Mordhau

Weapon Progression System Rework

Knight 762 3296
  • 25 Mar
 Mittsies

Overview
Weapons should unlock with kills rather than gold/xp (time spent), with flexible goals (i.e. to unlock Halberd, you'll need 40 kills across any of the following: Poleaxe, Billhook, Bardiche, or Spear) to encourage freedom, not just grinding a single weapon until you get the next one. This also allows players to unlock new weapons over time without delaying their cosmetic progression via gold.

We want to accomplish all of the following:

  • Encourage new players to try out different weapons
  • Not overwhelm new players with too many choices
  • Not frustrate new players with too few starting weapons
  • Have players aim for kills, rather than just time spent
  • Make players feel rewarded for unlocking something

Note: Check out the end of this post for an example of the progression system, will help put things into perspective.


Why?
(Skip this section if you're already convinced weapons should unlock with kills instead of gold)

  • Reason 1: The primary reason to have a progression system is to encourage new players to play the game more, to try out new things, and not be overwhelmed by choices. Currently it does encourage more playtime, but it provides no incentive to try different weapons, and they are given the option to buy nearly every item right away which is a daunting number of choices.

  • Reason 2: it's not satisfying to unlock a weapon with gold (time spent), because you don't feel like you've really accomplished anything. You just get gold for time played, then arbitrarily buy a new weapon to play with. It's boring. There's nothing to work towards. No interesting weapon unlocks to look forward to. No feeling of accomplishment when you get a new weapon.

  • Reason 3: using the same system to unlock functional weapons and cosmetics isn't fun. As a new player you'll be presented with the choice to either start customizing your character and make him look cool, or just wear the ugly basic armor for many hours while you grind all of the weapons.


Deep Explanation
(The reasoning behind the proposed system of unlocking things, so you know it's not just arbitrary)

Now to explain the proposed system a bit. Players will start with a modest collection of familiar, standard, basic weapons. These will cover a wide variety of play-styles. They won't leave a new player feeling disadvantaged by a lack of choices, nor overwhelmed by an abundance of them. Afterwards, they will quickly unlock weapons by scoring kills. The conditions will be simple, just a few kills with a specific type of weapon.

Let's start with the Shortsword, Arming sword, and Dagger. They all play very similar roles in Mordhau: short, fast, cheap, stab weapons. The Dagger and Arming Sword, however, are the most basic of these and should be unlocked by default since they are very standard on a lot of builds. The Shortsword, being a little less common, could instead be unlocked by getting 10 Kills with Arming Sword and/or Dagger.

This accomplishes several things. It provides incentive to try the Shortsword because they earned it, and the flexible goal of either Arming Sword or Dagger gives them some freedom when deciding how to unlock an item. It also forces the player to actually score kills, rather than just unlocking things by spending time. Lastly, because the player already has very similar options available to them, they won't feel gimped for not having access to the Shortsword.

The early weapon unlocks will be very familiar and typical weapons like Greatsword and Spear. The later unlocks, with higher requirements, will be more specialized or exotic weapons like Executioner's Sword and Estoc. This is to give new players a small sense of accomplishment for unlocking the later weapons, and because players will immediately have access to very strong and versatile weapons like Longsword and Poleaxe, they won't feel intimidated by players who've already unlocked the more quirky weapons. Also important not to forget players can pick up weapons off the battlefield to try them out early.

Weapons with higher kill requirements will have a broader number of options players can use to unlock them with, so players don't feel forced to grind with the same weapon over and over to get the higher unlocks. The Estoc, for instance, requires 40 kills but you can use the Shortsword, Arming Sword, Bastard Sword, and/or the Rapier to get those kills - so players will have a lot of freedom in the way they unlock the content. I feel this is far superior to a linear progression (such as: 40 kills with Longsword to get Bastard Sword --> 40 kills with Bastard Sword to get Rapier --> 40 kills with Rapier to get Estoc).

Ultimately the progression system needs to be quick and simple. Experienced players could unlock every weapon in a day. New players will be able to unlock everything within their first week of playing, especially if fighting against other near-skilled players. Then once all weapons are unlocked, players will naturally switch their focus to unlocking cosmetics to customize their weapon skins. I think this system will work out nicely.


and finally...

Weapon Progression Example


Starting Weapons
(Peasant/Throwables/Traps/Shields/Bows are not mentioned here)

  • Dagger
  • Arming Sword
  • Quarterstaff
  • Blacksmith Hammer
  • Falchion
  • Mace
  • Messer
  • Longsword
  • Battle Axe
  • Poleaxe

Fast Unlocks
(super fast unlocks for early progression)

  • Bastard Sword: Get 5 kills with any melee weapon.
  • Spear: Get 5 kills with stab attacks.
  • Greatsword: Get 5 kills with strike attacks.
  • Great-Club†: Get 5 kills with blunt (hit-stop) attacks.

Early Unlocks

  • Shortsword: Get 10 kills with Dagger or Arming Sword.
  • Billhook: Get 10 kills with Quarterstaff or Spear.
  • Cleaver: Get 10 kills with Falchion or Messer.
  • Warhammer: Get 10 kills with Blacksmith Hammer or Mace.
  • War Axe: Get 10 kills with Axe or Battle Axe.

