Feedback Thread: Saber Open Beta - May 4th 2023

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After having had a chat with Tempest re Blue, it may be better to lean away from a perk that requires nothing other than PBing, and more towards making use of regular hits (agree with Duck re incentivising an active role), with greater importance placed on the BP regen perk instead, i.e. scoring bodyhits with Blue to reduce your opponent's BP regen. Fits the theme of Soresu - outlasting one's opponent and 'keeping up constant blade movement' (Wookieepedia on Soresu) - and doesn't simply promote backpeddle PB.

You could also tie the BP regen perk to PBing, but perhaps the former option is better as it requires the user to be active (I know the goal is to move away from boons promoting passive play).
blue delaying your bp regen is the most aids thing about these tests in my opinion, if you dont enjoy playing blue then you dont even recognize every time that you've been hit and that you're getting your life drain gang'd while they turtle away with seemingly many less swings than you are using
 

agentoo8

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blue delaying your bp regen is the most aids thing about these tests in my opinion, if you dont enjoy playing blue then you dont even recognize every time that you've been hit and that you're getting your life drain gang'd while they turtle away with seemingly many less swings than you are using
It probably feels a bit overkill in addition with the current PB perk, which is why it would be worth experimenting without the PB perk: the bodyhit perk at least requires the user to be active, securing successive bodyhits, while the PB perk just promotes passive play.
 

SeV

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After having had a chat with Tempest re Blue, it may be better to lean away from a perk that requires nothing other than PBing, and more towards making use of regular hits (agree with Duck re incentivising an active role), with greater importance placed on the BP regen perk instead, i.e. scoring bodyhits with Blue to reduce your opponent's BP regen. Fits the theme of Soresu - outlasting one's opponent and 'keeping up constant blade movement' (Wookieepedia on Soresu) - and doesn't simply promote backpeddle PB.

You could also tie the BP regen perk to PBing, but perhaps the former option is better as it requires the user to be active (I know the goal is to move away from boons promoting passive play).
Remove mblock cd for blue style, tie the bp drain on pb perk to mblocks and the bp regen perk to mblock counters and adjust their power accordingly to account for the decreased frequency, and you've increased the skill ceiling for the style and also fully switched the boons to be "active" instead of "passive."

Having said that, I do not agree with the premise that the pb perk is an issue, because passive play will just get you out-ACM'd and killed so this backpedal thing people are worried about is a nonsense in practical duels. Most people who have trouble overcoming pb related perks are those who fail to attack properly. This was also the case in 1.4, where mid-tiers did not take advantage of nudge properly to bypass yellow's pb perk and so kept claiming that it was OP: this complaint is largely a skill issue, but I do not mind switching the perks to a more active style if needed.
 

agentoo8

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Remove mblock cd for blue style, tie the bp drain on pb perk to mblocks and the bp regen perk to mblock counters and adjust their power accordingly to account for the decreased frequency, and you've increased the skill ceiling for the style and also fully switched the boons to be "active" instead of "passive."

Having said that, I do not agree with the premise that the pb perk is an issue, because passive play will just get you out-ACM'd and killed so this backpedal thing people are worried about is a nonsense in practical duels. Most people who have trouble overcoming pb related perks are those who fail to attack properly. This was also the case in 1.4, where mid-tiers did not take advantage of nudge properly to bypass yellow's pb perk and so kept claiming that it was OP: this complaint is largely a skill issue, but I do not mind switching the perks to a more active style if needed.
Those proposed changes could work, too (more skill involved in capitalising on the perks if its MB-based), provided blue's offense is tied more into reactive/prolonged play as opposed to on-demand; even now, blue's offense seems decent enough, made even moreso with the perks - duels being over quickly even when using a defensive style is testament to that (but this is also an issue across the board tbh).
 

Starushka

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Hello!
Glad to see you guys still around and hope you all are healthy and doing well in real life!
I am not playing that much these days, mostly 1-5 matches in half of the year and then quit. I am not going to pretend to be an expert in dueling.

And i am not going to talk about the saber system. I want to talk about the organization of the development process of the saber system.
One of my professional competencies in real life is project development, organization, control and bring the project to completion, step by step, from start to finish. With 500+ employees on board, organizing the work and interaction between many departments.

The saber system is the most controversial topic, causing great resonance. Lots of opinions. Every person knows what REALLY needs to be done. A lot of subjectivity. Many iterations have been tried. Many changes were made and then rolled back.

From my point of view, the project lacks structure. You have jumped over a key process and started development. The key and very first process in the project is design - What is the end goal? What do you want to achieve? We must answer these questions. Next, start creating a design document. Approve the design document. Structured, clearly answering all questions.
For example: We want diversity in play styles. What will we do for this? Which way will we go and why? Arguing each of his visions of the system and operating with concrete facts.

Do you have the design document of the new saber system?
What is the reason of these changes you've made? The end goal of these changes?
I am afraid without proper design we will move in the same vicious circle.

Next step, for transparency, would be - making design document public, with proper detailed explanation of each change and goal.
At this stage, we receive feedback from the community. Constructive dialogue with the community. Finalizing the design document, based on constructed feedback. And only then start the development, strictly adhering to design document.


This is just my humble subjective opinion, it is not necessary to listen to it!
But still, I hope this information was at least partially useful to someone!
I really love The Movie Battles project, glad i've been a part of it!



I wish you all good luck and success in everything!
 

