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Mordhau's [potential] Conundrum | A Heartfelt Talk

Count 449 1186
  • 23 Mar '19
 Hadeus

I made this video addressing a potential issue. The developers could be withholding lore intentionally, which is makes sense so we can focus on technical feedback; Nevertheless, I believe going into release without any background or basic lore would hurt the marketing for this amazing title.

1578 4310
  • 24 Mar '19
 TombstoneJack

mordhau already has a deep long spanning history and you can read all about it here

https://mordhau.com/forum/search/?q=heep

Emperor 400 927
  • 24 Mar '19
 Soulcatcher

Liked your video and what you discussed, fat vape hit gave me a good giggle thanks for that.

This is a topic I personally haven't even really thought about but I see your point, back in Chivalry though, atleast for most people I know choosing Mason or Agatha was either

  • You enjoy this factions voice commmands
  • You enjoy this factions spawn points/objectives on X map
  • You enjoy being either the blatently obvious villian the Masons, or Agatha the "hero" "good" faction.

But yeah, so far, it's kinda blurry, in Mordhaus Frontline it's just the red team or the blue team. There didn't seem to be any incentive to join one or another, besides balancing teams. I know the developers try to convey the fact YOU are a mercenary, you pick who to fight for etc

I couldn't care what team I joined because there is no real difference to me, it's just a color scheme and a different spawn/approach to the map.

Think it's fine, in my opinion, I don't think this game needs too much lore. Was hoping there would actually be more than two factions you could join, 3-4 factions on a map etc, anywho, yeah lore and a bit of history in a game is always appealing and I hope the developers throw a bit of time at that at some point. But the way it is now, I honestly don't think 95% people will care about what team they join tbh.

Knight 337 777
  • 24 Mar '19
 AngelEyes

I know how to make it work and I want compensation!
I called my idea Project Bellicose.

Why when we think post-apocalyptic we always think Mad Max or Fallout? Why couldn't the Apocalypse happen in the 15th century? You have armaments covering multiple centuries mixing and matching very strange makes that don't make sense, but they don't have to.

The world is "Mysteriously" shrinking ( Water levels really just rising or something) all cultures of the earths aesthetic get intermingled, new Religions and sociology's follow suite.

Take it where you want from there. But it fits Mordhau's of arms and amour dilemma perfectly.

Mercenary 179 614
  • 24 Mar '19
 Stauxie

I kinda joked about explaining the entire story arch of the two factions at the beginning of beta, but I guess I could say it here too.

Basically, the Iron Company is an arms manufacturer that started carrying out illegal mining operations, the Free Guard were the mercenaries hired to take care of those illegal operations. The mining company hired mercenaries of their own to defend their operations so they could continue making money.

Consider this a writing prompt for the more creative of the bunch.

Knight 697 1611
  • 24 Mar '19
 das

I think AngelEyes actually alludes to what they had in mind back in the Slasher days (there used to be a cactus in the dusty map).

The player characters are always going to remain "generic" unless the devs start adding team-based restrictions (e.g. only one team can use the semi-Asian/Middle Eastern looking armor like the Mason Knight and Temujin MAA) which I doubt because it kinda goes against a big idea of theirs. However, the non-merc opposing faction's civilians, scouts, architecture, and siege weapons can be really different. Seeing notably different NPC sides and their neutral mercs alongside could probably help.

Conscript 11 56
  • 24 Mar '19
 flashcoms497

@Stauxie said:
I kinda joked about explaining the entire story arch of the two factions at the beginning of beta, but I guess I could say it here too.

Basically, the Iron Company is an arms manufacturer that started carrying out illegal mining operations, the Free Guard were the mercenaries hired to take care of those illegal operations. The mining company hired mercenaries of their own to defend their operations so they could continue making money.

Consider this a writing prompt for the more creative of the bunch.

@AngelEyes said:
I know how to make it work and I want compensation!
I called my idea Project Bellicose.

