The main issue is that horses cost nothing to use, but a lot to counter.
They're the most powerful thing in the game, with no straight-forward counter, and they are absolutely free. Toolbox and billhook is a reasonable counter, but that costs 13 points and not many people want to spend the entire match trying to chase down horses and block them with a toolbox. Worst of all, you might pull him off the horse and not even manage to kill him afterwards. Whether you're trying to take them down with projectiles or a billhook, in the time it takes to pin down a single rider, they've already gotten 10+ couched kills on your allies.
Solution A: Make Horses cost a Gamemode Resource
Players could earn tactical resources when playing Frontline whenever they do objectives. They can spend these resources to spawn themselves (or their teammates) Horses, Siege weapons, or even things like bandages and weapons. This would also incentivize more people to actually do the objectives! For the average Frontline player, it's easy to forget the objectives even exist.
Solution B: Make Horses a Loadout Investment (Perks)
We could add Perks that make you effective on horseback. Without them, horses will mostly be a way to travel. This would leave cavalry with less points to spend, unless they have an ally to buy them a weapon.
Make couched attacks deal significantly less damage (even a lance won't 1-shot anymore), then add this perk:
Make all melee weapons dismount riders, then add this perk:
Make mounting and dismounting horses very slow, then add this perk:
Solution C: Make Horses a Loadout Investment (Items)
We could add a "Saddle" item (maybe 7 points) which you can bring to a stable area in order to spawn yourself a horse. This would mean that if you want to use a spear, you'd have to find one or get a teammate to buy you one.
Other potential suggestions / ideas:
if you have any suggestions to add to this, let's hear 'em.
What about buffing Huntsman so it deals more damage to horses or horse riders?
Not a bad idea, but it doesn't solve the current problem of horses costing nothing to use.
Unless you're playing crossroads, you don't have a guaranteed horse. I like that there are static horses in the map that you need to steal or acquire. I'm paying with my life sometimes so I think it's wrong to say they cost nothing.
All of these are solid ideas, and you're right that its ridiculous that the most powerful tool in the game costs nothing to use.
I like solution A. The others just seem too overcomplicated. Making it easier to kill horses won't stop the fact they can still kill you far too easily. I only find horses annoying on crossroads because there is so many of them. Less horses and less damage that they can inflict would be enough for me.
I like the idea of Option B the best because it adds perks and therefore build options, but if someone wanted to make a cavalry set up then they would be just as annoying and OP as they are now and I'd still be miserable. :)
Option A is probably the best as it expands upon Frontline while also balancing the horses fairly. Though, once the horses spawned I'd be miserable again because horses are miserable and anti-fun for everyone except the rider.
Option A is a good idea ! Making horses and catapult cost something would make frontline more tactical.
Am i alone to Dont think horses are anti-fun ? I like, as à footman, waiting for them and trying to kill dem, its a real satisfaction when i succed, when i see da horseman falling hard on the ground and when i finish him !
In another hand, i cant deny horses are a little OP and it could be better if they dont oneshot ( exept head )...
Solution D REMOVE HORSES THX
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