Defiant

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From my point of view, the project lacks structure. You have jumped over a key process and started development. The key and very first process in the project is design - What is the end goal? What do you want to achieve? We must answer these questions. Next, start creating a design document. Approve the design document. Structured, clearly answering all questions.
For example: We want diversity in play styles. What will we do for this? Which way will we go and why? Arguing each of his visions of the system and operating with concrete facts.

Do you have the design document of the new saber system?
What is the reason of these changes you've made? The end goal of these changes?
I am afraid without proper design we will move in the same vicious circle.

This continues to be my concern. I have been pushing for years to get just a statement of design principals - and I still havent got it. As this has been under work for quite some time I think extensive feedback is the way to go, but any future changes are going to need to be better thought out - more proactive and less reactive.

I think it is also more difficult to filter this feedback into actionable changes when there is no well defined answer to the question of what we want the saber system to be like - but this is more of an internal conversation to be having. Good feedback and lots of play testing is what we need right now.
 

SeV

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Great to see Starushka is still alive. I generally agree with his feedback, but tempests saber changes have been underway for over six years now so -- it's too late to start from scratch.
I still think it would be very useful to craft a list of desirable characteristics in the saber system, and for tempest to elaborate on the reasons behind his changes and his system in general, e.g., justifying why he has made ACM into a convoluted fractional mess. If people know the purpose behind a change, they are less likely to give strange and unusable feedback.

So let me start on the list of desirable features to have in the saber system.

1. Reliable counter-attacking.
2. Dynamic and diverse playstyles.
3. Timing (tempest is obsessed with this word, but does not define it well; he should elaborate here why he is so obsessed with it).
4. Meaningful special attacks that aren't gamebreaking or buggy.
5. Potential for very fast kills, in order to be open-mode friendly.
6. Very high skill-ceiling without making the skill-floor too high for beginners.

Elaboration:

1. I want to make it impossible for people to counter off of getting bodyhit, but make it reliable and certain to counter off of perfect blocks/mblocks.

Having the ability to counter-attack reliably is extremely important for the system to feel dynamic and interesting, because if this ability does not exist, everyone must wait their turn, and dueling becomes a boring, turn-based combo/yaw/pb contest, and not a dynamic, fluid, back-and-forth engagement.

2. Dynamic implies movement, adaptability, changing mid-duel to suit the circumstances. The easiest way to make a system dynamic is to encourage interplay between lightsaber styles. A good example of this in 1.9.3.1 is using red and blue style together. Diverse playstyles means that rather than there being one single meta way to play, there would be several viable ways to play the game. This is also most easily achieved by making each lightsaber style distinct, but it should also be possible to just use a single style and play it differently, e.g., acrobatic red style vs counter-heavy, feinting red.

3. Timing. I don't know what exactly tempest wants out of it other than making sure interrupts matter. I'd like to ask him to clarify why he has fiddled with parry timings, because his changes in this regard have just made the game worse imo. We should find a good reason for why the parry changes exist. I'm talking about the parry window itself, and not the 0 BP parry fix, which is very good.

5. One of the big problems with 1.4 was that it was narrowmindedly created for competitive dueling, and dealing damage was largely dependant on slowly building up ACM to not have noodle-attacks. For many years now, I've advocated and reminded everyone about the importance of designing the system so that someone who is drastically better than another, can quite easily and quickly destroy him. This is important for open mode, but it's also important that when two very skilled duelists engage, they can have a long and meaningful duel and not get done in by a single mistake.

For the above reason, I am against nerfing disarms in any way. You should be able to mblock people for quick kills in open mode, as that is one of the main ways to win a 1vX.

6. High skill-ceiling, but a reasonable skill-floor.

For many years, I've watched certain dueling tricks and small high-level details get erased with every sabering patch. Sometimes, another trick or detail takes its place, but often times it does not. Streamlining dueling by removing all of these details is not good, because when you reach the highest levels, you can only look for these small details to improve your game.

As for the reasonable skill floor, it just means to have a well-defined core of PB'ing, attacking and countering. 1. on my list will help immensely here because it makes a clear distinction between bodyhits and PBs.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That's it for now. If you can think of something else to put on the list defining what a desirable dueling system is, please add your feedback along with the reasoning behind it, like I have done. I think we can avoid a lot of nonsensical feedback if we have more clear explanations for why X or Y mechanic was introduced or removed.
 
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For all the people wanting to play live, go ahead xoxo
- I don't care much to give feedback anymore, but I will say from the limited duels I have had (yellow v yellow) I would agree with Sekundus, and most of my brother's points. Reduce damage and acm ramp up, and tweak from there. It's time to just go with something, otherwise you'll end up doing what has been done for idk how many years. Just tweaking some build endlessly.
 

Duckshark

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3. Timing. I don't know what exactly tempest wants out of it other than making sure interrupts matter. I'd like to ask him to clarify why he has fiddled with parry timings, because his changes in this regard have just made the game worse imo. We should find a good reason for why the parry changes exist. I'm talking about the parry window itself, and not the 0 BP parry fix, which is very good.
What happens in 1.9 is that you can try to swing after someone whiffs a swing and because their swing is still playing, you will parry them instead of hitting after they've missed. The parry window being too wide is one of the things artificially inflating survivability and the skill ceiling, since it allows you to reduce the damage of certain attacks despite the enemy taking advantage of certain timings.

Obviously it could get cleaned up more, since a shorter parry window means more chance of interrupts and a reduced number of "safe" swing timings, but the intent of the change is sound.
 
