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Does Mordhau Really Need Feints as the Main Aspect of Combat?

Knight 528 3386
  • 12 Sep '18
 rob_owner

To answer the title of the thread/main question, no it doesn't really need feints as the main aspect, they can make whatever they want the main aspect. In my opinion, I think the main aspect should be the amalgamation of all intended mechanics. Feints, swing manipulation, chambering, parrrying, riposte, Marox would even say during the first video that everything flows into everything. I find it quite cool when I chamber an enemy and morph to a stab only to chamber the stab I predicted was cruising my way because there is now and will likely always be a high probability that the second enemy in a 1v2 will stab you because it requires the least amount of camera movement to manipulate into an instant hit and is less likely to team damage with and will let you range play easier. Sad to see that gone but oh well, that's just one example of mechanics, chambers and morphs, working off each other.

As for whether a feint meta is healthy, probably not if its anything like Chivalry since feinting in chiv was one of the ten deadly sins so sayeth the stone Public Server Commandments. You press Q and almost everyone would shit their pants, fingers launching to keyboards like rockets, ready to type in that chat and talk about how shitty feints were. Thing is, people will always find something to complain about, It was a fun challenge to adhere to their complaints and not play how they complained about, just to prove to them that it made no difference, i'd kill them anyway. One guy complained I backswung, so I only dragged. He complained I dragged, so I only ran at him and made him panic parry. He had nothing to complain about, so he left. I didn't even bother feinting in pubs because everything else was already broken enough for me to maximize.

In competitive though, I began my journey of finding the holy grail, the unreadables. It was a short journey so there isn't much to talk about except how easy it is to make yourself unreadable in chivalry. Let me mention the idea of luxury mechanics, something like chambering in mordhau. It lets you mitigate the need to actually hard read, it puts up a wall between you and the difficult mixups of the game, it lets you fool around with confrontation. Chiv's versions of these don't exist to nearly the same capacity in Mordhau, with its cartoon knockback and its double parrying, you could early parry windup and just attack because the enemy would probably try to feint you again because he knew you'd be able to parry his follow up, either way you'd just consume his stam or force him to feint so early its readable anyways, puts you at risk of getting dragged but the movement let you mitigate that as well. Good luck doing that in a game that lets you morph instead of feinting. (If parry recovery is made 25ms shorter from its current length in this build 17, it will probably be possible to double parry some really late feints, it almost is reliable because of the new movement). Cartoon knockback let the 2shottable halberd player fling the mean SoW player away from you so you can just zone your little balls off and not have to read him unless the fragile mechanic bugged out and actually pulled the enemy towards you. Hopefully you get the idea, either way for chiv its just a battle of whoever can maximize their initiative. That is non-specific and will always be true for these games. For chivalry though, it entails forcing the enemy to gamble you. People will read a feint you perform if you actually let it be readable, but for the most part, when you have initiative, the enemy is completely at your mercy and can only hope to gamble you to some capacity if there isn't a luxury mechanic or the feints are actually readable in a neutral situation (meaning the guy you're going to be diddling isn't in a 1vX). You can definitely argue it needs to be this way though, because otherwise you'd never get a free hit off a single guy, but that's not true, it would just take a really long time and probably be really boring for 2 good players to fight. Duels are important but I figured the consensus was that this is a team fighting game, so it seems reasonable to keep that as a priority when making any changes or spitballing any ideas.

