First things first - love you guys Triternion. Thanks for the update. But I noticed the ranked system tier names and I had to say something...
Do we really want to progress from something like "Diamond 1" to "Diamond 5" and not the other way around?
In most competitive games (League, Overwatch, HOTS, Rainbow Six Siege, etc.) a tier will start with "Tier" 5 and progress up to "Tier" 1, then go to the next tier and so forth. I realize that Dota 2 and CSGO do it the other way around, but this has never made sense. Why would would you want to go from Bronze 2 to Bronze 3? It feels like you're moving from second to third. Number 1 is better than number 5. I can see why one might think a bigger number is better, but if we treat it like a leaderboard, then the lower number should be higher, right?
BTW I realize this is incredibly nitpicky and inane, so it should fit in perfectly here on the forums <3
Don't forget Chamberin' Chad. Underhand swings keep him up at night.
First Impressions from a noob (600 hrs Chiv, 40ish hours Mordy)
TL;DR - Overall, FL is missing the "soul" of TO because it feels like a disconnected, endless slog of a battle that looks awesome on paper and has great cinematic ragdoll-style effects but ultimately feels like TO's sloppy seconds because it doesn't feel like there's any thread of a story running through each area/objective.
FL seems like it's missing the "soul" that TO once had. If we take everyone's favorite Dark Forest as an example, it feels like both teams are going through a sort of story as the match progresses. Sure, the lore is minimal and pushing the cart is simplistic, but little flavor elements and varied objectives like spilling the corpses into the cistern to spread plague or having two people stand on either side of a gate to lower it, combined with the final epic siege of the fort to kill the royal family, all lead to the player feeling like there's kind of a "story" as the game goes on.
Plus, you'll start to recognize the exceptional players on both teams as the match goes on. You might see a guy with a gold helmet 1v3 and go wow, I better steer clear of him. Then you remember his name and he becomes almost like a miniboss as he's defending the royal family. These mini rivalries create sort of a meta story, combined with the lore elements of the objectives, that make each match of TO memorable and enjoyable even if you occasionally die from a catapult or some nonsense firepot.
FL has almost none of this because the objectives themselves (points and carts) don't really do anything significant. Throwing fire onto blue team's camp tents is neat and a nice throwback to chiv, but the explosive carts and holding points feel sort of uninspired. Perhaps part of that is because they they dont change the terrain at all.
Even in a linear TO map like Dark Forest, you'd have plenty of unique areas to fight around during each stage of the objective. The first two sections are simple with small wooden structures and bridges, but thanks to a bit of verticality they remain interesting (think of the second wooden platform layer during the cistern stage (the one with the gate that two people have to stand on each side to lower) and the log bridge at the royal family part). Whereas FL, or at least Camp, is mostly just a big flat battlefield. Kinda boring. And maybe part of that is because it doesn't change. With TO maps, unique and interesting areas might not last more than a few minutes, so if you want to try something unique, you'll only have a few chances to do so. The experience remains novel in the player's mind because it doesn't last very long, so the fights they have there feel like they have a history and not like it's just a big battle where your last fight could've happened in this match, the previous one, or any other random moment of playing FL.
The attackers have a solid goal to push toward and they know they can make reliable progress that won't be reversed, so they can feel happy about their death if they know it helped push the cart just a few more inches. Whereas defenders can feel extra satisfied when they do finish someone off and clear the cart. They know that they just have to last a few more minutes and they'll win, whereas the attackers need to beat them back just far enough to get the next objective and add more time. Those moments are climactic and exciting because there are reasons to try extra hard during those moments.
Overall, FL is missing the "soul" of TO because it feels like a disconnected, endless slog of a battle that looks awesome on paper and has great cinematic ragdoll-style effects but ultimately feels like TO's sloppy seconds because it doesn't feel like there's any thread of a story running through each area/objective.
If you learn to position yourself well in team fights, you can still get lots of kills by striking when your opponent is dealing with someone else. Positioning and footwork is probably the most important skill you'll need besides basic parrying.
Don't fret about incorporating fancy drags and chambers into your play until you've practiced some of these in an empty server. For instance, I spent hours practicing reverse overheads on trees in empty chivalry servers before actually building enough muscle memory to use them on players. Right now I'm doing the same with bots and chambering.
Don't get discouraged. Even with nearly 700 hours in chiv I still get rekt constantly in mordhau. Believe it or not, getting rekt can be valuable. It means there are plenty of things to learn.
This kind of problem (where noobs and scrubs start complaining about the pros stomping them) is best solved through more balanced matchmaking rather than changing the gameplay itself. Imagine if bronze LoL players were matched against diamonds or challenger players in solo queue. They would complain incessantly about more "advanced" mechanics like stutter stepping or using flash to extend the range of certain abilities like Gragas' body slam.
The casuals will never take full advantage of all of a game's complexities. If Mordhau wants to retain a wider audience it will have to find a way to segregate based on skill.
I played through 3 of mirage's beta weekends and had some great times while everything was new and shiny. They even made some great decisions like removing ROH and adding a new mechanic (wall climbing) that added verticality to the fighting.
But, the reasons for their failure stem deeper than that. There were tons of bugs that made the melee combat inconsistent (worse than chiv, which is unacceptable considering they already made that game and should have learned from it).
Worse yet, they had almost no marketing at all and a shaky release date. When the only publicity your game has is a couple of youtube videos with bad like/dislike ratios and a storm of chiv vets asking for chiv 2, you can't just sit back and hope the game is fun enough to build momentum over time. Once again, their lack of communication and microscopic marketing budget sunk them.
