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With the newest season nearing a close, Ubisoft has released the third entry in their State of Balance installments. Being a popular competitive fighting game, the dev team feels that continual updates on balance issues are a welcome addition. Along with addressing some fairly drastic recent changes to the metagame, For Honor also offers the full meat and potatoes on how your mains are doing. The results are pretty surprising.
What affected balance in For Honor
Hero’s March brings some pretty heavy changes to the core gameplay. Orochi and Peacekeeper are reworked heroes now. This results in increased viability for Orochi through some move adjustment and additions. It also sees Peacekeeper’s kit being leveled out with her Dagger Cancel. Side dodge recovery is now also normalized to a flat rate of 600ms. This results in some heroes having improved recovery and others losing some. What this means is that while some gameplay’s changed, punishes no longer depend on your hero.
The Switch Stance bug?
For Honor’s patch 1.25 came bearing gifts! Well, a gift in the form of a pretty game-changing bug. The patch’s bug allowed all non-assassin heroes to gain an instant guard. Normally Vanguards, Hybrids, and Heavy heroes have a 100ms delay to their guard switching. This means that non-Assassins can defend considerably more successfully than ever before. Attacks normally considered too fast to react to could now get countered. This bug received a fix in patch 1.27, but it means a considerable decline in Assassin performance in the Season 6 analysis.
So how’s the cast looking?
The most affected hero by the unintended stance change was Berserker. This hero remains fairly untouched recently, yet was weak this season in comparison. An explanation for this can be that one of Zerk’s main tools — 400ms chain lights — was nullified by faster stance switching. This season also shows Centurion, Warden, and Lawbringer rising significantly in win rate. This is also a result of the bug.
Here’s a more in-depth look at our favourite medieval stompers:
Conqueror is still very strong in 1v1 combat. And yes, many players are still complaining about his Shield Bash. That said, his worst match-ups pose some insight as well. Conq fares the poorest this season against known counter-attackers. Ubisoft feels that instead of nerfing his bash, it’s better to improve other weaker tools.
Lawbringer is currently at 6th position, up 4 places from Season 5. With a 51% win rate, the long arm of the law is pulling ahead. It’s possible that this is, as stated above, due to his high counter-attacking potential. Ubisoft also notes that his shove-on-block ability makes him stand to gain far more with the recent bug. The dev team will be keeping an eye on him regarding how the bug fix affects gameplay for the near future.
PK has seen some better days. Considered one of the strongest heroes in the game for many seasons, this one tones her down considerably. Her heavy attacks now deal substantially less damage. The bug also greatly affects reaction to her fast attacks. Her performance is quite lower than expected for Season 6.
Orochi’s recent rework helps his win rate by a fair margin here. He’s also quite the popular choice, with many finding success in both duels and other game modes.
Poor Valk. The red-headed stepchild of For Honor. Her poor performance is an ongoing joke among the Ubisoft community. Ubisoft recently reworked her character, stating it’s too early to make a clear decision on where she stands. The data shows that her win rate has improved, although many — including the dev team — feel as if her rework needs some tweaking. They’re keeping a close eye on this hero for the time being.
Gladiator isn’t performing as well as expected, despite his ravenous hunger for human toes. With a less-than-half win ratio in the last two seasons, the devs find this to be an “interesting case” in their analysis. They feel like his Zone attack should be earning him more wins.
Regarding “light spam”
A fairly common and longstanding complaint in For Honor regards Assassins. You know, those super quick guys who look like they’re dancing all the time. This complaint usually comes in the form of frustrated chat messages about spamming light attacks, otherwise called “light spam.” Ubisoft finally has a statement about this complaint. They feel like at top-level gameplay that light spam isn’t at all that strong. The only Assassin in the lead regarding win rate is Shaman, who isn’t exactly equipped for that kind of gameplay.
That said, there is also that pesky bug that hinders Assassins quite a bit. Regardless, the devs want to push duel combat into a more offensive meta and don’t feel light spam is overpowered at this time. In short: git gud.
How’d Dominion mode do?
Let’s be honest — For Honor‘s bread and butter is its Dominion mode. It’s no secret why, being a mode that combines tactics, fighter skills, and MOBA elements. The first major change is Peacekeeper, who sinks 11 ranks this season. Orochi is up 4 ranks and expected to rise more. Unlike Duel, this mode doesn’t differ that much. This is likely due to team play and far more elements to success than 1v1 combat.
Aramusha isn’t as popular in 4v4 this season, but his win rate’s the same. The devs attribute this to more of a perception issue than anything else. His dodge recovery only loses 100ms, not exactly world-eating. Valkyrie lies in the middle of the road in 4v4, with Ubisoft monitoring her progress as players understand her rework more.
The absolute state of Shugoki
Great news, everyone! Ubisoft acknowledges that, according to data, Shugoki has been underperforming for a while. This has long been a grievance of the For Honor community, with complaints about his hero starting as early as the first season. They are now looking into ways they can improve him, so Goki mains rejoice!
For the full State Of Balance notes, check out Ubisoft’s official post.