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Development Blog #2: Melee Combat

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  • 30 Mar '16
 Ares

its just the genre imo

if i show you a shooter and you dont play shooter that much you will have problems to tell which one it is.

its like calling everything a cod clone xD

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  • 30 Mar '16
 jimykx

Love how you decided to tackle the easily abusable issues that plague other multiplayer first person slashers.
Limiting the arc of your weapon, independently of mouse sensibility is something great!
Cant wait for more!

Knight 57 63
  • 30 Mar '16
 Edmund

Love how you decided to tackle the easily abusable issues that plague other multiplayer first person slashers.
Limiting the arc of your weapon, independently of mouse sensibility is something great!

Thats not the first comment i see about this, tbh you're gonna have a surprise when you play the game.

Sellsword 615 1381
  • 30 Mar '16
 BobSapp

@marox said:
The thing is, it's just a "realistic" style. Maybe I'm missing something? What makes it more similar to Chivalry than to say Kingdom Come? I mean graphically, not talking about gameplay. But it's quite possible the two are connected, and people are making comparisons from that angle.

I think it's a little bit of everything. I think many people are "missing" the fact that Mordhau has incredibly obvious inheritance from other melee games. It's supposed to. This isn't something you try to hide, I would say it's entirely recognized and you openly build upon concepts from these games to make Mordhau the best it can be.

I think this process is a little hard to appreciate unless you're already into the genre/following Mordhau though. Many people are quick to proclaim it's a chivalry clone as soon as they see a directional swing, a timed parry, a guy in platemail, a medieval theme, anything. Newcomers to the genre don't have the same immense shorthand with melee games that we do, they're more likely to be swayed by revolutionary new mechanics, crazy artstyles, innovative design and all that noise. The diehards see through all that and are more concerned about the traditional mechanics behind the game. So it's a little hard for us to gain perspective on it.

Knight 253 546
  • 30 Mar '16
 Gauntlet

The best way you can differentiate Mordhau from Chivalry is to show off your official game mode which isn't just TO redone. I hope you guys have put a lot of thought and planning into the game mode, and that it will have an immediately distinct style from Chivalry.

This is how Melee: Battlegrounds isn't being called a M&B clone, despite the gameplay they've shown so far to be M&B combat with minor touch ups / rebalancing. Their official game mode is a siege mode in which you create your own base and prepare for combat, with movable siege engines to break walls / gates, etc.

Knight 3313 6811
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  • 30 Mar '16
 Bodkin

@marox said:

@afiNity said:
I mean, I showed some friends of mine the first devblog video and people were like "Isn't that Chivalry?", or "Is that a mod for Chivalry?".

Yep, I'm not trying to brush this aside or anything. I'm just curious what's the biggest tell, or if it's just the whole package, to see what can be done to improve this.

Well you have the same type of people saying all FPS games are rip offs of COD.

So honestly Marox I think this is unavoidable without going full retard with the art style like mirage

Knight 3313 6811
  • 30 Mar '16
 Bodkin

But you can do whatever you can to help reduce that evil by creating a really unique, strategic, fun game mode that is completely new to the genre

As others have said

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  • 30 Mar '16
 Reapy

I have to admit that when I first saw the game I mistook it for a chivalry clone. The visuals are overwhelmingly similar, and unfortunately I don't know how you change it since historical armor looks like historical armor. I assume they both use unreal, so you are getting the unreal 'look and feel' to the terrain, color saturation and all of that very similar. It is also the look of the sword and the swing animations look very, very similar. I don't know how you would do it differently though.

I think if you got some different colors in there and tried to change up the landscape's colors to be a bit different than chivalries IN THE TRAILERS ONLY, that would help. You want to make that trailer look very much NOT like chivalry. It is apparent to me once the game starts moving that it is not chivalry, but it might be a harder sell to people that don't know the game too well.

All that said this is looking pretty damn awesome. Everything out of the developers mouth says they understand playing melee games and have a vision, which is great.

I had one question about the re-aiming of attacks. I know that is often a 'must have' feature, but it also is a point of weakness for 'lack of control', per-say, in your combat system. You can't limit how fast a player looks too much, that would feel poorly to the player, that means that despite limiting turn rates and how fast you swing to value that are good, you can not reasonably limit swing adjustments.

