Instead of dismissing the statement for its simplicity, how about something that could be reasonably applied, even give the parry game some depth and variety among weapons while also making shields unique and less annoying. After all, if they are working on some change to the way shields work, may as well throw out some suggestions.
I do not think weapons should really get a held guard (at least not most of them), leave it to the shields... but it could be worth trying.
Call it the... Three-Stage Defense
Take this cruddy MSPaint visualization.
In practice, you can give different weapons and the shields different periods of time for these three stages, as well as some unique elements to their Held Guards to make them more unique. And if every weapon can hold their guard, you could even buff ranged weapons a bit to deal with the idea of everyone just holding up their weapon to block all arrows.
The many ever popular Two-Handed weapons with a standard Parry window and a large Late Block before getting to their Held Guard. Mostly standardized across anything 5 Points and up.
One-Handed weapons or weapons like the Quarterstaff could have a much larger Parry window and/or a smaller Late Block, allowing them to get to the Held Guard faster, even though they would suffer the most detriments in the Held mode. Maybe something like the Short Sword could have a really good Held Guard or superior Parry window to make it stand out from its competing 1-point weapons like the Dagger and Cleaver which most people gravitate to since they can spam those things.
Kite Shield with the narrowest Parry and/or the longest Late Block, meaning you need time to get that shield up and commit to a Held Guard, but it would have a much better Guard than weapons or smaller shields (it just can't raise that guard immediately).
Buckler with the widest Parry window, making it easy to Parry and Riposte, but you gotta pay those extra points for it and it would have the worst Held Guard.
The other shields somewhere in the middle between those two.
Again, while I think weapons should NOT have the Held Guard (most of them, a couple could use a held guard as a unique gimmick, like the Quarterstaff), the above could be a way to make Shields less of an annoyance, make each more diverse and give them different benefits with that multi-stage mechanic. If you're going to use a shield, either you time those parries (which would either be better or worse than using a weapon to parry) right just like everyone else, or you come into the fight with the shield already up.
Average Mordhau Matrixing:
Nearly every one of those clips has Lux evading one or more attacks with just enough minimal movement and camera turning. Nothing erratic nor exaggerated just to limbo out of the way of a sword. No wild camerawork or baton twirling during drags.
For reference, there are effectively three states in a multiplayer shooter (or in Mordhau) that differ depending on perspective.
Nearly all modern FPS games nowadays use a form of client-side synchronization where one's perspective of the characters in the world is per-client and cross-checked by the server saving snapshots of the game world for the past half second or so in order to account for ping differences - you see everybody where they were a fraction of a second in the past, as does everyone else see you and others as they were a moment in the past based on ping. With the client-server synchronization, you hit what you see, and the victim of your attack is eventually given the indicator that they are hit.
Different games since the mid 2000s have been using a form of this. Some give it a nickname like Overwatch referring to it as "Favor the Shooter".
I prefer to define it as "per-client rollback." This system results in the most absolute accurate model for "you can shoot at what you are seeing". It ends up being the overall most fair for people regardless of their ping, even if you get the occasional "but I got behind cover" complaint due to the delay in taking damage and that aforementioned rollback that gets you killed even after you already round a corner (truth is, you were hit before you got there, there is nothing to complain about).
Based on my testing in semi-controlled environments and live battles, deliberately joining servers with varying levels of ping and testing against others with low and high pings both ways...
Mordhau's synchronization is definitely not the above.
Such a rollback system would be absolute hell for swordplay, utterly unfeasible. It isn't the same sort of environment as a fighting game with GGPO Rollback (which rolls both players back on any detected desync).
Instead, its synchronization is limited to attacks coming at you. Nothing else, if even that. Even in syncing that up, it can only at best meet you halfway.†
The enemy's position is NOT where you see it and your attacks are not synchronized to where the server dictates where everyone is.
What this means is...
When you see a guy moving towards you, he is closer than he appears.