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That's it for now. If you can think of something else to put on the list defining what a desirable dueling system is, please add your feedback along with the reasoning behind it, like I have done. I think we can avoid a lot of nonsensical feedback if we have more clear explanations for why X or Y mechanic was introduced or removed.
Design Principles for Dueling

Clear and consistent mechanics
that have their potency based on the effort required to perform said mechanics under the various conditions or states of play that arise in mb2.
Any deviation from a neutral baseline of effort to performance will again have clear and consistent advantages and disadvantages, to be discussed.
The aim of a potential Saber beta is to bring the live patch of dueling more aligned with the above stated design principles, with an emphasis on the mechanics of dueling and swing to swing interaction, and less of a focus on numerical modifications (e.g., damage values, defense values).
Below is a list of mechanics problems that to me are not in agreeance with the above design principles and aim.

Slap knock back/punishment window:

A problem that I haven't seen talked about at all, is a common occurring situation in which one player whiffs their slap and makes their Opponent get pushed back a considerable distance or up in the air. This causes the opponent's swing punishment to whiff in the air or be out of range entirely.
The person whiffing the slap may also have time to start their own swing and hit the Opponent even after clearly making a mistake. The reverse is also true to an extent, e.g., slapping an opponent whilst they are running, causing them to get launched to a distance that does not equate to a full ground punish.
The instant A halfswing swing for yellow in Beta solves this issue for nearly all cases, however, as I'll point out later, it's more of a band-aid solution.

Proposed solution: increase recovery for slap slightly and add a small timer after the slap animation is over in which the player cannot swing.

Counter swings:

Currently in live, countering mid combo is entirely dependent on the swing used and distance, assuming the Opponent is performing the fastest possible combo. Right now, countering has no relation to PB.
The problem is that there are too many states in which the player is able to attack out of freely with minimal effort or actions that readily turn the momentum of the duel around, counter swinging with no PB being one of them.

Proposed solution: counter swings should only be available with pbing and will be consistent at point blank range vs combos.

Yes, this change will be annoying, even to high level players but it forces more conscious effort towards mechanics and rewards good offense.
If someone's masks/mix-ups are good, you will have to be proactive in taking measures to mitigate said interaction, instead of tanking exchanges or defaulting to pressing.

Side note: Currently in live, you could slow yaw to interrupt a counter swing. The problem is countering is still available whilst being interrupted and removing this is a good change. More to be discussed on interrupts later.

Combos:

Should not have startup period, any style that has these in the beta just feels awful and these combos gets shut down by counterswings, leading to messy timing situations.

Halfswings and neutral swings:

Currently in live for the yellow mirror, it's possible to do a neutral swing in between yellow's fastest halfswing chain D -> D side. The problem is that it is possible to do this on reaction, generally most people can be conditioned not to press and expect a combo instead of a halfswing,
but for players privy to this, it presents an opportunity to consistently out time and shutdown their opponent.
Yes, slap can be used to counter this, but the timing is variable, and, in my view, there should exist a swing-to-swing interaction which counters this.
The A halfswing does this perfectly, however it does it TOO perfectly and leads to the A halfswing being the default swing in any halfswing/parry state, where there is even a hint the opponent will press.
Hence, the player does not need to proactively condition their opponent once properties of the A halfswing are acknowledged.
The A half swing from a parry scenario also enforces that both players must use it to out time their Opponent and in a sense, it can be a cover for frankly shit swing selection and timing.

Proposed solution: Keep the A halfswing but only allow it from D->A, now the A half swing can only occur from one swing and will require active conditioning.

Side note: Not having full PB in returns means players can on reaction neutral between halfswing attempts and get free hits on top of shifting momentum.

TL;DR (keep A halfswing but make it limited coming from one swing, so it isn't the default option).

ACM:

To my understanding the purpose of ACM is to punish passive play and aid or build momentum in a duel. However, I find no such cases where this is applicable. If passive play is to be understood as not swinging and blocking for extended periods of time and not willing to engage, then ACM is not required. The Opponent should be able to enforce their will on the passive player utilising mix-ups/masks etc, and failure to do so is an evident lack of offense. This leads onto the second point of ACM aiding in momentum, again the use of an arbitrary modifier is not required, good offense will consist of capitalising on direct hits with continual pressure or baits and excellent swing selection. You also do not see the mechanic working in a swing-to-swing fashion, hence unclear.

Proposed solution: Get rid of ACM

TL;DR (ACM is not needed when adequate offensive skills are present).

Specials:

Should not be able to be inputted as a continuation of a combo or counter swing, given that specials have zero start up time and have priority over every other swing.
A common example of this, is duallies D side into Stab. Luckily the counter situation does not occur too often as most players are not privy to it.
I'm not going to talk about potential special changes as I just simply couldn't care less; they are not and should not be the focal point of dueling, in my opinion.

Proposed solution: Get rid of insta specials/the ability to be inputted as a combo or counter swing.

Perfect Blocking and Player Movement:

The nature of mb2 allows a great deal of freedom of movement with little debuffs applied to movement while in various states.
Due to this, it is a common occurrence that swings may need to be re-aimed in order to hit/reach a moving opponent.
Because of the little impedance of this dynamic nature (e.g no slowdowns when being hit etc) being able to make up for this lack of impedance in the form of PBs seems reasonable.
It requires a due amount of skill and still allows the opponent the ability to punish whiffs.

In regard to swing-to-swing interactions, being able to test what your opponent will do from being hit with some measure of safety (a "poke", if you will) is a vital tool in assessing someone's capabilities and tendencies.
Being able to PB in returns allows for this slight safety net if someone has good mechanical skill (again, PBing their return is NOT guaranteed).
PB in returns allow for a set of plays that mitigate damage, collect information and bait opponent responses.
Example: CS/counterswing into a combo, stop, PB, CS again, mitigate damage while blending PBs and parries while baiting slaps from continued comboing.