Knowing all this shit, I can't reasonably say the feints in Chivalry are readable, as consequence of the animations, the netcode, the bugs, the desyncs, the feint windows, all the dirt and grime and muck, if someone complains about it in the chat, I'm pretty sure they fell for a bad feint, and if they knew how to footwork they could def double parry the follow up, but I can't pretend something like a stab feint is, with 0 camera movement and manipulation, unreadable if you just wait a tid bit before pressing the button, is readable, mostly because I just crafted the situation to fit the point I also crafted. The skill it takes to perform this can be taught in a few minutes, the only real skill comes down to like 600 hours of experience actually using the tool you were taught. Mordhau doesn't have all the dirt grit and grime, but a fun thing to do is pretend chambers don't exist, and then try reading. The initial feint nerf of 75ms from patch 14 got trimmed more and more each build after it, and we have now reached full 75ms again on this current patch 17. You can do some deep feints, but you can also do some deep morphs. I'm sorry to say I don't believe the animations are good enough at the moment to warrant these timings, so to compensate, it would probably be wise to nerf them for the time being.

I've also noticed morphs seem to counter parry more than they counter chambers. A new comer to the game will probably wonder why he'd ever feint someone who is being pressured by his teammate when he could just start a stab windup inside the enemy then morph out of it. Currently it consumes 5 stamina, which is nullified once you get a hit and receive 10 stamina. Making morph only possible if you chamber could actually make them exist more during chamber exchanges than elsewhere so they will be of more effect to chamber exchanges and achieve their purpose (if they are better at countering something else, they can hardly be said to counter their intended counter, at least that's what I have noticed, maybe someone else has had a different experience.) is something you could do until the animations improve significantly. I don't know if that's an issue or anything though, just noticing it counters parries more than its intended counter, and I predict that will still be the case if morph matching is removed.

People probably didn't like feints in chivalry because they felt they were forced to gamble a random guy's feint mixups. They accepted it was not realistic to read, I watched as they gave up any attempts to, and honestly I can't really blame them, even if they were dealing with readable poo feints from some random rank 30. I also knew how easily the max potential for an unreadable feint could be brought about, so I couldn't reasonably quell a random guy's frustration by telling him they are reasonably readable (Keep in mind its not realistic for me to think I could make him feel any better even if I could tell him they were reliably readable, I'd just like to be able to say that). Backswing feints, stab feints, it was pretty braindead to make yourself unreadable, and with that in mind you're delusional if you think you're reading some massive nerd's massive feint's that mimic the release animation if you happen to not parry during the feint part, so as long as Mordhau doesn't have that kind of gameplay, it should be fine.

80 201
  • 12 Sep '18
 Seseau

@Stouty said:

@Frise said:
lol ok giru show a feint reading montage to anyone that doesn't know about mordhau or chivalry and ask them how impressive it looks

anyone can get hype watching this, even more so when you understand the game like with any spectator (e)sport. This genre is much easier to understand than say DOTA

No. Objectively, no. Comparing this to Dota as a spectator sport is genuine blasphemy. If Chiv had any traction for that kind of move, it would have picked up. If you truly believe Mordhau has the potential to become a real esport, you are massively deluded.

Duchess 806 3550
  • 12 Sep '18
 Stouty

No. Objectively,

Stopped reading right there

Mercenary 1263 2303
  • 12 Sep '18
 TheKingInTheNorth

Of course this type of game could conceivably be an e-sport. All it needs is relatively good balance and an audience. I'm skeptical about Mordhau becoming an e-sport though, since the developers have reportedly abandoned their ambition to make it so. Not that I would know, they never tell the forum crowd anything.

Knight 936 952
  • 12 Sep '18
 afiNity

At least some of the Mordhau devs are competitive players so I don't think they are opposed to the idea of Mordhau becoming an esport-title. The problem of Chivalry was the lack of polishing and basic features (replays for example), I think the core concept is fitting for an esport game but Tornbanner had casuals as their target audience and that's what they got.

Knight 1269 3811
  • 12 Sep '18
 Frise

@Stouty said:
Why are you straw-manning me with side stabs when I was talking about waterfalls...

