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Call to arms! For Honor!

Open Beta Feb 9th to 12th

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#1
Ralek

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(Note: This is a pretty long post and it took me a while to write it and look up the illustrative videos so please set aside some time to read it through when you can. If you don't have much time to read it in the foreseeable future, at least read the last colored paragraph on the second post. It's a shameful personal plea.)

 

Last weekend I had the chance to test out For Honor in the closed beta. I’d loosely followed the game for a while so I had an idea of what I thought it was about – kind of a Dynasty Warriors meets Chivalry: Medieval Warfare.
I played for about 3 hours on Thursday and my preconceptions of what it was about were wrong. It played more like a 3rd person 3D melee fighting game as if Street Fighter and Dark Souls had a baby. I had a lot of fun in that gaming session, tried out a few characters and game modes but overall I wasn’t really impressed – it stroke me as the kind of game that’s fun for a while but lacks depth. Technically the game was impressive – great atmosphere, good visuals, good sound and amazing animations. It was a good “lay” but not something I could see myself “getting into a relationship” with.  :P

 

Friday night, as I was checking gaming news, I saw that one of my favorite streamers was streaming For Honor and he was RAVING about the game. I chatted with him for a while and he convinced me to take it for a “second date” and delve a bit deeper into the game mechanics.  Eleven hours later I was exhausted and completely blown away.

There was SO much more to the core combat mechanics than what I had initially experienced – a glorified click the right button at an UI prompt kind of thing. The somewhat intrusive combat UI is nothing more than a tool to help you read the cues from the actual character animations and stances. And once I realized this, fighting became this fluid and effortless endeavor where instead of struggling to make your character do what you want and guess what your opponent is going to do next, you get into “the zone” where it just flows naturally and you can read your opponent from his character animations and let your own character moves flow naturally from one to the next.

For example, if you just swung your big sword from right to left, it will be much quicker to do a follow up left to right if you time the attack at the right time before the move momentum dies down. By the same token, if you just dodged your opponent as he slashed left to right, you know the more imminent and fastest threat you can receive is a follow up coming from the right so you can make your next move accordingly. Given the vast amount of moves and combos available, standard and character specific, the more you play your character and face different characters and players the deeper it gets. The system is so nuanced that for example, the Conqueror, which is a flail and shield bearing knight, that keeps his flail in a slow spin while in combat stance, will fire up an attack faster top to bottom if you start your attack just as the head of the flail is starting to ascend.

 

The combat system is by far the best I have ever experienced in a computer game and as much fun as 1v1 dueling is, the game truly shines in Dominium, which is a 4v4 game mode with a nuanced variation of the classic 3-point capture and hold akin to Global Agenda’s Control mode. Not only do you have to keep focused on the rich combat system, but you add a tactical layer on top, where situational awareness rules supreme – knowing where everyone is, knowing when to push, not getting caught off position, where and when to fight, 1v2 and 1v3 fights and using the environment to your advantage – it’s fucking brilliant!

 

On Sunday, I had the pleasure of grouping up with the aforementioned streamer and two other friends on voice and it was the most fun I’ve had in a really long time on a computer game. As the matchmaking system started to pit us against other pre-made groups, matches were fast and furious and we found ourselves discussing tactics and practicing some techniques for group fighting (the game has “friendly fire” and it’s very easy to get in each other’s way and get an ally killed).

 

And then the beta ended…
I haven’t been this excited about a game since probably the APB beta years ago. All I could think about after the beta end was how to convince you guys to give this game a go (hence this post). Nothing you can read, nor any videos you can watch will give it justice – you have to feel it for yourself…
… And now you can! Game is going to have an open beta from the 9th to the 12th of February (next weekend) before the official release on the 14th. So get your uPlay sorted out and mumble ready and come join in on the fun. Even if you don’t plan on playing, try and drop by mumble during that time. I’ll be on there as much as I possibly can – I miss you guys!

 

Open Beta Trailer:

 

 

An introduction to all the playable characters:

 

 

A first look at the game from someone trying it out for the first time:

 

Due to the matchmaking system most of what you see above is new players taking their first steps into the game. As you get better, you’ll quickly start facing (and be teamed with) better and better players giving the game a nice learning curve.

 

Here’s a more advanced player struggling to defeat an opponent and his thought process as he adapts:

 

Faraaz is a pretty skilled player although he is a purist for the combat system. He hates dominium mode for all the reasons I love it. In 1v1 duels there’s very little pressure to attack – it’s generally much better to wait for your opponent to make a move or feint him to trigger a reaction. In dominium the team that is down in points has a lot of pressure to clear a zone quickly, putting pressure on the players and even if a combat stalemates, it will soon be broken by the arrival of more people. Those long stare contests just don’t happen often – it’s always fast paced and brutal.