Not being able to do the aforementioned forces trades and damage, where running out of the combo or slapping is the only viable option.
The only case where I could possibly see PB in returns not being allowed is from PB CS as a punish and that is only due to the movement in mb2 creating instances where it is easier to pb the punish, if in close distance this does not apply.

Proposed solution: Keep PB on returns.

TL;DR (PB in returns is a requirement to defend against non-proactive actions and the freedom of movement that exists in dueling, e.g. running, jumping etc).


Interrupts:

The first question for interrupts should be "what do they entail and how is the momentum of the duel changed when they occur?"
Currently in live, after interrupting your opponent, your best option is to either combo to parry a potential counterswing and to not allow the opponent to neutral swing or prepare to PB in return against a potential counter.

Obviously, this scenario is flawed and has been addressed but my question is, after getting interrupted, should the opponent have priority to attack from neutral, or should the player be able to frame trap the opponent again and again?
(Which is the case in the yellow mirror on beta, interrupt -> A halfswing -> A halfswing etc). So overall, should the player get increased damage and slow the opponent's momentum down, or completely shift the momentum in their favour?

TL;DR: Should interrupts slow the opponent's momentum or switch it over entirely?

Style Changes:

I think style specific changes are the least objective in what is the goal of the style, minus effort to effectiveness, however I will provide some brief ideas for non-yellow styles below.

Blue: styles that have fast timings overall should have their defense gutted in my opinion and require the player to PB well up close. I don't like that blue lost it’s 50/50, when it makes contact with you, it's a guess between a combo and halfswing as you cannot counterswing or neutral it mid combo, yes this in conjunction with its fast halfswings, high defense, solid ground punish and distancing tools make it the best style in the game in my opinion and a regular annoyance to those who face it. I would reduce the swing count to two, reduce the halfswing speed(it never was instant btw), and gut the defense. I like the BP regen debuff, but would move it over to another mechanic besides acm. My ideal goal for blue is being a style that enforces 50/50s at close range and attempts to lock down the player with BP debuffs to make up for its poor damage and not holding the s key down like a nymph.

Cyan: Gut the defense, reduce swing count to 3, emphasis on using fast neutrals to out time the opponent and PBing gaps in defense.

Duels: Medium-Poor defense, I like the non-last halfswing/counterswing resetting the swing count, and I think this style could work well as a defensive style with some limited halfswing mixups, but this would require PB in returns to do things like PB CS stop PB CS stop etc.

Staff: what makes staff strong in live is the fast counterswing/halfswing WA/A/WD while having yellows fastest halfswing transition D->D on all swings -> WA/A/WD, with the ability to still do decent damage with combos if need be, it doesn't have as much of a reliance on halfswinging as blue does to deal damage. In beta staff requires great attention to detail in what you input, using combos that are low -> high results in slow combos and halfswings of the opposite side resulting in non-useful spins. I don't have a clear goal for staff, except the style not having an arbitrary high defense, but I would assume making the style more palatable would come from tweaking the above details.

Purple: again no real clear goal here.

Red: Increase defense, decrease damage, focus on heavy counters. I don't think you should be able to run up to someone's face and start a half swing with minimal effort even for reduced damage, i.e. nudge. I had an idea for red neutral swings that would allow the canceling of the swing into a faster mixup on the opposite side, but how this would work and look in mb2 is questionable at best.


Miscellaneous:

Hitboxes
in live, while being slightly extended, feel good on hit. This feeling is what should be preserved. While whatever new concoction of hitboxes may be more accurate, they feel as though the saber is hitting deeper into the model and for me ruins the feel of yaws.

Staggers on other slaps, just remove them, there should be no button that gives you priority.

Numbers for damage, good for testing, should be for demos only or some server command, takes skill away from judging BP level.

Mblocks should allow for disarms, not sure how well the fail punish works, you could be pressing in keys to counter etc and take dmg, I would move the failed dmg to non-PB instead of timing to alleviate this issue or just make mb require BP like the old patches.

TL;DR: Remove slap knock back, remove non-PB counter swings, yellow A halfswing limited to coming from one swing being D, remove specials being used as an extension of a combo or counter input, remove acm, keep PB in returns, refer to interrupt section for answers to possible questions).
 
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While there are always a few tweaks and things to debate.

I want to thanks the contributors who spend a long time writing these. And especially Snowblind whom has shown a great efficiency in making an appealing post, while also having a great content to it. I support what you say, and I thanks you for doing what some of us would like to be able to do, if language barrier wasn't such a problem.

Thanks also to SeV for contributing as much, of course!
 
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Design Principles for Dueling

Clear and consistent mechanics
that have their potency based on the effort required to perform said mechanics under the various conditions or states of play that arise in mb2.
Any deviation from a neutral baseline of effort to performance will again have clear and consistent advantages and disadvantages, to be discussed.
The aim of a potential Saber beta is to bring the live patch of dueling more aligned with the above stated design principles, with an emphasis on the mechanics of dueling and swing to swing interaction, and less of a focus on numerical modifications (e.g., damage values, defense values).
Below is a list of mechanics problems that to me are not in agreeance with the above design principles and aim.

Slap knock back/punishment window:

A problem that I haven't seen talked about at all, is a common occurring situation in which one player whiffs their slap and makes their Opponent get pushed back a considerable distance or up in the air. This causes the opponent's swing punishment to whiff in the air or be out of range entirely.
The person whiffing the slap may also have time to start their own swing and hit the Opponent even after clearly making a mistake. The reverse is also true to an extent, e.g., slapping an opponent whilst they are running, causing them to get launched to a distance that does not equate to a full ground punish.
The instant A halfswing swing for yellow in Beta solves this issue for nearly all cases, however, as I'll point out later, it's more of a band-aid solution.