When he is running away from you, he is further than he appears. He started moving a fraction of a second before the server is able to tell you where he is "now".
This is why it often seems like enemies can hit you from two meters away while your weapons could be whiffing even when you are colliding with his "bubble" in face-hugging range and he is backpedaling (the shortest weapons in the game really getting the shaft). This is in flux based on your pings.
When you swing at a guy, you actually want to aim where he will be a moment in your future because that is where he actually is according to the server. If your ping is poor enough, you can easily observe your weapon stab/overhead pass right through somebody strafing around you.
Why are horses such a problem? Why does it seem that they bump into you or you get lanced before your billhook can reach them? Because they can hit you while they still look like they're several meters away due to their speed. Aim slightly ahead of them, you may more reliably hit something.
Mordhau's color-coded Ping values are very on point with conveying the experience you should expect.
If you're playing with above 70 ping and it starts turning yellow, you are nearing the point where the game's mechanics lose coherence. Don't even try playing with the more nuanced swordplay mechanics seriously, just go nuts.
Above 120 where it is a deep red? The game hits a point of being fundamentally unplayable unless you are precognitive and your opponents stand still.
Do everything you can to only play on servers with 50 ping or less. This game's limited form of synchronization for melee tracers does not have a means to compensate high ping players in engaging others.
I am uncertain if projectiles like arrows do still have the traditional benefit of standard client-server synchronization as projectile Objects can continue to exist in the rollback design independent of melee tracers. Lead them just right and you'll be on target.
†The synchronization, if there truly is any, is one where you can sort of split the difference. You only need to account for your own latency in regards to reacting to and parrying attacks.
If you and your opponent have 50 ping, you only need to consider a 50 millisecond delay in your reaction to the attack.
If you have 50 and he has 120, you still only need consider 50 ping for your properly timed parry/chamber.
If you have 120... you have to parry that swing you see coming at you at least 0.12 seconds in advance or else it will go through and hit you.
Meanwhile observed player position in the world is still a sum of both players' pings.
If you play Spear, Short spear+shield or Rapier, you have no soul.
If you play Spear, Short spear+shield or Rapier, you have no soul.
I have never used a Rapier nor Shield (except the Buckler) in my life. The Bastard Sword is superior.
I have reduced my arsenal to Poleaxe, Battle Axe, Estoc, Billhook and Halberd depending on the mode/map.
Poleaxe is my well rounded pick that works anywhere and leaves a lot of points for whatever I want.
Battle Axe is paired with my Medic Loadout, sometimes the best treatment is to amputate the leg.
Estoc on a lightly armored guy, stabbing and mordhau strikes ideal to hold down narrow passages.
Billhook to reel in knaves with those pulling strikes so my teammates can surround him. And horses.
Halberd to for open maps in Frontline to make big wide swings when no allies are around.
The major problems of Frontline are linearity and congestion.
These current maps in their linear configuration were not even close to being made for 64 players, not even 48 players. Play Frontline on 24-32 player servers (as if there are any of those) and the quality of the experience shoots up dramatically. It is the sweet spot, more is a mess and fewer is troublesome to deal with in other ways.
Even with a preferable lower player capacity for the current maps, a single point being the objective at any given time means that (besides the handful riding horses, using catapults or playing lutes) absolutely everyone would be cramming themselves into a tiny radius on the map. There are no alternate paths, no side objectives, little to no incentive to defend a position from attack; just charge the next point and kill anything along the way.
A linear series of control points leads to a rapidly reduced, monotonous experience that quickly ends in ruinous disinterest like... Overwatch. Horrifying. However, that game is only a dozen people on rather constrained maps. Mordhau's maps do have the scale to accommodate 64 people at once as Battle Royale works just fine, but Frontline is not designed for 64 people.
I'd hope for the centermost control points of each Frontline map to be split in two, or even three.
