This week marks an unexpected, and rather touching, For Honor patch announcement from Ubisoft. Following the E3 expansion reveal, players voiced concern over adding new heroes. For Honor has suffered from balance issues in the past, and has committed most of their 2018 year to reworking heroes. Many key community members expressed worry that new heroes would further trivialize some of the older heroes. In their recent Warrior’s Den stream, they assured the community that they would be committed to balancing all heroes. Ubisoft wants nothing more than for every hero to be as viable as possible, and this patch marks a continuation of that. Balance tweaks, bugfixes and game mechanic rehauls are some of the changes players can look forward to. However, the first patch note was straight from the heart.
The dev team is very active in the For Honor community, and one notable Reddit post caught their eye. User Fatmooch69 made a heartfelt thread which marked his one-year anniversary playing For Honor. He recalled first purchasing the game and falling in love with it. He retold how, on launch day, he discovered that his good friend for years also played the game, and spoke about how they teamed up. He spoke of how playing together was the most fun the two had ever had, and how the game brought them closer. He played a knight character – Warden – and his friend played Raider.
The user then wrote about the tragic incident of his friend overdosing at a party and later being pronounced dead at the hospital. The two of them had been only two weeks away from graduating high school. As a tribute, he started playing Raider because it felt strange not being at the same level as his own hero. He ended the post by thanking the entire community and team for the great memories.
The devs at For Honor saw this and were apparently touched by the post. In the recent patch notes, Ubisoft noted the upcoming addition of a new Raider ‘bot’ – AI-driven heroes which are added to matches in case a player drops or wants to hone their skills – to the game. Here was the developer comment:
After reading FatMooch69’s remembrance of his fallen comrade our dev team quickly got behind the idea of immortalizing ‘B’ in the game as a bot. After reaching out for more specifics on the real ‘B’, we named the Bot ‘TheeLizardWizard’ in honor of B’s preferred nickname, and made him a Raider, as he was B’s main. So if you see “TheeLizardWizard” charging at you in the heat of battle, pay him tribute by giving him a good fight!
This tribute has since been received extremely positively by the community. Community-developer interaction is frequently a concern among gamers, and sometimes it feels like the player base doesn’t get enough attention. Ubisoft reminded their fans that eyes are all on them. It’s also a great indicator of just how vibrant the community is on Reddit and other sites.
This patch has a lot of exciting changes and fixes for the community. The first major change is the increase of Revenge – a mechanic where a hero can gain extra hit points in a situation where they’re being ganged up on – to the tune of nearly double. The devs stated in a comment:
The intention with this increase is to let people survive better when in Revenge. We think that at 120 HP, it should reduce the efficiency of the “death ball behaviour”. We found that top players already had a high survivability when the Revenge Shield was at 70, so we think that at 120 it should have only a minor effect on high-level play, while making Revenge a much more helpful tool in all skill levels.
Another change to be implemented was an increase in time required to revive a teammate. If a Hero is killed without being executed, they can be revived by an ally for a limited amount of time. This previously took three seconds to complete, with this patch increasing that to four. The reasoning for this is as follows:
Currently, we feel it can be too difficult to prevent an opponent from reviving an ally. With this increase, all characters should now have an easier time to do so.
Ubisoft has also made some major changes to dodge mechanics. In For Honor, a popular method of evading your opponent’s attacks is dodging. After a Hero dodges, they take some time to recover, which can lead to an opponent capitalizing and punishing them for it. In the past, the devs felt dodging backwards was a little too overpowered so they increased its recovery time. With the upcoming patch, they’re making dodging sideways require more recovery time as well. In addition, they have removed to the ability to dodge sideways and move backwards simultaneously. Their thoughts:
We’re recently normalized timing and movement for backward dodge. We’re also now standardizing side dodges, allowing us to better predict what moves you can punish on dodge. By removing the backward movement, we remove the case where diagonal side-back dodge would escape even more situations than side dodge or back dodge.
Less major changes include some bugfixes with heroes and some changes to chatting on PC. A mature language filter has now been added, allowing for foul language to be automatically censored. In addition, offensive language will now be tracked and usable in reports players file with the support team. The default chat mode is now set to ‘team’ which allows teammates to automatically communicate with one another without accidentally sharing plans with the enemy. This was a fairly longstanding issue with the community.
The full For Honor patch notes, set to drop June 28, 2018, can be viewed on the official subreddit here.
Programmer. Writer. Digital media specialist. A competitive gamer in the sense that I’m competing with the constant urge to throw the controller across the room.