Proposed solution: increase recovery for slap slightly and add a small timer after the slap animation is over in which the player cannot swing.

Counter swings:

Currently in live, countering mid combo is entirely dependent on the swing used and distance, assuming the Opponent is performing the fastest possible combo. Right now, countering has no relation to PB.
The problem is that there are too many states in which the player is able to attack out of freely with minimal effort or actions that readily turn the momentum of the duel around, counter swinging with no PB being one of them.

Proposed solution: counter swings should only be available with pbing and will be consistent at point blank range vs combos.

Yes, this change will be annoying, even to high level players but it forces more conscious effort towards mechanics and rewards good offense.
If someone's masks/mix-ups are good, you will have to be proactive in taking measures to mitigate said interaction, instead of tanking exchanges or defaulting to pressing.

Side note: Currently in live, you could slow yaw to interrupt a counter swing. The problem is countering is still available whilst being interrupted and removing this is a good change. More to be discussed on interrupts later.

Combos:

Should not have startup period, any style that has these in the beta just feels awful and these combos gets shut down by counterswings, leading to messy timing situations.

Halfswings and neutral swings:

Currently in live for the yellow mirror, it's possible to do a neutral swing in between yellow's fastest halfswing chain D -> D side. The problem is that it is possible to do this on reaction, generally most people can be conditioned not to press and expect a combo instead of a halfswing,
but for players privy to this, it presents an opportunity to consistently out time and shutdown their opponent.
Yes, slap can be used to counter this, but the timing is variable, and, in my view, there should exist a swing-to-swing interaction which counters this.
The A halfswing does this perfectly, however it does it TOO perfectly and leads to the A halfswing being the default swing in any halfswing/parry state, where there is even a hint the opponent will press.
Hence, the player does not need to proactively condition their opponent once properties of the A halfswing are acknowledged.
The A half swing from a parry scenario also enforces that both players must use it to out time their Opponent and in a sense, it can be a cover for frankly shit swing selection and timing.

Proposed solution: Keep the A halfswing but only allow it from D->A, now the A half swing can only occur from one swing and will require active conditioning.

Side note: Not having full PB in returns means players can on reaction neutral between halfswing attempts and get free hits on top of shifting momentum.

TL;DR (keep A halfswing but make it limited coming from one swing, so it isn't the default option).

ACM:

To my understanding the purpose of ACM is to punish passive play and aid or build momentum in a duel. However, I find no such cases where this is applicable. If passive play is to be understood as not swinging and blocking for extended periods of time and not willing to engage, then ACM is not required. The Opponent should be able to enforce their will on the passive player utilising mix-ups/masks etc, and failure to do so is an evident lack of offense. This leads onto the second point of ACM aiding in momentum, again the use of an arbitrary modifier is not required, good offense will consist of capitalising on direct hits with continual pressure or baits and excellent swing selection. You also do not see the mechanic working in a swing-to-swing fashion, hence unclear.

Proposed solution: Get rid of ACM

TL;DR (ACM is not needed when adequate offensive skills are present).

Specials:

Should not be able to be inputted as a continuation of a combo or counter swing, given that specials have zero start up time and have priority over every other swing.
A common example of this, is duallies D side into Stab. Luckily the counter situation does not occur too often as most players are not privy to it.
I'm not going to talk about potential special changes as I just simply couldn't care less; they are not and should not be the focal point of dueling, in my opinion.

Proposed solution: Get rid of insta specials/the ability to be inputted as a combo or counter swing.

Perfect Blocking and Player Movement:

The nature of mb2 allows a great deal of freedom of movement with little debuffs applied to movement while in various states.
Due to this, it is a common occurrence that swings may need to be re-aimed in order to hit/reach a moving opponent.
Because of the little impedance of this dynamic nature (e.g no slowdowns when being hit etc) being able to make up for this lack of impedance in the form of PBs seems reasonable.
It requires a due amount of skill and still allows the opponent the ability to punish whiffs.

In regard to swing-to-swing interactions, being able to test what your opponent will do from being hit with some measure of safety (a "poke", if you will) is a vital tool in assessing someone's capabilities and tendencies.
Being able to PB in returns allows for this slight safety net if someone has good mechanical skill (again, PBing their return is NOT guaranteed).
PB in returns allow for a set of plays that mitigate damage, collect information and bait opponent responses.
Example: CS/counterswing into a combo, stop, PB, CS again, mitigate damage while blending PBs and parries while baiting slaps from continued comboing.

Not being able to do the aforementioned forces trades and damage, where running out of the combo or slapping is the only viable option.
The only case where I could possibly see PB in returns not being allowed is from PB CS as a punish and that is only due to the movement in mb2 creating instances where it is easier to pb the punish, if in close distance this does not apply.

Proposed solution: Keep PB on returns.

TL;DR (PB in returns is a requirement to defend against non-proactive actions and the freedom of movement that exists in dueling, e.g. running, jumping etc).


Interrupts:

The first question for interrupts should be "what do they entail and how is the momentum of the duel changed when they occur?"
Currently in live, after interrupting your opponent, your best option is to either combo to parry a potential counterswing and to not allow the opponent to neutral swing or prepare to PB in return against a potential counter.

