Spoiler alert: It’s dodges.
but I’ll get to that in a second.
First of all, this post will be about duel balance. “But Alice,” you might say. “MAA might wreck in duels, but in team fights they’re balanced, maybe even a bit under-powered.” OK, maybe. But that’s not good enough for me. We can have a fun MAA class that is balanced in both duels and team fights.
So all I have to do is convince you that MAA is OP in duels. Because some people might not think so, I guess. I can’t do that though, sorry, that would take waaay too long for a forum post (that would be like a 40 page paper examining every matchup and scenario and sh*t) and you’d definitely lose interest.
So instead I’ll make my case for how MAA is OP in ONE specific matchup and try to trivialize all the other matchups.
K, first of all: MAA beats all 2-handed weapons. Just gonna have to trust me on that one. Dodges and shit, the weapons are too slow, whatever. Duel me with a 2-handed weapon, I dare ya. I don’t care who you are, if we duel 100 times I’m gonna come out on top. I’d be happy to be proven wrong though, feel free to challenge me with a 2hander.
CHALLENGES SO FAR
Ŧ | Flippy
Score: 48-35, my favor
Weapon(s) used: Sword of War, Spear, Fork, Greatsword, then back to Sword of War.
Notes: Gave up but not convinced. Wants to see me try against Mike Oxlong, Hairy or Sophax
So the only thing left is 1handers. I’m gonna exclude vanguard because nobody likes them, they die in 2 hits to stabs. The only good 1h weapon they have is dane axe and it’s really not good.
“But Alice,” you might say. “Greatsword OP.”
Greatsword may be OP among 2h weapons but compared to MAA it’s a joke. Now shut up and let me talk.
Anyway, from all this deduction, the only real matchup that matters is 1h Knight vs MAA. If I can prove that MAA is OP in this matchup, the MAA is OP period.
Broadsword is the best here because it’s the weapon I know the best. Norse overheads are cray cray but broadsword is longer. HWS is retarded but broadsword is longer. Mace and Dane have retarded stabs but broadsword is longer or, in the case of Dane, actually does damage. You’re going to see that length means everything. (That’s what he said.)
So Broadsword Knight vs Broadsword MAA.
First of all, let’s talk about backing up. Imagine a MAA that’s backpedalling and a Knight sprinting after him. At a certain range the MAA has the option to attack the knight. Attack hop will cancel all his backwards momentum and he’ll move forwards while the knight is still running towards him, effectively increasing the MAA’s range. While the MAA is in range for an attack, the knight still isn’t. This means that the MAA can attack or feint with little to no risk to themselves. If they feint, the knight will likely stop and try to block, which gives MAA plenty of time to regain the stamina lost.
First point: When a MAA is backing up they have a large natural advantage.
Now let’s talk about what happens when the knight is actually in range. By this time the MAA is well and truly in range and it would be very hard for the knight to call the MAA’s feint so he has to be on high alert. The MAA, in contrast, really doesn’t give a fuck because the knight is just barely in range such that the MAA can easily call a feint.
Let’s say the knight gets a little closer. The pressure is now closing in on the knight because he’s in very dangerous territory. The MAA is also starting to feel a bit of pressure. But not very much. Why?
The Knight decides to take his chances and attack. The MAA probably could’ve called it if it were a feint cause they were still not touching but he’s not 100% sure and BOOP, he dodges. Backwards.
Second point: Dodge gives MAA even more of a natural advantage as well as a get out of jail free card.
Basically, these two points combined mean that a good MAA won’t take any hits until they actually decide to attack.
That’s the state of the meta for a defensive (read: backing up) MAA.
So let’s talk about attacking. We are at our most vulnerable when we’ve committed to an attack. You just read that Knight is at a large disadvantage if he tries to attack a defensive MAA. So instead he waits for the MAA to stop being defensive and come attack him.
MAA comes in range of knight. MAA has the advantage because MAA is the one moving and he can back up to bait attacks.
Let’s say MAA stabs, though. Knight blocks stab. They’re touching each other. Here’s the kicker.
We can all agree that the ball is in the Knight’s court. He’s just blocked a stab. He’s golden. He has a lot of options. He can riposte. He can wait and try to body feint the MAA. He can wait and do an actual feint. Regardless of what he does, it’s probably in his favor to be moving forward. So he does.
Let’s see what happens for each of the Knight’s possibilities.
1. Knight ripostes. MAA dodges backwards (won’t even get into side dodges,) forcing the Knight to miss. Knight MUST cftp or risk being hit in recovery. If knight combos and MAA decides not to attack, Knight has just lost more stamina than MAA. GG. Knight loses 99.9% of the time with this option.
2. Knight doesn’t riposte but keeps running forwards. MAA dodges backwards and queues an attack. If knight predicts MAA attack, MAYBE they will trade, but usually it works out so that the MAA hits the Knight anyway and the Knight barely misses. So it’s better not to attack and try to bait a MAA queued attack and then punish them for the miss. But what happens after MAA misses the dodge-attack? Knight comes in to punish with a stab and MAA dodges again. With this option, Knight’s best hope is a slim chance of a trade. Not very good.
3. Knight doesn’t riposte, keeps running, feints an attack. MAA dodges backwards and queues an attack. You get hit because you feinted, or you ftp and the MAA dodges backwards again.
All 3 of these scenarios are absolutely lousy for the Knight. Even when the ball’s in his court, it’s not really in his court because MAA steals it away with dodge. Specifically it’s the fact that MAA can queue an attack during dodge that fucks shit up. If Knight could call a MAA’s dodge and force him to parry the next attack, all would be well. But instead the MAA can just queue up an attack and if the knight doesn’t play pixel-perfectly it will hit him and he’ll have nothing to show for it, and if he does play perfectly they’ll trade which isn’t ideal.
Third point: MAA can nullify an advantage with dodge and a queued attack. If MAA plays well, Knight can’t force him to deal with an attack (i.e. try to parry it) until MAA is completely out of stamina. And that could potentially take a very long time, especially since the options above which force the MAA to use stamina also force the Knight to stop sprinting, giving the MAA time to recover stamina as he backpedals. Since the Knight has to sprint to keep up, the Knight could very well end up running out of stamina first.
“But Alice, you didn’t prove anything, there’s still this to consider, you’re oversimplifying it blah blah blah broadsword sucks MAA is balanced I live under a rock…” Well, screw you. I tried. There is clearly a problem. I submit to you that if you don’t see a problem, you simply haven’t played enough high level duels with MAA.
POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS!! YAY CHRISTMAS COLORS!!
Okay, you’ve accepted that MAA might be OP. But how do we fix it?
Well first of all TBS, just remember that you don’t have to fix it all at once. Please just try and move towards a more balanced game. If you make changes and it doesn’t completely solve the problem, that’s fine. Make more changes. We’ll be fine with it as long as you seem like you care.
So with that said, here’s what I think might help.
- Remove the ability to queue an attack during dodge.
- Make dodge cooldown a little longer.
- Make dodge a bit shorter, and a bit faster to compensate.
Any or all of these could go towards solving the problem. I think just #1 would be a good start.
Disclaimer: I play MAA 90% of the time. I have nothing to gain and a lot to lose by seeing it nerfed. That’s where I’m coming from. I got nothing to gain from it personally, I just want to see the game get better.