Mordhau

An argument for "hemophiliac" and "clumsy" anti-perks

25 18
  • 23 May '19
 jotnova

Ok, hear me out, because I thought it was stupid at first too.

What if there were "Anti-perks" that were just negative perks that granted additional loadout points to use on gear? The function is multifaceted, and I feel it addresses many build-craft limitations in an otherwise very polished and balanced system. There are 3 main points I'd like to address: the utility of having more points, the possible variety in gameplay introduced by dealing with anti-perks, and the encouraged use of related gear through adapting gameplay.

First off the points. We all want more of them. I honestly was a good bit dissapointed that I couldn't run halberd with full heavy armor when I first started playing. Of course I understand that letting someone use all of the best gear at the same time is unbalanced, but that's not really what I'm asking for. I don't want to use the best gear, I want to use a halberd and all heavy armor. While the two statements are similar, the caveat is that I would still be happy to be using my halberd tank loadout even if it was middling to low teir in game. So, what would be a solution that let people use whatever combination they wanted while still maintaining balance?

Imagine I put a hemopilia anti-perk on my halberd tank loadout, which granted, say, 4 extra points. I'd then use these points to use heavy helmet and chest (medium legs but who cares?) and also equip bandages into slot 2. Later, in frontline, I would find a battle and start swinging. About 45 seconds in, however, I would need to stop my momentum and pull out to bandage, because hemophilia would have me bleeding health proportional to the amount of damage I took from hits, and would only stop when you use bandages or a medic bag. In this example a player would be allowed to use the best gear, yes, but at the cost of a major change in gameplay. Heavy armor in game can be challenging to fight because even if you do land more hits on them than they land on you, you're still at a disadvantage because they have more effective health due to their armor, and if you aren't aggresive enough, they effectively have faster passive health regen too. When fighting a hemophiliac though, the dynamic would change. If you could land even a few hits, doing "meh" damage, they would start bleeding, slowly but surely. Now, the hemophiliac would either need to withdraw, or get more aggressive and finish the fight. The hemophilia anit-perk would change the purpose of armor altogether into a temporary buffer of extra health, allowing you to survive better over short encounters, which introduces the counter-play option of ensuring the longest engagements possible.

Finally, for my third point, imagine a "clumsy" perk that gives you a small chance of being disarmed every time you parry, and a guaranteed chance to be disarmed if you block multiple attacks with one parry. Now hold on a second, don't light the torches yet, RNG sometimes does have a place in skill-based games (if Mordhau was even competitive in the first place). In the game you can have 4 entire arming swords for less than the cost of a spear, not to mention there are free weapons littering the maps in most scenarios. The dynamic to clumsy would have you cycling weapons occasionally in combat as you lose them, and looking to restock when you have the time. This also puts a heavy emphasis on light weapons that can be quickly switched to, or even routinely thrown, just as hemophilia put an emphasis on having something handy to stop the bleeding. Clumsy also introduces interesting counter-play options, as enemies could coordinate attacks to disarm you quickly, they could get between you and weapons so that you can't restock, or they could just hoard all the weapons they see to make your build less effective.

Overall, I think that the inclusion of anti-perks is a chance to increased build diversity, balance the use of different weapon types, and enrich the guerrilla tactics that I love to see in Mordhau.

TL;DR: The ability to make your character weaker in a few aspects in exchange for more loadout points could make the game more fun.

14 14
  • 1
  • 23 May '19
 Bellon

I really really like the idea of negative perks. In my own tabletop games I greatly encourage them, as I think that negative traits improve roleplay as much as or more than positive ones. Also, as you said, it increases possible diversity hugely.

I'm a big fan of the hemophilia idea as well,partially because it increases the usage of bandages and medic bags, which I feel are underused right now (for good reason, passive health gain is already quite good.)

The clumsy perk is a bit odd though. While I understand your defense of the RNG, I still don't quite think it has a place in Mordhau. What if instead of a flat chance, it simply reduced your maximum stamina? It would still apply the same pressures to gameplay, but without the random chance.

But again, big fan of negative perks. I think such a thing is criminally underused in games of all kinds. The possibilities are endless: Broken hand (no left hand), pneumonia (slow stamina regen), bad leg (no sprinting), weak (can only use weapons 4 points and below), etc etc.

19 13
  • 1
  • 23 May '19
 Jencent

N1 idea, i'do love negative trails.

Trail "fatso": You lose your stamina while running.

