"Rocky" is but one word that can summarize the reception to For Honor's online component since February. Plagued by connectivity issues, farmers, drophacking, DDOSing, controversial microtransactions, and more, the largest subreddit of the game's most dedicated players scheduled a blackout on April 3 to protest Ubisoft's lack of attention toward the community's concerns. While the publisher has a long way to go to make up for its blunders, it will be addressing them in the coming months and into 2018 with a series of improvements and updates. The most notable detail of incoming improvements takes the form of dedicated servers. While work is still being done to make this move, the developer will continue "enhancing peer-to-peer stability and matchmaking" in the meantime. Heroes and game modes will be receiving a heavy dose of balancing as well. A massive alteration to strategy will make "attacking more advantageous while putting more pressure on defense." More specific details come from Creative Director Roman Campos-Oriola, who gives an example of how stamina and damage taken while blocking are being altered:
So for example, every time you attack or have one of your attacks parried, you lose stamina – and today in the game, being out of stamina does not make players vulnerable enough. So that’s something we are targeting, and we want to make players who are out of stamina more vulnerable. In the same way, we are buffing chip damage. So every time you block, you take a small percentage of damage, which used to be around 5 to 10%. And we bumped it to 18%. So if you are too defensive, if you’re blocking too many attacks, you’re gonna take more damage.Guard blocks will also be mitigated with parrying among other changes. Adding or removing mechanics and major features is not a part of the developer's plans, just a lot of rebalancing. You can read more about the reasoning behind these changes and an in-depth look at For Honor's future in this Ubiblog interview with Campos-Oriola and Game Director Damien Kieken. The bulk of more concrete details is found in the updates. There will be a Training Arena Mode that allows players to match themselves up with specific Heroes, move sets, and more. Additional instructions are being added to the existing Basic and Advanced Tutorials, too. Competitive Duel Tournaments will go into beta testing for Season III and a new 4v4 PvP mode for Season IV (which Campos-Oriela was reluctant to share details on since it will be a "completely different experience"). Along the way, new Heroes, maps, weapons, and microtransactions will be in tow. Campos-Oriela expressed why the team felt the need to lay out what lies ahead for For Honor:
[The fans'] commitment to the game, and their commitment to help us make it the best experience. And sometimes they do it with their words [laughs], so it’s not always polite. But you can really feel that they care about the game. We want to express the same commitment to our players, which is why we’re sharing our development roadmap today.I lacked the skill to so much as make a dent in For Honor's intense multiplayer mode, but I could tell the dedicated community deserves a more stable, fair experience for such an eccentric, appealing fighting title. What has your experience been like with the multiplayer? What balancing and additions would you like to see? Do you like what Ubisoft's plan of attack is so far? Pierce the comments section below to let us know what you think.