But there's also an argument to be made about having parries be reliable in chaotic team fights

Way easier to focus on aiming your parry when you don't have to read super powerful feints

and the relative ease of switching attack direction compared to switching where your parry is looking at

Kind of like the relative ease of pressing Q compared to reading feints

Duchess 806 3550
  • 12 Sep '18
 Stouty

I'm not convinced that you can reliably counter stab drags but I know that feints can be read and punished so yeah not really an argument. You aim your parry and they with a split second switch sides, the game probably doesn't let you switch your parry side so it's uncounterable

80 286
  • 2
  • 12 Sep '18
 wizardish
  • The problem with this thread and feint threads in the past is the over simplification and misrepresentation of the mechanic. Feints take skill to use. If you don't know what you're doing, you'll end up dying by trying to use them. The disparity between skill to perform and skill to defend certainly exists, I don't think anyone would deny that because it is inherent for feints and will always be as a result of how the mechanic works, but it's not as severe as people commonly make it out to be (like 0-100 or something). It seems I have to again suggest that the game is a multi-variable game, it's not a reaction time simulator. Feint reading doesn't always scale with hours put into the game or your reaction time. I used to tell noobs all the time that I have 300ms reaction time on humanbenchmark and I play on 60hz (now 144hz) to inspire them. The point being that feinting isn't so one dimensional as people make it out to be.

  • This thread focuses on the new player experience from what I've gathered. In that sense, (and knowing matchmaking will exist) why don't we focus on what noob vs noob fights will look like rather than some comp guy deleting some new player? In CS it certainly doesn't feel good when someone much better than you peeks a corner and insta one taps you. Noob vs noob situations look a lot different - usually both noobs spraying at each other and missing a significant amount of shots before one of them comes out on top. Sometimes they'll get a nice headshot or a perfect spray. I imagine a similar parallel in Mordhau.

  • Furthermore, if we're talking about the new player experience, why don't we ask some newer players how they feel? This thread consists of above average players speculating on what the new player might think about feints. Ask DasShuugs what he thinks about feints. 30 hours in chiv and hundreds in Mordhau (although he was able to read a lot at only the 100-200 hour mark). He is a prime example of what a new player might experience in the absence of matchmaking: having to fight chivalry veterans with thousands of hours and having no prior experience. Admittedly he had resources and help that other players didn't get, but I think that only emphasizes the need for an expansive tutorial and variety of resources to learn the game. You could argue that he is just an outlier, but we don't really have any kind of data to confidently conclude that. It's not just Shuugs either, there are other new players like Bob in EU.

  • All feints, with the exceptions of stabs, are readable. Highlighting the strength of stabs and thus the strength of feints via stabs is useless. Stabs are the issue (in that particular context), not the feints.

  • Arguing over whether or not a new player finds swing manipulation or feints more interesting is also useless. Unless a player has played the game, they probably have a limited sense of what is actually happening and therefore both feints and drags would appear just 'normal' to them. Extremes of feints (headbobbing) or swing manipulation (spinning or spazzing out) are both likely discouraging to new players. Feints objectively look cleaner because of the general lack of camera movement (yeah it exists Frise, but it's less extreme than chiv and at least in NA there's not many people doing it because it's not really effective in any capacity).

  • Longer release weapons also favor waterfalls or z-stabs, not just simple delay drags.

  • The chat log you included in your first post in this thread is taken out of context.

Conscript 4564 6302
  • 4
  • 12 Sep '18
 vanguard

@wizardish said:

  • This thread focuses on the new player experience from what I've gathered. In that sense, (and knowing matchmaking will exist) why don't we focus on what noob vs noob fights will look like rather than some comp guy deleting some new player? In CS it certainly doesn't feel good when someone much better than you peeks a corner and insta one taps you. Noob vs noob situations look a lot different - usually both noobs spraying at each other and missing a significant amount of shots before one of them comes out on top. Sometimes they'll get a nice headshot or a perfect spray. I imagine a similar parallel in Mordhau.

