But today's mentality is that ranked = competitve / play properly, non-ranked = trolling allowed. Don't get me wrong, I don't like that mentality but I've seen it in plenty of games.
League of Legends is the perfect example. You either play casual where your team mates will troll, feed and reply with "iTs NoRmAl GaM sO ItS Ok", or you play ranked with all the toxic idiots. I ended up playing ranked because that's the only place people try to actually play the game and you can mute chat anyways.
I wish people would try to win and try their best (in a good way, as in being competitive, not being a toxic immature cunt) without ranked, but they won't.
While I hate the shield users as much as the next guy in Frontline, I'm not sure how I feel about the current state of the kick against shields.
When I see a shield guy alone I know it's a free kill. All I have to do is kick into an attack, repeat, and repeat in case he's not dead. Lone shields became extremely weak, but they weren't that impressive to begin with. The annoying things about shields remained though. I'm thinking about the fact that the shield seem to cover a huge area on the side of the user, even beyond the model of the shield. Flanking and hitting from the side never seem to work unless you're sitting literally behind him.
Currently shields can prove useful in a group, they prevent wide 2 handed swings from cleaving the entire group, while being relatively safe from kick spam. They're weak in a 1v1 situation, but they can simply put the shield away and duel without it.
Buffing archers is the last thing this game needs.
Play as a melee when the enemy team has a few competent archers and you'll understand. You'll get hit constantly, even if you try to move around. It's not like you can afford to always pay attention to archers sitting in the back, the melees in front of you are a more immediate threat. Getting hit by a arrow mid fight is also a death sentence, since you can now be OS'ed by a body shot from most weapon.
Melees are a non-threat to archers, so the only threat to archers is enemies archers and horses. Now you want to nerf horses against archers so they also become a non-threat. That leaves only enemy archers to fight archers. I don't see how that's healthy for the game.
Horses are the only way to reach the back line, they should remain a threat to the back line.
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