Why when we think post-apocalyptic we always think Mad Max or Fallout? Why couldn't the Apocalypse happen in the 15th century? You have armaments covering multiple centuries mixing and matching very strange makes that don't make sense, but they don't have to.

The world is "Mysteriously" shrinking ( Water levels really just rising or something) all cultures of the earths aesthetic get intermingled, new Religions and sociology's follow suite.

Take it where you want from there. But it fits Mordhau's of arms and amour dilemma perfectly.

I like both of these - Stauxie's idea is pretty cool but I'd say that story raises more questions than it answers and not in the way to make a good story. I get what you're trying to do here, you frame the entire thing in a generic context so people can run wild with what the rest of the world can be, but you aren't "saying enough, while also trying to not say much"(?)(hopefully I don't come across as a twat, but I'm just gonna give my opinion on it, idk take it or leave it).

What I mean is that I think the flaw in your setting is that I find myself asking questions like "wtf is the government doing in this presumably feudal society allowing a bunch of mercs to bash each other about across the realm?" (I know they hired them, but that shits expensive and it would probably be cheaper to use local militia + knights to deal with illegal mining operations - I know that in a creative context thats not necessarily the case these mercs could be UBER POWERFUL etc. and we need other mercs to take them down, but again, that just leads to more questions, like what situation allowed for mercs to run rampant across a feudal society to the point where they replace a standing army?)

I think an objective to have when making the lore for Mordhau is to make it stand up to scrutiny while also not answering every question that can be asked (otherwise we're just gonna make the Game of Thrones universe, which answers every question you have regarding the general setting - not saying it answers them well, but it answers them all the same). I'd say that's a pretty hard thing to do even if you're a writer by training, because there are so many constraints on your behavior in making the story.

BUT, its very important that these creative constraints be implemented otherwise you don't get a nice compelling little story like Chivalry (which I'm not even sure was intentionally constructed like that).

I'm not saying copy Chivalry's story btw, just that its the only game thats close enough to Mordhau where it is justifiably a useful reference.

AngelEyes, I like the idea alot - because it gives a reason as to why we're running around with nibbas still in Chainmail as their main mode of protection while the 15th Century Plate armour also wearable is by all objective measures the better armour (its just as light or lighter than Chainmail, but affords great protection not only against slashes, but also stabs AND retains mobility).

This is by far the hardest question to answer when making the lore for Mordhau. BUT I know it doesn't necessarily have to be answered, because Chiv didn't bother with that, and I found that I could look past that armour stuff.

However, since Mordhau is trying to be semi-historically accurate, I think we should at least try to answer this question.

BUT I should say that your idea on its own raises more questions than it answers. "Nukes and Climate Change cause the Mad Max shit (I think), but we don't have Medieval Nukes, nor do we really have the industrial capabilities to cause large scale Climate Change, so what causes this "apocalypse" in this medieval context?

If we're going to go with your idea Angel, then we need to at least give an answer to this question and we need to answer it with enough information to justify this choice WHILE also giving room for peoples imaginations to play around with the concept AND not being too long an answer.

I'm gonna follow up this post with another, because I think I can use your idea Angel, and keep it simple enough that you could summarize it in a few lines.

I'm not doing it here so I don't just shit out some long ass response which nobody will read. I kept this post to the topic of your ideas for the lore and not my suggestions for that reason.

NOTE : All this artsy shit is my opinion so please don't read what I'm saying as though I'm pawning off my opinion as fact - this post is just that, my opinion take it or leave it.

Conscript 11 56
  • 24 Mar '19
 flashcoms497

I'm gonna start this post with my suggestions for what restrictions the Lore of Mordhau should follow and give an example of what sort of story I would write to answer the questions I raised in the previous post.