They spam LMB. Sometimes they panic parry too lol. We are talking real, effective noobs right, chiv free weekend tier, the person's literal first experience

Noob X noob is by far the most hilarious thing to ever happen to this kind of game, I love playing with noobs lmao sometimes they are so fucking unpredictable, it is very educative to get hit by a noob tbh, shows glaring flaws in your playstile.

In a noob X noob scenario I think the game is actually quite fun, obviously this is theorycraft on my part as I am not a new player and I have not played this game with noobs, but seeing the mechanics and how they interact, I'd say that noobs might actually have a great time going against each other and discovering the game by themselves. One of them might find that feints are a powerful tool, while the other ends up focussing on using chambers because he discovers that chambers, or the mentality of attacking as a reaction might also be a real useful tool. The LMB spam might result in a lot of clashes too, which are very fun and absolutely "epic", no other game has nothing like this.

Honstly, I think that the most obscure mechanic thinking from a noob perspective still is dragging. No other game aside from chiv has this accelerate your attack thingy, most people expect "solid" timing on attacks, like Dark Souls or whatever.

I think that clashing, by far, is the best looking and the most epic aspect of mordhau's fighting system. It is really fun, I don't care if it is unbalanced or if it fucks with teamplay, they are something fun as fuck, specially when you first start playing the game. They can be used to show off the game etc, it is a very "natural" mechanic. I really wish this particular area of the game was more explored, but I also don't know what to suggest about it, other then idk, make easier to force clashes, like a defensive manuever. Someone overheads you, you slash his attack out of the way and combo into something etc, but this might play real shit, so idk really. Or maybe this is already even possible and I'm not aware of it because I only use slow weapons

Clashes are cool

Duke 5558 13284
  • 13 Sep '18
 Jax — Community Manager

@TheKingInTheNorth said:
Of course this type of game could conceivably be an e-sport. All it needs is relatively good balance and an audience. I'm skeptical about Mordhau becoming an e-sport though, since the developers have reportedly abandoned their ambition to make it so. Not that I would know, they never tell the forum crowd anything.

How have we abandoned the competitive scene?

Mercenary 1263 2303
  • 13 Sep '18
 TheKingInTheNorth

@Jax said:

@TheKingInTheNorth said:
Of course this type of game could conceivably be an e-sport. All it needs is relatively good balance and an audience. I'm skeptical about Mordhau becoming an e-sport though, since the developers have reportedly abandoned their ambition to make it so. Not that I would know, they never tell the forum crowd anything.

How have we abandoned the competitive scene?

I heard there was no ambition any more to make this game into an e-sport, but it's hearsay from people in the discord. I wouldn't know if it's actually true since I'm not in the discord.

1315 2881
  • 13 Sep '18
 Monsteri

The biggest draw to this game will be wanting to experience sword fighting perhaps not as it were, but to feel like you are swinging your sword as a character of some medieval description. To capture that feeling is essential for player retention, doesn't really matter which mechanic comes on top to achieve that; noobs don't know and they don't care. Immersion is what drives every new player forward while they still have no grasp on the mechanics. This should carry them to 40 hours or so, and at this point they should be comfortable enough with the mechanics to get interested in the depth they have to offer. Objectively speaking though, if the game captures the feeling of being a medieval warrior it's going to keep players far more invested at any hour count.

Well, I had written a huge essay halfway through but it's getting very late and no one's gonna read it anyways, so here's the broad reasoning and suggested changes instead:

  • Neither extreme will look like any kind of real fight, but heavy swing manipulation will feel more like actually being the force behind your attacks

  • However, very freeform swing manipulation tends to feel broken from the defender's perspective

  • Offensive feints take away from the feeling of a medieval fight, the actions taken are illogical from outsider perspective

  • Beginner and intermediate players will likely hate feints, chambers technically counter but then morphs which are mostly risk-free and look similar to feints counter chambers -> constant guessing game until hard reading is obtained

  • At this point in development cycle any broader redesigns of combat systems are unlikely

