Mordhau

Should BR be changed to 3-man squads?

1308 2875
  • 1 Apr
 Monsteri

As evidenced by the recent poll and the general consensus ingame and on Discord, the BR mode is not liked by the majority and has failed to meet expectations.
https://mordhau.com/forum/topic/14286/poll-did-you-like-the-modes-so-far/

Why is this? Besides the clunky inventory management and the lack of a spawn system, I think Mordhau BR misses the mark in other, more important ways. What's unique to the BR genre are the unpredictable predicaments it places upon the players. There is oft an ever-present feel of danger, yet a decent amount of downtime, during which you can (and should!) strategize in meaningful ways - the circle will present you with unique challenges and side-objectives that you need to tackle, and they always change with the map and enemy locations as well as intentions. Often quite intricate storylines emerge from the gameplay and rivalries are forged - some engagements will last a short single second, while others will go on throughout the game, where neither player can quite finish off the other, often due to map circumstances or other players getting involved. In PUBG for example, the loot progression is very satisfying. You can find competitive gear quickly, but there's always something to improve, and the best loot will elude you unless you hunt for it, OR sometimes the loot will literally drop on you, but so then will other players come to hunt.

The fun factor in these stories is amplified in a squad of friends, and the teamwork's social nature together with the good amount of downtime in most BR titles makes them ideal to play with friends. It's quite likely the foundation that the explosive success of the genre is built on.

But none of this exists in Mordhau BR, really. Not in any concrete way.

  • Every match feels very much the same.
  • You play alone.
  • You can't see where the circle is going.
  • Not that it matters, the circle is so slow that it's never a real danger.
  • The loot is not balanced, you get what matters in the first minute or two.
  • The big weapons aren't big, it's 1v1 - BS will do.
  • There are no "hot drops", ganks, or rural areas to choose between.
  • There's no arching strategy you can or need to plan out.
  • Once you engage an enemy, one of you will die. No stories there.
  • It's very frustrating to die. It's mediocre to win.

There is a very simple fix to all these problems. Make the mode 3-man squads. With 3 players in your team, suddenly you NEED more loot than you start with, suddenly you NEED big weapons, suddenly you need to strategize, be wary of enemy movements, you need to plan ahead. Now engagement will not lead to an instant game over for the lesser player, disengagement is possible, yet loot and map control is crucial so you want to fight if you can. The leadup to each engagement will be much more exciting with poking and prodding, trying to find the best opening. Each team member's life is incredibly valuable, and as such teamwork is paramount. You absolutely want to enter the endgame with everyone alive. Real stakes are set.

Mordhau's forte was never in duels, much more so in small scale team fights. What better introduction is there to the best mechanics the gameplay has to offer? Even if you come out of a fight with only one of you surviving, hope's not lost. Taking on 2 or even 3 enemies is entirely possible, especially if they're low on health and you can surprise them. Imagine the excitement of a starry eyed noob as his friends are cheering him on in a climactic fight, well knowing that by superior skill alone he's able to beat the many, if only he tries his best. It's an aspiration that makes you want to learn more and push forward. It's an aspiration that kept us grinding through Chivalry, delighted at every little bit of progress we made in skill, despite all the issues and broken mechanics, just the idea alone. Plus, it's just much more fun to shoot the shit with your friends while you play a challenging game.


TL;DR

Should Battle Royale be 3-man squads?
176 454
  • 1 Apr
 Koda

At first I disagreed with you, a couple days ago when we talked about it. However, I've come around to agreeing with you.

I really just don't like that my outcome will now depend on the RNG on if I'm queued with decent teammates, however I think the benefits of 3's outweighs that.

Mercenary 224 559
  • 1 Apr
 Izıl

What about solo, 2 and 3 man squads?

Knight 1269 3804
  • 1 Apr
 Frise

The specific appeal of BR in Mordhau for me was that a high skill melee combat system makes it so that if you're good enough, you can be untouchable. You can take 3 people if you're that much better than them (let's just forget that Triternion failed to balance 1vX out). So even with an RNG-based gamemode, you can be consistent and outplay everyone if you're that good. Making it squad-based defeats this whole idea. It's not longer about you and your skill, now you depend on your team. I feel like all the issues in BR right now can be adressed without making it squad-based, except for maybe the "in every fight one of you will die" issue.

1308 2875
  • 1 Apr
 Monsteri

@Frise said:
The specific appeal of BR in Mordhau for me was that a high skill melee combat system makes it so that if you're good enough, you can be untouchable. You can take 3 people if you're that much better than them (let's just forget that Triternion failed to balance 1vX out). So even with an RNG-based gamemode, you can be consistent and outplay everyone if you're that good. Making it squad-based defeats this whole idea. It's not longer about you and your skill, now you depend on your team. I feel like all the issues in BR right now can be adressed without making it squad-based, except for maybe the "in every fight one of you will die" issue.

