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Devs: Please elevate the level of discussion

Knight 766 3329
  • 1
  • 27 Oct '17
 Mittsies

Every patch brings along a myriad of interesting changes and re-balances, most of which seem to be good tweaks, but some of which are leaving the community with mixed opinions. A quick stroll through the official Mordhau discord reveals a blend of confusion, frustration, and disappointment among players. Two recent changes, the removal of kick-stun and tweaked parry lockout, are examples of changes that have left some players (myself included) somewhat baffled. In an attempt to gain insight on these changes, I read what people were saying on the discord and browsed through forum discussions, but there appears to be no general consensus on why these changes were added and if they are good or not.

Right now, the patch-notes leave most of the community in the dark. The best we can do is guess at what the developers are thinking, and that level of communication is utterly insufficient when the core mechanics of the game are being tweaked with nearly every patch. Before the Mordhau alpha, we had the developer blogs and some carefully-planned reviews, which were incredibly informative and highly appreciated. I loved those videos, and I loved the level of discussion that was taking place. I was really hoping that the developers would continue to stay in touch with their player-base at that level, but it seems that's not the case.

We need developer commentary on big changes that are being made. We don't need blogs, just something as simple as explaining the changes that were made in each patch. Brief commentary under some of the more drastic changes could make a world of difference. Developer Crushed made an "Alpha Build #10 Discussion Thread" here, but much like the last build discussion thread, there is very little actual player-developer discussion happening. These threads mostly exist as a way for developers to gather a bit of feedback on their changes, which is good, but it doesn't help us understand why the changes were put here in the first place.

In Patch #10, the changes for lockouts says "this will reduce the attack spam after parrying someone". This is helpful and gives me an idea of the decision-making that went into these changes, but I'd really appreciate even more elaboration. Rather than an unorganized list of (often seemingly-arbitrary) changes, I'd prefer an organized list of changes with some commentary that helps the community understand why the changes are being made and what the developers goals are (short term or long term). I'm having a lot of fun with Mordhau, I just wish I understood the development process a little better.


Below is a mock example I made.
Keep in mind that the commentary I put here is NOT ACTUAL DEVELOPER COMMENTARY, nor does it accurately portray the developers' thoughts. It's merely an example of how the patch-notes could be structured in the future.

Reworked Kick

  • Kick feint cost increased to 15 (previously 10)
  • Removed kick ghost tracers (range is now accurate to the foot)
  • Increased kick turncap slightly
  • Kicks now flinch instead of stun. Removed the kick protection that prevented getting flinched by another kick as the flinch time is lower than stun time.
  • Increased Kick damage to 15 (from 10)
  • Increased Kick knockback
  • Decreased Kick miss cost to 20 (from 30)

Developer Commentary: We originally created the kick with the intention of punishing facehuggers, but the kick proved too strong when used aggressively. By removing the stun and increasing the knockback, we expect the kick to be used more defensively and as a way to help players using longer weapons to distance themselves from aggressive players. We understand the kick will be much weaker now, but we will take steps to fine tune it from here.

Light / Unarmored Movement Speed

  • Naked & light armor max. sprint acceleration lowered slightly - naked now (0.9 / 0.9 / 0.3) light armor (0.85 / 0.85 / 0.3)
  • Light armor movement speed slowdown increased (from 2% to 3%)

Developer Commentary: We want light and unarmored to feel fast but not disrupt the flow of combat. We will be making subtle changes to acceleration and slowdown as we continue to put out new updates and eventually add the perk system. We also want unarmored to be distinct from light armor, without either seeming like the superior option.


Naturally, certain players will still complain about certain changes they disagree with, but at least they'll know where the developers are coming from. Otherwise, it will be a confusing and frustrating experience for them. The bottom line is that it doesn't take much offer to write down your thoughts, and some brief commentary on changes being made is not a lot to ask for. While I'm sure certain players out there who are more skilled and seasoned than your average player, especially people who've dropped hundreds (or thousands) of hours into Slasher, will understand the patch notes perfectly fine: the majority of players won't - especially once the game goes into beta.

Duke 2266 4010
  • 1
  • 27 Oct '17
 Huggles

Tbh what I would most like from the devs is a thought out post on the core combat design philosophy they have for the game. Ofc we all know the basics, free form combat, real time, eveything flows into everything, etc. But I mean the specifics of the game. Not like, stats or balance, but how the game actually plays.

  • So, what is their idea of how initiative should play out? Should it be extremely hard initiative like it was on chiv where a parry basically guaranteed it's now "your turn" to attack? Or should it be more muddy than that.