  • Scale of the main gamemode will carry beginner immersion as long as there are some mediocre defensive crutches and it doesn't look ridiculous

  • Goal: Push current systems as much as possible to generate bigger roleplay status

Changes:

  • Much more distinct windup anims, more unique windups, much more flair especially in the combo animations
  • Make morphs and feints look as different from each other as possible
    ----> morphs; fluid
    ----> feints; snappy, coarse
    Add a very fast, violent feint animation that resembles a fake attack, a little extension of the arms meant to spook enemy
  • Reduce morph window
  • Decrease depth of parrybox but increase the width
  • Only register the parry once it connects with the playermodel
  • If this results in POV issues, add an extra pane strictly in front of the character that registers parry immediatly
  • Crazy 3AM idea, make parry wider when crouching but it costs more stamina and reduces knockback
  • Give stabs 25ms release back
  • Reduce swing chamber window by 25ms
  • Reduce stab chamber window by 50ms
  • Alternative crazy 3AM idea: remove the counterattack from stab chambers so it becomes an even gamble - if you guess right, well, you probably hit him or forced a ftp, if you guessed wrong you still defended yourself from a potential stab feint and have soft initiative. Stab chambers with these windows just feel off to me and especially late chamber is some weird shit that even as the attacker I can't expect.

Hmm I hope I still agree with all this when I wake up

396 454
  • 13 Sep '18
 JasonBourne

About parry, I dont think parrybox should protect feet if u dont look down, which is the case now.

If chamber window is decreased then late chambers will be useless, it wont be as fast as it is now.

Duchess 806 3550
  • 13 Sep '18
 Stouty

@Jax said:
How have we abandoned the competitive scene?

Will there be a team based competitive mode outside of LTS? Will you host tournaments?

Duke 5558 13284
  • 1
  • 13 Sep '18
 Jax — Community Manager

If there is an opportunity for us to develop a competitive scene I don't see why we wouldn't put any effort into it.

Baron 1551 2087
  • 14 Sep '18
 yourcrippledson

@Frise said:

@Stouty said:
Dragging to get round a parry was always an unintended exploit, quotes from TB prove this.

How does this matter? TB were terrible developers that stumbled upon a great combat system and failed to make good use of it. Swing manipulation is a great mechanic, Tornbanner just made it shit because they made everything shit. The amount of freedom swing manipulation gives is great, the fact that with just a basic overhead you can do a delay, accel, waterfall, footdrag, and that all of this can be faked and turned into the other in reaction to the opponent is fucking great for a video game. They only feel like exploits to people who don't understand how it works, and that's an issue with the game not being clear about the mechanic.

Stouty "get outta here with this 200 iq bs that i can't understand. Feints are exactly equal to swing manipulation in every single way. I'm stouty. The best."

Duke 2266 4010
  • 1
  • 14 Sep '18
 Huggles

I think it is silly to think the game will ever look realistic with free form combat. It just has to look like people are being aggressive and fighting in real time as opposed to being passive and taking turns. Will never look remotely historical accurate.

What Monsteri said about swing manipulation making you feel more engaged in the combat and like you are the main driver behind the attack instead of doing some pre-scripted move is 100% true and the biggest thing I like about drags. I always kind of viewed feints as a necessary evil as opposed to an interesting game mechanic. I just don't feel as satisfied following up after a feint as I do pulling off a side stab or side overhead.

Fundamentally, you "read" a feint by doing nothing. If the best way to deal with a move is doing nothing, it isn't really engaging.

Duke 2266 4010
  • 14 Sep '18
 Huggles

@Monsteri said:
The biggest draw to this game will be wanting to experience sword fighting perhaps not as it were, but to feel like you are swinging your sword as a character of some medieval description. To capture that feeling is essential for player retention, doesn't really matter which mechanic comes on top to achieve that; noobs don't know and they don't care. Immersion is what drives every new player forward while they still have no grasp on the mechanics. This should carry them to 40 hours or so, and at this point they should be comfortable enough with the mechanics to get interested in the depth they have to offer. Objectively speaking though, if the game captures the feeling of being a medieval warrior it's going to keep players far more invested at any hour count.