For testing I would advise you to try playing with a macro that relocates you post thrust 90 degrees to your left then back to dead center and see how that feels. Also try having the macro rapidly adjust your point of view post swing in a random haywire direction. Use the macros to control it so you don't just dismiss this kind of movement as 'nobody can control this, you can't see' because people will try it and will figure out how to make it work.

I could be wrong here, like if it is a right based swing coming at you, it might be enough to just parry in a leftward direction and doesn't matter the height correction. I think though with the thrust, it changes from high to low very quickly, and I am not quite sure how a player would adjust for that.

I guess if the right click parry just blocks anything coming at you regardless of direction it wouldn't really matter so much. Eh.

Also feints. I left chiv pretty early but when I last left they were basically 50/50% gambles unless you could predict people, basically you couldn't read and react to a feint in time to make a decision, it was a guess, either block now or in half a second, which to choooseee. I hope it isn't quite like that, but I have a feeling based on what is in there that it isn't but had to ask.

Finally, ye old look down overheads, aka, full damage as soon as the swing comes out. Is that still the case, or not really a factor and there is a delay there before the swing will hurt all the way?

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  • 30 Mar '16
 marox — Project Lead

@Gauntlet said:
The best way you can differentiate Mordhau from Chivalry is to show off your official game mode which isn't just TO redone. I hope you guys have put a lot of thought and planning into the game mode, and that it will have an immediately distinct style from Chivalry.

This is how Melee: Battlegrounds isn't being called a M&B clone, despite the gameplay they've shown so far to be M&B combat with minor touch ups / rebalancing. Their official game mode is a siege mode in which you create your own base and prepare for combat, with movable siege engines to break walls / gates, etc.

Yeah, I meant purely from a graphical point of view in case there was something obvious we were missing. Have no fear, we're tackling the game mode stuff and more :)

988 6974
  • 30 Mar '16
 marox — Project Lead

@Reapy said:
I could be wrong here, like if it is a right based swing coming at you, it might be enough to just parry in a leftward direction and doesn't matter the height correction. I think though with the thrust, it changes from high to low very quickly, and I am not quite sure how a player would adjust for that.

Thrusts tend to have stricter turning rate limits than swings, but these things are easily adjusted when we do tests. You're absolutely correct about this though, and it's something we're taking into account. Keep in mind that the latency between opponent's mouse movements and what you see is half of what Chivalry had at the same ping, due to the netcode being different in this respect.

@Reapy said:
Also feints. I left chiv pretty early but when I last left they were basically 50/50% gambles unless you could predict people, basically you couldn't read and react to a feint in time to make a decision, it was a guess, either block now or in half a second, which to choooseee. I hope it isn't quite like that, but I have a feeling based on what is in there that it isn't but had to ask.

You don't need to guess. Feints that require guessing are those that are going to hit you almost immediately (e.g. lookdowns, stabs starting in your body), yet those attacks can be efficiently chambered. So you learn when to safely chamber these attacks and by doing that, learn to deal with feints. Of course we're also taking steps to ensure things are readable.

@Reapy said:
Finally, ye old look down overheads, aka, full damage as soon as the swing comes out. Is that still the case, or not really a factor and there is a delay there before the swing will hurt all the way?

There are no trace lines below the topmost hand on the weapon, this prevents very early hits. There's also "early release" which is a part of release that does not deal damage yet, but can be blocked. Finally, the bending of the character animation is all done in preparation of these moves, because we already know they exist now.

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  • 30 Mar '16
 Reapy

Awesome, thank you for the answers.

So glad you guys are taking all this stuff into account and seriously, it is a refreshing change from when I asked about this stuff in the chiv alpha and war of the roses alpha and got either silence or a 'sure sure sounds good' reply.

Getting pretty pumped for this game, it really looks nice in action, even better with all the details.

Count 4205 9821
  • 30 Mar '16
 DerFurst

@marox said:

@afiNity said:
I mean, I showed some friends of mine the first devblog video and people were like "Isn't that Chivalry?", or "Is that a mod for Chivalry?".

Yep, I'm not trying to brush this aside or anything. I'm just curious what's the biggest tell, or if it's just the whole package, to see what can be done to improve this.

I'd say it's the team colors. Mechanically these people have nothing to complain about since the game won't play like Chivalry. They do, however, have a legitimate complaint about the red vs blue theme looking too similar.

Knight 7768 14327
  • 30 Mar '16
 ToLazy4Name

I'm with Gauntlet. I don't think there's a whole lot you can do with the game's presentation to differentiate it.