Overall, the game was simply not ready for release. Most of us beta testers warned them time and again but it seems they had some critical deadline to meet.
ALL HAIL MORDHAU THE SUCCESSOR
Let's not forget that the maximum FOV may have significant marketing implications.
Imagine a potential customer scrolling through youtube comes across a veteran's montage. He thinks, "oh I've heard of mordhau, let's see what top-level play looks like" and watches a video where a 160 FOV fish-eyed monstrosity tears noobs apart. Then he scrolls down into the youtube comments where people complain that high FOV is required to play at peak competitive effectiveness.
If it doesn't look good to us, it will look like total shit to a new player or potential customer.
Take their firstborn.
I suspect horses will face a serious problem from weapon clipping.
Imagine the following scenario:
A player charges on a horse in a straight line toward a player with a spear. When the two collide, the spear passes through the horse's chest/neck and clips into the rider as well, therefore earning a double hit almost every time.
Even if the horse tramples the spearman immediately after taking the hit, the rider suffers an unrealistic extra hit. In reality, a spear would not usually pass all the way through a horse's chest/neck and into the rider as well - the spearhead would get caught on a bone or on the saddle or it would get twisted by the impact and break off inside the horse.
Solution: rather than try to address clipping animations and game physics, it seems easier to simply reduce damage taken by the rider if the swing has already passed through the horse first.
Hopefully the tutorial will be highly entertaining from the very first moment it starts. One of the biggest impediments to a tutorial system is player impatience and the feeling of being treated like an imbecile.
When I first told two of my friends about chiv and convinced them to get it, I told them to make sure to mess around in the tutorial first so they don't get rekt immediately. One of them listened and I helped teach him about drags and shit as he was playing it, nowadays he still plays with me every now and then. the other started it and quit halfway through, saying it was "obvious shit" and didnt think it was worth his time. He got rekt so often he ragequit and never played again.
Moral of the story: less time explaining what a swing is, more time explaining dragging and chambering
I just mentioned 16 and 32 to show that it can still work with fewer players, of course 64 could be better, the more the merrier.
Angry Shepherd Voice
"I'll cut yer manhood off and feed it to the goats."
"Your mother was a goat and your father smelled of elderberries."
I remember playing a shit ton of Red Dead Redemption multiplayer back in the day and I think their system might work well in Mordhau.
In RDR, you had a server of 16 players max who could either 1) fight NPC gangs for access to special weapons/carriages, 2) kill civilians and cops while accruing a high bounty, or 3) kill other players. Of course, you could officially join another player's group (max size 8) and do all of these things together.
This is how I see a similar system working in Mordhau: take the largest map in the game (ideally a castle with outlying farmhouses) and fill the world with similar things like in RDR. Details below.
Player Limits: Standard 32 players seems fine but it could work with as few as 16. Upon first spawning in the server, the player would have only a basic sword/mace/peasant scythe and no armor. Upon killing enemies/guards and looting their stuff/receiving rewards, the player would keep those items through death. They would respawn close to their place of death or in a safe area in their claimed territory (more below on territory).
Group: you could press tab to view all the players in a server then select an individual and send an invite for them to join your group. Max players is half the server's total allottment of players. If they say yes, they will gain your armor/house colors and insignia. All NPCs will react to all individuals of the group in the same way.
Territory: Imagine the main castle of the map and an objective point in the top tower. When the server first opens, the castle would be empty and only a few hostile guards would patrol it. Whichever player climbs to the top tower/objective point and stands on the objective for a few seconds will then claim it. The castle is now claimed and all guards will be friendly to the player and his allies but will automatically attack other players who enter or get too close. Certain weapons will only be available in the castle (like zweihanders, mauls, horses, etc). Players who own the castle will respawn inside at a spawn somewhat close to the objective (with longer respawn times if invaders are inside the castle).
NPCs: If a player kills a civilian, nearby civilians and soldiers would attack. Occasionally, a band of robbers might attack guards/civilians. The big baddy of those robbers would carry a unique weapon which you could take. You could also approach a dueling ring full of guards and, after beating 3 in duels, they would reward you with 1 or 2 average weapons/armor of your choice.
This system encourages players to socialize and form groups in order to take the castle. It encourages interaction with the surrounding environment as well and could lead to some hype fights where two separate smaller groups attack the castle, kill its occupants, then fight each other for the objective, etc.
This seems like a neat idea for helmet customization but it will take away from the existing face customization already possible. If wearing a helmet without a visor meant having an extra vulnerable hitbox on your head, that would sort of reduce the purpose of using a helmet in the first place. Also, anyone who wanted to have full head protection would have to say goodbye to the existing face customization already possible. As far as stamina regen is concerned, it probably wouldn't be worth it to gimp your helmet and give yourself a vulnerability just for a bit of extra stamina. Not only would this be incredibly hard to balance, but it would cut into existing customization options.
If facemasks/helmets that completely cover the face are going to be too good to pass up, then what is the point of having character face customization at all (except for the times you wanna mess around without a helmet)? It may not be realistic, but it's better for customization's sake that the presence or absence of facemasks has no effect on gameplay.
I agree, shorter is better. I don't mind the length of Overwatch's comp games but I definitely don't want to see 30-45 minute games like in LoL. With shorter games, even when you get trolls or afks or feeders you won't be stuck with them for as long.
i'm just hyped to swing a peasant scythe around
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