Unreal Tournament 2004 Onslaught Mode as the visual example, the map Arctic Stronghold with its two possible node link configurations:
In most UT Onslaught maps, there are almost always two ways your team can advance from a node, with an occasional chokepoint node. By dividing the possible routes to advance, the strategic options expand exponentially. Most of all, the players get to spread out and use the whole of the map to its fullest. A group defending one route while the rest of your team comes at them from the other is so simple in concept but is extremely dynamic in practice.
Some may say "But that would be too complex! Most players are dumb as rocks! One team will just end up getting swarmed by a deathball if they actually try to split up!"
Wasn't a problem twenty years ago. Still not actually a problem now. Give those rocks some credit. Multiplayer FPS Games have always been one of a select few heroes carrying the team and those rocks at least being useful obstructions, however minor. The linearity is actually a far more damning force multiplier, because said heroes will then be at the front of every fight and therefore will win all of them. The linearity causes dramatic snowballing with little chance for a comeback, or a stalemate between two particular points just because of their layout preventing two relatively equal teams from gaining ground.
Most of the maps have a lot of unused open space for pairs or a trio of control points.
Grad has the entire underground (an amazing area) that goes overlooked outside of the Warden roaming one of the halls, and much of the forest beyond the farm doesn't really see much action. The right UT2K4 map above may be the preferable layout - the Stables in the center remains the chokepoint, while the splits then go to the Smithy/Underground and the Forest/Farm.
Taiga similarly could use something the likes of the right image. The camp remaining its contentious centerpoint while the two intermediate points get split into pairs.
Crossroads of course, the King of the Hill concept is novel, but it (and the horses) for the most part makes much of the ruined keep just some practically empty terrain to cross to get to the middle tower (or the cannons). If it were instead a three-point "Domination" map, with three points just inside the keep to fight over the likes of the UT2K4 map on the left, the scenario would change constantly, with the rapidly fluctuating tactical decisions to hold specific 2/3 points or take them all.
There is much of Camp in Frontline that goes unused due to the layout of points. Both camps are not really invaded by the enemy team, just going through the front door to complete the tent burning / cart escort objective. These areas could use more action. Similarly, one whole half of the center field is largely ignored.
Mountain Peak's valley is really barren, yet is where all the points are at. Those two elevations on both sides are prime material for points of interest, especially with its high-altitude crosswalks, but they are merely used as occasional alternate routes.
Play me to the front lines, squire.
Custom colors for both team palettes and for alternative blood colors.
Free Guard should bleed blue blood like the posh nobility they are.
And a Green faction that bleeds green blood so it looks like you're fighting an army of Predators.
Solutions on teamkilling/damage that retain the threat of team damage while still punishing a problem player can be found in a few other games.
Narrowing it down to two commonly known games, these examples can be the framework for a simple but effective TK punishment system:
In Planetside, a player who causes team damage accumulates Grief points. A small amount of of grief does nothing, an assumed mistaken hit on someone who got in your line of fire. However, upon reaching certain thresholds of Grief, the player is punished in a number of ways from being unable to drive vehicles, to having their weapon damage reduced and eventually being rendered unable to do anything except some support stuff like using the medic tools. The Grief gradually depletes over time, doing so at a faster rate the lower it is, a means of forgiving those accidental nicks while making sure the deliberate team harm and any major screwups are punished with a long timeout.
Call of Duty has less of a punishment system and more of a Friendly Fire alternative for PC servers. COD games have "Reflect" and "Shared" damage in which any team damage bounces back to the would-be TKer or is split between them (whether equally or some uneven split).
Now, unlike the persistent Planetside, a long term Grief value would likely be impossible. Instead it should be instanced to each match, with variables suitable for the 20 minute time frames of each match and the not-uncommon accidental hits due to the point blank nature of the game. The basic gestalt, a player who accrues a certain amount of Team Damage (since the game tracks that and not only teamkills) in a single match is met with a series of punishments:
1 to 249 Team Damage:
250 to 399 Team Damage:
400 Team Damage: Four kills worth of friendly fire in short enough time to counter any degredation.
500 Team Damage: Still somehow attacking friendlies enough to get two more kills worth (due to Shared halving the output).