Obviously, this scenario is flawed and has been addressed but my question is, after getting interrupted, should the opponent have priority to attack from neutral, or should the player be able to frame trap the opponent again and again?
(Which is the case in the yellow mirror on beta, interrupt -> A halfswing -> A halfswing etc). So overall, should the player get increased damage and slow the opponent's momentum down, or completely shift the momentum in their favour?

TL;DR: Should interrupts slow the opponent's momentum or switch it over entirely?

Style Changes:

I think style specific changes are the least objective in what is the goal of the style, minus effort to effectiveness, however I will provide some brief ideas for non-yellow styles below.

Blue: styles that have fast timings overall should have their defense gutted in my opinion and require the player to PB well up close. I don't like that blue lost it’s 50/50, when it makes contact with you, it's a guess between a combo and halfswing as you cannot counterswing or neutral it mid combo, yes this in conjunction with its fast halfswings, high defense, solid ground punish and distancing tools make it the best style in the game in my opinion and a regular annoyance to those who face it. I would reduce the swing count to two, reduce the halfswing speed(it never was instant btw), and gut the defense. I like the BP regen debuff, but would move it over to another mechanic besides acm. My ideal goal for blue is being a style that enforces 50/50s at close range and attempts to lock down the player with BP debuffs to make up for its poor damage and not holding the s key down like a nymph.

Cyan: Gut the defense, reduce swing count to 3, emphasis on using fast neutrals to out time the opponent and PBing gaps in defense.

Duels: Medium-Poor defense, I like the non-last halfswing/counterswing resetting the swing count, and I think this style could work well as a defensive style with some limited halfswing mixups, but this would require PB in returns to do things like PB CS stop PB CS stop etc.

Staff: what makes staff strong in live is the fast counterswing/halfswing WA/A/WD while having yellows fastest halfswing transition D->D on all swings -> WA/A/WD, with the ability to still do decent damage with combos if need be, it doesn't have as much of a reliance on halfswinging as blue does to deal damage. In beta staff requires great attention to detail in what you input, using combos that are low -> high results in slow combos and halfswings of the opposite side resulting in non-useful spins. I don't have a clear goal for staff, except the style not having an arbitrary high defense, but I would assume making the style more palatable would come from tweaking the above details.

Purple: again no real clear goal here.

Red: Increase defense, decrease damage, focus on heavy counters. I don't think you should be able to run up to someone's face and start a half swing with minimal effort even for reduced damage, i.e. nudge. I had an idea for red neutral swings that would allow the canceling of the swing into a faster mixup on the opposite side, but how this would work and look in mb2 is questionable at best.


Miscellaneous:

Hitboxes
in live, while being slightly extended, feel good on hit. This feeling is what should be preserved. While whatever new concoction of hitboxes may be more accurate, they feel as though the saber is hitting deeper into the model and for me ruins the feel of yaws.

Staggers on other slaps, just remove them, there should be no button that gives you priority.

Numbers for damage, good for testing, should be for demos only or some server command, takes skill away from judging BP level.

Mblocks should allow for disarms, not sure how well the fail punish works, you could be pressing in keys to counter etc and take dmg, I would move the failed dmg to non-PB instead of timing to alleviate this issue or just make mb require BP like the old patches.

TL;DR: Remove slap knock back, remove non-PB counter swings, yellow A halfswing limited to coming from one swing being D, remove specials being used as an extension of a combo or counter input, remove acm, keep PB in returns, refer to interrupt section for answers to possible questions).
Very cool and long, thank you snow blind.
I want to know what in your opinion is the purpose of purple style then?
 
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Not duel related, but can deflect buffs aplied to staff or dual? Like taking less fp damage.
 
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(written before the ACM changes last Sunday)

I'll write up a more complete summary of my thoughts about the open beta later but before I do that I want to put some criticism out there on a specific system.

ACM, ACC and how it fluctuates

I think a lot of things the build does right is bring fresh ideas to the table that haven't been tried before but I found the change to ACM kind of missed the mark for me. When I see ACM I see a mechanic that is designed to indicate the momentum of the duel, reward proactive play, discourage passive play and help bring duels to a close. This is where my first issue stems from, both live and the beta suffer from this.

Issue #1: Visual feedback
The current ACM system does a bad job communicating to the player it exists, what it does and why it does it. I've had a lot of encounters with players well in their second year of playing not know what ACM is. Granted on live it works quietly in the background but in the open beta it has taken a front row seat. A few perks are tied to ACM now and not knowing if you hit the ACM threshold is a huge deal. Usually I refrain from making suggestions as that can be a big part of the fun developing a game but to throw some ideas out there have a look at the following concept (excuse the art, I'm not an artist and my stable diffusion model couldn't generate this for me)
View attachment 7441

Issue #2: Partial ACM & The removal of ACC
I think there is a fundamental issue with partial ACM taking the place of ACC. Notably fractions are hard to imagine in a pinch and they make counting the enemies ACM (and your own) hard. I think rewarding the player for comboing is a good thing but the way it's currently laid out is hard to keep track of. I strongly encourage you to find a clever way to make ACM easy to count even for a casual observer, bonus points if you can work it into the UI in some way. I also think having different partial ACM gains per style might be the biggest hurdle you have here.


Closing thoughts
Just my two cents on the issue, take it with a grain of salt I mostly play open on live where ACM is used like a pepper spray against enemy saberists. I do want to state that I don't think ACM doesn't have a place here like a few others suggested. I think sabering would be much worse without it.

As a last point I want to encourage anyone interested in the design of the system to do some looking around, ACM as it stands doesn't have to stay like this or like it does on live and there are a bunch of systems out there that might do a better job at fulfilling its goal.
 
