Mordhau

Some points on the recent... 'coverage' of Mordhau by PC Gamer PLUS a detailed suggestion for competitive play

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Watch my video for comments on the coverage:
https://youtu.be/W96CiG36-8U

I'm not punting my own content without adding value, so please read this thread and give me your feedback on the suggestion herein. And no, the journos aren't right. Mordhau can do a few things to get the playerbase up, but community moderation should hardly be a priority at this stage.

Competitive incentive, however, should be. This is not a game for casuals, but because the game is lacking a competitive incentive, it is also not a game for non-casuals, which I believe is the biggest explanation for the player drop recently. After having some fun in the combat, people simply get bored and go back to their usual Battle Royales and Mobas. It's not that they dislike the game, it's just that they probably feel they've gotten their time's worth. From my side: I have been playing competitive games for 17 years- I have been playing general games daily for 21 years, and been analysing them for as long as I can remember. I solo queued to Global Elite in Counter Strike, Grandmaster in Overwatch, and Divine in DotA (neither the best nor worst by a long shot, but good enough at a wide variety of games to feel like I can put some ideas out there).

So how do we solve the problem, and get those bloody peasants back on the battlefield? Obviously, this is just my opinion, but here's my suggestion:

CBM.jpg deviantart: luulala

Clann Battle Mode
For a competitive mode, consider something down the lines of a "Clann Battle" mode. It would consist of three phases:

  • The Arming Phase
  • The Battle Phase,
  • The Scoring Phase

This mode would ideally consist of anywhere between 5 and 10 players a side (decided by playtesting), and determine a winner on a best of X round basis. My intuition guides me towards Elimination Mode for maximum competitiveness.

For the Clann Battle Mode, the general 16-point player-restriction will be eliminated in favour of a team-wide point system called the Arming System. For instance, 16 points per player = 80 points clannwide in a 5v5 match up, and 160 points clannwide for a 10v10 match up.

Arming Phase:
Here, both teams or "clanns" are given a combined number of "Points" to "Purchase" armor, weapons, and perks to arm their side with. For this, there would need to be a Captain. You can therefore have a number of support players who require less Points to be effective with perhaps only a spear, or a longbow, leaving more points to buff up your "star players" like "carries" with 3/3/3/Zweihander/Bloodlust for a wopping 25 point cost for instance. This would introduce an entirely new layer of competitive complexity and would instantaneously create an evolving meta. This is why the "best of X" rounds is important, so that you can adapt in your next round's arming phase if, for instance, Spears are a big problem for your lineup.

The equipping of these items would then be done via a screen before the combat phase, with every player selecting the loadout created for them by the captain. Much like "Captain's Phase" in mobas where the players select the heroes chosen for them by the captain. Bonus complexity: include a perk/weapon ban system with each captain being given 1 or 2 bans to further raise the stakes.

Combat Phase:
In this phase, obviously, combat plays out. This would just work like a regular elimination mode where the players spawn in on different sides of an ideally symmetrical map and fight it out. Cavalry and stationary weapons will be disabled in Clann Battle Mode to place maximum emphasis on strategy and individual skill.

Bonus complexity: create a few different strategic spawning positions that the Captain can click and drag fighters to, to have them spawn in particular positions. These can then also have 'costs' associated with them. For instance, you can spawn a player behind enemy lines for a cost of 5 points, or a bit closer to the enemy for 2-3 points, etc. Just a bit of a loose cannon idea :)

Scoring Phase:
In this phase, rounds are scored. You gain 1 point for every opponent your team dispatched, and you lose one point for every fighter you lost in doing so. The team to whom the last man standing belongs (or the team who traditionally 'won' the battle by eliminating the opponents) will get an extra point or two for winning the round. Team with the most score after X rounds win the game, with sudden death tiebreakers simply being played out for as long as is necessary after the X rounds have been scored.
This system is best of both TDM and Elimination in that if you lose two rounds in a row but you killed 90% of the enemy team, you still have a fighting chance at the trophy if you score well in the final round, instead of instantly losing.

Bonus incentives to play Clann Battle Mode:

  • Banner and Team Colours Customisation
  • Publicly accessible Rank system so lesser-warriors will fear you
  • Rank-based unlocks in the form of exclusive cosmetics: Helmet adornments, additional colors to customize gear with, custom voice-lines and added patterns. Triternion can also, at its discretion, consider adding Microtransaction COSMETIC items to keep the income up, and to incentivize players to bring their A-game (and A-outfits) to the Clann Battlefield.
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so you want to further alienate those players by making a clan battle mode?

that's hilarious.

Ppl are bored cause of the lack of maps and their size and we are literally doing the same objectives we did in chivalry, push a bomb cart and throwing torches, nothing original about that!

the game also needs more lore and back story for ppl to connect to as well as more maps and NEW objectives that we haven't already don't for a 1000 hrs and the sdk and admin tools,
with out these crucial ingredients the "aunt jemima" patch wont save it no matter how much these so called "men" want to play as dark skinned women...