They can be addressed in other ways but not in time for release.

Expand the mode with 1v1s later if the playerbase is big enough to allow it. If we must choose, 3v3s > 1v1s, every time.

367 340
  • 1 Apr
 Peacerer

IMO, Boring Royale should be ditched and resources spent elsewhere.

251 859
 Cswic

If they make Mordhau BR 3 man squads I would rather they delay the mode and take the time to implement better in game communication.

Would making Mordhau BR 3 man squads right now make it better than the current version? Comes down to preference really rather than "oh yes 3s objectively better than solos". Both have their pros and cons.

I feel that releasing a 3 man squad BR where the only in game communication is typing or voice commands would be a bad idea. Let them add in-game voip first and then release BR with 3s. Do it right.

Knight 693 1593
  • 1 Apr
 das

Agree with OP and Cswic. You only have one chance to make a first impression. This is the whole philosophy behind why the devs are taking their time to release, no? Why then launch a mode that is so obviously rushed? I feel like the people who seem fine with it being released as is are the ones who really, really love dueling. Cool, but I think that will disappoint most people and their expectations of a BR game such as my friends I have told about Mordhau + it recently having been revealed to have a BR mode. "Wow, that sounds cool. Can you carry me in it?" No, sorry dude. You can queue in, wait to load, wait a minute, then die a few seconds in due to the guy next to you getting a weapon first in your randomly chosen spawns, then spend another few minutes with the same result. Oh, and the one time you managed to get fair equipment, turns out the other guy had 2000 hours in Chiv/Mordhau and is possibly even teaming against you, so good luck with that. Oh, but at least there will be skillbased matchmaking... which takes a lot of games to calibrate and will be irrelevant in the game's launch days of which afterwards you will never play the game mode (and possibly game) again because of the sour taste it left. But at least the few 0.01% of players who consistently 45 - 6 pubs and 30 - 2 duelyards can have a blast winning these solo BRs that feel just like a "single life FFA".

Knight 27 33

Simplfied comment:

  • I disagree with BR being a failure but i acknowledge that there is room for improvements which there is in the other gamemodes aswell.
  • Ur basing ur statement on a poll With 50 forum creatures..
  • Why not have both solo and 3-man squad?
  • Most of ur cons/points are something that are just mistakes/stuff that can and should be changed..

“Its very frustrating to die. Its mediocre to win” “every match feel very much the same “
Some of the reasons why it feels like that is because it takes 5 mins to win and 5 mins to queue. You cant do much about the queue but you could easily extend how long it takes to win. I believe that If you increased map size and made it 3-4 times bigger and changed max slots from 64-100 then it would not only take longer to win but also feel better to win because of among other reasons the simple psychological principle that the more time u spend on something the more u automatically care for it. If you added 3-man squad then u might get more different situations such as a guy winning 1v3 but the match would still end rather quick.

Duchess 774 3449
 Stouty

man im gunna rek this post later in more depth but team br wins are so rarely meaningful, the average comment will be "oh they were the last squad?" 0 tension whatsoever

also of course big weps are useful, a simple ffa session will demonstrate this

As evidenced by the recent poll

By that same logic Horde is the best mode, I know it's been 2 years since the kickstarter but most of us backed a competitive multiplayer game which by definition requires PvP, that's enough to throw the poll out of the discussion already but let's go deeper. The trend of the voting from the players that I recognise suggests that stronger players had a better time which logically makes sense. Keep in mind the BR lobby you're playing in is an allstar line-up essentially with the best players you're likely to ever see congregated on the same server. Novices and beginners will obviously get banged out and left to wait an unnaturally long time due to the low player count which again compounds a "negative" experience. If you think about it, the frustration of waiting in lobby actually goes to show that the mode itself is pretty entertaining because it's annoying to be taken out of it early.

You then write a nice story describing BR but basically everything you described applies most to singles.

"unpredictable predicaments it places upon the players. There is oft an ever-present feel of danger, yet a decent amount of downtime, during which you can (and should!) strategize in meaningful ways - the circle will present you with unique challenges and side-objectives that you need to tackle"

Everything you wrote here get's diluted when you add squads, the game becomes more predictable due to the lower number of potential enemy engagements, the danger is lessened as you have several players scouting different directions, the downtime increases which is arguably worse and it's less tense because you're unlikely to be ambushed successfully by 3 players but it can very easily happen with 1.

It's quite likely the foundation that the explosive success of the genre is built on.

