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For Honor Begins Testing Changes to Balance Defensive Meta

For Honor has been facing several issues since it was released earlier this year, among which lies the overwhelming strength in defensive measures.

The community labels it as the “turtle” meta where players wait for their opponents to lunge first and then respond with powerful counter-attacks or parrying moves to render them useless. Recently, Ubisoft acknowledged the issue and promised to make amends as soon as possible. That time is upon us.

Earlier today, the developer announced new changes for the Public Test Server (PTS) that should offer a better balance between offensive and defensive capabilities. The main goal is to level the playing field by making adjustments to Parry, Guard Break, Stamina, Chip Damage, and Revenge systems.

“Over the past months, we’ve tested a lot of changes in order to achieve a better balance between offense and defense,” reads the announcement. “These changes impact the core of our combat system, so a Public Test is a great opportunity for us to start testing them online at a larger scale in order to gather feedback and data to establish if these changes have a positive impact.”

The developer pointed out that the community should not take this set of changes as a definitive fix. It is only the first step in the journey and relies heavily on feedback offered by players. All kinds of data will be considered to fine tune the combat system as precisely as possible before pushing it on the live servers of For Honor.

Parry

  • Light Parry frame advantage is reduced to be consistent with Heavy Parry
  • Guard Break is no longer guaranteed
  • Parrying too early consistently opens up your defense

Guard Break

  • All attack startups – 0-100ms Guard Break vulnerability

Stamina

Stamina Regen on Block and on Dodge is now paused:

  • Dodge left, right, and Dash forward: no stamina regen on the first 400ms
  • Dodge Back: no stamina regen on the first 600ms
  • Interrupt Block: no stamina regen on the first 300ms
  • Regular Block: no stamina regen on the first 500ms

Out of Stamina state makes players more vulnerable:

  • Blocking Light Attacks will not result in Interrupt but Regular Blocks, allowing your enemy to keep chaining lights
  • Impossible to Parry
  • Dodge and Dash are 200ms longer to make you more vulnerable to Guard Break
  • Dodge and Dash no longer have any special defensive properties such as Deflect or Superior Block
  • Getting hit by Melee attacks when Out of Stamina doesn’t drain stamina, it only pauses the regen

Chip Damage

  • Chip Damage increased to 18% for any attack

Revenge

  • Revenge activation can’t be interrupted by Melee attacks
  • Incoming Melee attacks don’t interrupt attack startups
  • Outgoing Melee attacks don’t Unbalance enemy
  • Shield is increased to 70% of your HP (from 50%)
  • Outgoing attacks cannot be parried

Flicker

  • Removed Zone Attack input buffer

Duel

  • Added an “Anti Run Away” system in Duel
  • Time out victory is awarded to the Player with the highest percentage of HP remaining

On the lighter side of things, the Steam Reviews for For Honor have improved to a degree in the past months. As far as the community is concerned, For Honor remains a mess. Hopefully, the developer will shift that attitude with major updates this year.