Well, I had written a huge essay halfway through but it's getting very late and no one's gonna read it anyways, so here's the broad reasoning and suggested changes instead:

  • Neither extreme will look like any kind of real fight, but heavy swing manipulation will feel more like actually being the force behind your attacks

  • However, very freeform swing manipulation tends to feel broken from the defender's perspective

  • Offensive feints take away from the feeling of a medieval fight, the actions taken are illogical from outsider perspective

  • Beginner and intermediate players will likely hate feints, chambers technically counter but then morphs which are mostly risk-free and look similar to feints counter chambers -> constant guessing game until hard reading is obtained

  • At this point in development cycle any broader redesigns of combat systems are unlikely

  • Scale of the main gamemode will carry beginner immersion as long as there are some mediocre defensive crutches and it doesn't look ridiculous

  • Goal: Push current systems as much as possible to generate bigger roleplay status

Changes:

  • Much more distinct windup anims, more unique windups, much more flair especially in the combo animations
  • Make morphs and feints look as different from each other as possible
    ----> morphs; fluid
    ----> feints; snappy, coarse
    Add a very fast, violent feint animation that resembles a fake attack, a little extension of the arms meant to spook enemy
  • Reduce morph window
  • Decrease depth of parrybox but increase the width
  • Only register the parry once it connects with the playermodel
  • If this results in POV issues, add an extra pane strictly in front of the character that registers parry immediatly
  • Crazy 3AM idea, make parry wider when crouching but it costs more stamina and reduces knockback
  • Give stabs 25ms release back
  • Reduce swing chamber window by 25ms
  • Reduce stab chamber window by 50ms
  • Alternative crazy 3AM idea: remove the counterattack from stab chambers so it becomes an even gamble - if you guess right, well, you probably hit him or forced a ftp, if you guessed wrong you still defended yourself from a potential stab feint and have soft initiative. Stab chambers with these windows just feel off to me and especially late chamber is some weird shit that even as the attacker I can't expect.

Hmm I hope I still agree with all this when I wake up

I agree with the first half. Disagree with the specific changes.

1315 2881
  • 14 Sep '18
 Monsteri

Well if it was purely up to me I'd focus all efforts on making swing manipulation look and feel better, be it through animations or special gameplay systems. It's the cornerstone game mechanic and should've had more attention.

Current version with tweaks is serviceable though, and I don't think there is time to experiment with radical changes at this point.

Conscript 4564 6302
  • 14 Sep '18
 vanguard

Hey Monsteri, what you think about what I said, that maybe if the edge of the sword followed the tracer path, drags would be more visible?

Honestly, for me drags are fucking fun as fuck. I love drags, the concept is amazing but the execution is not quite there yet I'd say. Also, about this point you made:

"At this point in development cycle any broader redesigns of combat systems are unlikely"

I think they can release the game without it being mechanically "complete". Or better yet, releasing the game doesn't mean that the mechanics and all are complete.

Point being, the devs could close mechanics development for now to focuss on the bulk of the game, and once released, they can revisit the combat system. In fact, I think it would be a HUGE mistake to not revisit the combat system from time to time, don't pull a TB on us triternion lol.

I feel like with time, devs will end up developing better methods of visualising drags. It is up to triternion tbh, and their final vision of this product.

I don't think it matters if the game is released with not all the mechanics as the devs want. See Stelaris for instance, the game released ages ago, but the devs still are pushing in new patches that completely changes the gameplay in crucial aspects. For one side, this gives the impression that people bought a unfinished product, on the other hand, the product you bought some time ago is getting actual value (that is, gameplay changes) as time goes on.

I like this model, of having the game development open for a real long time after release.