So, I've heard alot of talk of people thinking the story of Mordhau should allow for "moral gray" areas but I would STRONGLY advise against this mainly because it breaks one rule that I said should restrict the lore of Mordhau creatively, that is the story needs to be short and easy to explain. You can say many things about Chivalry but its story exemplified this so well I can explain it in a few short sentences : King on Crusade, King Dies, Crusade Comes back, Usurper Rises, Loyal Crusaders Fight Traitor Crusaders and Lords at home.

Let's use this story to decide on the creative restrictions that Mordhau's story will have.

Well firstly, the Story Simple, that is because the story has so many tropes but they aren't implemented in a typical way - When a king dies, of course there will be usurpers and perhaps even civil war, but the fact this happened in the context of a Crusade means that we've got something extra to chew on creatively - we can ask questions like "why did the crusaders split? which has an answer - they were already split into orders before the Crusade! It wouldn't be surprising that they would split if the king died on Crusade.
We can ask more specific questions like "what did the Crusaders do in the lands they went to?" well, there's more than one answer to that - They crusaded (obvious, but the specifics are not certain) - They fought (again, maybe not as obvious, but again the specifics are not certain). In the case of the latter question, there is where we have the creative freedom to think about what our Brave Agathian Knights would do against their enemies as opposed to the Brutal Mason Order? These questions and player engagement with the story can only be achieved because the story is Simple!
If I went on to talk about how Malric was the Chancellor of the Kingdom and how he was originally a good man but then his wife died or something, we would be so inundated with information that we'd check out after the word Chancellor and go back to not caring which side we're on.

This leads me to my second creative restriction namely, that the story needs to be Compelling. This is why I disagree with those wanting a 'morally gray' story. If I'm introduced to Malric and am told about how he never really wanted power and he is only usurping the throne to protect his people against the Agathian Knights and their cold conscription of the peasantry across the realm (I've already lost interest in the story at this point and have proceeded to go full patchie on the enemy who I don't care about other than their cries of "gay" and "faget" in the chat at my wrecking them). This moral gray shit doesn't work for our purposes, because it lacks one important aspect that the story of Mordhau must have - it must be compelling, I need to care about the factions involved however superficially i.e if I feel particularly evil one day I join the Mason Order to murder the pompous Agathian swine and their holier-than-thou attitude.
Without a compelling story I have no reason to care about what I'm doing other than it being a fun game, and while Mordhau is a fun game - It could be more fun if I have the same pleasure of cracking the skulls of the Free Guard as I do in killing Agathians.

I want to say at this point that its not enough to have the story be compelling and not be simple. If the story of Mordhau is going to work in any way like Chivalry's story then it needs to be Simple AND Compelling. THIS is the real clincher, any other creative restriction after this is subservient to these restrictions above and should be treated as such.

The final aspect that I think should be paid mind to is whether the story is Realistic. For me, the previous two restrictions can be fairly easily fulfilled. However, to combine realism with the two above restrictions is a VERY difficult thing to do and I would challenge anyone to create a story for Mordhau which follows these 3 restrictions without producing some gay fan-fiction off Deviant Art. I'm not trying to its impossible, I'm also NOT trying to say that you are all plebs who need to take a course in writing to produce fine literature (sniffs in upper middle class).
But realism encompasses both keeping the historical accuracy of the story and the internal consistency of the story.
In Chivalry, the story was fairly realistic. In history, whenever a King died, it was no certain thing as to who would inherit the throne cough Carolingian Dynasty cough Charles Martel and onwards. So that a civil war would break out when the King died really needs no justification. The story was also internally consistent because the Kingship was what was being fought over because Malric was a usurper and not some Commie Revolutionary i.e it would not be consistent in a Feudal State to suddenly have some guy proclaim a Soviet Union of Republics.

I think that all three of these points are necessary for a good story/lore of Mordhau - because I think these were the main points that got me into the world of Chivalry EVEN though it wasn't the main focus of the game. Considering these points are very few, it shouldn't be too hard (I hope) for the devs to write a good story for Mordhau, and I hope we get the lore soon enough.

