Stop reworking the sabering system

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Not going to make this into an Achilles-esque post where I write a 6000 word essay on sabering, but I have just read the proposed sabering changes and I am mindblown once again. Please show support to what I'm saying if you agree with me or obviously if you disagree make it known too.

Please STOP reworking the sabering system from ground zero every time:
For the past 3-4 years or however long it has been, we've been stuck with an unsatisfactory sabering system and people are tired of it, but please do not make the same mistake that you have repeated for the past 4-5 sabering builds. The wrong approach has been taken to correcting and improving the sabering system for each build without fail. Every time you release a new sabering build, you insist on overhauling the entire thing - adding a tonne of new concepts and filling it with new (largely unsatisfactorily tested) ideas. 1.4.9 was a well received sabering build that needed a few tweaks to be made into something 'perfect'. Instead you decided to overhaul the entire thing with 1.5 and broke some of the most basic mechanics in the process which still have not been fixed today (parries, counters etc).

A better approach would be to make small tweaks to what we already have now and clean it up first - keeping it simple and adding on from there in the future:
Take what we have right now, implement the fixes for the inconsistency of counters, hitboxes and collisions which is every player's largest gripe with this build. After that, adjust the damages closer to how they were for 1.5's release. After that, revert the ACM system to the older, simpler system of +1ACC = +1ACM. Keep the core gameplay simple and make sure that it works with vigorous testing and small, feedback driven tweaks.

Once we have a core that is as close to perfect as possible, at that point we can consider adding in some more complexities such as perks for each style, new gameplay mechanics entirely to help balance any overpowered metas that crop up.

Let's give new players a chance of actually wanting to learn the game:
Adding neutral block and perks which favour one explicit playstyle may feel like it's helping 'noob' players to improve - but it isn't. This game is incredibly complex even in its most simple state of attacks, combos, half swings, pbs, mbs, swingblock, parries, interrupts and movement. There is seldom other fighting games that even come close to the amount of learning needed for MB2.

If we really want to protect MB2's lifespan, then the answer is to retain the (small) number of players that come to check out the game. The key word being retention. Keep the game easy to learn and pick up - don't go overcomplicating it with neutral block, manual block defence and then perfect block on top of that. (Seriously, why do we need 4 different ways to just block a swing - oh but wait some of them don't block it fully and some do??). Don't go adding random perks to every style that contain different damage multipliers, methods of achieving ACM or other 'hidden' mechanics that are not easily visible on the UI or in the animations etc. In essence, people shouldn't need to read a changelog just to understand exactly what each saber style has to offer and to learn all of the different numbers and values.
 
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While many would say that 1.4.9 was the last non-janky build, I think many would also say that having perks and such being removed was a pretty big hit to enjoying the system. A lot of the styles have also felt largely samey aside from red which I think is a sad part of the system that never really stood out much until more recently.


The ironic part here is that this is not how it's ever worked. Hitting more has not ever given you an ACM advantage because of the way that chaining/comboing works as far as first body hit factoring into whether you can get ACM or not. This more or less just proves my point about it being convoluted historically and as is.


I'm making it so ACC and ACM are 1:1 and that swings besides the opaque combo vs chaining mechanic also factor into it so that it actually is as you incorrectly described before. Hit more = always building ACM and getting hit more = always losing ACM.


I know plenty of people who still play but don't like the build. Those are two separate things. The majority of what's in the build is QoL aside from perks, NB (which will likely be getting removed anyway with adjustments to other things), and a couple adjustments aimed at making 1vX more feasible (such as Mblock defense). Fixes to collision/parrying windows and other things as you mentioned + making things like ACM less opaque is more or less what you've brought up multiple times. All of those will enable more playstyles and variety that's been needing to get revived.
I think mb defence and things like different pb defence levels after feinting or in returns (if I understood correctly) is just unnecessary complication too. The proposed change to ACM sounds good.
 

Tempest

Gameplay Design
Movie Battles II Team
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I think mb defence and things like different pb defence levels after feinting or in returns (if I understood correctly) is just unnecessary complication too. The proposed change to ACM sounds good.
I'll probably address it in a non-technical paragraph or two at some point when it's in full open testing but more or less the easy way to understand it would be:
- Full defensive stance (default block stance) = can PB/Mblock for full damage reduction with ACM not getting modified for the defender
- Any other defensive state is reduced damage (and trying to keep the modifier the same across all of these for clarity) and some minor changes to how ACM is modified for either/both sides (also trying to keep this consistent when possible). This is generally handled as 0.75x damage and whatever would be partial ACM for the style.
- If failing any of those defensive states, you get body hit for normal damage and so on.

I've been going over the changelog a bit to try and make it easier to understand in those regards but I know it can be hard to get a solid grasp just looking at walls of text in a vacuum, especially for those who are less experienced with the saber system.
 

agentoo8

Internal Beta Team
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System has gone through so many overhauls since dueling was conceived that, at this stage, I'm not averse to one last overhaul, provided that further changes/amendments are small in nature, i.e. tweaks, as OP has said.

Current iteration is catastrophically mundane, with very little opportunity to be creative/unique with one's style - you either interrupt spam with blue/cyan, or go yaw mcyawson with yellow.

Would strongly suggest getting Tempest's patch out, and having it tested thoroughly, with any changes deemed necessary by the dueling community implemented. Use it as a 'base camp' to work from.
 
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One particular reason why so much has been put into one patch in this manner is because of internal discussions (though I'm sure there's been plenty of external mentions, at least by Viserys) that wanted to get away from constant micro adjustments, both of sabering and for other parts of the game as well.
This is the biggest problem with the team's mentality. They will start with a reasonable and interesting change, before pushing this change, the team comes up with another change they like. This keeps spiraling until before you know it, it's another overhaul. Then you start testing the changes together and now the balance of these changes are more interdependent and hard to separate.

Devs need to make a more direct effort to break up balance changes and feature reworks into smaller patches. It may sound like more work in the short run to have smaller patches, but it pays off in the long run because they will less often run into situations where the game is a complex tangled mess of balance and obtuse mechanics that sounds great in internal testing but pans when actually released. The group of quality of life changes don't have to be held back until the perk system is all figured out.
 
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