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  • 9 Jul
 CatR

I came here to learn about the recent... 'Coverage' not to talk about some dumb competitive game mode! Where all tha coverage at?!

Also why are those people in that picture fighting each other when they're on the same team? Those guys in the background are also dressed the same and fighting each other. Is this just an issue of them all coming dressed as each other to the battle and the disagreement about who had to go back and change escalated into violence?

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@CatR said:
I came here to learn about the recent... 'Coverage' not to talk about some dumb competitive game mode! Where all tha coverage at?!
Also why are those people in that picture fighting each other when they're on the same team? Those guys in the background are also dressed the same and fighting each other. Is this just an issue of them all coming dressed as each other to the battle and the disagreement about who had to go back and change escalated into violence?

The video linked covers that in more detail, and regarding the image: That sounds... plausible, let's go with that! Lol, just a random image search!

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@THE-REAL-WARSAW said:
so you want to further alienate those players by making a clan battle mode?

that's hilarious.

Mordhau is not a game for casual players. You are not 'further' alienating people who have already left/never bought the game to begin with. You are going to be catering to your core audience: hardcore medieval fighters.

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  • 9 Jul
 CatR

@Whitefox_YT said:

@CatR said:
I came here to learn about the recent... 'Coverage' not to talk about some dumb competitive game mode! Where all tha coverage at?!
Also why are those people in that picture fighting each other when they're on the same team? Those guys in the background are also dressed the same and fighting each other. Is this just an issue of them all coming dressed as each other to the battle and the disagreement about who had to go back and change escalated into violence?

The video linked covers that in more detail, and regarding the image: That sounds... plausible, let's go with that! Lol, just a random image search!

Oh, that's fair then. :)

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  • 9 Jul
 Goatie

I kinda like this idea, not every bit of it. But as a comp player myself it gets grindy without having in game incentivisation and casual modes will always be boring/frustrating. Right now it's just LTS with no further big meta to think over besides changing weapons between rounds.

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Thanks for the comment! It's definitely not perfect!

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 esturias

@Whitefox_YT said:
This is not a game for casuals, but because the game is lacking a competitive incentive, it is also not a game for non-casuals, which I believe is the biggest explanation for the player drop recently.

Ugh... you looked way too far. Players are leaving because this is a fun but unfinished, unbalanced, buggy and glitchy game with lacking content. Your clan gamemode won't help anything if people don't finally get something new to discover or when that mode gets built on top of a rather questionable basis.

btw: People always talk about "casual" players and how this and that game isn't made for them, but they ignore that most games are still made up of >50% casual players.
I think there might be a problem with the definition again.


edit: No idea what this has to do with the PC gamer article...

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  • 9 Jul
 Unlikely

About the article in PC Gamer: I think all the rage against the article is misplaced.

Read Triternion's statement about that article, and you will not find any criticism of the reporting. They don't say "PC Gamer made stuff up" or "PC Gamer has an agenda" or even "PC Gamer was careless." They do say that the artists from Triternion who were interviewed, didn't know what they were talking about. PC Gamer accurately reported what they were given by multiple sources. Indeed, if you read the statement you can see that Triternion blames itself for the misinformation.

The problem people seem to have with the article is the part of the article that was true, which is the statement that there is rampant racist speech in the game and in the forums, and that Triternion is not fixing that problem. And if you doubt it, look at the comments on the linked forum post and see all the people talking about "negroes" and "darkies" and how this game was made for whites only.

If you want to change the way Mordhau is described in the press, perhaps it would be better to change reality than to criticize those describing it.

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  • 9 Jul
 Athos

When modding is added, anyone with enough time should be able to make their own game modes. It'll be interesting to see what gets popular. As others have said, forcing people to be in clans would split the player base.

That said, I think there's a lot of potential in 5v5/8v8/10v10 modes, especially if they are objective based.

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@Athos said:
When modding is added, anyone with enough time should be able to make their own game modes. It'll be interesting to see what gets popular. As others have said, forcing people to be in clans would split the player base.

That said, I think there's a lot of potential in 5v5/8v8/10v10 modes, especially if they are objective based.

Good points! Thanks for being one of the few comments on here that can be taken seriously.

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There are some details to work over but I would love to see something like this.

Personally I have envisioned a similar type of experience that incorporates MVP captains and is akin to a PVP Campaign mode where you have a select number of builds to choose from nomimated prior to the game. During the campaign (3 rounds) armour will receive lasting damage, blades will dull etc forcing you to actually rotate builds throughout, or maybe switch your Longsword to Mordhau grip because it's slashes have become weak through overuse against t3, etc. Because you were forced to choose prior and so was the enemy how these builds are deployed and in what round will become crucial. Maybe the MVP gets to wear cool as fuck Alpha backer gear while he plays Captain so he can get a tiny taste of the good life, or some other cosmetic perk.

