Thus far only played a few hours of ffa with a couple of other players and have largely enjoyed my time. Just going to reel off the notes that I put down whilst playing, can see that many of them have already been said, but confirmation can be no bad thing. Excellent point from Exile on the cohesion between magic and melee.
First off it feels like the game is trapped in the middle of being fast or slow paced. The ability to vault into windows and over ledges, even from mid-air leads to a very exciting freedom of movement and adds so much to the flow and feel of the game. However, with the lack of a sprint and the overall run speed feeling incredibly slow, it seems that the full commitment to a fast paced game hasn’t been made, which I feel it should be.
Keeping with the speed of the game, all melee attacks feel very sluggish and lacking in momentum. Almost all projectiles feel this way too, perhaps to make them easier to parry, but with the ability to just hold rmb, this seems very unnecessary. With everything being so slow, no parry window and seemingly no real parry box, in melee or with spells, it is very hard to deal damage to people. The reason that this worries me so much, is me and the people I have played with are new to the game, obviously. Yes we have experience in Chivalry, which no doubt aids a little in learning the mechanics, but I feel that two, or even a group of experienced players fighting, could make for very laborious fights. When you finally do deal damage to someone, if they create enough distance between you and them, they can heal, quickly. Not sure why the heal function is present at all, for mine, just increasing the base heal speed would be much better.
When it comes to the actual combat mechanics, first hit flinch is excellent, as is being able to flinch or parry abilities that are used. The main gripe I have with the combat at the moment is the queuing up of attacks and parries. You combo two attacks, get flinched during the first, then the second attack happens after you leave recovery from the hit you took anyway. This just feels so strange and I guess is the main reason that it is seemingly very hard to feint to parry, because I naturally combo attacks. Not sure if the windows need adjusting, or just your queue being reset once damage is taken, however it is in Chivalry I guess. Leaving release at the moment also feels very harsh, with regards to the turncap. On many occasions I find myself spinning 360 after a side stab attempt gets parried, it looks very similar to when you desync in Chivalry.
Having a lot of fun with the game so far, plenty of variation in classes and each one has a nice selection of abilities. The ffa map we’ve played on (market?) is excellent. In this game I feel it is very important to have levels to the terrain. Playing on mass expanses of flat ground is not something this game would be suited to, and I think this map does a great job of keeping that freedom of movement and not being too open.
I understand that 1v1 combat may not be the main focus of this game, but it is inescapable and fundamentally very important to a game such as this. As I have said, at the moment it feels extremely hard to deal damage to someone. Perhaps something as simple as adding a parry window will fix this, but I am not sure it would.