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Where the sausage at?

:cool:

df177d99eea1313b4b186fd61d32746e.png
 
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Going from Live to the current beta build feels like the skill ceiling has been significantly reduced in favor of a spam to win playstyle valuing ACM over skill

As a (cexy) cyan main, it is significantly easier to win than Live, as all I need to do is keep up constant pressure to build ACM in order to melt my opponent's BP. Whereas in Live, despite cyan having a 6 hit combo, I genuinely need to play well and smart to win over a skilled jewelist. The fights are over insanely quick, and its just as easy for me to lose as it is to win, its all about who can build ACM fastest. From my experience in Live, getting ACM is rare against 2 skilled players, it serves as a punishment for passive play against an aggressive opponent, however in this beta, ACM has become the core decider of who wins in a duel, and that feels very wrong

As others have said in this thread, Live is imo near perfect as it is, there are tweaks and additions I like in the beta, but overall flow, speed of combat and the role of ACM in Live is some of the best saber combat ever made and does not need a complete overhaul.
 
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Design Principles for Dueling

Clear and consistent mechanics
that have their potency based on the effort required to perform said mechanics under the various conditions or states of play that arise in mb2.
Any deviation from a neutral baseline of effort to performance will again have clear and consistent advantages and disadvantages, to be discussed.
The aim of a potential Saber beta is to bring the live patch of dueling more aligned with the above stated design principles, with an emphasis on the mechanics of dueling and swing to swing interaction, and less of a focus on numerical modifications (e.g., damage values, defense values).
Below is a list of mechanics problems that to me are not in agreeance with the above design principles and aim.

Slap knock back/punishment window:

A problem that I haven't seen talked about at all, is a common occurring situation in which one player whiffs their slap and makes their Opponent get pushed back a considerable distance or up in the air. This causes the opponent's swing punishment to whiff in the air or be out of range entirely.
The person whiffing the slap may also have time to start their own swing and hit the Opponent even after clearly making a mistake. The reverse is also true to an extent, e.g., slapping an opponent whilst they are running, causing them to get launched to a distance that does not equate to a full ground punish.
The instant A halfswing swing for yellow in Beta solves this issue for nearly all cases, however, as I'll point out later, it's more of a band-aid solution.

Proposed solution: increase recovery for slap slightly and add a small timer after the slap animation is over in which the player cannot swing.

Counter swings:

Currently in live, countering mid combo is entirely dependent on the swing used and distance, assuming the Opponent is performing the fastest possible combo. Right now, countering has no relation to PB.
The problem is that there are too many states in which the player is able to attack out of freely with minimal effort or actions that readily turn the momentum of the duel around, counter swinging with no PB being one of them.

Proposed solution: counter swings should only be available with pbing and will be consistent at point blank range vs combos.

Yes, this change will be annoying, even to high level players but it forces more conscious effort towards mechanics and rewards good offense.
If someone's masks/mix-ups are good, you will have to be proactive in taking measures to mitigate said interaction, instead of tanking exchanges or defaulting to pressing.

Side note: Currently in live, you could slow yaw to interrupt a counter swing. The problem is countering is still available whilst being interrupted and removing this is a good change. More to be discussed on interrupts later.

Combos:

Should not have startup period, any style that has these in the beta just feels awful and these combos gets shut down by counterswings, leading to messy timing situations.

Halfswings and neutral swings:

Currently in live for the yellow mirror, it's possible to do a neutral swing in between yellow's fastest halfswing chain D -> D side. The problem is that it is possible to do this on reaction, generally most people can be conditioned not to press and expect a combo instead of a halfswing,
but for players privy to this, it presents an opportunity to consistently out time and shutdown their opponent.
Yes, slap can be used to counter this, but the timing is variable, and, in my view, there should exist a swing-to-swing interaction which counters this.
The A halfswing does this perfectly, however it does it TOO perfectly and leads to the A halfswing being the default swing in any halfswing/parry state, where there is even a hint the opponent will press.
Hence, the player does not need to proactively condition their opponent once properties of the A halfswing are acknowledged.
The A half swing from a parry scenario also enforces that both players must use it to out time their Opponent and in a sense, it can be a cover for frankly shit swing selection and timing.

Proposed solution: Keep the A halfswing but only allow it from D->A, now the A half swing can only occur from one swing and will require active conditioning.

Side note: Not having full PB in returns means players can on reaction neutral between halfswing attempts and get free hits on top of shifting momentum.

TL;DR (keep A halfswing but make it limited coming from one swing, so it isn't the default option).

ACM:

To my understanding the purpose of ACM is to punish passive play and aid or build momentum in a duel. However, I find no such cases where this is applicable. If passive play is to be understood as not swinging and blocking for extended periods of time and not willing to engage, then ACM is not required. The Opponent should be able to enforce their will on the passive player utilising mix-ups/masks etc, and failure to do so is an evident lack of offense. This leads onto the second point of ACM aiding in momentum, again the use of an arbitrary modifier is not required, good offense will consist of capitalising on direct hits with continual pressure or baits and excellent swing selection. You also do not see the mechanic working in a swing-to-swing fashion, hence unclear.

Proposed solution: Get rid of ACM

TL;DR (ACM is not needed when adequate offensive skills are present).

Specials:

Should not be able to be inputted as a continuation of a combo or counter swing, given that specials have zero start up time and have priority over every other swing.
A common example of this, is duallies D side into Stab. Luckily the counter situation does not occur too often as most players are not privy to it.
I'm not going to talk about potential special changes as I just simply couldn't care less; they are not and should not be the focal point of dueling, in my opinion.