Something like that could cover the teamkilling by culling friendly fire, as well as preventing any deliberate TKer from also using the VoteKick against others. Vote Kicking on its own would need some other form of limitation to prevent raw abuse of that in case the person joins and just starts Kicks on random people, such as "No player can issue a Vote Kick for the first three minutes of joining the server". Just long enough to make the troublemakers to get tired of waiting and resort to friendly fire, also giving people enough time to see what's actually going on in the server before the votes come out.
My prioritization on armor distribution usually goes down along deprecating the legs first because 90% of players never aim for the legs and you can mostly cover the legs up with Waist accessories to hide just how unarmored they may be:
To go with any sort of expansion of voice commands, I would also highly recommend the adoption of the VGS style of voice command input layouts. Tribes VGS has a long list of commands arrayed into a bunch of relevant subcategories, often with an alphabetical association.
Mordhau's current need to tap C multiple times to cycle to the line I want out of the three jumbled sets of five and access it with number keys is not very favorable. It would be much more orderly and logical to array voice commands into categories and subcategories, with the inputs being set across the letter keys rather than the number row. This could even extend to the long sets of Emotes. VGS ultimately allows the player to keep their fingertips on the core keys and perform the desired command faster, with fewer inputs*, much more efficient to use in the middle of a battle.
*CCC4 to do "Respect"? Four inputs. Could reduce that to three or maybe even two. Given the number of commands currently, Mordhau's commands could be put into a few contextual subcategories, all fitting within the keys WASD. Maybe add on Q and E and R and F, have a concise block of keys on top of where you'd want to keep your fingers in the first place. While it may ever so briefly occupy the movement keys (movement need not be disabled while inputting voice commands), it is better than displacing one or more fingers away from WASD to press C and then a number.
Just an example layout, using some commands from both Tribes and Chivalry to pad it out:
CQ: Quick No
CE: Quick Yes
CC: Quick Help
V: Quick Charge (We already got that one)
CA: Attack Subcategory
CD: Defend Subcategory
CS: Self Subcategory
CW: Wit Subcategory
Ur ancestors lost to fucking emus
Ur ancestors lost to fucking emus
The emus are proud and noble nomadic warriors. Strayans rightfully do not seek reparations from them; they instead built walls to keep the emus out.
I was expecting something equivalent to an Axe + Warhammer + Wooden Mallet fusion.
However it is as though I'm wielding an Alt-Mode Battle Axe with a Blacksmith Hammer taped to it, slowing it down to Maul speeds.
For my Toolbox Loadout, I was already using 3 points to carry one of the two repair hammers alongside a Quarterstaff, Short Sword, Axe, Warhammer, or Arming Sword. When weighing the effectiveness of those pairings against this new Heavy Handaxe, I still see a lot of value in those over carrying just the new Heavy Handaxe.
First impressions makes it seem really strong just because it is so vastly different from all of the other equipment in the 3~ point range. It is an all-in-one versatile tool, that big damage per hit and its long windup puts it into a niche spot just like all of those other aforementioned weapons. Extremely slow swings have great drag potential, but is still so slow that most fast weapons should completely shut it down.
After a few hours of using it, however, I'm gradually leaning back to an Arming Sword + Mallet or Quarterstaff + Hammer. A single versatile tool ultimately has inherit restrictions compared to the flexibility I'd get from spending two specialized tools (because I can drop the weapon for a bigger weapon on the ground and keep the Mallet).
I think it's just right where it is.
Could argue for some superficial tweaks, like making the Axe side slightly weaker against T3 armor, denying it the same potential two hit (body+head) kill that the hammer side has (reduce L3 head damage to 50-to-54 or so). As it is, there is no reason to use the hammer side in combat at all against any enemy armor because the Axe is just as powerful and more.