I'm gonna leave an example of a story for Mordhau constructed using these points for the next post and that will be the end of my long shitpost on the forums (my apologies if I did break any rules, by the way).

Mercenary 179 614
  • 1
  • 24 Mar '19
 Stauxie

Yeah, it wasn't planned to have any grounds/rules. I just joked about it and put it here just in case someone could take inspiration.

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  • 24 Mar '19
 flashcoms497

Using those rules I'm gonna go ahead and give my attempt at how a good story for Mordhau could look. So firstly to answer the Historical Realism Question, I'm gonna use AngelEyes idea of the Apocalypse, but instead of doing exactly that I'll justify the event. On the front of setup, we'll go with a simple start, an Old Kingdom - a trope to be sure, but let's see how we can make this interesting. Our end goal is to make pit at least 2 Mercenary Companies against one another in a way that is simple to explain and compelling while also being realistic.


In the last days of the Kingdom, the old King Segrick marched against the Barbarian Tribes in the Wild Lands who had united under one Chief and set out to plunder and destroy the rich lands of the Kingdom. Segrick called all the vassals of the Kingdom to his banner and the nobility answered his call. But against the Barbarian Tribes they were only about equal in strength, so to bring the odds into his favour the King sent out the call for Mercenaries. They came from all the places they could be found, from deserts to mountains high.
The largest of these Mercenary bands were the Iron Company. The men of the Company were feared across the realm for their brutality and discipline. Bandits and Rebels often surrendered rather than fight them and their leader Morcar, a man who was so dangerous not even the nobles of the Kingdom dared to insult him for his common status. Nearest in size to the Iron Company were the Free Guard. The Guardsmen were considered the noblest fighters in all the Kingdom, for they never dishonored a contract. Their Integrity had won them many a contract against less scrupulous competition. Indeed, if it was Integrity and Nobility which defined the Free Guard then it was these same traits which were embodied in the leader of the Guardsmen, Captain Roland.

As part of their Contract, each of the Mercenary Companies took an oath to fight the enemies of the Kingdom and uphold the King and his line.

The aging King Segrick, who was still childless at the time decided also to nominate his heir which was to be his young Nephew who was still a child of 8 at this time. Once these affairs were in order, the great army of the Kingdom marched north to deal with the Barbarian threat. For 2 Years, the war dragged on, the Barbarian Tribes avoiding direct conflict with the armies of the Kingdom - but finally, under the Spring showers battle was met and 100,000 men clashed in a battle which would forever change the face of the Kingdom. Great charges were led by the highest sons of the nobility against walls of spears, pikes and clubs, lines of Infantry fought bitterly in the mud and lines of archers rained arrows down upon it all from their raised positions. In the midst of this rode King Segrick flanked by his bodyguard coming up the centre to strike at the Barbarian Encampment. Yet there, as the lances were lowered and the hooves of the cavalry thundered, King Segrick was wounded gravely and died on the field. The battle against the Barbarian Tribes was won, but the King was dead and most of the army that went with him. The flower of the nobility was crushed on that day and all the Kingdom was left in turmoil.

In the wake, a fierce struggle to reach the King's Nephew was undertaken. Captain Roland marched to meet him and set the young boy upon the Throne, honouring his contract and finishing his service to the Kingdom. But Morcar, seeing so many lands deprived of lords to rule them saw his opportunity to usurp the throne by killing the King's Nephew and using his Iron Company to bend the people of the Kingdom to his will. The war for the Kingdom was on - Roland and Morcar would call any and all who would flock to their banners - Peasants, Bandits, Cutthroats, even the leftover nobility! The time of the Knight is over - The time of the Mercenary is come - Fight for Coin and Kingdom!