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#2
Ralek

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Why I think this game is perfect for us to get playing together again:

 
• Games are quick and matchmaking takes very little time. Even if you just have 30 minutes to play, you can hop on, get grouped up and play 2 or 3 matches and have a fulfilling gaming session.

 
• Groups are small (4 players max) and you don’t need a full group to queue up. There’s no need to wait for people to get on to get a good squad going so that you can actually do some fun stuff.

 
• No set times, split population servers or time windows. You can play and have fun whenever you happen to have the time. No map open and close timers or dead servers off prime time.

 
• There’s no grind. Even though there’s some character progression you have access to everything from the get go and most of the progression is cosmetic (more on this below). The only grind is for your own personal skill level – the more you play, the better you become.

 
• Teamwork and skill > everything else. Groups on comms devastate pubs and group on group fights are insane. Need I say more?

 
• The matchmaking algorithm seems pretty solid and reacts quickly. You won’t be pub stomping for long until the game starts putting you against groups that know what they are doing and you won’t get stomped repeatedly by vastly superior groups.

 

A few notes on character progression:
Although most of the progression is purely for cosmetics, a couple of stuff of stuff isn’t namely feats and gear. The good part is that there’s no way to grind it – you get XP to level up and gear to equip from playing whatever game mode you want to play at the same rate. There’s no need to get 1000 kills with 5 different weapons you don’ really want to use just to unlock the weapon you do want to use or a need to steal 5000 cars to unlock a piece of gear. Both feats and gear apply only to dominium matches – they are automatically disabled in the other games modes (although you can create custom matches to test stuff out where you can for example allow gear in 1v1 to test stuff easily).

 

Feats are special abilities you can set for your character and from the get go you get a full set of them. The feats you unlock as you progress don’t give you more abilities but rather different abilities that you can swap your initial ones out for. They aren’t more powerful, they’re different. For example, a starting Orochi tier 1 feat is a passive that allows him to regenerate health and stamina when he kills another hero and at like level 3 he unlocks a different tier 1 passive that allows him to sprint even when exhausted. You can only have one tier 1 ability equipped so you get to choose which one. You’ll also unlock all feats pretty quickly (last one at level 19 or about 3h of gameplay).
Gear is a little bit more complex but it works on the same principle. Gear affects stats as a tradeoff and the higher level the piece of gear, the more extreme the tradeoff. For example, the blade of your weapon can give you increased attack (you do more damage) but as a tradeoff you’ll have lower defense (you take more damage). A picture is worth a thousand words so:

 
0xVGYer.jpg

 

 

Finally, I would like to end up on a more personal note with a plea. Things have been pretty rough for me for the past year and a half or so. As of late, I’m barely making ends meet and I have zero disposable income. The game is AAA title and priced as such at €60 which is almost double my weekly budget for ALL my expenses. I really can’t afford it but I really want to play it. More so, I really want to play it with you guys. So I have setup an easy to use donation page through PayPal. If you can spare even the price of a cup of coffee it would go a long way towards making it happen and I’d be eternally grateful.

 

Coolman/Terafir - That was freaking unbelievably generous of you. I hope I have a chance to repay it somehow.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read through this - I hope you at least enjoyed it.

 

Cheers,

 

R


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#3
Ralek

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Preload for the open beta is up. Just start up uPlay and click the big For Honor Open Beta banner on the main news page.

 

Feel free to add me on uPlay as well: Ralek


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#4
Terafir

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You're welcome. Raiste got me Overwatch a while back, so I'm happy to pass the assistance around.



#5
VDX

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Get in your LARPing mood, we're going to make HAYABUSA great again.

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#6
Jubei

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ok this game does look pretty cool!


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#7
Ralek

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With open beta about 15h from starting a few starting tips:

 

  • Right after the intro cinematic you'll be prompted to select a faction. This has no impact whatsoever on gameplay other than faction war - select the one that appeals to you. You'll still be able to play with whatever heroes you want and fight alongside people who have selected different factions. For live it would be cool if we could all go the same faction so we can have a bigger impact on faction war but that's a different story.
  • You'll be given a shit ton of steel (the ingame currency) for completing the Practice and Advanced Practice tutorials of the How to play section. Don't go off spending it like it's easy to come by. Those are one-off rewards and steel trickles in slowly through gameplay. Off special note, make sure you have 2000 to buy Champion status - it is very much worth it in the beggining.
  • You don't need to recruit heroes to play with them. Recruiting a hero, which costs steel, is only needed to be able to customize it (both looks and gear) so feel free to try out different heroes but don't recruit them unless you see yourself playing it.

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