1908 1995
  • 23 May '19
 SWSeriousMike

Since you can just pick up a halberd from the ground negative point-cost perks are completely useless. All Hemophiliac would do is grant Bloodlust for the net cost of just 1 loadout point.

25 18
  • 25 May '19
 jotnova

I understand your doubts with the clumsy idea, but I think random chance has some important bearing on gameplay in general. For example, when you block, if you always have a chance to be disarmed, you either need to be prepared to grab your weapon quickly or switch off to another. This would result in people who can effectively react to losing their weapon being given a higher skill ceiling, while people who can't would most likely avoid blocking altogether.

Also, I feel like "clumsy" has some unpredictable connotation to it.

Thanks for the response!

25 18
  • 25 May '19
 jotnova

While I COULD use someone else's halberd (if I find one reliably), I also just COULD downgrade my armor in the first place. I feel like customization of your visuals is important enough in Mordhau to justify the ability to get your desired set of your own gear.

Also for hemophilia, it wouldn't just be a discount bloodrush. I might not have been articulate enough, but as you get hit, the faster you would bleed. Sure you might get full health from bloodrush, but each fight you would be left bleeding faster and faster, either meaning you need to get more kills more efficiently to keep getting healed from bloodrush in time, or you need to stop the bleeding using meds.

Thanks for the response though.

14 14
  • 25 May '19
 Bellon

Yeah, like I said I get where you're coming from with the RNG aspect. There is a reason that many games include them, the ability to adapt to a changing situation is important, and fun.

However, fighting games (and as of now, Mordhau) avoid RNG, because one of the draws of the genre is that everything is under your control, you have nothing to blame but yourself. Still, if it were a perk it would be self-inflicted, so I could certainly see it working. I'm just not sure it fits the philosophy of the devs.

By the way, SWSeriousMike was making the point that since you can pick up weapons off the ground, the only real benefit of gaining additional points would be to spend them on more armor or perks. He's been on a (not wholly unjust, but vehement) crusade against this mechanic for a while, along with some other players.

1908 1995
  • 25 May '19
 SWSeriousMike

I'm not on a crusade. And I'm not vehemently against it. I would never come up with empty threats about getting a refund or something. I enjoy the game very much despite my disagreement with it.
It's just one occasion where I had hoped they put balancing over immersion. And I mainly dislike the combination of heavy armor, Bloodlust and the ability to pick up weapons.

As for Clumsy: Unpredictable is exactly the opposite of what the devs are going for. Otherwise they would have implemented momentum-based damage and damage drop-off for projectiles. (And I agree with it by the way.)

14 14
  • 25 May '19
 Bellon

Fair enough, I may have conflated you with... Mechanicus, or somesuch. Anyway yeah, they wish for the gameplay to be as predictable as possible, or so it seems.

Although momentum-based damage is certainly predictable, it would complicate balancing and counterplay quite a lot, as well as being problematic to implement. I also agree with their decision there.

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  • 25 May '19
 Rergato

Really fuckin’ good idea man. Hope the devs add this. This could add a much larger variety of mercenaries we’d see on the battlefield.

25 18
  • 25 May '19
 jotnova

@SWSeriousMike said:
I'm not on a crusade. And I'm not vehemently against it. I would never come up with empty threats about getting a refund or something. I enjoy the game very much despite my disagreement with it.
It's just one occasion where I had hoped they put balancing over immersion. And I mainly dislike the combination of heavy armor, Bloodlust and the ability to pick up weapons.

As for Clumsy: Unpredictable is exactly the opposite of what the devs are going for. Otherwise they would have implemented momentum-based damage and damage drop-off for projectiles. (And I agree with it by the way.)

I see what you're getting at, and I too very much dislike people having a full set of heavy and a 10/11 point weapon to top it off, but I don't see how anti-perks would worsen the problem. One thing I tried to emphasis is that each anti-perk should have a clear weakness that enemies can take advantage of. Despite the fact that the more meta players will spend the additional points on perks, like you said, I still would rather fight a fully geared opponent with bloodrush and hemophilia than a fully geared opponent with neither.

As for clumsy, I'll concede that RNG might not be the best idea, but I still think it would be rather interesting to be disarmed if you block 2+ attacks with one parry. Like I said earlier, it's a clear weakness that opponents can play around, and I think Mordau needs some of that kind of gameplay spice available.

162 125
  • 25 May '19
 Schwarzchild

i support this

88 66
  • 25 May '19
 Threule

Can we also have an amputee perk where you can only pick 1H weapons?
and maybe a brainlet perk where you can only equip spears