After the Great Battle, where King Segrick and the nobility of the Kingdom died, the Kingdom was without much of what it required to run - The Nobles were for the most part wiped out, the Peasants, Craftsmen and Merchants were reduced in number as well, since so many joined to fight with the late King. Now to equip new armies, more blacksmiths and foundries were built, and men who had never wielded hammers before in their lives took to the art of making weapons and armour. No longer was the plate mail of the nobles commonplace but a luxury afforded by only those who could find and afford men who were still learned in the art. To fill these new armies, Peasants, the dregs of the Nobility, Bandits and Vagabonds found good employment.


That's my best attempt at what a good Mordhau story should look. But I've probably violated those rules I set out a couple of times, because I'm not great at the act of writing, more the planning for it.

I'd be interested to hear if anyone thinks I could improve on what I've said or written thus far.

I realise the devs probably have this stuff written out already, and I know they will add lore because I've had that question answered by Jax (thanks boi), but I think this has been bouncing around my head for a bit and I thought I might put it down on the forums somewhere just for the hell of it.

Baron 1645 5231
  • 24 Mar '19
 Lincs

I dunno, I think you're all overblowing this way too much. They've said in the past that they already pretty much have the lore drawn up and ready to go, it's just not going to be available before release for obvious reasons. I doubt they need forum users trying to write the game's story for them.

Knight 337 777
  • 24 Mar '19
 AngelEyes

Nah not really Lincs. Unless Hadeus constitutes everyone in this thread, there isn't a post in here that is overblowing anything. I can't fault you for not reading everything, it's alot.

So TLDR, It's all conjecture really.

Flash is using this as an opportunity to outlet his creative imagination and you gotta respect his enthusiasm.

He ends-

@flashcoms497 said:
I realise the devs probably have this stuff written out already, and I know they will add lore because I've had that question answered by Jax (thanks boi), but I think this has been bouncing around my head for a bit and I thought I might put it down on the forums somewhere just for the hell of it.

Baron 1645 5231
  • 24 Mar '19
 Lincs

Ah, gotcha, thanks! Yeah, I'm not bashing on him for getting his creative juices flowing, I posted that after reading the first three or four comments.

Knight 5410 7408
  • 24 Mar '19
 Humble Staff

Nice one Flash, i really liked it.

Knight 196 414

I 100% agree.

For a lot of casual players, it really feels good to have a feeling of purpose as to why they're fighting in this medieval setting. When I played World of Warcraft, I specifically chose to play on an RP-PVP server because it just felt more fun to immerse myself in the culture of the Horde vs Alliance as opposed to just PvPing for the sake of PvP.

These days, I don't care too much about a story, but I can completely understand why many people would appreciate this game having a real, fleshed out lore. It's really not hard either. Just follow the cliche that so, so many games and stories have adopted to some degree - Order vs Chaos, Good vs Evil, Blue vs Red, Civilization vs Barbarians (World of Warcraft, CMW, Warhammer, Lord of the Rings, etc.)

Like, that's all the foundation that you need to establish some basic factions. CMW had almost no lore, and a lot of people still felt that picking a side would help immerse them (I only played Mason, for example, because I liked to defend on those desert maps).

Triternion could go anywhere in between having nearly no lore/factions (Like CMW) or having a shit ton of lore/faction (WoW), but I think it's important to have at least some basic lore that encourages people to pick a side and to feel like they have a reason to be fighting in all these battles that they're going to be fighting in.

The end.

Knight 445 1074
  • 26 Mar '19
 Knight Nicholas

@AngelEyes said:
Why when we think post-apocalyptic we always think Mad Max or Fallout? Why couldn't the Apocalypse happen in the 15th century? You have armaments covering multiple centuries mixing and matching very strange makes that don't make sense, but they don't have to.

This is just the plot of For Honor

Knight 337 777
  • 26 Mar '19
 AngelEyes

Eh maybe the apocalypse part I guess your talking about? For honor just pits different cultures against one another it doesn’t cross mix them ,Like a Viking wearing Samurai helmet.

I have around 200 hours in for honor and didn’t know it even had a story.