  • Footwork, to what extent is footwork encouraged and utilized? Do they like the back peddle and forward or do they want players to have more lateral movement.

  • Do the devs think jump stabs and stuff are cool and fun? Or do they think they are ridiculous and over the top?

These are the type of questions I wish devs would tackle. I think almost all of us are fine with the core mechanics, graphics, etc what we are really trying to discuss here is how they are used together and if the way players are given incentive to play right now is fun and skillful.

11 18
  • 2
  • 27 Oct '17
 Derpyponies

Mittsies is right on target. BUT I have to bitch about devs saying something like: "Increased kick turncap slightly"... Give us a freaking actual number and explain what that number means in detail so that we can see the great amount of thought and decision making you put into these decisions.

Which do you think will help the community give you helpful feedback?
"increased kick turncap"
OR
"Increased kick turncap, thus increasing the amount of turning you can do during a kick. With an increase of 2 radians to the turncap's x & y, you will see a 10% increase to the base turncap of 20 radians during windup which lasts .340 seconds. Release turncap which lasts 1.245 seconds was only increased by 1 radian. Also worth noting is that the turncap increases by 10% each .01 seconds after release for .1 seconds until it is removed.
We specifically increased the turncap enough so that kicks will always hit against movement speeds of Head(medium) Body(light) Legs(none) armor setups or slower if the foe perfectly runs in circular motion around you to dodge it as close as possible."

I'm still waiting for a spreadsheet of weapon statistics, listing for comparison things such as "windup time before weapon deals damage after each specific attack is executed" & "damage dealt to head/body/legs with stab/slash".

The devs DO HAVE one of these in the palms of their hands right? They're not just changing weapon statistics without one of these spreadsheets right??? So freaking give a copy to the community so rather than worthless discussions that have no info, the level of discussion is elevated and pointed at a change that fixes the problem.

Here is a fake example to illustrate this point:"rapier is OP because it is too fast/reaching" threads would be replaced with discussion about "rapier reach is too strong without a longer windup time, maybe .020sec longer would make it more fair or "-4 damage on stabs to heavy armored body so that rapier users are incentivized to try to get a head hit for one less hit to kill against heavy armor". You don't do those changes without a spreadsheet showing hits to kill and actual numbers.

I'd also like to see statistics on the maximum reach of weapons during their attacks.

Baroness 175 185
  • 28 Oct '17
 Edy_Nelson

We are really not getting ANY clarity from the devs, we end up having to make speculations or ask them privately.

I'd also like to see actual numbers instead of just "changed damage values of halberd". There is no reason to keep this secret or in the shadows, why do we have to spend so much time to figure out the numbers ourselfs when we are supposed to test the game.
It's pretty embarrassing that we have to create damage/speed tables ourselfes because the devs won't provide one for us, even though they would clearly have an easier time finding them out than us.

11 18
  • 1
  • 28 Oct '17
 Derpyponies

@Edy_Nelson said:
We are really not getting ANY clarity from the devs, we end up having to make speculations or ask them privately.

I'd also like to see actual numbers instead of just "changed damage values of halberd". There is no reason to keep this secret or in the shadows, why do we have to spend so much time to figure out the numbers ourselfs when we are supposed to test the game.
It's pretty embarrassing that we have to create damage/speed tables ourselfes because the devs won't provide one for us, even though they would clearly have an easier time finding them out than us.

Not just that, but IF the devs don't have their own table, its clear they're incompetent and shouldn't be adjusting anything because they're just shooting in the dark.

I'd go further and sternly criticize them... for without statistical graphing of all of the activities for every weapon, I MYSELF wouldn't begin to mess with balancing for fear of confirmation bias skewing my results. Where's the giant graph of damage dealt per minute of a weapon's use over thousands of pvp combats weighted against other important factors? Where is the console statistics for every player on every running server in the past several weeks for each patch to compare weapon and armor use and damage results against any other given player or players for every patch so they know what is actually happening from the macro view all the way down to the smallest grain of sand?

Don't even touch balance... work on the animation problems if you don't have good info... Keep the knight's damn hands on the damn sword's grip before you worry about adding or removing damage from things IF you have NO DATA.
https://i.imgur.com/PUCxzyV.png

link text

Count 92 260
  • 28 Oct '17
 Intellicide

These are the kind of posts that are too long for me to bother reading, but that I upvote anyway because it's probably a good post

Mercenary 1897 7067
  • 28 Oct '17
 ThunderDuck

@­ said:
These are the kind of posts that are too long for me to bother reading, but that I upvote anyway because it's probably a good post

a man has no name