming mistake: splitting the already tiny community with an expansion? You have created a multiplayer only game. Without a community, this game is worthless. You should try everything you possibly can to increase your playercount. Instead you are doing the very opposite.
So a few last words from me:
While this post may sound very negative, I really liked C:MW(well, before the patch that shall not be named). I played and enjoyed it for hundreds of hours and I never enjoyed a small indie game like C:MW. You are only a small company, and this was your first game. You did great. Of course you did mistakes (plenty of them ;P). I am already looking forward to a sequel (and I’m guessing you will start to work on that after Deadliest Warrior is released, atleast inofficially).
So goodbye until C:MW 2 ;)