Straight up incorrect. BR's foundation is the book, Battle Royale, where the rules state only one person can make it out alive. This concept really exploded with the Hunger Games which again, has only 1 winner. Any tweaks to the player count is essentially a different game and as a result the tension and adrenaline also become diminished from the purity of the original mode.

Every match feels very much the same.

If you die in 10 seconds every round it might feel that way but even then there's huge variety in the starting location, weapons opponent etc

You play alone.

Not inherently negative

You can't see where the circle is going.

Yes you can

Not that it matters, the circle is so slow that it's never a real danger.

Because dying in the circle is fun right? It serves its purpose perfectly if that's the case

The loot is not balanced, you get what matters in the first minute or two.

Not at all

The big weapons aren't big, it's 1v1 - BS will do.

Big weps are a massive advantage and give you better options in every engagement practically besides the final 2

Once you engage an enemy, one of you will die. No stories there.

Or both players disengage, or more enemies join in. I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Russians setting up archer nests in the tower and coordinating with another random guy to flush them out. I've seen a noob bait me in the final 1v1 with a bear trap. Pinkie setting up D-day turret formations in the centre of the field. Player rivalries are much more readily felt in 1v1 than in squads of 3.

It's very frustrating to die. It's mediocre to win.

I've won many games and it's fun every time pretty much

Imagine the excitement of a starry eyed noob as his friends are cheering him on in a climactic fight

If you have to write some noob fan-fiction to justify what you want in the game you've run out of real points, it's just as easy to portray the other side. Who wants to watch someone else play for 5 minutes after you die in the first encounter? 3v3 basically guarantees the win for whichever competitive stomp team is in the server as their strengths are only amplified. That's why you see streamers pack together and rarely play solo in BR as they're much more likely to win.

Don't get me wrong I also really like squad BR, but if it's a choice between squads or solo only then it's solo every time. Especially seeing as we've now had 2 solo tests and believe it or not the devs probably need to release the game at some point.

Knight 30 65
  • 1 Apr
 last_apoc

I believe there is room for everyone to have it their way, albeit not RIGHT at release.

I think the devs should release BR with solo mode only(since that's what they have now), and the promise of an update at some point in the future where they will implement a 2 or 3 man squad mode.

1084 6143
  • 3 Apr
 crushed — Art

We are looking into potential improvements for the inventory and more tweaks for the loot distribution, as well as some potential changes for the way the spawning works, to give players more control.

1308 2875
 Monsteri

@Stouty said:
The poll doesn't matter.. because the kickstarter promised pvp

?

The strong players liked BR as.. evidenced by the poll

This is a straight up lie. The total number of strong players who voted "No" was greater, you're simply imagining a trend because there were proportionally more sweats in the Yes camp. This just means that a greater variety of people disliked BR.

a1.PNG
a2.PNG

Keep in mind the BR lobby you're playing in is an allstar line-up

Yes, this would mean the weak players wouldn't like it as much, but as I said above, more strong players reported to have disliked the mode than reported to like it. This means the skill disparity is not a significant factor in whether one likes the mode. Noobs will have similar disparities as the current top dogs.

If you think about it, the frustration of waiting in lobby actually goes to show that the mode itself is pretty entertaining because it's annoying to be taken out of it early.

Fan fiction. It was the only mode available and the same frustration was present during the first stress test.

Everything you wrote here get's diluted when you add squads

There's nothing to dilute, these things don't exist in Mordhau BR. That's the whole point of adding squads. You have to try hard to get yourself into a bad situation when the mode is 1v1s with far open sightlines and a slow circle. There's nothing to strategize and no unique challenges because there are no "needs" (or even all that varying conditions) that the mode creates. You don't need to hunt for gear, you don't need to think about your next position or the circle, you are never short of time.

With up to 3 players on each team, having map control becomes necessary, which already creates far more varied conditions per game than you could ever hope for in the mode's current state. With 3 players you need more material. With 3 players you need a good position, you need situational awareness.

You say the downtime increases, and that this would make the mode worse. Not true. The high importance of loot and the survival of each teammate means that the downtime (which in 1v1s consists of running around looking for people) can be spent in meaningful ways, scouting and preparing for the next fight, be it positioning, healing, or distributing equipment. There is something to anticipate, and anticipation is where the magic happens. Check the top 5 games on Steam. Think at which ratio the anticipation is to the execution in those games. Hint: it's exceedingly high.

Straight up incorrect. BR's foundation is the book, Battle Royale

Every match feels very much the same.

If you die in 10 seconds every round it might feel that way but even then there's huge variety in the starting location, weapons opponent etc

No, every match feels the same because your goals don't shift nor do you have needs past a two-hander, a bandage, and some armor.

