This coming weekend, some folks will have the opportunity to sample the multiplayer experience of For Honor. The closed beta will serve as a chance to test the game’s online elements as well as give players their first glimpse of For Honor‘s metagame Faction War.
As you probably know by now, For Honor is sporting a new type of multiplayer for gamers. Its melee-combat based gameplay will ask players to implement tactics more than reflexes. The various modes will not only create crucial tactical gameplay, but they will touch on a number of other traits we find in multiplayer games today.
Elimination is a mode that may claim the most attention from players. This is a simple four versus four deathmatch, and there are no respawns. When you die, you are out for the duration of the round. At times, there will be odd-man battles when two or even three players take on a single fighter. This situation is an extremely difficult one to overcome, but if you can stay alive, there is always the chance of survival or even victory.
Balancing is going to be very important for Elimination, particularly when odd-man fights occur. In an exclusive interview We Write Things, Roman Campos Oriola, who is the game director, discussed the game element that ties an odd-man fight together.
“There has been a lot of discussion internally about the balance of 2 versus 1. Fighting against two guys is tough. When you successfully kill one of the two guys, it’s really [empowering]. Also though, when you have 2 versus 1, you expect the fight to be much easier.
“Finding that balance is really tough because we don’t want it to be frustrating for any of the players. That’s why we put the revenge meter stuff. The more enemies that are around you, the faster the revenge goes up when you block or when you land an attack. We are still tweaking the benefits of [the revenge meter],” Oriola said.
I have yet to claim the thrill of making a comeback, but it is easy to see how exciting it will be. The video below is an example of what I’m talking about. The Peacekeeper survives until the end and it is pretty impressive to watch.
You might have immediate inklings as to what will keep people coming back to Elimination mode. However, for folks who are a little more skeptical of its long-term appeal, adrenaline will entice you. Oriola believes the gravity of losing a teammate in battle cannot be overstated. Strategy is woven into every element of this mode and it will provide some memorable gameplay for sure.
Dominion is a domination-type of mode that players will enjoy. This is a more wide open sort of mode and I think will serve as the most accessible one for folks who don’t play the beta. Oriola explained how Dominion was one of the first modes they created and some balancing they eventually fit correctly.
“It was one of the first game modes and finding the correct value [for killing AI] took time. It’s not just finding the correct value for points, but also finding the correct balance with how fast you accrue points in relation to the match’s overall duration. Sometimes we had four or five minute matches and that was too short, and sometimes it was twenty minutes and we’re like, ‘yeah that’s getting to be too long.’ The last [test] we had, we think we found the sweet spot for that mode,” Oriola said.
Dominion will be one of the three modes players can try during the upcoming beta. In addition to the 4v4, plus AI, mode, Brawl will be playable, and this is a 2v2 version of Elimination. The third mode will be Duel and this one is pretty self-explanatory. Six environments in total will be playable during the closed beta.
An issue that Ubisoft is trying to solve is how they to referee players when picking classes. I believe as things stand now, there are no modes that prevent people from picking the same class. However, it seems likely that that reality could eventually arrive for a mode or two, if not the whole experience.
“We actually have an option for players [having to choose different classes]. We are still considering which mode we want to activate it for or not. It is something we are going to test in the very near future…Yeah, it’s an issue we face. We want the game to be as inclusive as it can be. But it is a constant battle to determine [whether or not something] makes the game better versus does that restrain the players? That’s why we are still evaluating, for that reason,” Oriola said.
Faction War will be when all players, regardless of platform, get to team up and battle it out. All platforms will reflect the real-time progress of the Faction War. There are a number of possibilities for what could be when it comes to Faction War, but Ubisoft is waiting to see how players take to the mode first. This is totally understandable and if players want further depth in Faction War, they will get it.
“We decided to wait and see how people react to [Faction War]. How much are they involved in Faction War? How much do they talk about it? Eventually, what are the needs that emerge from the community and be reactive from there. Instead of creating a big feature and no one ending up using it,” Oriola said.
For Honor multiplayer could be an experience that proves to be revolutionary. Players who want the mode to blossom into something long-term will need to show their support for that to happen. Ubisoft seems like it will be very responsive to interest in the game, and this includes eSports.
“It is a skill-based game. We want your skill to really matter and be important in the gameplay. We want it to be fair. If you lose, you know what you did to lose. If you win, you know what you did to win. We want that tactical and competitive experience.
“My personal opinion, I don’t believe that as a game developer we get the chance to say ‘yeah, you know what? We’re building an eSport.’ Maybe? Maybe not? (laughs). Again for me, it is something that needs to come from the community to actually be authentic and actually drive a real response,” Oriola said.
Ubisoft’s newest IP For Honor will host a closed beta for players Jan. 26-29. If you want to register for the beta, check out this link. The new game will officially launch this coming Feb. 12 for PS4, Xbox One and PC. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on For Honor.