Medium Unlocks

  • Rapier: Get 20 kills with Arming Sword or Bastard Sword.
  • Bardiche: Get 20 kills with Poleaxe or Billhook.
  • Zweihander: Get 20 kills with Longsword or Greatsword.
  • Eveningstar: Get 20 kills with Mace or Great-Club.

Advanced Unlocks

  • Estoc: Get 40 kills with Shortsword, Arming Sword, Bastard Sword, or Rapier.
  • Halberd: Get 40 kills with Poleaxe, Billhook, Bardiche, or Spear.
  • Executioner: Get 40 kills with Messer, Longsword, Greatsword, or Zweihander.
  • Maul: Get 40 kills with Warhammer, Blacksmith Hammer, Mace, or Eveningstar.
  • Lute: Unlock every weapon.

† = New weapon: non-peasant Great-Club. It'll be like an Eveningstar with a bad stab. Would fit the weapon roster nicely imo.

Knight 58 78
  • 1
  • 25 Mar
 男の娘

i hate this idea of being forced to use a weapon I dont like to unlock something I might like to use, id rather spend pocket change(current system) to unlock weapons

this was something i hated in chiv aswell

Knight 762 3296
  • 1
  • 25 Mar
 Mittsies

@男の娘 said:
i hate this idea of being forced to use a weapon I dont like to unlock something I might like to use, id rather spend pocket change(current system) to unlock weapons

this was something i hated in chiv aswell

Ideally the system would enable to you to unlock basically everything in 1 day assuming you're an experienced player, whereas in Chivalry it was a long and slow grind to get everything you wanted (and because it kept forgetting / resetting your progress, it felt even longer). IMO the benefits of having a weapon progression system for new players is too good to pass up. Having a gold-only system or having everything be unlocked for free is a wasted opportunity to gradually introduce new choices to players and get them invested in the game by having a very generous early grind. Those looking for a longer grind can unlock all of the weapon and armor skins afterwards.

Knight 58 78
  • 25 Mar
 男の娘

when i was new i could barely get a kill, with current system you get alot of gold just by existing.
i also dislike having to use weapons i wouldnt use just to unlock something that i want for my first loadouts

Count 1452 3388

I agree with the overwhelming list of locked items. I feel like a good way to eliminate that and make unlocking weapons and armour more satisfying is to create a dedicated shop in the main menu. It could be a rather simple UI, or a complete environment, like a marketplace with weapons in stalls, or a blacksmith's forge.

Personally I think that being able to browse the store alone will make players want to work towards unlocking items that they find and inspect there - and perhaps even try out?

As for unlocking weapons with kills, instead of gold: I feel like it may be preferable to some, but I doubt many people would like being forced to use certain weapons to get what they want. However, it is a good way to make players use different kinds of weapons and familiarise themselves with them. A "challenge" system would give us the best of both worlds. "Get 50 kills with X weapon or run 10 km wearing Y armour; Duck beneath 10 strikes; Kill 50 players using the alt mode of this or that weapon". Completing these challenges would give you some gold. This would encourage players to do these things without restricting the way they want to play.

I can already picture this "marketplace" and it makes feel warm and fuzzy.

Knight 685 1852

@Smokingbobs said:
I agree with the overwhelming list of locked items. I feel like a good way to eliminate that and make unlocking weapons and armour more satisfying is to create a dedicated shop in the main menu. It could be a rather simple UI, or a complete environment, like a marketplace with weapons in stalls, or a blacksmith's forge.

I did think that it's a bit hard to keep track of what you unlocked and still has to unlock, but I couldn't find any idea on how to make it better.
Your forge/market menu sounds like a very good idea, I like it.

2375 4819
  • 25 Mar
 Maci

This tbh. Either make it a small map if you want to put a bit of effort into it with a vendor which brings up a menue, or just make it a menue reachable from the main menue. In the actual loadout editor only list things you've unlocked.

Knight 762 3296
  • 26 Mar
 Mittsies

Release is supposedly next month, and that will be the most important time for the progression system. While a 'marketplace' does sound interesting, it's probably out of the developers' scope for now.

Knight 39 74

I think some sort of rework of progression is needed. Its simply not fun as it currently is. I dont know if locking things behind kills is the best way to go about it but I agree that something needs changing. I don't even like it with the armors at all. I like having lots of choices and customization was a huge selling point for me. It sucks to have such a big component of the game be locked behind potentially over a hundred hours of gameplay.

Knight 5106 6854

@Mittsies said:

While i didn't like the idea of being obligated to use certain things to get what i want, your points about overwhelming amount of options is valid. But still, i think the freedom of choice the current system (it needs some obvious tweaking) its just great, and would be awesome to have a marketplace/workshop thing as SmokingBobs suggested, awesomely great thematically.

Also...

† = New weapon: non-peasant Great-Club. It'll be like an Eveningstar with a bad stab. Would fit the weapon roster nicely imo.

Is this something you got from the devs? Or a suggestion you are making here?

If second case, i want you to have a look at my suggestion here:

https://mordhau.com/forum/topic/2583/stretch-goal-weapons-suggestions-megathread/?page=37#c732

Gotta shamelesly self promote myself to try to spark some discussion on the weapons people don't give a shit about you know.

Knight 762 3296
  • 26 Mar
 Mittsies

the 2h club was a suggestion. and yeah nice post, I think it'd make a good addition to the game.

Knight 5106 6854

k thx i needed that :')

Knight 925 2541
  • 26 Mar
 Pred

Fucking 2h elitists now want a 2h club?