Not that it matters, the circle is so slow that it's never a real danger.

Because dying in the circle is fun right? It serves its purpose perfectly if that's the case

The unique situations that a fast moving circle creates through changing needs are fun.

Big weps are a massive advantage and give you better options in every engagement practically besides the final 2

Vast majority of fights are 1v1. Big weapons are nice to have but you don't need them. Besides, they're very common.

Russians setting up archer nests in the tower and coordinating with another random guy to flush them out.

Teaming up can be a fun experience or a bannable offense, depends on who you ask. It's not going to be commonplace once the game releases, though. Not really a point in favor or against 1v1/3v3.

Who wants to watch someone else play for 5 minutes after you die in the first encounter?

Your friends? If you don't have any, just quit and requeue.

3v3 basically guarantees the win for whichever competitive stomp team

Then they'll score a higher elo and play against other stomp teams. Man, all those streamers playing stomp teams really killed the BR genre.


I get it, I do. You like dueling - you're a duel player - so of course you like Mordhau's 1v1 BR. After all, it's mostly just a long string of duels with mystery opponents and some roleplay value on top.

Nevertheless, making the BR mode 1v1s would be a huge missed opportunity.

The social aspect is a gargantuan draw to any multiplayer game -you like a game so you recommend it to your friend and get him to play with you, who in turn recommends it to his friend, and on the cycle goes. This is how games grow and sustain a playerbase. People simply enjoy the experience more when they have someone to share it with. Do you really think Apex would be hitting 50 million players if it only offered solos? Self-centered thinking.

200 391

BR gets my nerves going, but towards the end of every match i dread the frustration of dueling someone who has better equipment or is just plain more skilled than i am. This is very much a duelers game mode towards the end, and on the rare occasion that i win a br i just feel like a big asshole to the guy i killed.

i dont know if 3 man squads would make the game less frustrating... or just cement the asshole feeling of winning at the end. i think what it would do is discourage hiding until the end of the match, which is an easy tactic for winning the whole game so long as you can win the duel at the end.

and of course new players wont feel so helpless with 2 extra boys, give it a try maybe

Mercenary 2187 3902

Voted Yes so I can blame my teammates for my shit play

Knight 762 3296
  • 4 Apr
 Mittsies

On release, Battle Royale will only do more harm than good by frustrating new players and tarnishing valuable first impressions. Mordhau's Battle Royale is essentially a dueling mode with RNG elements, not a good initial experience for a beginner. Frontline, TDM, and Horde are the modes we want people to be playing on release week.

BR can come later once it has received adequate polish. I see no good reason to include it on launch.

Knight 925 2541
  • 4 Apr
 Pred

@Mittsies said:
On release, Battle Royale will only do more harm than good by frustrating new players and tarnishing valuable first impressions.

That's very much a possibility, I lived less than 10 seconds in my first 4 games last weekend and maybe 25 seconds in the 5th.

  • Smoke pot in the first chest, bear trap in the second, die before getting to the third
  • Spawn in the dungeon with the guy next to me spawning 1 meter from a chest and literally no way to go for me than through him
  • One shot from bow while taking stuff from the first chest
  • Don't remember the 4th one

5th one I lived a little longer, found something like a rake in the first chest, entered the dungeon and while opening my 2nd chest I got stabbed from behind because no footstep sound, turned around, fell for Rapier feint and died. I think it was Vesanus and I hate him very much.

So, these are the initial RNG deaths. After you survive this you have to duel people which, assuming you are a total noob, will be pretty hard.

It would probably be much safer to add post-release.

Conscript 186 472
  • 4 Apr
 Shovonem

You know the BR mode itself doesn't usually appeal me. However, I remember playing certain BR games making squads with friends and suddenly it was 10x more fun. I agree that squad BR with voip can make the mode better.

Although making the mode actually interesting is a lot more important imo. I feel bad for saying this but currently it looks extremely basic and will most likely be overshadowed unless significantly improved.

Duchess 774 3449
 Stouty

@Mittsies said:
BR can come later once it has received adequate polish. I see no good reason to include it on launch.

What more do you want to add to it? The mode as it stands right now is above and beyond the best mode of the entire game and I have no doubt new players will share this view. Removing it could quite literally kill Mordhau, what a terrible suggestion

Noobs might die and get frustrated in BR? They bought the game in the first place FOR BR. Nobody wants or plays TDM in 2019

Predator, you realise there will be other noobs at release right? Also your total negative experience lasted like 30 minutes due to low playercount. At release you will forget about a 5 second match almost instantly as you can jump into the next one straight away