Stick to what you've been doing: making the best melee focused game on the market from a team of people who are veterans of the genre and know what the fuck they're doing.

Duke 5558 13284
  • 1
  • 30 Mar '16
 Jax — Community Manager

I think you guys could benefit visually by continuing to add authentic assets. Chivalry isnt very authentic, and I think you guys have much more believable art.
Perhaps adding some grittier environments and equipment would be sweet.
The game is literally named murder stroke, so it could benefit from a darker feel than it currently has.
Regardless, the art does look great, and the game play obviously differentiates the game from previous games.

Knight 936 952
  • 30 Mar '16
 afiNity

Yes, that's what I felt as well. I'd like Mordhau to be a bit darker, this would also fit well to the gore in the game. And it wouldn't even have to be unrealistic as real medieval fights were most likely not full of shiny, colorful armor and clothes. They were in fact pretty dirty and ugly.

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  • 30 Mar '16
 QuickdrawMcGraw

Awesome video, I'm incredibly pumped for this shit. Game and combat both look gorgeous, and I'm anticipating getting my mitts on it. Slash- uh, Mordhau when?

The armor system is looking great so far, and sword cuts vs. armor being weak makes sense (and encourages the use of blunt and/or other clothing types). I do have a pair of questions, though:

First, how does chainmail stack up versus plate armor? Is it a "happy medium" type of armor, with equal resistance/weakness to slash/blunt/stab (whereas something like plate would have weakness to blunt, resistance to slash, and less/no armor would have resistance to blunt, weakness to slash)? Or does it fall into the same category as plate, i.e. weak to blunt but good against slashing? Something else entirely, like more resist against blunt compared to plate, but higher weakness to stabs?

Which leads me to my next question: how do stabs stack up? Do stabs have their own damage type (like Chiv: three damage types, blunt, stab, slash. For example, the spear does 100% stab damage on thrust, but morningstar does something like 50% stab 50% blunt on hit)? How do stabs play out against plate armor and chainmail? Is it possible to aim for "weak points", like joints and areas covered by mail instead of plate, doing more damage?

It'd be great to be able to use the halfswording mechanic against chainmailed enemies. And I'm assuming spears and the like are part of the game, so having a general idea of how they'll perform (being stab-based weapons) would be great. Anyhow, any answers you're at liberty to give would be appreciated, thanks!

Knight 57 63
  • 30 Mar '16
 Edmund

Yes, that's what I felt as well. I'd like Mordhau to be a bit darker, this would also fit well to the gore in the game.

Yes i had that feeling also, a little bit to bright.

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  • 30 Mar '16
 AlexGrivas

Amazing

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  • 31 Mar '16
 Ucuri

@Edmund said:
Yes i had that feeling also, a little bit to bright.

IMO if we are talking about discerning the graphics from Chivalry, then making everything darker and grittier is exactly the wrong way of doing things. Chivalry had exactly that, just mixed with silliness and a bit of fantasy over-the-top flair. Considering that, keeping everything authentic might already do the trick in the long run.

Actually, I'm not even sure there really is a problem. Looking like a shiny new version of Chivalry, years after it released and with no Chiv 2 on the horizon might actually be a good thing. Especially with the more casual audiences.

And I must say, I actually rather like the colourfulness. After all, the middle ages weren't just a mix of brown, grey and some undersaturated colours. ;)

Count 4205 9821
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  • 31 Mar '16
 DerFurst

And I must say, I actually rather like the colourfulness. After all, the middle ages weren't just a mix of brown, grey and some undersaturated colours. ;)

I did too.

I think the colorfulness should be kept. I like the stylistic dissonance of having colorful visuals and brutal violence, because it's endearing. Knights are supposed to be noble, after all. On the one hand a knight might dress well and act politely. On the other hand, they're warriors trained to kill with ruthless efficiency. Mordhau should look like sanitized carnage - a gentleman's war.

Game of Thrones has gotten the idea into people's heads that medieval Europe was a hell-hole of slave labor, universal poverty, disease, and death, and that knights didn't care about honor and were simply heavily armed vulgar thugs. That's a very one-sided view, and though in some cases it was true, it paints an outlook of the past so bleak that it's, as a whole, utterly untrue. Medieval times DID have wonderfully colored elaborate clothing, honorable warriors, lush landscapes, and happy drunk peasants. I want that side of the Medieval to be represented in this game.