SDK plz

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  • 10 Jul
 Loomi

Regarding the player drop, it really isn't as bad as 'journalists' make it out to be.
This video explains it well

Edit: go to about 1 minute in for comparisons

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  • 10 Jul
 Whitefox_YT

@Loomi said:
Regarding the player drop, it really isn't as bad as 'journalists' make it out to be.
This video explains it well

Edit: go to about 1 minute in for comparisons

I watched this video before I made my own one- I completely agree, the journos are off the mark 100%. That being said, I do feel with Mordhau's particular circumstances, the player drop is a bit too stark. Upper Echelon for instance references Mortal Kombat, a game that sold so poorly that in its second day of release it had a $10 discount, basically right out the gate. Media coverage tends to state the game did really well, but no game that did well would discount itself so soon after release.

He also compares it to Rage, which is a single-player AAA game which is 100% designed just to "make the sale" - player count after that doesn't matter. Mostly, people will buy games like those, and play them at their leisure over the coming months, maybe in a long weekend or in the holidays. But with a multiplayer game like Mordhau, particularly one with such a great combat system and being that it takes time to master the mechanics, I think a lot of people who should be playing this game, arent. And that is what I try to remedy here.

I completely take your point though, the player count is far from being disastrous, and the journos are completely off the mark- as they usually are these days.

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  • 10 Jul
 Khakedais

Is no game free from the scourge of competetive play? I don't have any faith at all that this game has the same appeal as most big titles for being competetive titles. Ranked play and an increased focus on meta will only make the game more stale for the typical player who can't keep up with the meta. The game's learning curve is quite steep as is. As much as I despise how every game has to become an Esports-esque title, I'm split between thinking it'd benefit Mordhau or not. I lean towards not however.

I would never touch ranked gaming, but there definitely needs to be more game modes that people can just jump right into and have fun. Campaign maps from Rising Storm for example are pretty interesting.

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  • 10 Jul
 DrGert

@Khakedais said:
Is no game free from the scourge of competetive play? I don't have any faith at all that this game has the same appeal as most big titles for being competetive titles. Ranked play and an increased focus on meta will only make the game more stale for the typical player who can't keep up with the meta. The game's learning curve is quite steep as is. As much as I despise how every game has to become an Esports-esque title, I'm split between thinking it'd benefit Mordhau or not. I lean towards not however.

I would never touch ranked gaming, but there definitely needs to be more game modes that people can just jump right into and have fun. Campaign maps from Rising Storm for example are pretty interesting.

You’re right to say that this game won’t appeal as much as larger AAA titles. But that is of no consequence of a failed effort to achieve that status. This is a niche game made by players that came from another niche game who ultimately aren’t trying to compete with popular shooters or MOBA’s. Trit said themselves that they are not pushing for an E Sports scene but if it happens it happens.

I do disagree though that E sports would not benefit mordhau. I’m not saying that they should push for it but a largely recognized competitive scene can only be good for sales. And the more sales means more money to pump into the game which means larger staff and likely more frequent updates, patches, DLC’s and the just the overall longevity of the game. Because let’s be honest.. I’m sure trit is still selling copies but looking back - after the first month they released a statement thanking the community for helping them reach 1 million sales. We haven’t received any such remarks from them since.

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  • 10 Jul
 Unlikely

@Whitefox_YT said:

I completely agree, the journos are off the mark 100%.

OK, what part of the article in PC Gamer was factually wrong? And why didn't Triternion say they were "off the mark 100%" when it would obviously be in their interest to defend themselves from an article that was inaccurate or unfair?

"The artists who were interviewed didn't know what they were talking about re the infamous nonexistent toggle" is a true statement, but not something the interviewer could be faulted for.

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  • 11 Jul
 Whitefox_YT

@Khakedais said:
Is no game free from the scourge of competetive play? I don't have any faith at all that this game has the same appeal as most big titles for being competetive titles. Ranked play and an increased focus on meta will only make the game more stale for the typical player who can't keep up with the meta. The game's learning curve is quite steep as is. As much as I despise how every game has to become an Esports-esque title, I'm split between thinking it'd benefit Mordhau or not. I lean towards not however.

I would never touch ranked gaming, but there definitely needs to be more game modes that people can just jump right into and have fun. Campaign maps from Rising Storm for example are pretty interesting.

Really fresh perspective- thanks so much.

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  • 11 Jul
 Whitefox_YT

@Unlikely said:
@Whitefox_YT said:

I completely agree, the journos are off the mark 100%.

OK, what part of the article in PC Gamer was factually wrong?

The reality for me as an individual is this: toxicity of Mordhau's community is not "driving players away from the game" - that was their chief statement, and it is factually wrong in that it insinuates toxicity to be the game's biggest problem.

The biggest mistake games journalists make is the incomprehensibly erroneous assumption that gamers care equally about social justice and politicking than they do about good damned game design. Breaking news: They do not. Gamers care about good game design first and foremost, and social responsibility second (if even that).