It's been slightly over one month, and I just remembered this Change Banner button is a thing tucked away in the Player Menu.
The options are... pretty drab. I know the Backers got some really fancy ones, but us lowly Retail Serfs don't have much to work with. In fact, most of them are outright lame. The same thing tiled over four times?
And that Chain2, it is so light that it makes the player name blend into it, hard to read at a glance. It needs some contrast, some pop... Like this:
But that's not the point of this... yet. The Player Banner has the potential for a lot of customization.
To draw a comparison, the decade old Modern Warfare 2 has a more robust "banner" system to give each player their own unique calling card, and their customization was layered into multiple parts.
There are the Title Cards (equivalent to Mordhau's Player Banner)
The Card Emblem (little extra side graphic)
And some accompanying text over the card. The first two of these are the point of interest.
Besides "I want to see more Banners", I would also like to see a literal extra layer to the Player Banner customization options.
It appears that each of Mordhau's Banners are 512x128 pixels, including the 3 pixel wide border around it. With just a few minutes in Photoshop, I'll take that edited chain2 up above and add something on top of it (angled just right so it isn't concealed by the Level diamond on the right of the Banner)...
Claymore cropped right out of the Loadout Menu, pasted on top...
Now everyone you kill knows you're probably a Claymore Main. Maybe another one.
Why not just one fleur-de-lis next to a cartoon depiction of a Bear Trap? Just super quick mock-up examples. You could even use the list of armor Emblems as a start for the Banner Icons, stick your favorite on top of the Banner.
Currently, the fifteen Banners (not including the Backer banners) are unlocked with Player Level. A quaint reward for Progression.
Could do more with that - enough Banners to unlock one at every level or two.
And then Icons unlocked based on performance. Back to MW2, many of those Cards and Icons were unlocked through reaching certain milestones or completing Achievements. Simplest example: Get 1000 Kills with Weapon, get a copper plated Icon. 5000 kills, silver. 10000 Kills, now it's gold. That kind of thing can translate right on over to Mordhau and its arsenal of pointy sticks, quirky ways to kill, objectives to conquer, total kilometers riding a horse, actually got a pommel kill, etc.
A long list of Icons and Banners, from silly ones to serious ones. Plain and bold or stylish and extravagant. Those FPSes love to slip in some 420blazeit reefer references, but who needs weed when the peasants have wheat?
TL;DR Please introduce a lot more Banners, and add an extra layer on top of it to exponentially increase the unique presentations behind each player's name. Don't leave the Player Banners as a seemingly throwaway feature.
Only "buff" I desire is more of the Peasant weapons being throwable. I want a chucked pitchfork sticking out of a knight's head because the lowly farmboy was too afraid to fight with it up close.
Assuming the "Projectile Speed" in each weapon's Advanced Stats is using the Unreal Engine's default scale of 1 Unit = 1 Centimeter, then it would mean that the listed projectile speeds for the Recurve Bow and the Longbow are relatively accurate to real world speeds under ideal conditions.
Recurve Bow's arrow is traveling at 7,450cm/second, or approximately 245~ feet per second.
Longbow traveling at 7,650 cm/sec, or just over 250 feet/sec.
Crossbow's 8,050 being about 265.
You say it is "not realistic" but you would be categorically, absolutely wrong. Recorded arrow speeds across modern and old bows of varying style and size as well as with different materials of arrows put most of them in the 150 to 250 feet/second range. Getting close to 300ft/sec is the physical upper limit for arrows and requires very specific conditions to do so.
The arrows are already traveling at their optimal speed - if you wanted realism, the Longbow with its heavier arrows should be be slower, closer to 200ft/sec, not 250.
Deal with the "reality" of how fast arrows actually move, because this is exactly how fast they would be traveling.
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