Proposed solution: Get rid of insta specials/the ability to be inputted as a combo or counter swing.

Perfect Blocking and Player Movement:

The nature of mb2 allows a great deal of freedom of movement with little debuffs applied to movement while in various states.
Due to this, it is a common occurrence that swings may need to be re-aimed in order to hit/reach a moving opponent.
Because of the little impedance of this dynamic nature (e.g no slowdowns when being hit etc) being able to make up for this lack of impedance in the form of PBs seems reasonable.
It requires a due amount of skill and still allows the opponent the ability to punish whiffs.

In regard to swing-to-swing interactions, being able to test what your opponent will do from being hit with some measure of safety (a "poke", if you will) is a vital tool in assessing someone's capabilities and tendencies.
Being able to PB in returns allows for this slight safety net if someone has good mechanical skill (again, PBing their return is NOT guaranteed).
PB in returns allow for a set of plays that mitigate damage, collect information and bait opponent responses.
Example: CS/counterswing into a combo, stop, PB, CS again, mitigate damage while blending PBs and parries while baiting slaps from continued comboing.

Not being able to do the aforementioned forces trades and damage, where running out of the combo or slapping is the only viable option.
The only case where I could possibly see PB in returns not being allowed is from PB CS as a punish and that is only due to the movement in mb2 creating instances where it is easier to pb the punish, if in close distance this does not apply.

Proposed solution: Keep PB on returns.

TL;DR (PB in returns is a requirement to defend against non-proactive actions and the freedom of movement that exists in dueling, e.g. running, jumping etc).


Interrupts:

The first question for interrupts should be "what do they entail and how is the momentum of the duel changed when they occur?"
Currently in live, after interrupting your opponent, your best option is to either combo to parry a potential counterswing and to not allow the opponent to neutral swing or prepare to PB in return against a potential counter.

Obviously, this scenario is flawed and has been addressed but my question is, after getting interrupted, should the opponent have priority to attack from neutral, or should the player be able to frame trap the opponent again and again?
(Which is the case in the yellow mirror on beta, interrupt -> A halfswing -> A halfswing etc). So overall, should the player get increased damage and slow the opponent's momentum down, or completely shift the momentum in their favour?

TL;DR: Should interrupts slow the opponent's momentum or switch it over entirely?

Style Changes:

I think style specific changes are the least objective in what is the goal of the style, minus effort to effectiveness, however I will provide some brief ideas for non-yellow styles below.

Blue: styles that have fast timings overall should have their defense gutted in my opinion and require the player to PB well up close. I don't like that blue lost it’s 50/50, when it makes contact with you, it's a guess between a combo and halfswing as you cannot counterswing or neutral it mid combo, yes this in conjunction with its fast halfswings, high defense, solid ground punish and distancing tools make it the best style in the game in my opinion and a regular annoyance to those who face it. I would reduce the swing count to two, reduce the halfswing speed(it never was instant btw), and gut the defense. I like the BP regen debuff, but would move it over to another mechanic besides acm. My ideal goal for blue is being a style that enforces 50/50s at close range and attempts to lock down the player with BP debuffs to make up for its poor damage and not holding the s key down like a nymph.

Cyan: Gut the defense, reduce swing count to 3, emphasis on using fast neutrals to out time the opponent and PBing gaps in defense.

Duels: Medium-Poor defense, I like the non-last halfswing/counterswing resetting the swing count, and I think this style could work well as a defensive style with some limited halfswing mixups, but this would require PB in returns to do things like PB CS stop PB CS stop etc.

Staff: what makes staff strong in live is the fast counterswing/halfswing WA/A/WD while having yellows fastest halfswing transition D->D on all swings -> WA/A/WD, with the ability to still do decent damage with combos if need be, it doesn't have as much of a reliance on halfswinging as blue does to deal damage. In beta staff requires great attention to detail in what you input, using combos that are low -> high results in slow combos and halfswings of the opposite side resulting in non-useful spins. I don't have a clear goal for staff, except the style not having an arbitrary high defense, but I would assume making the style more palatable would come from tweaking the above details.

Purple: again no real clear goal here.

Red: Increase defense, decrease damage, focus on heavy counters. I don't think you should be able to run up to someone's face and start a half swing with minimal effort even for reduced damage, i.e. nudge. I had an idea for red neutral swings that would allow the canceling of the swing into a faster mixup on the opposite side, but how this would work and look in mb2 is questionable at best.


Miscellaneous:

Hitboxes
in live, while being slightly extended, feel good on hit. This feeling is what should be preserved. While whatever new concoction of hitboxes may be more accurate, they feel as though the saber is hitting deeper into the model and for me ruins the feel of yaws.

Staggers on other slaps, just remove them, there should be no button that gives you priority.

Numbers for damage, good for testing, should be for demos only or some server command, takes skill away from judging BP level.

Mblocks should allow for disarms, not sure how well the fail punish works, you could be pressing in keys to counter etc and take dmg, I would move the failed dmg to non-PB instead of timing to alleviate this issue or just make mb require BP like the old patches.

TL;DR: Remove slap knock back, remove non-PB counter swings, yellow A halfswing limited to coming from one swing being D, remove specials being used as an extension of a combo or counter input, remove acm, keep PB in returns, refer to interrupt section for answers to possible questions).
Well said.
 
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thanks a lot for this guys !
you did a great job, I love the perks and everything you added in the beta. once again a big thank you, it's nice to see that you continue to maintain the game and that we players can have a good time and have fun.
 
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